Thursday, December 31, 2009

What kind of care do prositutes need in substance abuse treatment?

What kinds of services do women need who have been involved in prositution when they enter substance abuse treatment?

A study reported in the December, 2008 issue of the journal, Psychiatric Services, found that they are more likely to need residential services and more psychosocial services when they are in outpatient care.

Here is the conclusion from the study:

The findings suggest that women involved
in prostitution before entering
substance abuse treatment are more
likely to receive residential care than
women not involved in prostitution.
When they are treated in outpatient
settings, they are likely to receive
more psychosocial services. Such findings
are consistent with ASAM treatment
guidelines (9), which recommend
that providers assess for and respond
to various social and legal risk
factors upon treatment entry.

You can read the study by clicking here.

GCASA offers specialized services for women both in GCASA's outpatient program and in GCASA's residential services program.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

"Red flags" that drinking might be a problem

Reas Kroicowl identifies "red flags" in her article on her blog, Trench Warfare that drinking might be a problem.

OK, look. Here's the skinny:

If you have a problem with alcohol, there's going to be some tiny little red flags that wave every now and again. You might be a wee bit close to the situation, as people who drink too much sometimes are, so allow me to summarize the past few years of your life. Hypothetically, of course. I'll let you know when we've reached something that is concerning for people in my profession.

Perhaps you're drinking several times a week. And have been since you were in high school.

You can read the whole brief article by clicking here.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Alcoholics may never fully regain balance

Reuters HealthDay reported on 12/18/09 on a study done at Stanford that found that alcoholics may never fully regain their balance.

The sailor's gait is due to brain damage and peripheral neuropathy.

You can read the Reuter's article by clicking here.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Cannibis as a substitute for alcohol and other drugs.

There was an interesting article in the Harm Reduction journal on 12/03/09 entitled "Cannibis As A Substitute For Alcohol And Other Drugs." It is a descriptive study of 350 patients in a medical group in Berkeley California who substituted cannibis for alcohol and other drugs.

40% of patients said that they substituted cannibis for alcohol.

65.8% of patients said that they substituted cannibis for prescription drugs.

26% of patients said that they subsituted cannibis for other illicit drugs.

65% of patients said they substituted cannibis for other substances because it had fewer adverse side effects.

57.4% of patients said that they substituted cannibis for other drugs because it provided better symptom relief.

I found this study interesting because I have observed the use of cannibis in my private practice clients who often report beneficial effects. It seems to me that cannibis is less toxic and has fewer behavioral and social negative consequences than alcohol. I have also noted that cannibis seems to have fewer adverse side effects and better symtpom relief than prescription drugs.

As a society we would be much better off to raise the drinking age to 35 and legalize cannibis and tax it like we do alcohol.

You can access the article by clicking here.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Violence risk assessment in substance abuse counseling

There is an interesting and helpful article in the Psychiatric Times on 12/14/09 entitled "Violence Risk Assessment In Everyday Psychiatric Practice: Twelve Principles Help Guide Clincians."

In substance abuse counseling, counselors often encounter patients who are suicidal and homicidal. Working with such problems takes knowledge and skill. To read this excellent article, free on line once you register, click here.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Guess how old I am today?

Dear Friends:

I was born on Christmas in 1945. Guess how old I am today?

What states has the highest drunk driving fatality rate?

Wyoming with 12.6/100,000

followed by Montana with 9.4/100,000

followed by Mississippi with 9.1/100,000

followed by South Carolina with 9.00/100,000

followed by Louisiana with 7.7/100,000.

New York State and Utah have the lowest DWI fatality rates in the United States with 1.7/100,000

I hope that you and your family and loved ones are not killed this holiday.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Patch plus lozenge plus 6 counseling sessions help people quit smoking best

Patch plus lozenge plus six counseling sessions work best of all for smoking cessation. Read more click here.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

When it comes to GCASA wages - "Let them eat cake."

On 12/12/09 there was an article on this blog entitled, "How Much Money Do People Make At GCASA?"

