Prevention through Connection
Summer 2016
CASA Awarded New National Grant 
Focus on Safe Medication Practices & Disposal Programs

When we think of the word epidemic, infectious diseases like polio or ebola come to mind. At the height of the polio epidemic in 1952, cases of polio averaged 25,000 a year and more than 3,000 Americans died of the disease (NY Times 6/24/95).  Today, a new epidemic runs rampant in our communities.   According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), DRUG OVERDOSE is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States: 
  • In 2014, opioids (including prescription opioid pain relievers and heroin) killed more than 28,000 people - more than any year on record with half of all opioid deaths involving a prescription opioid (CDC
  • A new study by Quest Diagnostics indicates that 54% of adults and 44% of children between the ages of 10-17 misuse their medications (Washington Post 7/25/16). 
According to the Cardinal Health Foundation, nume rous factors contribute to this epidemic:  
  • Medicine use has been "normalized". More than 4 billion prescriptions are filled every year in the U.S. and nearly half of our population has taken at least one prescription drug in the past month 
  • We have easy access to medications in our homes 
  • Many of us have misconceptions about the safety and legality when misusing prescription medications. 
Since 2010, CASA has collaborated with numerous partners from across our community, county and state to educate residents on the dangers of prescription drug misuse to prevent opioid overdoses.  In addition, CASA has continuously emphasized the importance of locking up medications and participating in local pharmaceutical disposal programs. 

With the support of our many dedicated partners, Manhasset CASA was awarded a $25,000 grant from the Cardinal Health Foundation for our Generation RX Safe Medication Practices for Life Program.    The Cardinal Health Foundation Grant will support our educational programs for safe medication practices as well as facilitate the promotion of local and permanent disposal programs in the community. 
Please join our prevention efforts and be sure to  Lock Your Meds  so prescription drugs do not get into the hands of our t(w)eens.  Prescription medications can help us live longer and healthier lives. But they can also have the potential to do harm - especially when misused. Let's work together to make a difference in our community!

For more information about fall disposal or education programs, go to For more information about the Cardinal Health Foundation and the Generation Rx educational program go to  

Manhasset CASA Executive Board
Manhasset CASA's Safe Medication Practices for Life Program collaborates with many local, county and state partners. Standing left to right:  Erica Bradley, Executive Director, PATV; Barbara Donno, Mayor of Plandome Manor; Jack M. Martins, New York State Senator Seventh District; Steven Chassman, Executive Director, LICADD; Charles Cardillo, Superintendent of Manhasset Public Schools; Lisa Grygiel, Executive President, Manhasset SCA; Jeiver Espinosa,  Detective Lieutenant Nassau County Police Department Community Affairs; Paula Pontrelli, CPP, Supervisor,  Nassau County Department of Human Services Office of M.H.,C.D.,DDS; Elizabeth Johnson, Editor, Manhasset Press and Port Washington News; Anna Kaplan, Councilwoman Town of North Hempstead Fourth District; Sue Auriemma, Liaison, Greater Council of Manhasset Civic Associations; Maria Commisso, Supervising Pharmacist, Raindew Pharmacy;  Seated left to right:  Brittany Becker, MS, MHC, Community Education and Prevention Specialist, LICADD; Ivy Jin, President, Manhasset CASA Youth Committee Club; Dr. Caryn Sawyer, Executive Director, Manhasset CASA; Andrew Lunetta, Vice President, Manhasset CASA and Cathy Samuels, Project Director, Manhasset CASA.
Congress Passes CARA & President Signs into Law
Combats Opioid Epidemic

Congress passed its first major federal addiction legislation in 40 years and the bill was recently signed into law by President Obama.  The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) is considered to be the most inclusive effort undertaken to address our nation's opioid epidemic.  The legislation encompasses prevention, treatment, recovery, law enforcement, criminal justice reform, and overdose reversal. It also includes provisions that highlight pharmacists' role in curbing the epidemic. 

