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Ongoing News and Information from the Wellspring Center for Prevention Coalition
NOV
22
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The Marijuana Vote

The Marijuana Vote
This past Election Day not only ushered in a new president for our country, it also moved forward on other hot topics; one of the biggest being that of marijuana legalization. On November 8th California, Nevada, Maine, and Massachusetts voted to legalize marijuana. Arizona voted on this issue, but was the only state not to pass. The states that did just recently pass will now join the likes of Colorado, Oregano, Alaska, Washington, and the District of Columbia who legalized the cultivation, sale, and use of marijuana over the last few years. On the medical marijuana front, Florida, North Dakota, and Arkansas voted yes to medical marijuana initiatives; and Montana voted to loosen up on current medical marijuana laws. All of these newly legalized states will keep similar restrictions as alcohol in which legalization will be limited to those 21 and older and not be allowed in most open public spaces....
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NOV
04
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National Family Caregivers Month

National Family Caregivers Month
On October 31st President Barack Obama officially proclaimed this November as National Family Caregivers Month. This is a particularly close topic to our president’s office given some of his main initiatives in Health Care as well as the First Lady’s initiative called Joining Forces, which focuses on getting soldiers the resources they need when they return home from war. To read the full version of President Obama’s Proclamation, click here and check it out . Being a caregiver is such a general term and many can fall under this umbrella, whether caring for a family member, friend, neighbor, working in an agency, institution, etc. You can be a caregiver for the elderly, the sick, veterans, those struggling with addiction or mental illness, the list goes on. In fact at one point in our lives we all will either be the caregiver and/or be in need of one in some capacity. Given...
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OCT
06
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Knock Out Opiate Abuse Day

Knock Out Opiate Abuse Day
On October 6, 2016, Knock Out Opiate Abuse Day, more than 200 volunteers from across New Jersey will take to the streets and physician and dentist offices to raise awareness about the epidemic of opiate abuse that is impacting our state and to raise awareness about the link between prescribed opiates and the heroin abuse rates in New Jersey. The statewide single-day initiative will mobilize families, the prevention and treatment communities, community leaders, and concerned citizens to raise awareness of the potential for dependency on prescribed pain medicine and its link to heroin abuse rates in our state. The mobilization will have a dual focus: educating physicians and raising awareness among New Jersey citizens and families. Engaging Physicians Teams of volunteers across the state will visit physician and dental offices in their community. Volunteers will be equipped with information, including a “door knocker” PSA and a copy of the CDC guidelines...
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SEP
28
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National Substance Abuse Prevention Month October 2016

National Substance Abuse Prevention Month October 2016
By Diana Starace, RWJ Injury Prevention Coordinator Several years ago President Obama proclaimed October as National Substance Abuse Prevention Month. He called attention to the role that substance abuse prevention plays in promoting safe and healthy communities. His proclamation acknowledged the role every person - yes, YOU - plays in preventing substance abuse. It was a call to all of us to support a culture where all people can live to their fullest potential. This message hits close to home for those working at a Level 1 Trauma Center where we are called upon to treat the most critically injured patients. Why? Because substance abuse increases your chance of injury. Alcohol and other drugs can affect your judgment, vision, and coordination. It’s no surprise that people who use these substances are more likely to get hurt than people who don't. Even people who use alcohol or other drugs once in a...
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SEP
28
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Coalition Wins First Place in Banner Contest

