Archive for the ‘News’ Category
Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Hamburg Strand Theatre
6 South 4th Street, Hamburg, PA 19526
Through poignant and unexpectedly funny stories, along with surprising insights from authors, psychologists, and brain scientists, Screenagers reveals how tech time impacts kids’ development and offers solutions on how adults can empower kids to best navigate the digital world and find balance. A COCA staff member will be part of a panel discussion about technology addiction.
In the midst of the opioid crisis, it may feel like we will never get out of it. Lives continue to be lost, and the fight seems to get harder. But in Berks County, there is hope to be found amid this current tragedy.
In this COCA publication, you will find articles highlighting just some of the great work being done in Berks County in the name of Prevention, Intervention, Treatment and Recovery services addressing the opioid crisis. This work can not be done alone, and the Council on Chemical Abuse recognizes that it is not just our efforts that better our community, but also the work of those organizations we work alongside and the many individuals dedicated to the drug & alcohol field. We hope after reading our report you will walk away knowing a little more about the work being done, and know that people do get well!
View an interactive version of the report below:
For information regarding programs and statistics for the 2015-16 Fiscal Year running July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016, please CLICK HERE to download our Facts & Figures report.
Find additional resources related to this year’s publication:
Addiction to Heroin
Addiction to Prescription Medications
2016 Annual Conference News Post
How to Get Naloxone
Recovery & Me – Dan’s story
The Council on Chemical Abuse is pleased to announce the 2017 Pat Ganter Scholarship. This $1,000 scholarship is available to a Berks County High School Senior who is active in substance abuse prevention in their school or community.
- A completed application form
- Two typed letters of reference (from teachers/school personnel)
- A high school transcript (unofficial will be accepted)
- A typed 1,000-word or less biographical statement composed by you, in which you discuss
- Your educational goals
- Any community involvement (volunteer or service activities), special contributions you take pride in, or volunteer positions that promote community well-being or the well-being of individuals
- Specific areas of personal or academic growth and achievement in high school that you want to share with the committee (including awards and honors)
- How your educational paths supports your life goals and reflects your values
Patricia Ganter, as a dedicated employee of the Council on Chemical Abuse and Caron Treatment Centers, was recognized by colleagues for her commitment to the field of addiction and recovery.
In her role as Administrative Assistant with these drug and alcohol organizations, Patricia joined a high degree of professionalism with a compassion for those challenged by addiction. With her optimistic demeanor, Patricia will long be remembered for her steadfast belief in the power of recovery.
Scholarship Deadline and Submission Information:
The “Warm Handoff” was established to respond to overdose survivors. Once the individual is medically stable, a Certified Recovery Specialist (CRS) meets with the survivor on site at the hospital and assists them in engaging in treatment and recovery services. This initiative is provided through a contract with Treatment Access and Services Center (TASC).
In Berks County, Certified Recovery Specialist (CRS) services have emerged to provide around-the-clock assistance. These peer-to-peer recovery services have demonstrated positive outcomes across the nation, including a dramatic drop in crisis contacts and hospitalizations, less alcohol and drug use, improved living situations, and enhanced income and health, as compared to individuals not receiving these support services. Locally, CRS services have shown to be helpful in assisting individuals who are confronted with significant challenges, to complete treatment and reduce barriers to achieving long-term recovery.
Treatment Access and Services Center (TASC) is currently seeking PART TIME employees for the Warm Hand-Off (WHO) program, working out of the Emergency Department at the Reading Hospital in West Reading, PA. CLICK HERE to learn more information.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 20, 2017
It’s Time to Talk!
Empowering parents to start the conversation with their children about drugs & alcohol
Reading, PA: “Parents are the first line of defense in the prevention of young adult drug and alcohol use,” says Alicia Kline, Prevention Specialist at the Council on Chemical Abuse, “Teaching our children about the dangers of drug and alcohol is more than having ‘the talk’ but rather engaging our children in a continual conversation that develops alongside them.”
The Time to Talk parent program was developed last year and has gained momentum over the last few months as requests for the program have increased. Time to Talk provides parents with the knowledge and the skills necessary to start this growing conversation about drugs and alcohol. The program was specifically designed for parents of children of all ages, elementary through college.
“This is not about us telling parents how to parent, this is about encouraging parents to start talking about drugs and alcohol – and to share with them some tools they can use to do that,” says Kline. Prevention experts discuss how and when to start the conversation with your child about drugs and alcohol, adding to what they call the parent “tool box.” Topics during this presentation include the following:
- Conversation tips/starters
- How to Listen
- Age-tailored situations
- When children are at higher risk for use
- Warning signs of us
“You don’t need to be a parent to be an influence and to attend and to benefit from this program,” said Jaclyn Steed, Prevention Manager with the Council on Chemical Abuse. Other “adults of influence” are also invited, including teachers, coaches, grandparents, aunts/uncles, mentors, and any others who want to learn more about talking with the children in their life about drugs and alcohol.
Come Monday, March 27, 2017, from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. for Time to Talk at Saint Andrew United Methodist Church, located at 611 Swamp Creek Road, Bechtelsville, PA. This event is free and open to the public. Child care will be provided. CLICK HERE to see the event flyer.
To learn more about the Council on Chemical Abuse and Time to Talk, please visit www.cocaberks.org/timetotalk.html.
“Addiction is an equal opportunity destroyer. No one is immune,” said David Reyher, Instructor of Behavioral Health at Alvernia University. Reyher was one of three professionals presenting at the Berks County Opioid Task Force meeting on Friday, March 10, 2017. About 50 professionals representing Berks County gathered for a meeting at the Reading Hospital to address the opioid crisis in Berks County.
