News & Updates

WIC During COVID19

An open message from Micki McKnight, WIC Director for Stokes County Health Department

WIC During COVID19

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.

However, of the more than 248,000 people who receive WIC in North Carolina, more than 132,000 did not utilize their full food benefits in June 2020.

In response, NCDHHS is working to spread the message to current WIC participants that:

1)     WIC benefits are being added directly to their eWIC account on their family issue date.

2)     WIC allowances do not roll over, so any balance that is not spent is lost.

3)     Enabling notifications on the Bnft® App is the best way receive real-time eWIC updates.

4)     WIC clinics are open and ready to serve, even if hours or locations have changed due to COVID-19.

Stokes has two WIC offices

Stokes County Health Department

1009 N. Main St.
Danbury, NC 27016
336-593-2402

Southwest Service Center

104 Hartgrove Rd.
King, NC 27021
336-985-2727

 

The digital flyer below provides more information for WIC participants about auto-issuance and using their food benefits during COVID-19.

We invite you to share this resource with your communities and direct anyone who has questions to contact their local WIC clinic directly.

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.

Crisis Intervention: Hope4NC Helpline

Crisis Intervention Support

A resource for those who may be experiencing a crisis.

The Hope4NC Helpline (1-855-587-3463) connects North Carolinians to additional mental health and resilience supports that help them cope and build resilience during times of crisis.

As part of the state’s previous hurricane recovery efforts it served over 4,400 people in the most impacted counties, and now it is being made available to everyone in North Carolina’s 100 counties during the COVID-19 crisis. This initiative is in partnership with all seven of the state’s LME/MCOs and REAL Crisis Intervention Inc. in Greenville. Hope4NC is now available 24 hours per day, seven days a week to speak to a live person.

You can find more information here:

“These are challenging and uncertain times for everyone. We want to connect people to the mental health and resilience supports that they may need during this crisis to alleviate some of the anxiety and stressors that they are feeling,” said NCDHHS Deputy Secretary for Behavioral Health and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Kody Kinsley.

Mental Health: Practicing Emotional First Aid

Importance of Practicing Emotional First Aid

Dr. Guy Winch is a licensed psychologist who works with individuals, couples and families.  As an identical twin with a keen eye for any signs of favoritism, he believes we need to practice emotional hygiene with the same diligence with which we practice personal and dental hygiene.

 

As an advocate for psychological health, Dr. Winch has spent the last two decades adapting the findings of scientific studies into tools his patients, readers and audience members can use to enhance and maintain their mental health.

Take care of yourself, and each other.

COVID19: Managing Stress

Managing Stress

When you cut your finger, you clean the cut, apply pressure to stop the bleeding and might even grab a cute Mickey Mouse or Cinderella band-aid to cover it up to prevent infection.

But how do you deal with stress? There is not really a band-aid for that.

A great way to combat stress is to balance life with activities that do not bring you stress.  What are those activities for you?

Is it an intense cycling class, participating in a book club, or is it going on a nature walk? Is it crafts, meditation, spending time with a pet?

Before COVID-19, many of us had those activities that we did out of habit that brought us joy in some way or another that we may no longer be doing.

Have you created a substitution yet?

Consider starting a list of things you enjoy, make you smile, or can easily take your mind off of the stressor.

Maybe it was something you did 10 or 20 years ago, or even something you did just 6 months ago.  How can you bring that JOY back into your routine?

Different self-care activities:

  • Playing Music while you work
  • Setting a timer to get up and walk every hour
  • A stretch break during the day or in the morning before your daily routine begins
  • Setting a timer to end your work-day
  • 5 minute meditation videos

Take care of yourself, and each other.

Virtual Camp Middle School: Chestnut Grove

Due to COVID19 restrictions the in-person Camp Middle School program was suspended for 2020.

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.

If you have any questions about the content below please contact Chestnut Grove Middle at 336-983-2106

You can contact Mr. Bennett, Principal, at david.bennett@stokes.k12.nc.us

You can contact Ms. Lessane, Assistant Principal, with free/reduced lunch questions at eyanna.lessane@stokes.k12.nc

You can contact Mr. Richardson, Assistant Principal, with bus transportation questions at matthew.richardson@stokes.k12.nc.us



 

Virtual Camp Middle School: Southeastern

Due to COVID19 restrictions the in-person Camp Middle School program was suspended for 2020.

