Monday, February 25, 2013

Ulster Prevention Council Weekly Blog 2-25-13: Press Release

Saugerties Police Department establishes permanent drug drop box
Those looking to get rid of their unused, unwanted, or expired medications can now visit the permanent drop box location at the Saugerties Police Department.  The location is part of Ulster County’s program to reduce prescription drug abuse.
“The Ulster Prevention Council has been working closely with the Saugerties Police Department to give residents an easy way to keep their medicine cabinets clean,” said Cheryl DePaolo, Director of the Ulster Prevention Council. 
“According to the 2012 Ulster County Youth Development Survey, one in ten Ulster County youth in grades 7-12 reported abusing prescription drugs, so it is important to do as much as we can to make these substances less available” said DePaolo.
Proper disposal of medications has long been a difficult problem for New Yorkers.  Flushing them pollutes the water supply.  Throwing them in the trash make than an easy target, not only for thieves, but for pets and wildlife. “Many communities around the country have held one-day or limited time collection efforts, but very few easy public access to a safe and secure permanent collection system” said DePaolo.
Drugs can be dropped off twenty-four hours per day, and there is no paperwork required. The police department will store the collected medications in a secure area, and then turn them over to federal authorities for disposal.
Through the implementation of a permanent drug collection unit, community members have the opportunity to help keep excess prescription and over the counter medication out of the hands of youth and substance abusers through safe and secure disposal.  
Police will accept all prescription medications and samples, all over-the-counter medications, vitamins, pet medications, medicated ointments, and liquid medication in leak-proof containers.

Items that cannot be discarded at the drop box include thermometers, syringes, IV bags, bloody or infectious waste, hydrogen peroxide, and aerosol cans or inhalers.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Ulster Prevention Council Weekly Blog 2-12-13: One Billion Rising

The 2012 Ulster County Youth Development Survey data just arrived – a box crammed with disks of data. I’m digging into the numbers and I will have a lot to say about our results in the coming weeks. However, it is time to take a break – to dance!
I’m joining One Billion Rising for V-Day. What is that? Here is some information from the web site:
About One Billion Rising:
One in three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime.
One billion women violates is an atrocity.
One billion women dancing is a revolution.
On V-Day’s 15th anniversary, 14 February 2013, we are inviting one billion women and those who love them to walk out, dance, rise up and demand an end to this violence.
What does one billion look like? On February 14 it will look like a revolution.
One billion rising is:
A global strike
An invitation to dance
A call to men and women to refuse to participate in the status quo until rape and rape culture ends
An act of solidarity, demonstrating to women the commonality of their struggles and their power in numbers
A refusal to accept violence against women and girls as a given
A new time and a new way of being
One Billion Rising is a promise that we will rise up with women and men worldwide to say “Enough! The violence ends now!”.
I was excited to see that there are at least four events planned in Ulster County.  For details, visit
Whether or not you can make it to one of the V Day events, please take the time to view the following video. It will give you a good sense of the power of the day and the movement:

Cheryl DePaolo
Director of Ulster Prevention Council

Friday, February 1, 2013

UPC Weekly Blog 2-1-13: We've got to do more!

This week I learned of the tragic overdose deaths of two area youths.

100 people die from drug overdoses every day in the United States. Drug overdose death rates in the United States have more than tripled since 1990 and have never been higher. Although many types of prescription drugs are abused, there is currently a growing, deadly epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse. Nearly three out of four prescription drug overdoses are caused by prescription painkillers. 

These drugs were involved in more overdose deaths in than cocaine and heroin combined. Combining alcohol with drugs increases the risk. I’ve been sharing these facts for a while now.  We’ve got to do more. For our youth, for our parents, for ourselves. Effective strategies include universal evidence-based prevention curricula in schools, prescription drug monitoring programs, laws to prevent diversion, increased awareness and education, and better access to substance abuse evaluations and treatment.

Here at the Prevention Council we are rolling up our sleeves. Will you join us?

Cheryl DePaolo
Director of Ulster Prevention Council