Thank you, HCA Healthcare for inviting Prevention Coordinator, Miranda Poe to do an interview and for supporting the DEA National Take Back Days through the “Crush the Crisis” initiative. Check out their 2022 video below.
“I don’t see any evidence that the DEA has produced that supports that conjecture,” said Nabarun Dasgupta, a researcher studying illegal drugs at the University of North Carolina
“We have not seen any connection to Halloween. I want to be very clear, if we see it, I promise, you have my commitment, any credible evidence, we will come out and we will tell you. What we do see is social media we see fake pills, like the blue Oxys that you just showed, rainbow pills, a new tactic being used by the cartels, and here’s what we worry about, we have middle schoolers and high schoolers who are dying of fentanyl poisoning. We have 12 year olds, 13 year olds, 14 year olds who are dying. And so we are not seeing it in Elementary school. We are not seeing it in Halloween candy. The bottom line is that this is all over social media and so we know its out there. Parents, we are begging families and parents to talk with their loved ones and to talk with their children. Never take a pill that wasn’t prescribed directly to you. Help your child come up with an exit strategy. What do you do if a coach, or a best friend, or another member of your family offers your kid a pill. No legitimate pharmaceuticals can be sold on social media, so make sure your kids know that. And finally, just understand that many people that are dying of fentanyl poisoning have no idea that they were taking fentanyl…” – Anne Milgram, DEA administrator
“False alarms and drug scares matter because they distract attention from need for better healthcare and addiction treatment at a moment when more than 100,000 Americans are dying from OD.” – Brandon del Pozo, addiction medicine researcher at Brown University
Below is the full proclamation from President Joe Biden.
NATIONAL YOUTH SUBSTANCE USE PREVENTION MONTH, 2022
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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
During National Youth Substance Use Prevention Month, we rededicate ourselves to transforming the lives of America’s youth through prevention. We commit to building and supporting communities where young Americans can live healthy and fulfilling lives, free from the dangers of substance use, laying the groundwork for strong future generations.
Our country has been battered by twin crises in recent years: an overdose epidemic and COVID-19. Last year, a record 107,000 Americans died of drug overdoses, ripping a hole in families across every community in the Nation. More than a thousand of those who died were teenagers — sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, and friends who still had their whole lives ahead of them. We cannot let that continue. My Administration is drawing on evidence-based strategies to prevent substance use and to intervene early so we can help keep America’s young people healthy and safe. We are supporting programs that teach young people about the risks of drug and alcohol use — including the dangers of illicit fentanyl and counterfeit pills — and about the life-saving power of naloxone.
Preventing substance use during adolescence has been shown to significantly reduce the chance of developing a substance use disorder later in life. For every dollar we spend today on effective school-based prevention programs, we save $18 in the future by avoiding potential medical costs and boosting productivity on the job. Prevention programs also make young people less likely to one day have children who use substances, highlighting the far-reaching value these efforts have across generations.
Americans can all agree that this work is critical –- irrespective of their political party affiliation. That is why I made beating the opioid epidemic — our Nation’s most deadly drug use crisis — a pillar of the bipartisan Unity Agenda that I unveiled in this year’s State of the Union. I know that together, with resources and smart policy, we can overcome it. Last year, we invested nearly $4 billion in American Rescue Plan funds to expand mental health and substance use services and to help school districts increase the number of social workers on staff by as much as 54 percent. My Fiscal Year 2023 budget proposes $3.1 billion in National Drug Control funding for prevention, nearly $850 million more than last year. We have already provided more than $120 billion for quality tutoring, mental health, and afterschool programs. We are supporting Drug-Free Communities coalitions in all 50 States, giving local communities the tools and resources to address their own youth substance use issues in ways that are culturally appropriate. We are working to ensure that States leverage Medicaid funding to support schools providing mental health and substance use care to our youth. We are also working to ensure full parity between physical and mental health care so all Americans have access to quality, affordable care, including for substance use.
This month, I call on everyone — parents, siblings, friends, neighbors, teachers, community members, and more — to reach out to the young people in their lives to share information, promote healthy lifestyles, and help transform lives through evidence-based substance use prevention. We thank every individual and every organization working on the front lines to prevent youth substance use. And we renew our commitment to building a healthier and more supportive Nation where all young people can reach their full potential and achieve their dreams. I will never quit fighting to get everyone the support and resources needed to beat this crisis. No one is ever alone.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 2022 as National Youth Substance Use Prevention Month. Let us all take action to implement practice and evidence-based prevention strategies and improve the health of our Nation.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-seventh.
JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.
