Tag - Healthy Lamoille Valley

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Adults: Three Things Youth Want Us to Know
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Getting Rid of “Dangerous Leftovers”
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An Invitation to Participate
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Talking to Youth About Marijuana
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New Year! New, Tobacco-Free You! (or Family, Friend, Co-Worker or Employee)
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A Holiday Safety Checklist….
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The Link Between Childhood Trauma and Tobacco Use
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How Childhood Trauma Affects Lifelong Health
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Saturday, October 28 is Prescription Drug Take-Back Day
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Back to School Checklist

Adults: Three Things Youth Want Us to Know

By: Jessica Bickford, Coordinator, Healthy Lamoille Valley

Mental Health in Teenagers

One of the things I love most about my work is connecting with students. Recently I had the opportunity to meet with three Lamoille Valley students. As part of our conversation, I asked them what they wished adults knew…  Here’s what they had to say:

“Depression, anxiety, and insecurity are real in our lives.” While adults struggle with these things, our students are experiencing them, often for the first time, without the tools that adults have learned. As adults, we need to acknowledge these feelings as real and very pressing. Students have limited life experiences to reference and are making life-altering decisions that will shape the rest of their lives.  Honor these feelings and be there to help.

Similarly, “Stress is real.”  There are a lot of things that youth have to manage. Create opportunities to develop skills and habits to manage stress. These can be simple things: talking, listening to music, going for a walk/run, journaling, creating art, physical activity, and learning to know what you can do and how to say “no.” This last concept is key… youth don’t want to let anyone down… friends, teachers, parents… it’s easy for them to overcommit to avoid hurting others’ feelings. Learning to look at their schedules, balance their time, and say “no” gracefully are important life skills.

“Recognize that we have different personalities and enjoy different things. Provide opportunities to develop our unique skills.” Many students like to help, but as adults, we should be aware of their personalities and interests and find ways to meet those interests and build those skills. As an example, one person may love to speak and be out front while another enjoys helping behind the scenes. Embrace their personalities!

I encourage you to take time to ask the youth in your life, “What do you wish the adults in your life know about being a teen?” or “Life seems pretty stressful right now, how can I support you better?”  Then really listen and find ways to show that you heard them. When you do this, you’re building protective factors* for youth.  You’re showing them that they matter and opening up opportunities for future conversations!

* Healthy Lamoille Valley is a substance abuse prevention coalition working to reduce youth substance abuse. Find out more at healthylamoillevalley.org. Youth who have strong protective factors are less likely to rely on substances such as alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana to manage stress or find value. 


Jessica Bickford works as a Coordinator of Healthy Lamoille Valley, where she has enjoyed writing for their blog. Writing for Copley’s community blog is a natural extension of this experience! Healthy Lamoille Valley focuses on making healthy choices easy choices, realizing that when we have access to healthy options we are less likely to choose behaviors that are harmful. Prevention is really a lifestyle of wise choices that enable us to live life to the fullest.

Getting Rid of “Dangerous Leftovers”

Year-round secure medication drop boxes are a convenient and safe way to get rid of  “dangerous leftovers” – i.e. unused, expired, and/or unwanted prescription medication. There are several in the area, including:

  • Copley Hospital – in the main hallway outside of the Laboratory Check-In window
  • Lamoille County Sheriff’s office in Hyde Park
  • Morristown Police Department
  • Hardwick Police Department.

This service is made possible through an agreement with the Vermont Department of Health in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and in collaboration with Healthy Lamoille Valley.

Meg Morris, RPH, Copley Hospital’s Director of Pharmacy with Sheriff Roger Marcoux, Copley CEO Art Mathisen and Chief Medical Officer Donald Dupuis, MD, flank the area’s newest prescription medication drop off box for unused or expired medications. It’s located at Copley Hospital, in the hallway before the Laboratory’s Check-In window.

 

Proper disposal of medication is essential. Otherwise, it might end up in the wrong hands; presenting a danger to children and pets; it could be used improperly, possibly fueling addition; or it could pollute local water systems if flushed down the toilet.

The Drop Boxes accept prescription, over-the-counter, and pet medication in any form from households. This includes: pills & capsules, blister packs, creams & gels, inhalers, patches, powders, and sprays. Please – no needles, syringes, lancets or thermometers and no medications from businesses.

