Thursday, August 28, 2008

GCASA's Executive Director Goes On Vacation to Cincinnati

Every now and then Executive Directors, like all other employees, need a vacation, and to have a life away from work.

Here I am at Newport in Covington, Kentucky overlooking the Ohio River and the Purple People Bridge with my daughter, Maureen and my grandson, Atticus. It was a beautiful day.

Here I am in about the same spot with my son, Joe, on the right, and my son-in-law, Rodney who is fellow in Pediatric Critical Care at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.

Here I am with my grandson, Atticus, one of my 5 grandsons and 12 grandchildren.

Here I am pretending to be Mary Poppins on a hot Sunday afternoon in Batesville, Indiana at my daughter, Mary's house trying to keep the sun off of me.

Man arrested in LeRoy, NY for giving cigarettes to a minor

They are getting tough in LeRoy when man is arrested for giving a cigarette to a minor and charged with unlawful dealing with a child and endangering the welfare of a child.

This may seem extreme but nicotine is one of the most addictiing and deadly drugs in American. It has always puzzled me why, we as a society, have had more lenient attitudes about alcohol, pot, and other drugs and ignored tobacco. Tobacco is far more addicting and deadly than alcohol and/or street drugs. It is heartening to see LeRoy police take tobacco seriously.

Click on image to enlarge for easier reading.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

GCASA receives two Drug Free Community grants

Maryann Bowman, GCASA's Director Of Prevention announced today, August 27, 2008 that SAMHSA, the Federal Substance Abuse and Menthal Health Services Administration has notified GCASA that it will be awarding grants for Drug Free Communities in both Genesee and Orleans Counties beginning October 1, 2008.

Here is the email which Maryann sent to GCASA staff:

Hi Everyone,

I have some great news to share with all of you. Genesee and Orleans County prevention departments would proudly like to announce that we received the Drug Free Communities grant for both counties. This means federal funding for the next five years to continue on with the coalition work we have done and have been very successful at. I am so proud to have a staff that is so dedicated and worked very hard in putting many hours into making these grants a reality.

Since January we applied for four substantial grants: The Regional Resource Center for Genesee, Drug Free Communities-Genesee and Orleans and the STOP grant for Genesee. To date we’ve received three out of the four…not bad…we’re on a roll.

Give your prevention staff at GCASA a “high five” when you see them. They deserve it.

Remember we’re the best in the country.

See you, Maryann

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Biggest predictors of youth smoking? Access to cigarettes and friends who smoke

For those of us in the field this is not rocket science, but to the less informed lay person it might be interesting to learn that access to cigarettes is one of the biggest predictors of whether kids will pick up smoking.

According to an article published by Reuters HealthDay on July 14, 2008 based on a study reported in the July, 2008 issue of Annals of Family Medicine, the researchers found that kids who reported they could easily obtain cigarettes and/or whose friends smoked were much more likely to get addicted. Of course, the easiest access to cigarettes is from friends who smoke. If your kid is hanging around with kids who smoke this is a huge risk factor and as a parent, you might want to curtail your child's hanging around with such kids.

Here is part of what the Reuters HealthDay article says:

Kids who can get their hands easily on cigarettes -- say from friends or close acquaintances -- are more likely to end up with a regular smoking habit, a new study of sixth-graders finds.

Hopefully, the information will help health care professionals help kids quit before they even start, said the authors of a study in the current issue of Annals of Family Medicine.

"We found that if you get kids to answer just two simple questions, 'Would it be easy for you to get a cigarette?' and 'Do you have friends who smoke?' you can identify those who are at high risk of becoming regular smokers," said Chyke Doubeni of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, in a school press release. "Saying yes to either should raise a red flag and prompt doctors and others to talk with parents and kids about how to avoid smoking."

Monday, August 25, 2008

Loud music in bars leads to more drinking research finds

Reuters HealthDay reported on July 18, 2008 on a study which will be in the October, 2008 issue of the journal, Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research which found that people drink more in bars that play loud music. Here is a snippet from the Reuters' article:

If busy bars and blasting music seem to go hand in hand, new research from France suggests that might be because loud music encourages more drinking.

The finding is reported in the October issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, and is drawn from research led by Nicolas Gueguen, a professor of behavioral sciences at the Université de Bretagne-Sud in France.

"This is an informative and good study that I think a lot of people will identify with, because it makes a lot of sense," said Dr. Marc Galanter, director of the division of alcoholism and drug abuse at the Langone Medical Center at New York University. "Because it seems that loud music throws people off their game and renders them less in control of their capacity to moderate their drinking."

