A newsletter dedicated to promoting community-based best practices for youth substance abuse prevention.
SUMMER | 2017 | ISSUE 2
The Last High Premiere Our Southeast Harris County Community Coalition partnered with the City of Baytown, Baytown Police Department, and Texas Pictures to produce a documentary about the dangers of synthetic drugs. The film is called The Last High, and it premiered at Lee College on April 20th.
Over 350 people attended the reception and screening. Using personal stories, interviews with clinicians, and first-hand law enforcement footage, the film offers an in-depth look at the harms synthetic cannabinoids have on individuals, families, and our community. This month, the film was recognized with a Bronze Telly Award for NonBroadcast Productions. Texas Picturesâ€™ next project will be an update of the teen anti-drunk driving documentary, Chronicles of a Teen Killer, in partnership with Houston Police Department. For more information or to get involved in this project, email Glen Muse at glen@Texas-Pictures.com.
our new CEO! Hello, Community Members.
Thank you for your time and contribution for the success of our coalitions. I joined the Bay Area Council on Drugs and Alcohol as the new CEO just a little over 3 months ago after more than 30 years of entrepreneurial experience. I owned my own business, which was franchised in seven states, and served as a business consultant for the Galveston County Small Business Development Center, where I helped others start and grow their businesses. My passion and own personal experience with 29 years of recovery from alcoholism are the driving force of my new role. I am excited and proud to be a member of such an excellent team of professionals and look forward to working with all of you. My vision for BACODA is to grow the organization into a philanthropic culture to educate, inspire and change lives through prevention, intervention, and recovery for substance abuse disorders. We are embarking on a major fundraising and branding campaign and are in the process of expanding our programs to help fill the gap of those who need help in overcoming addiction. We need your help more than ever and appreciate your donations and time volunteering for us to move forward with our mission.
In 2015, the Texas State Legislature passed a ban on 1,000 chemical compounds, making it illegal to create, possess & sell synthetic cannabinoids in Texas.
Fast Facts: Nearly 7% of Texas students and 6.3% of students in Region 6 report using synthetic marijuana at least once in their lifetime. (Texas School Survey, 2016)
More and more, stories about the dangers of synthetic drugs are making the news, and yet people are still using these deadly substances, especially synthetic cannabinoids, more commonly known as “synthetic marijuana” or Kush. Synthetic marijuana is a misleading name for the classification of drug known as synthetic cannabinoids, and it is this misconception that has led many people to believe that it is a legal or safer alternative to marijuana. However, “synthetic marijuana” is, in fact, illegal, and it has nothing in common with marijuana other than a similar look and texture.
This dangerous combination is highly addictive, damaging, and can even be deadly. And yet the myth remains that synthetic drugs are no big deal, even as people are dying from the use of these drugs.
Synthetic cannabinoids are made by taking potpourri and soaking it in a variety of chemicals, from rat poison to any number of other harsh chemical substances. There’s no regulation or standardization in the manufacturing of synthetic drugs so there’s no way that a user can know what they are ingesting when they smoke Kush.
Parents, be sure to talk to your children about the dangers of synthetic marijuana. Too many lives are being ruined. Together, we can work to eradicate this epidemic. For more information, contact the us at email@example.com or 800-510-3111.
We have seen the devastating effects of synthetic marijuana firsthand. This drug can destroy physical and mental health from the very first use. Immediate effects of synthetic marijuana may include vomiting, confusion, hallucinations, psychotic behavior, rapid heart rate, reduced blood flow to the heart, and in some cases, heart attack.
From left: Detective Aaron Crowell, Baytown PD; Texas State Representative Gilbert Peña; Mateo Rivera, student; and Coalition Coordinator, Amber Buras, received recognition for their efforts to help the community.
In every issue of our newsletter, we will recognize one Community Star, a Coalition partner who has truly gone above and beyond to help make a difference in our community.