Drop off is anonymous – no ID is required. Before dropping off any medications, please prepare them by crossing your name off the container and putting all of the containers together in a sealed clear plastic bag (such as a Ziplock bag). If you don’t have the original container, please place the medications in a sealed clear plastic bag and label it with the name of the medication.

In addition to the Prescription Medication Drop Box program, the Vermont Health Department has introduced mail-back envelopes for safe and secure drug disposal. Consumers can use these envelopes at home to safely and securely mail in expired and unused prescription medications.

Learn more about drug safety at healthylamoillevalley.org/prescription-drugs and at healthvermont.gov/alcohol-drugs/services/prescription-drug-disposal.

An Invitation to Participate

By: Jessica Bickford

Everyone reading this post has at least one thing in common: We are all part of a community. We can choose our level of interaction, but that does not change the fact that we are still members of a community. Living in a community provides us with opportunities to participate in making that community better. This occurs at several levels:

Individually … We can be our best self. What can you do to take care of you today?

In our homes … We look out for those with whom we live and work together to create a safe and loving home environment. Did you know that spending just one hour a day with our kids can have major positive impacts on their overall well-being? (These don’t have to be big things… think meal-times – preparing, eating, and cleaning up together… playing a game, reading a book, folding laundry together, taking a walk.)

In our neighborhood… We can choose to be good neighbors, watching out for others and being helpful, considerate, and caring for those around us. When was the last time you checked in on a neighbor?

In our towns… We can volunteer on a community board, coach a youth sports team, show up to vote, obey the laws, etc. How might you get involved in your town?

In general, we can be active community members by learning about our community and doing what we can to make it a better place to live, work, and play.  We can choose to make a positive difference.

Healthy Lamoille Valley, our community substance prevention coalition, invites you to come on Tuesday, September 25th to learn more about what the middle and high school students in our region are experiencing. We will look at the bi-annual Youth Risk Behavior Data for our region and some of the work that is currently happening to reduce risk factors. Once we take a look at the data, we will talk about where risks are for youth are in our community and find ways, in our own circles of influence, to support youth. Visit https://healthylamoillevalley-coalition2018.eventbrite.com to see more information about the event and preregister.

Hope to see you there!


Jessica Bickford has worked as Coordinator of Healthy Lamoille Valley for a little over two years, where she has enjoyed writing for their blog. Writing for Copley’s community blog is a natural extension of this experience! Healthy Lamoille Valley focuses on making healthy choices easy choices, realizing that when we have access to healthy options we are less likely to choose behaviors that are harmful. Prevention is really a lifestyle of wise choices that enable us to live life to the fullest.

Talking to Youth About Marijuana

By: Jessica Bickford

It is widely known that Act 86, which legalizes possession of marijuana by adults, takes effect on July 1st.  In my work with Healthy Lamoille Valley, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with community partners and there is an overwhelming concern for our youth as this law increases opportunities for youth access to marijuana. With this in mind, I want to share a few well-vetted resources to help youth, parents and community members.

What are we talking about? The first step in understanding the impacts of marijuana is to understand the drug.  This site from the National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens is particularly helpful and is designed be shared with your teen.  https://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/marijuana

How do we talk to youth about it?  Talking with youth can feel difficult. Parentupvt is a great tool that provides sound advice and suggestions: http://parentupvt.org/how-can-i-help-prevent-it/talk-about-it. They also have infographics on marijuana: http://parentupvt.org/resources/infographics.

On the evening of June 5th, the Lamoille County Sheriff’s Department, Healthy Lamoille Valley, and Blueprint for Health are partnering with area middle and high school students to share a community forum: “Effective Communication with Youth.”  Learn more at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/3rd-annual-opiate-forum-presents-communicating-effectively-with-youth-tickets-45909426330.

Partnership for Drug-Free Kids has a Youtube tutorial with communication tips for parents: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FThKH0SEDeI

What are the guidelines around use and storage of marijuana? As with any legal drug, including alcohol, tobacco, prescription drugs, and soon to be marijuana, we all have a role to play in safe, responsible storage and use. Act 86 provides very specific details on how and where adult use marijuana can be used and stored, as well as the quantities an individual can possess. In a nutshell, Act 86 only allows for use in a home residence, with some restrictions. Users are responsible to keep it away from anyone under the age of 21. (In fact, providing marijuana to minors has the same penalties as providing alcohol to a minor – up to a $2,000 fine and up to 5 years of prison time, per minor.) Those who have it or grow it are required to keep it secure where children and youth cannot access it, meaning locked up and out of sight. Users are not to drive impaired. Marijuana cannot legally be sold. https://legislature.vermont.gov/assets/Documents/2018/Docs/ACTS/ACT086/ACT086%20As%20Enacted.pdf