Coalition Wins First Place in Banner Contest
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) dedicates September as National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) to increase awareness of behavioral health conditions. This observance promotes the belief that: behavioral health is essential to health; prevention works; treatment is effective; and people recover from mental and/or substance use disorders. To commemorate Recovery Month, the Coalition for Healthy Communities participated in New Jersey’s Recovery Walk on September 17, 2016. The walk was sponsored by Recovery Advocates. The walk included a banner contest for participants based on theme of “no judgment, only hope”. During the September coalition meeting, members of the coalition collaborated to design and create a banner, which won 1st place at the Recovery Walk. Members of the coalition, together with the youth alliance of Perth Amboy, walked and celebrated Recovery on a beautiful afternoon.
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SEP
23
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Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental Health Awareness Week
The first week in October (Oct 2nd – 8th) marks the annual Mental Health Awareness Week. It is such a shame that, still in 2016, there is such a distinct stigma connected to Mental Illness. However, did you know that one in five adults in the US (about 18.5%) experienced some sort of mental illness in the past year? The numbers are even higher for youth. About 21.4% of teens age 13-18 experience a severe mental illness at some point in their childhood and about 13% for children 8-14 years old do so as well. Those are staggering numbers when you think about how many people are in your own lives and how many people you interact with on any given day. You probably didn’t know what a common condition it is, because many go un-diagnosed or hide it due to the labels that are so harshly put on individuals who...
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SEP
20
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Wellspring Center for Prevention Awarded SAMHSA STOP ACT Grant

Wellspring Center for Prevention Awarded SAMHSA STOP ACT Grant
Grant Efforts Designed to Prevent Underage Drinking in County Underage drinking is a serious public health problem in the United States. Alcohol is the most widely used substance of abuse among America’s youth, and drinking by young people poses enormous health and safety risks. The consequences of underage drinking can affect everyone— regardless of age or drinking status. We all feel the effects of the aggressive behavior, property damage, injuries, violence, and deaths that can result from underage drinking. This is not simply a problem for some families—it is a nationwide concern. In response, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced the award and funding of new grants designed to prevent underage drinking through the Sober Truth on Preventing Underage Drinking Act (STOP ACT) grant program. Wellspring Center for Prevention was notified of the award for the STOP ACT grant program which provides funding for community-based coalitions throughout...
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SEP
12
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Older Adults at Risk for Prescription Mismanagement

Older Adults at Risk for Prescription Mismanagement
by Debbie Riscica and Deena Cohen of Central Jersey Family Health Consortium Older adults are at higher risk for medication misuse or abuse, than any other age group. Americans age sixty-five and older make up 13% of the US population. However, they consume 33% of all prescription medication (NIDA, 2014). A daily regimen of many medications can be difficult to manage and mistakes can happen. Certain interactions between medications can compromise physical health and safety, and cognitive functioning. Also, as people age, the liver’s ability to metabolize and filter medications decreases. This causes a higher sensitivity to certain medications and can cause an unintentional overdose. Pain medication such as OxyContin, Percocet and Valium is mostly misused. Medications to treat anxiety, panic attacks, and insomnia are significantly misused as well. Examples include Xanax, Ativan, Valium and Klonopin. Older adults who misuse or abuse medication, are at greater risk of becoming addicted. Some...
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1057 Hits
AUG
31
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National Overdose Awareness Day

National Overdose Awareness Day
Today, August 31st is National Overdose Awareness Day and it’s time for me to reintroduce my son, Jason. For the past twelve-plus years, I have been talking about Jason, introducing him to new groups of youth, parents, school faculty, and others, in an attempt to demonstrate what a drug abuser looks like. Look at this face. This is the face of a young man who, within three weeks of the photo being taken, died of an overdose of prescription drugs that he was abusing. This is also the face of a smart, funny, caring, and loving young man who made a horrible mistake. Not an “oops” kind of mistake, but a permanent one – one that cannot be taken back, no do-overs. So, in spite of the twelve-plus years that I have been talking about Jason, why are so many young people still dying? According to the CDC, in 2014, opioid...
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936 Hits
AUG
22
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Time to Remember - Time to Act

Time to Remember - Time to Act
At the end of this month, August 31st is International Overdose Awareness Day. This is an opportunity to take a moment not only to pay tribute to the tragedy of all the lives lost to overdose, but also a time to make a difference to help put an end to this epidemic. Drug overdose in a worldwide issue with America topping the charts as one of the worst effected countries. The year 2014 was the highest rated year of drug-related overdose deaths on record ever! According to the CDC , in 2014, a total of 47,055 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States. The vast majority of these overdoses occur using opioids (pain relievers) and at the head of that monster are prescription opioids and heroin, which have quadrupled in related deaths since 1999. So how can you get involved on this day? There are so many ways: You can...
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