April is Alcohol Awareness Month
April is Alcohol Awareness Month. We wanted to raise awareness of the risks of alcohol use. This is a great opportunity to have conversations about alcohol and other drugs with your kids.
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day- April 24
April 24, 2021, 10am - 2pm
Ventura County is committed to preventing prescription drug misuse and abuse. One of the ways the county works to address the issue locally is by reducing access, especially to teens. The Ventura County Sheriff's Office in collaboration with Ventura County Behavioral Health established a countywide Rx disposal program that allows residents to safely dispose of unused, unwanted, or expired Rx medication via secure, confidential disposal bins.
The DEA’s Take Back Day provides an opportunity to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths. It encourages people to dispose of prescription drugs while also educating the public about the potential for abuse of medications.
What You Can Do
- Commit to safely disposing of your prescription drugs
- Get the facts on Rx & OTC drug abuse
- Dispel the myth that Rx drugs are safe to abuse
- Know the signs and symptoms of drug use
- Monitor and secure all medications
Medication Disposal Drop-off Locations
DEA Take Back Day
"Marijuana: What You Need to Know" Presentation
CVUSD's BreakThrough Student Assistance Program and The Conejo Schools Foundation gave a workshop for parents and students on Tuesday, March 23 on "Marijuana: What You Need to Know." Presentations were given by professionals from Los Robles Regional Medical Center, Ventura County Behavioral Health and the Thousand Oaks Police Department followed by a Q&A. This workshop was for all CVUSD Parents/Guardians and students 12 years of age and older.
See the presentation at https://youtu.be/EXkoaikkkVQ
March Parent/Guardian Workshop: "Marijuana: What You Need to Know"
Please join CVUSD's BreakThrough Student Assistance Program and The Conejo Schools Foundation for an online workshop on Tuesday, March 23 at 6:00 PM - "Marijuana: What You Need to Know."
Presentations will be given by professionals from Los Robles Regional Medical Center, Ventura County Behavioral Health and the Thousand Oaks Police Department followed by a Q&A.
This workshop is open to all CVUSD Parents/Guardians and students 12 years of age and older. A presentation will be given by Erika Fernandez, SUS Prevention Services, Community Services Coordinator.
National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® 2021
March 22-28, 2021
National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® links students with scientists and other experts to counteract the myths about drugs and alcohol that teens get from the internet, social media, TV, movies, music, or from friends. It was launched in 2010 by scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to stimulate educational events in communities so teens can learn what science has taught us about drug use and addiction.
Teens may be seeking coping mechanisms to handle the increased stress that has come with many changes and challenges in their daily lives. Teens also need resources to develop the necessary skills to make informed decisions about their health.
National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week®
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Featured Partner: BRITE Connections
Expressions of Gender: Creating Safe Spaces for Youth
BRITE (Building Resilience & Inclusion Through Engagement) engages and educates Ventura County’s youth on prevention and wellness topics. BRITE Connections, a free monthly livestream series open to youth ages 14+, brings together youth and adult experts in discussion on important issues. Expressions of Gender was the first BRITE Connections livestream event of 2021 and was held on January 28th. The event featured a performance of youth poetry and music titled “Stereotypes” and an expert panel of caring adults discussing gender expression and LGBTQ+ equity in schools within a Q&A format.
The event raised awareness about the negative effects on youth who feel excluded by and unable to express their gender identity due to the traditional binary views of gender roles and stereotypes that exist at home and at school. Youth that identify within this group are at an increased risk for many negative behavioral health outcomes including depression, suicide, and drug use. The event focused discussion on ways that teachers and parents can help support youth within this group.
BRITE Connections - Expressions of Gender livestream event
2021 Teens Kick Ash Virtual Conference
Teens Kick Ash is intended to develop the next generation of tobacco-free advocates. Through hands-on training and team-building activities, middle and high school students from all over Ventura County learn about e-products and other tobacco-related health risks. They do this while networking with peers on how to effect positive change in their own behavior, in their schools, and within their communities. The conference teaches students about nicotine addiction and the e-product and tobacco industry’s marketing strategies to attract young people.
Ventura County Office of Education (VCOE)
February 23 & 25, 2021
For information: www.vcoe.org/health/tka
Featured Resource for Teachers: Mind Matters Series, NIDA
“Mind Matters” includes engaging printed materials designed to help students in grades 5 – 8 understand the biological effects of drug misuse on the brain and body, along with identifying how these drug-induced changes affect both behaviors and emotions.
There is no more important time to address these issues with adolescents than in the middle school years, when they are forming opinions about the health risks of drugs. These educational materials are also easy to print and use. There is an accompanying Teacher’s Guide which includes background information and activities to enhance students’ learning.
Mind Matters Series, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Rx Drop-off Day - December 5
Drop off your unused and expired Rx Medications at the Oxnard Police Department's Rx Drop-Off Day on Saturday, December 5!
National Impaired Driving Prevention Month
Every year, thousands of individuals are arrested for impaired driving in Ventura County, causing harms to drivers, passengers and the public. Increasingly, marijuana and prescription drug use, alone or in combination with alcohol, are growing factors in DUIs countywide. Our goal is to reduce impaired driving among Ventura County youth and adults.
Get a Ride. Not a DUI.
REGISTER NOW! - 5th Annual Preventing Suicide: Help & Hope Conference
Register for the 5th Annual Preventing Suicide: Help & Hope Conference, which will be held online Thursday, December 10 at 9am.