In the last 5 years GCASA has lost 7 employees who went to work for State Government mostly in the prisons for the Department Of Corrections as substance abuse counselors. They all have said on exit interviews that they love working at GCASA but just can't afford to keep working here. Why is that? Here's why.

GCASA starts an Addictions Counselor I at $21,559. There are 10 steps in the grade and after 10 years an Addictions Counselor I maxes out at $30,685.

In New York State, an Addictions Counselor I is a grade 16, and as of April, 2010, the starting salary is $45,518 which is about $24,000.00 more per year for the same job than GCASA can pay.

At GCASA an Addictions Counselor II starts at $24,134 and can go up to $34,350. In New York State an Addictions Counselor II starts at $51,258.00 which is about$26,000.00 per year more for the same job. In fact, GCASA can hire 2 counselors for the price of the State's one.

At GCASA an Addictions Counselor III starts at $31,938 and can go up to a $45,458. In New York State, an Addictions Counselor III starts at $66,375.00 which is $35,000.00 more than at GCASA for essentially the same job and is more than any staff member at GCASA earns with the exception of the Executive Director.

In the State system most Addictions counselors get much better benefits: more vacation, better health insurance, more personal leave days, better retirement, etc.

Why is there such discrepancy you might ask?

Well, for one, State employees are unionized and most community based non-profits are not. Most counties have decided to outsource their substance abuse services rather than run them themselves because community based non-profits can do it cheaper and much more flexibly. In fact community based non-profits appear to be able to provide substance abuse services at half the cost of the state based on personnel cost comparisons.

The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse has committees which they used to call "workforce development" and now "talent management" to work on human resource strategies to attract and retain a skilled workforce but it has little traction when professional wages are so low for so many professionals in community based nonprofit substance abuse agencies in New York State.

With the budget deficit reduction strategies now being pursued, one high placed OASAS official told GCASA executives that OASAS would not look favorably on GCASA giving raises in 2010. However the average salary for the 82 out of 93 GCASA employees who make less than $40,000.00 per year is only $26,500.00. If GCASA gives 2% raises in 2010, which OASAS looks upon unfavorably, the average increase would be $530.00 which would take the average employee to $27,100.00.

The attitude of OASAS reminds me of Marie Antoinette who, when told the peasants had no bread, said, "Well, let them eat cake."

If the average Addiction Counselor at GCASA was making State wages of $45,940 to $66,375.00 I would not be so concerned. But when the average GCASA addictions counselor is making between $21,559 and mid 30s I think it is a whole other matter.

Further the average increase in a GCASA employee's contribution to his/her health insurance in 2010 will increase $660.00 per year for a single plan and $2076.00 for a family plan. The annual out of pocket contribution of a GCASA employee for a family plan who is making $26,500.00 is 26% of that employee's salary. The increase in employee contibution to his/her health insurance dwarfs any 2% raise they would get.

So, that's the cake. I'm just saying..............

Who says substance abuse prevention doesn't work?

The number of DWI fatalities in 1982 = 21,113

The number of DWI fatalities in 2008 = 11,773

Who says prevention doesn't work?

44% positive change in 26 years. Tens of thousands of lives saved.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Kind Christmas Gift to GCASA counselors

Click on image to enlarge for easier reading.

Monday, December 21, 2009

DUI fatalities haunt families for years

There was an article in the Denver Post on 12/20/09 entitled "DUI fatalities haunt families for years".

We know this at GCASA.

GCASA holds a victim impact panel for DWI offenders every month at the Batavia City Centre. It serves primarily people from Orleans, Genesee, and Wyoming Counties. The panel as about 35 people that attend each month.

Laura Ricci coordinates the panel. She can be reached at 585-343-1124 or

There were 340 DWI deaths in New York State in 2008. I hope that you and your family or anyone you love are not killed this holiday season.

