Prevention through Connection
May 30, 2017
Prevention in Today's Opioid Epidemic 
Underage Drinking and its Link to Addiction

Manhasset CASA was formed in 2001 after school administrators, parents and residents learned Manhasset youth were drinking alcohol as young as 4th and 5th grade. Sixteen years later, our 8th grade students 
self-reported the lowest rate of past 30 day use of alcohol compared to past Manhasset 8th grade classes and youth survey results from Nassau County, New York State and the nation.  We have come a long way keeping our 6th, 7th, and 8th graders healthy. 

We cannot throw in the towel when they turn 15 - they need us now  more than ever!  Unfortunately, some parents believe it's ok for teens to drink to be social, popular, or to relieve pressure.   These are dangerous messages to send a teenager at a time when addiction is our country's number one health crisis ( 2016 Surgeon General's Report ) and the opiate epidemic took 500 lives on Long Island last year ( Newsday, April 2017 ). While overall use of prescription drugs has decreased for 12th grade students and is below national norms, 8th and 10th grade students self report an increase in prescription drug use.   Our children (and ourselves) may be suffering from the anxiety of the digital world and the challenging times in which we live . Stories of depression and suicide are increasing, and CASA's recent survey results showed a rise in depressive symptoms for 8th, 10th, and 12th grades ( 2017 Bach Harrison Prevention Needs Assessment results).

Manhasset CASA's Talk2Prevent campaign message encourages parents to communicate with their t(w)eens about the dangers of underage drinking and substance misuse.   Our recent mailing includes Conversation Starters which provides parents positive messages to help reduce alcohol and drug use as these risk behaviors do not make t(w)eens more popular or relieve stress; they put them more at risk.  We also can protect our teens by telling them they are lov ed and valuable for who they are and their future can be even brighter if they get there substance-free.

Education is important in understanding how underage drinking and drug use can often lead to addiction and all too often to tragedy.  On Tuesday, June 6th at 7:00 p.m. in the Community Room at Manhasset Public Library, the Rotary Club will host  Rotary Speaks: Opiate Evolution to the Perfect Storm, the Opiate/Heroin Epidemic  featuring Detective Pamela Stark  of the Nassau County Police Department.  On Wednesday, June 14th at 1:00 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock (UUCSR), we will co-host a prevention initiative for older adults and those who care for them:  Generation Rx: Safe Medicine Practices in Today's Prescription Drug Epidemic.    The panel discussion will feature Reisa Berg, LMSW, Director of Education and Prevention with the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (LICADD); Howard Jacobson, R.Ph., President, Long Island Pharmacists Society; Richard Koffler LCSW-R, CASAC-G, creator of It's Never too Late: a nationally recognized older adults chemical dependency outreach program; and Paulette Phillippe, Advisory Committee Member with Families in Support of Treatment (F.I.S.T.) who lost her grandchild to an opioid overdose. Supporters of the program include the Town of North Hempstead's Project Independence Aging in Place Program for residents age 60 and over and the Family and Children's Association.

Please share your ideas for protecting our children - with your friends, community members, CASA, and the Board of Education.  An important step is to speak about addiction as a disease and whether it has impacted your family.  As one of our recent  CASA Coffee  speakers, a 26-year old Manhasset graduate and college lacrosse player explained, "addiction is an illness.  There should be no moral judgment when someone needs help or suffers a relapse. Nobody would treat a cancer patient like that."  Parents applauded his bravery and honesty in sharing his experience to help others.  Communication between parents and and teens is key - pretending everything is fine  does not address our children's needs.    As we begin to embrace the beginning of summer, we hope parents and residents will utilize  our resources and join the effort to prevent underage drinking, prescription drug misuse and addiction. The stakes are too high for our children, families and community. 

