Prescription Drug Abuse Specialty Program

In 2012, WVADS, Inc. developed a Prescription Drug Abuse Specialty Program for treatment, as well as prevention/education. Phil Bauer, whose 17-year-old son, Mark, died of a prescription drug overdose one day prior to his high school graduation, was a major influence on the decision of the agency to begin such a program. His strong advocacy, conviction, and dedication to increasing awareness of this specific problem was enough to convince WVADS, Inc. that it should lead the way. What we found was an epidemic problem with prescription drug abuse in both the young and adult population. The numbers of people gaining access to these drugs illicitly by “doctor shopping” and “pharmacy hopping” was drastically increasing as was interest and street access.

  • Data from the National Survey on Drug Abuse and Health shows that nearly one-third of people aged 23 and over who used drugs for the first time began by using a prescription drug non-medically.
  • The Monitoring The Future Study—the nation’s largest survey of drug use among young people—showed that prescription drugs are the second most abused category of drugs after marijuana.
  • More people die in America every year from prescription drug abuse than die from heroin and cocaine combined, according to a new report from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.
  • The Center For Disease Control found a fourfold increase in deaths from prescription narcotics over the past decade. Not surprisingly, it coincides with a fourfold increase in the number of prescriptions written for the powerful painkillers.
  • Annually, between 15-20 million Americans report using a prescription drug for non-medical reasons at least once per year.

With the assistance and expertise of our Medical Director, Dr. Edward Carey, we have developed treatment protocols and procedures that will provide the patient a tremendous opportunity for recovery. Additionally, our Relapse Prevention Program will assist the patient in learning how to maintain their long-term recovery. On the Prevention/Education side, we have begun placing a greater emphasis on integrating prescription drug prevention information and materials into our school-based and community programming. A comprehensive brochure, detailing prescription drug info has been developed by the agency and widely distributed.

 

Friends of Sharon

WHAT IS THE “FRIENDS OF SHARON”?

It is a pro-active organization founded in the memory of Sharon Yanulevius, a 25-year-old woman tragically killed by a drunk driver on August 12, 1995. Sharon’s parents, Frank and Sharon Yanulevius, are actively involved in the organization.

WHAT IS THE MISSION OF “FRIENDS OF SHARON”?

The mission of the organization is to:

Prevent
…injuries and loss of human life as a result of drivers who operate a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs and/ or alcohol.

Educate
…provide year-round public awareness programs and activities designed to reduce and ultimately eliminate the tragedies resulting from driving under the influence.

Advocate and Lobby
…for the rights of victims and their families of drunk and/or drugged driving crashes and to hold drivers accountable and to insure that they are financially responsible for their actions.

HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?

We would welcome your help and support.

You can call (570) 820-8888 or send a letter to: “Friends of Sharon”, c/o WVADS, Inc., 437 North Main St., Wilkes-Barre, PA 18705

DID YOU KNOW THAT…

… alcohol involvement remains the leading factor in motor vehicle deaths?

… approximately 50% of all crashes involve alcohol?

… the #1 killer of young people 16-21 years of age is car accidents and 75% of these are alcohol related?

… impairment begins with the first drink?

… some over the counter meds and prescription meds can significantly impair one’s ability to safely operate a vehicle?

WHAT TYPE OF COMMUNITY PROGRAMS ARE THE “FRIENDS OF SHARON” INVOLVED IN?

  • DUI programs to schools, civic groups, service organizations, etc.
  • Safe Driving community programs.
  • Safe Boating programs
  • Media programs designed to educate:
    • Billboards
    • Radio/TV Programs
    • Newspaper Articles
  • Community Drug Rallies
  • Participates in Red Barons AAA Baseball Drug-Free Nights at the Ballpark
  • Participated in Leadership Wilkes- Barre Drug-Free Bookcover Project.

WHERE DOES THE “FRIENDS OF SHARON” RECEIVE THEIR FUNDING?

All monies are received from donations from the community. Additionally, charity softball & basketball tournaments are held annually. Anyone can make a donation to the organization by sending it to: “Friends of Sharon”, c/o WVADS, Inc., 437 North Main St., Wilkes-Barre, PA 18705.

