Page 1

S u m m er 2 01 1

Prevention is the Key to Commonwealth Health: Did you know these facts about Substance Abuse Prevention? Return on Investment : Saves $5 to $25 for every $1 invested in Evidenced Based Programs. Taxpayer Savings: Saves tax payer $$$ across the board in healthcare, criminal justice, education and treatment costs. INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

Pennsylvania‟s Prescription Drug Epidemic and The Proposed Controlled Substance Database Legislation HB 1651

HB 1651


FDC Training


Why 21?


Drug Abuse Trends


Benefits of Pre-School


Dangerous Season


Underage Drinking Expo


Resource Guide




Prevention Funding


Reality Tour


Please feel free to pass our newsletter along to anyone who may be interested.

Thomas L. Plaitano Esq. The Pennsylvania House, Human Services Committee has just concluded hearings on a proposed Prescription Drug Database. Detective Tony Marcocci and Thomas L. Plaitano, Esq. were asked to provide testimony before the Committee regarding our opinion on the need for such a database. Below is a summary of our testimony to the committee. In addition to our testimony, several parents of recently deceased young men and ladies provided heart breaking accounts of their tragedies. The same story was heard over and over again. A young promising life cut short by an accidental prescription drug overdose. All of these lost young lives were from middle class homes with no history of drug or alcohol abuse. Currently, Pennsylvania is one of only four States without a database. Unfortunately, the database is being opposed by some physician groups and Associations representing Pharmacies as well as Pharmaceutical Companies. The Committee is seeking further comment on the need for this database from the Prevention and Treatment Fields as well as the public. The proposed legislation is unique in that it is one of the few nationwide that provides for specific funding for prevention and treatment services for those individuals who are addicted to these controlled substances. We can all thank Majority Chairman, Gene DiGirolamo for his sponsorship of this bill and his continued commitment to the issues of drug prevention and treatment in Pennsylvania. The fact that we are discussing this issue confirms that we have a prescription drug problem in Pennsylvania. This problem has no socio-economic bias and it is affecting all age groups. The greatest impact is not only on the adult end user/abuser, it is our youth, the most vulnerable victims of this epidemic. Westmoreland County has been especially hard hit by this epidemic. In 2010, accidental overdose deaths as a result of prescription drugs in Westmoreland County reached 57 residents, ranging from as young as 19 to age 71 for the oldest overdose death. During that year, only 5 overdose deaths resulted from Heroin or Methadone. If that number is not shocking enough, over the last three years 560 individuals were treated at local emergency rooms for overdoses of schedule II and schedule III prescribed medications. Most of these individuals had numerous prescription drugs in their system. Although no one drug stands out, the most

Detective Tony Marcocci commonly abused are Oxycodone, Roxicodone, OxyContin, Hydrocodone, Vicodin, Lorcet and Xanax. Pills are the new drug of choice for our kids. A recent survey showed that children 12 and older are abusing prescription drugs at greater rates than cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, and methamphetamines combined. Only marijuana abuse is more common. Shockingly, every day approximately 7,000 children 12 and older abuse prescription narcotics for the first time. From January to June of 2010, Pennsylvania ranked seventh out of all States in Doses of Oxycodone dispensed. (DEA 3-72011). This is the new crack cocaine epidemic, except that this is far worse. These drugs are more easily obtained; the supply is seemingly endless, and our youth falsely believes that prescription narcotics are a safe alternative to other illicit drugs. Also, these drugs are not coming from outside the home or families. In a recent study of youths age 12 to 17 year olds, 55% of those youth obtained their drugs from a relative or friend for free. 18% obtained them from a doctor, 9% paid a relative or friend and 5% took them from a relative or friend without asking. Only 13% obtain the drugs from traditional “drug dealers.” SAMHSA Pub. No. 10-4586.

