Bucks Promise for Youth and Communities

Bucks Promise for Youth and Communities



Monday, March 21, 2016

Next Take Back Event: April 30, 2016

On Saturday, April 30, 2016, 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. There are 32 drop off sites located in police stations throughout Bucks County that are available for residents to safely dispose medications. These boxes are opened for use during operating hours at one of the 32 police stations with boxes. 

Please use the link Drug Medication Collection Boxes on the right for box site locations.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Bucks Promise for Youth & Communities Op-Ed: Vaping and Teens: Is it safe?

Bucks Promise for Youth & Communities Op-Ed
Vaping and Teens:  Is it safe?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the smoking rate in the United States decreased by nearly 20% from 2005 to 2014. Legislation, advertising restrictions, higher taxes and education have contributed to this change. Now, community prevention coalitions are concerned that the e-cigarette may reverse this downward trend.  Data from the CDC and FDA reveal that youth use of e-cigarettes tripled from 2013-2014 and surpassed the use of regular cigarettes.

E-cigarettes, also known as “ENDS” (electronic nicotine delivery systems), vape pens, vape pipes, e-hookahs, and hookah pens, produce a vapor through a nicotine-infused liquid heated by a battery-powered element.  When the nicotine is heated to a certain temperature, the person vaping inhales tiny particles that can deposit in the small airways of the lungs. E-cigarettes, like tobacco cigarettes, have been found to contain formaldehyde, diethylene glycol (a chemical used in antifreeze) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as toluene, a known carcinogenic.  A new Harvard study identified the presence of diacetyl, a flavoring chemical, in over 75 percent of the e-cigarettes and refill e-liquid samples tested. The inhalation of this chemical was responsible for “Popcorn Lung” disease among workers at microwave popcorn manufacturing plants, causing permanent scarring of lung tissue and severe respiratory disease. In addition, nicotine, a highly addictive substance, has been shown to interfere with adolescent brain development, and to increase teens’ vulnerability to alcohol and other drug addiction.
Refill containers are not childproof. A break or spill can result in nicotine poisoning if liquid is absorbed through the skin. As vaping has grown in popularity, there has been a surge of calls to poison control centers. According to data from American Association of Poison Control Centers, 271 callers reported e-cigarette device and liquid nicotine exposures in 2011. In 2014, there were 3,957. Over half of these calls involved children under six years old.  Another potential danger: the lithium battery can explode or overheat.

The tobacco advertising techniques banned by federal regulations do not apply to e-cigarettes. Billboards, radio ads, sports and celebrity sponsorships for e-cigarettes abound. There is a low perception of harm among youth regarding these products, as the word vapor implies simply water, yet ENDS actually produce an aerosol.  With the exception of Philadelphia, there is currently no minimum age for purchasing e-cigarettes in Pennsylvania.   The unregulated e-juice/e-liquid for vaping devices is available in flavors appealing to youth such as gummi bear and chocolate candy bar. One study identified over 7,700 e-cigarette flavors, with over 240 new flavors added monthly.
Another concern is that the device may be used to vape marijuana concentrates, which can contain up to 80% THC, the psychoactive chemical in cannabis. Detection is difficult because most concentrates emit very little odor, lacking the typical marijuana smell. This presents a challenge for schools and parents. Other drugs can be vaped as well.
While some may promote the e-cigarette as a quitting aid to cigarettes, there has been no conclusive scientific study to verify its contribution to long-term cessation.  In fact, current data indicates that the majority of ENDS users engage in both e-cigarette and tobacco cigarettes. Furthermore, recent studies suggest that e-cigarette use among youth may lead to eventual cigarette smoking.  We must exercise caution, and understand that these products have addictive potential and warrant vigilance, particularly regarding youth use.

Bucks Promise for Youth & Communities is supported by the Bucks County Commissioners and is made possible by a grant through the Bucks County Drug and Alcohol Commission, Inc.  For smoking cessation resources or tobacco, alcohol and other drug information, call The Council of Southeast Pennsylvania at 1-800-221-6333 or visit www.councilsepa.org.  

Tuesday, March 1, 2016



Award recognizes individuals who are exceptional advocates for drug prevention field

Bucks County, PA. Donna Foisy, Project Coordinator of Bucks Promise for Youth and Communities   has been named the 2016 Advocate of the Year by Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), the nation’s leading substance abuse prevention organization representing over 5,000 community anti-drug coalitions across the country. She will accept the award on Thursday, Feb. 4 during CADCA’s 26th annual National Leadership Forum being held Feb. 1-4 at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md.

This award recognizes substance abuse prevention leaders who are exceptional advocates for our field, forging relationships and educating their elected officials throughout the year about key substance abuse-related issues and helping to ensure that Members of Congress understand the importance of community coalitions.

“CADCA is thrilled to be able to recognize Foisy this year at our most important training event. Foisy is a tireless advocate for the substance abuse prevention field and her efforts have made a tremendous national impact,” said CADCA’s Chairman and CEO, Gen. Arthur T. Dean.

“I am grateful to be recognized and feel honored, but, the work that I do represents a collective effort done in preventing substance abuse in Bucks County.”

CADCA's National Leadership Forum is the nation's largest training for substance abuse prevention and treatment professionals and researchers, featuring more than 80 training courses to help community and state leaders prevent and reduce substance abuse and its related problems. The event, which brings together more than 2,500 community and state leaders, offers participants an opportunity to learn effective strategies to solve their community's substance abuse and violence problems, and to hear from the country's leading experts on drug prevention, treatment and recovery. For more information about CADCA’s National Leadership Forum, visit forum.cadca.org/.