Over-the-counter cough medicine can have negative outcomes if misused. Securely store and monitor cough medicine in the home to prevent misuse.
Information contained in this post are from National Public Radio and Journal of the American Medical Association
Instances of heavy drinking among women, which for women was defined as four or more drinks within a couple of hours, spiked by 41%.
The study’s participants were aged 30 to 80, so the report does not offer insight on the pandemic drinking habits of younger adults.
The study took a sample of 1,540 adults and compared their self-reported drinking habits this spring with a year prior.
A quick look at social media suggests many people are using alcohol as a way to relax. Whether it’s “quarantinis” or Zoom happy hours, Americans seem to find a plethora of reasons to drink during the pandemic.
Stores sold 54% more alcohol in late March compared the year prior, according to Nielsen. Online sales more than doubled.
The study used data collected using the RAND Corporation American Life Panel. The authors note a limitation of the study: its findings are based on self-reported data that could be skewed due to societal expectations. Nonetheless, they concluded more research could be warranted on alcohol use and its psychological and physical effects during the pandemic.
Earlier this year, the World Health Organization European office warned against excessive drinking and even said access should be limited during the pandemic.
We encourage appropriate consumption of alcohol by adults. Avoid excessive alcohol use in front of youth. Monitor and secure alcohol if it is in the home. For further information about consumption of alcohol by adults please visit https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/alcohol-use-disorders
Before you get nervous about talking to young kids, take heart. You’ve probably already laid the groundwork for a discussion. For instance, whenever you give a fever medicine or an antibiotic to your child, you can discuss why and when these medicines should be given. This is also a time when your child is likely to pay attention to your behavior and guidance.
Take advantage of “teachable moments” now. If you see a character in a movie or on TV with a cigarette, talk about smoking, nicotine addiction, and what smoking does to a person’s body. This can lead into a discussion about other drugs and how they could cause harm.
Keep the tone of these discussions calm and use terms that your child can understand. Be specific about the effects of the drugs: how they make a person feel, the risk of overdose, and the other long-term damage they can cause. To give your kids these facts, you might have to do a little research.
As your kids grow older, you can begin talks with them by asking them what they think about drugs. By asking the questions in a nonjudgmental, open-ended way, you’re more likely to get an honest response.
Remember to show your kids that you’re listening and really paying attention to their concerns and questions.
Kids this age usually are still willing to talk openly to their parents about touchy subjects. Starting a dialogue now helps keep the door open as kids get older and are less inclined to share their thoughts and feelings.
Even if your questions don’t immediately result in a discussion, you’ll get your kids thinking about the issue. Show them that you’re willing to discuss the topic and hear what they have to say. Then, they might be more willing to come to you for help in the future.
News, such as steroid use in professional sports, can be springboards for casual conversations about current events. Use these discussions to give your kids information about the risks of drugs.
Kids this age are likely to know other kids who use alcohol or drugs, and to have friends who drive. Many are still willing to express their thoughts or concerns with parents about it. They may ask you more specific questions about drugs.
Use these conversations not only to understand your child’s thoughts and feelings, but also to talk about the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Talk about the legal issues — jail time and fines — and the possibility that they or someone else might be killed or seriously injured.
Consider making a written or verbal contract on the rules about going out or using the car. You can promise to pick your kids up at any time (even 2 a.m.!), no questions asked, if they call you when the person responsible for driving has been drinking or using drugs.
The contract also can detail other situations: For example, if you find out that someone drank or used drugs in your car while your son or daughter was behind the wheel, you may want to suspend driving privileges for 6 months. By discussing all of this with your kids from the start, you eliminate surprises and make your expectations clear.
There is a new trend of drug experimentation that is impacting the youth in our communities and it’s called kratom.
Information contained below comes directly from National Institute on Drug Abuse and can be considered accurate and verified.
Kratom is a tropical tree (Mitragyna speciosa) native to Southeast Asia, with leaves that contain compounds that can have psychotropic (mind-altering) effects.
Kratom is not currently an illegal substance and has been easy to order on the internet. It is sometimes sold as a green powder in packets labeled “not for human consumption.” It is also sometimes sold as an extract or gum. Kratom sometimes goes by the following names:
Kratom can cause effects similar to both opioids and stimulants. Two compounds in kratom leaves, mitragynine and 7-α-hydroxymitragynine, interact with opioid receptors in the brain, producing sedation, pleasure, and decreased pain, especially when users consume large amounts of the plant. Mitragynine also interacts with other receptor systems in the brain to produce stimulant effects.
When kratom is taken in small amounts, users report increased energy, sociability, and alertness instead of sedation. However, kratom can also cause uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous side effects.
Reported health effects of kratom use include:
Symptoms of psychosis have been reported in some users.
There have been multiple reports of deaths in people who had ingested kratom, but most have involved other substances. A 2019 paper analyzing data from the National Poison Data System found that between 2011-2017 there were 11 deaths associated with kratom exposure. Nine of the 11 deaths reported in this study involved kratom plus other drugs and medicines, such as diphenhydramine (an antihistamine), alcohol, caffeine, benzodiazepines, fentanyl, and cocaine. Two deaths were reported following exposure from kratom alone with no other reported substances.
