Monday, May 13 kicks of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Prevention Week. The three primary goals of National Prevention Week are to:
Partners for Prevention in Allegany County (PPAC) and the Allegany Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (ACASA) are trying to meet all three of these goals by writing blogs on each topic of National Prevention Week to be posted every day. These blogs will provide educational information to the community and share resources to parents on how to educate their children about the dangers of misusing prescription pills and opioids; the use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, or other illicit drugs, and suicide prevention.
Monday focuses on “Preventing Prescription and Opioid Drug Misuse” and according to National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) data on youth and young adults, more than 5,700 youth in 2014 reported using prescription pain relievers without a doctor’s guidance for the first time. A common misperception is that prescription drugs are safer or less harmful to one’s body than other kinds of drugs. However, there is a range of short- and long-term health consequences for each type of prescription drug used inappropriately:
These impacts can be particularly harmful to a developing adolescent brain and body. Our brains continue to develop until we reach our early- to mid-twenties. As with any type of mind-altering drug, prescription drug misuse and abuse can affect judgment and inhibition, putting adolescents at heightened risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, misusing other kinds of drugs, and engaging in additional risky behaviors.
Here are several ways to minimize prescription drug misuse and abuse among young people:
Through education, disposing of your unwanted or unused medications, and prescribers limiting the prescription of opioids, medications are not finding their way onto our streets or in the hands of our children.
Everyone can participate in National Prevention Week through the NPW Prevention Challenge.
WHAT IS ONE WORD THAT BEST DESCRIBES YOUR PREVENTION CHAMPION?
Inspiring. Friend. Truthful. Listener. Brave. Hero. Strong. Teacher. Gift. Survivor.
We will add your post to the NPW Prevention Challenge digital mosaic and may feature it in a future NPW video.
Remember Prevention Works!
The Allegany Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Inc. (ACASA) and Partners for Prevention in Allegany County (PPAC) offered local high and middle schoolers the opportunity to participate in the first Youth Art Month Poster Contest in March. The focus of the poster contest was “Underage Drinking Not a Minor Problem”. The focus of underage drinking coincides with April’s Alcohol Awareness Month.
Over 30 entries were received from Andover, Scio, and Wellsville school districts. The posters were judged by the residents of ACASA’s Residential Program and Prevention Staff. Andover 8th Grader Gabby Terhune was the overall winner of the contest. Morgan Satterlee, Gracieanne Gaylord, Audrianna Eveland, and Jordan Graham were also winners from Andover. Scio 9th Grader Trace Woodruff took first place for the high school level. Drake Irwin, Brooke Budinger, and Benjamin Weimer of Scio also were winners. Each winner was awarded Wellsville Chamber Dollars to be used at local businesses. “The purpose of the contest was to get young people in Allegany County to think about underage drinking and express their messages through art,” states Coalition Coordinator Jon Chaffee. “I think for the first year the turnout was great and we hope to get more involvement next year.”
Alcohol has been the drug of choice for youth in Allegany County, followed by tobacco use. According to the New York State’s Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) teens who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who begin drinking at age 21.
Getting young people to think about the dangers of alcohol use is half of the equation, the second half is for adults to discuss alcohol and drug use with them. 52% of 7-12 graders reported their parents had never talked to them about the dangers of underage drinking. Research shows that teens whose parents communicate with them about underage drinking being unacceptable are more than 50% less likely to drink than teens whose parents give them other messages about underage drinking. OASAS has many resources for parents on how to talk or text their children about difficult topics at https://talk2prevent.ny.gov/parents.
Remember, Prevention Works!
Screen-Free Week is an annual invitation to play, explore, and rediscover the joys of life beyond ad-supported screens. From April 29 to May 5, 2019, thousands of families, schools, and communities around the world will put down their entertainment screens for seven days of fun, connection, and discovery.
Even though it’s about turning off screens, Screen-Free Week isn’t about going without – it’s about what you can get! An hour once dedicated to YouTube becomes an hour spent outside; ten minutes wiled away on social media turn into ten minutes spent doodling; a movie on a rainy afternoon is replaced by time spent reading, chatting, or playing pretend!
