QUESTION: What are the risks of using heroin?
ANSWER: Heroin is a dangerous, potentially fatal drug. Long-term users experience a variety of health problems, including heart and lung problems. Additionally, street heroin often contains contaminants that can damage vital organs and increase the risk of overdose. Because heroin is often injected, infectious diseases can result from unsafe methods of intravenous delivery. Finally, mixing heroin with other substances, such as alcohol or sedatives, can increase the risk of death from respiratory failure. ( www.caron.org)
Myth: Heroin is a drug abused only by older drug users
Fact: For many years a large percentage of heroin users were aged 30 or older, but that number is changing.
Heroin users are beginning to skew younger -and the average age of heroin users is now 21 years old. As heroin users get younger and younger, education about the dangers of the drug becomes more important, and needs to be introduced at a younger age. (www.michaelshouse.com)
Code for Heroin
Did you know that the words "Dog" and "Pup" are code words for Heroin? For example if you hear the phrase "going to get some dog food" or "Going to get pup food" . The person could be using the code for picking up or using heroin. The word "Boy" is also sometimes used as code for heroin.
July 15, 2015
At the monthly YSAC meeting Sara Christensen from Yates County Public Health gave a presentation on Naloxone system. Public Health officials and community member are being trained to administer this life saving product to help people who have overdosed on heroin or other opioids. Sara explained that the main problem with a person overdosing on heroin is that the person stops breathing. This is caused because the opioid connect to receptors in our brain which control our breathing. To assist someone that has overdosed on a heroin a product called Naloxone has been developed to offset the effects of heroin. It is not a permanent fix but will counter the effects of the heroin for 30-90 minutes. The Naloxone works in this matter; Naloxone takes the place of the opioids in the receptors and allows the affected person to breathe again.
Sara discussed the procedure that should be followed if we come across a person that has overdosed on heroin. Calling 911 for a non-responsive person is very important part of this process. She continued the presentation with displaying how the Naloxone distribution system works. She assembled the Naloxone kit and gave a demonstration on how the device works.
The Yates SAC would like to thank Sara for her time to share this information with the group.
Marc Mero Presents in Yates County
On February 10th, WCW Wrestling Champion, Marc Mero, will be visiting Dundee High School and also Penn Yan Academy to present to the students his personal story regarding substance abuse, suicide and goal setting. Marc has as an extraordinary ability to connect with young people of all ages. Not because of his former wrestling career — but because of his personal story of overcoming insurmountable obstacles throughout his life to achieve success.
Marc will also have a night presentation at Dundee High School Gymnasium at 6:30 on Feb. 10th.
Dundee Has a Heroin Forum
On December 7, 2015 Dundee had a Heroin Forum at the American Legion. This was organized by a local individual concerned about the recent death of the 17 year old in the Dundee Central School District. There was a sizable group at the Dundee American Legion and good presentation by Scott Backer and a representative from the Council on Alcoholism & Addictions and SCUD from Schuyler County. Several questions were answered for the public attending.
The Dundee School District plans an assembly for students on December 21st and another public forum on January 19th.
Yates County Public Health conducted the Narcan training on Thursday October 29th. The training was very successful. they had 22 individuals trained of which 19 were female and 9 were male. Average age was 50 with the youngest being 23 and the oldest being 76. The majority of attendees were from Penn Yan and Dundee but we also had people from Dresden, Himrod, Branchport, Rushville, Geneva, Canandaigua, Stanley and Middlesex.
The participants were very appreciate of the training and thought the training was very good. One gentleman even stated that the Public Health training was so much better than a another agency that had the same training. There were a lot of questions so we did end up going a little past 8pm.
Getting Ready for The Upcoming School Year
Getting ready for the upcoming school year isn’t all about notebooks, brand-new clothes and lunchboxes. It’s also about laying the foundation for good communication with your child and preparing them for a new transition. Click on the document below to read about helpful hints on how to talk to your children about drugs and alcohol.
Graduation Letter to Graduates of the Class of 2015 and Their Parents
Yates County District Attorney, Valerie Gardner will be sending out a Graduation Letter to the high school graduates of the Class of 2015 and their parents and guardians. First and foremost to congratulate the graduates. Second, to remind the parents of the "common issues and possible misconceptions about alcohol, the law, and teenagers." In this letter District Attorney, Valerie Gardner talks about the pitfalls that could arise if parents host a party and serve underage persons. Ms. Gardner states that "the criminal penalties, serving even one alcoholic drink to an underage person places the host in a dangerous position where they may be held civilly liable for any accident or other consequence as a result of intoxication or impairment". To view the letter Click Here.
On Wednesday, January 28, 2015 the Yates Substance Abuse Coalition (YSAC) conducted a forum on Heroin at Dundee Central School District Auditorium. There were approximately 120 people in attendance. The YSAC panel gave information about the Heroin concerns in Yates County. Sheriff Spike had a powerful message and updates about the war against Heroin in the county. A recovering addict shared his story about his fight with Heroin addiction. He has now been sober for almost 6 months and stated; “that he is the happiest that he has been since he was 14 years old”. His mom also spoke about her struggles with him and shared the message that “they are not saying they are away from the effects of the addiction, but are in a better state of mind now.” Jackie Shrader offered help and hope in her message. Sue Wager explained to the group how the process of contacting FLACRA works and what people can expect. The panel answered questions that the audience had. The questions that were not answered will be found below in the Question and answer section.
Questions and Answers
1. What do heroin addicts typically do with stolen ID’s?
As answered by Lieutenant Scott Backer: The only type of ID crimes we are seeing in Yates county involving addicts are:
1. Stolen checks that are then forged and cashed to buy drugs.
2. Stolen ATM and credit cards.
2. Who does heroin affect?
Jackie Shrader answered: Heroin effects the user and EVERYONE in close relationship to him/her. That includes family, friends, teammates, co-workers, neighbors---virtually everyone with whom they have contact.
3. Why isn’t any amount (of heroin) considered a felony?
Answered by Lieutenant Scott Backer: Contrary to the popular belief that we send people to prison for possessing a small amount of marihuana, the truth is we are not even sending people who possess heroin to prison. New York State Penal Law section 220.03, makes Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, possession of up to half an ounce (~14 grams) of heroin, a class A misdemeanor. The only way this will change is if pressure is put on the legislature in Albany to change the law.
4. Do you have to give your name when you call the hotline or tips? As answered by Lieutenant Scott Backer: No. Callers to the tip line at (315) 536-5558 may remain anonymous. People can also email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org . It should be understood that an anonymous tip, while useful for developing more information, cannot be used for probable cause. Many people are under the false impression that once we receive an anonymous tip, we can then use that tip to obtain a search warrant or base other legal process on that tip. While the information is appreciated, people who are willing to give written statements are always better.
5. If an addicted person wants to stop using, what is the first step they should take to get help?
Answered by Jackie Shrader- People who want to stop using have options:
a) ask their sponsor (AA, NA) or a family member or friend to stay with them to keep them safe until they reach treatment. It is unsafe physically & psychologically in many circumstances to go through withdrawal without professional supervision during the process.
b) call a treatment agency, present at an ER, present at a detox center.
Sue Wager answered: I would stress that the most important step is to tell someone. That person can help you decide in which direction you want to go and even help you to navigate the referral process.
6. What are your comments on the legalization of marijuana?
Answered by Jackie Shrader : Marijuana is a gateway drug that leads to use of even more dangerous substances. So, legalizing it will 'up the anty' in terms of the danger level of drugs that will replace it as a gateway.