Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Drug Prevention Resource Center Awarded Behavioral Health Care Accreditation from the Joint Commission

Drug Prevention Resource Center Awarded
Behavioral Health Care Accreditation from the Joint Commission

Polk County, FL – Drug Prevention Resource Center d/b/a InnerAct Alliance is proud to announce that it has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval* for Behavioral Health Care Accreditation by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. The Gold Seal of Approval* is a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective care.

The agency recently underwent a rigorous on-site review to measure compliance with behavioral health care standards in several areas including services; environment of care; leadership; and screening procedures for the early detection of imminent harm. Interviews were also conducted.

Established in 1969, The Joint Commission’s Behavioral Health Care Accreditation program currently accredits more than 2,100 organizations for a three-year period. Accredited organizations provide services within a variety of settings across the care continuum for individuals who have mental health, addiction, eating disorder, intellectual/developmental disability, and/or child-welfare related needs.

“Joint Commission accreditation provides behavioral health care organizations with the processes needed to improve in a variety of areas related to the care of individuals and their families,” said Tracy Griffin Collander, LCSW, executive director, Behavioral Health Care Accreditation program, The Joint Commission. “We commend the Drug Prevention Resource Center d/b/a InnerAct Alliance for its efforts to elevate the standard of services it provides and to instill confidence in the community it serves.”

“InnerAct Alliance is pleased to receive Behavioral Health Care Accreditation from The Joint Commission, the premier health care quality improvement and accrediting body in the nation,” added Angie Ellison, Executive Director of InnerAct Alliance.  “Our staff continues to work together to develop and implement approaches and strategies that have the potential to improve prevention and education services for those in our community.”

The Joint Commission’s behavioral health care standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, quality improvement measurement experts, and individuals and their families. The standards are informed by scientific literature and expert consensus to help organizations measure, assess and improve performance.

Drug Prevention Resource Center, d/b/a InnerAct Alliance, is proud to have provided substance abuse prevention to the Hardee, Highlands and Polk County communities since 1985. Our mission is to reduce the abuse and underage use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs through: Community Awareness and Involvement; Prevention Education; Economic Support; and Leadership Development. The agency offers science based prevention classes, teen-driven social marketing, and awareness events that touch the lives of youth, parents, families, businesses, community groups, faith-based organizations, and others with an important substance abuse prevention message.

Supersized Flavored Alcopops Greatly Increase Teens’ Risk of Injury

Supersized Flavored Alcopops Greatly Increase Teens’ Risk of Injury

Young drinkers who consume supersized flavored alcoholic beverages known as “alcopops” are more than six times as likely to say they suffered alcohol-related injuries, compared to underage youth who drink other types of alcoholic beverages. 

This information has been reported in a new study, conducted by the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Boston University School of Public Health, that includes data from an online survey of more than 1,000 teens and young adults ages 13 to 20 who said they had consumed at least one alcoholic drink in the previous month. 

The report, published Feb. 25, 2015, in the American Journal of Public Health, is believed to be the first study to document an association between the consumption of different types of flavored alcoholic beverages by youth ages 13-20, risky drinking behaviors, and self-reported injuries related to alcohol consumption.  Drink size doesn’t seem to be the only factor. The study found that underage drinkers who consumed any combination of two or more flavored alcoholic beverages were more likely to consume a higher number of drinks per day,  drink more often during the month, and engage in heavy episodic drinking, fighting and alcohol-related injuries.

Flavored alcoholic beverages were first introduced into the market in the early 1980s as wine coolers. They became popular with the teen market because of their bright colors, fruit flavors, and sweet taste. As the popularity of alcopops grew with underage drinkers, particularly teenage girls, the alcohol industry introduced new products and production methods and began marketing these products to appeal to youth.
Basically, there are three types of alcopops:  malt-based flavored beverages (such as Mike’s Hard Lemonade or Smirnoff Ice); spirits-based premixed, ready-to-drink cocktails (such as Jack Daniel’s cocktails); and supersized alcopops (including Four Loko or Joose).  According to studies, supersized alcohol beverages can contain the equivalent of 4-5 alcoholic drinks.
Alcohol is the most commonly used drug among youth in the United States and is responsible for the deaths of approximately 4,300 underage persons each year. Approximately 33 percent of eighth graders and 70 percent of twelfth graders have consumed alcohol, and 13 percent of eighth graders and 40 percent of twelfth graders drank during the past month. Add the popularity of alcopops to the mix and this only increases the problem of harmful alcohol consumption among underage youth.
Sources:  The Partnership at Drugfree.org (www.drugfree.org) and Health Day (www.consumer.healthday.com

Red Ribbon Fifth Grade Rallies Coming Up May 6 & May 13!

