Monday, October 22, 2012

Red Ribbon Week

Red Ribbon Week is the oldest and largest drug prevention campaign in the country. It serves as a vehicle for communities and individuals to take a stand for the hopes and dreams of our children through a commitment to drug prevention and education.

The Red Ribbon Campaign commemorates the ultimate sacrifice made by DEA Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, who died at the hands of drug traffickers in Mexico while fighting the battle against illegal drugs to keep our country and children safe. The Red Ribbon Campaign also became a symbol of support for the DEA’s efforts to reduce demand for drugs through prevention and education programs. By wearing a red ribbon during the last full week in October, Americans demonstrate their ardent opposition to drugs.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Recovery Expressive Arts Show

Next week-the week of October 22- is Red Ribbon Week.  GCASA Art Therapist, Lynette Gawron is coordinating her bi-annual recovery arts show.  As GCASA's art therapist, Lynette works with patients in treatment for drug or alcohol addiction.  Using different mediums, patients learn to express themselves through art.  The art show combines powerful pieces with a description of where the patient sees themself in their own recovery and why they chose certain material, colors, objects and so on.  The result is a meaningful piece of art that through its creation has aided with the patients recovery. 
Here are some pieces from previous shows:

Stop by at the Recovery Expressive Arts Show on Wednesday, October 24, 2012 from 11-3 pm at GCASA, 430 East Main Street, Batavia. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

GCASA Winter Conference

Scott D. Miller, Ph.D. is a co-founder of the Center for Clinical Excellence, an international consortium of clinicians, researchers and educators dedicated to promoting excellence in behavior health.
At this workshop you will:
· Learn three specific strategies that separate highly effective therapists from average therapists.
· Learn a simple method for measuring success rates that can be used to develop a profile of the most and least effective moments in therapy—what works and what doesn’t.
· Gain a more exact understanding of your clinical strengths and weaknesses and learn how to use that information to improve your practice.
Mark your calendar for GCASA’s day-long conference                Friday, January 4, 2013 at Genesee Community College.  The day-long conference includes .6 CEU, 6 CASAC/CPP/CPS hours.  Attendees will receive a conference certificate upon completion of evaluation.  Cost is $85 includes continental breakfast and lunch.

Achieving Clinical Excellence:                                 3 Steps To Superior Performance

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Controlled Substance Licensure

“Recent genetic studies and technologies have improved our ability to monitor brain activity and have enabled a greater understanding of how the addictive brain behaves.  These efforts have made it possible to develop more effective medications for treating addictions.” (The Addiction Recovery Guide, 2/9/12). 

In lieu of the above, addiction residential treatment programs are experiencing a growing trend in the need for careful medication monitoring and management of controlled medications.  Due to this trend, the New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Narcotics mandated that "all addiction residential facilities come into compliance regarding policies and procedures set forth by this governing body". 

In preparation and ultimate granting of this license, GCASA's Atwater Home Community Residence created a more systematic and secure process of controlling, monitoring, storing  and disposal of  these medications.  All Atwater Home Community Residence employees are trained specifically in the protocol for managing controlled medications. A system of accountability is in place and although at times it is burdensome and time consuming, it has proven useful in mitigating errors.   

The Bureau of Narcotics was very helpful in assisting with this process and were available for consultation up to the time of their final inspection.  On May 25th 2012, the Atwater Home Community Residence received a Controlled Substance Licensure.  Director of Clincial and Residential Services John Walker and Assistant Director of Residential Services Mary Beth Pace effectively lead the residential team of staff through the education, design and implemetation process.  Their leadership and the dilegent work of staff resulted in a Two-year License. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Governor Signs Legislation to Help NYS Fight Prescription Drug Abuse

Governor Cuomo signed legislation that will help the state crack down harder on prescription drug abuse. The new law includes a series of provisions to overhaul the way prescription drugs are distributed and tracked in New York State, including enacting a "real time" prescription monitoring registry to provide timely and enhanced information to practitioners and pharmacists; requiring all prescriptions to be electronically transmitted; improving safeguards for the distribution of specific prescription drugs that are prone to abuse; charging a workgroup of stakeholders with the responsibility to help guide the development of medical education courses and other public awareness measures regarding pain management and prescription drugs; and requiring the Department of Health to establish a safe disposal program for unused medications.