ARE THERE ANY SPECIAL PROJECTS OF THE “FRIENDS OF SHARON”?

In addition to the various community projects, the “Friends of Sharon” has;

… an annual “Friends of Sharon” scholarship presented to a graduating senior from a Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, school district who has demonstrated an interest and commitment to prevention and awareness of DUI issues.

… has erected and maintains a monument in honor of Sharon Yanulevius at 100 West End Road, Hanover Twp., PA.

DOES THE “FRIENDS OF SHARON” WORK WITH OTHER COMMUNITY AGENCIES?

Yes. The organization works closely with MADD, Social Service and health related agencies, schools, law enforcement, court systems, etc.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOW YOU CAN HELP CALL: (570) 820-8888

Family Program

WHY DOES WVADS, INC. HAVE A FAMILY PROGRAM?

Addiction is a family disease that affects all family members, as well as significant others. The patient and family become diseased, and if the patient is only treated, they will re-gain their health, balance, and recovery, yet, the family will remain ill. Research of all types supports the fact that family therapy and support significantly improves the recovery process.

HOW CAN THE WVADS, INC. FAMILY PROGRAM HELP ME?

Our Family Counselor will assist you with:

  • Advise families on pertinent issues pertaining to their loved one’s addiction and recovery
  • Assist families with communication difficulties
  • Identify areas of family dysfunction and barriers
  • Refer the family for other specialty treatment when and if necessary and appropriate
  • Assist with family re-structuring and re-bonding
  • Elicit questions from family members regarding areas of concern for their loved ones
  • Help your family to normalize concerns and feelings
  • Help the family to understand their current level of functioning
  • Provide educational insights into various aspects of addiction and recovery
  • Assist the family in re-framing its problems to make problem solving more achievable
  • Help family members identify new forms of collaborative efforts and alternative, mutually acceptable, ways to cope with difficulties
  • Assist family members who are difficult to engage better understand the addictive process
  • Constructively deal with any family member’s strong resistance to change
  • Teach family members coping skills, conflict resolution, and conflict mediation skills
  • Educate family on the importance of the role of the fellowships of Al-Anon and Al-Ateen
  • Provide information and guidance on relapse prevention strategies that will enhance and augment their loved one’s recovery

SOMETIMES I FEEL GUILTY ABOUT MY LOVED ONE’S
DRUG AND ALCOHOL USE

Remember the 3 C’s:
You didn’t CAUSE it!
You cannot CONTROL it!
You cannot CURE it!

You can, however, become an effective partner with our agency in the treatment of the disease of addiction. The more you learn about addiction and why your loved one is using and abusing sub-stances, the greater the potential of intervention, early detection and identification, effective treat-ment, and a healthy and sustained recovery.

Prochaska et al. 1992, identifies the 5 Stages of Change people go through when they suffer from the disease of addiction;

(1) Pre-contemplation
(2) Contemplation
(3) Preparation
(4) Action
(5) Maintenance

During our family program, you will learn the significance of each stage and the role they play in getting the patient to the point where they are “SICK AND TIRED OF BEING SICK AND TIRED”. Remember the greatest gift our Higher Power gives to any human being is PAIN—Think about it! Pain forces us to go inside ourselves for answers. It causes us to do soul searching and to take a personal inventory. That is why we will remind you to never take the PAIN from your loved one who has a drug and alcohol problem; they have earned that pain and prolonged emotional pain will prove to be a catalyst in getting them to move to change. If there is no pain or consequences, then they will have no reason to change. Families need to be mindful that when our loved ones with addiction hurt, we want to reduce or eliminate their pain and consequences. If you are prone to do this, then consider this definition of enabling….Every time you make an addict’s wrong a right, you give them a right to make another wrong.”

WHEN IS THE WVADS, INC. FAMILY PROGRAM?

The Family Program is conducted every Wednes- day evening from 6:00 – 8:00pm on-site at WVADS, Inc., 437 N. Main St., Wilkes-Barre, PA

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE?