The story of the typical addict is also somewhat unique. Many start as legitimate injured individuals that are seeking medical treatment for pain. They are unaware of the dangers of prescription pain medication, sleep aides and muscle relaxers. Many, when they cannot find a quick solution for their pain seek the services of several doctors who all prescribe pain medications, muscle relaxers or sleep aides. Soon, they are overusing these medications to the point of addiction. Once it is determined that they have a problem, the legitimate doctors either stop prescribing the medications or discharge them from care. This drives the patient to the street or worse, the well known pill mill down the street or to another state. A recent hospital study proved that in states that had a monitoring system patients received more appropriate care. In the study, 61% of emergency room patients received fewer or no opioid pain medication because they were already taking it from another source. But most interestingly, 39% received more opioid medication than previously planned because the physician could confirm that the patient did not have a history of controlled substance use. Continued page 2

S um m e r 2 0 1 1

P age 2

Our Mission The purpose of Community Prevention Services of Westmoreland is to foster healthy lifestyles for all people in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania by providing comprehensive prevention services utilizing the six federal strategies: Information Dissemination Education Alternative Activities Problem Identification & Referral Community Based Process Environmental Approach

CPSW Staff Tim Phillips, C.A.C. Director Renee Kelly Prevention Specialist Lori Rohrbacher Prevention Specialist Joe Gasparro Prevention Specialist Peg Osselborn Administrative Secretary

From page 1 In speaking with law enforcement, it is becoming common for an out of state person to hand a Pennsylvania pharmacy a prescription from a Florida Physician. How is this possible you may ask? It is not currently illegal. Currently, 35 States have Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs, (PDMP) with another 11 recently passing legislation authorizing the development of a PDMP. As a result, many drug seekers are flooding Pennsylvania due to the ease in obtaining prescription drugs here. Looking at the statistics on where people get these drugs, this is a problem that is beyond the scope of traditional law enforcement. In speaking with representatives of the DEA, the current system in Pennsylvania is so archaic, that they are at least 5 months behind on reports of large scale drug shipments. Currently, agents are forced to manually go through filled prescriptions in each pharmacy to look for irregularities. I find it ironic that I can pick up a prescription for OxyContin from my pharmacy without proof of identity, but I can‟t buy Sudafed-D without producing my driver‟s license. In closing, last week I was contacted by a mother and father whose 22 year old daughter died in her sleep from what was thought to be a cerebral hemorrhage. They were deeply distraught and blamed themselves for not seeking more invasive medical care. She was employed as a prison guard and was having recurrent migraine headaches. She was seeing several specialists and no one could find the cause of her headaches. I told them that I would look into it to see what occurred and I requested the autopsy report from the county coroner. Ironically, I received it in the mail today before I left to come here. The cause of death was acute drug toxicity. No illicit drugs were found in her system and each of the drugs was legally prescribed by a physician. I cannot help but believe that if there was a prescription drug program in place; this young lady would be alive today.


fostering healthy lifestyles for all people

Additional Information House Bill 1651 Advocating a Prescription Drug Database in Pennsylvania House Bill 1651 advocates a prescription drug database in Pennsylvania. The statistics show that prescription drug abuse is a problem of epidemic proportions in our state. Currently, Pennsylvania is one of only four States without such a database. Last year more people died in Pennsylvania from prescription drug overdoses than from auto accidents. It is also challenging marijuana as the new" first drug of choice" of our youth. In 2010, fiftyseven Westmoreland County Residents died from accidental prescription drug overdoses and over a thousand people were treated at local hospital emergency rooms.


The Family Development Training and Credentialing (FDC) Program The FDC Program is a professional development course and credentialing program for frontline family workers to learn and practice skills of strength-based family support with families. FDC courses are offered to frontline family workers from a wide range of government, private, and not-for-profit agencies as well as businesses and large corporations. Family development trainees work with families across the life span including families with young children, teen parents, retired people, people with disabilities, and many other groups. To earn the FDC, a worker: Completes 90 hours of interactive classroom instruction and portfolio advisement based on the Empowerment Skills for Family Workers curriculum Prepares a Skills Portfolio with support of a portfolio advisor Passes a state credentialing exam. FDC courses are offered through interagency partnerships by community-based instructors and portfolio advisors who are trained by the Cornell affiliate in PA; the Community Action Association of Pennsylvania. With successful completion the FDC Course, an approved portfolio, and passing a standardized exam, workers earn the nationally recognized and respected FDC Credential. For more information about enrolling in the next FDC Course in your area, please contact:

Patty Berkey—724-834-1260 ext. 113

P age 3

S um m e r 2 0 1 1


Millions of lives have been saved in the U.S. thanks to the 21 Minimum Legal Drinking Age. This law continues to prevent tragedies—decreasing crashes by an estimated 16 percent and keeping young people safer from many risks.

