Sunday, May 14th, 2017 started National Prevention Awareness Week. Each day for the next 5 days, Center for Family Life and Recovery’s Prevention Services Department will provide awareness and education on Facebook to promote National Prevention Week 2017. This year’s theme is “Making Each Day Count” highlighting the important role individuals and communities play in raising awareness of substance and alcohol use and abuse as well as promoting prevention and Mental Health. Starting on May 15th and going until May 20th, each post will be a specific health topic followed by a “Tips” portion outlining some actions that can be taken to promote positive mental health.
Topic for Monday, May 15th; Prevention of Youth Tobacco Use
Keep an eye out for Center for Family Life and Recovery, Inc. Prevention Services Department’s hashtag #Uchoose2UseUlose
For any questions or for further information about this topic or any of the Prevention Services CFLR, Inc. has to offer please contact Jodi Warren, Prevention Services Coordinator at 315-768-2643, JWarren@cflrinc.org
Monday, May 15th, 2017: Prevention of Youth Tobacco use
Center for Family Life and Recovery, Inc. Prevention Services Department shines a light on prevention of youth tobacco use.
Prevention week 2017 kicks off with youth tobacco use. Tobacco use is responsible for 1200 deaths per day and according to the CDC “Nearly 9 out of 10 cigarette smokers first tried smoking by age 18, and 99% first tried smoking by age 26.” Nicotine, the addictive chemical compound in tobacco is readily available in multiple forms, cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, e-cigarettes, hookahs, etc. and use is on the rise. Each day in the United States, more than 3,200 youth aged 18 years or younger smoke their first cigarette, and an additional 2,100 youth and young adults become daily cigarette smokers. The 2015 Oneida County TAP surveys reported that 23% of all teens have tried an e-cigarette and the percentage of individuals that used chewing tobacco in the last 30 days increased from 6% to 11% from 1999 to 2015.
Tips: Keep in mind that it is illegal for an individual under the age of 18 years to purchase tobacco products with penalties for this ranging from fines to loss of license to sell tobacco products. If you are using one of these products insure that they are not accessible to the youth in your life and monitor the products closely. Talk to the youth in your life about the dangers of tobacco use, the impact it can have on physical health and most importantly your expectations of them.
Tuesday, May 16th, 2017: Prevention of Underage Drinking & Alcohol Misuse
Today Center for Family Life and Recovery, Inc. Prevention Services Department brings to light the dangers of underage drinking and alcohol misuse.
Alcohol, although legal to consume after the age 21 can be dangerous to any individual as it is a mind altering substance. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse “…young people consume more than 90 percent of their alcohol by binge drinking. Binge drinking is consuming many drinks on an occasion”. Binge drinking comes with many health risks including unintentional injuries, alcohol poisoning,unexpected consequences (STDs or pregnancy), high blood pressure, stroke, neurological damage and liver disease. This is especially dangerous for youth as they continue to develop physically, mentally and emotionally with brain development continuing until age 25.
Tips: According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “Research suggests that, regardless of parenting styles, adolescents who are aware that their parents would be upset with them if they drank are less likely to do so, highlighting the importance of communication between parents and teens as a protective measure against underage alcohol use.” Make sure you have clear expectations set with the youth in your life and offer to listen without judgement as this will encourage them to continue to talk to you. Don’t forget to let them know it’s never ok to drive or ride with an individual that is under the influence. Always have a plan B as no trip is worth risking your life or life of someone else.
Wednesday, May 17th, 2017: Prevention of Prescription & Opioid Drug Misuse
Center for Family Life and Recovery, Inc. Prevention Services Department draws attention to the prevention of prescription and opioid drug misuse.
If it’s a prescription that was provided by a doctor than its safe, right? Think again. Today’s opioid epidemic is far worse than it’s ever been and the majority of these addictions began with prescription use. According to American Society of Addiction Medicine, “People often share their unused pain relievers, unaware of the dangers of nonmedical opioid use. Most adolescents who misuse prescription pain relievers are given them for free by a friend or relative.” Opioids are highly addictive and users often develop a physical dependence on the substance relatively quickly. As prescription opioids become more difficult to acquire many individuals turn to heroin as a cheaper and more readily available alternative. Overdoses continue to rise as many of these opioids are laced with more potent substances without the user’s knowledge. In 2016 in Oneida County there were 38 overdose deaths due to heroin and/or fentanyl, 16 more than 2015.