At the end of August 2022, President Joseph Biden sent out a proclamation for recovery month. In his proclamation, he included, “we recommit to helping prevent substance use disorder.” As the work we do is centered on prevention, we are glad to see prevention included in this proclamation. We are grateful for the recognition of health disparities in the United States including disproportionate impacts on indigenous communities and people of color, including less access to care and greater criminalization. Thank you for putting funding into prevention, harm reduction, and treatment services!
Visit recoverymonth.net for more information and resources. In the words of one of our coalition members, Sherron Bristol, “Life happens to all of us. We’re all recovering from something.” Recovery is for everyone.
Starting Dec. 1, 2022, NC Medicaid Managed Care Standard plans and Tailored Plans will “require contracted providers, not including retail pharmacies, and with the exception of the residential provider facilities, to implement a tobacco-free policy covering any portion of the property on which the participating provider operates that is under its control as owner or lessee, to include buildings, grounds, and vehicles.”
Thursday, September 22 from 9 am – 10 am, Beth Macy, will be at Gaston College for an in-person conversation and book signing on her new book, Raising Lazarus: Hope, Justice, and the Future of America’s Overdose Crisis. This timely book delivers a “deeply reported, deeply moving” account of everyday heroes fighting on the front lines of the overdose crisis.
This event is free and open to the public, with registration. Doors will open at 8:30 AM, and the event will begin at 9 AM.
Underage access to alcohol in the home has always been an issue. In our 2019 survey of Buncombe County and Asheville City Schools, 13.3% of sixth graders and 52.6% of 11th graders reported that alcohol is easy to get. Those who use alcohol said the most common place they use it is at a friend’s house or at their own home.
This became even more of an issue during the COVID-19 pandemic. Alcohol sales for off-premise (home) consumption has significantly increased over the last two years, which means that even more alcohol is available, especially if it is not secured (locked up) and monitored. There have also been increased mental health issues due to the stress and isolation of the pandemic, which can result in more youths trying to find coping mechanisms like alcohol.
Over half of Buncombe County residents we surveyed in our 2021 Underage Drinking Survey said they feel that underage drinking is a problem here. The main reasons people feel it occurs is due to culture and expectations, access, coping, parental acceptance and enjoyment. The majority said it is occurring at home. Almost half said that parents, caregivers and other adults give alcohol to young people. Approximately 88% said drinking has increased as a result of the pandemic.
What can you do to make your home a safer space?
1. Youths often imitate behaviors that adults in their life do. If the adults they are around are using alcohol to cope with stress, they take note of this and may begin mirroring this behavior. The more you can handle your own stress in healthy ways, the more likely your children will be to handle their stress in healthy ways. Model lower-risk drinking habits. Lower-risk drinking is defined as up to one standard drink per day for women and two standard drinks per day for men. Zero drinks is the appropriate amount for anyone underage, pregnant or driving.
2. Don’t unintentionally provide alcohol to youths who live in or visit your home. How? Secure and monitor alcohol in your home. Our coalition, the Partnership for Substance Free Youth in Buncombe County, provides free materials (i.e., cabinet, closet and fridge locks and bottle cap locks) to help adults lock up alcoholic beverages to deter youth use. While you may not think your child would take alcohol without permission, locking it up removes the temptation for them, their friends or other underage relatives who may visit your home. Adults who have done this report that knowing their alcohol is off-limits offers them additional peace of mind that the youths in their home are safer.
3. Talk about the risks of underage drinking with the youths in your life and be clear about your expectations.
4. Don’t intentionally provide alcohol to anyone underage. The legal drinking age is 21 for a reason. Alcohol dependency is five times more likely for teens who start drinking before 14, compared to after they’re 21. Underage drinking isn’t just a “rite of passage” or “phase of life” that people grow out of. Nearly 97% of heavy adult drinkers started before the age of 21. Alcohol can have serious negative impacts on the health of young people, impairing learning and memory. Alcohol is linked to increases in unintentional injuries such as car crashes, falls, drowning, burns and firearm injuries. It has been proven that alcohol increases the risk of at least seven types of cancer.
Thank you for helping to make our community a safer place for the young people of Buncombe County. If you would like to share your perspective on underage drinking in Buncombe County, please follow us on social media for links to this year’s survey. You can also contact us for a free cabinet or bottle lock. Reach us via Facebook at The Partnership for Substance Free Youth in Buncombe County; Instagram at ABFuturesMovement and email at email@example.com
— Miranda Poe and Montana Montiel, prevention specialists, and Matilene Osho, project coordinator
RHA Health Services and the Partnership for a Substance Free Youth in Buncombe County