Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sarah Edwards has received her CASAC

Ms. Sarah Edwards has earned a Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) by meeting the requirements set forth by New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. In order to become a CASAC, one must meet specific competencies, ethical, and work experience requirements and pass the written examination. Sarah is a Nicotine and Gambling Specialist and has worked with the Women’s Program at GCASA providing individual and group counseling.

Emotional sobriety contributes to high quality life

Emotional sobriety contributes to a high quality life. Check out the brief video. It lasts 3:05.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

GCASA in Rochester Democrat and Chronicle on July 28, 2008

Chris Swingle wrote a brief article that appeared in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle on July 28, 2008.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

National Night Out in Batavia, August 5, 2008

National Night Out will be held in Batavia, NY on Tuesday, August 5, 2008, from 5:30 to 8:30 PM at St. Anthony's Parish Center on 114 Liberty Street.

There will be youth activities, interactive games, a DJ, Safe Child identification kits, caricatures and information booths on various drug free, health, and community activities.

Here is the article that appeared in the July 23, 2008 issue of The Daily News.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Gamblers enriching state coffers even as it destroys some of their lives

According to an article in the 07/09/08 Daily News, New York State takes in more than 10% of all state sponsored gambling revenue nationwide, and it makes up 2.9% of the State's total budget.

New York State has run a state lottery since 1967, and racinos were legalized in 2001with the first one opening at Saratoga in 2004, and one at Batavia's very own Batavia Downs.

With the increase in State sponsored gambling and the casinos run by the Indian tribes, compulsive gambling problems affect more New Yorkers destroying their lives, the lives of their families and creating problems in their communities such as embezzelment and bankruptcies.

GCASA offers prevention and treatment services for gambling. It is estimated that compulsive gambling affects 1 - 3% of the population which means that as many as 3,000 people could be suffering from compulsive gambling problems in Genesee and Orleans counties.

Here is the article entitled "Gamblers enriching state coffers"

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OASAS Tobacco Free Regulations take effect July 24, 2008

Here is part of the OASAS Commissioner's letter in her Quarterly Newsletter for Summer, 2008 regarding the new tobacco free regulations which take effect on July 24, 2008. GCASA came into compliance on April 1, 2008.

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Recent New York State substance abuse regulations

The following comes from the OASAS Commissioner's Quarterly Newsletter, Summer, 2008.

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Huck Finn's father, Pap, is Alcohol Dependent and needs treatment

Huck Finn's father definitely has alcohol dependence disorder and Huck too could benefit from help in learning about the disease and how to manage the impact of the disorder on the family and his life.

Video lasts 3:35

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Substance abuse problems lengthen hospital stays and costs of medical treatments soar

OK so this isn't rocket science for us in the substance abuse field, but it is validating when studies articulate what we already know to be true from our practice experience.

According to a study in the July, 2008 issue of the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, a study done at Johns Hopkins on lengths of stays of hospitalized patients from 1994 - 2002, people who have concurrent alcohol and drug addictions stay a lot longer in the hospital and cost a lot more money to treat. It makes good sense to provide substance abuse treatment earlier in the course of the disease to prevent more expensive medical interventions later. HMOs have ignored this practice wisdom historically, but they may be catching on. It is this kind of evidence that makes the case for substance abuse treatment harder to ignore.

In this observational study, longitudinal trends (1994–2002) in hospital admissions with co-occurring alcohol/drug abuse and addiction (ADAA; N = 43,073) were examined to determine prevalence and hospital costs by payer group and type of drug used. Four primary drug types were reported: 49% used a combination of two or more drugs, 25% used alcohol only, 11.8% used opioids only, and 6.5% used cocaine only. Costs of admissions increased significantly for those using two or more drugs (119%, from US$12.7 to US$27.8 million), alcohol (120%, from US$9 to US$19.8 million), and opioids (482%, from US$1.7 to US$9.9 million). Medicaid/Medicare represented 70% of the overall number of admissions and also paid 70% of hospital costs. Among Medicaid/Medicare and uninsured admissions, illicit drug use was more common, whereas among private payer admissions, alcohol abuse was more common. Hospital admissions with co-occurring ADAA must be considered when estimating the scope of ADAA and its financial burden.

Concurrent smoking cessation treatment with other substance abuse disorders leads to nicotine abstinence in 10% of clients in outpatient SA treatment

There is an article in the July 2008 issue of the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment which found that there were no negative effects of providing smoking cessation treatment concurrently with other alcohol and drug treatment, and when smoking cessation was offered concurrently 10% of clients stopped smoking during the course of treatment and 5 -6% were still abstinent of nicotine at 13 and 26 week follow-up. Here is a snippet from the abstact:

Smoking abstinence rates in SC, 10%–11% during treatment and 5%–6% at the 13- and 26-week follow-up visits, were significantly better than those in TAU during treatment (p < .01).

