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Please join our efforts in Southwest VA to positively combat the substance abuse epidemic that has so negatively impacted our region. A united voice can make a difference. Prevention has significantly reduced the “litter” and “smoking” problem in our county and together we can definitely change the drug culture area as well! Are you or someone you know looking for help with substance abuse? Do you need resources relevant to the prevention, treatment and recovery from substance abuse? Or would you like more information on how you can become involved as a community member to prevent substance abuse? Go to to become involved.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Parenting...Substance Abuse and the College Years

 Dedicated to the health and well being of my three boys.

As hard as parents students today more than any other time in history, are more at risk of using drugs than ever before. Exposure through the media and the growing epidemic in American culture of prescription pill and methamphetamine use to the creative ways to experiment such as candy soaked in Vodka, to new the highs of synthetic drugs and bath salts are all evidence of this risk. The rise of this culture has almost made the consumption of alcohol the lesser of two evils in many peoples eyes. Take a good look at binge drinking behavior and college students you will be reminded not to stray n this direction!

So what is a parent to do? How do you prepare your child for these very real and expected challenges that they will inevitably be faced with? The typical adult response is to restrict access or exposure to these situations. You might want to consider something different as this approach obviously has not been effective as seen by the epidemic death rates in recent years of prescription drug deaths and related problems associated with binge drinking.

First , from a young age it is important to be direct and give accurate information about substance abuse. Secondly, we know that young people  who are college age are developmentally looking for power and are  willing to take risks. Most have a desire for purpose in their lives and are seeking a sense of belonging. Stress during this time brings the desire to escape difficult situations even if momentarily.

To avoid the easy migration towards college age substance abuse,consider doing the following for your child when addressing the issues and needs above:

·        Create opportunities and outlets to experience acceptable risks
·        Provide outlets where young people can experience purpose 
·        Provide outlets that nurture a sense of belonging
·        Make the concept of resiliency the foundation of your parenting by raising a child with the ability to problem solve, share a sense of community, belonging, and have healthy bonds to supportive adults.

Our purpose as caregivers is not to rein our young adults in, (although they need healthy expectations and consistent boundaries) but to nurture them to choose more opportunities and healthy options. Young people who have a strong family, a strong community of friends and adults who are invested in them and have a strong faith in who they are and who they want to be, will be the best equipped to deal with the dangers inherent in the current drug culture in America.

Remember …”It’s Our Community It’s Our Responsibility”….together we can make a difference in raising today’s college student.

Lori Gates-Addison, LCSW, PS


The Truth About Adderall


College Binge Drinking 



Each day...2,500 kids ages 12-17 try drugs for the first time.....they are 42% are less likely to try  drugs if their parents talk to them about drugs...





Harms and Consequences of Underage Drinking 


Learning More About Synthetic Drugs



Vodka-infused "boozy bears" pack a powerful punch and are difficult for parents and teachers to detect.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Southwest Virginia Drug Take Back
November 12

Hurry.....don't forget to participate....The American Medicine Chest will take place this Saturday from 10:00-2:00 at the Russell County Government Center (behind Wendy's) in Lebanon and the Walmart in Pounding Mill!5 Collection Sites in Wise County and 1 Collection Site in Lee County. LOCAL COLLECTION SITES: Walmart in Norton; Wildcat Pharmacy in Pound; Food City in Big Stone Gap, Coeburn, Wise and Pennington Gap!
dditional Resources on Medication Safety:
Medication Safety – a toolkit for families – protect your family: get the most from your medications
Medication Use Safety Training (MUST) for Seniors™ program is designed as an interactive, national initiative to promote safe and appropriate medicine use by enabling older adults to avoid medication misuse, recognize and manage common side effects, and improve medicine use knowledge, attitudes, and skills to avoid medication errors.
  1. Office of National Drug Control Policy. Teens and Prescription Drugs. Available at Accessed on February 26, 2010.
  2. US News and World Report. Medicines Top Source of Kids’ Poisonings. Available at treatment/ articles/2009/08/04/medicines-top-source-of-kids-poisonings.html. Accessed on February 26, 2010.

Friday, November 4, 2011

D.A.R.T. Recovery Drop In Center Needs Your Help

D.A.R.T. Recovery Drop In Center Needs Your Help
Clintwood Virginia

D.A.R.T stands for Drug Abusers Recover Today. Clintwood Virginia, in the heart of the prescription drug epidemic, is the location of the first recovery program of its kind in Virginia. Over 100 participants rely on the support and open door policy of the center to maintain their recovery.  

Southern hospitality is at the heart of Appalachian culture and the D.A.R.T center embraces the essence of that saying in a region that desperately needs programs that support recovery from addiction and abuse. Marlene Stanley a peer recovery Specialist helped start the program over a year ago with a grant for $38,00.”Some of the people that come into this center have no food, have no income," she said. "They get a meal here. They get a sandwich, a cup of coffee. They get somebody that says 'I love you' as they come through the door. That will be gone." states Stanley.

Since the drug epidemic started 10 years ago hundreds of Southwest Virginians have died. Marlene and many other revering folks have had to be creative to meet the needs of recovering folks and their families. Less than 4 years ago Marlene had eight people participating in recovery programs in Clintwood. That number has climbed way above 150. Marlene and others like her have been a part of the regional ASAC coalition as well as local coalitions fighting hard to expand prevention, treatment and recovery programs in Southwest Virginia. The dedication, compassion, creativity and “southern hospitality” that the D.A.R.T. center provides to recovering folks is invaluable.

The program cost $1,500 a month to operate. The program will close by January 2012 if funds are not secured. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation or offer support to the program, please contact Marlene Stanley at or find D.A.R.T  on Facebook

Together We Can Make a Difference!