Tuesday, November 26, 2013
The Cabinet to Street Forum held last week on November 21, 2013 from 6-8pm at WV Northern Community College was a resounding success to OCSAPC members. The panel of community leaders was phenomenal; Russ Taylor of Miracles Happen noted we could never have brought together this panel even several years ago. Our community may now be ready to take on more prevention strategies and work together. The panel included U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld, Senate president Jeff Kessler, from County Schools, MaryLu Hutchins, Dr. Martin Olshinsky, Sheriff Bulter, Sgt. Don Miller, Dr. William Mercer, Howard Gamble, Commissioner Orphy Klempa, Mayor Andy McKenzie, Councilman Don Atkinson, Lance Gosseett, Brenda Danehart, Rev. Jeremiah Jasper, Russ Taylor, Jennifer Imer, Matt Grimard, John Shaw, and Melody Osborne.
Monday, November 11, 2013
Please come and help us create new or expand on current prescription drug abuse prevention strategies in Ohio County. We have an amazing panel of community leaders ready to discuss what more we can do together. November 21, 2013 from 6:00-8:00 pm at West Virginia Northern Community College in the B & O Building Auditorium.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Top employers of Ohio, Marshall, Brooke, Hancock and Wetzel counties are invited to participate in re-establishing a dialogue about maintaining a drug free work place as part of the governor's plan to reduce substance abuse in West Virginia. The governor is slated to attend.
Monday, August 26, 2013
Monday, July 29, 2013
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Friday, July 12, 2013
Cabinet to Street is presented by Above the Influence Wheeling on July 24, 2013 at Laughlin Chapel from 1-3pm. We’ll have a video by local youth for local youth! This forum will help educate youth about the dangers of substances and give them ways to resist the negative influences of others. It educates youth about the possible progression from gateway drugs like alcohol and marijuana to synthetics or prescription pain killers and eventually to street drugs like heroin. Give us a call at 304-233-2045 if you’d like to bring individuals or groups.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
YOUTH WANTED! We are looking for 2-3 high school students (over 15) and 1 college student (under 24) interested in learning about coalition work, event coordinating and working with other youth. We are offering a stipend as incentive. Students will gain work experience and knowledge about prevention. Please contact us for an application at 304-233-2045 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo shows our youth from last summer shooting a commercial!!!
Thursday, April 4, 2013
Ohio County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (OCSAPC) is celebrating Alcohol Awareness Month which is in April. As part of its programming it supplies Ohio County Schools with prevention education materials and training. For the past 6 years, we have facilitated the Keep a Clear Mind program and Choose a Clear Mind Poster Contest for all Ohio County Schools 4th graders. The program offers take-home workbooks on alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use and urges parents to complete the workbooks with their children. The children receive incentives if their parent signs the workbook completion form. The posters illustrate the children’s desire to reach for the stars or activities they enjoy instead of alcohol.
Coalition members choose a winner from each of following 9 elementary schools:
Bethlehem, West Liberty, Woodsdale, Elm
Grove, Middle Creek, Steenrod, ,
Ritchie, and Warwood. The top 3 winners
will appear on billboards in Madison , and in OV Parent
Magazine as part of OCSAPC’s alcohol awareness campaign. The coalition also purchases banners for the
top 3 winners to hang their winning entries at their school and a
mini-billboard trophy provided by Lamar.
The group will use all winning posters on our social media sites
and promotional items. Ohio
For something new this year, the young people will appear in a commercial which shows the winners as “Stars of Prevention.” Some people ask, “Why start with such young children?” OCSAPC response is that the average age of first alcohol use in
is 12 years old. We hope parents will
talk to their children before they are in a position to be offered that first
drink. We also see these children as having
the potential reshape county perceptions of alcohol use by taking part in
programs like this. Someday they will be
the adults who choose the direction of Ohio County . We believe lives can be saved and the
community can be safer. Ohio County
Monday, March 18, 2013
I thought this might be a good time to re-post this letter to the editor written last October. Prevention has never been more important to the health and safety of our youth.
October is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month and the Ohio County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition members have asked me to write this letter. In the field of prevention our goal is to reach all persons before drugs or alcohol become a problem in their lives or a burden on society. We try to reach those who don't use or abuse alcohol and drugs as well as those who do. Citizens who never even touch drugs or alcohol can make changes that could begin to lower the high levels of use in a community by actively supporting efforts.
We all have a voice in what happens in our environment. We can make policies that address advertising, employment, school behavior, business practices, legal issues and law enforcement. We can ask our lawmakers to support legislation that keeps our children safe. Those who do use drugs or alcohol can take an honest look at themselves and be open to understanding that their behavior affects young people. Changing adult substance use behavior and altering adult expectations of a child's alcohol or drug use can have a profound effect.
Those of us in the parent or grandparent generation often view drinking or smoking pot as a "rite of passage" as something "we all did." But the truth is our children are not using the drugs or alcohol we used. Marijuana has increasingly become more potent and the prescription drugs with opiates available now are more addictive than ever. The first time many of us drank we raided our parents' liquor and took that terrible first sip of straight liquor or a mixed concoction that would turn anyone off to drinking alcohol. We did not have lemonade or sweet cool-aid flavored drinks in pretty packages. The fact is our children are not doing what "we" did. Even folks who use substances "responsibly" may want to re-examine their actions and beliefs; realize the message we are sending to our children is that alcohol and some drugs are harmless. Change has to occur across the board and sometimes it means letting go of old habits and ways of thinking which is never easy.
Society often blames "other" people. Maybe they say it is the decline of family values, single-parent homes, low-income families and the list goes on. The fact is alcohol and drugs do not respect morality or socio-economic status. Research has shown that if a person uses alcohol prior to the age of 21, he or she is four times more likely to develop alcohol problems. The brain does not develop fully until age 24 in many adults. Studies show drinking affects school performance days after alcohol has left the system. Having alcohol in your home may not be harmful to you, if used in moderation, but it could be dangerous to your teen's development.
Why do we have a focus on underage drinking? Alcohol is still considered a gateway drug and regardless of it leading to other drug use, it still sets children up for problems. In this day and age, the gateway for many young people or children has changed to marijuana or prescription pain killers as their first experience with chemicals. Again, our children are not doing what past generations did and the problems continue to grow as a result. Adults can change their expectations of children. It doesn't have to be acceptable to do something just because "we all did it"
We all remember the public service announcements showing an egg frying with the line, "This is your brain on drugs." Though the effectiveness of that commercial was in question, the effects of drugs and alcohol on the brain and lives of those who use can be devastating. And even scarier still are the new "designer" drugs like bath salts, synthetic marijuana and what ever the newest derivative may be. Kids are spending an evening drinking or using drugs for "fun" and they don't wake up the next morning safe in their bed. They don't wake up! Prevention is not trying to stop addiction although the hope is it could; its aim is to improve and save lives by lowering the use of harmful substances and this may begin with substances many consider less harmful.
When we ask adults to change an age-old behavior that folks have accepted and believed since colonial times, it is met with denial, blame and stubborn pride. When we ask them to change they hear, "You are wrong" or "You are a bad parent." In most cases, we don't believe that! We believe circumstances are changing and instead of doing what we have always done, let's try a new open-minded approach. Let's stop the blame game and start working together to change ourselves.
The Ohio County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (OCSAPC) is funded by a federal Drug Free Communities (DFC) Support Program Grant from the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Youth Services System, Inc. (YSS) serves as the coalition's fiscal and administrative agent.