Photos courtesy the Columbian.
[Originally published by the Columbian. Full article here.]
BATTLE GROUND — Jason Johnson II tossed a ball around with another teenager Sunday afternoon at Bailey’s Tiger Bowl. Then he put on a pair of DUI goggles and tried again.
The 14-year-old Battle Ground High School student threw the ball far outside of the other boy’s reach.
“It wasn’t going to him, even though I was absolutely sure it was going to,” Jason said. Had he been behind the wheel of a car with those goggles on, “I could see how that could be very dangerous.”
The activity was designed to show the teens how drinking alcohol impairs motor skills, and why drinking would be a dangerous thing to do before driving. It was one of several activities local middle and high schools students could try at Spooktacular Fun, a Halloween event aimed at reducing underage drinking and drug use.
It was organized by the Prevent Together Battle Ground Prevention Alliance, and in particular the coalition’s Dream Team, a handful of ninth graders from Battle Ground High School, including Jason.
A couple of dozen kids attended. After about an hour of participating in prevention activities, the students, many wearing Halloween costumes, were treated to pizza and bowling. Goofy sunglasses also were available at a “Throw Shade at Drugs” table.... [Read more]
Battle Ground Police Chief Bob Richardson received the Washington State Public Health Association Public Health Leadership Award today at the association’s annual conference in Wenatchee.
Richardson has been a member of the Clark County Public Health Advisory Council since 2011. He has advocated for public health issues before the Clark County Board of Health. He also has been a leader in addressing methamphetamine use, youth violence and stable funding for public health.
The advisory council is focusing on health impacts from Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Richardson helped the county obtain a grant from Vancouver-based Community Health Foundation for an upcoming pilot project on ACEs in Battle Ground.
“As an advocate of community-based law enforcement, Chief Richardson understands the strong connection between the work of public safety and public health,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer and public health director. “He is well respected in our community, and brings credibility and an understanding that public health is more than an organization; it is a community collaboration.”
Prevent Together is so very fortunate that Bob has been one of our outstanding community leaders who have provided leadership to our coalition. We are so proud of his work!
The final counts are in for the RX Take Back Day… A total of 1,000 participants from Clark County, and 2,025 lbs of pills. That’s over a
ton of pills!
In Battle Ground, over 122 cars came to the Battle Ground Police Department. The oldest prescription was from 1989!
Here's why this matters! In his weekly address at the White House, President Obama stated, “ More Americans now die every year from drug overdoses than they do in car crashes. And most of those deaths aren't due to drugs like cocaine or heroin - but rather prescription drugs. In 2013 alone, overdoses from prescription pain medications killed more than 16,000 Americans. And most young people who begin misusing prescription drugs don't buy them in some dark alley - they get them from the medicine cabinet." “
Locally, the 2014 Washington State Healthy Survey found that 6% of high school seniors admitted misusing prescription drugs. Most teens get prescription drugs from friends and relatives, sometimes without the person knowing.
We were so excited to see close to 500 of our neighbors at Kiwanis Park. Special thanks to all of our partners!
Battle Ground Police Department
City of Battle Ground
Fire District #3 - Safe House and CPR Training
Camp Hope of Southwest Washington
Clark County Sheriff Department
Clark County Public Health - Safe Kids Info
BG Rose Festival Princesses - Face Painting
Kim Witherspoon Zumba
Molina Health Care
NW Rock Academy - Youth Rock Band
North County Food Bank/BG Parks & Rec
Prevent! Clark County
Prevent Together - Fun, games and prizes
Rock Solid Teen Center
Safeway - Healthy Snacks Give Aways
YSPP (Youth Suicide Prevention Program
Looking forward to next year.
SAVE THE DATE! Tuesday, August 1, 2017
When most people think of the Washington Poison Center, they do not immediately think of alcohol and drug prevention but associate us with Mr. Yuk and childhood poison prevention. In fact, whenever we are part of a conversation people often ask, “So why are you here?” The reason is simple; over the 60 year history of the Washington Poison Center the types of substances we are called about have changed. Many people think the poison center is a resource simply to help parents whose children have gotten into household products like soap and bleach; however, roughly half of the 63,000 calls we now receive each year are related to alcohol and other drugs: over- the-counter medicines, prescription drugs, legal and illicit substances. This means that we have lots of information on substances being used and health outcomes occurring across the state. While every call to the poison center is confidential, we have the ability to detect exposure trends while they are happening.
More importantly, we share this trend information locally, regionally, and nationally with organizations working in prevention, public health, and policy, such as health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When Marijuana is Considered Poison Labeling marijuana or marijuana-infused products as “poison” has been controversial. This often results from the misconception that for something to be a “poison” it has to cause serious health consequences or death. It is not likely that someone who uses marijuana will have severe health consequences, but exposure to a substance is considered a “poisoning” once abnormal or unwanted side effects occur.
Over the last decade, the Washington Poison Center has received an increasing number of calls related to unwanted side effects of marijuana use, both intentional and unintentional. In 2015, 46% of the 272 total cases of marijuana exposures involved youth ages 19 and younger (126). Almost a quarter of these calls were about youth aged 13-19*, and more than half of all people exposed (172) were seen in a healthcare facility. Marijuana affects each individual differently and, no matter how it is used, can cause unwanted side effects. Moreover, these negative reactions can be more pronounced when marijuana is used in ways and amounts that were not originally intended.