Keynote Speaker Pablo Campos from Active Minds will share his insights about struggling with depression and addiction – and his road from attempting suicide to recovery.
Featured Resource: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Mind Matters Series
The Mind Matters series is a resource for teachers. Each booklet is devoted to a specific drug or drug group. Hard copies of the booklets in English can be ordered for free and both English and Spanish booklets are available online as printable PDFs. There is an accompanying Teacher’s Guide which includes background information and activities to enhance students’ learning.
SAVE THE DATE - 5th Annual Preventing Suicide: Help & Hope Conference
SAVE THE DATE for the 5th Annual Preventing Suicide: Help & Hope Conference, which will be held online Thursday, December 10 at 9am.
Keynote Speaker Pablo Campos from Active Minds will share his insights about struggling with depression and addiction – and his road from attempting suicide to recovery. Registration coming soon!
Teens, Vaping and COVID-19
Vaping puts teens and young adults at much higher risk of COVID-19
- A Stanford University study found that young people who have ever vaped are at 5X higher risk for being diagnosed with COVID-19.
- Youth believe their age protects them from COVID-19, but data show this is not true for those who vape.
Why teens and young adults?
- Sharing vapes with friends can increase infection rate
- COVID-19 can spread by hand-to-mouth touching during vaping
- Youth who vape in a group usually don’t distance or wear masks
- Vaping or smoking weakens and scars lungs and may lower resistance
- Vape aerosol may have virus-containing droplets
Research also shows:
- Users of vapes and cigarettes are 7X more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19
- Vapers are also at risk for EVALI and other harmful lung diseases
Now is the time to be someone who NEVER vapes.
How to Quit Vaping
- or download the app: teen.smokefree.gov/become-smokefree/quitstart-app
- Davies, N.G., Klepac, P., Liu, Y. et al. Age-dependent effects in the transmission and control of COVID-19 epidemics. Nat Med 26, 1205–1211 (2020).
- Gaiha, S. M., Cheng, J., & Halpern-Felsher, B. (2020). Association Between Youth Smoking, Electronic Cigarette Use, and Coronavirus Disease 2019. Journal of Adolescent Health.
"Talk. They Hear You." Campaign
See this campaign by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA). This substance use prevention campaign helps parents and caregivers start talking to their children early about the dangers of alcohol and other drugs.
OK to Drive?
Many medications can impair your ability to drive, making you an unsafe driver while you’re taking them. It’s against the law to drive when you’re impaired. A prescription doesn’t mean it’s OK to drive.
This campaign, in partnership with the California Office of Traffic Safety, shares the message that pain medication and driving don’t mix! This is part of our Dental Prescribing Toolkit and patient education materials.
Exploring Racism as a Social Determinant of Health
BRITE (Building Resilience & Inclusion Through Engagement), a long-time contract provider with Substance Use Services – Prevention, is proud to share one of their projects, PhotoVoice Oxnard. Over the past year, BRITE has been working on this project which explores racism as a social determinant of health.
PhotoVoice is a visual research method that uses photography to capture issues of concern as a means for communication and stimulating social change. Through PhotoVoice, teens can become more engaged in their community and develop an ability to advocate for the changes that they want to see.
"Our experience living in our community allows us to provide evidence that shapes policy on gender, racial equity, behavioral health, and overall wellness. One powerful role we have as community members is sharing our stories on how our social environment affects our health and well-being."
Participants spoke to City Council members about their issues of concerns and their suggestions for change.
Dental Prescribing Toolkit
Teens who are prescribed opioids after their wisdom teeth are removed have a 33% higher risk of opioid misuse later in life.
"Dentists play a pivotal role and have a professional responsibility to reduce the misuse and abuse of opioids..." – California Dental Association
The Ventura County Rx Abuse & Heroin Workgroup, in partnership with the Office of Traffic Safety, is committed to working with the local dental community to reduce opioid misuse and fatal overdoses. Prescribers across the county are experiencing new healthcare challenges and evolving standards for patient care. The Dental Prescribing Toolkit includes information and materials to assist with patient communications on opioids and possible risks.
Working together, we are making a measurable difference locally: to individuals, to families, and to our community.
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, October 24
Safe Medication Disposal
Ventura County is actively engaged and committed to preventing prescription drug misuse and abuse. One of the ways the county works to address the issue locally is by reducing access, especially to teens. The Ventura County Sheriff's Office in collaboration with Ventura County Behavioral Health established a countywide Rx disposal program that allows residents to safely dispose of unused, unwanted, or expired Rx medication via secure, confidential disposal bins.
The DEA’s Take Back Day provides an opportunity to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths. The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the public about the potential for abuse of medications.
National Recovery Month 2020
Strong communities make for strong recovery. Community members—including families, neighbors, employers, educators, charitable organizations, and faith-based institutions—are the backbone of communities that foster recovery among its residents. Research shows that peer support services can provide a valuable approach to guide individuals as they work to maintain recovery. Each September, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), sponsors National Recovery Month. This observance celebrates the millions of Americans who are in recovery from mental and substance use disorders, reminding us that treatment is effective and that people can and do recover. It also serves to help reduce the stigma and misconceptions that cloud public understanding of mental and substance use disorders, potentially discouraging others from seeking help.
The theme for 2020 National Recovery Month is Join the Voices for Recovery: Celebrating Connections.
Now in its 31st year, Recovery Month celebrates the gains made by those living in recovery. Assistant Secretary for Mental Health andSubstance Use, Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz, delivers a message for the 31st anniversary of National Recovery Month. Watch the video →