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.
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.