Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Payors increasingly require accountability for outcomes for substance abuse treatment

The New York Times had a interesting article published on 12/22/08 entitled, "Drug Rehabilitation or Revolving Door?" which discusses the fact that 20 billion dollars per year is spent on substance abuse treatment and there doesn't seem to be clear evidence that it works.
There has been a movement toward evidenced based practice methods to standardize treatment and produce better outcomes.
My problem has been that often in substance abuse treatment there is a one size fits all attitude which counselors articulate defensively as "A drug is a drug is a drug" and yet we are learning continually that drugs are different in many important ways as treatment increasingly is.
The other problem is that for some folks substance abuse is an acute illness which responds well to treatment and for others it is more chronic and persistant and will require ongoing treatment for most of the patient's life much like diabetes or high blood pressure. In this context payors expectations may be unrealistic and inappropriate. Patients require care not cure.
If you would like to read more, you can access the New York Times article by clicking here.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Proper treatment for ADD in adolescence with stimulant medication reduces substance abuse problems

A Massachusetts General Hospital study found that girls with ADHD who were treated with medication were less likely to develop substance abuse disorders according to an article on Reuters Health Day on October 6, 2008. Here is a snippet from that article:

Stimulant treatment for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) significantly cuts the odds that adolescent girls will smoke, drink alcohol or use drugs, a new Massachusetts General Hospital study shows.
The finding parallels previous studies in boys, the team note.
People with ADHD are at significantly increased risk for cigarette smoking and substance abuse. In the past, there were concerns that treatment of ADHD with stimulant drugs such as Ritalin might increase the risk of drug or alcohol abuse.
But in several studies of boys and young men with ADHD, researchers have found that stimulant treatment actually decreases the risk and delays the onset of substance abuse in adolescence. It does not affect the risk of using tobacco, alcohol, or drugs in adulthood, however.
The same researchers set out to see how stimulant treatment for ADHD affects the risk of substance abuse in adolescent girls.

This is an interesting finding for I have found recently many adult clients who tell me that they started drinking and drugging in their early teen years, like 12 and 13. When I carefully question them about their school experience it becomes pretty clear that they have ADD and as one man in his 40s told me, "My parents didn't believe in medication." He said he has been smoking pot since he was 13.
There is an uninformed opinion among many health care providers and lay people that the treatment of ADD symptoms with medications will lead to substance abuse when in fact the opposite is the case.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Amethyst initiative of college presidents to lower drinking age to 18 is bad policy. Support 21!

John McCardell, the President Emeritus of Middlebury College in Vermont founded the Amethyst Intiative to roll back the drinking age to 18. He got 130 college Presidents to sign on to this initiative which was sparked tremendous controversy and the Support 21 campaign.

The states were encouraged by the feds to increase the drinking age to 21 over the last several years with threats to withhold 10% of their federal highway dollars if they didn't.

The public health information is very clear that raising the drinking age has saved many lives and the other negative consequences of adolescent drinking.

For more information go to the CADCA web site by clicking here.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

20% of U.S. population binge drink at least once per year

Overall, about 20% of the U.S. population over 18 reports having 5 or more drinks (the definition of binge drinking) on one or more days in the last year.

The 20 -45 year old age group was almost twice as high at around 40% or almost half.

Here is the bar chart displaying the data from the 2007 study.

Click on the imgage to enlarge for easier reading.

For more information click here.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Everyday Heroes Consent Form

Here at GCASA we guard people's confidentiality. At times it is very helpful, in carrying our GCASA's mission, to have testimonials and people taking public positions on issues that affect GCASA's mission and the health of our community.

One such effort that is gathering steam is the Everyday Heroes project. If you are interested in being an Everyday Hero, please copy and paste the consent form, fill it in and get it signed and send it to Kevin Keenan, Prevention Educator, GCASA, 430 East Main Street, Batavia, NY 14030.

If you would like more information you can email Kevin at, or call him at 585-815-1876.

Click on image to enlarge.