Some people propose a 40-hour alcohol education course for teens that would entitle teens to drink before 21. Is this a good idea?

Sometimes, without knowing all the facts, people assert that youth shouldn’t have to wait until they’re 21 to drink. James C. Fell, a public health researcher at the Pacific Institute for Research & Evaluation, responds to their questions.

Research shows that education alone doesn’t prevent risky behaviors. For example, driver education by itself does not reduce youth car crashes. Beginning drivers need other restrictions in place, such as curfews and passenger limits, to stay safe. In addition, there are clear health risks associated with underage drinking.

Why do we make young people wait until 21 to drink alcohol? Many activities have ages of initiation. A person must wait until age 16 to start driving, age 18 to marry without parental consent, age 35 to become president, and so on. The age limit for alcohol is based on research which shows that young people react differently to alcohol. Teens get drunk twice as fast as adults, but have more trouble knowing when to stop. Teens naturally overdo it and binge more often than adults. Enforcing the legal drinking age of 21 reduces traffic crashes, protects young people’s maturing brains, and keeps young people safer overall.

Can’t parents teach their teens how to drink alcohol responsibly by giving them small amounts—under supervision—before they reach 21? Some states permit parents to do this with their own child (rarely, if ever, with someone else’s child), but there’s no evidence that this approach actually works. As a matter of fact, there is evidence to the contrary. When teens feel they have their parents’ approval to drink, they do it more and more often when they are not with their parents. When parents have concrete, enforced rules about alcohol, young people binge drink less.

Would lowering the legal drinking age make alcohol less of a big deal, and less attractive to teens? History says no. When states had lower legal drinking ages in the U.S., the underage drinking problem was worse. For example, before the 21 minimum legal drinking age was implemented by all states, underage drunk drivers were involved in over twice as many fatal traffic crashes as today.

I thought Europeans have fewer underage drinking problems … is it because their kids drink from an earlier age?

That’s a myth. European countries have worse problems than America does, as far as binge drinking and drinking to intoxication. Studies show that Europe has more underage drunkenness, injury, rape, and school problems due to alcohol. Since alcohol is more available there, it actually increases the proportion of kids who drink in Europe.


S um m e r 2 0 1 1

P age 4

FYI—DRUG ABUSE TRENDS 10 Most Popular Drug Slang Terms

Slang terms for illegal drugs can downplay the possible lethal side effects 7. Cornbread that they may have on an individual. These innocent sounding terms make it easier to lure younger children into using or buying illegal substances. Another term for crack cocaine is cornbread. This is because like cornbread, it only takes a few ingredients and a little time to turn cocaine into These are some of the most popular drug slang terms. crack cocaine. In most cases, this drug is smoked and not snorted.

1. Cheese Cheese is a mixture of heroin and Tylenol, and is a drug being marketed to the younger crowd. This low-grade heroin is very cheap. It can be purchased at $2 for on tenth of a gram, or one hit.

8. Butter Sandwich A butter sandwich is a slang drug term for cocaine. This term for the illegal substance is especially used in the Philadelphia area. Other common slang terms for cocaine include Pepsi, hamburger, cola and Chinese sky candy.

2. Strawberry Quick 9. Skittles Strawberry Quick is methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, which is mixed with a fruity flavor and color. It is named after the Nesquik that it Skittles is actually Dextromethorphan, which is a cold medication ingrediresembles. This drug is very popular with young users because the drug‟s ent that can be purchased over the counter. This comes in the form of a chemical taste is not so obvious, Strawberry Quick is relatively cheap, allittle red tablet similar to the popular candy that it is named after. though it is more expensive than cheese.

