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.