January is:

Protect Yourself, Your Family, and Friends

During the holiday season, and as part of New Year resolutions, take steps to make sure that you and everyone you celebrate with avoid driving under the influence of alcohol and other illegal drugs.

The problem

According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report, last year deaths in crashes involving drunk drivers increased 4.6 percent, taking 10,322 lives compared to 9,865 in 2011. The majority of those crashes involved drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 or higher – nearly double the legal limit. During last year’s holiday season alone, 830 lives were lost in drunk driving crashes. These tips from NHTSA can help you stay safe year-round:

  • Plan ahead. Always designate a non-drinking driver before any holiday party or celebration begins.
  • Take the keys. Do not let a friend drive if they are impaired.
  • Be a helpful host. If you’re hosting a party this holiday season, remind your guests to plan ahead and designate their sober driver, always offer alcohol-free
  • beverages, and make sure all of your guests leave with a sober driver.
  • As you are at liberty to celebrate, if you are in recovery be aware of strong feelings associated with a mood-changing substance. Be sure to utilize your support systems.

February is:

Children of Alcoholics Week

The purpose of this week-long event is to raise awareness about children affected by parental alcohol misuse. It also offers an opportunity to reach out to those fighting the disease of alcoholism so they know help and support is available to them as well.

Studies show that alcoholism is a family disease. According to SAMHSA, about 7.5 million children under 18 years old live with a parent with alcohol problems. Alcohol and other drug dependence affect every member of the family, including the children from early childhood through adulthood. It is recommended that both the children of alcohol and other drug dependent parents look for support.

Follow these tips from The National Association for Children of Alcoholics:

  • When the home situation is excessively disruptive or verbally abusive your children go off to be alone, find them, talk to them and comfort them.
  • Encourage and support your children to become involved in school and community activities.
  • Educate yourself about alcoholism and community resources.

March is:

National Problem Gambling Awareness Month!

Problem Gambling: A Hidden Addiction

What is gambling? What is problem gambling?

  • Gambling is defined as risking something of value on an unknown outcome that depends on chance or skill.
  • Gambling becomes a problem when it causes a disruption in any major area of life: psychological, physical, social, vocational, health, spiritual or emotional.
  • Problem gambling is characterized by the inability to resist the impulse to gamble, even when there are negative consequences.
  • Loss of control is at the heart of problem gambling.

What are the signs of a gambling problem? Behavioral signs and symptoms include the following:

  • Problems in concentration
  • Missing deadlines and important activities
  • Frequently borrowing money
  • Lying to loved ones about gambling
  • Trying to win back money lost

How do I know if a loved one has a gambling problem?

  • Preoccupation with gambling.
  • Loss of interest in other activities.
  • Need to increase bet to maintain thrill.
  • Lies to loved ones about gambling behavior.
  • Borrowing money.

Where to find additional information about Problem Gambling in New York State? For further assistance, information and referrals, call the New York State HOPEline 1-877-8-HOPENY or www.NYProblemGambling.org.

April is:

Alcohol Awareness Month!

Underage Drinking & America’s Youth at Risk…!

What is underage drinking? And why do young people drink? Underage drinking is when anyone under the minimum legal drinking age of 21 drinks alcohol. Alcohol is the number one drug of choice for many America’s youth. Youth who binge drink or drink every day are at greater risks of developing the disease of alcoholism. Also they put themselves and others around them at an increased risk of experiencing alcohol-related harms.

Why do so many young people drink? Many developing adolescents and teens want to try alcohol for the following reasons:

  • Peer pressure
  • desire for independence
  • stress

What are the signs of alcoholism and symptoms of alcoholism?

Alcohol abuse is a pattern of drinking that results in harm to one’s health, interpersonal relationships, or ability to work including:

  • Repeatedly neglecting responsibilities: poor or failing grades in school, or skipping out on work, school, personal or social commitments because of hung over.
  • Alcohol use in dangerous situations: drinking and driving, mixing alcohol with prescription medication can lead to impairment.
  • Legal problems due to drinking: drinking alcohol and driving under the influence can lead to legal problems
  • Continued drinking despite relationship problems: Alcohol can cause or make problems worse in relationships with friends, family and significant others.
  • Drinking to de-Stress: Many drinking problems start when people use alcohol to relieve stress.