The March 10 meeting opened with a presentation from Berks County District Attorney John Adams on the supply of drugs, specifically heroin and other opioids in Berks County. Adams said 95 investigations were focused on heroin last year, an increase when compared to years past when most investigations were focused on cocaine. A big difference with the increase of heroin as opposed to cocaine is that heroin leads to more deaths, due to the nature of the drug. The combination of purity, availability and low pricing of heroin has created a lethal situation in our region. The question of other synthetic opioids also came up to which Adams responded, “Fentanyl is a huge problem.”
“Anything fentanyl touches, it kills,” said Chief County Detective Michael J. Gombar. According to the National institute on Drug Abuse, Fentanyl is 50-100 times more potent than morphine. It is typically used to treat patients with severe pain or to manage pain after surgery but can be found on the streets. Fentanyl is being found cut in with heroin and cocaine throughout the county, and it is a great concern to law enforcement because of the ability to be absorbed through contact with skin. We applaud the Berks County DA’s office for their continued work to get drugs off our streets!
For individuals suffering from addiction coming to get treatment, Dan Milloy, Executive Director of Treatment Access and Services Center (TASC), noted that heroin, alcohol and marijuana are the top three drugs. Work to get individuals into treatment continues, with TASC offering a “Warm Handoff” to those who show up in the emergency from an overdose or with severe opioid withdrawal symptoms. Berks has been successful in getting individuals into treatment with this program. To read more about the “Warm Handoff” program, please CLICK HERE.
“Without demand, supply wouldn’t be an issue,” said David Reyher, Professor of Behavioral Health at Alvernia University, in response to how addiction is the driving force behind why the supply of drugs seems to be so plentiful. “Addiction is a disease of ‘non-choice’ not ‘bad choice,’ “said Reyher. Kathy Noll, Data Analyst for the Council on Chemical Abuse and adjust professor of Behavioral health at Alvernia University spoke to the task force about how addiction works. “In addiction the brain is hijacked at the level of basic survival (eat, fight, procreate) and the drug of choice becomes #1,” Noll explained.
Lead by Berks County Commissioner Kevin Barnhardt and George Vogel, Executive Director, Council on Chemical Abuse, the Berks County Opioid Task Force has been established to assess and respond to the local impact of the opioid epidemic. With guidance from the University of Pittsburgh, the task force has gathered momentum rather quickly and meets on a quarterly basis. Goals of the task force include community awareness and lowering heroin-related deaths. Members are in committees focused on community safety, education and prevention, community awareness and outreach, data collection/assessment and healthcare and treatment.
Committee members were asked to place their discussion and direction into the following format:
- Goals – What as a committee they are looking to achieve
- Rationale – Thinking behind the set goals
- Approach – Action steps to address goals
What is Kick Butts Day?
Kick Butts Day is a national day of activism that empowers youth to stand out, speak up and seize control against Big Tobacco. The next Kick Butts Day is March 15, 2017. Kick Butts Day is organized by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. The first Kick Butts Day was held in 1996.
What events happen in Berks County?
Every year, the Council on Chemical Abuse participates with local high schools to provide tobacco education around this day. “There’s no reason to quit if you don’t start in the first place,” says Sarah Billman, Prevention Specialist. This year on Wednesday, March 15 we will be picking up cigarette butts around the high school building, and on Friday, March 17 we will be meeting with students to provide fun educational activities during lunch. Read about what the Council did for Kick Butts Day in 2016 and 2015.
For more information about Kick Butts Day visit their website at www.kickbuttsday.org.
The Council on Chemical Abuse provides countywide leadership in the development and implementation of policies, programs and a system of prevention and intervention services that prevent the onset of illegal alcohol, tobacco and drug use and treatment services that promote recovery from addiction to all substances.
High with HOPE in Berks
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Alvernia University, Francis Hall Theatre
400 Saint Bernardine Street, Reading, PA 19607
Tara Handron wrote and performs her one-woman show, Drunk with Hope in Chicago, to help with outreach and education about substance abuse. Tara created this adaptation, High with Hope in Berks, to specifically address the needs and issues we face here in Berks County. Watch a preview below and CLICK HERE for more information about this event.
READING, PA – Acting Secretary of Drug and Alcohol Programs Jennifer Smith and Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine today discussed the Wolf Administration’s efforts to battle the opioid epidemic during a visit to Reading Hospital, where they highlighted the importance of the “warm handoff” protocol in getting overdose survivors directly into treatment for addiction.
“With the number of overdoses increasing in Pennsylvania, we must focus on first reversing the heroin/opioid overdose with naloxone, and then when survivors are revived, getting them into immediate treatment,” said Smith. “A warm handoff is a way to encourage overdose survivors usually transported to emergency rooms for observation to agree to enter treatment.”
It is critical, said Smith, to get those suffering from substance abuse disorder into treatment. She said the number of deaths from heroin/opioid overdoses in the commonwealth was more than 3,500 in 2015 and is expected to be much higher in 2016.
Governor Tom Wolf’s first focus was to get naloxone into the hands of local and state police and other first responders to save lives. As part of those life-saving efforts, Dr. Levine signed a standing order for naloxone that is available at pharmacies or from the Department of Health website. Anyone can use Dr. Levine’s standing order to obtain naloxone.
“We are working now on the second step on the road to recovery from addiction: warm handoff,” said Smith. “Berks County and Reading Hospital have done a great job in getting overdose survivors to enter treatment and Dr. Chuck Barbera can provide a model for the best way to do it.”
To see the full press release please click HERE.
CLICK HERE to see the article from the Reading Eagle.