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GOW opioid task force

July 16, 2019 - 4:32pm

Press release:

As many of you may know, the family, loved ones, and allies of the GOW Opioid Task Force are hard at work planning the first-ever Overdose Awareness Day for the GOW community from 4 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday Aug. 28th at Austin Park, Batavia.

This event will be a special time for the community to come together to raise awareness, share information, and support each other as a community. We will be having local area speakers, live music, FREE Narcan training, a kid’s zone, and food, and much more!

If you are interested in having a table at the event please complete the Vendor Table Registration Form and send it to Sue Gagne -- Family, Loved Ones, and Allies Work Group co-chair -- by 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug.17. Email it to her at: [email protected]

For more information, be sure to visit the website at: www.gowopioidtaskforce.org

We look forward to seeing our communities come together to continue to bring awareness to those in our families and community struggling with substance use disorder.

July 11, 2019 - 3:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in GOW opioid task force, addiction, recovery, aid, news.

A Message to Families from the GOW Opioid Task Force:

By Sue Gagne

Whenever a family member struggles with any serious ongoing condition, everyone in the family is significantly affected. To find out a loved one has a substance use problem can be heart-wrenching.

If you know someone with a substance use disorder, you may find yourself struggling with a number of painful and conflicting emotions, including guilt, shame, self-blame, frustration, anger, sadness, depression, anxiety and fear. Those emotions can often overtake our lives and cause stress, burnout, fatigue, inability to sleep and more issues that can affect our own health.

When you fly on an airplane, the flight attendant instructs you to put your oxygen mask on first, before helping others. Why is this an important rule for ensuring survival? Because if you run out of oxygen, you can’t help anyone else with their oxygen mask. This is an important metaphor for those of us who have loved ones with substance use disorder. A reminder that we need to take care of ourselves.

You may feel overwhelmed, but there are things you can do to help yourself. We all know we need to get enough rest, exercise, and eat right. Here are a few other things that will be helpful:

Learn all you can about substance use and addiction. Addiction is a disease, not a character defect! According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “As a result of scientific research, we know that addiction is a disease that affects both the brain and behavior. We have identified many of the biological and environmental factors and are beginning to search for the genetic variations that contribute to the development and progression of the disease. Scientists use this knowledge to develop effective prevention and treatment approaches that reduce the toll drug abuse takes on individuals, families, and communities.”

Don’t go it alone! Shame is one of the biggest reasons people don’t seek help. It may help you to know that no one, and no family, is immune from addiction. Like any other chronic disorder, addiction to alcohol and other drugs afflicts people regardless of age, income level, educational background, race, ethnicity, religion/spirituality, and community. Many families deal with addiction. You are not alone ~ there is support!

Know that Recovery is Possible! Although it takes time, people do find recovery from addiction. Many individuals find recovery and continue on to live fulfilled lives. There are many pathways to recovery including 12-step meetings, peer-support, Medication Assisted Treatment, and more.

To learn about more about addiction, to connect with support, and to find resources related to addiction and recovery, visit the GOW Opioid Task Force website at www.gowopioidtaskforce.org

July 9, 2019 - 2:54pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Stafford, GOW opioid task force, pain management.

The speakers for the upcoming GOW Opioid Task Force Quarterly Meeting are announced.

They are:

  • Dr. Matthew Fernaays, MD, PhD, Pembroke Family Medicine/GCASA will be discussing what pain is and how opioids work
  • Patrick Privatera, MS, PT, ATC, president of Village Physical Therapy & Village Fitness will present on non-opioid alternatives to pain management with a focus on non-surgical approaches
  • Dr. Hemant Kalia, MD, MPH, UMMC Pain Clinic/Rochester Regional Health will share his expertise on non-opioid alternatives to pain management with a focus on surgical and medical approaches.

The meeting will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday July 24th, at the Stafford Fire Hall. It is located at 6153 Main St. in Stafford.

Please join us as the following local professionals share their knowledge and expertise on non-opioid alternatives to pain management:

Speakers will begin promptly at 10 a.m. and conclude remarks by 11:30 a.m.

To register for this event please visit our website at: www.gowopioidtaskforce.org and click the link right on our homepage.  

If you are a community agency and have a local event you wish to share with Task Force members please email Allison Parry-Gurak at:

[email protected]

June 24, 2019 - 1:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in Stafford, Announcements, GOW opioid task force.

The quarterly meeting of the GOW Opioid Task Force will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 24in the Stafford Fire Hall, located at 6153 Main Street in Stafford.

The focus will be "Non-opioid Alterntatives to Pain Management." The public is invited to attend this free event.

Come and join us for a discussion about this topic and get a first look at our new Post-Narcan Administration video.

We will also be having local professionals speak and there will be numerous vendors to share their expertise.

For more information and to register, visit:   gowopioidtaskforce.org

The task force is supported by a grant from the Greater Rochester Health Foundation.

March 19, 2019 - 2:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GOW opioid task force, opioid epidemic, news, notify.

blondellopioid2019.jpg

There is a lot of attention paid to opioid addiction treatment, Dr. Richard Blondell told an audience at the City Church Generation Center in Batavia today, but not enough effort is given to preventing addiction in the first place.

"The bottom line of this opioid epidemic is we cannot treat our way out of this epidemic," Blondell said. "We cannot incarcerate out of this epidemic. We can't legislate our way out of this epidemic. What we really have to do is prevention."

Blondell is vice chair of addiction medicine and a professor in the Department of Family Medicine at SUNY Buffalo. He spoke today at a workshop for faith leaders sponsored by the Genesee-Orleans-Wyoming Opioid Task Force.

Drawing on science, history and statistics, Blondell made the case that it's very difficult to successfully treat somebody for opioid addiction; therefore, to end the current epidemic, society needs to produce fewer addicts.

That begins with doctors, he said but includes families and individuals who need to be more aware and better educated about addiction and prevention.

The causes of addiction are both genetic and environmental, Blondell said.

About 10 percent of the population is genetically susceptible to opioid addiction. Those people, when exposed to opioids, usually through prescription medication, are much likely to become addicts.

The addiction for them is a disease.

An addict has about a 5 percent chance of dying in any given year. 

"The average life expectancy of a heroin addict is about 10 years, most are gone in 20," Blondell said.

Much of the blame for the opioid epidemic can be placed on Arthur M. Sackler, a medical marketing executive in the 1950s who, among other things, introduced the world to Valium, the first multimillion drug.

"It didn't treat anything actually," Bondell said. "Even though Valium was the number one prescribed drug in the country it was not clear what disease it treated."

The Sackler family went on to own Perdue Pharma, the company that introduced OxyContin. 

That pain pill was sold to doctors as non-addictive if used for pain.

Then the insurance companies got involved, Blondell said. They stopped funding pain-management regimes, which could cost thousands of dollars but were effective, in favor of prescription pain medications. And if doctors didn't prescribe enough pain pills, they would get low patient satisfaction scores from patients who said, "he didn't do anything for my pain."  

Doctors started prescribing opioid-based pain medications "like skittles," Blondell said.

Patients who become addicted to pain pills often, usually, turn to heroin, which is cheaper and easier to get. About 75 percent of heroin addicts started with a prescription to either the addict himself or to a friend or family member.

There are two types of treatment for addicts, neither high success rates -- counseling or medication.

In counseling, an addict receives psychological therapy, or they might live in a home and where they can learn adult life skills but if they are physically addicted, brain condition related to addiction is not treated. That is where medication, such as methadone, come in.

Blondell said all treatment methods should continue but that isn't the final answer on the epidemic. We've never treated our way out of an epidemic, he said.

People who say addiction is a choice really don't understand opioid addiction, Blondell said.  

Everybody is addicted to something. Addiction is essential to survival. We're all addicted, for example, to water.

But what substances, such as illicit drugs and alcohol do, is trick the brain into thinking that substance is a higher priority than other addictions, such as food.

"So people say to me, this is a behavior," Blondell said. "It's not really a mental illness or it's not a disease. It's not a disorder. It's really just a behavioral problem. To which my question is, what organ in the body produces behavior? Is it the kidneys? Is it the liver? No, it's the brain. So it's the brain that produces the behavior that we see and pass judgment on."

If we're going to end the epidemic, Blondell said, doctors need to be more cautious and judicious in when and how they prescribe pain medications. Patients who receive them need to be better educated about taking the prescribed amount for only a short period of time. Parents need to ensure they control the distribution of pain medication to their teen children, and ensure they actually take them when dispensed so they're not hoarded so five or six can be taken at a time. Everybody needs to be better educated about the nature of addiction and how to avoid it.

February 12, 2019 - 3:11pm
From the GOW Opioid Task Force:
 
The GOW (Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming) Opioid Task Force is excited to announce the opportunity to become a Peer Recovery Coach.
 
This training has been grant funded by the Health Resources and Service Administration and therefore is FREE.
 
Trainees should have a high school diploma or equivalent and lived experience is preferred -- in recovery, affected family member, experience working in the SUD/Recovery field.
 
Training is six-weeks in length (46 hours total) and you must commit to completing the program. Space is limited!
 
Training will take place at the Lake Plains Community Care Network at 575 E. Main St. in Batavia. Please check out the website and flier for more information here.
 
As part of the Community Based Recovery Support Training Project, training is offered to a select group of committed community members seeking to achieve NYS Peer Recovery Professional Certification.
 
This enables them to serve families and individuals affected by Substance Abuse Disorder with evidence-based recovery supports, skills and strategies.
 
The workshop facilitators are Lori Drescher (CARC, RCP) and Keith Greer (LCSW, PCC, PRC), who are professional coaches, recovery advocates and facilitators with a combined 55 years of experience.
 
If you have specific questions please contact Charlotte Crawford at [email protected] or by phone 585-345-6110.
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