You can celebrate Screen-Free Week at home, in your school, in your community, or anywhere – just put down those entertainment screens and do literally anything else! You might be surprised at what you find.
(“Entertainment screens” means that you can’t use Screen-Free Week as an excuse not to do your homework or your job. But if you’re a teacher or boss, you can help everyone celebrate by reducing the amount of screen-based work you assign!)
A healthy childhood depends on a surprising thing: play! Through creative play, kids explore their physical world, build their curiosity, and expand their imaginations. But often, time spent on ad-supported screens displaces the kind of creative play kids need to thrive.
It was this displacement that worried Henry Labalme and Matt Pawa when they created TV Turnoff Week in 1994. Over the years, millions of kids and families joined Henry and Matt in turning off their TVs and going outside, playing, and having screen-free fun. In 2010, TV Turnoff Week became Screen-Free Week and it found a new home at Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.
Not only does Screen-Free Week allow people to enjoy time away from news feeds, targeted ads, and autoplay videos, but it gives families and communities an opportunity to come together and connect with each other.
Houghton, NY. – Univera Healthcare and Houghton College today announced the awarding of a $90,000 Univera Healthcare grant to support the Houghton College Wellness Initiative, a program aimed at preparing students for careers in wellness training and improving the health and wellness of residents of Allegany County.
The Univera grant will be dispersed over three years and will provide a limited number of students with the opportunity to become certified fitness trainers. Upon certification, the students will offer free wellness training to a select group of individuals from the community who meet the wellness initiative’s health screening guidelines.
“With this grant to Houghton College, we are supporting improved access to physical activity in Allegany County in an effort to reduce the prevalence of diabetes,” said Arthur Wingerter, president, Univera Healthcare.
“Houghton College is privileged to partner with Univera Healthcare to provide outstanding experiential opportunities for our students,” stated Shirley Mullen, president, Houghton College. “Houghton has a longstanding mission to train and equip our students to use their gifts and abilities to benefit their communities. This program is a tremendous opportunity for our students to grow in their skills while working to improve the health and wellness of our neighbors.”
Univera’s grant program embodies the nonprofit health insurer’s mission to reach all segments of the communities it serves, particularly the underserved to enhance their quality of life and health status. Strong preference is given to initiatives that focus on the areas of diabetes, prevention, medication management, respiratory and/or behavioral health. Univera looks for multi-year initiatives with measurable outcomes.
Univera Healthcare is a nonprofit health plan that serves members across the eight counties of Western New York. The company’s mission is to help people live healthier and more secure lives through access to high-quality, affordable health care. Its products and services include cost-saving prescription drug discounts, wellness tracking tools and access to telemedicine. With nearly 500 employees in Western New York, the company is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce to foster innovation and better serve its members. It encourages employees to engage in their communities by providing paid volunteer time off as one of many benefits. To learn more, visit UniveraHealthcare.com.
Houghton College is a nationally ranked Christian liberal arts college located in the scenic Genesee Valley of western New York State.
This April marks the 33rd Annual Alcohol Awareness Month, sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) since 1987. This year’s theme is: “Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow”.
No other substance is more widely used and abused by America’s youth than alcohol, making alcoholism and alcohol-related problems the number one public health problem in the United States.
Fostering healthy and responsible attitudes, talking openly and honestly, encouraging supportive relationships, and showing children that their opinions and decisions matter, are all ways to help prevent the use of alcohol and other drugs.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, research shows that drinking, binge drinking, and extreme binge drinking by women are all increasing. While alcohol misuse by anyone presents serious public health concerns, women who drink have a higher risk of certain alcohol-related problems compared to men. Women who regularly misuse alcohol are more likely to develop alcoholic hepatitis, a serious liver-related acute illness, than men who drink the same amount of alcohol. This pattern of drinking can also lead to cirrhosis of the liver, which refers to liver scarring and shrinking.
While long-term alcohol misuse is a leading cause of heart disease, women are more susceptible to alcohol-related heart disease than men, even though they may consume less alcohol over their lifetime than men.
