October is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month. On Saturday, October 6th, the Prevention Department of the Allegany Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Inc., held the 20th annual Bob Weigand Memorial Move-A-Thon at the Angelica Village Office.
This Red Ribbon event is held every first Saturday in October in memory of Drug Enforcement Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, who was tortured and killed by drug traffickers in 1985. The purpose of the Move-a-Thon is to promote a drug-free lifestyle through healthy alternatives, and to remind people to wear red ribbons in support of a drug-free America during Red Ribbon Week, October 23rd-31st. This year’s theme is: “Life is Your Journey, Travel Drug Free!”
Winners of the event by category are as follows:
First Walker – Female: Audri Eveland / Male: Carl Dandridge
First Cyclist –Female: Brooke Bradt / Male: Darren Bradt
There were no participants registered as runners in this year’s event.
The Allegany Council would like to thank the Village of Angelica for allowing the event to take place there, local law enforcement for ensuring safety, WZKZ Radio for providing a live remote, and all those who participated in and supported this special event!
Visit Red Ribbon Campaign for more information on ideas for activities to celebrate Red Ribbon.
In the United States, an average of 20 people will experience intimate partner physical violence every minute. This equates to more than 10 million abuse victims annually. October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month where advocates across the country try to bring to light the effects domestic violence has on individuals and communities.
According to New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, for the past 3 years New York State has had the highest demand for domestic violence services. These services include but are not limited too; seeking refuge in emergency shelter, assistance with court accompaniment and legal advocacy, counseling, support groups, support/advocacy with public benefits, and support/advocacy with housing/landlord. For the past 12 years, the National Network to End Domestic Violence conducted a one-day survey to capture the number of individuals and children seeking domestic violence related services. In 2017, they recorded 72,245 victims seeking services nationwide, 7,148 of those individuals were in New York State alone. On that same day, in New York, 852 victims’ needs were unable to be met because of a lack in resources available, due largely to budget cuts.
With statistics this troubling, it is likely that on any given day, regardless of what we do personally or professionally – we will encounter someone who has been abused by an intimate partner. It is important that we are mindful about how we interact with victims of domestic violence especially when they come to us seeking help in whatever capacity that may be.
Please mark your calendars and plan to join Cattaraugus Community Action Victim Services and ACCORD for a free Domestic Violence Awareness Training Presentation with keynote speaker Sara Mahoney who brings more than a decade of specialized experience and training. This event will be held at the Jamestown Community College, Olean Campus Cutco Theater, Thursday October 18th, from noon until 3pm. Please RSVP to Kathlyn Ramey at firstname.lastname@example.org by the 16th as there will be light refreshments provided.
Please reach out to your local Domestic Violence Agency for more information or to seek services:
Allegany County, ACCORD- 800-593-5322
Cattaraugus County, Cattaraugus Community Action Victim Services -1-888-945-3970
Monday, September 24th, marks the 18th anniversary of Family Day: A Day to Eat Dinner with your Children, founded in 2001 by the Center on Addiction. Research by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University has consistently found that the more often children eat dinner with their families, the less likely they are to smoke, drink, or use other drugs. Conversations during mealtime are a way for parents to stay connected and involved with their children. Televisions, cell phones, and other mobile devices should be turned off during dinner so each person can share the day’s events without distractions. This includes involving family members in preparation and clean-up. Trips in the vehicle can also be used as teachable, quality bonding time, as parents have a “captive” audience. The earlier parents start connecting with their kids, the better. If kids aren’t used to talking to their parents about what’s going on in their lives when they are eight or ten, it will be more difficult to get them talking when they are older.
Teens are at greater risk of substance abuse as they move from middle school to high school, so, parents need to be especially attentive during this transition period.
If parents are unsure of how to start an age-appropriate conversation, they can access tips in the newly revised Parent Toolkit on the CASA Family Day website or New York State’s Talk2Prevent website. Other valuable information can also be found in the toolkit, such as “connecting” with kids, preventing substance use, background facts on substance use, family activities and worksheets, and tips for talking to kids about substance use.
This year’s presenting sponsor is Quest Diagnostics. Partners include CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America), Fathers Incorporated, MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), National Military Family Association, Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, Prevent Child Abuse America, SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), The Family Dinner Project, The Kids Time, and The Moyer Foundation.
Celebrate with parents nationwide and pledge to commit to:
Spend time with your kids by playing games, taking a walk, or enjoying another family activity.
Talk to them about their friends, interests, and the dangers of using substances.
Answer their questions and listen to what they say.
Recognize that parents have the power to keep their kids substance-free! A warm, supportive relationship between parents and their children is linked to better judgement, increased self-control, and resilience, which are strengths that help reduce the risk of future drug use.
