Friday, April 26, 2013

Ulster Prevention Council Weekly Blog 4/26/13 : Free Training for School Personnel

On Wednesday, May 1, the Ulster Prevention Council is offering a training for school personnel:

Current Drug Trends Among Youth in Your Community
Providing Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment

Wednesday, May 1
Free Brunch Provided
Ellenville Public Library
Community Room
40 Center St.
Ellenville, NY

Learn about current drug trends and the signs and symptoms of substance abuse. The SBIRT tool helps school counselors, health and school personnel and mental health professionals learn how to ask the right questions to engage youth in an open conversation about drug and alcohol use and abuse.

Motivational interviewing techniques, active listening and non-confrontational questions will be learned through experiential role-play scenarios.
This brief questioning tool provides a way not only to screen for problem alcohol/drug use, but also to learn how to initiate a brief intervention and possible referral when indicated.

(845)458-7408 ext. 231

Cheryl DePaolo
Director of Ulster Prevention Council

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ulster Prevention Council Weekly Blog 4/23/13: National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Saturday, April 27

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has scheduled another National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day which will take place on Saturday, April 27, 2013, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  This is a great opportunity for those who have accumulated unwanted, unused prescription and over-the-counter drugs to safely dispose of those medications.
In the five previous Take-Back events, the DEA in conjunction with state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners have collected more than 2 million pounds (1,018 tons) of prescription medications that were removed from circulation.
The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposal, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of these medications.
Drug Take-Back Day is also an effort to keep trace drugs out of our lakes and streams (waste water treatment plants cannot remove many compounds found in medications; so when flushed or put in a landfill, drugs are discharged into our surface and ground water and consumed by fish and wildlife). 
Visit for take-back locations in New Paltz and Kingston. There is also a permanent 24 hour MedReturn drop off box in the lobby at the Saugerties Police Department.

Monday, April 15, 2013

UPC Weekly Blog 4-15-13: Prepare to discuss 4/20 with youth

April 20 is almost here.  Does this date hold any significance for you? If not, ask the nearest teen or young adult about 4/20.  The blog will wait...go ask them...or "Google it" if you don't have access to youth. We need to know about 4/20 and be prepared to discuss its significance.
Our Ulster County Youth Development Survey indicates that youth perceive their parents as somewhat accepting of marijuana use.  I find that many adults are truly ambivalent when it comes to marijuana. Perhaps you smoked it in your younger years and feel that no harm came of it. You may have heard that marijuana is the only thing that has helped cancer or glaucoma patients. We must be clear about these issues ourselves and prepared to have intelligent conversations with youth.
I recommend that you start by visiting the National Institute on Drug Abuse at for accurate information.
Here are some talking points gleaned from the site:
  • More teenagers are now current (past-month) smokers of marijuana than of cigarettes
  • marijuana users generally report lower life satisfaction, poorer mental and physical health, relationship problems, and less academic and career success compared to their peers 
  • In 2009, THC concentrations in marijuana averaged close to 10 percent, compared to around 4 percent in the 1980s
  • marijuana's adverse impact on learning and memory persists after the acute effects of the drug wear off
  • regular marijuana use by young people can have long-lasting negative impact on the structure and function of their brains
  • a large prospective study (following individuals across time) showed that people who began smoking marijuana heavily in their teens lost as much as 8 points in IQ between age 13 and age 38
  • marijuana users have a 4.8-fold increase in the risk of heart attack in the first hour after smoking 
  • frequent marijuana smokers can have many of the same respiratory problems experienced by tobacco smokers, such as daily cough and phlegm production, more frequent acute chest illness, and a heightened risk of lung infections
  • a series of large prospective studies showed a link between marijuana use and later development of psychosis
 About so-called medical marijuana:
  • there have not been enough clinical trials showing that marijuana’s benefits outweigh its health risks in patients with the symptoms it is meant to treat
  • to be considered a legitimate medicine, a substance must have well-defined and measureable ingredients that are consistent from one unit (such as a pill or injection) to the next
  • THC-based drugs to treat pain and nausea are already FDA approved and prescribed, and scientists continue to investigate the medicinal properties of cannabinoids
  • Estimates from research suggest that about 9 percent of users become addicted to marijuana; this number increases among those who start young (to about 17 percent, or 1 in 6) and among daily users (to 25-50 percent)
  • Long-term marijuana users trying to quit report withdrawal symptoms including irritability, sleeplessness, decreased appetite, anxiety, and drug craving 
Cheryl DePaolo
Director of Ulster Prevention Council

Monday, April 8, 2013

2013 Media Contest Deadline Extended!

Ulster Prevention Council has extended the 2013 Media Contest Submission Deadline! 

This contest is open to all Ulster County Students!