United States will not meet its 12% goal for smoking prevalence by 2010

Reuters HealthDay reported on November 13, 2008 on a report in the CDC Journal, Morbity and Mortality Report, which says that the United States will not meet its Healthy People 2010 goal of 12% prevalence rate for smoking in the United States. Here is a snippet from the Reuters HealthDay article:

It's unlikely the United States will meet its Healthy People 2010 objective of reducing the adult smoking rate to 12 percent or less, say experts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That failure will mean continued high levels of smoking-related health problems, deaths and lost productivity will still plague the nation, according to a number of CDC studies released Thursday.

Smoking is a leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States, but comprehensive tobacco control programs could prevent millions of premature deaths and save the nation billions.

In one study, researchers analyzed data from the 2007 National Health Interview Survey. They found that 19.8 percent (43.4 million) of American adults were current cigarette smokers, a level somewhat lower than in 2006 (20.8 percent), 2005 (20.9 percent), and 2004 (20.9 percent).

I believe that only Utah has met the 12% goal. New York State depending on the report seems to be at about 16%.

At GCASA we continue to work on smoking cessation, and the prevention of untaking. We are moving in the right direction as far as we can detect from our data but it will take a while longer to eliminate this nasty addiction from our area.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Parent disapproval of teen drinking has significant impact on teen drinking behavior according to GCASA study

The the last two years GCASA has had a contract with Catalyst Research in Kenmore, NY to provide many evaluation and research services for GCASA.

It is the partnership that GCASA has developed with Catalyst Research's two managing partners, Dr. Meghan Guinee, and Dr. Dan Webb, that has enabled GCASA to be so successful in obtaining federal and state grants and win national awards.

Dr. Guinee has done an analysis of GCASA's Prevention Needs Assessment data for Genesee County schools which has led to some interesting findings. For example, in 2006, 17% of the students in 8th, 10th, and 12th grade were considered to be at risk when they reported that their parents would think that its "A little bit wrong or Not Wrong at All" for them to drink. Students who said that their parents would not disapprove of their drinking were three more times likely to report that they drank alcohol in the previous 30 days (25% versus 72%) and four times more likely to have drank heavily in the previous 14 days (13% versus 54%) than students who said their parents would disapprove.

This is a significant finding about how important it is for parents to communicate clearly with their children their disapproval of their use of alcohol. What the data tells us is that if parents clearly communicate their disapproval, the drinking behavior of teens decreases not just a little but very significantly.
So the programmatic question is how can we increase the number of parents who communicate their disapproval clearly to their children?

There are other findings in Dr. Guinee's report which I will report to you in subsequent articles. If you would like a copy of Dr. Guinee's 14 page report entitled "Alcohol Perceptions & Use: PNA Survey Results for Genesee County" let me know.

Behavioral health problems rise when economic times get tough

The American Psychiatric Association issued a press release on October 15, 2008 pointing out that the incidence of psychiatric problems rises in tough economic times.

Here at GCASA, I worry that just when mental health and substance abuse problems will predictably rise because of the unemployment and bleak economic conditions, services will be cut because of lack of funds.

Click on the image to enlarge for easier reading.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Older problem gamblers at higher risk for suicide

Reuters HealthDay reported on 09/28/08 on a study which appears in the September, 2008, issue of Psychology and Aging which found that older problem gamblers over age 55 self excluded themselves from casinos because of a fear of suicide.

Here is a snippet from the HealthDay article:

Older problem gamblers who ask to be barred from casinos are three to four times more likely than younger gambling addicts to do so because they're afraid they'll commit suicide if they don't stop betting, according to a new study.

The study included 1,601 compulsive gamblers who, between 2001 and 2003, asked to be banned from Missouri casinos. On average, those age 55 and older had gambled for 17 years before "self-exclusion," more than twice the length of time reported by younger gamblers.

