These fact sheets have been developed as a useful tool to highlight current data and strategies proven effective for reducing or preventing drunk driving and increasing the use of seat belts, car seats, and booster seats.
Tools You Can Use
Download state datasets, maps, charts, and graphs already created for you that you can use in your presentations and web sites. Data are available for all 50 states and the District of Columbia and divided up by HHS Region.
Half of the teen and young adult drivers who die in car crashes are under the influence of either pot, alcohol, or both, suggests a new study done in states where toxicology screening for accident victims is routine. Read more.
According to About.com’s About Health blog, 2014 saw heroin making a comeback after years of decline, but why? It looks like a combination of factors have led to this unfortunate trend, including increased availability of the drug as well as users switching to heroin in response to a crackdown on prescription drug abuse. Today’s users are younger than in the recent past, and are also more likely to overdose. Heroin is highly addictive and highly dangerous, with a high risk of accidental overdose. In addition, dealers often mix heroin with other drugs, making it even more dangerous and unpredictable.
In response to the growing trend, Governor Cuomo announced renewed efforts to combat the problem and Rockland County’s District Attorney last year unveiled a new prevention plan including specialized training for prosecutors, local law enforcement and school districts on the dangers and warning signs of heroin use and overdose death, treatment options and support groups, resources and prevention opportunities.
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) adolescence is a crucial time for preventing drug addiction because “early use of drugs increases a person’s chances of developing addiction. Remember, drugs change brains—and this can lead to addiction and other serious problems.” In order to do this effectively, the NIH says prevention programs need to enhance protective factors such as parental support and reduce risk factors, which for teens include association with drug-abusing peers. The National Institute on Drug Abuse finds that “early intervention with risk factors (e.g., aggressive behavior and poor self-control) often has a greater impact than later intervention by changing a child’s life path…away from problems and toward positive behaviors.”
Governor Cuomo announced the next phase of New York’s Combat Heroin campaign, which has reached more than 14 million people through social media so far. To reach an even broader audience, ten new “Real Story” videos have been posted to the state’s Combat Heroin website, www.combatheroin.ny.gov. The new videos show New Yorkers sharing their stories of recovery and describe the dire consequences of addiction for individuals and families. “The Combat Heroin campaign is raising awareness and saving lives from the epidemic of drug abuse, and today we’re launching the next phase to continue making New Yorkers safe,” Governor Cuomo said. “By using the stories of real New Yorkers who have struggled with heroin and other drugs, this campaign reminds us that addiction can happen to any family, and that we can all play a role in someone’s recovery. Together we can push back against heroin and prescription drug abuse, and I encourage anyone needing assistance in this fight to reach out today.”
The Combat Heroin videos underscore the message that while addiction can happen to anyone, any family, at any time – recovery is possible. View the PSAs and new videos here. ??New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said, “I encourage all New Yorkers to point to these videos as you discuss the risks of addiction with your family and loved ones. I can’t think of a better way to share the serious risks of addiction than to watch these first-hand accounts. I hope they inspire individuals, families, and communities to take advantage of the support that is available through addiction treatment providers across the state and the resources available on the Combat Heroin website.”
New Yorkers can access prevention, treatment and recovery information on the #CombatHeroin website or by calling the state’s HOPEline at 1-877-846-7369. Treatment providers across the state can be found on the OASAS website. Naloxone anti-opioid overdose trainings are also continuing across the state for local community members and law enforcement. Through the combined efforts the State OASAS, the Department of Health, and the Division of Criminal Justice Services, approximately 37,000 people have been trained and more than 1,100 lives have been saved.??Heroin and opioid abuse have become an alarming problem in communities across New York State and the nation. In 2013, there were 91,000 admissions for heroin and prescription opioid abuse treatment in New York State, an increase from five years ago in 2009 when admissions totaled 76,000. During this time period, New Yorkers ages 18 to 24 and 25 to 34 had the largest increases in such admissions. Nationally, nearly half a million people were reportedly abusing heroin or suffering from heroin dependence in 2012.
More information about the Department of Health’s Opioid Overdose Prevention Program is available here.