Bucks Promise for Youth and Communities

Bucks Promise for Youth and Communities

Thursday, May 28, 2015

BPYC submitted an Op-ed article posted in the Bucks County Intelligencer on May 26, 2015


Need an alcoholic drink? Just add water…..

“It’s a simple shot of liquor in powdered form.” This statement was made by Mark Phillips, creator of one powdered alcohol brand, marketed as “Palcohol.”  The issue of powdered alcohol, its composition, its convenience and its potential for misuse are being debated at the federal, state and consumer level with Palcohol being the most common example cited in the discussions.

Mark Phillips wanted to be able to take hikes, go biking, and enjoy an adult beverage at the conclusion of these activities. However, he soon ran into a problem with the inconvenience of carrying traditionally-packaged alcoholic beverages as he participated in physical activities. That was, until he came up with the idea of just adding water to alcohol in powdered form so these adult beverages could be enjoyed anywhere and anytime. While not the first powdered alcohol product, Phillips created Palcohol, and he has made headlines for his attempts to push for federal approval.

How is it made and what’s in it?  Little is known by the public about its composition because it is still in the process of being patented. This much we are told by the manufacturers – when used as directed, the addition of six ounces of liquid to the powder is equal to a standard mixed drink. While versions vary, natural flavorings and Sucralose as a sweetener may be part of the powder.

In 2014, Palcohol was initially approved by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) but that decision was reversed several weeks later because of concerns over how the product was labeled.  In March 2015, the TTB reinstated the approval of Palcohol. The issue of powdered alcohol use becomes more complex because to date, six (6) states have banned the product. Pennsylvania is among thirty (30) other states that have been proactively working to pass legislation to ban powdered alcohol. State Senator Shirley Kitchen (D-Phila) has already introduced legislation which would make it illegal for any person in Pennsylvania to possess powdered alcohol, even if it had been legally purchased in another state. In addition to this legislation, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has decided to prohibit the sale of powdered alcohol. The decision is also receiving support from Governor Tom Wolf’s administration.

Some concerns influencing the legislative bans include an increase in the accessibility and potency of alcohol content, easier ability to carry and transport alcohol into areas where having such a product is illegal, snorting the powder, having the powder unknowingly sprinkled on foods or in drinks, and marketing campaigns that favor the youth market.

“This product is easy to conceal and could easily lead to an increase in substance abuse or misuse by minors or adults,” said Pennsylvania Acting Secretary of Health Karen Murphy.

In a statement of support for the ban, Department of Drug and Alcohol programs Acting Secretary Gary Tennis said, “Endorsement of products that may strongly appeal to youth or make it easier for individuals to consume alcohol in places they would otherwise not be permitted to do so by law creates an unacceptable risk to the health and safety of Pennsylvania residents.”

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Prescription Drug Take Back Event, April 25, 2015


On Saturday, April 25, 2015, Bucks County will be offering a Prescription/Over-the-Counter Drug Take Back Day from 10am-2pm. This is an opportunity for the public to safely dispose of any unwanted, unneeded or expired prescription and over-the-counter medications. All medications collected will be incinerated, thus eliminating the risk of diversion and protecting the water supply. This program is free and anonymous. All medications will be accepted, including pills, capsules, ointments, liquids, nasal sprays, inhalers and pet medications. Needles and illicit drugs will not be accepted.

 

Please click link below for more information and a complete list of all 46 public sites that will be collecting on Saturday, April 25th.



https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3dZDH9HiJkVYUZrcUw2N0p5ZzA/view?usp=sharing

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Editorial recently published in the Intelligencer on Feb 6, 2015


Bucks Promise for Youth and Communities is a consortium of organizations, agencies and coalitions who have mobilized around a mission of strengthening our communities, with an emphasis on the prevention and reduction of substance abuse, particularly amongst youth. The concept of working together on this important topic grew out of the President’s Summit for America’s Future in 1997. At that time, Presidents Clinton, Bush, Carter and Ford (with Nancy Reagan representing President Reagan), along with numerous governors, mayors, and community delegations challenged America to make children and youth a national priority. The America’s Promise Alliance was formed and included Five Promises that communities would make to young people to assure their success in life. Following the Summit, in the year 2000, local county leaders including county commissioners, district judges, school superintendents, representatives from the Bucks County Drug and Alcohol Commission, Inc. and numerous business leaders decided to bring this concept to Bucks County.  

Since that time, Bucks Promise for Youth and Communities (BPYC) has evolved and grown, but has always prioritized the importance of prevention in safeguarding our young people from the dangers of drugs and alcohol. The recently released 2014 Monitoring the Future Survey, an annual study of teen behavior conducted by the University of Michigan, revealed that prevention efforts by coalitions and collaborative efforts such as Bucks Promise are yielding positive outcomes. Alcohol, tobacco and all drug use with the exception of marijuana and e-cigarettes have decreased among teens. These results have been attributed to on-going evidence-based community prevention efforts. Most of the organizations who attend the monthly meetings work in partnership with many sectors of our local communities, including schools, hospitals, law enforcement, faith-based groups, etc. so that the dissemination of information and sharing resources is maximized. The group discusses such topics as current drug trends, grant availability, and evidence-based programs which have proven effective in reducing drug use. Guest speakers target specific areas of interest, suggested by the members.