In 2017, the FDA identified at least 44 deaths related to kratom, with at least one case investigated as possible use of pure kratom. The FDA reports note that many of the kratom-associated deaths appeared to have resulted from adulterated products or taking kratom with other potent substances, including illicit drugs, opioids, benzodiazepines, alcohol, gabapentin, and over-the-counter medications, such as cough syrup.
Also, there have been some reports of kratom packaged as dietary supplements or dietary ingredients that were laced with other compounds that caused deaths. People should check with their health care providers about the safety of mixing kratom with other medicines.
Like other drugs with opioid-like effects, kratom might cause dependence, which means users will feel physical withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking the drug. Some users have reported becoming addicted to kratom. Withdrawal symptoms include:
There are no specific medical treatments for kratom addiction. Some people seeking treatment have found behavioral therapy to be helpful. Scientists need more research to determine how effective this treatment option is.
In recent years, some people have used kratom as an herbal alternative to medical treatment in attempts to control withdrawal symptoms and cravings caused by addiction to opioids or to other addictive substances such as alcohol. There is no scientific evidence that kratom is effective or safe for this purpose; further research is needed.
An open message from Micki McKnight, WIC Director for Stokes County Health Department
As you may recall, part of the USDA’s response to COVID-19 was to allow automatic issuance of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) to ensure that beneficiaries do not have to attend in-person WIC clinic appointments in order to receive their monthly food benefit allowance.
The digital flyer below provides more information for WIC participants about auto-issuance and using their food benefits during COVID-19.
The following article is an OpEd from Stephen Hill, Founder of Speak Sobriety.
The opioid epidemic has had a devastating effect on America, and now overdose deaths are surging within the current COVID-19 pandemic. People across the nation from all different walks of life are overdosing and dying every day, mostly from heroin laced with fentanyl.
1) If you or a loved one undergoes a medical procedure and you are prescribed
opioid painkillers, ask the doctor if you can first try over-the-counter medications
such as Motrin or Extra Strength Tylenol before taking opioid painkillers.
2) If a doctor prescribes you or a loved one opioid painkillers, ask for the least
amount possible.The doctor can always prescribe more if need be.
3) Do not allow the person who is prescribed the opioid painkillers to be the one
who is holding the pill bottle. Have an adult—who does not have a history of
substance misuse—hold the pill bottle and check to make sure the pills are being
taken as prescribed.
4) If the pain has subsided enough to the point where you no longer need opioid
painkillers, immediately bring the pill bottle to your local police station or
pharmacy to be disposed of in a prescription dropbox.
5) After the pills have been disposed of, ask the person how the opioid painkillers
made them feel. If they liked the feeling, be sure to take extra precautions in the
The truth is that the overwhelming majority of heroin addicts started out with prescription opioid painkillers, but moved on to the harder stuff once their habit became too expensive.
At the height of my addiction, I had a 900 milligram per day Oxycodone habit. Simple math, my drug habit was $900 per day. This is why most opioid abusers make the switch from opioid painkillers (Vicodin, Percocet, OxyContin, etc.) to heroin, which is significantly cheaper and readily available, but also more dangerous.
How did this happen to me? Nicotine, marijuana, and alcohol are the classic trifecta gateway drugs, and without a doubt my early exposure to these substances at the age of 13 made my brain more vulnerable to developing an addiction.
However, my opioid addiction started my senior year of high school when a friend of mine’s younger sister got her wisdom teeth pulled and was prescribed 30 Hydrocodone. 30! She was barely five feet tall and 100 pounds at most. She only took 2 out of the 30 painkillers prescribed, and my friends and I got our hands on the rest. That was the start, and before long, I was a full blown opioid addict.
I fully understand how lucky I am that I was able to overcome my addiction
after suffering for over 7 years addicted to opioids. I have lost many friends, both
from heroin and opioid painkiller overdoses, and the majority of them had their first
exposure to opioids after getting their wisdom teeth pulled or breaking an arm or
leg while playing sports.
Stephen Hill firstname.lastname@example.org 845-323-1888 speaksobriety.com
There is data showing that off-premises retailers in North Carolina are selling record numbers of beer, wine and liquor. How does that translate to youth alcohol use?
Following the film was a discussion about underage alcohol use and how it impacts communities in Stokes County.
“This Place” is an award-winning, 15-minute film that dramatically captures today’s youth drinking culture. This film shows the alcohol-saturated environment kids are exposed to and the impact of underage drinking. It also offers an important glimpse into communities that are taking action to reduce alcohol problems.
If you are a parent/guardian, caregiver to youth, coach, teacher, community member, faith leader or are interested in creating positive change in your community this film will allow you to be better informed about underage alcohol use and introduce concepts to help decrease alcohol misuse in your community.
“When we closed on Friday, March 27, 2020, we closed our doors to the public until further notice. Closing the library that Friday afternoon was a surreal experience and one that left me feeling very confused as to how we would handle this new way of life and work.”