"Too many families in New York State have suffered the loss of a teenager or youth as a result of prescription drug abuse," Governor Cuomo said. "With this new law, New York State is tackling this problem head-on, and giving law enforcement and medical professionals the tools they need to stop abuse before it occurs and crack down on offenders.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said, "I thank Governor Cuomo for signing this critical piece of legislation. I-STOP will be a national model for smart, coordinated communication between health care providers and law enforcement to better serve patients, stop prescription drug trafficking, and provide treatment to those who need help.
This accomplishment is a testament to the hard work and tenacity of the families who turned their loss into action that will help people in our state for years to come. With the governor’s signature today, New York has enacted the most comprehensive system in the nation to protect the public from the devastating consequences of prescription drug abuse."

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

GCASA Executive Director Invited to Synthetic Drug Summit

GCASA Executive Director John Bennett was selected to attend the Synthetic Drug Summit.  The NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) is hosting the first statewide synthetic drug summit in Albany today.  Experts from across New York will be on hand to report on issues facing treatment clinics.  OASAS Medical Director Steven Kipnis is scheduled to open the summit with an overview of the effects and consequences followed by drug testing, legal issues and program oversight, testing and treatment.  The summit will close with recommendations and action steps. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Dignitaries Cut Ribbon at GCASA Open House

NYS OASAS Western Regional Office staff Cathie Puleo and director Patrick Morrison join GCASA Executive Director John Bennett, Board President Sue Rigoni and board member Jason Smith in cutting the ribbon at GCASA's new office in Albion.  Over 100 visitors poured through the doors of the rennovated former Knights of Columbus building on East Avenue in the Village of Albion.  The architectural firm of Fontanese, Folts, Aubrecht and Ernst who re-designed the building was represented by Don Aubrecht, senior partner, Bill Ciszak and Hector Garrido and builder Martini Construction and contractor Bill Hayes from Turbull Heating were on hand for tours.  Several local community members commented on the re-use of a building that was uninhabited and falling into disrepair.  The office houses prevention program staff, a treatment facility with counseling staff, medical director and nursing personnel, and employee assistance professionals.  The prevention program coordinates the Orleans United Drug Free Communities Coalition who will now have a conference room available on-site to hold committee meetings.  The treatment program has two large rooms that will be used daily for group programs.  The office is located at 249 East Avenue in Albion, the phone number remains the same, 589-0055.

Monday, September 10, 2012

September is National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month

One out of every seven New Yorkers suffer from a substance use disorder or problem gambling.  It’s likely that you can think of a friend, relative or co-worker who’s drinking, drugging or gambling has resulted in a social, legal or safety issue.  It’s also likely that you can identify with someone who is engaged in the process of recovery from the disease of addiction.

Every September, those who work in the field of addictions celebrate the strides that have been made to effectively diagnose and treat individuals with an alcohol or substance use disorder.   We know that when left undiagnosed and treated the health effects of alcoholism are significant and include liver disease, brain damage and diabetes to name a few.  Other aspects of life are adversely impacted as well.  Marriages and family relationships become strained, distant and often fall apart completely.  Jobs are lost due to tardiness, absenteeism and poor performance.  In general, health diminishes.

Recovery from the disease of addiction, like that of other diseases can be long and difficult, shorter and swift or anywhere in between.  Recovery is hard work and building on one’s recovery requires mental and physical effort.  The on-going effort can result in restored and renewed relationships, fewer medical issues, new job opportunities and improving overall general health.

For more information about Recovery Month visit the NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services Website or call GCASA at 343-1124.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

NYS DOH Issues New Regs On Synthetic Drugs And Bath Salts

The New York State Department of Health (DOH) has issued new regulations to crack down on the increasingly widespread use of bath salts and other synthetic drugs.

The new regulations, issued recently by DOH and approved by the Public Health and Health Planning Council, will expand the existing list of prohibited drugs and chemicals to include dozens more substances that are now used to make synthetic drugs, better ensuring that distributors can no longer skirt the law by simply modifying the ingredients. In addition, the regulations will allow for the first time an owner of an establishment and/or an employee selling synthetic drugs to be charged with possession of an illicit substance. Further, to support enforcement, the regulations will increase the criminal penalties for those who violate the rules. Violators will face fines up to $500 and potentially up to 15 days in jail.

Over the past year, there has been a dangerous rise in instances of New Yorkers using synthetic drugs. In 2011, there were 39 reported emergency room visits in upstate New York as a result of bath salts. Already in 2012, there have been 191 such visits with 120 occurring this past June and July. According to the New York State Poison Control Center, in 2010 there were only 20 calls concerning synthetic marijuana poisonings. There were 291 in 2011, and there were already 321 through the first six months of 2012.

