Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Smoke Free Now sponsors 2009 recognition breakfast on April 28, 2009

On 04/28/08 Smoke Free NOW will be holding the 2009 recognition breakfast at Terry Hills Banquet Facility at 5122 Clinton Street Rd., in Batavia, NY at 8:30 AM. Rick Stoddard will be the key note speaker.

The breakfast free and reservations can be made by calling 344-3960.

Click on image to enlarge for easier reading.

Free copy of Portraits of Recovery

I have a copy of the book, Portraits of Recovery, available. It is a new book. As a reader of GCASA Cares you are eligible for the free book. Please email me at dmarkham@gcasa.org.

You can learn more about the book by clicking here.

Every week a new book will be offered to readers of GCASA Cares so read the blog regularly because the offer will be made a different day each week and the free book goes to the first person who requests it.

This is article #1 in a series on Free Books.

Criminal Justice Day sponsored by the Mental Health Association of Genesee County, April 30, 2009

April 30, 2009 is Criminal Justice Day sponsored by the Mental Health Association of Genesee County, NY. The keynote speaker will be Phil Arkow the Director of the American Humane Association's link program who will speak on "Animals in the Criminal Justice System: Use and Abuse". For more information go to the Mental Health Health Association's web site by clicking here.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Teen pregnancy at Batavia High School

According to an article in the Batavian last week, Stephanie Loranty, a school nurse at Batavia High School said that there were 10 pregnant teens at Batavia High School last year and 1 in Batavia Middle school. To read the article, click here.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Drugs kill - Dolphins fan kills father and 2 year old daughter after Dolphins game

From the Miami Dolphins Examiner on March 26, 2009.

This is a story that could be in any NFL town, on any given Sunday. But in this instance, it’s a closing chapter to a sad South Florida story. And, God knows, there are at least one of those every day.

This is the story of David Whiting, a middle-aged fan from West Palm Beach driving drunk on his way home from a Dolphins game on Nov. 19, 2006.
This is also the story of the crash Whiting caused that day on I-95 that killed Barry Mazer, a family man from Boca Raton, and his 2-year-old daughter Sydney. Three other very young Mazer children survived the crash. They were on their way home from a family outing. Mazer's final words were said to be: "Please, save the children."
In the bigger picture, it's an example of the dirty, little not-so-secret behavior of binge drinking at NFL games.

One paramedic said in the courtroom as Whiting’s sentencing phase began that at the scene Whiting cared only that the Dolphins had won the game he attended. A Broward forensic toxicologist testified that judging from the blood-alcohol test administered to Whiting that Whiting must have consumed 10-11 beers. Another paramedic said that he heard Whiting on the telephone with his mother, letting her know he wouldn’t make dinner, had gotten into an accident and “somebody died… but at least the Dolphins won.”

Mazer family members said in court that Whiting has been in jail since June 2007 because of a subsequent DUI charge while out of jail on bond for the DUI fatalities. He faces a minimum of 30-plus years and could get life. He pleaded no contest to multiple charges and leaves his fate to the judge. [UPDATE: The judge sentenced Whiting to 35 years in prison on Friday.]

You can read more by clicking here.

Fans have been killed after Buffalo Bills games in DWI crashes as well. NFL binge drinking continues to be a big problem.

This is article #17 in a series on Drugs Kill.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Are You As Smart As A Substance Abuse Professional? - Dry drunk

Question: "Dry drunk" refers to what phenomenon?

A: A person who gets drunk on "dry wine".

B: A person who has had problems with alcohol for a long time, becomes abstinent, and still behaves in dysfunctional ways like he/she did when they were drinking.

C: A person who has been abstinent for a while and then after a period of being dry relapses.

D: A person who only drinks when they are thirsty or dry.

This is article #33 in a series on Are You As Smart As A Substance Abuse Professional?

For the correct answer click on comments.

GCASA has supported Leadership Genesee since its beginning 9 years ago.

Leadership Genesee sponsored by the Genesee County Cornell Cooperative Extension and which trains people for policy making positions on nonprofit boards is entering its 9th year. GCASA has sponsored an employee every year since the beginning of the program except one. This year GCASA is sponsoring Jamie Beedham, a gambling prevention educator for Genesee County.

Previous employees who have graduated from Leadership Genesee have included Maryann Bowman, Linda Rost, Beverly Maniace, Shannon Ford, Linda Ackley, Leslie Pfalzer, John Bennett, and George Way was a member of the first class but was unable to complete the training.

We at GCASA are proud of our Leadership Genesee Graduates. To learn more about the program click here. To read the Daily News article which appeared on 03/19/09 click here.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Are You As Smart As A Substance Abuse Professional? Most common drug accounting for treatment admissions to substance abuse programs in the U.S.?

Question: What drug of abuse accounts for the majority of admissions to substance abuse treatment programs in the United States in 2007?

A: Heroin

B: Marijuana

C: Methamphetamine

D: Alcohol

This is article #32 in a series on Are You As Smart As A Substance Abuse Professional?

For the correct answer click on comments.

Western New York continues to see a drop in census.

Upstate New York continues to loose population according to U.S. Census bureau as reported in the Daily News on 03/19/09.

Genesee county population dropped from 58,133 in July of 2007 to 57,821 in July of 2008 a loss of 312 people or 0.5%.

Orleans county population dropped from 42,308 in July of 2007 to 42,135 in July of 2008 for a loss of 173 people or 0.4%.

There were similar losses in Niagara, Erie, and Wyoming counties.

The losses seem to stem from the loss of manufacturing jobs and college graduates seeking employment in the South and East.

There is no immediatiate impact on GCASA. GCASA's primary service area of Genesee and Orleans Counties is about 100,000 people. About 1% or 1,000 people are admitted to treatment services at GCASA every year. 90% are from Genesee and Orleans Counties.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Are You As Smart As A Substance Abuse Professional? National surveys of substance abuse prevalence

Question: The two major surveys which measure substance abuse problems in the United States are

A: the Pew Research U.S. sociological survey and the U.S. Census bureau annual survey

B: Monitoring the Future and the National Survey On Drug Use and Health

C: The Zogby poll and epidemiological public health research survey

D: ONDCP survey and Partners for Drug Free America survey

For the correct answer, click on comments.

