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National Drug Take-Back Day

National Drug Take-Back Day

Residents may bring unused, unwanted, or expired prescription drugs to the following locations on Saturday, September 26th from 10:00-2:00.  Hardwick Police Department; Kinney Drugs in Morrisville; Lamoille County Sheriff’s Department in Hyde Park. As always unwanted medicines can also be turned in anytime at the Hardwick Police Department and at the Lamoille County Sheriff’s Department. The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.  This service is free and
anonymous, no questions asked. Properly disposing of unwanted prescriptions helps to make our communities safer and our environment cleaner!   

DEA began hosting National Prescription Drug Take-Back events in 2010. At the previous nine Take-Back Day events, 4,823,251 pounds (2,411 tons) of unwanted, unneeded or expired medications were surrendered for safe and proper disposal. The disposal service is free and anonymous for consumers, with no questions asked. Collection sites and information for every local community can be found by going to This site will be continuously updated with new take-back locations.

Prescription medications play an important role in the health of millions of Americans. However, expired medications or unused drugs often stay in the back of cabinets for months or even years. These expired drugs can pose significant health hazards to toddlers, teens and even family pets who may inadvertently consume medications. Some medications are so potent that even one dose could be fatal if accidentally ingested. Throwing away certain medications in trash cans or flushing them down the toilet can be a safety and health hazard, too.

There are other important safety issues, as well: misuse of prescription drugs is second only to marijuana use as the nation’s most commonly used illicit drug. A U.S. government report shows that more than 70 percent of people who first misuse prescription drugs get them from their friends, relatives or simply take them without asking. According to the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 4.2 percent of Americans aged 12 or older engaged in nonmedical use of prescription pain relievers in the past year. Nonmedical use is defined as the use of prescription-type drugs not prescribed for the user by a physician or used only for the experience or feeling they cause.

While the number of Americans who currently abuse prescription drugs dropped from 6.8 million in 2012 to 6.5 million in 2013, that is still more than double the number of those using illicit drugs of abuse like heroin, cocaine, and LSD combined. According to the 2013 Monitoring the Future Survey, over 28 percent of 12th graders had abused prescription medications in the past 12 months. These statistics magnify the need for proper disposal of unused or expired prescription medications.

The DEA’s “Take-Back” initiative is one of four strategies under the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010 to reduce prescription drug abuse and diversion in the United States. Additional strategies include education of health care providers, patients, parents and youth; establishing prescription drug monitoring programs in all 50 states; and increased enforcement to address illicit methods of prescription drug diversion.

Consumers may also continue to utilize the guidelines for the disposal of controlled substances listed by the Food and Drug Administration if they are not able to attend the scheduled Take-Back Day. (


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Derailing kids: Alcohol and drugs send children as young as 10 off-course, and parents may not see it

Derailing kids: Alcohol and drugs send children as young as 10 off-course, and parents may not see it
Few things have the power to derail young lives as thoroughly as

alcohol or drugs, but parents are often oblivious to the signs — and to the messages they have sent their children that may encourage it. Prevention has to start early.

News OK By Lois M. Collins, Deseret News
May 19, 2014
Ask experts what parents do wrong when it comes to preventing children from using drugs and alcohol, and many share this image: A parent comes home from a tough day at work and announces he or she needs a drink. Or there’s a promotion — great cause for celebration — and the wine bottle comes out.
Parents who use alcohol to celebrate, to wind down after a tough day or to rev up to socialize set children up to use alcohol and drugs. Few things have power to derail young lives as thoroughly as substance abuse, but parents are often oblivious to the signs — and to the messages they send their children that may encourage use, experts explained.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that 23 million Americans need treatment related to drug and alcohol use, including minors. For some children, drinking starts as young as 8 or 9, drug use not much later.

“If you had a tough day, talk about it, verbalize it. Take a hot shower. Turn on music and relax a little,” said Stephen Wallace, director of the Center for Adolescent Research and Education at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. “Do not model alcohol use as a way to self-medicate.”
Parents have more power than they may recognize: They are the top reason that children make good choices, Wallace said.