Research suggests that alcohol misuse produces brain damage more quickly in women than in men. Also, because alcohol disrupts brain development during adolescence, teen girls who drink may be more vulnerable to brain damage than teen boys who drink. Women may be more susceptible than men to alcohol-related blackouts, which are periods of memory loss during intoxication without loss of consciousness.
Women who consume a drink per day have a five to nine percent higher chance of developing breast cancer than those who do not drink. Studies have shown that the risk increases for every additional drink they have per day.
There is no safe amount of alcohol for a woman to drink during pregnancy. Drinking during pregnancy can increase the risk for pre-term labor and puts her fetus at risk for physical, cognitive, or behavioral problems that can last a lifetime.
According to a New York State survey, fifty-two percent of students in grades 7-12 reported that their parents had never talked to them about the dangers of underage drinking. Let’s help keep kids safe from alcohol and other drugs by starting the conversation. For tips on how to do this, log onto www.Talk2Prevent.NY.gov. For additional information and resources, visit PPAC Central. Let this be your call to action, and remember, PREVENTION WORKS!
Distractive Driving is quickly becoming one of the country’s biggest health concerns. As more and more drivers text while on the road, distracted driving crashes are steadily increasing year after year. In fact, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 9 people are killed every day in the U.S. as a result of crashes involving a distracted driver.
Distracted driving doesn’t just mean texting and driving. You can be distracted by one of many activities including but not limited to: checking your GPS or map, taking a photo, talking to a passenger, checking email or posting to social media sites, eating, drinking, and putting on makeup or grooming yourself. You are distracted any time your mind and/or eyes are off the road.
Tips to help lesson your distractions while driving:
REMEMBER PREVENTION WORKS!
Alcohol has the ability to change our personalities, our desires, and our inhibitions. While some may use it as an excuse, it can even lead to some very dangerous situations. It is suggested that there is a correlation between alcohol consumption and sexual assault, but the truth is, alcohol is often the tool to target those in an incapacitated state, making them easier prey for the perpetrators to take advantage of their weakened state.
With an estimated 25% of American women having experienced sexual assault, and half of those reported cases involving alcohol either by the victim or the perpetrator, it is imperative to examine the risks before engaging in a potentially hazardous experience. “Alcohol contributes to sexual assault through multiple pathways, often exacerbating existing risk factors. Beliefs about alcohol’s effects on sexual and aggressive behavior, stereotypes about drinking women, and alcohol’s effects on cognitive and motor skills contribute to alcohol-involved sexual assault” (NIH 2019).
What do: Watermelon, Glazed Donuts, Strawberry Watermelon, Cinna Pop Deez, Berry Rush, Auntie Meringue, Blackberry Crumble, Lemon Tart, Apple Fritter all have in common? For one they all sound delicious, secondly they were some of the most popular e-juice flavors in 2018 per one online blog.
In 2018, 20.8 percent of high school students in the U.S. used e-cigarettes compared to 8.1 percent who used traditional cigarettes.1 The National Institute on Drug Abuse(NIDA) states that 66% of teens surveyed say they vape for the flavors, the next biggest reason is “I don’t know.”2 These are troubling answers to a product that contains one of the most addictive substances a person can put into the body, nicotine. Science has proven that nicotine changes how the adolescent brain develops, which happens up to age 25.
Flavors and marketing attracting youth to products that contain nicotine is not a new concept. Flavored cigarettes could be purchased until 2009, when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finally banned flavors except menthol in traditional cigarettes because flavors were viewed as a way to attract young people, and surveys showed youth smokers were more likely to use flavored products. E-cigarette companies are following the same playbook of tobacco industry by using catchy names, cool designs on their packaging, and even using celebrity endorsements and sponsoring sporting events and music festivals. Marketing of e-cigarettes is not regulated like the marketing of traditional cigarettes. When R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company released Joe Camel as their main advertiser, youth use of Camel cigarettes rose over 200 percent. Flavors, cool names, and bright packaging gives young people many misconceptions about a product.