This is article #31 in a series on Are You As Smart As A Substance Abuse Professional?

Admissions to addiction treatment centers dip with institution of tobacco ban according to Treatment Magazine

The Treatment Magazine released an article on 03/21/09 claiming that admissions to addiction treatment centers in New York State is off 1/3 and that AMA, Against Medical Advice, discharges are significantly up since the implementation of OASAS tobacco regulations.

Here is a snippet from the article:

After regulators banned smoking at addiction treatment centers throughout the state mid year last, treatment providers across New York are complaining bitterly, saying that admissions have plummeted in the wake of what is increasingly looking like an arbitrary and ill considered move on the part of the state addictions industry overseer OASAS.

John Haley, the highly regarded chief operating officer of Westhampton-based Seafield Center, estimates that admissions statewide may have fallen by an astounding one-third in the six months or so since state regulators promulagated the no smoking rule. "This has had a devastating impact on the operations and financials of treatment centers virtually everywhere in the state, including ourselves," says Haley, adding that the highly unpopular move by state regulators has served as a kind on one-two punch for addictions services providers. "The recession hit and now this," Haley says. "It hasn't been easy to say the least."

And the financial impact from the addiction center smoking ban is being driven not just by lower admissions, according to Haley. "We have seen our AMA's ["against medical advice" discharges, meaning clients are leaving treatment early, before completion, in droves] soar since the rule was put into effect," he said, adding that he has heard of similar effects at many other centers with which he has been in contact in recent months.

You can access the whole article which is short by clicking here.

GCASA fully supports the OASAS policy and has implemented it for almost one year now beginning in April 8, 2008. While it is a challenge to implement and enforce because nicotine is the biggest and most powerful addiction in the United States, detoxing from tobacco is one the best things people can do for their health.

Also, there is evidence that while admissions may dip at the beginning of a tobacco ban they usually rebound in 6 months. So the cited article may be a bit alarmist, and enabling patient's addictions is not good practice.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Are You As Smart As A Substance Abuse Professional? Alcohol induced diseases

Question: Prolonged alcohol ingestion can cause disorders of the liver such as:

A: Pancreatitis

B: Colitis

C: Hypomagnesemia

D: Cirrhosis

For the answer, click on comments.

This is article #30 in a series on Are You As Smart As A Substance Abuse Professional?

How advertising influences teen smoking

Video lasts 5:16

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Are You As Smart As A Substance Abuse Professional? - Screening

Question: Which of the following questions is appropriate to ask when screening for a potential problem of high alcohol intake?

A: Have you ever felt that you should cut down on your alcohol consumption?

B: How much do you drink?

C: Do you like the feeling of being buzzed?

D: What is you favorite alcoholic beverage and how often do you drink it?

For the correct answer, click on comments.

This is article #28 in a series on Are You As Smart As A Substance Abuse Professional?

David's story, a recovering alcoholic

Video lasts 5:10

Monday, March 23, 2009

Are You As Smart As A Substance Abuse Counselor? - Co-occuring disorders: depression

Question: When an actively using, alcohol dependent client presents with depressive symtpoms:

A: Antidepressant medication should be started as soon as possible.

B: Cognitive approaches to treating depression should be employed immediately.

C: Detoxification and absinence should be encouraged and the symtpoms of depression will likely diminish.

D: A psychiatric referral for assessment for bi-polar disorder should be made immediately.

For the correct answer, click on comments and while you're there leave a comment.

This is article # 28 in a series on Are You As Smart As A Substance Abuse Professional?

New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver speaks about the reform of the Rockefeller Drug Laws

Speaker of New York State Assembly Sheldon Silver speaks before the New Direction In New York conference sponsored by New York Academy of Medicine and the Drug Policy Alliance in New York City on January 22, 2009.

Sheldon Speaker calls the Rockefeller Drug Laws "an absolute contastrophy". He says that treatment for the disease is a much better policy than the criminal justice approach. He promises that this year the New York State legislature will reform the Rockefeller Drug laws.

Part one Video lasts 8:49

Part two video lasts 6:55

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Drugs kill - Anna Nicole Smith

Attorney General Jerry Brown holds press conference describing the charges brought against Anna Nicole Smith's attorney and doctors for prescribing the drugs which killed her.

Video lasts 1:45

This is article #16 in a series on Drugs Kill.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Free tax preparation and Earned Income Tax Credit: Are you eligible?

You may be eligible for an Earned Income Tax Credit.

If you make less than $42,000.00 per year you are eligible for free tax preparation.

To find out where the Volunteer Tax Assistance Sites are click here.

From the New York State Office Of Temporary and Disability Assistance Web Site:

March 20, 2009 -

Each year, an estimated 300,000 eligible New York households – or 20 percent of all eligible taxpayers in the State – fail to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit. With less than one month until tax day, Governor David A. Paterson today visited the Albany Community Action Partnership (ACAP) to encourage eligible low-income New Yorkers to take advantage of free tax preparation and e-filing services across the State. ACAP is an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sponsored Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program site – one of more than 650 such sites across the State that provide free tax preparation and e-filing services to individuals and families with earned income of $42,000 or less.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Prescription drug overdoses kill more people in Florida than illicit drug overdoses.

Dr. Stephen R. West, a cardiologist and President of the Florida State Medical Association had an interesting editorial in the Tallahasee paper today, March 20, 2009. Here is part of what Dr. West's editorial reads:

Florida's rates of prescription drug abuse have skyrocketed to the point that prescription drug overdose deaths surpass the number of all illicit drug overdose deaths combined. Every day, five to seven Floridians die as a direct result of prescription drug overdoses. Drug diversion and "doctor shopping" are at the heart of this unfortunate trend, and the more prescribers in the market, the greater the potential for abuse of the system.