“Walnut Cove Public Library is like many small-town libraries when it comes to family. We have many patrons we consider family to us and we are just as concerned about them as we would be our own families. Working in a small-town library allows us to really get to know people and what is happening in their lives. So many of our patrons have used the library since they were small children and now we see their children using the library. Many of our senior citizens we see every week and we spend a great deal of time working with them to find new books for them to read.”
We are making many plans for how we can best serve everyone during the summer months. Currently, the staff at Walnut Cove is working diligently on our Summer Learning Program.
We will still have a program for our children, but it will be different in many ways.
1: We will have both paper reading logs and an online recording site for our participants to record their reading time and we will still have prizes at the end of the summer.
The State Library of North Carolina is currently working on an online reading recording website that we will be able to share very soon.
2: We are working on printed and online packets to hand out and share with our participants. The library staff is deciding how to get those printed packets to everyone since we may not be able to open to the public for a while. We do not want to exclude anyone who does not have access to the internet.
3: Our performers will be doing online programs for us to share with all families. These programs will be available for everyone to view! Sadly, there will be no in-house programs this summer.
4: Also, we will be videoing science experiments, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) projects, and filming educational videos that our children can follow along at home.
Christine says, “if you have any suggestions on how we can best serve your needs during Summer Learning, we would be happy to hear them.”
⇒You can reach the Walnut Cove Library on their Facebook page, via phone 336-591-7496 or by e-mail at email@example.com⇐
Another service we want to add this summer is our Back to Basics videos. This is a first for Walnut Cove and we are excited to add this to our services! We are planning to do several how-to videos for everyone.
We are currently working on fishing techniques, starting your own garden, and learning how to crochet.
These are staff hobbies, but we want to hear from our customers what they would like to learn.
We have several suggestions already including canning and preserving fruits and vegetables, sewing, and seasonal crafts.
Eventually, we plan to take our show on the road to visit businesses and places of interest in Stokes County.
The most positive aspect taken from this whole experience is the library staff has an even greater understanding of how valuable our public libraries truly are to their community and how much our hard work and dedication will have to continue at an even higher level to help see our community through this pandemic. We know COVID19 will be a part of our lives for many months and possibly years to come and it has taught all of us the value of human life.
There is not a day goes by if I am out in Walnut Cove, that someone tells me how ready they are for the library to open back up. Everyone is in full agreement that they greatly miss our doors being open.
To read our story about the Walnut Cove Public Library click here. To read our story about the King Public Library click here. To read our story about the Danbury Public Library click here.
With the Governor’s announcement in March, we closed all libraries to the public and provided curbside service until April 1 when we had to discontinue it. It was very popular, and it was very hard for the staff to stop serving the public in person which is our goal. We were very fortunate that the Regional Board approved all staff working from home.
At first, it was almost surreal since we were closing our doors to the public and that has always been the opposite of what we try to do. After the initial shock wore off, the staff swung into action. We began virtual communication with all libraries (Stokes, Surry, Alleghany, and Yadkin) which has been a lifeline for us to stay in touch. We are using Google Classroom and Meet. We formed three teams on priority issues to get input from all staff and further collaborate. The teams meet weekly, and there is good discussion and some good outcomes.
Since the initial closing, staff has worked from home with catch up work, continuing education, and re-inventing how library services are delivered. It did not take long for staff to jump on many webinars that will help all staff do an even better job now and in the future. We have transformed all services online and now provide even more virtual services than ever.
We added new tabs to our website (www.nwrl.org) to include information on CO-VID 19, employment resources, and remote services.
Anyone with checked out materials was asked to hold onto books, DVD’s, and audiobooks until we re-open with no overdue fines.
People can now get a temporary card online as well.
The staff have been great and risen to the occasion. I think that we all have learned so much about ourselves and our communities that will be continued after we are able to open up fully to the public.
We have all become aware of how we can develop remote and virtual services to a greater extent. Staff are building on what they know about online services (including NC LIVE databases and NC Kids Digital) and learning more at an exponential rate! It seems like everyday there is a new find, and talent is emerging!
Please visit www.nwrl.org and check out the Virtual Programs.
We have discussed more online services as well as asynchronous ones such as story walks and scavenger hunts that kids can do with their families or each other and get outdoors.
These services and others will become part of what NWRL libraries do.
Our staff is working even more closely together and supporting each other even more. We realize that we all are in this together with our communities and truly believe that we will be stronger and better at the other end of it.
We know that many services that have started will be regular parts of library services. We have learned much about ourselves, each other, and our organization. Although we are planning for (and very much looking forward) to the day when we can reopen to the public, we know that we are stronger and better and have learned some very valuable lessons about ourselves and our communities. We are even more aware of the importance of the essential value of our libraries to each community.
Library workers are community helpers and although the way we are helping has changed since the beginning of the stay at home order, we are continuing on a different level that we will continue as we grow and change. The library is online and in person.
-Joan Sherif, Northwestern Regional Library