Tuesday, January 26, 2016

How much do you think you know?

Parents, here is a blog post that offered excellent insights, advice and resources to better understand the growing epidemic of prescription drug abuse. 

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of National Institute on Drug Abuse for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.
When my oldest son entered high school, I was invited to a meeting held for parents by the school’s guidance counselors and police liaison officer to talk to us about substance abuse in our community. Since this was both my first time parenting a teenager, added to the fact that it has been a few years since I was in school- I wanted to hear what they had to say. What would they tell me about kids using alcohol and marijuana these days? Has the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in some states coupled with the growing medical use of pot making a difference in how it is being perceived by teens? Well- what I learned at this meeting was pretty shocking. And it far surpassed just a discussion of cannabis.
First of all, they explained that today’s marijuana is much stronger than what was sold even in the 1990’s by more than triple the amount of THC. So in spite of the fact that we hear so much about legalization and might leap to the conclusion that it must be “safer” as a substance, it’s just not. (Keep in mind that alcohol is a legal substance for adults too). But what really got my attention was the discussion of teens gaining access to parents’ prescription pain medications (opioids). Think about it- maybe you had gum surgery two years ago and picked up a script for Vicodin on the way home. Your pain wasn’t too bad so you only used 1 or 2 of the dozen pills they gave you, and the bottle with the rest of the pills just sits collecting dust in the back of your medicine cabinet. Until a teen in your life (could be your child, your child’s friend, or even a babysitter) finds them and decides to try one. And likes the high.
But the pills are expensive and hard to come by. So they start to look for something cheaper to try that gives them the same effects. And that’s how heroin enters their life. (Screeeccchhh!) What? Heroin?
I swear that before I attended this meeting I didn’t even know that heroin was around anymore! According to NIDA’s website:
“Nearly half of young people who inject heroin surveyed in recent studies reported abusing prescription opioids before starting to use heroin.”
Clearly as a parent of teens, it is time for me to re-educate myself with drug and alcohol facts.
National Drug & Alcohol Facts WeekSM (NDAFW) is an annual, week-long observance that brings together teens and scientific experts to SHATTER THE MYTHS about substance use and addiction. Held January 25-31, 2016, it is sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), both part of the National Institutes of Health. The week-long observance was launched in 2010 to counteract the myths about drugs and alcohol that teens often hear from the Internet, TV, movies, music, or friends. Events are designed to link teens with scientists and other experts, creating a safe place for teens to ask questions about drug and alcohol use, without judgment or lectures. One of the key resources for National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week is the National Drug & Alcohol IQ Challenge – a 12-question multiple choice quiz that teens and adults can take to test their knowledge about drugs. Parents can take the IQ Challenge and use the results to start a conversation with their teen about drugs and alcohol.
I took it myself- and wasn’t surprised by how much I didn’t know (but now I am learning). The website also has a Family Checkup which provides parents with research-based skills to help keep their children drug-free and videos that you can watch to learn how to talk to teens about what is going on in their lives. (I found these to be helpful). So how much do you think you know about teen drug use?

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Honest Answers From Young and Recovering Alcoholics

Some honest answers from young and recovering alcoholics. (via youthtoday.org)
Posted by Upworthy on Monday, December 28, 2015

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Ugly Sweaters, Gifts and Inspiration

Our December event included guest speaker Kenny Spear, a raucous gift exchange and some of the ugliest Christmas sweaters ever created. 

The event also helped students know they are not the only ones who don't think that drinking and drugs are inevitable parts of the high school experience. Never underestimate the importance and power of encouragement.

Kenny explained how the difference between being liked and being respected helps people make intelligent, mature decisions.  While it's easy to be liked, being respected is more difficult because it demands courage and maturity. Kenny's story was inspiring and by the grace of God he was able to share his addiction with prescription drugs and heroin. He also shared that by the grace of God, Christ has forgiven all of his sins and that he is a redeemed child of God. 

This night was a tremendous blessing.

Yes, this was the Ugly Christmas
Sweater Champion
One dollar buys more than you think.
Unfortunately, it didn't buy Jack a new hat.

The Advent hymn, "Comfort, Comfort, Ye My people" offers the hope we all need.

"Comfort, comfort ye My people,
Speak ye peace," thus saith our God;
"Comfort those who sit in darkness,
Mourning 'neath their sorrows' load. 
Speak ye to Jerusalem 
Of the peace that waits for them;
Tell her that her sins I cover
And her warfare now is over."

Friday, November 27, 2015

Example's Christmas Party

It's the most wonderful time of the year because... Example's Christmas Party will be Saturday, December 12 from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Rummage through Aunt Ethel's Christmas sweaters to find the perfect ensemble. That way the judges will have no other option than to pick you and your Christmas sweater ugliness as the 2015 Ugly Christmas Sweater Champion.
There will also be a Christmas gift exchange.  Bring a wrapped Christmas gift.  It can be clever, creative, odd, slightly used, funny and inexpensive.

Example Alumni: We would love for you to join us and share how Example has helped you in life after LHN.

The cost for the event is $3.00.  Lutheran North students only.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

This is MUST SEE tv.