You can read the rest of the article by clicking here.

This is article #15 in a series on Drugs kill.

Are You As Smart As A Substance Abuse Professional? - Confidentiality

Question: A client was seen two weeks ago for a substance abuse evaluation, met the criteria for alcohol dependence and was admitted to outpatient treatment. His minister called the agency and asked to speak to John Doe's counselor. When the counselor answered the phone he introduced himself and said that John Doe was still drinking heavily, had beat his wife up last night, and the wife had come to the pastor for help. The pastor wants to know John's diagnosis and treatment plan and what advice he should give the wife. The counselor has no release from John to talk with the pastor and so should say:

A: I don't know any John Doe and I can't help you.

B: I'm sorry to hear this, let me give you the number for the domestic violence services.

C: John has been admitted to our program and he comes for treatment three times per week. I am scheduled to see him today and I will talk with him about your call and ask him to sign a consent for the release of information.

D: Based on confidentiality requirements I am not at liberty to disclose whether John is a client here or not. I suggest that you contact John and ask him whether he is a client here or not and if he states that he is, ask him to sign a consent for the release of information so that a staff member here can discuss his situation with you.

For the correct answer, click on comments and while you are there leave a comment.

This is article #27 in a series on Are You As Smart As A Substance Abuse Professional?

GCASA's Albion Office celebrates 10 years on Monday, 3/16/09

Roxanne Muoio, CASAC, Assistant Director For Treatment and Ann Marie Pelligrino, Customer Services Representative, and are two of the original employees that transferred from Park Ridge Chemical Dependency to GCASA when GCASA took over the Orleans County operation from Park Ridge in March of 1999.

From The Daily News, March, 18, 2009:

ALBION -- March marks the 10-year anniversary month of Genesee Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse's Albion office, 438 West Ave.

Albion office employees and volunteers gathered Monday with community members to celebrate 10 years delivering quality substance abuse services. Guests included Jerry Puma, New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Service (OASAS) representative; Dennis Kirby from Assemblyman Steve Hawley's office, and Don Metzger, former Orleans County Mental Health Director.

GCASA Executive Director David Markham was on hand to share a brief history and acknowledge staff and board members instrumental in submitting the successful proposal to OASAS.

GCASA was awarded the request for proposals (RFP) contract and opened its doors on March 1, 1999. Don Metzger, former Orleans County Mental Health Director, was presented a certificate of appreciation for his support and work in establishing high quality chemical dependency services in Orleans County. Dennis Kirby presented citations from Assemblyman Steve Hawley and Senator George Maziarz to Roxanne Muoio and Ann Marie Pelligrino, commending GCASA for 10 years of quality substance abuse treatment and prevention service in Orleans County. Roxanne and Ann are the only remaining staff from the transition to GCASA on March 1, 1999.

To read the rest of article click here.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Why do we ban smoking and look the other way when it comes to alcohol?

This is an excellent letter to the editor which appeared in The Daily Republic published in Mitchell, South Dakota, on March 13, 2009.

To the Editor:

I am a non-smoker. If I go in a business that is smoky, I leave, take my business elsewhere. My question is why smoking?

What about alcohol? Alcohol is society’s oldest and most popular drug.

Drunk driving is the nation’s most frequently committed violent crime.

Half of all teenage fatalities are alcohol-related. Someone is killed by a drunk driver every 40 minutes.

In 2007, alcohol-impaired driving accounted for 30 to 34 percent of all driving fatalities in South Dakota. Adolescents are more vulnerable to the effects of alcohol on learning and memory.

In 2008, 92.2 percent of 12th-graders reported that alcohol is “very easy” or “fairly easy” to get. The brain does not finish developing until the early 20s. Alcohol affects all parts of the brain, also the heart rate, coordination, speech and destroys brain cells.

Beer is the drink most commonly consumed by people stopped for alcohol-impaired driving or involved in alcohol related crashes. A first-time drunk driving offender on average has driven drunk 87 times prior to being arrested, 50-70 percent of drunk drivers whose licenses are suspended continue to drive.

The risk of a driver who has one or more DWI convictions becoming involved in a fatal crash is about 14 times the risk of a driver with no DWI conviction.

One South Dakota county recently reported alcohol as a factor in about 90 percent of criminal activity. Not to mention fetal alcohol syndrome, the leading cause of mental retardation in the U.S., only one aspect of the effect alcohol has on the family.

The facts go on and on yet we continue to ignore them. Why have we chosen to ban smoking, but look the other way when it comes to drinking? The effects are just as devastating to the innocent.

Marlene Hargreaves


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

GCASA's residential services had 95 admissions in 2008, 57% of which come from Genesee County

I have been asked who GCASA serves and while we serve mostly Genesee and Orleans counties some of our programs like Smoke Free now, Royal Employer Services, our Victim Impact Panel serves Wyoming as well and the Prevention Resource Center serves the 8 counties of Western New York.

In 2008 our residential services program had 58 admissions to the Atwater Community Residence and 37 admissions to GCASA's supportive living program. Altogether that is 95 admissions and of those 95 admissions 54 admissions or 57% came from Genesee County. The next largest county of origin was Erie with 12 admissions or 13% followed by 9 from Orleans,7 from Livingston, 5 from Wyoming, 4 from Niagara, 2 from Steuben, 1 from Chemung, and 1 from Cattaraugus.

GCASA's residential programs are a "regional resource" while our primary committment is to Genesee and Orleans counties.

If you have questions about GCASA's Residential programs contact the Program Director, Beverly Maniace, at 585-815-1886. To view the GCASA web site describing the Residential Programs, click here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Anna Nicole Smith's psychiatrist arrested for prescribing drugs which killed her.