Lifesaving Overdose Prevention Seminars
Available across Nassau County  

To help save lives and combat the heroin epidemic, the Nassau County Department of Human Services and the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (LICADD) provide free Overdose Prevention & Naloxone Training Seminars.  Attendees will be trained in naloxone administration, learn the warning signs of drug addiction, available treatment options, personal stories of recovery, and more. Anyone can attend, but seating is limited:

Long Island Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence (LICADD)
Wednesday, September 21, 2016 5:45 p.m.
1025 Old Country Road Suite 221
Westbury, NY 11590
Register with Brittany Becker at (516) 747-2606 or by email at
Click here to view LICADD's Naloxone Trainings through December

Nassau County Overdose Prevention And Naloxone Training
Wednesday September 21, 2016 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
SUNY Old Westbury Student Union
Multi-purpose room
Old Westbury, NY
Register with Edin Laiken at or by calling (516) 571-6105
Click here to view Nassau County's Overdose Prevention Calendar of Programs and Trainings. 
No prior medical experience is necessary to participate in the training. Naloxone is administered through a nasal spray, and is provided at no charge to trainees over the age of 18.     
Thank You North Hempstead!
Passes Indoor Smoking Regulations to Protect Youth!

Special thanks to the Town of North Hempstead for unanimously approving regulations for  indoor smoking establishments in an effort to prevent our youth exposure to e-cigarettes and hookah smoking. 

Manhasset CASA's Youth Committee Club members attended the Town's July 12th Public Hearing where they addressed the Council regarding its proposed regulation.   Their statement  included recent statistics and facts regarding the dangers of e-cigarettes for our youth and the tendency of youth to migrate to traditional tobacco after using e-cigarettes. 

Please join us at the next public hearing on Tuesday, September 13th at 7:30 p.m. when the Town will address tobacco advertising.    
Talk. They Hear You. 
App teaches Alcohol's Effect on the Brain

Today's science continues to document alcohol's effect on the brain. CASA's Talk. They Hear You. Underage Drinking Prevention Campaign encourages parents and caregivers to be informed on the dangerous effects underage drinking has to the human body.  To help parents educate their children early about alcohol's affect on the human brain, an application teaching tool is available from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration ( SAMHSA).  

Alcohol's Effects on the Brain (AlcoholFX) is a free, science-based app for tablets that teaches students ages 10-12 how alcohol can harm their brains if they drink. AlcoholFX helps increase tween knowledge of alcohol's negative consequences before they reach the average age of first use.  In addition, parents can learn how alcohol affects their child's brain and can put their child's education and health at risk. 

For a free download of  AlcoholFX to your tablet go to  Google Play and Apple iTunes.    
Alcohol and the Big C
Experts link Alcohol to 7 Types of Cancers

In a new report in the Journal Addiction, researchers indicate that alcohol is associated with more than just liver cancer - even for those who drink moderately.

Analyzing a wide range in studies, researchers concluded that alcohol can cause cancer in seven areas of the body: oropharynx (a part of the throat), larynx, esophagus, breast, liver, colon and the rectum. The report also indicates that alcohol could cause prostate and pancreatic cancers. 

SAVE the Date for our vineyard vines Fundraiser!
Thursday, September 8th 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Manhasset Community 
Coalition Against Substance Abuse (CASA), Inc. 
P.O. Box 392
Manhasset, NY 11030
(516) 267-7548
Manhasset CASA exists as a resource to reduce the illegal, underage use of alcohol, tobacco, & other drugs among its youth, before they are in trouble, by connecting parents, schools and the community as partners in the common goal.  In 2013, CASA was honored to receive its second five year Drug Free Communities Support Grant (DFC) by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).  Our goals are to reduce substance abuse among youth and, over time, among adults; and to establish and strengthen collaboration among communities, private nonprofit agencies, and federal, state, and local governments to support the efforts of our community coalition to prevent and reduce substance abuse among youth.