Red Ribbon 
Fifth Grade Rallies Coming Up May 6 & May 13!

Nearly 6,000 fifth grade students in Polk County have been invited to participate in InnerAct Alliance’s 2015 Red Ribbon Rallies! Rallies in Lakeland are scheduled on Wednesday, May 6th at 9:30 am and 11:30 am at The Lakeland Center. Fifth graders from Haines City and Winter Haven area schools will gather on May 13th, at 10:00 am, at the Polk State College Gym in Winter Haven.

The anti-drug motivational rallies focus on reinforcing critical substance abuse resistance skills before students enter middle school in the fall.  Nationally known speaker, Patrick T. Grady, community leaders, and radio personalities from 97 Country WPCV’s Breakfast Club will be on hand to encourage students to make the positive choice of a healthy lifestyle without the use of drugs.

Fifth graders have been challenged to compete in a special contest to create original essays, poems, and posters that convey topical anti-drug messages about the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. Contest participants will be recognized during the rallies and overall first place winners in each contest category will receive cash prizes of $100, $50 and $25.

Project Prom Fundraising Raffle

Project Prom of Polk County is excited about its amazing Fundraising Raffle to win a Brand New 9-Piece Living Room ensemble, including sofa, love seat, chair, coffee table, end tables, 32 inch flat screen tv and cabinet, and an area rug, PLUS a Beautiful 5-Piece Dining Room set, compliments of Badcock Home Furniture and More and Georgia Floors Direct.  

Raffle Tickets cost just $5.00 and all proceeds benefit the UthMpact Scholarship fund for deserving high school seniors. Tickets can be purchased online until March 22nd at 4:00 pm. Visit https://squareup.com/market/projectprompolk or the Project Prom Facebook page to purchase raffle tickets today. Winner will be announced on March 23rd.  For more details, please call (863) 802-0777.

Annual StandUP Polk and UthMpact Coalition Retreat


Annual StandUP Polk and UthMpact Coalition Retreat 

The Annual StandUP Polk and UthMpact Coalition Retreat was held on January 22, 2015. The Coalition welcomed over 60 partners and community members for an informative update on current efforts, including drug, domestic violence, bullying, teen pregnancy, and crime prevention in Polk County. 

In the morning session, UthMpact representatives, James Shiver and Emi Davis shared an informative presentation about UthMpact and Positive Social Norms.  A snapshot of prevention efforts and their effect on Polk County was addressed by Hal Johnson of Hal Johnson Consulting.  Detective Thompson of the Lakeland Police Department provided attendees with a glimpse into gang activity in Lakeland, while other local enforcement agencies shared what they are experiencing. 

Coalition community partners, along with doctors, and pharmacies participating in E-Force/DPMP, were recognized for their support during a delicious lunch provided compliments of the Detroit Tigers.  Sheriff Grady Judd addressed attendees about the importance of the Coalition to the community and encouraged members to continue education to the public about the dangers of marijuana.  Florida is the ONLY state to defeat medical marijuana on the ballot, due to efforts by the Florida Sheriffs Don’t Let Florida Go to Pot campaign and coalitions to educate voters about the issue.  Sheriff Judd also shared that the Florida Sheriffs Association will work with legislators to develop a bill that will have much tighter restrictions than the one proposed in Amendment 2 defeated in November.

The members then broke into smaller groups. Topics for group discussion included: implementation of the Prevention Epidemiology Network (PEN); plans for UthMpact in the community; a School Resource Officer and School Administration Training at the 6th Annual Own the Upside Drug Summit in October; the importance of recognizing local doctors and pharmacies utilizing E-Force/PDMP; and the possibly of hosting our own drug take-back days.  The retreat ended with committee reports from each of the work groups.

Stay informed by visiting the StandUP Polk Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/StandUPPolk.  StandUP Polk is a group of concerned citizens, key community and business leaders working as the Coalition for a Drug-Free Polk to take a stand against drugs and bring about positive changes for Polk County. You are invited to take an active part in monthly planning sessions held on the last Thursday of each month at 10:00 am. Please call StandUP Polk Coordinator, Juli Davis, at (863) 802-0777 for information and meeting location.