The most frequently reported unintended side effects include drowsiness, rapid heart rate, and irritability. So are you likely to die from using? No. But, are there potentially negative health risks involved? Yes. Greater Risks with Synthetic Marijuana It is also important to know that synthetic marijuana products, known by names such as Spice or K2, do not have the same effects as natural cannabis. These artificially created drugs have been known to cause severe health effects. They are not marijuana! The Seattle Times recently reported on these drugs, and the article can be read here. Whether you are concerned about adverse effects of marijuana, or want information about its effects on the body from health care professionals, you can reach out to the medical experts at the Washington Poison Center by calling 1-800-222-1222. We operate 24/7 and are staffed by nurses, pharmacists, and physicians with special training in poison and drug exposures. Parents are Key to Prevention The conversation with your child about risks and effects can be difficult to start, but important for establishing healthy expectations.
Check out the Every Conversation Counts page from the Washington Healthy Youth Coalition for tips on how to answer these and other tricky questions. For up-to-date information on Toxic Trends in Washington, sign-up for the Washington Poison Center E-News and the Washington Poison Center website to read past reports about marijuana. You can also follow the Washington Poison Center on Facebook and Twitter at @MrYukWA.
*Since calls to the poison center are always voluntary, it’s important to note that our data cannot be used to say that marijuana use across the state is increasing. All we can say for sure is that more people are calling to get immediate medical help.
6 youth from Battle Ground attended the National Prevention Network Training, November 16-19, 2015
Hannah Thuringer, and Dayanna Medina-Ponce, Sophomores from Prairie High School; Kelly Haggerty and Ethan Floyd, Freshmen from Battle Ground High School; and Raime Sterling, and Riley Sweeny-Katkansky, 8th Graders from Tukes Valley Middle and CAM Academy attended the Youth Track of the National Prevention Network Training in Seattle, Washington. Chaperones for the youth were Kathy Deschner, Prevent Together Coalition Coordinator; and Curtis Miller, Executive Director, Battle Ground Mentor Collaborative.
CADCA'S National Youth Leadership Initiative (NYLI) taught these young people what it takes to make a positive difference in their communities, showing that they are leaders of today, not just tomorrow. That’s why CADCA designed the National Youth Leadership Initiative (NYLI), a training that equips youth and their adult advisors with the essential knowledge and skills needed to make significant community-level change. Using a youth-led, team-teaching approach, the NYLI builds capacity to foster youth leadership in design, implementation, and evaluation of action strategies addressing community problems through “Youth In Action” Projects. Seven evidence-based behavioral change strategies emphazing environmental modifications are employed to effectively alter local conditions that contribute to substance use and its correlates.
In 2014, CADCA’s National Youth Leadership Initiative (NYLI) trained more than 1,700 teens and adult advisors from across the country and globe. The model uses a public health approach to prevention. It is built on the framework of science-based community problem-solving processes researched and documented by the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre Workgroup for Community Health and Development at University of Kansas. The NYLI is embraced by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), states and local communities. An independent evaluation conducted by Michigan State University found that participants trained by the NYLI experienced an increase in leadership competencies, community organizing, problem-solving abilities, current and future civic activism, and civic and political engagement. For more information about this impactful training, visit the CADCA website: http://www.cadca.org/about-nyli
Results from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) recently released 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment (NDTA) show that drug overdose deaths are the leading cause of injury death in the United States, ahead of deaths from motor vehicle accidents and firearms. In 2013, more than 46,000 people in the United States died from a drug overdose, and more than half of those were caused by prescription painkillers and heroin.
“Sadly, this report confirms what we’ve known for some time: Drug abuse is ending too many lives too soon and destroying families and communities,” said Chuck Rosenberg, acting administrator of the DEA, in a news release. “We must reach young people at an even earlier age, and teach them about its many dangers and horrors.”
Since 2002, prescription drug deaths have outpaced those of cocaine and heroin combined. Abuse of controlled prescription drugs is higher than that of cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) and PCP (phencyclidine) combined. Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is 25 to 40 times more potent than heroin, has caused more than 700 deaths in the United States between late 2013 and early 2015.
Fentanyl is sometimes added to heroin batches, or sold by itself as heroin, unknown to the user, the report stated.
The NDTA provides an up-to-date look at the many challenges that local communities face related to drug abuse and trafficking. Highlights in the report include drug abuse and trafficking trends for drugs such as heroin, prescription drugs, and the hundreds of synthetic drugs manufactured outside the United States and imported into this country.
The assessment factors in information from a host of data sources such as drug arrests, drug purity, laboratory analyses, information on the involvement of organized criminal groups, and survey data provided to the DEA by 1,105 state and local law enforcement agencies across the country.
The 2013 NDTA factors information provided by more than 1,100 state and local law enforcement agencies that responded to our 2015 National Drug Threat Survey. Download the report at www.dea.gov and read more about it here.
Vancouver, WA — They might look and taste just like any other sweet treat, but a cookie or brownie baked with marijuana is a potential Halloween nightmare for kids and adults alike. County health and law enforcement officials urge residents to exercise caution around marijuana edibles this Halloween and keep them away from children and pets.
Marijuana or marijuana oils are infused into a variety of food products appealing to children, such as brownies, cookies, candies, animal or fruit-shaped gummies, suckers, chocolates and beverages.
“It’s illegal for anyone under 21 in Washington to use or possess marijuana or marijuana products,” said Cmdr. John Horch of the Clark-Vancouver Regional Drug Task Force. “Unfortunately, you can’t tell from looking whether these products have marijuana in them, which makes them especially dangerous for kids who get hold of them unintentionally.”
In addition to impairing a person’s motor and cognitive abilities, ingesting too much marijuana can lead to paranoia, anxiety and panic attacks.
“It can take up to two hours to feel the effects of an edible marijuana product. If you get impatient and help yourself to another dose before the first one kicks in, you can easily eat too much,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer.
Call the Washington Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 immediately for medical advice if you are worried about your health and safety or that of others, or if your child has accidently eaten a marijuana edible. Calls are free and confidential.