How do I know if a loved one has an alcohol problem?

  • Preoccupation with alcohol.
  • Loss of interest in other activities.
  • Need to increase alcohol consumption to maintain excitement.

May is:

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder Awareness Day (FASD)

  • Individuals, organizations, and communities have been active every year organizing events to promote FASD awareness and increase compassion for individuals with an FASD.
  • Alcohol consumption among pregnant women is still an important public health concern. A July 2012 CDC report examining alcohol use and binge drinking among pregnant and non-pregnant women of childbearing age (18-44 years) in the United States found that 7.6 percent of pregnant women (or 1 in 13), and 51.5 percent of non-pregnant women (or 1 in 2) reported drinking alcohol in the past 30 days.
  • Because no safe level of alcohol during pregnancy has been established, and alcohol is known to cause birth defects, developmental disabilities, and other adverse pregnancy outcomes, women who are pregnant or who might become pregnant should refrain from drinking any alcohol at any time during pregnancy.
  • Women who are contemplating becoming pregnant, or are sexually active, should refrain from drinking because they could become pregnant and not know for several weeks or more.
  • FASD is 100 percent preventable if alcohol is not consumed during pregnancy, so why take the risk?

June is:

Prom Safety


Discuss the dangers of Alcohol and other drug use with your child:

  • Create a plan with your child
  • Review the schools prom rules, as well as consequences of violating them
  • Make sure you know who is driving to/from the prom and after- prom event.
  • Speak to driver of the limousine/party van about your expectations for an alcohol/drug free ride. Do not permit opened beverages of any sort into the limo.
  • Remind your child that driving while tired can be just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated.
  • Remind your child that cell phone use is prohibited while driving
  • If someone is unconscious call 911

July is:

4th of July Party Safety Tips

Don’t Drink and Drive: It’s the Law!

This Fourth of July whether you’re hosting a party or attending one, remember to discuss the dangers of alcohol and other drug use with your child. Review the drunk driving and safety rules, as well as consequences of violating them.

  • If you are hosting a July 4th party: Remember if you are hosting a party where alcohol is being served, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you served ends up in an impaired driving crash.
  • Make sure all of your guests designate sober drivers in advance, or carpool with other sober drivers. Serve plenty of food and include non-alcoholic beverages at the party.
  • Keep the numbers for local cab companies nearby, and take the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving impaired.
  • If you or your child is attending a July 4th party: If you are attending a party where alcohol is being served, plan ahead. Designate a sober driver before the party begins and give that person your car keys. Do not permit opened alcoholic beverages of any sort into the car.
  • If you don’t have a designated driver, ask a sober friend for a ride home, call a cab, sober friend or family member to pick you up, or just stay where you are.
  • Remember that cell phone use is prohibited while driving.
  • Remind your child that driving while intoxicated is dangerous; make sure you know who’s driving him/her to/from this 4th of July party and, always buckle up before taking the wheel. If your child doesn’t have a designated driver, remind the child they could always call you or call a cab or a family member to pick him/her up.

August is:

Prescription Drug Abuse Tips for Parents

Facts for Prescription Drug Abuse:

  • Studies show that prescription medications are the most common illegal drugs teens are using to get high.
  • Pain relievers such as OxyContin and Vicodin are the prescription drugs most commonly abused by teens.
  • Teens are abusing prescription drugs because they believe that these drugs are safer than others.
  • Drugs prescribed as pain killer pose increased risk of health complications when combined with other prescription medications, over-the-counter medicines, illicit drugs, or alcohol. (For example, mixing anti-anxiety or sleep disorder drugs with other drugs, particularly alcohol, can slow breathing, slow heart rate, and possibly lead to death).

Follow the following tips with their children and keep them drug free:

  • Talk to your teen about prescription drugs and the harmful effects, signs and consequences of drug use and abuse and learn how to help them prevent prescription drug abuse on a regular basis.
  • Establish a clear family consensus about substance use and abuse
  • Try to be a good example for your teens when it comes to substance use and abuse
  • Help the youth build their self-esteem
  • Talk about the characteristics of what makes a good friend
  • Listen carefully to what your children have to say
  • Encourage positive lifestyle choice
  • Discard unused prescription pills and remind others to do the same.
  • Seek help if you suspect a problem of drugs use.