3. Blueberries Blueberries refer to Adderal, something commonly prescribed for people with attention deficit disorder. This drug is known to increase a person‟s energy while decreasing his or her appetite. Teenage girls, in particular, take this type of medication in order to lose weight. Blueberry can also be a slang term for marijuana with a small tint of blue.

4. Molly

10. Tic tacs Tic Tacs refer to Ambien, which is an extremely popular sleeping aid. Teenagers who take Tic Tacs aren‟t consuming candy, but are taking five to 10mg of Ambien at a time. It is important that you familiarize yourself with popular drug slang terms such as these. Parents especially, must watch out for signs and terms such as these in order to prevent their children from addiction or abuse.

Molly is a concentrated or more intense form of ecstasy. It is often sold in gelatin capsule form. Oftentimes, this drug can be purchased with an image of hearts, smiley faces and cartoons on the capsule. It also comes in several different colors. Although this form of drug appears harmless, Molly can cause a person to experience hallucinations, as well experience the other side effects of ecstasy. Other common slang terms for ecstasy include Smartees, Scooby snacks, candies and egg rolls.

5. Eggs Eggs refer to Temazepam, which is medication prescribed for people with insomnia. It used to be available in gel form, which the younger crowd would melt and inject. Eggs are known to cause hypnotic effects.

Information from Lena Butler, contributor of Test Country Articles


Parent Warning: „Spike Your Juice‟ website 6. French Fries French Fries refer to a small pill commonly known as Xanax. This form of medication is often prescribed for anxiety. It can be crushed, taken in pill form, or added to water. Some teenagers who abuse this prescription drug also choose to water down then use a hypodermic needle to shoot up, or even snort Xanax.

Underage teens can create alcoholic beverages with the help of a new fermentation product that‟s cheap and readily available. The website sells fermentation kits that turn sugar-based juices into alcohol within 48 hours. Kits start at an affordable $9.99, and because the product does not contain alcohol, the site doesn‟t require any form of age verification.

S um m e r 2 0 1 1 P age 5

How to Cut Crime, Alcoholism and Addiction? It's Not Elementary, But Preschool To cut crime, raise education and income levels, and reduce addiction rates among the poor, no program offers more bang for the buck than preschool, as a new study published in Science demonstrates. The long-term study followed 1,539 children born in 1979-80. They lived in the lowest-income neighborhoods of Chicago, where nearly 40% of residents live below the poverty line; most of the children were African American. More than 950 of the families in the study participated in Chicago's ChildParent Center Education Program, the second oldest federally funded preschool program in the country, which focuses on school-readiness, including listening skills and math and reading preparation. The kids who attended preschool started at age 3-4. Their parents were actively involved in the program. The rest of the kids in the study did not attend preschool but participated in full-day kindergarten.

A Dangerous Season One of the reasons Alcohol Awareness Events are held in April, May and June is because it is the beginning of the prom and graduation season, a time when celebrations can turn dangerous for underage drinkers. Many communities conduct anti-drinking campaigns during this time aimed at curtailing alcohol use before, during and after the special events. Consequently, prior to prom, many schools plan programs aimed at educating kids against the dangers of drinking. These programs feature special speakers, presentations and even displays of crashed vehicles to emphasize the danger. Some groups utilize some form of a "sober contract," a promise that students sign agreeing to remain alcohol and drug free during the prom and graduation season.

After tracking the children to age 28, researchers found that those who had attended preschool were 28% less likely to develop alcohol or other drug problems or to wind up in jail or prison in adulthood, compared with kids who did not go to preschool. What's more, their odds of being arrested for a felony were cut by 22% and they were 24% more likely to attend a four-year college. Incomes in adulthood of those who attended preschool are also higher than those for the children who did not.

At the event itself, many schools across the nation have begun using breathalyzers to test the blood alcohol content of prom-goers and turning away at the door those who have been drinking.

"We don't see these kind of results from routine programs implemented on a large scale," says lead author Arthur Reynolds, director of the Chicago Longitudinal Study, which has now followed these children for more a quarter century.