Further resources are available through Manhasset Public Schools' social workers as well as CASA's website

Manhasset CASA Executive Board
Before, During and after Graduation

Manhasset's Class of 2017 will attend College 101 Day on Thursday, June 1st where Seniors will rotate through three programs that  address pertinent issues affecting today's college students and young adults. College 101 includes the Red Watch Band Alcohol Emergency Response Program, taught by qualified Manhasset High School faculty, a Sexual Assault Prevention Program, run by the Safe Center of Long Island, and an Adjustment/Transition to Freshman Year Program presented by Adelphi University Faculty. This year, the Manhasset graduate who spoke at our CASA Coffee will also talk with our seniors about his experience with addiction and recovery. We thank the district's administration, faculty, and the SCA, for their coordination and implementation to make this program possible.

As students move beyond high school - some to college and others to the workforce -  prevention should continue to be paramount for  the well being of our young adults. 

Shed the Meds Collects 700 lbs.
Disposing of Meds is a Safe Medicine Practice

Thank you Senator Elaine Phillips and the Nassau County Police Department for your efforts to collect 700 lbs. of pharmaceuticals at the April 22nd Shed the Meds event at Shelter Rock School.  The drive-up and drop off program continues to offer residents easy access to dispose of old or unused medications! 

Please remember that residents do not have to wait for a formal take back event to dispose of unwanted medications through out the year. Residents can DISPOSE of unwanted medications at any Nassau County Police Department Precinct or Police Center. The disposal bin is located in the lobby.  Accepted items include prescriptions, prescription patches, prescription medications, prescription ointments, over the counter medications, vitamins, sample medications and medications for pets.  Please do not deposit needles, sharps, aerosol cans, thermometers, ointments (liquid or lotion), hydrogen peroxide, inhalers, medication from businesses and bloody or infectious waste.

Click here for our Generation Rx Fact Card which provides a list of all Nassau County Police Precincts.  
CASA Recognizes Town of North Hempstead
for Making a Positive Difference in the Lives of our Children & Community

They say  it takes a village to raise a child .  In this case, it takes the Town...of North Hempstead!

During National Prevention Week, Manhasset CASA recognized the work of Supervisor Judi Bosworth and the entire Town Board for their efforts to protect children from the  dangers of tobacco and e-cigarettes drug useCASA noted how fortunate families and residents are to have the Town participate on its Drug Free Communities Coalition and more importantly understand the importance of taking action to prevent our youth from accessing substances that harm their health and development. The town was presented a proclamation and thanked for making a positive difference in the lives of our children, families, and community!
Safe Medicine Practices & Today's Drug Epidemic
Program for Older Adults and those who Care about Them 

Rotary Speaks Addresses Opioid Epidemic
Features Detective Pam Stark - Nassau County Police Department 

CCE Suffolk County Family Health & Wellness
Strengthening Families & Communities
CASA is happy to connect parents with insight from the Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Suffolk County's Family Health and Wellness Program. The program seeks to strengthen family well-being and healthy lifestyle choices through parent education.

A recent article by Dinah Castro, a Bilingual Family Well-Being Educator with CCE, notes how making good choices is a life long skill which children learn as young as toddlers and use for the rest of their lives.  Click here to read more about the importance of providing children the opportunity to make good choices on their journey to becoming an adult. 
Free Family Education Series at Seafield 
Open to all Residents 
Seafield Center's Family Education Series continues for residents who are impacted by addiction. The free family program provides information regarding various aspects of addiction, treatment, therapy and codependency and enabling behaviors.
Wednesday, June 7th at 7:15 p.m.
Family Support Group Session
Facilitated by Merrit Hartblay, MSW, CASAC

Wednesday, June 21st at 7:15 p.m.
Alcohol/Drug Addiction/Recovery Process & its impact on the family
Facilitated by Merrit Hartblay, MSW, CASAC

All residents are invited to attend the series held at 585 Plandome Road, Manhasset. For more information call Merrit Hartblay, MSW, CASAC at (516) 812-9944 extension 1705. 
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).  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.