Most recently, Bucks Promise members have worked together through participation in the National Drug Take Back Days, a partnership between the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), law enforcement, and community groups. Additionally, members of BPYC have assisted in providing permanent medication collection boxes in police departments, municipal buildings, and the Bucks County courthouse.  Bucks Promise originally embarked on the Take Back initiative in an effort to prevent prescription drug misuse among youth as well as to protect the environment. Research shows that one out of every four teens admits to misusing prescription painkillers, and EPA studies have detected pharmaceuticals in the water supply. The Bucks County Medication Take Back Committee, formed as a subcommittee of Bucks Promise, has been working to reduce these statistics.

In an effort to reach more organizations, businesses, and residents of Bucks County, the consortium is pleased to announce that we will be providing regular op-eds in this newspaper, following this introductory article. We look forward to sharing with the public relevant information, data, and discussion points related to the prevention of drug and alcohol use by our youth. We hope that through this increased communication, we can bring more individuals and groups to the table, to work together on these critically important issues in all of our Bucks County communities.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Congressman Michael Fitzpatrick Meets with District Anti-Drug Advocates


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-8) met with leading prevention advocates in the nation’s capital this week to focus on drug-free community initiatives and continue his support for community anti-drug groups locally.

“When it comes to the health and safety of our communities, there is nothing more important than a clear understanding of the challenges we face and direct plan to overcome them,” said Fitzpatrick. “That’s why it’s critical that I am on the same page as groups like CADCA. Its member coalitions and my constituents are a valuable asset in ensuring I am doing everything I can on the federal level to defeat substance abuse and support prevention efforts in Bucks and Montgomery counties.”

Fitzpatrick, a member of the Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse, has been a vocal leader in supporting the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) and local efforts to get drugs off the streets. CADCA is the national member-based organization representing coalitions working to make America’s communities safe, healthy and drug-free. CADCA's mission is to strengthen the capacity of community coalitions to create and maintain safe, healthy and drug-free communities globally.

"An important part of making a difference in our community is having a relationship with your elected leaders – especially your congressman,” said Council Rock Coalition for Healthy Youth (CRCHY) members Samantha Lavelle, Stephanie Krauss, Cassandra Bryant, and Sarah Foisy following their visit. “The connection we have with Congressman Fitzpatrick is a valuable one as we seek to prevent substance abuse in our schools and in our community. He is a strong supporter of our work and we are very grateful for his constant support."

Other organizations meeting with Fitzpatrick included Bucks Promise for Youth and Communities (BPYC), New Hope-Solebury Cares, and Bucks County Drug and Alcohol Commission.

“The individuals involved with CADCA and the crusade for drug-use awareness and drug-free communities represent the best of what our district has to offer – caring and committed people looking to make a difference in their own neighborhoods,” added Fitzpatrick. “It is a pleasure to work side by side with with them and I am proud of their continued effort.”

Fitzpatrick is a recipient of CADCA’s Congressional Leadership Award in recognition of his sustained commitment to championing the cause of community-based substance abuse prevention and has previously addressed the organization’s National Leadership Forum. On his website, Fitzpatrick includes information about prescription drug drop-off boxes to ensure that expired or unused drugs stay out of the wrong hands.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Prescription Take Back Drop Boxes

Please note that the brochure for the Bucks County Prescription Take Back Drop Boxes has been revised. For the latest version, please click link below:


https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3dZDH9HiJkVYnAxamtmN2JuWUU/view?usp=sharing

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Update Bucks County Drop Off Brochure




Please click on link below to access the updated brochure for the Bucks County Medication Drugs Disposal Drop off sites.


https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3dZDH9HiJkVdFdmSU0zcFJUSEE/view?usp=sharing

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Bucks County Medication Disposal Committee Update


The Bucks County Medication Disposal Committee, a sub-committee of Bucks Promise for Youth and Communities, partnered with the Bucks County Sherriff’s Office in collecting unused or expired medications at the Middletown Grange Fair.  During the 5 day fair, the Bucks County Sheriff’s Office collected a total of 90.52 lbs. of turned in drugs. This was a great effort on everyone’s part and plans are already in place to host a collection next year.

 In 2010 Bucks Promise for Youth and Communities formed the highly responsive Bucks County Medication Disposal Committee with the charge of developing a convenient and environmentally responsible prescription drug disposal program.  By including key partners with a joint interest in reducing prescription and over-the-counter drug misuse, to date Bucks County officials have collected over 37, 519.9 lbs. - over 16 tons - of unused, unwanted and expired medications. These medications no longer risk diversion from our medicine cabinets or pose a threat to citizens by polluting our water supply through unsafe disposal methods. 

Drug Take Back Committee continues to focus on the countywide Medication Take- Back Initiative and safe drug disposal efforts. If you would like to join in this important effort, please contact Donna Foisy or come to our BPYC Consortium meetings.