"Prom and graduation season is here again - this is a time for celebration," says Susan Molinari, Chairman of The Century Council. "Unfortunately, these happy occasions sometimes involve underage drinking which can result in tragedy. It is no secret that children under 21 years old are drinking. It is therefore critical that parents keep the lines of communication open when it comes to talking to their kids about the dangers of underage drinking and drunk driving."

"Just funding preschool doesn't mean it's going to be effective," he adds. "You have to follow the principles of quality." That means having qualified teachers and providing a structured but nurturing environment. In addition to the quality of the program itself, another reason the Chicago preschools may have had such a large impact is that they helped parents feel that they were part of a community and kept them involved with their children's school. This cut the number of parents who frequently moved their children from one school to another by half. "School mobility is associated with dropout and other problem behavior," says Reynolds. "These children experienced fewer transitions. The families were more satisfied and less likely to change schools. Another mechanism is that stability and predictability in the learning [environment is] a key feature in positive child development outcomes."

Statistics show that Prom-Graduation season - the months of April, May and June - is the most dangerous time for teens. One-third of the alcohol-related traffic fatalities involving teens each year occur during those months.


3rd Annual Underage Drinking Education Expo

The Greensburg Council on Alcohol and Youth 3rd Annual Underage Drinking "It's kind of like a chain reaction," he says. "The cognitive advantage and Education Expo was held at Westmoreland Mall on May 7, 2011. The general family support leads to a later advantage in terms of school commitment and public learned about: ultimately, these kids don't get involved in the Underage Drinking and the Law. justice system." The Risks and Consequences of Underage Drinking.

The biggest positive effects were seen in boys and in the children of Activities included Vision Impairment goggles, Walking Impairment Test the least educated parents. Reynolds says that because boys are while wearing the Vision Impairment Goggles. generally less prepared to start school than girls are, the early intervention gives them a particular advantage. Likewise, children of less educated parents are more likely to benefit from the enriched cognitive environment of preschool. Funding preschool — as well as other early intervention programs like the Nurse Family Partnership, which starts working with mothers during pregnancy — isn't especially sexy and doesn't get voters excited the way "cracking down on crime," does. But if results are what we want, preschool wins. Read more: By Maia Szalavitz Thursday, June 9, 2011 Time Online

Pa ge 6

S um m e r 2 0 1 1

A program of the Drug-Free Action Alliance

724-684-9000 Ext. 4446

Penn State Extension offers free individual information and direct help, in person or by phone, to Westmoreland County residents wanting to quit using tobacco. Tobacco Prevention/Cessation Program 724-837-1402 fax 724-837-7613



Alcoholics Anonymous......................724-836-1404


Al-Anon................................................800-628-8920 Narcotics Anonymous.......................412-391-5247


Report Underage Drinking...............888-863-3721

Gateway Greensburg.....................................724-853-7300

Underage Drinking Program...........724-832-5880

Greenbriar New Kensington.........................724-339-7180

DUI Program.......................................724-832-5880

Outside In........................................................724-837-1518 SPHS Behavioral Health



PA Smoking Quitline..........................877-724-1090


Westmoreland Toll Free

Mon Valley........................................724-684-6489 ext 4200 New Kensington...............................724-339-6860

Quitline................................................888-664-2248 NO-HABIT

Westmoreland Tobacco...............1-888-664-2248 Cessation Helpline DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT Twin Lakes Center...........................................800-452-0218 White Deer Run.................................................800-255-2335 Gateway Rehab................................................800-472-1177

Blackburn Center..............................888-832-2272




Med Tech.............................................724-834-1144 SPHS Torrance...................................877-459-0112 RHJ Medical.......................................724-696-9600

HOPE Community Prevention Services Of Westmoreland............................................724-834-1260 St. Vincent College Prevention Projects......724-805-2050 CASE MANAGEMENT....................................800-220-1810

S um m e r 2 0 1 1


P age 7

Mount Pleasant Area Overall Winners of the t Contest. Pictured lef r ste Drug Awareness Po nve Pre ity un mm s of Co to right are Tim Phillip hard oreland, Chelsea Ec stm We of s ce rvi Se n tio gal ne Do at nts th are stude and Dana Brown, bo Elementary.