What do you need to know about marijuana and pregnancy? We know that alcohol and tobacco can cause some serious risks and complications to unborn children. It’s logical that marijuana can have risks as well. Check out more information at https://www.cdc.gov/marijuana/pdf/Marijuana-Pregnancy-508.pdf

How can I learn more and do more to prevent youth use? Healthy Lamoille Valley is working with Michelle Salvador at the Vermont Department of Health to host a community evening in June. Watch Healthy Lamoille Valley’s website for emerging details! Join us as we review the implications of Act 86 and then break into interest groups (parents, youth, educators, landlords, employers, etc.) to explore how we can prevent youth use and support area children and families.

Looking for more resources?

CDC Marijuana Use and Teens: https://www.cdc.gov/marijuana/pdf/Marijuana-Teens-508.pdf

CDC Marijuana Use and Driving: https://www.cdc.gov/marijuana/pdf/Marijuana-Driving-508.pdf

SAMSHA’s Marijuana Page: https://www.samhsa.gov/atod/marijuana

Vermont’s Marijuana Impact Assessment: http://www.healthvermont.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2016/12/ADAP_HIA_Marijuana_Regulation_in_Vermont_Exec_Summary.pdf

Our partners at Mount Ascutney Hospital created a good summary of Act 86 legalization.  If you would like a copy please send your request to Jessica@healthylamoillevalley.org.


Jessica Bickford has worked as Coordinator of Healthy Lamoille Valley for a little over two years, where she has enjoyed writing for their blog. Writing for Copley’s community blog is a natural extension of this experience! Healthy Lamoille Valley focuses on making healthy choices easy choices, realizing that when we have access to healthy options we are less likely to choose behaviors that are harmful. Prevention is really a lifestyle of wise choices that enable us to live life to the fullest.

New Year! New, Tobacco-Free You! (or Family, Friend, Co-Worker or Employee)

By: Alison Link

For many of us, the New Year has become a time of resolutions and goal setting. In this post, we want to share smoking and tobacco cessation stories and resources to encourage all who may be considering quitting smoking or reducing exposure to second-hand smoke. In Vermont, three behaviors – one being tobacco use – lead to four chronic diseases (cancer, heart disease, lung disease and diabetes) result in over 50% of deaths. (Learn more here.)

802 Quits

Vermont quit smoking resourceAs we know, behavior change is difficult. So what factors help those who are using tobacco make the shift in their stage of change from pre-contemplation or contemplation to action, making a quit plan and implementing it with the support they need? What follows here are a couple of personal stories of those impacted by 802 Quits.

This fall, Hiata Kirby, a Healthy Lamoille Valley staff member, was searching our website for upcoming edits, a process that led her to http://802quits.org. A smoker of 12 years, she wondered how the site worked and how it could help her. As she continued deeper into the 802 Quits website links and articles, she thought, “I can do this!” and started making a plan. She set a quit date 3 weeks away as the prompts on the site helped her to think through choosing a realistic quit date. The site also helped her plan for what she would do when having a craving and identify the nicotine replacement therapy (gum, patches, and/or lozenges) she wanted to use. She was able to place an order to have them mailed to her in time for her quit date.

This New Year’s Eve, she will be 4 months smoke-free with many thanks to her husband and son who have encouraged her to quit. It’s not easy, but Hiata reports taking lots of deep breaths, and being extra vigilant. She is grateful for the free nicotine replacement, and that it arrived in advance of her quit date. The arrival of the products was another day that she looked forward to within the process. Reflecting on her experience thus far with 802 Quits, Hiata said,

“I think the thing I liked the most about 802 Quits and quitting… and my best advice to others hoping to quit, is to make a plan. It takes a long time to break a habit…stay busy and figure out how to not have nicotine in your life. My incentive is the health part and my family.”

Hiata is not alone in this appreciation for the support and free quit products offered by 802 Quits. Casey Dewey, Development Coordinator at Green Mountain Support Services, quit recently through a class offered in conjunction with 802 Quits and Vermont Quit Partners at her workplace. She said,

“802 Quits was very helpful. It made it financially affordable to quit. It would have been cheaper in the moment to keep smoking. It was important to be able to quit with people I know and who I used to smoke with in the past. Now, we go for walks and still make the time for that few minutes break.”