Talk, talk, talk
Conversation is the “single most potent weapon” against drug and alcohol use, he said. “When parents take time to engage early and often in honest dialogue and express parental expectations, children are much less likely to use alcohol and drugs.”
Wallace described a “big spike” in alcohol use starting between sixth and seventh grade, so addressing the topic around high school time may be years too late. At the least, children have seen others experimenting.
“Talk often and encourage them to come to you with concerns. And when they do, don’t freak out,” said Jesse Matthews, a licensed psychologist in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania. “Many parents encourage communication, but then discourage it by overreacting.”
Talk about drugs and alcohol, “but don’t demonize them. You want to instill good values in your children, but you cannot control them,” he said. “Teenagers are often rebellious, so being too controlling will only encourage more of this.”
The “big” talk about drugs and alcohol is probably less effective than snippets here and there. One of the best ways to have serious chats is walking or sitting in the car. It’s less threatening and will probably not come across so much as a lecture, said Dr. Karen Khaleghi, co-founder of Creative Care, an addiction treatment facility in Malibu, California.
If a parent blows the conversation, her advice is revisit it directly. She’s gone back to her son, she said, and admitted she didn’t do a conversation justice because she was distracted.
Parents need to help kids plan for situations where they don’t want to imbibe or do drugs, but they also don’t want to appear uncool. Conversations can yield strategies.
A zero-tolerance policy works, too, Wallace said. Kids need to know expectations and consequences. “It needs to be a conversation, not an edict. When it comes to parenting style, the most effective is authoritative — high on both warmth and control.”
David Gomel, senior vice president and COO of The Rosecrance Health Network in Rockford, Illinois, has important conversations about drugs and alcohol at work, but also at home, where he’s dad to two teens and a preteen. “I am looking for opportunities, the teachable moments as they arrive, which is often in the car or as we watch TV or in a conversation about a friend who may be more progressive than my kids are.”
Gomel criticizes parents who supply alcohol for kids and their friends on the theory that “they’d drink anyway but at least they’re here and safe.” He is blunt when talking to parents of his children’s friends: “It is not OK for my kids to use alcohol, just so you know.”

Khaleghi advocates parenting that is attentive and focused. Parents should look for the root of problem behavior and recognize that children who feel at ease in the world and can soothe themselves when they feel worried or challenged are less likely to use drugs or alcohol. Khaleghi said children with addictive, nervous traits need a strong support network so they won’t fall prey to temptation or peer pressure.

“Addiction forms over time through a series of events. There are ways for parents to prevent and address addictive behavior,” Khaleghi said. “Parents follow nutrition guidelines to create healthy eaters, read to kids to create lifelong learners and limit bad language around them to create respectful adults. Children take their cues and model behavior after what they witness at home.”
Starting early

Start early is the advice from Rina Das Eiden, developmental psychologist and senior research scientist at State University of New York at Buffalo. When a parent soothes a fussy baby, chooses not to use physical punishment and meets a child’s need for interaction, that parent is helping prevent substance abuse later, she said. Parents should know what’s normal or not at a given age and create time for shared meals, interactions and open communication.

Children at a young age are tiny mirrors who reflect back the behaviors they see far more than the words they hear, Eiden said. She recommends a Family Check Up, available online at

Videos show good and poor communication with a teenager, as well as tips that help parents work through strategies. “I really think this kind of online help is helpful for parents,” said Eiden. “Kids know how to push your buttons, and it’s difficult to not let yourself get emotionally worked up. But you can’t really learn to communicate with your child or how to set limits for them unless you’re calm.”

Dr. Melissa Deuter, a psychiatrist in San Antonio, treats adolescents and young adults. She likes peer mentors for older kids. It helps to have sounding boards like counselors or youth ministers — “somebody who is not a parent and can’t administer consequences,” but who can help sort through the issue and offer sage advice.

Stick with real science, not scare tactics. The truth is serious enough. Drugs and alcohol can damage the brain. When Deuter’s young patients say marijuana is harmless, she points out that pro-marijuana websites leave out that studies show it increases risk of schizophrenia onset. The sites don’t mention it can alter hormone levels, so young men who smoke it heavily may become impotent, she said.

“The pro-marijuana lobby has worked hard to create the perception it’s not a big deal. That’s the message kids are getting. It causes cognitive changes in kids, and adolescents don’t always see the nuances,” said Wallace, who believes legalizing marijuana has increased drug use.

On the plus side, it may prompt better research, Deuter said. That happened with alcohol.

Roots of addiction

Khaleghi knows genetics may play a role in addictions; she saw it in her own family. “It was not my personal issue, but one I had to learn to cope with and understand,” she said.

One in four people has someone in their lives who struggles with addiction, she said. Some don’t recognize it. While society tries to figure out how to address addictions, a great deal is known about how addiction works and the brain chemistry behind it.

Khaleghi thinks people who use have higher levels of anxiety and when that becomes unmanageable, they use alcohol and drugs. The solution to addiction is discovering what one’s self-medication issue is, she said. Effective treatments connect emotion and behavior.

Genetics is just one puzzle piece. Khaleghi proposes an experiment: Watch TV with a child and see how many times problems are solved with a pill or a drink — for headache, for indigestion, for sexual dysfunction. Or how often a parent, on screen, drinks — to celebrate, to cope, or just because. Her count shocked her.

Warning signs

Warning signs of substance abuse include suddenly having new friends or losing old ones, skipped classes, falling grades, wanting to be left alone at home or loss of interest in formerly favorite activities, among others.

Those can happen without drugs. But a cluster may indicate use, Eiden said.

