IF YOU ARE A PARENT/GUARDIAN OF A YOUTH OR YOUNG ADULT BELOW ARE links to RESOURCES REGARDING mental health. Don’t wait until it is too late.
click on the topic you would like more information about.
Over-the-counter cough medicine can have negative outcomes if misused. Securely store and monitor cough medicine in the home to prevent misuse.
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
This year there was a virtual program to replace the face-to-face event to help support the transition from elementary school to middle school for Stokes County Schools 6th graders.
On August 6th Insight Human Services hosted a webinar for rising 6th graders and their parents. Below is the content that was shown during the webinar to help prepare 6th graders for the upcoming school year.
You can contact Mr. Bennett, Principal, at email@example.com
You can contact Ms. Lessane, Assistant Principal, with free/reduced lunch questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can contact Mr. Richardson, Assistant Principal, with bus transportation questions at email@example.com