Anna Nicole Smith's psychiatrist, Dr. Khristine Eroshevich, turns herself in to police to face charges on over prescribing drugs that contributed to Smith's overdose which caused her death.

From the Huffington Post:

Psychiatrist Khristine Eroshevich surrendered Monday to face charges of excessively prescribing drugs to Anna Nicole Smith before the former model's overdose death at 39.

Eroshevich turned herself in at the Van Nuys police station, said police spokeswoman Rosario Herrera.

She was released several hours later after posting $20,000 bail, according to a statement from her attorney Adam Braun's office.

After a lengthy investigation by the attorney general and other state and federal agencies, Los Angeles County prosecutors charged Eroshevich last week with conspiring with another doctor, Sandeep Kapoor, and Smith's lawyer-turned-boyfriend Howard K. Stern to provide Smith with thousands of prescription pills.

You can read the whole story by clicking here.

This is article #14 in a series on Drugs Kill.

Are You As Smart As A Substance Abuse Professional? The quadrant model

Question: In the Behavioral Health field professionals refer to the quadrant model.
What does quadrant III refer to?

A: Co-occuring disorders: less severe mental health disorder and less severe substance abuse disorder.

B: A person with both an Axis I, Axis II disorder.

C: Co-occuring disorders: less severe mental health disorder and more severe substance abuse disorder.

D: A person with both Axis I diagnosis and a medical diagnosis.

For the correct answer, click on comments.

This is article #26 in a series on Are You As Smart As A Substance Abuse Professional?

What kind of programs are there that treat people with co-occuring disorders?

SAMHSA catagozies behavioral health programs in one of three categories: Addiction or mental health only, Dual Diagnosis capable (DCC) and Dual Diagnosis Enhanced (DDE).
GCASA's MICA programs are DDC, Dual Diagnosis capable.
Here is the definition from SAMHSA's Overview Paper I entitled "Definitions and Terms Relating To Co-Occuring Disorders". You can access the paper by clicking here.
Addiction- or mental–health-only services refers to programs that “either by choice or for lack of resources [staff or financial], cannot accommodate patients” who have co-occurring disorders that require “ongoing treatment, however stable the illness and however well-functioning the patient” (ASAM, 2001, p. 10).
Dual diagnosis capable (DDC) programs are those that “address co-occurring mental and substance-related disorders in their policies and procedures, assessment, treatment planning, program content and discharge planning” (ASAM, 2001, p. 362). Even where such programs are geared primarily toward treating substance use or mental health disorders, program staff are “able to address the interaction between mental and substance-related disorders and their effect on the patient’s readiness to change—as well as relapse and recovery environment issues—through individual and group program content” (ASAM, 2001, p. 362).
Dual diagnosis enhanced (DDE) programs have a higher level of integration of substance abuse and mental health treatment services. These programs are able to provide unified substance abuse and mental health treatment to clients who are, compared to those treatable in DDC programs, “more symptomatic and/ or functionally impaired as a result of their co-occurring mental disorder” (ASAM, 2001, p. 10). Enhanced-level services “place their primary focus on the integration of services for mental and substance-related disorders in their staffing, services and program content” (ASAM, 2001, p. 362). The Integrated Dual Disorders Toolkit describes a particular type of dual diagnosis enhanced program for adults with SMI (CMHS, 2003).
These program types can be established at any level of care. Given the high prevalence of COD within all behav¬ioral service settings, it is reasonable to expect programs to move toward dual diagnosis capable. While standards for DDC and DDE program licensure or certification have not been established at the national level, States are be¬ginning to develop some core standards.
For more information about GCASA's Behavioral Health Programs which serve patients with co-occuring disorders, contact John Bennett, GCASA's Director Of Treatment, at 585-815-1849.
This is article #2 in a series on Co-Occuring Disorders.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Are You As Smart As A Substance Abuse Professional? - Motivations

Question: Whenever John goes a few hours without smoking a cigarette, he gets nervous and irritable. John's desire to smoke illustrates what theory of motivation?

A: Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

B: Cognitive dissonance

C: ethological consistency

D: drive reduction.

For the correct answer, click on comments and while you're there leave a comment of your own.

This is article #25 in a series on Are You As Smart As A Substance Abuse Professional?

Co-occuring disorders: quadrant classification model

Today GCASA is beginning a series of articles on Co-Occuring disorders. Co-morbidity or co-occuring disorders refers to people who have a substance abuse disorder and a psychiatric disorder. Sometimes these patients are referred to as MICA, Mentally Ill Chemical Abuser.

SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a Co-occuring Center For Excellence. SAMHSA has promoted a way of categorizing patients based on the severity of their substance abuse and psychiatric disorders called the Quadrant system. Level one is the least severe and level IV is the most severe.

Here is an image which explains the concept.

You can click on the image to enlarge it for easier reading.

GCASA has specialized services for people with co-occuring disorders. In GCASA-s Batavia Clinic our MICA specialist is Mary Beth Pace, L.C.S.W. whom you can reach at 585-815-1840, and in GCASA's Albion Clinic it is Dawn Bumbarger, CASAC whom you can reach at 585-589-0055. About 20% of the MICA patients that GCASA serves are at Level IV.

This is article #1 in a series on Co-occuring disorders.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

New study finds that portrayals of drinking alcohol on TV and films leads to people drinking more

We have known for some time that depicting smoking in movies encourages people especially young people to smoke and now a new study finds that portraying the drinking of alcohol leads people to drink.

These findings for people in recovery who may see drinking on TV and in films as triggers.

As a public health policy it would be advantageous to discourage the portrayal of alcohol use on TV and in films.

From ScienceDaily on March 5, 2009:

New research has shown for the first time that portrayals of alcohol in films and TV advertisements have an immediate effect on the amount of alcohol that people drink.
The research, published online March 4 in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism, found that people who watched films and commercials in which alcohol drinking featured prominently immediately reached for a bottle of beer or wine and drank an average of 1.5 bottles more than people who watched films and commercials in which alcohol played a less prominent role.