Bath salts and other synthetic drugs are manufactured with a similar, but slightly modified structure of controlled substances that are listed on Schedule I of the state and/or federal controlled substances laws as a means to avoid existing drug laws. These designer drugs can be - and are - continually chemically modified in the attempt to avoid legal repercussions.

In an effort to mask their true purpose, these products are marketed as "bath salts" or as "legal alternatives to marijuana." They are currently sold online, in small convenience stores, smoke shops, and other retail outlets. When consumed, these substances produce dangerous effects similar to cocaine and amphetamines, including hallucinations, paranoia, delusions, suicidal thoughts, and violent behavior as well as chest pains, increased blood pressure, and increased heart rates.

Bath Salts are sold under names including, White Lightning, Snow Leopard, Tranquility, Zoom, Ivory Wave, Red Dove, Vanilla Sky, and others. Synthetic marijuana is sold as Spice, K2, Blaze and Red Dawn X among other names.

Although federal law bans the manufacture or sale of many of these substances, as a result of the new regulations put in place today, local law enforcement officials for the first time will be able to pursue perpetrators under state laws and refer violators to local District Attorneys for prosecution.

The State Health Department and the New York State Police will coordinate investigations and arrests with local law enforcement and district attorneys. New criminal penalties will include a fine up to $500 and or up to 15 days in jail. New civil penalties will include a fine of up to $2,000 per violation.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Open House & Ribbon Cutting

GCASA moved the Orleans County office from 438 West Avenue to 249 East Avenue, Albion...literally, down the road. The new office is the old Knights of Columbus building.  If you would like to see what the office building looks like, how it was rennovated, meet the people responsible for the new design or the GCASA staff who work in the building, come to the open house on Tuesday, September 11, 2012 anytime from 4-6:00 pm.  Refreshments and tours will be available. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

September is Recovery Month

The month of September brings to mind back to school, football, the beginning of apple season and for those of us working in the addictions field, Recovery Month.  The NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) sponsors a Recovery Fine Arts Festival with multiple categories for individuals in recovery to submit their work.  A couple of years ago a Batavia resident was recognized for a poem she wrote and submitted.   Visit the OASAS website if you would like to sumbit a piece to this year's festival.  Recovery can be a long process - releasing one's creative energy can be theraputic and rewarding. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Genesee County Drug Free Communities Coalition - Appreciation Night at the Ball Park

You know GCASA has a Drug Free Communities Coalition that boasts over 100 members all working to reduce or prevent underage drinking and drugging, right?  Coalition members partner with each other and GCASA to implement programs and activities that have proven results.  School personnel, law enforcement, business leaders, health care providers, parents and human service providers are part of the Genesee County DFC Coalition.   If you are a member of the coalition, this is for you.  If you're not a member, we'd love to see you that night so we can tell you a little bit about our work to make our community healthier and safer.  Join us on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at Dwyer Stadium for a picnic supper and Muckdogs game.   Cost for the game and dinner is $7.00.  Dinner is at 6:00 pm and the game is 7:05 pm.  Call Diane Klos in GCASA's Prevention Program at 815-1883 to make your reservation.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Susceptibility and Availability - How synthetic drugs are impacting addiction and recovery in our community

