Saturday, October 26, 2013

Prescription Drug Abuse Decreasing

Rate of Prescription Drug Abuse Among Young Adults
Holds Steady at 5 Percent by PFH Prevention Team

A national survey released in September finds 5.3 percent of young adults used prescription drugs for non-medical purposes in the past month, similar to rates in the previous two years. The survey found rates of teen drinking, including binge drinking, in the past month were lower last year com-pared with 2002 and 2009.

Prescription drug abuse rates among adults ages 18 to 25 was significantly lower last year than in 2009, when 6.4 percent of young adults used prescription drugs for non-medical purposes, according to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The report was released in conjunction with the 24th annual National Recovery Month.
SAMHSA found 11.2 percent of Americans drove under the influence of alcohol at least once last year, compared with 11.1 percent in 2011 and 14.2 percent in 2002. Approximately 9 percent of the population—23.9 million Americans—12 years and older used illicit drugs in the previous month.
Prescription Drug Abuse in the U.S.
Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug, the survey found, with 7.3 percent of Americans saying they are current users. The number of people ages 12 and older who said they used heroin in the past year increased from 373,000 in 2007, to 669,000 in 2012.

“These findings show that while we have made progress in preventing some aspects of substance abuse we must redouble our efforts to reduce and eliminate all forms of it throughout our nation,” SAM-HSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde said in a news release. “These statistics represent real people, families and communities dealing with the devastating consequences of abuse and addiction. We must strive to prevent further abuse and provide the hope of treatment and recovery to all people needing help.”   

Written By: Tina Stevens and the Join Together Staff
Full Link:Here

Saturday, October 12, 2013

"Be Here Now"

For young people in recovery, music can act as a bridge to sobriety and provide an outlet for healthy recreation. Recently on a visit to Old Friends Guitar Shop in Wentzville, MO, a young man in our Troy Day Treatment Program was given the opportunity to play the guitar of his dreams. As he began to strum the perfectly tuned antique, acoustic twelve string, a familiar light of self assured contentment settled in. With teens struggling from substance abuse, one of the biggest enemies to sobriety is the foe of being discontent. But at this moment, the young man you see in the photo was anything but bored. He was in the moment entirely. Not in the past, not in the future, but fully in the present. The virtue of living in the moment was no better expressed than by Grammy award winning artist Ray LaMontagne, in his song, "Be Here Now":

"Don't let your mind get weary and confused
  Your will be still, don't try
  Don't let your heart get heavy child

   Inside you there's a strength that lies...."

When redirecting our minds through awareness, uncertainties become irrelevant and strength is found. Allowing the mind to rest reaffirms the sense of control, autonomy, and escape that so many teens end up struggling to achieve through high risk behaviors. Such is the plight of substance abuse in adolescence. But the great gift of music not only provides a life skill that teaches discipline and commitment. But it's also a place where the mind can be free to "Be Here Now".

Written by: Michelle Boonaerts 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Youth Mental Health First Aid
There is no one who can claim to have NOT been affected in some way by a mental health concern.  All of us at one point in our lives will be touched in some way by a mental health “issue”.  I am not talking about a crisis or a diagnosis….it may simply be a serious event that creates in our life or the life of someone we know, a mental health concern. 

So what is a Mental Health Concern? 

They can happen daily, all around us, from the person struggling with grief (which looks different to everyone) or a true mental health disorder.  Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is designed to help everyone be more aware.  In the MHFA class we learn that MHFA is like “regular” first aid for the mind.  Like “regular” first aid, no one is at fault, no is blamed – we just do what we can to manage the situation while waiting for professional help.  This is exactly what Mental Health first aid teaches as it relates to concerns around – our mental health!

Preferred Family Healthcare has several trainers around Missouri who can facilitate an 8 hour certification class in Youth MHFA as well as an hour long “taste of” class.  This class is designed to educate people about what a mental health concern looks like in a youth, and the difference between “normal” adolescence and a concern.  The course includes ways to recognize risk, protective factors and concrete steps to take when a mental health concern is identified.  The beauty of this course is that it does not ask anyone to diagnose and treat; but instead, to take 5 simple steps to apply first aid.

For more information check out our website at, to schedule a class in the St. Louis Region contact me – Jean Sokora or Brigid Woodhead -