A little further down it reads:

"Our study clearly shows that alcohol portrayals in films and advertisements not only affects people's attitudes and norms on drinking in society, but it might work as a cue that affects craving and subsequent drinking in people who are drinkers. This might imply that, for example, while watching an ad for a particular brand of beer, you are not only more prone to buy that brand next time you are in the supermarket, but also that you might go immediately to the fridge to take a beer."

To read the Science Daily report click here.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Urine Drug Testing: What's the deal?

From an article in the February, 2008 issue of Psychiatric Services entitled, "Focus on Alcohol & Drug Abuse: Ensuring Validity in Urine Drug Testing."

Methods for urine drug testing have been available for several decades. These procedures are useful in assessing and identifying substance use in treatment programs, research programs, law enforcement, the workplace, and schools. Despite widespread adoption of such techniques, limited knowledge exists regarding their valid use and interpretation among many who frequently perform these tests. This column discusses how obtaining a valid test result is a complex process because results are affected by several factors, including the substance of interest, test methodology, pharmacokinetics, chain-of-custody procedures, and intentional tampering.

To read the article which every Substance Abuse Professional should, click here.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Drugs kill - Anna Nicole Smith

As substance abuse professionals we sometimes refer to addiction as a "family disease". It is of interest that Anna Nicole Smith and her son both died from overdoses. On Thursday, March 12, 2009 both Anna's attorney and lover, and two doctors where charged with "conspiracy" in providing Anna with drugs that killed her.

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The longtime companion of Anna Nicole Smith and two psychiatrists were charged on Thursday with conspiring to furnish drugs to the former Playboy playmate in the years before her 2007 death from a prescription medication overdose.

Howard Stern, an attorney, and doctors Sandeep Kapoor and Khristine Eroshevich were each charged with a single count of conspiracy, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said. Other charges were filed for unlawfully prescribing opiates and other controlled substances.

California Attorney General Jerry Brown said the trio furnished thousands of prescription pills to Smith, "often for no legitimate medical purpose."

"There is ample evidence that Doctor Eroshevich and Doctor Kapoor violated their ethical obligations as physicians, while Mr. Stern funneled highly addictive drugs to Ms. Smith," Brown said.

The charges say they allegedly furnished drugs to Smith between June 2004 and January 26, 2007.

The famously blond and buxom Smith died at age 39 in Hollywood, Florida, on February 8, 2007, of an accidental overdose of prescription drugs shortly after the birth of her daughter and the death of her son, who also died of a drug overdose.

This is article #13 in a series on Drugs Kill

Are You As Smart As A Substance Abuse Counselor? - Drug testing

Question: What does a "drug test" mean?

A: It means that a urine sample is taken to look for whatever drugs there might be in your body.

B: It has no meaning unless it is further defined.

C: It means that they checking for pot.

D: It means they take a blood sample to check for various drugs.

For the correct answer click on comments. While you are there leave some comments of your own.

This is article #24 in a series on Are You As Smart As A Substance Abuse Professional?

OASAS Commissioner Karen Carpenter-Palumbo speaks about Problem Gambling Awareness Week

OASAS Commissioner Karen Carpenter-Palumbo speaks on Albany TV Channel 9 about Problem Gambling. Video lasts 3:11.

To watch video click here.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Are You As Smart As A Substance Abuse Professional? - Euphoric flash

Question: When a client reports an instant euphoric flash when using the drug, the most likely type of drug the client is using is:

A: A barbituate

B: A narcotic

C: A CNS stimulant

D: A depressant

For the correct answer, click on comments and while you're there leave a comment of your own.

This is article #23 in a series on Are You As Smart As A Substance Abuse Professional.

Tailoring drug court programs makes them more effective and cost efficient

Drug courts work and have been around for almost 15 years. Now research is focused on how they could work better. In the Volume 22, No. 2 issue of NIDA Notes there is an interesting article entitled, "High-risk Drug Offenders do Better With Judicial Supervision". Basically what the researchers found was that participants who have Anti-social Personality Disorder or previous treatment for drug addiction do better with more frequent reporting and closer supervision. For low risk participants frequency of reporting didn't seem to have much of an effect and so could be seen less often.

To read the article, click here.

GCASA particpates in drug courts in Genesee and Orleans Counties. For more information about drug court in Genesee County contact Charles Evans at 585-815-1816 or John Walker at 585-815-1836. In Orleans County contact Roxanne Muoio at 585-589-0055.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Are You As Smart As A Substance Abuse Professional? - How high a BAC before you die?

Question: What BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) does it take for a person to die?

A: 0.08 (about 4 drinks per hour)

B: 0.25 (about 12 drinks per hour)

C: 0.40 (about 20 drinks per hour)

D: 1.00 (about 50 drinks per hour)

For the answer click on the comments, and while you're there leave a comment of your own.

This is article #22 in a series on Are You Smarter Than A Substance Abuse Professional?

GCASA spent almost $3,000,000.00 on staff payroll and benefits in 2008.

In 2008 GCASA spent $2,214,675.00 dollars in Genesee and Orleans Counties on staff payroll and another $447, 882.00 in benefits.

GCASA employs about 100 people in Genesee and Orleans counties and is a major contributor to the local economy. Don't let anyone tell you different.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Drugs killed two innocent children 16 years ago today

16 years ago today, March 10, 1993, a 3 time DWI offender killed Brigid Kathleen Markham age 5, and Ryan John Patrick Markham age 8 on Rt. 31 between Brockport and Spencerport, NY. If they were alive today Brigid would be 21 and Ryan would be 24.

David Markham, their father, is the Executive Director of GCASA. They are survived by their mother, Angela, and 7 siblings: 2 brothers, Michael and Joseph, and 5 sisters, Katie, Kelly, Colleen, Mary, and Maureen. They would be the sister and brother in law to Paul, Diane, Will, Greg, Rodney and another Paul. They would be the aunt or uncle to Haley, Aeris, Annelise, Aidan, Rowan, Rory, Caleb, Sophie, Ella, Atticus, Donavan, and John Patrick.