Tips: Make sure to monitor any medications, including over-the-counter and pet medications that are in the household, especially opioid based pain killers. Ensure that any prescribed medications are properly disposed of after they are no longer necessary, unused, or expired. A monthly medicine inventory card can be downloaded and found on CFLR, Inc.’s website, www.whenthereshelpthereshope.com to help monitor all drugs in the home. Always maintain an open line of communication and don’t be afraid to talk to an individual that you are concerned about. Know the signs and symptoms of opioid use and withdrawal (i.e. pinpoint pupils, slowed speech and reaction time, vomiting, nausea, restless legs, etc.). Most importantly, know how and when to get help.
Thursday, May 18th, 2017: Prevention of Illicit Drug Use & Youth Marijuana Use
Center for Family Life and Recovery Inc. Prevention Services Department continues to participate in National Prevention week with today’s topic of illicit drug use and youth marijuana use.
Illicit drug use continues to be a problem in our society. With continually changing laws in regards to Marijuana and social acceptance, it is difficult to establish a clear picture of the dangers it actually poses, especially with youth. The human brain is not fully developed until the mid-20’s therefore any substance use prior to this can impact or impede its development. Perhaps the most concerning illicit drug trend currently is synthetic marijuana. This chemical based substance can contain any combination of over 700 different chemicals and is marketed under 600 different brand names such as K2, spice, spike and Xtreme. There is no way to determine what is in the substance that is being used or the effects it can have on the user which makes it very difficult to treat any adverse reactions.
Tips: Stay informed and keep an open line of communication between yourself and the youth in your life. It is also important to be aware of any changes in behavior, loss of interest in activities, change in grades, missing money, stolen items, and changes in their social circle as these could all be signs of substance use. Many of these synthetic substances can be purchased online so be involved in their lives, monitor their internet usage, cell phone use, and incoming mail to ensure that you know what they are getting and where it is coming from.
Friday, May 19th, 2017: Prevention of Suicide
Center for Family Life and Recovery, Inc. Preventions Services Department continues to support National prevention week by raising awareness of Prevention of Suicide.
Suicide continues to be a growing concern in our society. It is the second-leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24, surpassed only by accidents, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Suicide is preventable! With the recent interest in the Netflix series “13 Reasons” spotlighting suicide we encourage the community to start focusing on 13 Reasons why not and making sure the youth in your life know they are loved, supported, and how meaningful they are to you. Talk and listen!
Alert: A new trend has recently entered the social media world called the “Blue Whale Challenge/Game”. This social media based application encourages youth to participate in a 50 day challenge where each day the game promotes self-injurious and risky behaviors ultimately encouraging suicide on the 50th day. Be on the lookout for this app!
Tips: Signs to look for include: changes in personality, behavior, sleeping patterns, eating habits, recent loss, talking about dying, low self-esteem, giving away personal items, secluding oneself, no hope for the future and fear of losing control to name a few. It is important that when speaking to these individuals that you take the time to ask them if they are thinking about hurting themselves or attempting suicide and seek help. There is a 24 hour National Suicide Prevention hotline that is free of charge, just call 1-800-273-8255.
Saturday, May 20th, 2017: Promotion of Mental Health and Wellness
Center for Family Life and Recovery, Inc. Prevention Services Department concludes our National Prevention Week awareness posts with the promotion of Mental Health and Wellness.
Mental Health is a term that for far too long was associated with a problem. In fact, mental health is simply the state of your psychological and emotional well-being and we all have it. The difficulties arise when mental health conditions go untreated and individuals are not provided with the care that they need in order to appropriately address their condition. The good news is that all mental health conditions are treatable in some fashion. There are many holistic approaches that can be explored before engaging in medication management options. A few of these holistic approaches include talk therapy, acupuncture, yoga, expressive therapies, stress reductions techniques and diet/nutrition.
Tips: Provide an opportunity to talk and offer support. Let others around you know that you care about their mental health and be willing to listen if/when they are having difficulties. Signs and symptoms to look for include: pulling away from people/unusual activities, low or no energy, feelings of hopelessness or helplessness, sleeping or eating too much or too little, increased use of substances/alcohol, severe mood swings, risky behaviors, secluding oneself and an inability to perform daily tasks such as going to work or caring for children.
For any questions or for further information about this topic or any of the Prevention Services CFLR, Inc. has to offer please contact Jodi Warren, Prevention Services Coordinator at 315-768-2643, JWarren@cflrinc.org.