WNY United's Mission
WNY United Against Drug & Alcohol Abuse, Inc. is a community based prevention agency designed to increase awareness, educate and mobilize a broad cross-section of individuals and groups to participate actively in proven strategies to prevent substance abuse. Consistent with the latest research, WNY United recruits, develops and supports partnerships with schools, communities and businesses that work on creative and comprehensive solutions to problems caused by alcohol and other drug abuse.
KNOW: Prescription Pills Are Being Used To Gain Academic Edge
October is National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month. Have you talked to your child about the dangers of misusing and abusing prescription medicines?
Adolescents today are growing up in a society where regardless of what ails or discomforts them, there is a pill to fix it or in some cases, enhance it. Meet the Smart Pill. It's every student's dream (or so it seems). Prescription stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall, though originally designed to treat individuals with ADHD, are now being used by a rising number students to promote "cognitive enhancement" and increase academic performance. These drugs, known to calm the body and mind of a person with ADHD, tend to awaken those without the condition, increasing one's ability to remain alert, focus, learn, memorize and recall.
But these prescription medications do not come without great risk, especially when used without the knowledge, guidance or supervision of a physician. Abuse of such medications can lead to sleep deprivation, depression, anxiety, mood swings, heart irregularities, acute exhaustion, stroke and even sudden death. Experts say these drugs also have the ability to permanently change the chemistry of the still-developing adolescent brain, as well as potentially lead an early user to later use of other prescription drugs (including sleep aids and painkillers).
One in four youth report using prescription medications for non-medical purposes, and one in eight youth specifically report misusing or abusing Ritalin or Adderall. Yet, according to the 2012 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS), only 14 percent of parents addressed prescription drugs in recent drug talks with their child. If this topic hasn't surfaced in recent discussions with your son or daughter, the time to bring it up is now. Your child needs to hear your voice on this subject and know exactly where you stand.
And just because you have made your stance clear against illegal drug use, do not assume your child places prescription drugs in the same category. In fact, many adolescents not only believe that prescription drugs are safer, but one in four youth believe their parents wouldn't care as much if they were caught using prescription drugs versus illegal drugs. And if children feel their parents are more lenient when it comes to prescription drug use, they are much more likely to give them a try.
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"WNY United provides supports for academic and social improvements that are woven throughout the school day. As partners, they have become tightly integral and coordinated with our school improvement efforts. Many aspects of our student's experience at school are made better by WNY United."
- David Hills, Principal, Waterfront Elementary #95
"Often, students have leadership qualities that are not cultivated due to the urgency of academic priorities. WNY United personnel assist these students in "coming into their own" and developing their strengths. The school #18 community focuses on all aspects of the child - academics, social emotional well-being, and physical. WNY United assists greatly in achieving this endeavor."
- Valarie Kent, Principal, Dr. Antonio Pantoja Community School of Academic Excellence #18
Despite the rain, we had a great time at Brierwood Country Club on Monday, September 28. Thank you to all the sponsors and golfers for a successful event!
Summer LIT Wrap-Up