Two of my children Brigid and Ryan were killed by a 3 time drunk driver in 1993 when they were 5 and 9. This Christmas they would be 22 and 25. I miss them.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The "truth" about teen smoking

Teen smoking rates are down in Genesee and Orleans counties significantly over the last 5 years because of all the good prevention work that has been done by multiple agencies and organizations.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Almost 1 in 4 kids in Orleans County is on food stamps

Food stamp usage is up signifcantly across the country.

In Genesee County 8% of adults and 16% of children are on food stamps which is up 16%since 2007.

In Orleans County 12% of adults and 23% of children are on food stamps which is up 25% since 2007.

To check out food stamp usage in the U.S. check out the interactive map on the New York Times Web Site by clicking here.

Friday, December 18, 2009

10 step program to end email addiction

Video lasts 3:52.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

GCASA's units of service increase regularly for years and then level off.

GCASA's clinical treatment services have seen decreases in deficit funding over the last ten years. Orleans and Genesee Counties have cut their contributions and New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) has done likewise.

Also, there has been no increase in insurance payment for a unit of service in over 10 years. How is it then that GCASA has increased its units of service?

Increased staff productivity and better management.

Having achieved this improvement though, it appears that the system has been maximized and that further increases in productivity are not possible with current treatment modalities.

As New York State moves from a criminal justice approach of incarceration for substance abusers to treatment which in general is far more effective and cost efficient, the resources have not also moved from the criminal justice system to the treatment system.

If costs $35,000 per year to keep a person in State prison. The same person can be treated by GCASA in outpatient treatment and 3 or 4 months at GCASA's Community Residence for about $4,500.00

Here is a chart showing the increase in units of service in Genesee and Orleans County clinics over the last 5 years.

Click on image for easer reading.

Thanks to multiple efforts DWI deaths are down in most states including New York

Drunk driving deaths are down but still way too many.

Last year, 11,773 people died nationally in crashes involving a driver whose blood alcohol level was 0.08 or higher. That represented a 9.7 percent decrease compared with 2007.

DUI deaths also declined in Pennsylvania, from 504 in 2007 to 496 last year. Those deaths made up 34 percent of crash fatalities in the state.

New York State had 340 DWI fatalities in 2008. GCASA working with law enforcement, the courts, the District Attorney, the Drug Free Communities Coalitions and the public at large will all take credit for saving significant lives.

In the 80s, 40,000 people a year were being killed across the country in drunk driving crashes. To learn that the number is now down to 12,000 is cause for great celebration and joy. Now lets close the gap and eliminate the other 12,000!

Click on image to enlarge for easier reading.

To read the article click here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dr. Charles B. King, GCASA's Medical Director, on prescription pain medication abuse

We made this video back in September, 2008.

Today, 12/15/09, a person posted this comment on the YouTube web site:

5 out of 5 stars. This is the best, detailed narrative/explanation that I have seen!

The video has had 952 views in the last year.

I watched it again and it is good. I recommend it to you.

Video lasts 9:03

Drugs kill - Opiod deaths in Ontario, Canada double since 1991

Right next door to us in Ontario Canada deaths from opiod abuse have doubled since 1991.

Deaths from opioid use in Ontario, Canada, have doubled since 1991 and the addition of long-acting oxycodone to the drug formulary was associated with a 5-fold increase in oxycodone-related deaths, found a new study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

GCASA has a specialty program for people addicted to Opiods. We have seen a big increase here of patients wanting service. There are over 85 patients on Suboxone treatment. The primary source of addiction is prescription pain pills.

When you look at the public health data, it is clear that programs like the Opiod treatment program at GCASA save lives.

You can read more by clicking here.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

OASAS official says that OASAS would look unfavorably on GCASA giving its employees a 2% raise in 2010

OASAS official on 12/04/09 - "OASAS would look unfavorably on GCASA giving raises next year."

Average salary of the of 82 out 93 GCASA employees who make under $40,000.00 per year in 2009 is $26,500.00

Amount of a 2% raise for an employee making $26,500.00 = $530.00

Increase in employee share of single premium health insurance in 2010 = $660.00 per year.