Gamblers of all ages cited gaining control, needing help, and hitting rock bottom as their primary reasons for seeking self-exclusion. But 14 percent of older gamblers said they sought help because they wanted to prevent themselves from committing suicide. That's a far higher rate than in any other age group, the study found.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

SAMSHA finds that over 5 million Americans use self help programs to help deal with substance abuse problems

Reuters HealthDay reported on 11/24/08 on a SAMSHA report that found 5 million Americans particpate in self help programs such as AA. Here is a snippet from the article:

An estimated five million Americans over the age of 12 participate in self-help groups for alcohol and drug abuse each year, including 2.3 million who currently abstain from use of these substance.
That's the finding of a report released Monday by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The report, which includes data from 2006 and 2007 nationwide surveys of 67,500 people each year, also found that:
45.3 percent attended a self-help group because of their alcohol use only; 21.8 percent attended because of illicit drug use only, and 33 percent attended because of both alcohol and illicit drug use.
45.1 percent of past year self-help group participants didn't use alcohol or illicit drugs in the past month.
32.7 percent of those who attended a self-help group for alcohol/drug use during the past year also received specialty treatment for their abuse, including treatment received at a hospital as an outpatient, at a rehabilitation facility as an inpatient or outpatient, or at a mental health center.

GCASA encourages people to make use of 12 step and other self help programs.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Leslie Pfalzer graduated from Leadership Genesee on 12/04/08

Leslie Pfalzer, coordinator of Royal Employer Services, GCASA's EAP, graduated from Leadership Genesee on December 4, 2008.

Leslie is in a long line of GCASA's Leadership Genesee Graduates.

GCASA has been very supportive of Leadership Genesee Training which involves a year, once per month, all day long on a Wednesday.

Since Leadership Genesee started in 2001, GCASA has sponsored an employee every year but one, 2002.

GCASA participants have been as follows:

2001 - George Way (dropped out)
2002 - none
2003 - Maryann Bowman
2004- Linda Rost
2005 - Bev Maniace
2006 - John Bennett
2007 - Shannon Ford, Linda Ackley
2008 - Leslie Pfalzer
2009 - Jamie Beedham

Congratulations to all the Leadership Genesee graduates and especially to GCASA's graduates and especially this year to Leslie Pfalzer.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mental Health Association of Genesee County will hold open house on Tuesday, 12/9/08.

The Mental Health Association of Genesee County will be having an Open House next Tuesday, December 9, 2008 from 5:00 - 7:00 PM at 25 Liberty Street, Batavia, NY.

Click on image to enlarge for easier reading.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Genesee County Office Of The Aging has a good article on problem gambling in their December, 2008 newsletter

In the December, 2008 issue of the Genesee County Office of The Aging newsletter, Ruth Spink, the GCOA services coordinator wrote a good article in gambling.

Click on image to enlarge for easier reading.

Monday, December 1, 2008

GCASA's Senior Spice committee sponsors "All That Glitters" Holiday gathering on December 10, 2008

GCASA's Senior Spice committee is hosting an "All That Glitters" Holiday Gathering which will include dinner and dancing on Wednesday, December 10, 2008 from 5:30 - 8:30 PM at the Bataiva First United Methodist Church on Lewiston Rd., Batavia, NY. Tickets are $11.00.

For more information contact Mike Laycock at 585-815-1874 or Carol Nicometo at 585-815-1873.

Click on image to enlarge for easier reading.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

GCASA only officially celebrates 7 holidays per year when it closes its offices: Christmas Day, New Year's Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and the day after Thanksgiving.

So, it is on the Monday of Thanksgiving week that all of us at GCASA want to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving and holiday season.

We have a great deal to be thankful for but especially because we work in the substance abuse and addiction field and see the suffering and tragedy that addiction causes to individuals, families, neighborhoods, communities, and society every working day, we are especially greatful for people, families, and communities who are able to celebrate life without abusing chemicals and other dysfunctional behaviors.

Have a safe, healthy, and blessed Thanksgiving.

GCASA's data shows underage drinking rates are slowly improving.