Hiata and Casey both mentioned that they still take a break, just not a smoke break. Instead, it’s an outside break, often with a social component and sometimes a walk. Planning in advance for the free nicotine replacement products was very helpful for both of them, as well as the planning for the next round in advance. Whether using 802 Quits online or through a class, those connected to the program feel supported. 

Local Classes Starting in January

If you are interested in a local cessation class, two classes are starting in January. Classes run for 4 weeks and provide 8 weeks of free nicotine replacement for those interested and a free gift card once the course is completed.

Erica Coats, of CHSLV coordinates the Lamoille Valley classes and shares the importance of the 802 Quits partnership. “802 Quits provide the community with resources and education surrounding how to quit and how to get connected with the resources. 802 Quits has been a great supporter for the cessation classes here in Lamoille county, providing participants with 8 weeks of free nicotine replacement as well as quit tools to help individuals be successful in their drive to quit tobacco.”

Kate Myerson, Tobacco Cessation Specialist and a Class Facilitator, adds, “Classes are a great way to learn from others going through the same thing without fear of judgment.”

January cessation class start dates:

  • January 10th – Cambridge Family Practice 5-6pm
  • January 18th – SASH building in Morrisville 5-6pm

**If you are an employer and interested in offering a cessation class at your workplace, please contact Erica at (802) 253-9171 or Alison at alison@healthylamoillevalley.org.

Sneak peak!

What to look out for in the next months from 802 Quits website:

  • A new look and updated website launch!
  • Based on customer feedback and research, 802 Quits will become more accessible for those interested in using the resource.
  • 802 Quits will help folks take action around cessation- quit on their own and get medication to help.
  • Quit Your Way! Regardless of how an individual wants to quit… on phone, in person, online, the website will have relevant and useful information. There will be opportunities to learn what to expect with and compare the different options.
  • 802 Quits can help those interested motivate themselves, learn why they smoke and create strategies to help with that, create a quit plan, and receive information on putting a plan into action.

 


Alison Link is the Policy and Community Outreach Coordinator for Healthy Lamoille Valley, where she spends two-thirds of her time working on the new tobacco prevention grant received from the Vermont Department of Health. Alison can also be found teaching courses at Johnson State College, volunteering with restorative justice programs and supporting individuals in valuing their time, staying healthy and enhancing their leisure lifestyles through her own initiative, The Leisure Link. Alison enjoys the quality of life in Vermont and lives in Morrisville with her husband, Rabbi David Fainsilber (of the Jewish Community of Greater Stowe) and their young children.

A Holiday Safety Checklist….

By: Jessica Bickford

 

It’s that time of year when we create lists to make sure that we don’t forget the important details of our celebrations. Today we’d like to provide you with a list for keeping yourself, your family, and your guests safe and healthy this holiday season.

Prescription Drug Safety – More information is available at https://www.healthylamoillevalley.org/prescription-drugs.

____ Lock or safely secure prescription drugs and other medicines.  Talk to those you may be visiting to share this information with them as well.

____ Talk to younger children about NOT eating any “candy” without checking in with an adult first.  Many medicines look like candy to young children.

____ Talk to children and teens about the importance of not taking medicines prescribed to someone else.

___ Remove unwanted or expired prescription drugs from the home by bringing to one of the three year-round prescription take-back sites in our region: Hardwick Police Department, Lamoille County Sheriff’s Department, and Morristown Police Department.

___ If you have young children, sit on the floor or crawl around the places where they will be playing. It is not uncommon for a dropped pill to be unnoticed.

Alcohol

____ Offer fun, non-alcoholic drink options for guests. This helps youth to see that they don’t have to have alcohol to have fun and provides a nice choice for those who choose not to drink alcohol.

____ Monitor your alcohol. Serving or providing alcohol to minors is illegal and not good for them.  Assign an adult to ensure that youth do not have access to alcohol. Lock up open bottles of alcohol such as rum or brandy. Did you know that youth who use a drug, like alcohol, before the age of 15 are 5 times more likely to struggle with substance use at some time in their life? Not a pleasant holiday gift…

____ Monitor your guests. If you choose to serve alcohol, you are responsible to make sure that your guests are in a safe “state of being” to drive. Even “buzzed” drivers create fatalities.