The abtract says a little further:

Smoking cessation did not differ from TAU on rates of retention in substance abuse treatment, abstinence from primary substance of abuse, and craving for primary substance of abuse. Compliance with SC treatment, moderate at best, was positively associated with smoking abstinence rates. Smoking cessation treatment resulted in significant reductions in daily smoking and modest smoking abstinence rates without having an adverse impact on substance abuse rehabilitation when given concurrently with outpatient substance abuse treatment. Substance abuse treatment programs should not hesitate to implement SC for established patients.

Congress struggles to come up with kewl name for drug law - Satire

Video lasts 2:50

Gov. Patterson signs 6 new laws easing restrictions on the sale of wine in New York State

According to an article today, July 10, 2008, in the Ithaca Journal, New York State Governor David Patterson signed into law 6 new laws that affect the sale of alcohol in New York State. All six laws have to do with the sale of wine. The first law moves back the time of sale of wine on Sundays from noon to 10:00 AM so wineries can allow participants on their tours to taste wines on Sunday mornings. Here is a snippet from the article:

ALBANY — Wine drinkers can be confused on Sunday mornings, and not just from the empty bottles from the night before.

They show up to a New York winery before noon and want to taste a sample before selecting a wine to buy and bring home. But they can't: Only buy, no taste.

“They sort of don't understand why they can buy it but can't drink it,” said Scott Osborn, president of Fox Run Vineyards on Seneca Lake in Penn Yan.

That quirk in state law is being corked, however. A bill signed into law this week by Gov. David Paterson will let wineries start their tastings at 10 a.m. on Sundays, instead of waiting until noon.

“People would balk when they came up to your booth (at an event) and you have to say to them, ‘I can't serve any wine to you until noon, but I can sell it to you,”' said Peter Saltonstall, owner of King Ferry winery on Cayuga Lake and head of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation board.

Wineries said the new law will allow them to start wine tours earlier on Sundays and offer tastings when they set up booths at farmers' markets.

The measure was one of six expansions of state liquor laws approved by Paterson this week.

To read about the other five laws click on the link above.

While we at GCASA are not prohibitionists, we are aware that one of the three components of Michael Klitzner's model for environmental strategies is access. Whenever the access to a potentially toxic substance increases, the negative consequences will increase as well and conversely when access is decreased usually the negative consequences decrease as well. This observation is based on a public health model.

With the new laws, access will increase slightly, but it is unlikely that it will have too much, if any, of a negative consequence. On the contrary, it is hoped that it will increase the sale of New York State wines which is good for our economy especially in the Finger Lakes region and in Western New York where most of our grapes are grown and wine produced.

What thoughts do you have have? Leave us your comments.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Density of family history of alcoholism is better predictor of alcoholism than parents alone

According to a report from Reuters HealthDay on June 4, 2008 about an upcoming article in the journal Alcoholism:Clinical and Experimental Research, Family Density of alcoholism is a better predictor of onset of alcoholism that a single relative such as the father. Here is a snippet from the article:

College students with a "dense" family history of alcoholism have the highest risk of alcohol-use disorders, a U.S. study says.

While most university students tend to "mature out" of heavy drinking by the time they're young adults, some develop alcohol-use disorders, or AUDs. Most genetic research on family history of alcoholism has focused on alcohol use by the parents, most often the father.

But this study found that the density of family history of alcoholism (FHA) is much more effective.

"Using a density measure of FHA can identify a greater number of individuals who may be at risk for developing an alcohol problem. The greater the number of affected relatives, the greater the potential risk of developing an AUD. Ours is the first published study to examine this measure among college students," first author Christy Capone, a postdoctoral research fellow at Brown University's Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, said in a prepared statement.

3 of 14 businesses sell alcohol to minors in City of Batavia

On June 27, 2008, Batavia Police did compliance checks on 17 bars and businesses in the City of Batavia. 3 sold to minors and 14 did not. That's 21% of retail establishments, based on this sample, sold alcohol to minors. This is cause for concern because the problem of underage sales does not seem to be getting better but has stayed pretty level over the last 3 or 4 years. Perhaps bigger penalties need to be assessed to give stores more of an incentive to be in compliance with the law.

Click on image to enlarge for easier reading.

How they handle things in San Mateo, California. Video lasts 1:46

Cultural Competency is tomorrow's learning Thursday seminar

Tomorrow is the Learning Thursdays seminar, "Cultural Competency," scheduled for July 10, 2008 from 10 to 11:30 AM.