Shannon Ford, the Assistant Director of Prevention, along with other staff, writes some great grant applications. As part of her most recent grant application for money to decrease underage drinking in Genesee and Orleans Counties she gives the following overview.

If you ever wondered whether prevention makes a difference in our area, read Shannon's description of our experience over the last few years:

Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (GCASA) has administered the Prevention Needs Assessment (PNA) Survey to 6th-12th grade students every two years in Genesee and Orleans Counties.

In Genesee County, the rate for 30-day use of alcohol has decreased from 26.7% in 2004 to 25.6% in 2006. The survey was administered again in October 2008, but results have not been made available to us yet.

Binge drinking rates have decreased from 16.2% in 2004 to 15.5% in 2006. There is a similar decrease for Orleans County.

The rate for 30-day use of alcohol has decreased from 28.9% in 2005 to 21.8% in 2007. Binge drinking rates have decreased from 15.7% in 2005 to 14.1% in 2007.

The data demonstrates the rates are moving in the right direction, however, more work needs to be done to continue a reduction in underage drinking. In addition, this data includes percentages for students in 6th-12th grades. As the grade level increases, so does the percentage of students who are drinking in both counties.

When you see any of our prevention staff or members of our coalitions, let them know that you admire and appreciate their good work which is making a difference.

Kaitlin Smith announces Orleans United Coalition meeting for 12/16/08 at Hickory Ridge

Click on image to enlarge for easier reading.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Benefits of recovery

Video lasts 3:13

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Meth - Don't do it.

Video lasts 0:32

Friday, November 21, 2008

Introducting a new CASAC, Lisa Schutt

Video lasts 4:10

Thursday, November 20, 2008

3 more GCASA staff obtain their substance abuse counselor credentials.

It was announced last week, the first week of November, 2008, that Lisa Schutt,CASAC, Barbara Bowman,CASAC, and Dawn Bumbarger, CASAC all passed their exams and obtained their CASAC credentials from New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse.

CASAC is an acronym which stands for Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor. It requires a great deal of classroom training, an extensive internship, and the passing of an international exam.

At GCASA we highly value professional knowledge, skill, competence, and accomplishment. Having a highly competent credentialed staff is one indicator of the high level of service which GCASA provides.

Lisa Schutt, CASAC

Barbara Bowman, CASAC

Dawn Bumbarger, CASAC

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Substance Abuse: A Family Disease - Kathleen Hodgins, B.S.W., CASAC

Kathleen Susan Hodgins, B.S.W., CASAC discusses substance abuse a family disease. Kathy is one of GCASA's Assistant Director of Treatment in Albion, NY.

The video lasts 8:45.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tracy Stokes announces next Genesee County DFC meeting on 12/09/08

Please join myself and your fellow DFC members on Tuesday December 9th 9:00 AM -11:30AM
at Terry Hills Restaurant and Banquet Facility for a breakfast buffet.

Feel free to e-mail me at by Thursday December 4th to indicate your attendance. I can also be reached at 815-1852 if you have any questions.

Have a great day and I look forward to hearing from you.

Tracy Stokes
GCASA - Drug-Free Communities Coordinator
430 East Main St
Batavia, NY 14020

GCASA Board Member, Dann Neale, will speak on Thursday, 11/20/08 on the benefits of recovery

On Thursday morning, November 20, 2008 at 8:30 AM in the first floor conference room at GCASA in Batavia, NY, Dann Neale, a GCASA board member will be giving a short talk on the physical and spiritual benefits of recovery. Community members, clients, and staff are welcome.

Click on image to enlarge for easier reading.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

ASAP not happy with Div. of Parole's cuts to drug treatment

Substance abuse treatment services are cheaper than incarceration. Multiple studies have shown this. Not only are they cheaper, but they are more effective in increasing social functioning of offenders, and improving the lives of their families and communities. Further, it is more likely that people in substance abuse treatment will gain or keep employment as a result of their treatment and pay taxes. So why put drug abusers in prison?