____ Talk to your kids and teens about your expectations and the importance of waiting to consume alcohol until they are of age. Parentupvt.org has some great resources to help with these conversations! 

Tobacco

____ Talk to your children and teens about the dangers of tobacco products. Tobacco products come in many forms (e-cigarettes, chew and smokeless products, etc), but none are safe. The tobacco industry targets youth with use of flavors. You can find more at http://www.counterbalancevt.com.

____ If you have guests who smoke, prepare a designated outdoor smoking area out of the way of passersby where others will not be exposed to secondhand smoke. Or consider asking them to not smoke while at your home.

____ If you have guests who use smokeless tobacco products and e-cigarettes ask them to refrain from using in your presence, especially around youth.

____ If you or someone you know is ready to quit or thinking about it… share with them our local Vermont quit smoking resource, http://802quits.org.

General

____ Create a family check-in system. Family and friends’ gatherings can be wonderful or stressful. For our kids, they can be a time of connecting or a time to be challenged to try risky behaviors. Develop a plan with your children and teens to check in periodically throughout the gathering and help them to have a plan to get out of tricky situations without creating an awkward situation. Sample ideas include a keyword or phrase; asking if they can help; an invitation to join in a game…

____ Bring age-appropriate games or activities for your kids with you. You can help bring the fun… creating a joyous and safe environment!

____ Check out tips for safe food storage ahead of time! http://www.healthvermont.gov/environment/food-lodging/food-safety-consumers

____ Plan to have some healthy food options. Even a simple plate of raw vegetables is a pleasant break between the abundance of sweets and heavy holiday foods.

____ If you have a live tree, water two times a day. Consider adding a teaspoon of sugar every three days to feed the tree and keep it fresher longer.

____ Check your holiday lights. If there are any exposed wires or broken cords, discard and replace.

____ Depending on the length of your gathering, consider planning some opportunities for physical activity such as sledding, skating, a snowshoe, or a simple hike.

____ Don’t forget to check on your vacation days from work.  If you can take them, do! It’s healthy to take breaks from our work environments.


Jessica Bickford has worked as Coordinator of Healthy Lamoille Valley for a little over two years, where she has enjoyed writing for their blog. Writing for Copley’s community blog is a natural extension of this experience! Healthy Lamoille Valley focuses on making healthy choices easy choices, realizing that when we have access to healthy options we are less likely to choose behaviors that are harmful. Prevention is really a lifestyle of wise choices that enable us to live life to the fullest.

 

The Link Between Childhood Trauma and Tobacco Use

By: Scott Johnson, Lamoille Family Center

Perhaps you’ve heard about the impact of trauma on long-term health. In Vermont and here in Lamoille Valley there is a lot of attention being paid to the set of childhood experiences that are directly linked to challenges later in life. These experiences, called Adverse Childhood Experiences (see the list below), or ACEs, are traumatic events that, if untreated, can have significant negative effects. The most common of these ACEs in Vermont are: divorce/separation, parental substance abuse or mental illness, and extreme economic insecurity.

What may surprise you is the link between these ACEs and tobacco use. The chart below shows the number of ACEs and their relationship to early smoking onset, adult smoking rates, and the lung disease known as COPD. Here are some important statistics about those connections.

  • If you experience more than three ACEs you are more likely to use tobacco.
  • 88% of Vermont smokers started before age 18.
  • In Vermont, forty percent of young adults ages 18 to 24 who have experienced more than three ACEs are using tobacco. That’s more than twice the number of users in that age range who have fewer than three ACEs.
  • Those individuals with four or more ACEs are 3x more likely to start smoking before age 18.

According to the Vermont Department of Health website, tobacco use is the NUMBER ONE preventable cause of death. In Vermont, smoking costs approximately $348 million in medical expenses and results in about 1,000 smoking-related deaths each year.

 

According to their own internal documents, tobacco companies try to attract new young smokers by targeting retail stores near schools and parks. (http://www.counterbalancevt.com)

 

According to the 2015 Youth Behavior Risk Survey, almost one-quarter of high school students in Lamoille County have reported using three different types of tobacco products:  27% tried electronic vapor products, 23% tried a flavored tobacco product, and 22% smoked a whole cigarette, with 11% of students reporting that they smoked within the past 30 days.

If we want to reduce the use of tobacco and improve health outcomes in our region we must do something to reduce exposure to those ACEs, or do more to help young people heal from the impact of those experiences before they start using tobacco. The annual focus on urging smokers to quit is called The Great American Smokeout, and it occurred last week on November 16th. Maybe some of you participated in this event, and remain tobacco free!