Increase in employee share of family health insurance premium in 2010 = $2,076.00 per year.

Cost of health insurance for a GCASA employee with the family health plan making $26,500 = 26% of employee's salary.

What to do?

GCASA board voted to give 2% raises in 2010 at the Executive Director's recommendation in spite of what OASAS officials say.

David Markham, Executive Director of GCASA, said that most GCASA employees are already working for poverty wages and have one of the poorest benefit packages of any not-for-profit according to a not-for-profit survey of 72 agencies in Western New York done by Dopkins & Company, a Certified Public Accounting firm. The State has also cut out the Cost Of Living increase for 2010 so not-for-profit substance abuse employees will fall even further behind. "OASAS seems not to know or not to care that employees in its not-for-profit licensed programs are suffering due to financial stress. A recent poll by CNN Business found that substance abuse counselor is the 13th worst job out of 50 listed in the United States. Social Worker is number one. GCASA employs both. You would think there would be more assistance and understanding from OASAS."

Most of GCASA's employees have Bachelor's and Master's Degrees. Many have a hard time paying back their school loans because of their low salaries.

Natural High

Monday, December 14, 2009

In Albany, NY, the message is "a drunk driver is as dangerous as a misguided missile."

From Albany Times Union published on 12/12/09

Ed Frank's message is simple: "A drunk driver is as dangerous as a misguided missile."
That's why he created a large missile with an anti-DWI slogan painted on its side.

As the founder of Choices 301, Frank, a retired deputy chief from the Colonie Police Department, knows the dangers of drinking and driving. His mission has often involved adopting new methods to promote his message, but the missile is a new tactic.

"When you think about the devastation that comes with that drunk behind the wheel and the lives that are lost needlessly, the missile represents exactly what we want it to do," Frank said. "You get behind the wheel ... you have no control whatsoever of that motorized machine."

New York State Confidentiality Law and HIV

New York State Public Health law 27-7 regulates HIV testing and status and confidentiality. This web site is done in a question and answer style and is very informative. You can access it by clicking here.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

GCASA Cares readership

Readers might be interested in the fact that the GCASA Cares blog has been growing in readership and now gets about 100 hits per day. In November, 2009, the GCASA Blog had 2,723 hits. This is small by some standards, but for a small niche blog this number seems to be worth the effort of publishing it.

If people have preferences for the kinds of topics covered, please leave a comment.

Thank you to our readers for reading and be assured that "GCASA Cares!"

Client satisfaction at GCASA very high

Did you read the article on this blog which reported that based on survey taken with 133 clients during a week in May 2009 at 5 different treatment sites that 92% agreed or strongly agreed with the statement "I got a lot out of the services I received at GCASA, and 93% agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, "I would refer a family member or a good friend for services at GCASA."

It would seem if you read the comments on The Daily News blog on the recent articles dealing with GCASA that GCASA is held in contempt and disdain by a very few members of the community. While this may be true of a very small minority, overall, GCASA services are held in very high regard especially by 9 out of 10 people who actually use the service.

If anyone would like to comment on GCASA's services please contact Joanne Beck at the Daily News at 585-343-8000 or at

Parolles with co-occuring psychiatric and substance abuse disorders at higher risk for violating their parole

In the November, 2009, issue of the journal, Psychiatric Services, there as a study which describes the violation of parole in Texas of parolees with co-occuring disorders of serious psychiatric illness and a substance abuse disorder.

The study found that parolees with both a psychiatric and a substance abuse disorder had a substancially greater risk of being violated on their parole while parolees with only a psychiatric disorder, or a substance abuse disorder alone had no difference in parole violations that the general population.

You can read the abstract by clicking here.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

How much money do people make at GCASA?

There were accusations made on the Daily News blog in Batavia, NY that GCASA bilks the taxpayers, that it is just a money grubbing agency, and staff are getting rich at the expense of the clients.

Here is a preview of a full report to the public which will be made next week.