Because in the short run it appears cheaper than treatment even though in the long run it is extremely more expensive, and it is a knee jerk reaction to tightening budgets in hard times.

Well, John Coppola, the Executive Director of the New York State Association of Alcohol and Substance Abuse providers, of which GCASA is a member, is having none of it.

Here is an article which appeared in the Daily News on 11/07/08.

Click on article to enlarge for easier reading.

GCASA supports treatment on demand and treatment, where appropriate instead of incarceration. It makes sense for so many resons.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Are you eligible for Heat Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)?

According to an article in yesterday's, 11/10/8, Daily News, more New Yorkers may be eligible for heating assistance this winter. The new threshold for eligibilty for a family of 4 is $56,635.00 as of January 1, 2009. Here is the article that appeared in the Daily News on 11/10/08.

Click on image to enlarge for easier reading.

This is article #6 in a series on community resources.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Gratitude in recovery

We have such talented people on our staff at GCASA and I was able to interview one of them today, Jim Morasco.

Jim currently is the substance abuse counselor with the Co-location project in Genesee County. In the past, Jim has been the director of prevention, and he also is currently an ordained minister of the American Baptist Church having received his M.Div degree from Colgate in Rochester, NY in May of 2007.

Jim met with me and we talked for about 10 minutes about gratitude in recovery. The videos are in two parts.

Here is part one which lasts about 8:54.

Part two lasts 2:24

Fun time for the whole family - Pizza Gobble - 11/24/08

There will be a great time for the whole family on Monday night, November 24, 2008 at 6:00 PM at St. Joseph's School at 303 East Main Street, in Batavia, NY when you eat all the pizza you want from the great area pizzerias for only $2.00 a person.

Here's the flyer:print it out, pass it out, tell all your friends!

Click on image to enlarge for easier reading.

Friday, November 7, 2008

According to CDC 25% of teen girls have an STD

According to the Centers For Disease Control 25% of teenage girls between the ages of 14 and 19 have a STD. A great deal of teenage sex occurs when teens are intoxicated. The biggest date rape drug in America is alcohol.

Video lasts 1:45.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Everyday Heroes at Elba High School

Click on image to enlarge for easier reading.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tobacco companies are not our friends

This material is taken from the OASAS November, 2008 Wellness If For You newsletter.

Click on image to enlarge for easier reading.

Video lasts 0:32

Teenage drinking party reported on Halloween in Gainesville, Wyoming County

According to an article in The Daily News on 11/03/08, Wyoming County Deputies broke up an underage drinking party where about 20 people between the ages of 15 and 26 were found to be drinking. Arrests were made.

Click on image to enlarge for easier reading.

It's against the law to be a party to teenage drinking.

What are the public health consequences of underage drinking? Here are a few.

Click on image to enlarge for easier reading.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Genesee County Mental Health Association changes it name

The Genesee County Mental Health Association which has served Genesee County for 15 years has changed its name to Mental Health Association in Genesee County.

The MHAGC executive director, Millie Tomidy, told me that the change is long overdue because of the constant confusion between the Mental Health Association and the Genesee County Mental Health Center which is a whole other agency.

So from now on, the Mental Health Association in Genesee County which is on Liberty Street in Batavia, NY will be known as MHAGC.

Here is the letter I received announcing the change.

Click on image to enlarge for easier reading.

You can go to the MHAGC's web site by clicking here.

This is article #5 in a series on community resources.

OASAS Statewide Comprehensive Plan 2008-2012 - Co-occurring disorders

In Chapter II of the OASAS Statewide Comprehensive Plan 2008 - 2012, these is a system's overview of various characteristics of the population in treatment in New York State in 2007. Here is a bar chart of the percentage of patients who had co-occuring psychiatric disorders with their substance abuse disorders.

Click on image to enlarge for easier reading.

