Saturday, January 31, 2009

TIP 43 available for Opiod Treatment Programs

Click on image to enlarge for easier reading.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Gambling awareness workshop in Batavia, NY on March 3, 2009

GCASA is presenting an excellent noon time luncheon workshop on Tuesday, March 3, 2009, from noon until 2:00 PM at Terry Hills Country Club on Rt. 33 just east of Batavia, NY. There is no cost.

The workshop will feature:

Judge Mark Farrell the only gambling court judge in New York State,

Mr. James Maney, the Executive Director of the New York State Council on Problem Gambling,

Mr. Tony Bellanca, a Gambling prevention Specialist/Community Educator.

The workshop includes a complimentary lunch, and 1.5 CEUs from OASAS.

Click on image to enlarge image for easier reading.

For more information, contact Jamie Beedham at (585)-815-1879

Breast fed babies are better behaved children

Reuters HealthDay reported on 10/29/08 on a study to be presented that same day to the American Public Health Association annual meeting which found that babies who are breast fed have fewer behavior and mental health problems. Here is a snippet from the article:

Add yet another potential benefit to breast-feeding: Fewer behavioral problems in young children.

Parents of youngsters who were breast-fed as infants were less likely to report that their child had a behavior problem or psychiatric illness during the first five years of life, a new study found.

And the likelihood of mental health issues decreased in proportion to the duration of breast-feeding, meaning that a child who had been breast-fed for a year was less likely to have behavior problems than a child who had been breast-fed for just two months.

"This is an early finding, but it suggests that breast-feeding during infancy could have an effect on behavior during childhood," said the study's lead author, Dr. Katherine Hobbs Knutson, a resident in the department of psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Today I am starting a new category on this blog I am entitling "Sparks". Sparks are ideas that I have that at some point I might want to expand on.

Orginally I was going to call this category, "Passing thoughts" but I found upon reflection that this phrase trivialized the importance of the ideas, and then I thought of "glimpses" but that implies that there is something there to be perceived below the surface which, while true, leaves out the creative element. So, I have settled on "Sparks" which are ideas that catch my notice and which, if dwelled upon, might be fanned into flame. I hope that you will enjoy the Sparks as they appear on this blog.

Less exposure to violent media makes kids less aggressive

Reuters HealthDay reported on October 29, 2008 on a study to be presented that day at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association which found that kids who don't watch violent and aggressive media are much less likely to be aggressive. Here is a snippet from the HealthDay article:

Children and young teens with only minimal exposure to violent entertainment in the media are far less likely to engage in aggressive behavior, a new survey suggests.
"We're looking at a slice in time, so I can't tell you that the media exposure is causing violent behavior, or in the reverse that violent kids are looking for violent media," noted study author Michele Ybarra, president and research director of Internet Solutions for Kids -- a nonprofit research organization based in Santa Ana, Calif.
"But what we can tell you is that kids reporting that none or little of the media they are exposed to depicts violence are significantly less likely to be violent or aggressive than kids exposed to some or a lot of violent media."
Ybarra and her colleagues were expected to present the findings Wednesday at the American Public Health Association's annual meeting, in San Diego.

GCASA staff is well aware that a primary skill of growing children is emotional control. Children who are implusive, act out, and engage in bullying and disruptive behavior are much more likely to abuse substances. There is a link between aggression and substance abuse. Good parental supervision and the setting of appropriate limits goes a long way in mitigating the development of problematic behaviors.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

AA Quiz for Teenagers - Is Alcohol becoming a problem?

Is drinking becoming a problem? AA has a 12 question quiz to help teenagers decide if drinking is becoming a problem for them. You can access the quiz by clicking here.

In New York State it is illegal for people under 21 to possess alcoholic beverages with the intent to consume without parental permission. It is usually recommended that people under 21 abstain from Alcoholic beverages in the United States.

GCASA supports keeping the drinking age at 21.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sexual trauma haunts female vets leading to mental health problems

Sexual trauma haunts female vets who then have more mental health and substance abuse issues according to a report in Reuters HealthDay on 10/28/08. Here is a snippet of that article:

Shedding light on the challenges facing women in the military, a new study shows that more than one in seven female Iraq and Afghanistan veterans seeking VA medical care reported experiencing sexual trauma during their service.

Veterans who reported sexual trauma, such as rape and threatening sexual harassment, were three times more likely to be diagnosed with a mental illness such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.

"These mental health conditions are getting recognized, diagnosed and treated," said study co-author Joanne Pavao, a researcher with the VA Palo Alto Health Care System's National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, in California.

Pavao and her colleagues analyzed the records of 89,960 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who sought medical care in the VA health-care system between Oct. 1, 2001, and Oct. 1, 2006. They were expected to present their findings Tuesday in San Diego at the American Public Health Association's annual meeting.

A total of 1,849 women -- 14.5 percent -- reported experiencing sexual trauma during their service; 471 men -- 0.6 percent -- said they'd experienced sexual trauma.