This quarter’s Community Stars are the City of Baytown and Baytown Police Department. Baytown PD Detective Aaron Crowell has been a champion for addressing synthetic drug abuse, working with Southeast Harris County Community Coalition since 2014. Because of his efforts and the full support of Baytown Police Department, the City of Baytown passed a synthetic drug ban and supported The Last High documentary. They are tireless in enforcement efforts and truly care about keeping Baytown’s youth safe from this dangerous drug. Thank you to Detective Crowell, the City of Baytown, and Baytown Police Department!
Rx TAKE BACK RECAP We have sponsored sites for National Prescription Drug Take Back since the first event in 2010 all the way to the most recent event this April. We have collected over 15,000 pounds of medications for safe disposal.
GALVESTON TOWN HALL MEETING On March 29th, BACODA, in partnership with UTMB’s Center for Addiction Research, hosted a Seminar with Dr. Thomas McLellan followed by a Town Hall Meeting.
Check out Dr. McLellan’s lecture online. https://youtu.be/3aMX8h9N6-c
Our Galveston County Community Coalition was honored to welcome Dr. Thomas McLellan, noted researcher in the field of substance use and co-author of the Surgeon General’s Report, Facing Addiction. More than 200 people were in attendance for his talk at UTMB. We followed up with a luncheon and brief Town Hall Meeting to highlight some of our collaborations throughout the year. Dr. McLellan was an engaging, educational speaker. He reframed the conversation on addiction, emphasizing the importance of community-wide prevention strategies to help stop the problems associated with substance use and misuse before they start. That’s exactly what you help us do through your involvement with our coalitions. Thank you for making a difference in our community!
On April 29, Brazoria County Community Coalition, Southeast Harris Community Coalition, and Pasadena Community Coalition partnered with local law enforcement and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to host seven prescription drug take back sites in Pearland, Richwood, Manvel, Pasadena, Deer Park, and Baytown. These events offer community members the opportunity to safely dispose of unused and expired medications quickly and easily. The Take Back is free and no questions asked. Across our 7 sites, more than 2,200 pounds (1.2 tons) of medications were returned for safe disposal!
For more information about your local coalition, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-510-3111.
WHAT’S NEW IN YOUR COMMUNITY?
What’s New in Your Community?
We partnered with Brazoswood High School of Brazosport ISD to start a Zero Alcohol for Youth (ZAY) group at the school with Texans Standing Tall. The students will work on environmental strategies to prevent youth alcohol use on their campus. Additionally, the coalition promotes and supports Operation Dry Water which includes heightened awareness and enforcement on boating under the influence the weekend of June 30 – July 2. We’ll be running an ad on 2coolfishing.com to raise awareness. More info on ODW at http://www.operationdrywater.com
Southeast Harris County Community Coalition is busy promoting The Last High, and we have a screening in San Antonio scheduled with the San Antonio Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse (SACADA) on August 11. On June 29th, we’ll be at Lee College’s Summer Bash, handing out educational information and some fun prevention swag. Thank you again to all of our partners for the Rx Take Back in April!
Our Prescription Drug Take Back Day in April was a big success. We collected over 430 pounds of unused medications. We also partnered with MADD for their PowerTalk 21 press conference and Parent Awareness event at Pasadena ISD.
Galveston County Community Coalition partnered with Prevention Resource Center Region 6 to place a billboard on I-45, south of FM 519. We also hosted an Opioid Overdose Prevention Training. Trainers from Texas Overdose Naloxone Initiative spoke to a packed house at Rosenberg Library in Galveston.
Tri-County Community Coalition is collaborating with Prevention Resource Center Region 6 to do some media campaigns in our area! We will have more news on that soon. We also want to say a special thank you to retiring Bay City Police Chief Barker for his support for our coalition and welcome to incoming Chief Lister.
Students from San Jacinto College North Pharmacy Technician Program and Baytown PD Officer at the Baytown Rx Take Back.
Thank you to the Wharton Journal-Spectator for covering our Safe Spring Break event at WCJC with a front-page article!