                 It has long been known that those who are susceptible to drug addiction need to find a way to reduce their availability to their drug of choice to achieve a state of recovery.  People who suffer from addiction often relapse when drugs are readily available or when they have not had enough clean time to develop coping mechanisms to refuse drugs when offered.  Through law enforcement, education and building coalitions, our community has done a great job with limiting the availability of illegal drugs and a curtailing underage drinking.  Until recently, we seemed to have a handle on how to manage drug abuse in our community. 
So what’s changed?  K2 and Bath Salts –synthetic drugs, the proverbial new kid on the block has us baffled a bit - and for good reason. 
K2, a synthetic cannabis, packaged in colorful small envelopes and labeled not for human consumption, is a psychoactive designer drug derived of natural herbs sprayed with synthetic chemicals that when consumed allegedly mimic the effects of cannabis. It is best known by the brand names K2 and Spice, both of which have largely become generic-type trademarks used to refer to any synthetic cannabis product and sell for $30 to $40 per bag. 
K2 use can produce symptoms of anxiety, rapid heart rate, dangerously high blood pressure, vomiting, severe paranoia and hallucinations. The user is not mellow, but sometimes delirious and in an anxious or agitated state. Initial studies are focused on the role of synthetic cannabis and psychosis. It seems likely that synthetic cannabis can precipitate psychosis and in some cases it is prolonged. These studies suggest that synthetic cannabis intoxication is associated with acute psychosis, worsening of previously stable psychotic disorders, and also may have the ability to trigger a chronic (long-term) psychotic disorder among vulnerable individuals such as those with a family history of mental illness. The scary things about this drug is you never know exactly what you’re getting, even with experimental users there are cases of severe lung disorders and even death.
Bath Salts are a synthetic amphetamine that mimics crystal-meth, cocaine or ecstasy and is a fine white or light brown powder sold in local Head shops or on-line for $25-$50 per 50 milligram bag.  Bath salts can cause chest pains, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, mild to extreme agitation, mild to extreme weight loss, insomnia, small sores on arms and face, severe itching, hallucinations, increased body temperature, profuse sweating, extreme paranoia, delusions and suicidal thoughts.  Locally, we have had several incidents of erratic behaviors caused by ingestion of bath salts.  Compounds found in bath salts can quickly cause the user to crave re-use of the substance, even when they can articulate the use to be harmful or when they have had unpleasant experiences with the substance.  The high can last from 3 to 4 hours, with the after effects of tachycardia, hypertension, panic attacks and over all agitation lasting for several days after use.  This is a very dangerous substance, which can be manufactured in combination with several other chemicals.  Like designer drugs the user will never really know what they are ingesting and like K2, even experimental use could be harmful or fatal.
The FDA Safety and Innovation Act banning 31 synthetic drugs was signed by President Obama on July 9th, 2012.  However, without the assistance of the federal DEA, the ban leaves local law enforcement unable to enact or enforce the ban .  Moreover, there are still a potential 81  additional chemicals that need to be banned to prohibit manufacturer’s from changing the compounds as a way of getting around the laws.  In other words, manufacturer’s can switch to one of the current 81 chemicals not on the list to render the substance legal again.
Our local community (service providers & law enforcement) has already taken steps to learn more about how to manage individuals under the influence and be able to offer effective treatment when an individual becomes addicted.  Even with the  provisions of the FDA Safety and Innovation Act, I believe these substances are going to be available for the long term.  These are not drugs manufactured in some backroom; they are mass produced in China, India and other countries and shipped worldwide.  There will be plenty of supply, whether it is sold legally at head shops or on the black market.  Reducing availability of these substances regionally will require a grass roots community effort.
If you are interested in this topic and want to make a difference, please consider joining our coalition for a Drug Free Community.  By: John Bennett

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Reception and Music Video Premiere - Your VIP Pass

You are cordially invited to be our guest at the July 31st special reception at GO ART! from 6:30-8:00 pm.  GCASA in collaboration with GO ART! will premiere the Everyday Hero music video and CD release.  GCASA Prevention Educator and internationally recognized songwriter Lisa Barrett will be on hand to introduce vocalists and speakers who took part in the recording of her original song Everyday Hero.  The music video and CD were made possible through a GO ART! Reach grant, the NYS Council on the Arts, Governor Andrew Coumo and the NYS Legislature.  Refreshments will be served along with live entertainment.  Call Lisa at 815-1879 to RSVP or if you have questions.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

It's Done

If you haven't noted GCASA's new address in your contact list, now is the time.  Yesterday, July 23, 2012 marked the first day of work in the newly renovated building located at 249 East Avenue, Albion.  The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services issued the necessary Operating Certificate which allows GCASA to provide treatment services in the building.  The phone and fax numbers remain the same; 589-0055, 589-1501 fax and the Web site is the same  The same services, treatment and prevention, will be provided in the new office location.  There are 4 prevention staff, three support staff and 6 treatment staff, one part-time medical director and 2 part-time nurses. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Tipline Saves Lives

The Erie County Sheriff’s Office is announcing the arrest of 31 youths for underage possession of alcohol in the Village of  Alden late last night  after a tip call was received on the anonymous underage drinking tip line (1-800- 851-1932).

Deputies John Szczepanski ; Mathew Fuqua; and Jonathan Hanna assisted in the arrests which took place at a residence on Maple Ridge Drive just before midnight.   The party was hosted by a  17 year  whose parents were out of town.  One of the underage drinkers was transported to ECMC after she was located in the basement of the house, unresponsive.  Two other party goers were each charged with disorderly conduct; obstruction of governmental administration and harassment for trying to prevent deputies from entering the residence.    