(above) Intern Marie Fuga

Prevention Specialist Renee Kelly Excela Health Fair at Legion Keener Park in Latrobe. Over 700 Latrobe students were educated about Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug prevention.

New Address

3rd Annual Underage Drinking Expo at Westmoreland Mall

S um m e r 2 0 1 1

P age 8

Substance Abuse Prevention Funding

Westmoreland Reality Tour. Participant Comments Youth About talking to parents:

Changes at the Federal level could seriously jeopardize prevention funding.. Recently, in the Commonwealth there was an attempt made to combine mental health and drug and alcohol prevention funding. Through advocacy of the Commonwealth Prevention Alliance and many others this relocation of Substance Abuse Services did not happen!

Age 14 "Will be easier to talk to my parents now about drugs and alcohol." 12 "I can refer to Reality Tour when I talk with them and it will be easier." 12 "Yes it will be easier, now they know more about drugs and the danger."

Once again this seems to be the thought currently being promoted at the Federal level. We are asking that you immediately contact your Federal legislators and express your concern for Substance Abuse Prevention Funding. You are welcome to use any of the following points in your response: The Drug and alcohol substance abuse block grant must be maintained as a separate grant and not blended with the mental health block grant. Substance Abuse Prevention, Intervention, Treatment and Recovery oriented services are part of the continuum of care. Co-occurring disorder may be inclusive of a mental health diagnosis and a substance abuse problem but should not be morphed into D & A. Many substance abuse concerns do not have a mental health component. Substance abuse is a priority problem and needs to be addressed in its own funding stream. The major portion of funding for substance abuse prevention comes from the block grant. These dollars for D & A preventions services could be in jeopardy if Drug & Alcohol and Mental Health funding is blended as proposed in the new block grant proposal. Please check the following websites to find your federal legislator (s): senators_cfm.cfm?State=PA

Not committed to being drug-free prior to Reality Tour, but after program they are committed because: Age 12 "Reality Tour made me realize I need to prevent using drugs." 16 "Reality Tour shows what happens" Message to Volunteers Age 10 "Thank you for teaching us not to use drugs." 12 "You do a great job of making this happen." 12 "Good job helping people stay drug free.” 13 "Keep doing what you do to make a difference in teens and older kids." 11 "You are doing a great thing.” Parenting Skills being implemented as a result of RT: "Closer monitoring." "Showing my child what drugs look like." "Drug testing before I have any reason to be suspicious." "Make everyone be home for dinner." The Reality Tour is a dramatic, narrative, interactive walk in the life of a teen on heroin. Many rate the program as priceless. For more information contact: Norma J. Norris, Executive Director CANDLE, Inc./Reality Tour 100 Brugh Ave., Butler PA 16001 Ph: 724-679-1788


S um m e r 2 0 1 1

Pag e 9

Are you interested in someone addressing your group on substance abuse, prevention and recovery? Community Prevention Services of Westmoreland offers substance abuse, prevention and recovery education programs to Westmoreland County. We serve children, adults, senior citizens and community groups. Please call us today to find out how our programs can help you or your organization. Phone 724-834-1260 x 132 226 South Maple Avenue Greensburg, Pa 15601 Drug Free Workplace Programs are available. Call the number above to see how we can help your workplace stay drug free.

The Community Prevention Services of Westmoreland Newsletter invites your organization to submit any articles or information for inclusion in the newsletter by contacting CPSW at 724-834-1260 ext. 132 or by faxing your article to 724-853-9572.

Community Prevention Services of Westmoreland, is funded by the Westmoreland Drug and Alcohol Commission Inc., through a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Programs. The Department of Health, Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Programs and the Westmoreland Drug and Alcohol Commission Inc., specifically disclaim responsibility for any analysis, interpretations, or conclusions herein.

Read the message and color the picture!!

Community Prevention Services Newsletter  

Summer 2011 Community Prevention Services of Westmoreland newsletter

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you