County nets $142K prevention grant
Northampton County has received a $142,000 grant which will be applied toward drug and alcohol prevention, Executive Lamont McClure announced Sept. 17. “The longer you take to have your first drink, the less likely you will have a problem with drinking,” he said.
“Since the day I was elected, I said, ‘We didn’t have one person to give up on Northampton County,’” said McClure to drug abuse professionals, survivors and students at Northampton Community College.
He was attending the seminar with Northampton County Human Services Director Susan Wandalowski and Drug and Alcohol Administrator Elizabeth Miller.
“They do a tremendous job,” said McClure. “And they do believe we don’t have anyone to give up on.”
Outside the room in the student lounge area, vendors had set up table displays to help parents and drug and alcohol abuse professionals address various aspects of abuse in the community. One display showed attendees and the occasional interested student how a typical “teen bedroom” might be outfitted with clever ways to hide drugs, alcohol and paraphernalia from snooping adults.
Cans and bottles labeled as popular products, but with false bottoms and hidden compartments, were on display. So were fake or modified appliances, such as combs and curling irons all modified to conceal illicit drugs.
“We filed lawsuits against manufacturers of opioids and should be settling with one of those manufacturers soon. We’ll put that money to use in the current fight to stabilize and discourage opioid addiction,” said McClure.
Northampton County has created a “web of healing” throughout the county to support folks who are recovering from addiction, according to McClure.
He described understanding the “beginning” of drug addiction as being key in the healing process.
“I’m old enough to remember the Just Say No program,” said McClure, recalling a failed government anti-drug abuse program from the Nixon administration. “It was largely ridiculed. Saying ‘no’ to a teenager, as we all know, is just not realistic.” There were no supporting programs, said McClure.
“Finally, the federal government has gotten around to wanting to support us with real programs that work,” said McClure.
Following McClure’s remarks organizers of the event showed slides with drug related statistics:
Narcon (Naloxone) nasal spray can be used to save someone who has overdosed on heroin or opioids.
Kratom has recently classed as a “dangerous opioid,” but is still sold in convenience stores and tobacco shops.
Most overdose deaths are attributed to prescription drugs or heroin.
Hookah versus cigarettes: Both contain nicotine. One hour of hookah equals 100 cigarettes. Both increase risk for oral, lung, stomach and bladder cancer. Both cause decreased lung function and decreased fertility.
Marijuana is linked to learning difficulties, lung infections, panic attacks, increased risk of depression or anxiety. When smoked, marijuana leaves more tar in the lungs than cigarettes.