Young people and adults say that vaping is less harmful than smoking, so what’s the big deal? Unfortunately, this statement is partially true. A study performed by the Department of Health Behavior at Roswell Park, confirmed that vaping exposes the body to less toxicants than smoking.3 The designation of “less harmful” is only true for current smokers who completely switch to use of e-cigarettes, not for people who have never smoked.3 The study also shows that for dual users of e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes the exposure to toxicants were similar or higher than for people who just smoke.3 The 2018 study mentioned prior to that states that 11.3 percent of high school students in the U.S. used two or more tobacco products.1 These studies that are being done are very important to know the health effects of vaping, but also to allow for adults to have educated conversations with the young people in their lives about the use of these products. Unfortunately, the long-term health effects of vaping will not be known for many years.
One of the biggest issues of vaping is that studies show that young people who vape are more likely to move on to traditional cigarette use.4 Some studies state that youth who vape can be as much as seven times more likely to move on to traditional cigarettes than young people who do not vape.5 For public health officials who have seen the teen smoking rates drop to all-time lows, with New York’s at less than 5 percent for youth, vaping potentially could reverse decades of work.
Smoking traditional cigarettes is still the leading cause of preventable death in the world: over 480,000 people die in the U.S. from their own smoking each year. Make sure that the young people in your life are not fooled by the same marketing tactics and flavors that hooked generations of smokers and ultimately led to their death. You or your children may be vaping now, but what could they be doing in the future? Talk to them about vaping and other tobacco products. Let them know how you feel about them using these products. For more information on vaping visit the CDC, FDA, or NIDA.
Remember Prevention Works!
To celebrate Youth Art Month the Allegany Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Inc.(ACASA) and Partners for Prevention in Allegany County(PPAC) offered a poster contest to the middle and high school students of Allegany County. The theme of the contest was “Underage Drinking NOT a Minor Problem”. The contest is to get young people to think about the dangers of underage drinking and allow them to voice their thoughts through art. The plan is for this to become an annual contest.
From hieroglyphs and cave paintings that document ancient cultures to functional objects & adornments in domestic spaces, to entertainment & the “Fine” arts; through the ages humanity has long relied on the Arts to improve our quality of life.
With a click and a swipe, these days we can access so many art forms that perhaps we forget that these are “art” at all. Perceived as a modern commodity, we may even be unaware of our dependence on this link to the creative realms outside our daily experiences. It is not uncommon to hear ourselves or others saying, “I don’t do/care about/need art at all. It’s a waste of time.”
Through our screens, we often escape into other worlds and imagine or seek new solutions to daily issues. Have you ever noticed how your own feelings change as you passively experience this creative content? During screen time, do you ever wonder how or why those images, performances, stories, and music are made? When you are cut off from “streaming content” is there a sense of loss? Ask yourself, “What is THAT about?”
“Without art the crudeness of reality would make life unbearable” ~George Bernard Shaw
If you experience any form of relief through passive observation or “streaming” the arts, imagine the benefits of in depth participation. The creative process taps into the inherent potential of the mind, body, and spirit while accessing and improving our existing individual abilities. When we are at a loss for words, the arts connect us to each other by communicating universal concepts which are bigger than our individual vocabulary. Unity strengthens our energy and heals our communities. On a cosmic scale, creative action builds our emotional intelligence in a process that is essential to the evolution of humanity.
At ground zero, we ask, “How does this apply to me?”
“Creativity is one of those intimidating words, like artist, musician, writer, and so on, which has been co-opted to mean something rarefied and unreachable. We think of ourselves as being a ‘creative type’ or not, as if it were a quality bestowed upon the chosen few. But if we decolonize the word and take it back to its true origins, we find the Latin root crescere, a word which means to come forth, spring up, grow, thrive, swell…Creativity is the living impulse in each of us which continually begins again…Our vitality is inexplicably bound up with our creativity.” ~ Turner on Creativity from, Belonging; Remembering Ourselves Home.
Before the “final product” happens or is shared with others, the engagement in the creative process initiates us into a state of communication with ourselves which otherwise may never occur. Art, in its many diverse manifestations, as described in How Art Becomes Medicine; “helps children (and adults) organize their experiences into a coherent story.” Self-awareness is key to personal balance. Personal balance is the key to wellness.