All subjects were released on appearance tickets.

The Underage drinking Tip line was established five years ago in Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming and Monroe Counties and is funded by a federal grant.   Erie County became part of tip line network three years ago.  

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Public Hearing on Special Use Permit

Last night, the Village of Albion held a public hearing on GCASA's application for a Special Use Permit for the building located at 249 East Avenue, Albion.  GCASA purchased the building from the Knights of Columbus to use for prevention offices, treatment clinic and EAP services.  For the past 12 years, GCASA has been located at 438 West Avenue, Albion. 

A handful of residents posed the following questions:
What is the intended use of the building - The building will be used for treatment services (individual and group counseling, doctor appointments, nurse appointments), prevention programs and EAP counseling

Will medications will be dispensed or kept at the building -Medications are not kept in the office building nor will they be dispensed there.  Patients being treated for some addition disorders are prescribed medications - which are obtained from the patient's pharmacy of choice. 

How will patient loitering in front will be managed - GCASA's experience is that most patients come for their appointment and leave. 

What measures will be taken and who will be responsible if an incident occurs - Any incident that occurs in the office building or on the grounds that is illegal will result in a call to law enforcement, any other incident will be handled by staff.  GCASA policy and procedure provide a framework and guidelines for staff. 

Why was the project kept quiet for so long - Not all residents attend all Village meetings.  Requests for changes in use of existing property (Special Use Permit, Variance, etc.) are a common occurrence. If residents don't attend meetings or read the classified section of the newspaper they may not be aware of information on local projects and land use. GCASA posted articles in the newspaper and on the GCASA Cares Blog.

What percentage of patients are Orleans County residents - According to Executive Director John Bennett, approximately 90% are Orleans County residents.  

I've seen people smoking on the sidewalk in front of the present location, I thought GCASA was a smoke-free facility - All GCASA property is tobacco-free.  Many patients smoke cigarettes however, they are respectful of the policy and therefore leave the grounds to smoke.  GCASA staff have special training to assist individuals with their tobacco addiction.  Patients are encouraged to utilize GCASA's resources including nicotine replacement products to further assist them with in making a quit attempt.

Executive Director John Bennett addressed the concerns and offered general background on the agency and the services provided to the community.

The Special Use Permit was unanimously approved.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Music Video Premier Slated For July 31

The premier of Lisa Barrett's song, Everyday Hero, sung by area youth, will premier at a special reception on Tuesday, July 31 at GO ART in Batavia. The reception is scheduled from 6:30-8:00 pm at GO ART, 201 East Main Street.  Lisa is a songwirter, singer and prevention educator at GCASA.  With the support of GCASA, she applied for a grant to cover the cost of selecting vocalists, transportation to a recoding studio in Rochester and the recording itself.  The Everyday Hero song and music video were made possible by the NYS Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the NYS Legislature.
Call Lisa to RSVP for the reception 815-1879.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Recovery Art Show - Spring 2012

Art Therapist Lynette Gawron, LCAT, ATR-BC, CASAC, coordinated the 4th Recovery Art Show at GCASA.  Artists described how thier recovery is captured in their individual pieces through use of specific colors, shapes and textures.  Visit to view some of the work on display.

Agreement Among NYS Leaders on Prescription Drug Reform

Details of the legislation are as follows:

The Creation of a New and Updated Prescription Monitoring Program (I-STOP)

The legislation will require updating and modernization of Department of Health (DOH)’s Prescription Monitoring program (PMP) Registry to make it one of the best systems in the nation to monitor prescription drug abuse and to help the medical community provide better care. The new system will substantially decrease opportunities for “doctor shoppers…#157; to illegally obtain prescriptions from multiple practitioners. The legislation requires enhancement and modernization of DOH’s secure prescription monitoring program registry, which will include information about dispensed controlled substances reported by pharmacies on a “real time…#157; basis, to effectively stop doctor shopping and combat the circulation of illegally-obtained prescription drugs.

The PMP Registry will be secure and easily accessible by practitioners and pharmacists, allowing them to view their patients’ controlled substance history. In addition, this legislation strikes the right balance by requiring health care practitioners to consult the PMP Registry before prescribing or dispensing the controlled substances that are most prone to abuse and diversion, while exempting practitioners from consulting in specific situations in order to protect patient access to needed medications. Moreover, pharmacists, for the first time, will now be able to consult the PMP Registry before dispensing a controlled substance.