Help us get these important messages out to Ulster County communities:

• The dangerous health risks associated with the misuse of prescription medications
• Alternatives to drug use: getting involved in social & recreational activities in your community
• Awareness of the harmful effects of marijuana on youth brain development & I.Q.
Be Aware, Don’t Share prescription drugs and Lock Your Meds to keep kids safe


• Best Video Message- $250 Gift Card
• Best Radio Message- $150 Gift Card
• Best Poster- $75 Gift Card


Winners to be selected on MAY 29th

Contact: Lori @ Ulster Prevention Council

Phone: (845) 458-7406 ext.231


Monday, April 1, 2013

UPC Weekly Blog April 1, 2013:Stimulants

The following information is from NIDA - the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
As the name suggests, stimulants increase alertness, attention, and energy, as well as elevate blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration. Stimulants historically were used to treat asthma and other respiratory problems, obesity, neurological disorders, and a variety of other ailments. But as their potential for abuse and addiction became apparent, the medical use of stimulants began to wane. Now, stimulants are prescribed to treat only a few health conditions, including ADHD, narcolepsy, and occasionally depression—in those who have not responded to other treatments.
Stimulants, such as dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine and Adderall) and methylphenidate (Ritalin and Concerta), act in the brain similarly to a family of key brain neurotransmitters called monoamines, which include norepinephrine and dopamine. Stimulants enhance the effects of these chemicals in the brain. The associated increase in dopamine can induce a feeling of euphoria when stimulants are taken nonmedically. Stimulants also increase blood pressure and heart rate, constrict blood vessels, increase blood glucose, and open up breathing passages.

The dramatic increases in stimulant prescriptions over the last 2 decades have led to their greater environmental availability and increased risk for diversion and abuse. For those who take these medications to improve properly diagnosed conditions, they can be transforming, greatly enhancing a person's quality of life. However, because they are perceived by many to be generally safe and effective, prescription stimulants, such as Concerta or Adderall, are increasingly being abused to address nonmedical conditions or situations. Indeed, reports suggest that the practice is occurring among some academic professionals, athletes, performers, older people, and both high school and college students. Such nonmedical cognitive enhancement poses potential health risks, including addiction, cardiovascular events, and psychosis.
As with other drugs of abuse, it is possible for individuals to become dependent upon or addicted to stimulants. Withdrawal symptoms associated with discontinuing stimulant use include fatigue, depression, and disturbance of sleep patterns. Repeated abuse of some stimulants (sometimes within a short period) can lead to feelings of hostility or paranoia, even psychosis. Further, taking high doses of a stimulant may result in dangerously high body temperature and an irregular heartbeat. There is also the potential for cardiovascular failure or seizures.
Stimulants should not be used with other medications unless authorized by a physician. Patients also should be aware of the dangers associated with mixing stimulants and OTC cold medicines that contain decongestants, as combining these substances may cause blood pressure to become dangerously high or lead to irregular heart rhythms.

Cheryl DePaolo
Director of Ulster Prevention Council

Ulster Co. Prescription Drug Task Force Launched

Ulster Co. Prescription Drug Task Force Launched
March 21 Kick Off Meeting Draws 40 from All Community Sectors
STONE RIDGE—The Prescription Drug Task Force of Ulster County held a kick off meeting on Thursday, March 21 at SUNY Ulster, drawing more than 40 people interested in supporting the task force’s goal of mobilizing all sectors of the community to reduce the epidemic of prescription drug abuse. Participants included doctors, pharmacists, school personnel, nonprofit agencies, mental health providers, law enforcement and local youth.
"The Centers for Disease Control declared prescription drug abuse a silent epidemic that is stealing thousands of lives and tearing apart communities and families across America" said Cheryl DePaolo, Director of the Ulster Prevention Council. "Ulster County is mobilizing the community to take action against this national health crisis".
According to a 2009 study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, 16 million Americans ages 12 and older had taken a prescription pain reliever, tranquilizer, stimulant, or sedative for nonmedical purposes at least once in the year prior to being surveyed.
In a survey administered by the Ulster Prevention Council in 2012, 2.9 percent of the county’s 8th graders, 11.7 percent of 10th graders and 18.5 percent of 12th graders reported having abused prescription painkillers in their lifetime and 3.6% of students grade 7-12 had abused prescription painkillers in the previous 30 days.
The Prescription Drug Task Force is a joint initiative of the Ulster County Departments of Health and Mental Health and the Ulster Prevention Council. The next meeting will take place on April 18, 2013 at 10:00 AM at the Ulster County Department of Mental Health at 239 Golden Hill Dr. in Kingston.

For more information on the Prescription Drug Task Force of Ulster County call 845-458-7406.