On Tuesday November 17th, Karen Drew and WDIV will be covering topics of addiction, opiates, Narcan and much more all day long during their newscasts.The topics being covered will be
6 a.m. on Schools,
4 p.m.Legislative and their involvement,
5 p.m.Athletes,
5:30 p.m.on Narcan, 
6 p.m. Dentist,
11 p.m. on Seniors.

WDIV will also be holding a phone bank and web chat from 4 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. with members of FAN , CARE of Southeast Michigan and Brighton Center for Recovery taking calls. Please don't miss this full day of coverage. Thank you Karen Drew and WDIV!!!!

Also, on Monday November 16th, Dr McGeorge will also have an 11 pm story on this topic.

Thank you, Families Against Narcotics for sharing this information.  

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Great Speakers. Great Information. Great Event.

Buckle up, people.  
Example is going to host what might be its best event ever.  That's not hyperbole; it's fact. 
Need proof?  Here's proof:
  • In 2010 more than 12 million people reported using prescription painkillers non-medically.  (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services).
  • Prescription drug abuse is the fastest-growing drug problem facing our Nation today (whitehouse.gov/ondcp).
  • For the first time in our history, the number of overdoses has surpassed automobile fatalities (cdc.gov).
Fact: Prescription drug abuse is a problem.
Fact: Publishing facts about prescription drug abuse isn't an effective way to solve the problem

And that's exactly why on Wednesday, September 23 from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. in Lutheran North's gym,
Dr. Joseph Naughton, Director of Medical Education at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital, and 
Willie Kalousdian, a person in recovery and the Director of Youth in Recovery for Families Against Narcotics, will share information and encouragement about how you can avoid prescription drug abuse.  

The event is free.  The information is free.  The encouragement is free. 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

What do you think you know about prescription drugs?

Channel 7's Anu Prakash recently aired a segment that all high school students, high school parents, high school teachers and administrators need to watch.
(WXYZ) - "Not even a year ago, I was living out of my car. Not a penny to my name. I was addicted to heroin," says Brittany Sherfield.
It's an addiction that almost killed the 24-year-old.
Her problems started when she got hooked to prescription pills at age 17. But when that got too expensive, she turned to heroin.
"I overdosed 3 times. One time, I didn't think I was going to pull through," she says.
However, Sherfield did pull through. She realized something had to change.
Going to rehab a few times was part of the process. She's been sober for 9 months now. She says she also got involved with the organization called FAN, or Families Against Narcotics.
"It's hard sharing personal story, but it's so rewarding. I helps keep me sober," she says. "It keeps me going." 
Watch the entire segment below and then plan on attending Example's Prescription Drug Information Night on Wednesday, September 23 from 6:30 - 7:30 in Lutheran North's gym.

Dr. Joe Naughton, Director of Medical Education at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital and Willie Kalousdian, a person in recovery and Director of Youth in Recovery for Families Against Narcotics, are the evening's speakers.

Contact John Brandt, JBrandt@lhsa.com, if you have any questions.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Learn About the Dangers of Prescription Drugs

According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, prescription drug abuse is the fastest-growing drug problem facing our nation today.

What can you do?  Plenty. Start by attending Example's prescription drug presentation. 

On Wednesday, September 23 from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m., Lutheran North’s anti-drug/alcohol group, Example is hosting two speakers from Families Against Narcotics who will share their professional and personal insights about the dangers of prescription drug abuse and what students, athletes and parents can do to prevent it.

 Dr. Joseph Naughton has been a family physician in Macomb County since graduating from Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine (MSUCOM) in 1989.  In 2002, he was appointed as the Director of Medical Education at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital.  Dr. Naughton's main role with FAN is to develop and deliver educational programs for physicians, health care professionals, medical students, high school students and other community organizations.

Willie Kalousdian has been a member of FAN since 2012, and joined as a person in recovery. He is a recent graduate of Eastern Michigan University and works as a field engineer for a local construction company. Willie has been an active speaker for FAN since joining and continues his support now as the Director of Youth in Recovery. 

4 reasons 
why you should attend 
Example's Prescription Drug Presentation

·       More than 12 million people reported using prescription painkillers non-medically in 2010.  (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services)
·       According to a 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), prescription drugs are the number one choice to get high among 12-13 year- olds and one in five high school students report misusing prescription drugs. Furthermore, the study shows that over 70 percent of people who abuse prescription medications get them from friends or relatives.
·       Prescription drug abuse is the fastest-growing drug problem facing our Nation today (whitehouse.gov/ondcp).
·       For the first time in our history, the number of overdoses has surpassed automobile fatalities (cdc.gov).

Monday, August 10, 2015

Drug Disposal Sites in Macomb County

So several years ago you tweaked your hamstring. 


"That's for babies. I've got no time for stretching. Bring it!"

Well, IT was brought and your hamstring and/or clavicle and/or funny bone suffered the consequences. Oh, it wasn't anything too serious and your doctor helped the healing process with a prescription for pain medication.

Now that you have healed, what do you do with the pain medication you no longer need?  Drop it off at one of these stations in Macomb County.

Why?  Watch this video below...

Monday, July 27, 2015

Run, Example, Run

On Saturday Example participated in FAN's Run Drugs Out of Town event.  Current and former Lutheran North students showed up to support families who have been impacted by drug abuse.  Thank you to Lutheran North students, parents and alumni for supporting both Example and Families Against Narcotics.
It was a great day to help run drugs out of town!

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