The community has an important role to play in reducing the likelihood our young people will choose to smoke. The links between smoking rates and adverse childhood experiences tell us that solutions lie in community-level efforts that support children, youth, and families. Research shows that the kind of help that makes a difference includes community-level activities that:

  • Make sure all children are socially and emotionally supported, and
  • Assure each family has two or more people who can offer concrete support in times of need.

As you may have heard, Healthy Lamoille Valley (HLV), our community prevention coalition, has regained tobacco prevention funding and is charged with addressing prevention of initiation of tobacco use among youth, eliminating exposure to second-hand smoke, and increasing tobacco-free policies in towns, public places, workplaces, and college campuses. If you want to get connected to our local efforts, including our reestablished HLV Tobacco Prevention Task Force, contact the HLV Policy and Community Outreach Coordinator, Alison Link at alison@healthylamoillevalley.org. Check out the website at https://www.healthylamoillevalley.org/tobacco.

 

*ACEs include: mental illness, depression, or person with suicidal intentions in the home; drug addiction or alcoholic family member; parental discord – indicated by divorce, separation, abandonment; incarceration of any family member; witnessing domestic violence against the mother; child abuse (physical, sexual, emotional); child neglect (physical, emotional).


Scott Johnson is Executive Director of the Lamoille Family Center and has worked in Lamoille Valley in human services and education for nearly his entire career. The Family Center has served our community by encouraging, educating and celebrating children, youth and families for forty years.

Scott writes about early care and education, adolescent development and strengthening families that improve conditions of well-being.

How Childhood Trauma Affects Lifelong Health

By: Jessica Bickford

Trauma… it’s the really horrific things that we go through as people… things that deeply impact us. For some, trauma is a single point in time while others experience ongoing trauma and instability.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary includes these concepts when defining the word trauma:

Injury caused by an extrinsic (outside ourselves) agent

Results in severe mental or emotional stress or physical injury

In many cases when we experience trauma as adults we have gained the tools and relationships to carry us through. When we experience trauma as children we do not necessarily have those resources or the brain development that gives us the resilience needed. The more trauma or adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) that a child experiences, the greater the likelihood these experiences will have negative health impacts throughout their lifespan that can include obesity, heart disease, and substance use disorders.

The good news is that there is new science emerging that gives us hope that our negative childhood experiences do not have to be our destiny.  The NEAR* sciences, as they are called, present a picture of hope. Come join Tricia Long** and Daniela Caserta*** at the upcoming “How Childhood Trauma Affects Lifelong Health” Workshops to find out more on how we can come together as a community and build this hope and change our health outcomes!

Join us for one of these evenings:

November 7th, Hazen Auditorium – 6:00-8:00

November 14th, Green Mountain Technology and Career Center – 6:00-8:00

You can pre-register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/how-childhood-trauma-affects-lifelong-health-tickets-38547319069. Pre-registration is not required, so grab a friend or neighbor and come out to one of these informative evenings!  All are welcome!

 

* NEAR Science = Neuroscience, Epigenetics, ACEs, & Resilience

** Tricia Long is a clinical mental health counselor, and Director for Resilience Beyond Incarceration at the Lamoille Restorative Center, a program that supports children and families dealing with parental incarceration.

*** Daniela Caserta has been overseeing a variety of programs at the Lamoille Family Center and is transitioning to be the Director of Programs for the Washington County Family Center.

 


Jessica Bickford has worked as Coordinator of Healthy Lamoille Valley for a little over two years, where she has enjoyed writing for their blog. Writing for Copley’s community blog is a natural extension of this experience! Healthy Lamoille Valley focuses on making healthy choices easy choices, realizing that when we have access to healthy options we are less likely to choose behaviors that are harmful. Prevention is really a lifestyle of wise choices that enable us to live life to the fullest.

Saturday, October 28 is Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

Police & Sheriff Departments, Kinney Drugs Accepting Unused, Unwanted, Expired Prescription Drugs

Most people who abuse prescription painkillers get them from friends or family – often straight out of the medicine cabinet. By ensuring the safe use, storage and disposal of prescription drugs, you can help make sure drugs don’t get into the wrong hands, or pollute our waterways and wildlife.