Remember, parental engagement does make a difference, and prevention works!
National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) is a national observance held every September to educate Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with a mental and/or substance use disorder to live a healthy and rewarding life.
Recovery Month celebrates the gains made by those in recovery, just as we celebrate health improvements made by those who are managing other health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and heart disease. The observance reinforces the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover.
There are millions of Americans whose lives have been transformed through recovery. Since these successes often go unnoticed by the broader population, Recovery Month provides a vehicle for everyone to celebrate these accomplishments. Each September, tens of thousands of prevention, treatment, and recovery programs and facilities around the country celebrate Recovery Month. They speak about the gains made by those in recovery and share their success stories with their neighbors, friends, and colleagues. In doing so, everyone helps to increase awareness and furthers a greater understanding about the diseases of mental and substance use disorders.
Now in its 29th year, Recovery Month highlights the achievements of individuals who have reclaimed their lives in long-term recovery and honors the treatment and recovery service providers who make recovery possible.
Recovery Month also promotes the message that recovery in all of its forms is possible and encourages citizens to take action to help expand and improve the availability of effective prevention, treatment, and recovery services for those in need. For local recovery services visit Allegany Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Inc.(ACASA) or Celebrate Recovery .
Each year, Recovery Month selects a new focus and theme to spread the message and share the successes of treatment and recovery. The 2018 Recovery Month observance will focus on urban communities, health care providers, members of the media, and policymakers, highlighting the various entities that support recovery within our society.
The 2018 Recovery Month theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Invest in Health, Home, Purpose, and Community,” explores how integrated care, a strong community, sense of purpose, and leadership contributes to effective treatments that sustain the recovery of persons with mental and substance use disorders. The observance will work to highlight inspiring stories to help people from all walks of life find the path to hope, health, and wellness. Learn more about this year’s and past year themes.
Each year, SAMHSA creates a Recovery Month toolkit to help individuals and organizations increase awareness of the power of recovery. The kit provides media outreach templates, tips for event planning and community outreach, audience-specific information and data on behavioral health conditions, and resources for prevention, treatment, and recovery support services. These resources help local communities reach out and encourage individuals in need of services, and their friends and families, to seek treatment and recovery services and information. Materials include SAMHSA’s National Helpline 1-800-662 HELP (4357) for 24-hour, free and confidential information and treatment referral as well as other SAMHSA resources for locating services.
Additional Recovery Month resources are available on the Recovery Month website.
To kick off the start of Alfred University’s ‘18-‘19 school year, the fourth annual Paint for Prevention was held on Saturday, August 25th. Paint for Prevention is a chalk art competition open to Alfred University students. This year the main theme of the chalk art was tobacco, but the students could choose any prevention theme. There were many different prevention topics covered from substance abuse to domestic violence. “This event is a way for prevention agencies to reach college students and allow them a creative outlet to think of different issues faced by college students,” states PPAC Coalition/Reality Check Coordinator Jon Chaffee. “The art that is done by the students of Alfred University never fails to amaze; hopefully, the art has a positive effect on these young people,” states Chaffee.
This year there were forty-two artists who completed thirty-seven works of art. While the artists were working on their chalk art, the Allegany Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Inc.(ACASA), Cattaraugus Community Action(CCA), Partners for Prevention in Allegany County(PPAC), and Tobacco Free Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany had informational tables to let the students know of resources available to them. “Although the students have access to resources on campus, awareness of external county resources is just as valuable, especially when a student can connect a face with an agency,” states Ann Weaver, Community Educator at ACASA. The students also had a chance to win an Alfred University sweatshirt by interacting with the different agencies. Clara Lager won first place, Monet Harris won second place, and third place went to Hannah Yaneloh. To check out all of the artwork, please visit https://ppaccentral.org/paint-for-prevention/ .
August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). The Allegany County Department of Health is asking the public to make sure they and their family is up-to-date on vaccines this month. Getting vaccinated is an easy way to protect your health. During the month of August, take the time to make sure that you and your loved ones have received all of the vaccinations you need. By making sure your vaccinations are up to date, you can help prevent harmful diseases from affecting you and your family.
Please visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s(CDC) Immunization Schedules for more information.
Please visit the Allegany County Family Planning Clinic or call at (585)-268-9250 with any questions or to make an appointment.
Traditional vaping is old news – at least among high school students. The new best thing is called “Juul” and it is dramatically increasing in popularity among high school students.
