This past year, The Alliance dissolved it's 501 (c) (3) status, but we continue to have a serious concern for our youth and the rising number of drug addiction and drug overdose statistics. Although we no longer are asking our former school and faith based members to renew their Alliance memberships, we are still a very viable community resource that will continue to offer programs for interested schools and faith based institutions across our western Pennsylvania region. Alliance programs will now be offered at NO COST.
Please contact me if you would like to learn more about how The Alliance can be of assistance to you.
Debra Kehoe, Director [email protected]
In 2003, 12 northern area schools joined efforts to establish The Alliance. The primary goal of this Alliance was to raise awareness of the drug culture our children were facing and offer hope through community programs for families suffering from drug use and addiction. Over the past 13 years the Alliance has met with thousands of families, educators, faith based youth ministers, local law enforcement and government officials to raise this awareness. Because The Alliance believes strongly in prevention/early intervention, we know that we made an impact and helped families not only prevent youth drug use but measures to take if drug use was a factor.
I would like to tell you that we have seen significant progress in drug prevention among our youth but to say that wouldbe an untruth. Over the past years and especially most recent there has been a tremendous increase in illegal drug use including marijuana and prescription drugs; especially narcotics. There has been a steady rise in heroin use and overdose deaths. Allegheny County has one of the highest overdose death rates across our county and a number of our local government officials have worked hard to combat that statistic. Unfortunately, their efforts have primarily centered on preventing overdose deaths with little focus on drug use prevention.
Prevention statistics are impossible to define. How do you measure the number of families helped or lives saved as a direct result of Alliance or other community initiatives? For whatever the reason, I believe we are on the losing side of preventing youth drug use. Perhaps a significant reason is the ongoing legalization of marijuana both medicinally andrecreationally. How can marijuana use be bad when more and more of our states are legalizing it? Marijuana growers are becoming millionaires, states are reaping huge tax benefits and parents are being misled by the promoters. Needless to say, I could go on. I could detail why marijuana for medical purposes does not have to contain the chemical that produces the high. I could go on to detail the significant crisis the schools across Colorado are now facing due to the high increase in students coming to school stoned, the young children poisoned by marijuana edibles, or the high increase in traffic accidents.
The bottom line: marijuana legalization creates apathy and apathy towards drug use of any kind is dangerous.
Over the past decade, dozens of school districts and private schools have become Alliance members. Today, that number has dwindled substantially. Not only has membership declined, the current member schools are not using any Alliance programs. For whatever the reasons, schools as well as families don’t appear to have a need or a demand for community drug prevention programs to reinforce what they themselves provide. I respect their decisions and am hopeful that all schools across our communities will continue to address the drug crisis not only with their students but parents as well.
At the conclusion of this school year, The Alliance will officially be dissolved as a non-profit community organization. The Alliance website however will remain intact and updates on issues and concerns that impact our community will continue to be disseminated. Thank you for your support in our endeavors over the years. It has been our honor and privilege to be of service.
I remain respectfully yours,
BRING YOUR WORKPLACE TO LIFE
Every year, substance abuse in the workplace costs U.S. businesses approximately $81 billion. It’s an enormous and growing problem, but there is a solution.
Through training, organizations can face substance abuse head-on and offer their employees the help they need.
Here’s how to get started. http://www.gatewayrehab.org/services/supporting-programs/work-drug-free
West Mifflin students face drug charges for THC-infused candy
WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. —A West Mifflin Area High School student was taken to the hospital Tuesday as a precaution after likely consuming candy that was laced with a controlled substance.
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Due to the current crisis regarding overdose deaths across the western Pennsylvania region, please be advised that the antidote Naloxone for opioid overdose is now available through all CVS Pharmacies without need for a prescription.
Naloxone and CVS
All CVS Pharmacies across Pennsylvania are now dispensing the antidote Naloxone WITHOUT the need for a doctor’s prescription. This news is important for any family member addicted to prescription opioid pain medications and/or heroin users. Obtaining this medication is as simple as going to a CVS drug store pharmacy and requesting it. The pharmacist will supply 2 doses of Naloxone in the nasal spray form. Instructions for use are included. The cost without insurance is $42. The UPMC insurance plan does cover this prescription. It is possible that other insurance policies do as well.
What is Naloxone?
Naloxone is an antidote for opioid overdose that reverses the effects opioids can cause including preventing the death of the user. Naloxone only works if opioids are present in the body, and has no effect if they are not. It does not work on alcohol or other drugs. Naloxone usually takes effect in 3 to 5 minutes and lasts 60 to 90 minutes. Naloxone should be given to someone experiencing an opioid overdose as soon as possible as death can occur over 1 to 3 hours. Giving this medication quickly gives time to take life saving actions such as calling 911.
Examples of Opioids
Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Norco)
Oxycodone (Percocet, Oxycontin)
The Pennsylvania Alliance for Safe and Drug Free Children highly recommends that every family suffering with a loved one’s drug use/addiction and every high school and college institution keep this life saving antidote on hand. In doing so, it could potentially save a life.
Seventy percent of people 12 and older who abuse prescription drugs say they get them from a friend or relative. Parents can have a powerful impact in deterring and intervening in teen drug abuse.
In the Families & Communities section you will find:
- Facts & Figures about prescription drug abuse
- Drug abuse Signs & Symptoms
- Tips for Parents
- Methods for Safe Storage & Disposal
- Resources for Getting Treatment
- Community Resources
Rx Safety Matters also provides a downloadable Resource Guide for Families & Communities: