Friday, February 14, 2014

Dr. Nora Volkow Discusses Marijuana's Effects on the Brain, Body ...

Hear a fascinating presentation by Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about the effects of marijuana use on the brain, body and behavior. Dr. Volkow's remarks were given on Feb. 4th at CADCA's 24th National Leadership Forum.

Click HERE to download a copy of the PowerPoint she used for this talk.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Washington County Youth Coalition IN THE NEWS!

The youth branch of the Washington County Youth Coalition has always been involved in great prevention work, and this week they got some recognition for it. Brian Passey, Reporter for The Spectrum & Daily News, featured the youth and some of their upcoming projects, including the Great American Smoke-Out and research on e-cigarettes. Click HERE for the full article.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Fundraising at the Heavy Expense of Addiction Prevention | CADCA

Fundraising at the Heavy Expense of Addiction Prevention | CADCA

The above link is an article on how many jails are using the sale of e-cigarettes to inmates as a way to raise some extra funds. Tobacco Programs Manager, Alicia Smith, discusses the dangers of this, and why it's a bad idea. She encourages coalitions and sheriff's departments to work together to prohibit this kind of behavior in their communities. Click the link above for the full article.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Prescription Drugs Still A Problem in Utah

More people still die from prescription drug overdose in Utah than car crashes, a statistic that has remained true for over three years now. And Prescription drug abuse still reaches across all social class and demographic in our state, evidenced by a recent arrest of a Salt Lake City Justice Court Judge being arrested for intent to distribute prescription narcotics. CLICK HERE to read a full story.

Idaho Refuses to Allow their State to "Go to Pot".

Idaho Coalition's are taking preemptive action to assure their state doesn't suffer the same social consequences related to marijuana use as those surrounding them. Click here to read what they have done. "Idaho Refuses to go to Pot!"

Friday, March 1, 2013

Policy makers are currently debating and voting on bills that could increase our youth alcohol consumption in Southern Utah. To learn about these bills, click here. Take action. Tell our leaders how you feel about underage consumption, and share with them the science that shows that effect prevention policies include higher taxes on alcohol, and fewer retailers selling it. Click here to see an alternative take on privatizing alcohol.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Teen Drinking on the Rise since Washington Deregulated Alcohol

New reports from the State of Washington acknowledge a new problem with teen drinking since the passage of Initiative 1183, deregulating alcohol and allowing private chains and big-box retailers to sell liquor. Juvenile prosecutor Wayne Graham say's that 20 teenagers have been charged with stealing spirits from grocery stores in one county alone, since the passage of initiative 1183. "Alcohol use by students on school property has gone up, and it's not beer," the prosecutor said. Local teens agreed that it's much easier to shoplift hard liquor from private stores. "You're not an automatic suspect when you walk in a grocery store," said one student. "It's easy." The Washington State Organized Retail Crime Alliance indicated about $20,000 in liquor thefts from mid-September to the end of October, according to the state Liquor Control Board's enfrocement chief, and they acknowledge that they are only catching a small percent of what is happening. “We have definitely seen an increase of thefts of hard alcohol from the stores, especially by juveniles,” Tumwater police detective Jen Kolb said, “more than likely because hard liquor was not made readily available to juveniles prior to the passing of the new law. Additionally,” Kolb said, “we have noted an increase in alcohol-related reports by the schools, and this has become a proliferating problem that needs to be addressed.” “Law enforcement continues to feel the impact of the privatization of liquor in our state,” Olympia Police Chief Ronnie Roberts said. “At a time when we are strained by a lack of resources, we are faced with addressing another community issue that is not directly supported by revenue at the state level. Most concerning is the risk to our youth who now have even greater access to hard alcohol replacing consumption of lower alcoholic beverages like beer.”

Thursday, November 15, 2012

5-Hour Energy Drinks Involved in 13 Deaths

The FDA confirmed reports that 5-hour Energy may have been involved in 13 deaths over the past four years. FDA spokeswoman Shelly Burgess said that 5-hour Energy, sold by Living Essentials, has been mentioned in some 90 FDA filings since 2009, including more than 30 that involved serious or life-threatening events like heart attacks, convulsions, and in one case, a spontaneous abortion. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported late last year that more than 13,000 emergency room visits in 2009 were associated with energy drinks alone. The highly caffeinated beverages are the fastest-growing type of drink in the United States, with sales increasing 17 percent last year to about $9 billion, according to Beverage Digest. See full report from the New York Times here.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Marijuana is a polarizing topic to discuss. People are passionate about their views and often don't want to listen to those who oppose them. This passion can sometimes lead to skewed facts about marijuana. During the hour-long video posted below, science, prevention and law enforcement experts talk about some common myths and provide verifiable facts regarding the truth about marijuana.

The Washington County Prevention Coalition will be hosting a webinar presentation titled Marijuana: Science and Strategies for Community Coalitions on November 15th, 2012, at 1pm at the Southwest Behavioral Health Center. To join us for this webinar contact Lauren at 435-634-5604. Refreshments will be provided.

More info: This webinar will discuss new research recently published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and other studies that have shown a link between prolonged marijuana use and cognitive or neural impairment. These studies show persistent marijuana use can reduce the IQ scores of users by as much as 8 points putting them in the bottom third of the intelligence range. The presentation will also clearly define the differences between medical marijuana, decriminalization and legalization and describe their impact on communities. Participants will also learn why community coalitions should care about marijuana use and engage their communities to address the marijuana issue, particularly around formulating messages and developing other effective strategies.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Washington County Prevention Coalition is excited to announce that we have been awarded the Drug Free Communities grant. This grant will be used to bolster current strategies, increase our efforts, institute new programs, maintain current staffing, and help us to continue to mobalize the community towards prevention efforts. For the full press release, click here!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

14-Year-Old Dies from Energy Drink Overdose

A teenage girl from Maryland died after downing two Monster Energy Drinks in a 24-hour period. The energy drinks were consumed over the course of about 18 hours, and together contained 480 milligrams of caffeine (almost five times the recommended caffeine limit from the American Academy of Pediatrics). Caffeine poisoning is not uncommon in the U.S, having increased from barely over a thousand in 2005, to 13,114 in 2009. Nearly half of those reported in 2007 were in people younger than 19. In a study published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers said "The known and unknown pharmacology of agents included in such drinks, combined with reports of toxicity, raises concern for potentially serious adverse effects in association with energy drink use. In the short-term, pediatricans need to be aware of the possible effects of energy drinks in vulnerable populations and screen for consumption to educate families." For a video report on the incident, visit the Huffington Post.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Early Marijuana Use Linked to Lower I.Q.

A new study from Duke University suggests that teens who use Marijuana have a significant drop in I.Q. when measured later in life. "Parents should understand that their adolescents are particularly vulnerable,'" said lead researcher Madeline Meier of Duke University. Study participants from New Zealand were tested for IQ at age 13, likely before any significant marijuana use, and again at age 38. The mental decline between those two ages was seen only in those who started regularly smoking pot before age 18. To watch the KSL Video report on this story click here.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

Last spring, residents of Washington County banded together to collect their old, expired, and unwanted prescription drugs and dropped them off at one of several locations for disposal. Records were set because of the awareness and willing involvement of these citizens. Round two of this take-back event is scheduled for this Saturday...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Washington City Family Night

Detectives Spragg and Page, (Washington County Drug Task Force and Washington County Prevention Coalition,) give information about substance abuse and prevention techniques to parents and families at the Washington City Family Night in October, 2011. This is the second year the coalition has had a booth at the Family Night. Thanks to these great detectives for giving up their evening to run the booth!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

WCPC Receives First Ever Utah Coalition Award!

Craig PoVey, Director of Substance Abuse Prevention for the Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, presented the Washington County Prevention Coalition (WCPC) with an award in excellence at the Utah Fall Substance Abuse conference in September. Director PoVey said that this is the first time the award has ever been given to a coalition, but said the decision was obvious as he praised the WCPC for all of the collaboration they have created in the community with their prevention efforts, and all of the things they have done to make their county a safer, healthier place. Logan Reid, Chair of the WCPC, who accepted the award on behalf of the coalition, said that the success of the WCPC was a result of not just one person, but of all of the coalition members who have given so much of their time and efforts to the mission of the WCPC.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Prescription drug overdose deaths in Utah are down. Officials credit local coalitions, state-wide media campaigns, and prevention specialists who have been working hard to educated communities about the prescription drug problem in Utah. The WCPC has been a big part of this endeavor. We have contributed to the media campaign and just last year the coalition conducted over 20 presentations in Washington County on prescription drugs. It's a work in progress... but we're making a difference!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

13-year-old Utahn Dies from Prescription Drug Overdose

Thanks to Dan Riding for sending us this article:

A very "sobering" story was printed in the Salt Lake Tribune yesterday. Conner Watson, (13), died after returning home from a party with friends where he consumed some prescription narcotics that he found on the counter (belonging to a friends grandmother). After coming home he watched a movie with his mother before going to bed. The next morning she found him in bed, dead as a result of overdose. It's a very sad story and one that stresses the importance of treating these drugs with greater caution, locking them up, and getting rid of them once they are no longer needed. It's very topical given that our coalition is sponsoring a take-back day this week to address this very concern. Please spread the word about this event and encourage, friends, family and neighbors to clean out their medicine cabinets!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Underage Drinking Can Create Long-Lasting Brain Changes

A new report published in "Psychology & Sociology" and the journal of "Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research" shows that human adolescence marks a critical period for brain development. "This is when the growth of the cortex, our gray matter, reaches a peak and is coupled with major rearrangements of neurons. Dr. Fulton Crews, PhD, professor of pharmacology and director of the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies at the University of N.C. Chapell Hill School of Medicine, said: "It's also a time when the brain's developing neural circuits are more sensitive to disruption. And we and others have shown that the growing adolescent frontal cortex is much more sensitive to damage than the adult frontal cortex, given the same amount of alcohol. The question is, what impact does alcohol [consumption] in the teen years have on the brain and how might that affect our lives as adults?"

Findings show that individuals who drink heavily during adolescence may be more likely to have deficits in being able to adapt successfully to changing life situations as adults. Dr. Crews said that this research shows that young drinkers "...might become a less intelligent, moody, or impulsive individual" later in life.

Monday, March 28, 2011

A free webinar will be held TOMORROW, March 29th, from noon to 1:30. It's titled "Parents Who Host, Lose the Most: Don't be a party to teenage drinking." It's more than billboards and brochures. This program can have a meaningful impact on environmental factors which contribute to underage drinking in our community. You can login on your computer and participate in the webinar, or come to the Southwest Center and watch it with staff in the Prevention Department. To register to watch from your own computer, go to: If you plan to watch it at the Southwest Behavioral Health Center please contact Sara: (634-5604) and let her know so she can arrange a room large enough for attendees.