Interestingly, while the Statewide average percentage outside of New York City appears to be about 37-38 %, at GCASA the percentage of clients with psychiatric disorders was 38% and in Orleans County it was 38.7%. The community residence population in New York State outside of New York City was about 32% while at GCASA's Atwater Community Residence it was only 10.9% and about the same in GCASA's Supportive Living Program. I wonder if the data is accurate.

At any rate, in GCASA's outpatient programs a little more than 1/3 of our clients have had, or have, psychiatric problems.

Video lasts 3:29.

Heroin addicts die young

I am 62 having been born at the end of 1945 so I was struck by a pie chart in the June, 2008 issue of NIDA Notes about the premature deaths of Male Heroin Abusers who were mandated for treatment by courts between 1962 and 1964 when their average age was 25.

By 1997, 35 years later, 282 of the 581 men in the study were dead at an average age of 47 which is 18 years less than their hypothetical life expectancy of 65.

The largest cause of death was heroin for 22% and chronic liver disease for 14%.

Having been in the behavioral health field now for 40 years, I have noted, that people who started drinking and drugging in their teens are either dead or in recovery by 50. Turns out that my clinical observation is pretty well substantiated by the data.

The idea that substance abuse is a terminal disease is borne out by the facts. Our services at GCASA are saving lives let alone signicantly improving the quality of life for those who participate in GCASA's services.

Here is the chart in NIDA Notes.

Click on image to enlarge for easier reading.

Video lasts 0:30

Monday, November 3, 2008

Why they call it "dope".

Everyday Heroes at Byron-Bergen High School!

Click on image to enlarge for easier reading.

A lot of pot smoked in Orleans County has been home grown

It appears that a lot of the pot smoked in Orleans County is not imported but home grown.

Click on image to enlarge for easier reading.

Video lasts 0:30

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008

October, 2008 visits to GCASA Cares

During October, 2008, GCASA Cares received 971 visits by 599 unique visitors. In September, 2008, GCASA Cares received 619 visits by 364 visitors.

Thank you for visiting GCASA Cares and please let us know what you like and don't like about the blog.

Can you help the Salvation Army provide a Banquet - In - A - Box ?

Click on image to enlarge for easier reading.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Teen pregnancies are up in Orleans County

Teen pregancies are up in Orleans County in 2006, the last year for which the data is available, for the first time since 2002.

In 2006 there were 33 pregnancies in the county among 10-17 year olds. Of the 33 pregancies 18 resulted in live births, 14 in abortions, and 1 in a miscarriage.

These are the highest rates since 2002 when there were 41 pregnancies, 32 live births, 7 abortions, and 2 miscarriages.

Click on table to enlarge for easier reading.

Here is a table showing the 18 year history of teen pregnancies in Orleans County from 1989 - 2006.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Batavia High School's Everyday Heroes!

Click on image for easier reading.

Batavia High School's Everyday Heroes!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Donate to GCASA by doing so on GCASA's web site

GCASA has now made it very easy for donors who would like to support GCASA's mission, make a gift in the name of someone, or make a memorial gift by making a donation to GCASA, to do so on the GCASA web site.

Go to GCASA's web site front page and click on the donation button.

GCASA's web site URL is or you can go there by clicking here.

Thank you for your consideration and support.

Quiting smoking at same time as alcohol brings best outcomes

Reuters HealthDay reported on October 24, 2008 on a study in the current issue of the journal, Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research which found that people being treated for alcoholism who also gave us smoking achieved better results. Here is a snippet from the article:

Overcoming alcoholism is tough enough. That's one reason many alcoholics who smoke continue to light up even while they're in recovery from alcohol dependency.

But new research suggests that tackling both addictions simultaneously may offer the best chance of success.

Recovering alcoholics often admit they're using nicotine as a drug, said Dr. Michael M. Miller, president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

Alcoholics smoke at rates 4 and 5 times the general population.

Here at GCASA we have been offering smoking cessation treatment for our clients who smoke for the last 3 years. Research shows that about 15% of smokers in substance abuse treament will successfully stop smoking.