It is not unusual for women with substance abuse problems to have been victims of sexual abuse. This is why GCASA offers specialized treatment for women in both its clinics, and in Residential Services.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Smokers more highly addicted to nicotine than ever before

Reuters HealthDay reported on October 28, 2008 on research to be presented at an upcoming annual meeting of the American College of Chest Surgeons that smokers seem more addicted to nicotine than ever before. Here is a snippet from the article:

Almost 75 percent of current smokers trying to kick the habit are now highly nicotine-dependent, which is a 15-year high, a new study finds.

In fact, nicotine dependence has risen 12 percent from 1989 to 2006, and the number of highly nicotine-dependent people has gone up 32 percent, according to research expected to be presented Tuesday at the American College of Chest Physicians annual meeting, in Philadelphia.

Nicotine dependence can vary from smoker to smoker, experts noted.

"My clinical perception has been that over the last five years, patients that I am seeing require much more intensive treatment because tobacco dependence is more severe," said lead researcher Dr. David P. Sachs, from the Palo Alto Center for Pulmonary Disease Prevention in California.

Studies have shown that the more nicotine-dependent an individual is, the less effective standard treatment will be, Sachs said. "These people will suffer severe nicotine withdrawal symptoms, and they will be more likely to relapse back to cigarette use," he explained.

85% of people who struggle with alcohol and other substances are also addicted to nicotine. Usually these folks are more heavily addicted than smokers without these problems. Treating people with substance abuse problems for nicotine addiction is very challenging and GCASA staff are increasinly getting better at it.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Most health care providers don't know how to help patients quit smoking

According to a survey reported in Reuters HealthDay on October 27, 2008, most health care providers don't know much about smoking cessation. Here is a snippet from the article:

Few doctors or other health-care providers have enough smoking cessation training to help their patients quit smoking, a U.S. study suggests.

It found that 87 percent to 93 percent of doctors and other health-care workers receive less than five hours of training on tobacco dependence, and less than 6 percent know the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) treatment guidelines for tobacco dependence, including the signs of nicotine withdrawal. This lack of knowledge about treating tobacco dependence may affect quit rates among smokers, suggested lead researcher Virginia Reichert and colleagues at the North Shore-LIJ Health System Center for Tobacco Control in Great Neck, N.Y.

Research has shown that one of the predictors of a quit attempt is if a patient perceives his/her health care provider as being interested, willing, and able to help with a smoking cessation plan.

Here at GCASA we are in the process of surveying staff to determine the extent of their interest, willingness, and ability to help our clients quit smoking.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

What teens are at risk for substance abuse?

How to tell what teens are at risk for substance abuse?

Read this article from the January, 2008 issue of Current Psychiatry Online.

It's not long and loaded with good information.

Friday, January 23, 2009

GCASA clinic payment sources

In 2008, GCASA produced 17,474 treatment units in its operations in Genesee and Orleans Counties.

Of these treatment units the payment sources were as follows:

51% were Medicaid
33% were self pay
17% were Third Party.

In 2008, 42 people in Genesee County who were self pay were identified as possibly being eligible for Medicaid. Of these 7 were lost to service, 21 were denied, and 14 enrolled in Medicaid. This is very significant because people who are in self pay bring in about $120.00 for Phase I treatment, and people with Medicaid bring in $1547.00 for the same services. Therefore, the Treatment Program gained 19,978.00 by getting these clients enrolled in Medicaid.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

2009 GCASA budget overview

Click on image to enlarge for easier reading.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

GCASA has a new web site

Check out GCASA's new web site. GCASA's Director of Communications and Development, Pam LaGrou will be the new webmaster.

The GCASA web site is simple, clean, neat, and informative.

Take a look at

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

GCASA is looking for a chemical dependency counselor to work in its Albion Clinic



Two positions available with well-established, progressive outpatient chemical dependency clinics in Orleans County. Minimum BA Degree in Human Service related field. QHP preferred, (CASAC, RN, LCSW, Rehab Counselor, Rec Therapist, LMCH), with at least three years full-time paid direct service experience in field of chemical dependency and/or mental health and/or equivalent. Must be addiction free, including tobacco. Background check and post-offer pre-employment drug screening required for new employees. EOE

SUMMARY: Under direct supervision, Counselor II carries out specified direct services tasks as indicated in the Job Description criteria and assignments by a Supervisor. Counselor will respond to service requests and collect basic intake information. Under general supervision, counselor will provide clinical tasks, advocacy, and linkage as appropriate.

VACANCY AT: GCASA’s Orleans County Clinic

John Bennett, Director of Treatment
Genesee/Orleans Council on
Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Inc.
43o E. Main Street, Batavia, NY 14020
Direct Line: (585) 815-1849
Fax: (585) 343-1197



Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, creed, gender, sexual orientation, age, handicap, or marital status as decreed by Law, and is in compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

New Problem Gambling Hot Line for New York State Residents

January 13, 2009

Dear Friends,

The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) and the New York Council on Problem Gambling together are pleased to announce the launch of our enhanced, toll-free Helpline, effective Feb. 1, 2009. The new Helpline number is 1-877-8 HOPE NY.

