YouthSpeaksOut!: Oxycontin and Youth- April 2010

By Anonymous (not verified), 25 April, 2010
Dan Roberts

Dear Radio Friend,
YouthSpeaksOut! is in its 12th year providing a monthly show produced with high school students in N California, Mendocino County. Today our topic was "Youth and Oxycontin." Please let me know if you rebroadcast it. 59 minutes.
¡FurthuR! Dan Roberts
Today our topic is “”Oxycontin Awareness.” This week students at our school spent an entire day listening to presentations about the use of Oxycontin among high school students. The tragedies which occurred to several students and former students in the past year led to this special day of education.
Oxycodone is an opioid analgesic medication synthesized from opium-derived thebaine. It was developed in 1916 in Germany, as one of several new semi-synthetic opioids in an attempt to improve on the existing opiates and opioids: morphine, heroin, and codeine.
Oxycodone oral medications are generally prescribed for the relief of moderate to severe pain. OxyContin is Purdue Pharma's brand for time-release single-ingredient oxycodone oral medication.
Students were introduced to various professionals and community members during an assembly. Then they moved to different classrooms to get information from the presenters.
Peer Counselors talked with the students about the resources available to them and their friends if substance abuse was a problem. They also led a discussion on how to improve drug education in the schools, and their work with younger students.
Ron, a counselor, introduced two community members who have family members currently addicted to Oxycontin. They spoke about the pain caused by the addiction and the difficulties in getting addicts to accept help. They also spoke of the deaths in the community from Oxycontin.
Sheriffs Matt Kindle and Mike Davis gave specific information about addiction to narcotics and their serious concern about the rising rates of abuse among youth in the community. They pointed out how a little pill containing narcotics does not hold the same stigma that shooting heroin does, yet Oxycontin is equally addictive and often leads to heroin because it is cheaper. Also that the primary abusers of the drug are under 18.
Candy is a counselor at Long Valley Health Center. She explained how brain chemistry works, and how the use of Oxycontin leaves the user needing more in the days after occasional use. She also spoke about overdosing and the importance of getting help before someone dies. She pointed out that the Health Center is open to helping anyone in the community who is struggling with drug addiction.
Roland Spence of Healthy Start, and former host of YouthSpeaksOut!, presented a video about a 21 year old man in Santa Rosa who is addicted to smoking Oxycontin. The video is from a television program called “Addicted” on the Learning Channel and shows how devastating Oxy addiction is, and the pain felt by an addicts family and friends who want to help him move to a rehab center.
Ibe and Bimpe are pharmacists who explained what Oxycontin is prescribed for, how it works, and the dangerous consequences of abuse. The addiction potential is extremely high and it is disturbing that so many young people are experimenting with narcotics.
We are going to listen to some recorded sections of the presentations. After that we will discuss what we learned from “Oxycontin Awareness Day” and why we are so concerned about the use of narcotics among our youth. Then we will open the phone lines for your questions and comments. We are at the Willits studio and our phone number will be 707 456-9991
We will begin by listening to Ron, a counselor, and two community members who have been struggling to get family members away from their addiction to Oxycontin.

PLAY 18 minute recording from the day

Those were excerpts from “Oxycontin Awareness Day” which was held at Laytonville High school this past week. The speakers were counselors, pharmacists, sheriffs, peer counselors and community members who spent the day educating the students about the narcotic drug Oxycontin. We are going to spend some time discussing what we learned and also how we think Oxycontin has affected the youth of our community. After a while we will open the phone lines for your questions and comments. We are at the Willits studio and our phone number will be 707 456-9991.
Mitzi, what parts of the presentations affected you the most?


We’re going to open the phone lines now. The phone number is 456-9991. Everyone is welcome to call, and we’d especially like to encourage the youth, their parents, and concerned friends in the listening audience. Please call in if you have questions or insights about young people and the use of Oxycontin in our community. Did you know that there is a growing problem with teenagers and the use of narcotics here in Mendocino County? Should educating teenagers about how drugs work be an important part of our schools? Can discussing drugs with youth end up encouraging them to experiment with them? If you have children, how do you educate them about the dangers of some substances? Do you think that this is just youthful experimentation? Did you know that young people in our community have died from pharmaceutical drugs? If students were using heroin would you be more concerned? Have you, or a family member, ever been addicted to a substance? How did you deal with it? What do you think could be done to prevent young people from abusing potentially fatal substances? If you are involved in the schools, do you think that there is a growing problem with the use of narcotics like Oxycontin, Percocets, and Vicodin? Is your school making an effort to inform the students of the risks involved with these substances?
Please speak with us and the listening community about “Oxycontin and youth”- we all need to hear each others experiences and ideas about these subjects.

PO Box 1162 Willits CA 95490
707 459-1760