Wellness via the Arts; an Introduction to the Evidence
From military veterans with PTSD to cancer survivors and numerous other obstacles on the path to wellness; hundreds of scientific studies are in…and more results are on the way…about the benefits of the arts to human wellness.
According to the Foundation for Art and Healing, the World Health Organization defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being rather than merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Impacting our emotions, attitudes, and beliefs; the creative process is a path to discovery which provides each individual with experiential access to tools which support well-being and potentially prevent and/or remedy dis-ease.
“Engagement with creative activities has the potential to contribute toward reducing stress and depression and can serve as a vehicle for alleviating the burden of chronic disease.” ~ American Journal of Public Health, Feb 2010, vol 100 no.2
Cathy Malchiodi, PhD writes in Psychology Today, “Even engagement in the arts as a viewer can have an impact, but if you really want to benefit from the arts for wellness, studies continue to show that your active participation is the best bet (Bolwerk et al, 2014)… In brief, creativity is increasingly being validated as a potent mind-body approach as well as a cost-effective intervention to address a variety of challenges throughout the lifespan.”
“Research has proven the arts develop neural systems that produce a broad spectrum of benefits ranging from fine motor skills to creativity and improved emotional balance. Quite simply, the arts are invaluable to our proper functioning individually and as a society.” ~Renee Phillips Art Enhances Brain Function and Well-being from The Healing Power of Art and Artists
Creative Opportunities in Allegany County, NY
Ready to explore the arts or actively participate in the creative process but not sure where to begin? With a long history of talented creative residents in Allegany County, NY; our community continues to provide affordable opportunities for creators of all ages and abilities to learn, experience, observe, and engage in a diverse collection of creative opportunities. Here are some local resources to get you started.
Alfred Ceramic Art Museum, Alfred NY ~ Events and exhibitions.
Alfred University School of Art and Design Events and Activities.
Allegany Arts Association ~ sponsors performances and cultural events and provides free creative programming for local youth during “Cabin Fever”, “Spring Fling”, and Summer Arts Festival activities.
The Allegany Artisans ~ local artisans with studios throughout Allegany County.
Almond 20th Century Club Library, Almond, NY ~ creative crafts and activities for youth and adults.
Andover House ~ featuring works by local artists and artisans.
The Angelica Players ~ local performing artists and their theatrical adventures for all.
Artists Among Us Belmont, NY ~ touring art exhibit featuring works by local artists.
BEATS Special Needs Dance Showcase Wellsville, NY ~ a safe place for dancers with special needs to come together and share their passion for dance.
Belfast Braids ~ local artisan teaching braided rug-making.
Belfast Public Library ~ art shows featuring works by local artists and artisans and creative activities for local youth and adults.
The Belfast Organization for Artists for creators in the Belfast, NY area.
Bolivar Free Library, Bolivar NY ~ crafts and creative activities for local youth and adults
Cuba Circulating Library ~ Craft Nights and Creative Youth Activities
The Cohen Gallery at Alfred University, Alfred NY ~featuring works by local artists
David A. Howe Library ~ Annual Teen Photo Show April 2019, DIY Kids, Howe Kids Art monthly Youth Art Activities featuring FREE process art activities for the littles, FREE Adult monthly Craft Classes.
Nancy Howe Auditorium ~ at David A. Howe Library ~live music, movies, theatre, dance, and other performances for all.
The Fassett Green Space Project by Art For Rural America, Wellsville, NY.
The Fountain Arts Center, Belmont, NY ~ art exhibits and creative activities and classes for youth and adults
Friends of the Essential Club Free Library, Canaseraga, NY, ~creative activities and events for local youth.
Inspire Crafts and Hobbies, Andover Road Wellsville, NY ~ Art and Craft Supplies
The Genesee Valley Chorus ~ contemporary and classic adult choral
Genesee Valley Plein Air Painters ~ plein air landscape painting for adults
Heidi Noel’s Performing Arts Center, Wellsville NY ~ performing arts classes for local youth.
Lifeway Youth Center, Belfast NY ~Chopped Cooking Competition, March 22nd for ages 11-19.