Our enhanced Helpline will now offer assistance by masters-level clinicians from the Mental Health Association (MHA) of New York City, which has contracted with NYS OASAS. MHA has a long-standing history in providing quality services of this kind, including operation of the national SAMHSA Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the National Call Center for the 9/11 Fund, and American Red Cross 9/11 Mental Health and Substance Abuse Benefit Program.

The new line is also a consolidation of two former toll free lines: 800-437-1611 for problem gambling calls and 800-522-5353 for chemical dependence calls. The combined service has been expanded to provide crisis and motivational counseling for callers in need, as well as follow-up calls 48 hours later for those who wish to be contacted. Customers will be able to call the Helpline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to receive customer-focused addiction crisis counseling, statewide referrals to services for problem gambling, alcoholism and substance abuse, and more information.

Many of you already support this service by promoting the Helpline and we deeply appreciate your ongoing efforts. We are asking for your continued assistance by changing your promotional materials on Feb. 1 to reflect the new Helpline number, 1-877-8 HOPE NY. We ask you to use and publicize this number as much as possible to help us strengthen our state’s service provision. OASAS will also implement a marketing initiative to support the new helpline number. Any calls made to the existing helpline numbers will be rolled over to the new call center for at least six months in order to allow for publications to be updated.

Here is suggested copy which you can use on your promotional materials:
Addiction Services Helpline
1-877-8 HOPE NY
Find help for Alcoholism, Drug Abuse, Problem Gambling

Thank you for your continued efforts on behalf of the 2.5 million New Yorkers who are dealing with drug, alcohol and gambling addiction.

Karen M. Carpenter-Palumbo James Maney
Commissioner, NYS Office of Alcoholism Executive Director, New York
and Substance Abuse Services Council on Problem Gambling

Michelle Hadden, LMSW, CPP-G
Prevention Specialist
NY Council on Problem Gambling
119 Washington Ave
Albany, NY 12210

GCASA offers problem gambling services in both its Albion and Batavia clinics. You can call the Albion Clinic at 585- 589-0055 and the Batavia Clinic at 585-343-1124

Sunday, January 4, 2009

OASAS budget cuts of $77 million - $5 million cut for prevention services

To manage its smaller budget allocation for 2009-2010, OASAS will cut $5 million from prevention services. A lot of this money is being cut from school based prevention services in New York City to community based services using evidence based practices. OASAS is committed to continuing to fund prevention services for gambling.

GCASA's funding for prevention is varied with grants from the Federal government as well as categorical state grants. While agencies are being pushed into evidence based and environmental strategies, funding is continues to be available for prevention programs that can demonstrate good outcomes.

This is article #4 in a series on OASAS budget cuts.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

OASAS budget cuts of $77 million - 27.9 million for cost of living increases.

In order to manage the $77 million budget reduction of OASAS, OASAS has decided to reduce the planned 2008 - 2009 cost of living adjustment (COLA) from 3.2 % to 2.2% saving 4.9 million and excluding the COLA for 2009-2010 which as planned to be 5.6 % or 23 million. So altogether, OASAS is saving 27.9 million. It is expected that the COLA will be resumed on April 1, 2010 and continue for 3 years until March 31, 2013.

While this may be necessary to save jobs, it is hard for staff who are already underpaid and for whom ever increasing health insurance premiums cancels out any salary increases for the most part. How this will affect the workforce over the next few years will remain to be seen.

Friday, January 2, 2009

OASAS budget cuts of 77 million. - AID/HIV programs slashed

OASAS has been cut 77 million dollars in its 2009 - 2010 budget. Where will the money come from?

In addition to the closing of the Manhatten Alcohol Treatment Facility which will save $4.6 million, OASAS is cutting AIDS/HIV programs to the tune of $6.5 million. The programs affected in Western New York are relatively small with the loss of $60, 000 to the AIDS Community Services of Western New York.

This is article #2 in a services on OASAS budget cuts.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

OASAS budget cuts of 77 million. Manhatten Alcohol Treatment Center to close.

It is recommended in the 2009 - 2010 budget proposed by Governor Patterson that New York State taxpayers provide OASAS, Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, with $695 million dollars which is 10% less or 77 million less than the 2008 - 2009 budget. Where is the money coming from? From many programs and services, and GCASA Cares will be describing them in a series of articles beginning today.

The first big cut accounting for $4.6 million be the closure of the Manhatten Addiction Treatment Center effective, April 1, 2009. This is a 52 bed treatment center which will leave 12 others in New York State. Patients from MATC will be treated at Creedmoor, Kingsboro, Bronx and South Beach ATFs. This will mean a redeployment or loss of 36 jobs. This closure will have no known affect on Norris ATF in Rochester, or Stutzman in Buffalo, NY.

This is article #1 in a series on OASAS budget cuts.