Health departments and drug disposal sites around the country are joining the Drug Enforcement Agency this Saturday, October 28, for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, providing a safe, convenient and responsible way to dispose of prescription drugs. The last event took place on Saturday, April 29, when Vermonters brought back 5,553 pounds of prescription drugs.

You can drop off unwanted prescription drugs (pills only, no sharps or liquids) on Saturday, October 28 from 10am-2pm to:

  • Hardwick Police Department
  • Kinney Drugs in Cambridge
  • Kinney Drugs in Morrisville
  • Lamoille County Sheriff’s Department in Hyde Park
  • Stowe Police Department

As always, unwanted medicines may be turned in anytime at the Hardwick Police Department and the Lamoille County Sheriff’s Department.

For more information, visit healthylamoillevalley.org/prescription-drugs and http://www.healthvermont.gov/alcohol-drugs/services/prescription-drug-disposal.

 

Back to School Checklist

By: Jessica Bickford

Pencils… check!

Notebook paper… check!

Erasers…. Check!

Endless stacks of back to school forms… check!

Plans and lists are being made…but the real question facing families with school aged children is: “How are you helping prepare your child for the stress that a new year can bring?” 

While there is no formal checklist for this, I’ve compiled some snippets from some of Healthy Lamoille Valley’s go-to resource websites. We hope you check them out and talk about them as a family!

Parentupvt.orgLearn which students are most at risk of substance misuse, how to prevent misuse, and how to respond if you think your child might be trying alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs.

Website excerpt:

“We all know how important fitting in is when you’re a teenager. And drinking or drugs can seem like an easy way to make new friends and find a place in a new school. Teens can also feel pressured if they’re looking to fit into a group of kids who are drinking or using drugs. And some teens who’ve always been seen as “the good one” may even try to use drinking or drugs to change their image.

That’s why it’s so important to talk to your child and monitor your child’s behaviors, friends, and activities regularly—especially during times of transition.”

Ryanpatrickhalligan.org – Practical suggestions relating to technology and cyberbullying. John Halligan came to Bishop Marshall and Stowe schools last spring to share Ryan’s story with students and parents. If you couldn’t make it, you can now rent John’s parent presentation at this site as well.

Website Excerpt:

“If your child is under 13, you do have the option to have these accounts deleted since most of these services have an age and parental consent requirement per the Federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

      • Have them share with you all their user account names and passwords.
      • Make certain they never have and will never share their passwords with anyone, even a friend. Explain the risk of someone impersonating them and ruining their reputation
      • Remove the technology (cells phones, tablets, iPods, computers) from the bedroom, specifically, when it is time to sleep.”

Teens.drugabuse.gov – It’s important to give your kids resources as well. This one is designed for teens, but also has links for parents including researched based scientific facts about various drugs.

Website Excerpt:

“Another teen from Croatan High School in North Carolina submitted:

My best friend of 7 years has smoked cigarettes, smoked marijuana, and tried other drugs since she was 11. She has dealt with social services, law enforcement, and was sent to a foster home for 3 months. She has been back home for a month and says she’s going to change. I love her and don’t want her to go back down the same road again, but she doesn’t want to hear it when I talk to her about drugs. How can I help her?”

Healthvermont.gov – State, county, and school district data helps you to know what struggles and strengths your student encounters daily. Many of Lamoille Valley’s Middle and High Schools have student “Getting to Y” groups looking at this data and planning ways to help their classmates who may be struggling.

Website Excerpt:

“The YRBS was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1990 to monitor priority health risk behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death, disease, injury and social problems among youth. These behaviors, often established during childhood and early adolescence, include:

  • Behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence
  • Physical activity
  • Nutrition
  • Weight status
  • Tobacco use
  • Alcohol and other drug use
  • Sexual behaviors

The survey is part of a larger effort to help communities increase the resiliency of young people by reducing high risk behaviors and promoting healthy behaviors. Vermont collects student responses every two years from nearly every high school and middle school in the state.”

Was this information helpful? Do you have other resources you’d like to share? Share in the comments section below or message the author at: jessica@healthylamoillevalley.org.


Jessica Bickford has worked as Coordinator of Healthy Lamoille Valley for a little over two years, where she has enjoyed writing for their blog. Writing for Copley’s community blog is a natural extension of this experience! Healthy Lamoille Valley focuses on making healthy choices easy choices, realizing that when we have access to healthy options we are less likely to choose behaviors that are harmful. Prevention is really a lifestyle of wise choices that enable us to live life to the fullest.