“Brendan had the soul of a poet, and played the drums with a ferocity that belied his tender heart. He loved his family and was a true friend to those in need. Brendan never gave up trying to overcome the disease that took his life, and certainly is not defined by that struggle. He carried the light of hope in his heart for himself and for others who struggled. He will be remembered by his loved ones as a young man who was passionate about music, loved the outdoors, and treated everyone with dignity and respect.”
odds of connecting with your son or daughter on this life-threatening issue:
- Start the conversation about the dangers of medication early. Parents can start talking to their preschool-age kids about medication. One way you can broach the subject when they are young without explicitly diving into opioids is by using vitamins as an example. When you give your children vitamins, explain to them that vitamins are good for you and will help you to growup to be big and strong, but they can also be harmful if you take too many.
- Discuss the proper and improper use of prescription drugs. Explain to children and adolescents that prescription opioids can be medically appropriate to treat the pain from serious injuries such as broken bones or from diseases like cancer. Parents can explain to their kids that
they should never take medication that was not prescribed specifically for them. Be sure that they know that taking another person’s prescription or sharing their prescription with someone else is illegal.
- Honestly discuss why some people use drugs. Be straightforward in discussing the allure of drugs. It’s important to explain that drugs can make you feel good, and like many things that make you feel good, they can also damage you, especially because you can lose control and they have harmful effects on your body. Acknowledging that drugs can temporarily evoke feelings of euphoria or an escape from life—rather than just discussing the negative effects of substance abuse—is important to maintain credibility. It’s absolutely important to talk about both sides.
- Don’t try to instill excessive fear or lecture your kids. When we exaggerate, we instill fear in our kids, and they don’t take us seriously. Discuss the dangers of opioid addiction, but don’t overdo it or you’ll lose credibility. Your kids need to know you are being 100 percent honest or you’ll lose the connection with them.
- Encourage a conversation. It’s going to have more meaning if it’s a two-way street, rather than a parent saying, “Here are the facts. Don’t do this”. To encourage a discussion, don’t ask questions that can be answered with a “yes” or “no”.
- Talk about the genetic factor. Kids should know if addiction runs in their family. It’s in the DNA. There are genetic components and it’s passed from generation to generation. You have a higher risk of alcoholism or addiction if you have a family history.
For additional resources visit:
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
How Family Services Can Help
Family Services is committed to the prevention of substance abuse. Through our Ulster Prevention Council (UPC) we work to prevent substance abuse in Ulster County youth and families. UPC provides evidence-based school and community prevention services. UPC Prevention Educators provide a model prevention education service delivery in Ulster County Schools. Too Good for Drugs fosters confidence, self-efficacy and resistance to substance abuse through goal setting and achievement, responsible decision making, positive conflict resolution, and healthy relationships. UPC partners with grassroots initiatives and community coalitions to address local needs, provide training and technical assistance, enhance communication and avoid duplication of efforts. For more information about these services please visit: Ulster Prevention Council
Finally, if parents suspect that their child is using or has a problem with opioids, it’s imperative to get help as soon as possible. The best outcomes often come from intervening early. Family Services provides a service to help individuals and families struggling with substance use disorders. The Family Advocate (Carol Sutcliffe) helps connect families with drug and alcohol treatment services. The Advocate can educate families on available treatment options, assist with the intake process, help remove obstacles to treatment, such as, lack of insurance or insurance denials, and support families in crisis due to addiction. The Advocate provides information on 12 Step programs, counseling, medication assisted treatment and opioid overdose reversal medication (NARCAN). The Advocate is available to talk with those in contemplation of seeking treatment, those ready for treatment and families who are concerned that their loved ones might have a substance use disorder. The Advocate also facilitates a support
group for those, like me who have lost a loved one to substance use.
For more information on the Family Advocate Program, contact Carol Sutcliffe at 845-458-7455 or email@example.com
In 2007, the U.S. Congress established September 25th as National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims.
Family Partnership Center
Universal Response to Domestic Violence (URDV)
Celebrating 30 Years of Dedication
Congratulations and Thank You from all of us here at Family Services and the Partnership Center!
On Monday, September 17th, the unwavering commitment and hard work of the Family Services and Hudson Valley Mental Health staff was celebrated at our Annual Staff Recognition Event. This year the event took place at the beautiful Freedom Park in Lagrange with delicious BBQ style food prepared by RTS Catering. Staff enjoyed basketball, chair massages (sponsored by CDPHP) and Painting on the Green with our own Randi Chalfin, Head Teacher at the Children’s Center at Family Court. The event also included a live band featuring Denise Parent, Office Coordinator in Ulster County, and a “sweet” Ice Cream Bar where staff were served by the agency’s Leadership Team wearing retro Soda Jerk hats. A great time was had by all!
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