The JUUL device, with a sleek design that resembles a flash drive, is a special hit with teens. Because JUULing puts off significantly less vapor than other e-cigarettes, it is very discreet. Thousands of online videos show kids JUULing at school, exhaling into shirts, hoodies or backpacks to hide the vapor, which disappears in an instant. JUUL puts off a sweet, fruity smell—easily mistakable as perfume or hair product, making it difficult for school officials and other adults to detect.
JUULs are designed to be very simple and easy to use. The JUUL also has multiple flavors available – mint, tobacco, mango, crème brulee and fruit. Juuls plug into a laptop or any USB port to charge up their battery. The flavored pod attaches to the charged device, which heats up the pod’s liquid. The user then ‘draws’ on the device to inhale the vapor into his lungs. Each pod is the nicotine equivalent of 200 puffs, or an entire pack of traditional cigarettes. This is also the capacity of a single charge. Pods are generally sold in 4-packs. Juuls come with a pre-set, 5-percent nicotine content.
JUUL pods contain high levels of nicotine, a highly addictive, damaging substance that can have severe consequences on developing brains, lungs and bodies. The vaping industry promotes the fact that nicotine salt—the form of nicotine used in JUUL liquid is known to produce a smoother ‘hit’ and less throat irritation than ‘free-base’ nicotine used in typical e-cigarette liquid. This may encourage users to take longer, deeper puffs, which may result in very high levels of nicotine per puff than either standard cigarettes or typical e-cigarettes. According to the 2016 Surgeon General’s Report, exposure to nicotine during adolescence can harm brain development, which may have implications for cognition, attention and mood. Even brief periods of continuous or intermittent nicotine exposure in adolescence may cause lasting neurobehavioral damage. Similar to other vaping devices, JUULs contain additional harmful materials such as heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and volatile organic compounds.
Most young people that we talk to do not realize that there is any danger to using vaping type products. They see JUUL as a cool, safe alternative to cigarettes. There is substantial evidence that youth who use e-cigarettes (including JUUL) are more likely to start smoking traditional cigarettes—leading to additional tobacco-related diseases. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, nicotine can also prime the adolescent brain for addiction to other drugs, such as cocaine.
According to the Allegany Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse’s (ACASA) 2017 Risk and Protective Survey done in the majority of schools in Allegany County, almost 14% of high school students in Allegany County have used e-cigarettes in the last 30 days. Compared to 8.2% of high school students, who said they smoked cigarettes in the past 30 days, e-cigarettes seem to be popular with Allegany County students. For more information on how to talk to teens about e-cigs and JUUL, please take a look at the Surgeon General’s “Talk with Your Teen About E-cigarettes: A Tip for Parents”.
The Allegany Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Inc. (ACASA) held the 27th AHSSUM Camp the last week of June. Ninety-one campers from Allegany County attended this fun-filled, four-day, day camp at Genesee Valley School. AHSSUM – “A Happenin’ Safe Summer for U and Me” is a no-cost camp promoting positive alternatives for Allegany County youth ages 8 to 12 years old.
This year’s theme was, “Upcycling: Everything Deserves a Second Chance”. AHSSUM Days consisted of activity time, arts and crafts, guest speakers, and swimming. Day one included a plastic bottle fish tank with a live guppy and snail for each camper, and guest speaker Ryan Paulsen from the Department of Soil and Water Conservation. Campers also learned about the importance of using the county’s pill drop boxes to dispose of old medications, rather than flushing pills and polluting the water source.
On day two, Beverly Jones from the Pfeiffer Nature Center in Portville and Holly (volunteer) did an interactive clean water presentation, while DEC Forest Ranger Justin Thaine and retired DEC Officer Paul Kretser led the campers on the BOCES nature walk trail behind the school.
On day three, staff from Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure brought the Art Mobile, and campers made paper bag trees, paper bead mosaics, and painted rocks. Krista Humbert and Trisha Heary from Cornell Cooperative Extension spoke on day four and campers made harmonicas out of popsicle sticks, rubber bands, paper, and toothpicks. Other crafts throughout the week included sock puppets, bird feeders, and bird houses made from plastic bottles. Campers applied decision-making related to responsibility and consequences, and teambuilding skills to the above activities.
As usual, on day four, AHSSUM campers signed group photos and T-shirts to keep fond memories of AHSSUM Camp alive!
The AHSSUM Camp program works with Allegany County school systems and other human service agencies to offer camp to youth within the county. ACASA would like to acknowledge and thank the guest speakers, Rob Frungillo (for prepping the bottles for the bird feeder craft), Jon Chaffee (for supplying the guppies and snails), Genesee Valley Central School (for the use of its facilities), and Bolivar-Richburg Central School, Fillmore Central School, and Andover Central School (for helping with coordination of transportation to and from camp). A sincere thank you is also extended to the many sponsors of this camp: The Dr. Lyle F. Renodin Foundation – “Affiliated with the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, NY”, Allegany County Youth Bureau, ACASA, and Upstate Farms.