Out of the 92 employees at GCASA only 11 make more than $40,000 per year.

Of the 81 employees who make less than $40,000 per year the average annual salary of a GCASA employee is $26,500 dollars. Most staff members at GCASA have Bachelor's degrees from college and a large number have Master's Degrees.

The highest paid person at GCASA is the Executive Director who has a Master's Degree and 41 years of experience in the Behavioral Health field and who has been employed at GCASA as executive director for 9 years. His annual salary in 2009 is $74,459.32. He is eligible for a 2% raise in at the end of 2009 which would be an increase of $1,489.19 which he has declined. So the Executive Director will not receive a raise in 2009 and 2010.

Most of GCASA's employees, if they depend on their GCASA salary alone have incomes below the median salaries in the counties we serve.

According to the U.S. Census bureau 5,451 people or 13.9 percent of the population in Orleans County lives in poverty. The median income is $46,220.00.

In Genesee County 5,992 people live in poverty or 10.6 percent of the population. The median income is $49,133.00

81 of GCASA's 92 employees have salaries under $40,000.00 per year, the average salary being $26,500.00

As professionals GCASA employees get paid much less than professionals in comparable jobs such as police officers, teachers, nurses, and even correction officers, etc.

According to a recent CNN poll, substance abuse counselor is the 13th worst job out of 50 listed in America. Social Work of which I am a member is the #1 worst job in America.

More information next week.

Less than 1 in 9 Americans with Alcohol use diorders recognize their need for treatment

Based on a study reported in the December, 2009, issue of the journal, Psychiatric Services, fewer than 1 in 9 people in the United States with Alcohol Use Disorders recognize their need for treatment.

You can read the abstract by clicking here.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Client satisfaction at GCASA

GCASA's client satisfaction numbers are in and crunched. A full report next week.

For now let it suffice to say that

92% of GCASA's outpatient treatment clients said that they agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, "I got a lot out of the services I received at GCASA."

93% of GCASA's outpatient treatment clients said that they agreed or stronly agreed with the statement, "I would refer a family member or a good friend for services at GCASA."

There were 133 client satisfaction surveys completed during one week last May, 2009. Some clients had just entered treatment that week and others had been in a treatment for a couple of months.

It is even more amazing that GCASA achieved this level of client satisfaction when about 60% of clients are mandated for treatment by the criminal justice system, i.e. drug court, probation, parole, their attorneys after a DWI arrest, etc.

The raw data is available if anyone would like to see it by emailing me at

Brief Motivational Interview curtails recidivist drunk driving

This study almost seems too good to be true. A brief, 30 minute, motivational interview helped hard core drunk drivers reduce their drunk driving according to this study.

You can read a brief report of the study by clicking here.

The study will appear in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, November, 2009.

While a bit different, GCASA offers a victim impact panel once per month for about 25-40 offenders. Based on the evaluations of the sessions, most people who attend report being highly motivated to never drink and drive again.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Older alcoholics binge drink more than younger ones study finds

It seems that that older people over 60 who have problems with alcohol binge drink more often than young people.

You can read more by clicking here.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The slaughter continues

Smoking is associated with increased seizures

Smoking and siezures are associated. This is new to me. I had never heard this before. Check it out by clicking here.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My bad mood is lifting - DWI Fatalities are decreasing

The last month has been lousy for me. We have had to lay off staff, shut down services, and be attacked by community members who think GCASA's services are nothing but a scam to bilk taxpayers.

Also, at this time of year, I miss my dead children. Brigid was killed when she was 5 and Ryan was killed when he was 8 in 1993 by a three time drunk driver. If they were alive today Brigid would be 22 and Ryan would be 25 and we would be looking forward to the Christmas holidays.

So, it was a special gift today when I came across the recent DWI statistics published by the Century Council. Here's what they show in part:

DWI fatalities in the United States were 21,113 in 1982. They were 13,739 in 1993. Two of those were Brigid and Ryan. In 2008, there were 11,773. DWI fatalities have decreased 44% in 26 years.