Click on image to enlarge for easier viewing.

Are You As Smart As A Substance Abuse Professional? - Alcohol and acquaintance rape

Question: How often is alcohol involved in acquaintance rape when the victim is intoxicated?

A: About 10% of the time.

B: About 75% of the time.

C: A little over 50% of the time

D: Hardly ever.

For the correct answer, click on comments. While you are there, leave a comment of your own.

This is article #21 in a series on Are You Smarter Than A Substance Abuse Professional?

Kids who binge drink more likely to have been victims of maltreatment

Science Daily reported on March 9, 2009:

Researchers from Boston University found that multiple types of child maltreatment are robust risk factors for underage binge drinking based on a national multi-year study that explored the influence of social environment on the health of adolescents.

No surprise to people who work in the substance abuse field but validating information for the practice wisdom we have accumlated. Be careful before you blame the victims who are exhibiting symptomatic behavior trying to cope with trauma.

To read the Science Daily report, click here.

Monday, March 9, 2009

GCASA Albion Office is open 10 Years this month!

The GCASA Orleans County operation began in March of 1999. It has been open 10 years this month. Please join us at a celebration in the Albion Office on Monday, March 16, 20098 at 3:15 PM. If you can come, please let Pam LaGrou, GCASA's Director of Communications at 585-815-1803 or plagrou@gcasa.org.

Camp Hope ends after 20 years

After about 20 years GCASA ended its Camp Hope program with the camp on June 30 - July 3, 2008. There were 66 campers at Camp Hope, 24 youth from Genesee County and 42 from Orleans County.

The COSA program will continue with other activities such as support groups.

For more information about programs for youth who come from families where substance abuse is a problem call Shannon Ford at 585-815-1876 in Genesee County and Pat Crowley at 585-589-0055 in Orleans County.

Drugs kill - Man killed in Cheetowaga March 7 by drunk driver.

A 44-year-old Cheektowaga man was killed early Saturday in the Bailey- Clinton neighborhood when his car was struck by another car operated by a drunken driver, police said.

To read the Buffalo News story click here.

This is article #11 in a series on Drugs Kill.

Are You As Smart As A Substance Abuse Counselor?

Question: When a signficant other calls work for his/her partner to report that (s)he is "sick" when (s)he is really "hung over", this would be an example of the concept of

A: providing emotional support

B: enabling

C: reframing

D: equivocating

For the answer, click on the comments and while you're there leave a comment of your own.

This is article # 21 in a series on Are You As Smart As A Substance Abuse Counselor.

New Yori State Police Troop E doing a great job getting intoxicated drivers off the road

08 March 2009

The New York State Police in Troop “E” made 27 Driving While Intoxicated arrests and 22 Drug Interdiction arrests last week. These arrests come the week before the very busy St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Major Mark Koss, Troop “E” Commander, is encouraging everyone to drink responsible this and every weekend. Major Koss States, ” we will have additional troopers on the road ensuring motorists safety.”

Troop E covers these counties: Cayuga, Chemung, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne and Yates.

For more on this story click here.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Are You As Smart As A Substance Abuse Counselor? Prevention of transmission of infectious diseases

Question: Information about HIV and STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) is personal and confidential and should be managed in substance abuse services by:

A: Not bringing it up unless a question gets asked.

B: Should only be discussed in special groups where the nature of the topic is disclosed in advance.

C: Referral to a physician or other specially trained health care provider.

D: incorporating the information at an age appropriate level into regularly provided services in a matter of fact way.

For the correct answer please click on comments and while you're there leave a comment.

This is article #20 in a series on Are You Smarter Than a Substance Abuse Professional?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Are You As Smart As A Substance Abuse Professional? - What is a drink?

Question: "A drink" raises the blood alcohol content (BAC) about .02 per hour approximately. What is the definition of "a drink?"

A: One 40 oz. bottle of Malt liquor

B: A Manhatten made of 3 oz. of rye whiskey and 1.5 oz of vermouth.

C: 3 0z. of rum in a 12 oz glass of Coca Cola

D: a 12 oz. can of beer?

For the correct answer, click on comments and while you're there leave a comment.

This is article # 19 in a series on Are You As Smart As A Substance Abuse Counselor?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Drugs Kill - Drinking yourself to death with the help of "friends".

From NBC, Channel 10 News:

GENESEO, N.Y. -- State Police have released toxicology results taken from a SUNY Geneseo student who died after several days of binge drinking.

Arman Partamian, 19, is said to have had a blood alcohol level of .55, nearly seven times the legal limit in New York State.

Partamian was found dead inside a frat House Sunday morning. Troopers suspect the student may have been binge drinking as a way to pledge the fraternity.

This is article #10 in a series on Drugs Kill.

Are You As Smart As A Substance Abuse Counselor? - What drug is the most addictive?

Question: What is the most addicting drug on the earth today?

A: Heroin

B: Marijuana

C: Smoked methamphetamine

D: Nicotine

For the correct answer click on comments and while you're there leave a comment.

This is article #18 in a series on Are You As Smart As A Substance Abuse Professional?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Genesee County Drug Free Communties Quarterly Meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 at 9:30 AM at Batavia Party House

March 3, 2009

I would count it a pleasure to have you join myself and your fellow DFC members on:

Wednesday March 25th
9:30 AM – 11:00AM

at the Batavia Party House for a buffet breakfast and an update on the coalitions activities.

Please feel free to e-mail me at tstokes@gcasa.org or leave a message at 815-1852 by Thursday March 19th to indicate your attendance.

I look forward to seeing you and thanks again for your involvement.