Khaleghi said most of her patients started with alcohol or prescription medications. “It’s an issue of availability.”

Parents often have no idea what’s going on in their communities and even in their homes. Deuter described parties where kids bring whatever prescription drugs they can find. They are pooled together and kids take them by the handful, unsure and uncaring what they are and what the effect will be.

If a child is already drinking or using, Eiden said it’s crucial to figure out the extent of the problem. Consult someone who knows a lot about drugs and alcohol. Severity, frequency, type of drug, context for use, abuse, dependence and other issues need to be part of the evaluation, she said.

An in-patient program may not be required. But if children are addicted or using at a level that could result in addiction, Deuter said they probably need to go into a program where use “forcibly stops. If it has its hooks in, you can’t reason them out of it. It’s like being taken hostage. At that point, it’s too big” without professional help.

People need to seek help from those who regularly treat others with the same issue, Deuter said. Especially since brains are still forming up to about age 25, it’s a mistake to go to someone who might with best intentions but little experience provide the wrong treatment, including medication dose.





Sunny's Story: How to save a young life 

Ginger Katz and Marci Alborghetti

This is a story for all ages. It tells of joyful times and sad times and how a best friend was needlessly lost. It is narrated through the eyes of Sunny, the family beagle, and the ups and downs of his life with his young master, beginning with their meeting at an animal shelter.

365 Unplugged Family Fun Activities

Steve and Ruth Bennett

“Turn spare time into share time and too-much-time-on-your-hands into time well spent with these 365 All New TV-free, video-free, and computer game-free entertainment ideas.”


Bridges Out of Poverty Book and Workbook;
Ruby K. Payne, PhD, Philip E DeVol, Terie Dreussi Smith

“Bridges reaches out to the millions of service providers and businesses whose daily work connects them with the lives of people in poverty.  In a highly readable format you’ll find case studies, detailed analysis, helpful charts and exercises, and specific solutions you and your organization can implement. .  .”


Why Can’t They Just Stop? Addiction;
John Hoffman and Susan Froemke

“Thanks to major leaps in the scientific understanding of addiction, an entirely new portrait of this frightening disease has come into focus.  The new science tells us that addicts, in part, are unable to quit using drugs or alcohol because chemical changes in their brains prevent them from doing so.

The Social Norms Approach to Preventing School and College Age Substance Abuse
 H.Wesley Perkins, Editor

This book “offers educators, counselors, and clinicians a handbook for understanding and implementing a new and highly successful alternative to traditional methods for preventing substance abuse among young people.”


Influencer, The Power To Change Anything; 
Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler

This “thought-provoking book that combines the remarkable insights of behavioral scientists and business leaders with the astonishing stories of high-powered influencers from all walks of life. You’ll be taught each and every step of the influence process – including rebust strategies for making change inevitable in your personal life, your business, and your world. 




Binge : Getting wasted and how it can effect your life!

The Hardwick Area Community Coalition would like to give a huge Thank You, 
to those in our documentary Binge.  These courageous people have shared either their own stories or observations to help others learn about the dangers of binge drinking. 
Produced by The Hardwick Area Community Coalition in association with Vermont Department of Health.
Directed by Bess O'Brien, Kingdom County Productions.

The Truth: A Young Adult Perspective on Alcohol & Drug Abuse

A film by The Vermont Young Adult Advisory Team

Why Can’t They Just Stop? Addiction

“Several of the nation’s leading experts on drug and alcohol addiction, together with a group of accomplished filmmakers, have assembled to create ADDICTION, an unprecedented documentary aimed at helping Americas understand addiction as a treatable brain disease.”


Shout It Out

This original musical “tells the story of a group of teenagers making their way through high school.  The film follows them through some of the more tumultuous moments of teenagehood: academic pressure; friction with peers, teachers, and parents; trying to fit in, trying to find one’s self fear of the future; nostalgia for the past; friendship; and first love.


The Truth About Drugs

This “is the real story of what drugs are and what they do to your body and mind – told by people who’ve been there, done them and survived to tell about it.”

Alcohol: True Stories,
hosted by Matt Damon

“Young people tell how alcohol affected their lives.  In compelling and honest interviews these teens offer insight into the reasons young people drinks, and encourage their peers to wait.”

Hardwick Area Community Coalition’s Not So Fast Program:

Driver’s Education Event for young drivers and their parents.  Presenters were:  Jennifer Fisher from the Vermont Department of Liquor Control; Lt. John Flannigan, Traffic Safety Unit; James Carter, Seat Belt Use.


Spike’s Poison Prevention Adventure

“Goals:  To teach young children to always ask an adult before touching, tasting, or smelling a potentially poisonous substance.  To teach adults how to prevent poisonings.  To teach adults to call the Poison Control Center immediately in case of a possible poisoning.





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