Further the DWI fatality rate in New York state is 1.7/100,000 which is the lowest in the nation.

There were 340 DWI fatalities in New York State in 2008. That is 340 too many, but much better than the 600 and some back in the 80s and 90s.

So, I wondering who gets the credit for the saving of lives? I give credit to law enforcement, to the courts, to the district attorneys, to the treatment agencies, to the prevention programs, to the probation departments, to the drunk driver education programs, to our citizens who are more knowledgable and cooperative about not driving drunk.

I am proud of the work we have done and do at GCASA. You and your family is alive today because you weren't killed by a drunk driver. I hope that you will thank a police officer, a magistrate, a district attorney, a probation officer, and maybe a substance abuse professional who evaluated and treated a patient for their alcohol use disorder, and who facilitated a Victim Impact Panel for DWI offenders, and who engaged in other educational activities to raise awareness about the danger of drinking and driving.

Click on image to enlarge for easier reading.

Medicaid police terrorize providers

The New York Nonprofit Press has an interesting article which it published on November 30, 2009 entitled "The OMIG Who Stole Xmas."

The title is a bit of a misnomer because OMIG (Office Of Medicaid Inspector General) is not stealing Christmas, it is destroying a system of behavioral health care in New York.

It seems that the Governor and the Legislature is intending to balance the budget on the backs of health care providers by auditing their paperwork. The way the game is played is to send in auditors to comb through patient's medical records with a fine tooth comb to find any medical record deficiencies that do not meet regulatory requirements. Where paper work is deficient, the Office Of The Medicaid Inspector will demand reimbursement for the services provided and extrapolate from that deficiency to assume that the deficiency found is a symtom for futher deficiencies and so guestimated deficiencies will be alledged and further reimbursements demanded.

The rallying cry is "Medicaid Fraud!" and health care providers are criminalized. Providers are anxious and scared of third party agendas that intrude into treatment processes in very punitive ways. For counselors and supervisors the coercive power of the state has become an Orwellian nightmare which becomes the primary consideration in delivering supposedly therapeutic services to patients.

This has nothing to do with patient care mind you or the fact that services were provided. These severe and significant financial penalties are simply based on the failure of paperwork to be 100% accurately completed.

What are the consequences of this?

“These audits and onerous financial penalties are going to destabilize individual providers and weaken the entire system at a time when it is already under extreme stress,” says Philip Saperia.

Service delivery processes become focused primarily on paper work compliance and to a lesser degree on patient care. An old proverb from Total Quality Management is "Be careful what you choose to measure because it will skew organizational behavior in that direction."

You can read the article by clicking here.

December is Drugged and Drunk Driving Elimination Month

Alcoholism inflicts James Hetfield of Metallica

James Hetfield of Metallica talks about his alcoholism.

Video lasts 3:43.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Alcohol kills

Alcohol kills in Columbia County. Click here.

Cirrhosis or the liver - a slow pickeling

Sunday, December 6, 2009

DWI motorcade spreads message about drunk driving

YNN can a brief clip yesterday about the DWI motorcade to remind people not to drink and drive. It is brief. You can watch it by clicking here.

Is alcohol causing you problems?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

To GCASA's critics

There was a second article in the Daily News on Thursday, 12/02/09, outlining some of the answers to some of the questions which were raised by the first article.

The appearance of these articles has generated a flurry of comments about GCASA being a money making scam, bilking the taxpayers out of their money, and existing to aggrandize its staff whose main purpose is to exploit people. There also have been a few people who stated that they found GCASA's services helpful.

Further, there have been people in high places who have found the articles objectionable because GCASA has brought the fact that diminishing resources are having the consequence of a reduction in service. The sentiment seems to be that this should not have been made a public issue and the public would be better off having been left in the dark.