The Little Gallery Arts and Antiques ~ featuring works by local artists and artisans, sales benefit the Hart Comfort House.
Music On the Lawn, Wellsville NY ~ free Thursday evening live music series from June to August.
The Most Arts Festival, Alfred NY ~ classical music performed by world class musicians, the Young Pianist Competition, daily chamber series, evening concert series and the vibrant world of Alfred art.
The Ortlip Gallery at Houghton College.
The Palmer Opera House, Cuba, NY ~ entertainment and creative classes and activities for all ages.
Rise Above Holistic Wellness Center ~ kids yoga and martial arts.
The Rogue Carrot, Alfred NY ~ natural foods store also featuring works by local artists and artisans.
SheilaLynnK Art Studio, Wellsville, NY.
STEPS Dance Studio, Wellsville NY ~ dance classes for local youth Studio One Ten, Scio NY ~ art and craft classes and parties for all ages.
Stone Flower Pottery ~ local artisan making pottery and jewelry and teaching tin works and jewelry making classes.
STRUM ACCORD ~ an annual music festival highlighting music from ACCORD’s after school program students.
Studio One Ten, Scio NY ~ art and craft classes and parties for all ages.
Southern Tier Fiber Arts Guild, Wellsville, NY.
Tri-County Arts Council serving Allegany, Cattaraugus, and Chautauqua Counties.
Twin Tiers Makers Expo at Wellsville Central School Call for Makers
Wellsville Art Association ~ Free Public Exhibits featuring works by local artists.
Wellsville YMCA After School Program ~Creative Activities for Local Youth.
Wellsville Creative Arts Center ~ Live music, Open Mic, Visual Arts Exhibits by local artists, clay studio, and Art Classes for youth and adults.
The Wellsville Performing Arts Orchestra.
Wide Awake Club Library, Fillmore NY ~ Creative after school programming for local youth.
Whitesville Public Library, Whitesville, NY ~ Creative crafts and activities for local youth and adults.
REFERENCES FOR THIS ARTICLE AND OTHER CREATIVE WELLNESS RESOURCES
“How Art Becomes Medicine; One story of sickness, creativity, wellness, and grief.” ~Kids & Art, Healing Pediatric Cancer through the Arts.
“Belonging; Remembering Ourselves Home” ~Toko-pa Turner.
“Art and Well-Being; Toward a Culture of Health” ~ Arlene Goldbard, U.S. Department of Arts & Culture
“Can Art Be Medicine?” ~ The Foundation for Art & Healing
“Why Teens Need Live Theatre in the Age of Youtube” ~ By Christine Aucoin March5 , 2019 The Boston Globe
The ArtWell ~ Philadelphia, PA
Spurred by advocacy, President Ronald Reagan declared March to be Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in 1987. The deinstitutionalization movement of the seventies and early eighties had laid the foundation for significant social change, and the presidential proclamation called upon Americans to provide the “encouragement and opportunities” necessary for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to reach their potential.
As those citizens began living within the general community in larger numbers, programs to provide career planning, job coaching and supported employment began to emerge. The idea that individuals with developmental disabilities could become productive members of the workforce was new to many people, and entrenched preconceptions had to be overcome.
With the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, workplace discrimination against people with disabilities became sanctionable. The expectations of young people with developmental disabilities and their parents began to shift. Productive, self-directed lives within the community increasingly became the goal, and (increasingly) an obtainable goal.
Now 32 years later, the month of March highlights the contributions and needs of the estimated four million Americans living with a developmental disability. The power of ability over disability is all around us as people with autism, cerebral palsy and other disabilities blaze new trails. Today, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are living and working in the community; pursuing higher education; developing their faith; falling in love and getting married; and making their voices heard in all aspects of life.
As people with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the nation become increasingly visible in our daily lives, Allegany Arc strives to build more welcoming communities through education and outreach. We hope you will join us this month as we celebrate the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Developmental disabilities awareness starts now.
Learn how Allegany Arc’s supports and services are advancing the concerns and interests of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout Allegany County by visiting Allegany Arc.
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