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

Smoke Free NOW coalition meeting next Wednesday, 03/11/09 at Noon at Bohn's

Please join us at our next meeting; please call (585-815-1871) or email (clewis@gcasa.org ) if you plan to attend:

TIME: Noon-1:15pm

DATE: Wednesday, March 11 , 2009

PLACE: Bohn’s Restaurant
5256 Clinton St., Batavia, NY
(585) 344-1543 Chris’ cell: 585-409-0514

Attached are some of our current activities. We hope to see you there. Chris

Partial list of activities

February and March 2009

1. We sent out a mailing to about 85 municipalities asking them to pass a resolution encouraging tobacco retailers to reduce, rearrange, or eliminate tobacco advertising–we will follow up with calls. Last year’s mailing resulted in NINE municipal resolutions!

2. We are sending out invitations to about 70 individuals, businesses and organizations who will be given awards at our Recognition Event 4-28-09

3. We are sending out invitations to about 500 guests for Recognition Event 4-28-09

4. We will be calling elected officials to ask them to attend Recognition Event 4-28-09

5. We have had one more mailing for the ASP campaign and are following up with calls (ASP = Advertising Sponsorship and Promotion)

6. We have a POP (Point Of Purchase) campaign with radio ads and direct mailing that encourage parents and others to urge tobacco retailers to reduce, rearrange, or eliminate tobacco advertising–we will follow up with calls/visits to retailers.

7. On the website http://www.smokefreehousingny.org , landlords can now list their smokefree housing for free. This is now linked to the Smoke Free NOW website, www.smokefreenow.org.

8. We are preparing a survey of 336 landlords (about 1/3 of those in Genesee, Orleans, and Wyoming) determine opinions about smoke free apartments and to find those who are interested creating a written smoke free policy for their units.

Are You As Smart As A Substance Abuse Professional? Communication target groups

Question: A well know prevention communications model promulgated by the Centers for Disease Control for many different public health problems describes the following audiences:

A: Universal, selected, indicated

B: External, Internal, Mixed

C: Child, Adolescent, Adult

D: School board, faith based, business community

To find the right answer click on comments.

This is article #17 in a series on Are You As Smart As A Substance Abuse Professional?

"Twleve", the film about teens in recovery

"Twelve" is a new film coming out about teens on drugs. To watch a 5 minute clip click here.

There is hope and life after addiction.

For more information call Sarah Edwards at 585-589-0055 in Albion, NY or Lynette Lex at 585-343-1124 in Batavia, NY.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Gov. Patterson declares March 1 - 7 as National Problem Gambling Awareness Week

Dianne Henk, 518-457-8299
E-Mail: diannehenk@oasas.state.ny.us
WWW Page www.oasas.state.ny.us

Sunday, March 1, 2009


March 1-7 is National Problem Gambling Awareness Week

State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) Commissioner Karen M.
Carpenter-Palumbo today said New Yorkers should be aware that unlike an addiction to alcohol
and drugs where there are physical warning signs, problem gambling is a hidden addiction that
affects nearly one million individuals. Governor David A. Paterson has designated March 1-7 as
Problem Gambling Awareness Week in New York to educate New Yorkers on the warning signs
of problem gambling and the availability of services.

“Nearly one million New Yorkers as young as age 12 are dealing with problem gambling, and
that doesn’t include the family members and friends who are also impacted by its devastating
consequences,” said Commissioner Carpenter-Palumbo. “It is our responsibility to let New
Yorkers know how to recognize the signs of problem gambling and direct them to the help they
need through our toll-free HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY."

The new HOPEline offers assistance from clinically trained professionals on a confidential basis.
Crisis and motivational interviewing for callers in need is provided, and 48-hour follow-up calls
are offered. Through this HOPEline, New York’s citizens have access to consumer-focused
addiction crisis support and statewide referrals to services.

The warning signs of problem gambling include: thinking constantly about gambling; increasing
bets to sustain the thrill; exhibiting agitation when cutting back on gambling; gambling as an
escape; "chasing" or trying to offset losses with more gambling; lying to conceal gambling
activity; financing bets through illegal acts; jeopardizing significant relationships with family.
Peter Citrin, now 20 years in recovery from problem gambling, said, “At my lowest point, when
I had lost hope of saving myself, my family and my livelihood, I made a call to the Gambler’s
Anonymous hotline and spoke to a total stranger for what seemed like hours. He told me a lot of
things, but mostly he offered hope. That was the first step of my journey back. Recovery is
nurtured by hope. Not hoping to hit the number or that your horse comes in, but escaping the
cycle of addiction to gambling which has made your home life unmanageable and chaotic. You
do not have to do this alone.”

An OASAS prevalence study found that 5 percent of adults, or 668,000, experienced problem
gambling behaviors within the past year. A survey of 7th through 12th graders found that 10
percent, or 140,000, experienced problem gambling in the past year. An additional 10 percent of
adolescents in New York were identified through the survey as being at risk for developing a
gambling problem.

To minimize the harm that problem gambling can cause to both individuals and society as a
whole, OASAS has 57 problem gambling programs in throughout New York State.
Jim Maney, Executive Director of New York Council on Problem Gambling said, “Throughout
the year, the New York Council on Problem Gambling (NYCPG) is dedicated to increasing
public awareness about problem and compulsive gambling and advocating for support services
and treatment for persons adversely affected by gambling. Participation in this national, state and local effort provides an excellent opportunity to further educate New York residents and
policymakers about problem gambling issues and to garner support for dedicated funding sources necessary to provide the much-needed access to problem gambling education, research,
prevention, treatment, and recovery services.”

The National Problem Gambling Awareness Week is sponsored by The National Council on
Problem Gambling (NCPG). The goal of this campaign is to educate the general public and
health care professionals about the warning signs of problem gambling and raise awareness
about the help that is available both locally and nationally. The 2009 theme is, “Real Addiction,
Real Recovery.”

OASAS also is asking that those people in recovery from problem gambling, alcoholism or
drugs share their story of recovery to inspire hope in those in dealing with addiction and to
educate the public on growing numbers of New Yorkers in recovery.