As I reflect on my experience the last couple of weeks, there is part of me that agrees that the changes that have had to be made might have better been handled by doing it quietly and left unsaid. And yet that has not been our management style and not the organizational culture which we have tried to create at GCASA. We strive to be honest, above board, and democratic if possible. We believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and in justice, equity, and compassion in our human relations. As the Executive Director I have often made mistakes. When this occurs I try to always be available to listen, promptly admit my faults, and, if possible, make amends.

I am very proud of the work that we have done, and do, and intend to continue to serve the individuals, families, and communities that struggle with substance abuse issues. There is a deep commitment on the part of staff many of whom, like myself, have personally and tragically been affected by this disease. (Two of my children were killed by a three time DWI driver.)

When substance abuse problems strike families, they need a place to turn. Getting treatment can mean the difference between life and death, the difference between a civilian life or incarceration, the difference between continuing poverty and dysfunction or a higher quality of life.

I appreciate the criticisms and feedback, negative and positive, and if I have sounded arrogant, as one commenter said, or have been out of line saying things I shouldn't have, I am deeply sorry and I apologize to those who have been offended and harmed.

It is with great humility that I, and GCASA's staff, will continue on as best we can to serve those who request and have need of our services.

The above are my personal views and do not necessarily represent the official position of GCASA.

Drug testing

Friday, December 4, 2009

The art of seduction

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Landlords in New York State banning smoking in their apartment buildings in increasing numbers

There was an article in the New York Times on 11/16/09 which describes the efforts in New York City of some landlords to ban smoking in their apartments.

You can access the article by clicking here.

When GCASA had the Smoke Free NOW program, before the grant was cut, the Smoke Free NOW coalition had a campaign to ask landlords in Orleans, Genesee, and Wyoming counties to ban smoking in their apartment buildings. Quite a few agreed and signed on.

The damage done to apartment walls, ceilings, fixtures, drapes, rugs, etc from nicotine and tar staining is signficant over time. The second hand smoke seeping from one apartment unit to another has been shown to be a hazard to other tenants not just the occupants of the apartment with the smoker.

Are Eating Disorders an addiciton?

What is the Evidence That Eating Disorders are Addictions?

The Calgary Addiction Program presents Dr. Kristin von Ranson.

The podcast of her lecture at the Calgary Addiction Program conference day in August 2009. The lecture is a very good overview of the thinking in the field. There is a large cormodibity of substance abuse/dependence and eating disorders. How is this explained? She doesn't make the case one way or another but leaves the listener interested in the topic with helpful ways to think about the question.

I recommend it to you. You can access it by clicking here.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Binge drinking and sex more likely in co-ed dorms

Research reported in a recent issue of the journal, American Journal of College Health, found that students living in co-ed dorms are 2.5 times more likely to engage in binge drinking, and twice as likely to have had three or more sex partners in the last year that students living in single sex dorm

In substance abuse treatment, we tell patients that they may have to change their people, places, and things if they are to avoid triggers for relapse. This idea that external circumstances can trigger destructive and dysfunctional behavior is equally helpful if one is to prevent problems.

If I were a student, or a parent paying room and board at college for my child, I would not recommend co-ed dormitory living based on the findings of this study.

You can read a brief report of the study by clicking here.

Changing community norms and attitudes regarding college drinking

While the short video is done at UC Davis, it could have been SUNY Brockport or at SUNY Geneseo where a student drank himself to death last year.

GCASA's prevention program works towards changing community norms and attitudes. To do this effectively, it takes all of us.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Clozaril seems to help people with Schizophrenia and alcoholism more with their alcoholism than other antipsychotics

GCASA treats many patients with co-occuring psychiatric and substance abuse disorders.

New research indicates that second generation antipsychotic medications seem to be more effective than first generation anti-psychotic medications in treating people with Schizophrenia and alcoholism.

Second generation anti-psychotics, Zyprexa (Olanzapine) and Clozaril (clozpine) were far more effective in helping patients suffering from Schizophrenia and alcohol abuse their alcoholism. Clozaril, in one small study seemed much more effective.

To read the brief report, click here.

Cat Power talks about her alcoholism

Video lasts 4:40