The Prevention Workz Regional Prevention center recently received a $90,000 federal grant through ODMHSAS to address the issue of non-medical prescription drug use in Garfield County, Oklahoma.
According to Sean Byrne, Prevention Workz Executive Director, the option to renew for the same amount for the next three years depends on the continued availability of state or federal funds, and how well the Prevention Workz organization performs the grant objectives.
The four western Oklahoma communities of Pawnee, Beckham, Garfield and Woodward bid competitively for the grant targeting 12-to 25-year olds. Only the two counties of Pawnee and Garfield received funding.
According to Byrne, Prevention Workz has been addressing the issues of adult prescription drug abuse in Garfield County for several years, focusing on drug take-back events, drug drop-off locations, prescriber and care facility education programs, and working with the Naloxone Rescue Initiative. Byrne attributes Prevention Workz’s success to the building of strong partnerships; and by increasing community awareness of the prescription drug abuse problem.
According to a recent NewsOK online article, Oklahoma ranks No. 1 nationwide for the abuse of prescription painkillers. On the average, two Oklahomans die every day due to drug overdoses—more than motor vehicle-related fatalities.
The 2014 Oklahoma Prevention Needs Assessment reveals a gradual and significant trend since 2008 in prescription drug use by adolescents.
Garfield County’s rates of prescription drug abuse in 2008 for 6th and 8th graders were comparable to those statewide. Tenth and 12th grader rates of prescription drug abuse were significantly lower than throughout the state. However, by 2012, the rate of Garfield County prescription drug abuse in each grade level exceeded prescription drug-use rates statewide.
By 2014, Garfield County 8th and 12th-grader usage rates were significantly higher than the Oklahoma rate for lifetime misuse of prescription drugs.
Prevention is as a proven way to reduce substance abuse—and its related consequences. Prevention Workz notes that the Risk and Protective Factor Model of Prevention is based on the premise that by identifying the risk-increasing factors that result in a problem such as substance abuse, it then makes sense to find ways to reduce those risks.
Identified risk factors known to contribute to youth drug use, school dropout, delinquency and violent behaviors are linked to the characteristic of their family environment, their school, their peer group and other students, and their community.
According to Byrne, the number one source of drugs is friends, with 30 percent of the youth reporting they get the prescription drugs from a friend. Eighteen percent, and the next most common source, is from home. Thirteen percent report getting the prescription drugs at a party, the third most common source.
Byrne notes that these statistics give Prevention Workz a place to start with programs and interventions, and what to target. A focus on providing medication lock-boxes designed to prevent unauthorized access by youth, and helping parents to recognize the signs of drug use and drug paraphernalia are examples of such targeted programs.
The 2013 State of Oklahoma Plan to Reduce Prescription Drug Abuse focuses on several ways to address the prescription drug abuse problem:
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According to John Christian, the Pontotoc County Sheriff, meth destroys a person—their mental health, their teeth, their bone structure. He muses how unbelievable it is that a person would put that poison into their body with all its devastating effects.
Meth is definitely poison, containing ingredients such as anti-freeze, battery acid, lantern fuel and drain cleaner. No matter by what of its many names it’s called—crystal meth, speed, crank, or just meth—it is a poison which overwhelmingly affects the user’s central nervous system, diminishing appetite, heightening alertness, and ruining mental and physical health.
The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics (OBN) reports that meth increases body temperature, causes agitation, increases paranoia, and is capable of causing “amphetamine psychosis” and/or death.
Ada, Oklahoma and its surrounding area is now victimized by the scourge of meth and the crimes it generates. Pontotoc County has logged just over 300 felony charges in 2015 to date. Possession of methamphetamine accounts for about 22 percent—at least 67—of those felonies. And there are other crimes in Pontotoc County that can be linked to meth use.
According to Christian, meth is the number one drug used in Pontotoc County, with prescription drug abuse following close behind; and the use of the two drugs “run hand in hand.” Meth, he says, is the source accounting for probably 90 percent of Pontotoc County crimes. Meth is directly linked to property crimes—burglaries, thefts, and some of the assaults, according to Christian.
Meth users often steal things to trade or sell for meth, says Christian. Through the Drug-Free Coalition, he was able to conduct a survey of county jail inmates. Almost all reported drug use as a contributing factor in their situation.
Christian says that nearly every one of the inmates answering the survey reported some drug-related incident of either needing money to buy drugs, or were under the influence of drugs when committing their crime.
According to Christian, if drug abuse did not exist in Pontotoc County, it would result in drastic crime reduction.
Much of the meth found during Ada, Oklahoma arrests is from Mexico, according to Jeff Crosby, Ada’s Assistant Police Chief. Area dealers bring meth in from Oklahoma City dealers, where it arrived from Mexico via the I-35 corridor.
OBN spokesman, Mark Woodward, confirmed that Oklahoma’s interstate system is used by drug traffickers to get the meth to dealers; and that much of the meth in Oklahoma does come from Mexico.
While tougher laws governing pseudoephedrine lowered meth lab seizures, meth use, meth addiction and meth-related deaths “continue to climb” as the U.S. market is flooded with crystal meth by Mexican drug-trafficking organizations.
According to Christian, the meth coming out of Mexico is incredibly strong and pure, and he’s seen increasing numbers of meth users suffering permanent physical and mental damage as a result, even after quitting meth use.
He notes that new meth users often intend to use the drug in moderation, but their meth use soon spins out of control. He muses that the meth devastates families; that parents want to save their meth-addicted children who don’t want to be saved, and the meth user is no longer at all concerned about consequences to self or others involved.]]>
Through its accreditation, CARF promotes quality, value and optimal outcomes of services. Through its consultative accreditation, it centers on enhancing the lives of persons receiving improvement services.