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 5th 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.

If you have any questions about the content below please contact Southeastern Middle at 336-591-4371.

You can reach out to Mrs. Jackson, Principal, at rhonda.jackson@stokes.k12.nc.us

You can reach out to Mr. Ross, Assistant Principal, with any bus transportation questions, at david.ross@stokes.k12.nc.us

Virtual Camp Middle School: Piney Grove

Due to COVID19 restrictions the in-person Camp Middle School program was suspended for 2020.

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 4th 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.

If you have any questions about the content below please contact Piney Grove Middle at 336-593-4000.

You can reach out via email to Mrs. Pendleton, Principal, at heather.pendleton@stokes.k12.nc.us.

You can reach out to Mrs. Mounce, Assistant Principal, about any bus questions at 336-593-4000.

You can reach out to Mrs. Williams, School Counselor, at anna.williams3@stokes.k12.nc.us.

Review of July 16th Virtual Lunch and Learn: “This Place” Film

Underage Alcohol Use on the Rise Due to COVID19

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?

Youth are home now more than ever and may be unsupervised.
Adult use rates of alcohol have been increasing state-wide.
The possibility of an increase in youth alcohol use is something that should be considered.
Data from the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey in regards to alcohol use by youth. This is the last Youth Risk Behavior Survey data collection available and can be found here https://nccd.cdc.gov/youthonline/App/Results.aspx?LID=NC.

Did You Know: Before COVID19…

  • The #1 place youth got alcohol is from their own home.
  • Over 1,800 college students died from alcohol related injuries each year.
  • In the US alcohol kills more than all illegal drugs combined.
  • Teen girls rival teen boys with consumption rates of alcohol.
  • Every day 7,000 kids younger than 16 years old consume their first alcoholic drink.
  • Kids under 15 years old who consume alcohol are four times likely to end up alcohol dependant as an adult than if they waited until they were 21 years old for their first drink.

How can this be changed?

Parents and guardians can make a positive impact in their communities by doing a few things.
  • Monitor and secure alcohol in the home.
    • Purchasing in quantity is more cost effective but it is harder to keep up with 24 beers or a case of wine than it is a 6 pack or bottle.
    • Only purchase what you will consume.
    • Even if it costs a couple dollars more this tactic regarding alcohol storage will make less alcohol available for youth resulting in fewer youth consuming.
    • Storing alcohol in cabinet or unmonitored areas of the home allows youth access.
    • Keeping alcohol stored appropriately, like firearms and dangerous household chemicals, will keep youth from consuming alcohol.
  • How youth see alcohol consumed in their environment determines their perception of alcohol.
    • During events at the home (birthday parties, cookouts, holiday celebrations) make sure alcohol is not the focal point of the event.
    • Don’t glamorize alcohol use.
    • Show youth that a good time can be had without alcohol.
  • Parents rationalizing youth use.
    • Parent provided parties are not the answer.
    • Parent provided parties are dangerous.
    • Parent provided parties normalize alcohol use by youth.
Follow these guidelines to help reduce underage alcohol use in our communities.

On July 16th we hosted a virtual lunch and learn where the film “This Place” was shown.

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.

A local parent of three students who are in the Stokes County School System viewed the film and had this commentary to provide.
A local provider specializing in substance use disorder and mental health had this commentary after viewing the film.

These national statistics provided by the Monitoring the Future Survey show the bigger picture of underage alcohol use. This may be a snapshot of the nationwide average but this is an issue that impacts Stokes County communities.

Monitoring the Future Survey from 2019 highlights the youth alcohol use rates for lifetime consumption.
Monitoring the Future Survey from 2019 highlights the youth alcohol use rates for past year consumption
Monitoring the Future Survey from 2019 highlights the youth alcohol use rates for past month consumption.
If you would like more information please reach out to us.

For more information on how you can make a positive impact in your community, reduce underage alcohol use or reduce adult alcohol misuse reach out to us. dvickers@insightnc.org or 336-287-2411

Operation Parent Webinar: Shedding Light on Youth Alcohol Usage and Binge Drinking

Underage alcohol use can have many short-term and long-term impacts that youth may not realize. Listen to Mary Beth Uberti explain the dangers of alcohol use among teens and how parents can intervene to help keep their children healthy and safe.

 

More information about Operation Parent and their free resources for parents and guardians can be found at https://operationparent.org/resource-manager/