Any family member who resides in Luzerne and Wyoming Counties, Pennsylvania, who is concerned about the use of drugs and alcohol by their loved ones. Your loved one does not have to be in treatment at WVADS, Inc. for you to participate. Family members of WVADS, Inc. patients are especially encouraged to attend.

DO I HAVE TO PRE-REGISTER TO ATTEND THE FAMILY PROGRAM?

No. You just have to show up on any Wednesday evening from 6:00-8:00pm. You will be welcomed by our family counselor and made to feel comfortable.

IS THERE A COST TO THE PROGRAM?

There is no assigned cost for your participation in our agency’s family program; however, donations and contributions are appreciated and accepted, but not required.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN WHEN YOU SAY ADDICTION IS A FAMILY DISEASE….HOW CAN I BE AFFECTED?

When your loved one uses drugs and alcohol, the family and all its members undergo some very serious life-changing events. Addiction impacts family members in many ways. You may experience many of these;

  • Feelings of abandonment
  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Hostility and resentment
  • Embarrassment
  • Guilt
  • Feelings of failure
  • Pre-occupation with loved one’s use
  • Shame
  • Rejection
  • Defeat
  • Remorse
  • Feelings that you want to cut ties with your loved one or seek legal protection
  • Additionally, your family unit will also go through many negative changes and consequences;
  • Family becomes isolated
  • Communication breaks down
  • Negativism will become the norm in the family, highlighted by complaints, criticisms, displeasure, and depressive home environment
  • Rule setting and enforcement will become inconsistent
  • Family structure, rules, and boundaries will fail
  • Messages in the home will become unclear and confusing
  • Family activities will be significantly diminished and the harmony of the home will become non-existent
  • Some family members will deny that their loved one has a drug/alcohol problem, which will further divide family members and set up unhealthy alliances between certain family members
  • Other family members will displace their anger or will be afraid to express their outrage with the drug and alcohol using and abusing family member; often times, other family members will begin to misuse drugs/alcohol to manage or deal with their repressed feelings (self-medication)

Remember, when your children grow up in a home where their parent or mentor has a drug and alcohol problem that goes untreated, the child will learn 3 things as they grow older…

  • DON’T TALK
  • DON’T FEEL
  • DON’T TRUST

These are 3 more reasons why you should consider help for you and your family members.

WHAT ARE SOME RESOURCES THAT I CAN RESEARCH FOR FURTHER INFORMATION?

Intensive Outpatient

Adolescent Intensive Out-Patient Program (Main Office)

Hours: Monday, Thursday – 5:00pm to 8:00pm

The AIOP is a 5-week program which affords clients the opportunity to receive group therapy that addresses several issues such as healthy peer selection, conflict resolution, decision-making and coping skills, self-esteem building, and involvement in self-help groups to aid in the recovery process. (for clients age 18 and under)

Tobacco Treatment

School-Based: 10 public school districts throughout
Luzerne and Wyoming Counties receive:

  • classroom education programs
  • one-on-one interventions with student smokers
  • Cessation Services available to students and staff
  • Alternative To Suspension programs
  • Power of Ten Group
  • services to teachers/parents

Community (Focus on Second-Hand Smoke):

  • health fairs (various locations)
  • college displays/fairs
  • senior citizen center programs
  • presentations to civic, church, and service organizations
  • presentations on Advantages of Smoke-Free Workplaces to business/industry

Cessation:

  • individual cessation intervention
  • Tobacco Cessation clinics both in workplaces and at community sites such as YMCA, health clubs, social service agencies, etc.

Disparate Populations:

  • work with agencies/organizations in the community serving at-risk underserved populations
  • cessation/education services at area housing projects

Assessment/Evaluation

All patients referred to Wyoming Valley Alcohol and Drug Services, Inc. undergo an extensive and comprehensive assessment/evaluation. The results of this assessment should provide us with an accurate picture of the extent and progression of the problem. Once we have determined this, we are now better able to discuss with the patient and family the recommended level of treatment that will hopefully return the user to a drug and/or alcohol free lifestyle. We place a special emphasis on the importance of the assessment/evaluation, because we believe the assignment of a patient to the most-appropriate level of care is critical in their recovery.