To read stories of recovery or submit one for the Your Story Matters campaign, go to iamrecovery.com. More information is available at www.oasas.state.ny.us.

Drugs kill - Maddie Keiffer, 15 year old high school freshman dead from overdose over weekend

15 year old high school Freshman, Maddie Keiffer, died of drug overdose over the weekend. Here is part of the report from March 3, 2009 from Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin:

MILWAUKEE COUNTY - As parents dropped their children off at Whitefish Bay High School Tuesday, they were reminded that suburbia is not immune to drug abuse.

"It's just a shock, it's a shock for all the parents,” said parent Jacqueline Carter-Matsapola.

She and others are shocked after hearing about the death of 15-year old Maddie Kiefer. She died over the weekend from what appears to be a drug overdose.

Family friends can't believe it.

You can read the whole story by clicking here.

To watch the TV News video click here

This is article #8 in a series on Drugs Kill.

Monthly stats - February, 2009 and January, 2009

In February 2009, which is a short month with only 28 days, the GCASA Cares blog had 640 visits by 467 different people.

In January, 2009 which is longer month by 5 days, the GCASA Cares blog had 540 visits by 415 different people.

Thank you for visiting. If you have ideas or comments about how to improve the blog please leave your comments or email me at david@davidgmarkham.com.

DWI victim impact panel law enforcement recognition dinner - Mark your calendar

The Annual DWI Victim Impact Panel Recognition Dinner will be held on Friday, June 12, 2009. Mark you calendar now. Further information will be available in a few weeks.

For more information now, contact Mike Laycock the DWI Victim Impact Panel coordinator at 585-815-1874.

Are You As Smart As A Substance Abuse Professional? Kids who smoke

Question: Kids who watch R- rated movies:

A: Are more likely to smoke.

B: Tend to be obese

C: Are more anti-social

D: Have lower grades in school than kids who don't watch R- rated movies.

For the answer click on comments.

This is article #16 in a series on Are You Smarter Than A Substance Abuse Professional?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Are You As Smart As A Substance Abuse Professional? Breastfeeding mothers on Methadone

Question: Is it Okay for women on methadone to safely breastfeed their infants?

A: No, the child will become addicted.

B: No, it damages the brain development of the developing baby.

C: Yes, there are no known negative consequences.

D: Yes, but the baby will become addicted and have to become withdrawn from methadone as it is weaned.

For the correct answer click on comments and while you're there leave a comment yourself.

This is article #15 in a series on Are You As Smart As A Substance Abuse Professional?

Death by alcohol

Video lasts 2:51.

Drugs kill - 19 Year old Geneseo College Student found dead from alcohol poisoning on March 1, 2009

19 year old Geneseo student found dead on March 1, 2009 from alcohol poisoning.

From March 2, 2009 Democrat and Chronicle:

New York State Police today said a 19-year-old college student found dead yesterday morning had consumed a large quantity of alcohol and was pledging a “drinking club.”

State Police Maj. Mark Koss said between 20 and 30 people attended a party Saturday night at 4359 Lower Court St. in Geneseo, where Arman Partamian, a sophomore at the State University College at Geneseo, died. He was found dead yesterday morning in the house by another Geneseo student.

To read the whole article, click here.

Ironically, I had tried two years ago to get Livingston County in which Geneseo is located to participate in GCASA's Tip Line program and they rejected our offer saying that the Sheriff's office already operates a Tip Line.

To read more about GCASA's Tip Line, click here.

This is article #7 in a series on Drugs Kill.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Alcohol and pregnancy

Video lasts 1:51

Are you as smart as a substance abuse professional? #14 - Alcohol and pregancy

Question: What percentage of women in the United States report that they drank through their pregnancy?

A: 50%

B: 10%

C: 2%

D: 73%

For the answer, click on comments. While you're there leave a comment of your own.

Charles Barkley to serve time in jail for DUI

The Freepress reported on 2/24/09 that Charles Barkley will serve time in jail for his DUI convictions. Here's a snippet from the article:

Charles Barkley will serve time in jail after pleading guilty Monday to charges of driving drunk.
According to Scottsdale court records, the 45-year-old former NBA star pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges related to the same drunken-driving arrest.
Barkley, who works as a TV analyst, is set to begin a five-day jail sentence on March 21. The Hall of Famer must pay more than $2,000 in fines and attend an alcohol treatment program. Under Arizona law, he'll also be forced to install an ignition interlock device on his vehicles.

You can read the whole story by clicking here.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Are you as smart as a substance abuse professional?

Q: A person arrested for DWI states that she doesn't drink that much and her arrest was all one big mistake. She also failed out of college the previous 3 months ago because she wasn't getting her work down because she was "sick alot" and her friends told her she was sick because she was a "party girl". She insists that her drinking and pot smoking "aren't that big a deal." According to Prochaska and Diclemente's stages of change model, she would be considerd to be in what stage of change?

A: the abuse stage

B: the precontemplative stage

C: the denial stage

D: the oedipal stage

For the correct answer, click on comments. While there, leave a comment of your own.

This is article #13 in a series on Are You As Smart As A Substance Abuse Professional?

Don't be fooled by what a person promises

On February 16, 2009, Dr. Linda Hancock published a great article on her blog entitled "Don't be fooled by what a person promises."

It is worth reading by anyone dealing with substance abuse and other folks as well.

Here is a snippet from her article:

When Paris Hilton was incarcerated, one of the television programs interviewed a judge and the host asked “Do you think that Paris will change now that she has become a born-again Christian in jail?” The wise judge responded “Everyone is born-again their first week in jail”. When people are in trouble or are “caught” doing inappropriate behaviours, they often cry and make promises that they will change and “never’ commit the sin again. This doesn’t mean that they can or will change no matter how sincere they sound at the time. In fact, they may even believe the story themselves at the time. Change, however, takes a great deal of effort.

You can read the whole article and it is brief by clicking here.