September Is:

National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month

National Recovery Month is a national observance sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) every September to celebrate people in recovery; raise public awareness on the fact that people can recover from substance use disorders and lead a healthy and satisfying lifestyle.

RCADD has been an active local community recovery month planning collaborator since 2007. In support of Recovery Month, RCADD hosts rally events throughout Rockland County, NY.

This year RCADD has created the Recovery Support Services to provide recovery coaching and help improve the accessibility of recovery services in the county for those in need.

Learn more about RCADD Recovery Support Services for people in recovery from substance use disorders by contacting Kathleen Katt-Bennie, Recovery Coordinator, and 845-215-9788 ext. 25.

October is:

Prescriptions Month

Facts on Prescription and Over-the-Counter Drugs There is misinformation about some of these drugs and their side effects on the body. Facts show that the majority of prescription and Over-the-Counter drugs if used incorrectly can have dangerous short- and long-term health consequences.

  • According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) website, every day in the United States, an average of 2,000 teenagers use prescription drugs without a doctor’s guidance for the first time;
  • Statistics from the 2011 Monitoring the Future survey reveal, youth who are 12 to 17 years old, 7.4 percent reported past-year nonmedical use of prescription medications; Youth who abuse prescription medications are also more likely to report use of other drugs.
  • Prescription and over-the-counter drugs are among the most commonly abused drugs by 12th graders, after alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco.
  • These are the most commonly abused prescription drugs: Painkillers- Opioids such as OxyContin or Percocet, central nervous system (CNS) depressants such as Valium or Xanax, and stimulants such as Adderall or Ritalin
  • Despite , the majority of prescription drugs come in pill or capsule form
  • Abusing prescription drugs is illegal as well as sharing prescriptions with friends.
  • There is a risk for addiction because medications that affect the brain can change the way it functions, particularly if taken regularly or in large doses.

October 23-31, 2014 is: National Red Ribbon Week

Each year communities nationwide join together to raise awareness about the dangers of drug abuse by wearing a red ribbon from October 23rd to 31st, which is the National Red Ribbon Week. Various activities have been scheduled throughout the month of October to celebrate the Red Ribbon Campaign.

The campaign provides communities with a forum to bring together parents, schools and business to find new and innovative ways to keep kid’s drug free.

The first Red Ribbon Celebration was organized in 1986 by a grassroots organization of parents concerned about the destruction caused by alcohol and drug abuse. The red ribbon was adopted as a symbol of the movement in honor of Enrique “KiKi” Camarena an agent with the U.S Drug Enforcement Administration who was kidnapped and killed while investigating drug traffickers. The campaign has reach millions of children and has been recognized by the U.S Congress.

November is:

The Great American Smoke Out

Facts on Youth and Tobacco Use

Studies have found smoking and smokeless tobacco are used primarily during adolescence. Daily use of tobacco products is associated with short and long-term health consequences as well as several high-risk sexual behaviors, use of alcohol and other drugs. In addition, lung cancer, heart disease and strokes are the most commonly reported illness found among tobacco users.

  • Results from the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings show more than 80% of adult smokers begin smoking before 18 years of age
  • Adolescent smokeless tobacco users are more likely than nonusers to become cigarette smokers.
  • Each day in the United States, approximately 3,800 young people under the 18 years of age smoke their first cigarette, and an estimated 1,000 youth in that age group become daily cigarette smokers.
  • A 2011 report affirms, 7.1% of middle school students used some form of tobacco and 4.3% smoked cigarettes and 2.2% smokeless tobacco.
  • Some common factors associated with youth tobacco use are exposure to tobacco advertising, smoking by parents or guardians, low-level of academic achievement and aggressive behavior.
  • As parents it is your responsibility to keep your children from smoking. Take the first step by talking to your kid about the immediate negative effects of smoking on the body

December is:

National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month

This December, during National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month, consider what you and your community can do to make injuries and deaths from impaired driving less of a threat.

The problem

  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). About three in every ten Americans will be involved in an alcohol-fee related crash at some point in their lives.
  • In an average year, 30 million Americans drove drunk and 10 million drove drugged accounting for nearly one-third (32%) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.
  • In one year, over 1.4 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. This accounts for less than 1% of the 159 million self-reported episodes of alcohol-impaired driving among U.S adults each year.
  • Alcohol-related crashes in the United States cost about $51 billion a year.