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Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications
518.465.7511

July 8, 2002

Web site offers help avoiding drug abuse to cope with terrorism, other trauma

The state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) has launched a new campaign and Web site with information employers can use to help employees cope with stress or sudden trauma without using drugs or alcohol to self-medicate.

The Web site, web2k.oasas.state.ny.us/oasas/home.cfm, was developed by OASAS in an initiative that started after the Sept. 11 terrorism. OASAS staff, along with volunteers from alcohol and drug treatment providers, unions, broadcasters, publishers, and The Business Council, have worked on The OASAS Hope & Recovery Task to develop the initiative.

"This information can help employers help their workers cope with unusually traumatic occurrences like the Sept. 11 terrorism," said Business Council President Daniel B. Walsh. "We encourage our members to visit this Web site, to include this valuable information in their employee communications, and to use this information to enrich employee-assistance programs."

The initiative is intended to encourage individuals suffering stress, anxiety, or depression after the terrorism to avoid drug and alcohol abuse, and to seek help through an extensive network of treatment and prevention programs available statewide.

The task force has developed TV and radio public-service announcements carrying this message. The announcements have aired statewide.

A new statewide radio and cable-TV media campaign is planned in September on the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

Studies show that the percentages of survivors who use alcohol to cope with the aftermath of disaster ranges can be as high as 40 percent, and 40 percent of survivors use some medication to cope, OASAS reports.