CARF focuses on improving the quality of life of individuals served, and adheres to the core values and beliefs that all people:
CARF conducts its research, education activities, continuous improvement services and accreditation with integrity, and in accordance with its core values.
CARF accreditation is a trusted sign of a service provider’s commitment to consistent and ongoing improvement in its services; that the service provider encourages feedback, and demonstrates commitment to serving the community.
CARF accreditation is an assurance that the accredited service provider’s programs and/or facilities are of the highest quality. CARF accreditation is recognized as a service provider’s demonstration of superior performance on behalf of its clients. Furthermore, CARF accreditation signals that a service provider met internationally accepted and clearly defined standards, ensuring the services delivered continue to meet a standard of excellence.
It is a significant accomplishment to earn and receive CARF accreditation.
Easter Seals Midwest recently received accreditation from CARF, and their vice-president of Autism Services, Jean Marshall, noted that the CARF accreditation represented “the highest level of accomplishment” awarded to an organization like Easter Seals Midwest.
According to the online ksvs12.com article, during the CARF accreditation process, program offerings planning, leadership, how passionate and enthusiastic the staff were, and commitment to the mission of the organization were all looked at.
Easter Seals Midwest serves nearly 4,000 Missourians, and employs upwards of 1,400 individuals across the state of Missouri.
Wendy Sullivan, CEO of Easter Seals Midwest, noted that the CARF accreditation signifies to Missouri families impacted by autism and developmental disabilities that the Easter Seals Midwest organization is committed to making the needs of the people they serve the focus of everything the organization does.
The Oklahoma-based drug and alcohol rehabilitation and education center of Narconon Arrowhead is also CARF accredited, and has likewise met CARF’s exacting standards as a rehabilitation service provider.
The Narconon Arrowhead drug and alcohol rehabilitation program has been CARF accredited consecutively since 1992.
As part of Narconon Arrowhead receiving its CARF accreditation, it must meet the CARF standards on:
According to the most recent CARF accreditation report of 2014, Narconon Arrowhead is situated in a naturally beautiful environment conducive to clients focusing on their rehab program and recovery.
Narconon Arrowhead staff were found by CARF to be clearly dedicated, and to consistently have a positive demeanor in working with their clients and others.
CARF found that Narconon Arrowhead consistently helped educate others on the effects of drugs; preventing and resolving drug addiction; and that the surrounding community is highly appreciative of those efforts.
CARF found that the leadership and staff of Narconon Arrowhead are committed to accountability and excellence; consistently striving to improve their program and delivery to maintain and improve upon the standards of excellence which earned them CARF accreditation.]]>
Canadian, Oklahoma is a small, rural community located about a mile from the entrance to Arrowhead State Park. Narconon Arrowhead drug and alcohol rehabilitation and education center is located in Arrowhead State Park on the shores of Lake Eufaula, and is a close neighbor to both Canadian residents and the First United Methodist Church of Canadian.
The United Methodist Church social principles and creed govern its beliefs and attitudes towards alcohol and other drugs. According to the United Methodist Church main website, its congregation believes in abstinence from alcohol and the use of any illegal drugs.
Illegal drug use and problematic drug use are cited as a major factor in disease, crime, family dysfunction and death. The Church supports educational and other prevention strategies that encourage abstinence from the use of illegal drugs. For those who choose to consume alcohol, it encourages and advises “judicious use with deliberate and intentional restraint”; and using Scripture as a guide.
On the subject of therapeutic drug use, it is noted that there is much testimony to the “detrimental consequences” of misusing such drugs. Wise policies on the availability of potentially damaging or potentially beneficial prescription and OTC drugs is encouraged, with emphasis on ready availability of complete information to both patient and doctor on the use and misuse of these drugs.
The Church supports strict administration of laws governing the sales and distribution of controlled substances and alcohol. It supports regulations protecting society from drug users of any kind—including alcohol—in instances where “clear and present social danger” can be shown to exist.
The Church expresses its belief that individuals who are drug or alcohol dependent—and their families—are “individuals of infinite human worth”, and are deserving of treatment and rehabilitation, as well as ongoing and life-changing recovery.
The United Methodist Church commits itself to assist those suffering from substance dependence or abuse–and their families—in finding good opportunities for substance abuse treatment, ongoing counseling, and for their reintegration into society.
Pastor Sherry Heath of the First United Methodist Church of Canadian was recently given special recognition and acknowledgement for her continued support of Narconon Arrowhead and its clients.
Pastor Heath, along with her congregation, was recognized for her long-term and heartfelt support of the Narconon Arrowhead center and its purpose to rehabilitate drug and addicts and alcoholics, and help them become drug-free and productive members of society once again.
Pasto Heath was recognized for helping Narconon Arrowhead clients, and the congregation for “taking clients under their wing.” The First United Methodist Church of Canadian was recognized for being a part of the Narconon Arrowhead rehab process by helping clients throughout the rehab program, noting that some clients attend church services there weekly.
Members of the congregation often reach-out to Narconon Arrowhead clients, sometimes staying in contact with them for years after they complete their rehab program at the center.
Pastor Sherry Heath, as the local minister of this incredibly valuable spiritual resource, was acknowledged by Narconon Arrowhead for the continuing help and support she gives to clients on the drug and alcohol rehabilitation program there.
A special event was organized to present a much-deserved plaque to Pastor Sherry Heath, orchestrated by one of Narconon Arrowhead’s clients—a true testament to just how important and life-changing her contributions truly are.]]>