For more information on attending or sponsoring AHSSUM Camp next year, please contact the ACASA Prevention Department at 585-593-1920, ext. 719.
As of May, 2018 there are now three new locations that community members can drop off their unwanted or unused medications, these locations are:
The new boxes were received through a grant offered by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation(DEC). Receiving the boxes for these three locations was a joint partnership between the Allegany Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Inc(ACASA), the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office, Partners for Prevention in Allegany County(PPAC), and the three pharmacy owners: Jeff Marks of Friendship Pharmacy, Mark Hunter of Nicholson’s Pharmacy, and Tony Graziano of Alfred Pharmacy. The three businesses will participate in the DEC’s Pharmaceutical Take-Back Program for two years. After those two years, the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office will empty the boxes when they are full and take them to an incinerating location.
“I would like to thank the DEC for helping us supply these new drop boxes. These additional boxes make it easier for our residents to dispose of their expired or unwanted drugs, keep them out of our water supply, off our streets and out of the hands of our youth”– Sheriff Rick Whitney.
These new locations bring up the total pill drop locations to ten throughout Allegany County. The other pill drop box locations include:
Having ten boxes located throughout Allegany County to go along with the bi-annual pill drop events, and the Homebound Program hopefully encourages community members to properly dispose of their unwanted or unused medications through these means instead of keeping them in their medicine cabinet, flushing them down the toilet, or throwing them in the trash. By not disposing of your medications properly, it can cause unintended issues. Flushing medications down the toilet, allows those medications to get into our streams, rivers, lakes, and drinking water which can be harmful to the environment. By keeping medications in your medicine cabinet or throwing them in the trash it gives other people access to them. The majority of teens, who abuse prescription medication, get them from a family member without them knowing.
“Allegany County continues to benefit from having Pill Drop Boxes in a number of locations that are easily accessible to the general public. We all benefit by having unused medications disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner and off the streets”
– William Penman, Executive Director of ACASA
The Allegany County Sheriff’s Office has received over 459 pounds of medications from the pill drop boxes in 2018 and the April Pill Drop took in over 78 pounds of medications. The 78 pounds of medications received at the April Pill Drop contained over 1,200 of the pills that were controlled substances, which had a street value of roughly $12,000. Allegany County ranked third in prescribed opioids, but has the lowest population out of the five western counties that also includes: Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Erie and Niagara Counties.
“Hopefully, with more resources offered to the community medications stop finding their way on to our streets and kept out of the hands of our children.” – PPAC Coordinator Jon Chaffee.
The next Pill Drop Event will be held on October 27 from 10am to 2pm in Cuba and Canaseraga. More information and resources on proper disposal of medications can be found here. If you have any questions please email email@example.com
Adult Protective Services (APS) is the division of Social Services that handles reports of suspected abuse or neglect of adults and elders. APS works with individuals who, in addition to other criteria, are “unable to meet their essential needs for food, shelter, clothing, medical care, are unable to secure entitlements due to them, or are unable to protect themselves from physical or mental injury, neglect, maltreatment, or financial exploitation”.
In 2017, financial exploitation accounted for 11% of Allegany County APS referrals. While the data itself is concerning, most cases are never reported; the cost staggering. Financial exploitation erodes the adult’s independence and family supports. Elders once wealthy and independent have to utilize public assistance; worse yet some have lost their life-long homes. When exploitation happens within the family, elders can lose the support of family caregivers at a time when their need for family support is the greatest.
Financial exploitation occurs for a number of reasons; sometimes the motive is insidious; but often it is a lack of education about the responsibilities of managing an elder’s finances. Prevention is fundamental. In Allegany County the Elder Abuse Prevention Committee (EAPC) and our Enhanced Multi-Disciplinary Team (E-MDT) are committed to preventing and responding to allegations of elder abuse and financial exploitation. The EAPC facilitates confidential case reviews and outreach planning to address and enhance the community’s knowledge of elder abuse. The E-MDT is a collaboration of agencies who work together to offer a coordinated and comprehensive response for complex financial exploitation cases. Our local E-MDT has developed a rack card that will be used state-wide as a tool to prevent financial exploitation by Powers of Attorney.
You can find more information about Adult Protective Services here or call (585) 268-9316. To report the potential abuse of an adult call (585) 268-9319. Allegany County Department of Social Services is a member of Partners for Prevention in Allegany County (PPAC). Remember, “Prevention Works.”
Belinda Schlafer, LMHC
Adult Protective Services