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203 736-8566

Volume 7 Issue 8

HAVE YOU HEARD OF THIS DRUG? Opana is the trade name for oxymorphone, a powerful prescription painkiller. Unfortunately it will kill more than pain. The misuse of painkillers has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S with 1.3 million emergency room visits in 2010. Deaths from legal opioid pain relievers have surpassed the combined deaths from the illegal drugs heroin and cocaine. When the pharmaceutical companies changed the composition of OxyConton to make it more difficult to abuse, addicts searched for something to take its place. Opana quickly filled the bill. Opana ER is an extended-release painkiller that came on the market in 2006. The drug can be purchased from people who received a legal prescription and then sell the pills to make money. The drug can be purchased on the street from drug dealers who may go out of state to “pill mills” to purchase the product. And, as with other prescriptions, Opana medication is often stolen by teens from parents or elderly relatives to use themselves, share with friends or sell. A 40 mg tablet which cost from $4 to $8 from a pharmacy can cost as much as $70 on the street. As with OxyConton, the formula for Opana will be reformulated to make it more difficult to abuse. When that happens, there will certainly be another drug to take its place. Users and addicts may turn to heroin. Heroin is always available and often cheaper than prescription meds. Parents should always take notice when there is any kind of change in behavior exhibited by their middle and high school kids. The change in behavior could be caused by many things. Be diligent. Find the cause.

August 2012

The annual cost of the violence affecting young people and others in society is
estimated at a staggering $425 billion in direct and indirect costs relating to the criminal justice system, security, treatment, and lost productivity and quality of life.

The average child sees 16,000 murders on TV by age 18. At this time, up to one-fifth of Americans over the age of 65 have substance abuse or
mental health conditions; and, the numbers appear to be growing. Institute of Medicine

Some professionals are comparing the spike of babies born with an opiate addiction
from addicted mothers to the time in the 80’s and early 90’s when babies were born with a crack cocaine addiction from an addicted mother. The spike is the result of the women who have become addicted to legal prescription pain medications as opposed to the illegal drug heroin.

Some Facts about BULLYING
With the new school year soon to start, there will be acts of bullying. No school child is exempt from becoming the target of a bully. There is a state law that requires all school systems to have policies regarding bullying, but it is all to common for adults to either not recognize all forms of bullying or to ignore bullying behavior. If a child begins to find excuses not to go to school, has disrupted sleep patterns, comes home with bruises, or torn clothing, is ostracized by friends, or becomes withdrawn - something is obviously wrong. Do not ignore the symptoms. It could be bullying. It is in the best interest for all involved to be sure you child’s school has policies in place and follows them. Bullying is exposure, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other students. It could be physical-hitting, biting, kicking, pushing; or, it could be psychological/ emotional - ostracizing, spreading rumors, intimidation. Whatever the method, bullying is not a rite- of-passage for the one being bullied or the one who bullies. The following are some facts about bullying. ● Bullying affects nearly one out of every three U.S. children in grades 6-10. ● Bullying behavior tends to peak in late middle school or early high school. ● Bullies do not have low self-esteem. ● There is no one definitive profile of a bully and there is no one profile of a child who gets bullied. ● Boys will tend to be physical while girls will exclude, spread rumors, etc. ● Boys and girls are equally likely to report being victimized. ● Youth who are bullied have higher rates of suicide, depression, PTSD, and substance abuse. ● Bullies have little empathy and show little remorse for their actions. ● Six out of 10 kids identified as bullies in middle school are convicted of a crime by the time they reach age 24. ● Years after experiencing bullying, adults who were bullied as teens have higher levels of depression and poorer self-esteem than other adults. ● A child who is bullied has become the object for the bully to vent his or her anger, frustration or aggression. ● When bullying occurs on the playground, peers may play a large role in encouraging the aggressive behavior by gathering around and watching. ● Children who witness or participate in repeated bullying may become desensitized. ● Children who tend to be more impulsive are more likely to copy the bullying behavior.
The staff of VSAAC is available to talk to classes or to present to teachers or to PTA/PTO’s. Contact us at 203-736-8566; or Check our website:

Prescription Medication: REMINDER TO EVERYONE Warning labels on prescription bottles are often ignored, especially by patients over 50 years old. Labels include instructions such as “Do not drive while taking this medication.” or “Avoid smoking while taking this drug.” or “Do not drink alcohol while taking this medication.” Information that comes with medications also list side effects that drug takers may experience. Don’t be foolish. If you are taking prescription medications- know what you are taking, know how to take it safely and know what may happen if it is taken incorrectly. Be your own health safety monitor.