Learning Thursdays are free web-based trainings that can be accessed via the internet. They are "live" presentations that enable participant interaction, to include, a question and answer format, and we have provided a hyperlink that will take you to the Learning Thursdays web page. http://www.oasas. state.ny. us/LT/index. cfm

In addition, participants can receive 1.5 hours of CEU credit that they could use for credentialing or re-credentialing. Please note that to participate in any of the presentations you would need to register at the Learning Thursdays' website.

In conclusion, it is our expectation that the July 10th seminar would provide you with viable information regarding the importance of culturally competent services and effectively working with diverse populations, as well as, an impetus for seeking more training in cultural competency.

If any of GCASA's staff take this, please let me know so I can find out how you liked it.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

New York's first state wide Recovery Conference on 09/14-9/15/08

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Genesee Deputy Jason E. Saile wins Exceptional Service Award

On June 20, 2008, GCASA's DWI Victim Impact Panel Annual Recognition Dinner, held at Batavia Party House recognized Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy, Jason E. Saile with an Exceptional Service Award.

During 2007, Deputy Saile made 47 DWI arrests surpassing all the other Deputies in the Genesee County Sheriff's Office. Our roads and highways are much safer because of the efforts of law enforcement personnel such as Deputy Saile.

There are about 600 DWI fatalities in New York State each year and about 17,000 nation wide.

If you see Deputy Saile, thank him for his exceptional service in keeping us safe here in Genesee County.

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GCASA Counselor, Bill Preston, finalist in NYS CASAC of the year

In a letter from Charles Monson, OASAS Associate Commissioner for Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement, Bill Preston, CASAC, a substance abuse counselor at GCASA, was informed on July 3, 2008, that he was a finalist considered for the New York State Counselor Of The Year.

At GCASA, we are very proud of Bill's work and service to clients and our community. If you see Bill, give him your congratulations.

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Underage drinking in Genesee County leads to 15 year old boy getting burned

Underage drinking party in Genesee County on Sunday, 07/06/08, leads to 15 year old falling into a fire pit and getting burned.

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Monday, July 7, 2008

Drug Free Communities Coalitions uses Muckdogs Ball park to communicate substance abuse prevetion message

Paul Mrozek wrote an article published in The Daily News on 06/24/08 describing the work of the Drug Free Coalition, the Muckdogs, and the SADD chapter at Notre Dame. It's a great example of how, working todgether, we, as a community, can decrease the prevalence of substance abuse.

Click on the image to enlarge it for easier reading.

Drunk teen without driver's license gets lost in corn field after Tom Petty Concert at Darien Lakes

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While this is funny, DWI is a serious crime that can lead to injury and death.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Substance abuse treatment can save later medical costs

Susan Brink wrote a brief article in the June 30, 2008 Los Angeles Times based on a study reported in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment which found that substance abuse treatment can save on medical treatment on down the line.

Subtance abuse professionals have known this for years, but HMO's ignore these findings because they are mostly interested in short term savings since so many people change their health coverage from year to year. However, as a nation it would make good economic as well as human sense to treat substance abuse disorders earlier rather than later. Here is a snippet of Susan Brink's article.

DRUG AND alcohol abuse sets people on a path toward heart disease, cancer and other chronic illnesses. A study in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment reports that hospital costs for this medical fallout can be substantial -- and could be avoided with more drug and alcohol treatment.

Lead author Patricia Santora of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and colleagues found that 14% of people admitted to Johns Hopkins Hospital from 1994 to 2002 were alcohol or drug abusers. Of these more than 43,000 patients, the researchers found, about half abused two or more drugs, resulting in hospital costs in 2002 of $28 million. An additional 25% abused alcohol only, incurring $20 million in hospital costs in 2002. (Treatment costs rose in each year of the study period.) "Virtually all . . . were admitted for the medical and psychiatric consequences of their abuse," Santora says.

Patients with drug problems were more likely to be on Medicaid or Medicare; alcoholic patients were more likely to have private insurance. Researchers noted that both types of insurers spend very little on addiction treatment to prevent medical consequences of abuse -- less than 1% of private insurance claims and less than 2% of Medicaid claims. "This is one university hospital," Santora says, "but you know it's being repeated at thousands of hospitals across the country."

Thursday, July 3, 2008

GCASA wins large grant award!

GCASA was notified today by Karen M. Carpenter-Palumbo, Commissioner of the New York State Office Of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, that GCASA will ge getting a large award to develop a Regional Prevention Resource Center to help develop community coalitions in the 8 county Region I of Western NY. The grant applied for was for $250,000.00 and would allow GCASA to hire about 4 more staff.

Details of the award will be coming shortly.

Here is the award letter.

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