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

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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

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tobacco companies are not our friends

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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 ?

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