Mandating Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances

The comprehensive package will make New York a national leader by being one of the first states to move from paper prescriptions to a system mandating the electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) for all controlled substances with limited exceptions. E-prescribing is critical to help to eliminate diversion that results from the alteration, forgery, or theft of prescription paper.

In addition, electronic prescribing enhances patient care by minimizing medication errors due to misinterpretations of handwriting on written prescriptions. It is estimated that 20 percent of the approximately 7,000 annual deaths caused by medication errors are attributable to misinterpretations of written prescriptions. Moreover, medication errors are estimated to cost the nation’s health care system over $70 billion each year. In New York, adverse drug events due to errors in written and oral prescriptions carry an annual cost to the health care system of approximately $130 million.

E-prescribing will also improve the efficiency of practitioners and pharmacies. Approximately 30 percent of prescriptions require pharmacists to call physicians due to poor handwriting on prescription forms. Additionally, e-prescribing is also more convenient for consumers, who would otherwise need to either wait at the pharmacy for a prescription to be filled, or make separate trips to drop off the prescription form and then pick up the medication.

E-prescribing of controlled substances will ensure that controlled substance transactions are transmitted in a secure, encrypted fashion to their intended recipient.

Updating the Controlled Substance Schedules to Stop Abuse of Certain Drugs, While Protecting Patient Access

The legislation combats prescription drug abuse by removing hydrocodone from Schedule III and placing it on Schedule II regardless of formulation. Hydrocodone is among the most abused and diverted prescription medications. In New York, last year, over 4.3 million hydrocodone prescriptions were filled — the most in the state. Nationally, eight percent of all high school seniors used hydrocodone for non-medical purpose. In 2009 alone, there were over 86,000 emergency room visits resulting from the non-medical use of hydrocodone.

Placing hydrocodone on Schedule II will control abuse by eliminating automatic refills and, in general, by limiting the amount prescribed or dispensed to a maximum 30-day supply. However, to protect legitimate access for those patients who need these drugs, the bill will not alter a practitioner’s ability under existing regulations to prescribe a supply of up to 90 days if he, or she, indicates on the face of the prescription that the patient has one of several enumerated conditions, including chronic pain.

The legislation will also add another drug, tramadol, to Schedule IV. Tramadol is a painkiller and is viewed as a drug of concern by the DEA.

Improving Education and Awareness of Prescribers to Stem the Tide of Prescription Drug Abuse

According to the CDC, a significant percent of abused medications are prescribed to the person that abuses them. This comprehensive legislation recognizes the need for increased education amongst health care providers about the potential for abuse of controlled substances, and the proper balancing of pain management with abuse prevention.

The bill would expand the functions of the workgroup to be established by the Department of Health under the existing Prescription Pain Medication Awareness Program, so that the workgroup will be responsible for making recommendations on: (1) continuing education for practitioners and pharmacists on pain management issues; (2) protecting and promoting access by patients with a legitimate need for controlled substances; (3) the implementation of the I-STOP provisions; and (4) inclusion of additional controlled substances in the consultation requirements of I-STOP. To carry out these functions, the Commissioner of Health will include additional stakeholders, including but not limited to consumer advocacy organizations, health care practitioners and providers, pharmacists and pharmacies, and representatives of law enforcement agencies.

Creating a Safe Disposal Program to Safely Dispose of Prescription Drugs 

Recognizing that more than 70 percent of the abused prescription medications are obtained from friends or relatives, this legislation requires DOH to institute a program for the safe disposal of unused controlled substances by consumers. Through the program, DOH will work with local police departments to establish secure disposal sites for controlled substances on the premises of police stations. At these sites individuals can voluntarily surrender unwanted and unused controlled substances.

Under present law, individuals can only safely dispose of controlled substances during an approved take back event or, various methods of self-disposal that are either burdensome or harmful to the environment. Moreover, current federal regulations prohibit patients from returning unused controlled substances to pharmacists and doctors. This program will help alleviate this problem by providing a continual safe disposal option to New Yorkers.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

GCASA's Albion Office

Friday, July 20th, 2012 marks the moving date for GCASA's Albion office.  Treatment, Prevention and EAP services are moving from 438 West Avenue, Albion to 249 East Avenue, Albion.  Staff anticipate a smooth transition to the newly renovated office location where more windows, offices and conference rooms will be available for use by GCASA programs and community programs.  The phone and fax number remain the same: 585-589-0055 and fax 585-589-1501.