Galanter was not a part of the research team, which noted that prior explorations into the effect of music on drinking have already revealed that people spend more time in a bar that plays music than one that doesn't, and that fast music in particular seems to prompt fast drinking. The style of music played in a bar can also affect drinking behavior, although in varying ways, depending on the cultural setting.

I remember reading a study a few years ago which compared the amount of alcohol in bars playing different kinds of music such as rock and roll bars, country and western, jazz clubs, disco dance clubs, etc. By far the most alcohol was sold in country and western bars.

Red Ribbon Week coming October 23 - 31, 2008

Red Ribbon week will be coming the week of October 23 - 31, 2008. There will be many events this year, but the keystone event is a speech by the World's Meanest Mom On The Planet, Jane Hambleton, who sold her 19 year old son's car when she found alcohol in the car on October 28, 2008 in Batavia, NY.

Video of Meanest Mom On The Planet on Ellen Degeneres. Video lasts 4:11

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tip Line gets regional publicity in the Democrat and Chronicle

This short article appeared in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle on August 13, 2008.

Help stop underage drinking Underage-drinking tip lines let you anonymously report parties that are planned or under way or other activities that threaten the safety of young people.

The Tipline, based in Genesee County, also accepts calls from Monroe, Orleans and Wyoming counties. It is a collaborative of Regional Action Phone Inc. and Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcohol and Substance Abuse. Call (800) 851-1932. The Tip Line will forward your information to the appropriate police agency.

Parents or other adults who allow people younger than 21 to drink alcohol at their home may think they can monitor the drinking, but they're doing something illegal that puts people's health and safety at risk, says Holly Baxter, executive director of Regional Action Phone in Batavia, Genesee County.

The State Police also have a hotline to report illegal purchase or consumption of alcohol by underage drinkers: (866) 863-3721. Calls are referred to law enforcement agencies around the state.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Tobacco companies manipulate menthol levels in cigarettes to addict younger smokers

Reuters Health Day reported on July 16, 2008 on a study which will appear in the September, 2008 issue of the American Journal Of Public Health that finds that tobacco companies are manipulating methol levels in cigarettes to attract and addict young smokers. Here is a snippet from the article:

Tobacco companies are manipulating menthol levels in cigarettes to appeal to newer, younger smokers, part of a deliberate strategy to get younger people, particularly African-Americans, hooked, a new study contends.

Menthol makes cigarettes more palatable to the novice smoker.

"If anything, menthol is being used as a candy to help the toxin go down," said Dr. Gregory Connolly, senior author of a paper being published in the September issue of the American Journal of Public Health. "If we let the industry go ahead and willy-nilly design the product the way they want to, it's going to lead to the premature death of millions and millions of Americans. Our research says we have to go after this."

A bill pending in Congress would give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration power to regulate menthol and other additives in cigarettes.

"This study provides evidence of one of the many ways tobacco companies manipulate the ingredients in cigarettes in an effort to entice and addict new consumers," John R. Seffrin, chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society, said in a news release. "Legislation in Congress would give the FDA the authority to regulate tobacco products and put an end to tobacco industry practices that prey upon children and blatantly mislead adults. The bill would end the marketing of tobacco products to children, force companies for the first time to disclose the ingredients in their products and allow the FDA to regulate all tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes, based on science."

Menthol itself is not addictive, but it can ease the "delivery" of nicotine, which is highly addictive. More than 70 percent of African-American smokers use menthol cigarettes, compared with about 30 percent of white smokers. It's unclear if menthol cigarettes are more harmful than "regular" cigarettes, the study authors said.

Connolly and his colleagues looked at internal tobacco-industry documents which showed that companies researched how menthol levels could affect sales among different demographic groups. Cigarettes with milder menthol levels appeal to younger smokers.

Chantix appears more effective than the nicotine patch in helping people quit smoking

Reuters HealthDay reported on August 15, 2008 on a study funded by Pfizer the maker of Chantix in the August, 2008 issue of the journal Thorax which found that Chantix worked better in helping smokers quit smoking than the patch. Here is a snippet from the Reuters article:

The anti-smoking drug Chantix appears more effective than the nicotine patch in helping people stop smoking, European and U.S. researchers report.

In a study of 746 smokers, the investigators found that 56 percent of those who took for Chantix for 12 weeks were cigarette-free during the last month of treatment. That compared with 43 percent of those who used a nicotine patch.

The study, funded by Chantix maker Pfizer Inc., is published in the medical journal Thorax.
Chantix, also known as varenicline, acts on a brain receptor affected by nicotine; the drug blocks some of nicotine's effects, while also providing a nicotine-like "buzz" to curb withdrawal symptoms.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Adult Children of Alcoholics

ACOA - Adult Children Of Alcoholics talk about their experience. Video lasts 3:36.