You can access the HealthDay article by clicking here.

Erie County Family Court Judge Lisa Bloch Rodwin discusses the role of Social Workers in Family Court

LRodwin The first episode of the University of Buffalo School of Social Work's new podcast series, Living Proof, features Erie County family court judge, the Honorable Lisa Bloch Rodwin, discussing the role of social workers in family court. The podcast is well worthing listening to and you can access it by clicking here.

The podcast lasts 27 minutes.

Today is Red Hot Wednesday!

Stop by 424 West Main Street in Batavia, NY today and help us celebrate Red Hot Wednesday! Get your free hot dog and soda in the tent. Open 11:30 - 1:30.

Dr. Lawrence Shulman discusses models of supervision in the UB School Of Social Work podcast series, "Living Proof"

The University of Buffalo School Of Social Work has an excellent new podcast series entitled, "Living Proof".

On October 20, 2008, Living Proof released its 5th episode which is entitled Dr. Lawrence Shulman: Models of Supervision: Parallel Processes and Honest Relationships. It is execellent and lasts 38 minutes. I highly recommend it to all GCASA supervisors and staff. You can access the show by clicking here.

OASAS Statewide Comprehensive Plan reports primary substance of abuse at admission

What do you suppose the biggest substance of abuse is in New York State requiring treatment by OASAS licensed programs?

I'll give you a hint. It's legal.

The OASAS plan doesn't get it right. Because the correct answer is tobacco. However, not until this year has OASAS systematically addressed the problem of nicotine addiction.

So, the OASAS plan reports that the primary substance of abuse at admission is alcohol.

No other drug or substance comes even close. The next closest is opiates, then cannabis, and then cocaine and crack, and then other drugs.

Here is a table that outlines the data.

Click on the image to enlarge for easier reading.

GCASA's data is very similar although GCASA has been asked to provide service to increasing numbers of people struggling with dependence on opiates. It is expected that opiate addiction will continue to be a growing problem, and GCASA has developed a new Opiate treament program to specifically help manage the problems which opiates cause for people. (To learn more click on the videos on this blog under Cheryle McCann.)
This is article # 9 in a series on the OASAS Statewide Comprehensive Plan

Buffalo has highest unemployment rate in nation for black males

The Buffalo News reported on October 15, 2008 that Buffalo, NY has the highest unemployment rate in the nation for Black males at 51.4%. Here is a snippet from that article:
When an economics professor in Milwaukee studied the issue of black male unemployment, he found that his city had the second-highest such jobless rate in the nation last year.

Guess who finished first:


The Buffalo metro area topped the list among 35 large American cities with a staggering black male jobless rate of 51.4 percent, according to figures cited by Professor Marc V. Levine of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Milwaukee finished a close second, at 51.1 percent, with Detroit third, St. Louis fourth and Chicago fifth.

“It’s nothing less than a civic outrage to have these levels of joblessness,” Levine said in a telephone interview Tuesday.

The study didn’t take Buffalo city officials by surprise.

“I knew there was a high unemployment rate in the black male population, which is why we have worked so hard to enhance the employment environment in Buffalo,” Mayor Byron W. Brown said. “This is an inherited problem, which is decades in the making.”

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

OASAS Statewide Comprehensive Plan reviews history of services by sex

In Chapter II of the OASAS Statewide Comprehensive Plan 2008-2012 entitled "System Overview" there is a bar chart on page 9 which displays the admissions to OASAS licensed program across New York State by sex. In general about 75% of patients treated for substance abuse problems are male and 25% are female.

In out patient treatment the ratio is 72% male, 28% female, and in residential services it is 77% to 23%.

In 2007, 27% of GCASA's 1,159 admissions were female in its outpatient and residential programs combined which is higher than the state average. I believe the reason for this may be that GCASA has specialized services for women and try to deliver substance abuse services in a gender competent way appreciating the unique differences in needs between males and females.

This is article #8 in a series on the OASAS State Comprehensive Plan 2008 - 2010.