October is National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month

October is National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month

Parents: did you know that 1 in 30 youth ages 12 through 17 has misused cough medicine to get high from its dextromethorphan ingredient?

Over-the-counter cough medicine can have negative outcomes if misused. Securely store and monitor cough medicine in the home to prevent misuse.

We encourage parents, guardians and caregivers of youth to secure and monitor both prescription and over-the-counter medications.

Parents/guardians are encouraged to review the labels on medications in their medicine cabinets

http://www.stopmedicineabuse.org

Make sure you are doing your part to keep your community safe by securing all medications in the home and disposing of medications properly.
We encourage parents and guardians to know the slang terms that are used to describe cough syrup misuse

Pet owners: did you know that the medication the veterinarian prescribed for your pet can be misused by people trying to get high?
Make sure that all medications, for both humans and animals, are securely stored out of sight and out of reach.

Rx and OTC Misuse Talking Points for Parents/Caregivers of Youth

October is National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month

Parents and adult caregivers need to be educated about this problem, as well as their role in preventing it.
Below are important things to consider.
Talking points for parents and adult caregivers when talking to youth about substance use

Preschool to Age 7

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.

Ages 8 to 12

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.

Ages 13 to 17

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.

For any questions or concerns about substance use or mental health please reach out to us and we can direct you to get qualified and accurate information.

5 Ways to Minimize Risk of Opioid Addiction: OpEd

The following article is an OpEd from Stephen Hill, Founder of Speak Sobriety. 

Opioid Addiction and COVID19

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.

5 Ways to Minimize Risk of Opioid Addiction

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.

(Click here for dropbox locations in the county)

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
future.

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.

On the street, opioid painkillers can go for as much as $1 per milligram

The following is a message from stephen hill regarding his addiction process

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.

Where did it all begin?

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.

You can never know if it is going to happen, or who it is
going to happen to, but there are some steps you can take in terms of prevention.

Stephen Hill     stephen.hill@speaksobriety.com     845-323-1888    speaksobriety.com

If you, or someone you know, is directly impacted by prescription medication addiction please consider treatment.

You can use this link

https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/ 

to find treatment centers in your area.

UPDATE: Monitoring the Future: 2019 Survey of Teen Substance Use

We were able to take the information from the results of the 2019 Monitoring the Future Survey and compile it into charts that are easier to read and digest for parents/guardians and community members.

The results from the national survey allow us to see trends that may be impacting youth and young adults in Stokes County.

Monitoring the Future is an annual survey of 8th, 10th, and 12th graders conducted by researchers at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, under a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health. Since 1975, the survey has measured how teens report their drug, alcohol, and cigarette use and related attitudes in 12th graders nationwide; 8th and 10th graders were added to the survey in 1991.

42,531 Students from 396 public and private schools participated in the 2019 survey.