Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: Guidelines for Referral and Diagnosis

To access the Guidelines for Referral and Diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome click here.

Batavia Drug Court graduation this Friday, 10/02/09 at 10 AM

Click on image to enlarge for easier reading.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Smoking has gone to the dogs

SAMHSA has released its findings from its National Survey on Drug Use and Health from 2008

SAMHSA has released its 2008 findings on drug use and health compliled from its national survey.

You can access it by clicking here.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Financial resources for substance abuse services stagnant

It has been over a decade since GCASA has had any increase in deficit financing from the counties it primarily serves, Genesee and Orleans, or from State Government. In fact, GCASA has had significant decreases in County deficit funding over this decade, 50% in Orleans County from about $77,000 in 2001 down to $36,000 in 2003 and ever since. Similarily there have decreases in deficit funding from Genesee County from about $40,000 in 2001 down to $32,000 currently.

There has been no increase in reimbursement rates for a unit of service in our clinics in over a decade while costs have continued to increase significantly over the same time.

How has GCASA continued to increase its service activities? Simply by more efficient management and an increase in productivity. In 1999, GCASA had about 500 admissions that year. In 2008 GCASA had 1100 admissions.

It has now come to the point where there is no more fat in the system. Without further resources, GCASA will have to cut into muscle and decrease services. The agency itself is in good financial health because of good management, but its ability to meet the needs of the community is increasingly compromised because of inadequate public financial support.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Alcoholism: Self- Help support groups

Video lasts 2:27

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fred Sarkis to speak on gambling addiction in Warsaw, NY on 09/25/09

Click on image to enlarge for easier reading.

Orleans County United Against Substance Abuse to meet on September 23, 2009

Registration is at 8:45 AM and meeting starts at 9:00 AM

Click on imgage to enlarge for easier reading

Recovery Rally, NYC, 09/12/09

Recovery Rally in NYC on 09/12/09

To view video click here.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Smoking and pregnancy

Video lasts 1:21 Click here to watch.

Which is a more dangerous drug; alcohol or marijuana?

"The plain and simple truth is that alcohol fuels violent behavior and marijuana does not. Alcohol contributes to literally millions of acts of violence in the United States each year. It is a major contributing factor to crimes like domestic violence, sexual assault, and homicide. Marijuana use, on the other hand, is absent in that regard from both crime reports and the scientific literature. There is simply no causal link to be found."

Norm Stampler, former Chief of Police, Seattle, WA.

As a public health and criminal justice observation, we would be far better off as a society legalizing marijuana and criminalizing alcohol not that I am recommending the criminalization of alcohol again (we did that during prohibition), nor am I recommending the legalization of pot. I am simply pointing out the irrationality of our drug policies in the United States. Marijuana is a much safer drug and has far fewer negative social consequences than alcohol.

These irrational policies have huge consequences for our criminal justice system and our health care system which we, as tax payers, pay for in implementing ineffective policies, and programs and services.

The old saying in the substance abuse field is "A Drug is a drug is a drug" but this is ignorant and not at all true and drugs operate in different ways on the human body and have different meanings in our society. Much more effective social policies and treatment services could be developed and provided if these social policies and treatment services were based on our current state of scientific knowledge and not based on ideologies and politics which have outlived their usefulness.

Here at GCASA we strive to provide up to date scientific information and to provide services based on our current state of knowledge.

SUPA (Students United For Positive Action) meeting on Tuesday, 9/15 at 5:00 PM

Click on image to enlarge for easier reading.

Monday, September 7, 2009

What is the Monitoring the Future Drug Abuse Survey?

Video lasts 6:38

GCASA does it own survey in Genesee and Orleans Counties. For more information contact Maryann Bowman at GCASA at mbowman@gcasa.org or 585-343-1123.

September is Recovery Month

September is recovery month. For more information click here.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Drug Policies in America

America's drug policies are not rational. They never have been and are not currently. America's drug policies have been driven by ulterior motives for religious, moral, and political reasons not based on scientific facts and rational public health policies.

There will be a series of articles on GCASA Cares which will explore these societal and political attitudes towards drugs and provide tools to use in a critical and rational analysis.

Please leave your comments.

There are a number of observations which will underlie this analysis:

1. Human beings have altered their consciousness with chemicals throughout their history. There is nothing unusual or new about this phenomenon. What the motivations are for altering one's consciousness may vary somewhat, but the fact that human beings have always done this, do this now, and will do this into the future is indisputable.

2. At various times and in different societies the altering of one's consciousness with chemicals has been either encouraged such as for religious reasons and celebratory reasons or demonized and made criminal as in prohibition. The reasons for a societal attitude and mores seems somewhat arbitrary based on ideological and political beliefs not on any rational analysis.

3. The use of chemicals for mood altering experiences is best analysed on a use - abuse - dependence continuum. In other words, there can be a recreational or other positive use of some mood altering chemicals such as for pain reduction and anesthesia for example, but these same chemicals can be abused contributing to personal and social dysfunction or physical negative consequences, and these same chemicals can become addictive and habituating leading to further and more serious physical, psychological, and social problems.

4. Some drugs are stigmatized for poor reasons such as marijuana or readily accepted such as caffeine and alcohol. This phenomenon of stigmatization and social acceptance often makes no rational sense when one considers the effects of the drug on the body or the negative social consequences of its use.

It is apparent that most people have not carefully and thoughtfully thought through the drug policies that influence their attitudes, and behavior. Many substance abuse professionals also have not examined drug policies with a critical eye. It is hoped that this series of articles will help inform professionals and lay people so that they will more critically examine the drug policies in America and that improving these policies will improve our public health.

The posts on this theme will be tagged "Drug Policies"