Monthly Archives: May 2016

Ripon Opioid Four Pillar Meeting

Four Pillar Opioid Forum

SPOKESPERSONS: Available for comment
District Attorney Eric Toney/920-929-3048
Chief Dave Lukoski/920-748-2888

Ripon, WI – The public is invited and encouraged to attend a n Opioid Forum sponsored by District Attorney Eric Toney, the Ripon Police Department and Drug Free Communities of Fond du Lac County, Thursday, June, 2, 2016 at 5:30 pm at the Ripon High School, 850 Tiger Drive, Ripon. Team leaders for the Four Pillars working to address opioid abuse in Ripon/Fond du Lac County will participate in a forum to provide the public with an update and status report on the goals
established for each of the pillars.
District Attorney Eric Toney and Chief Lukoski will lead the discussion followed by report outs from team leaders of thefollowing pillars:
● Prevention/Education: Amy Sebert, Aurora Health Care
● Harm Reduction: Kim Mueller, Fond du Lac County Public Health
● Law Enforcement: Sgt. John Teachout, City of Ripon Police Department
● Treatment: Amy Johannes, Agnesian HealthCare
Following the reports – breakout sessions will occur for each of the pillars to get input from the public. Parents, grandparents and guardians are encouraged to attend the forum to become more informed about the issue of opioid and heroin misuse and abuse. Parents have the greatest influence on their children’s attitudes and decisions. Children who continue to learn about the risks of drugs at home are less likely to use drugs than those who are not taught about the
dangers. Drug overdoses, particularly from prescription opioids and heroin are among the major causes of preventable death in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ripon is not immune from that trend. In fact, it continues to see an increase in opioid and heroin abuse. The numbers are staggering. In 2015, nine overdose victims were successfully resuscitated with the assistance of the Ripon Police Department and Ripon Guardian
Ambulance Service. Ripon has already had three overdoses in 2016, all were successfully resuscitated. Over the past 5 years, the Ripon Police Department has investigated at least 5 suspected overdose related fatalities.
“The abuse of heroin and opioids is one of the most critical issues facing our community. The transition between heroin and opioids is when a person has lost that opioid supply and heroin is easy to come by, on the street and a fraction of the cost.” City of Ripon Police Chief and Drug Free Communities of Fond du Lac County member Dave Lukoski said.
“An opioid or heroin addiction is a life alternating and challenging event for the user, their family and friends. Despite this challenge there is hope through the rewarding road of recovery from an opioid addiction. Our community – parents in particular, need to; know the ease for an addiction to develop, be aware of clues addicts exhibit, and the resources available in our community to fight the addiction. Without intervention, users frequently commit crimes with the lucky ones landing in the criminal justice system and the unlucky ones overdosing and dying,” Fond du Lac County District Attorney and Drug Free Communities member Eric Toney said.
For more information on local efforts for prescription medication disposal and what you can do to reduce prescriptiondrug abuse in Fond du Lac County visit the Drug Free Communities website at, call 920-906-6700 ext 4704, or find them on Facebook.

Anxiety Disorders


Occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. You might feel anxious when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test, or making an important decision. But anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry or fear. For a person with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time. The feelings can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school work, and relationships. There are several different types of anxiety disorders. Examples include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder.

Signs and Symptoms

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

People with generalized anxiety disorder display excessive anxiety or worry for months and face several anxiety-related symptoms.

Generalized anxiety disorder symptoms include:

  • Restlessness or feeling wound-up or on edge
  • Being easily fatigued
  • Difficulty concentrating or having their minds go blank
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Difficulty controlling the worry
  • Sleep problems (difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless, unsatisfying sleep)

Panic Disorder

People with panic disorder have recurrent unexpected panic attacks, which are sudden periods of intense fear that may include palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate; sweating; trembling or shaking; sensations of shortness of breath, smothering, or choking; and feeling of impending doom.

Panic disorder symptoms include:

  • Sudden and repeated attacks of intense fear
  • Feelings of being out of control during a panic attack
  • Intense worries about when the next attack will happen
  • Fear or avoidance of places where panic attacks have occurred in the past

Social Anxiety Disorder

People with social anxiety disorder (sometimes called “social phobia”) have a marked fear of social or performance situations in which they expect to feel embarrassed, judged, rejected, or fearful of offending others.

Social anxiety disorder symptoms include:

  • Feeling highly anxious about being with other people and having a hard time talking to them
  • Feeling very self-conscious in front of other people and worried about feeling humiliated, embarrassed, or rejected, or fearful of offending others
  • Being very afraid that other people will judge them
  • Worrying for days or weeks before an event where other people will be
  • Staying away from places where there are other people
  • Having a hard time making friends and keeping friends
  • Blushing, sweating, or trembling around other people
  • Feeling nauseous or sick to your stomach when other people are around

Evaluation for an anxiety disorder often begins with a visit to a primary care provider. Some physical health conditions, such as an overactive thyroid or low blood sugar, as well as taking certain medications, can imitate or worsen an anxiety disorder. A thorough mental health evaluation is also helpful, because anxiety disorders often co-exist with other related conditions, such as depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Risk Factors

Researchers are finding that genetic and environmental factors, frequently in interaction with one another, are risk factors for anxiety disorders. Specific factors include:

  • Shyness, or behavioral inhibition, in childhood
  • Being female
  • Having few economic resources
  • Being divorced or widowed
  • Exposure to stressful life events in childhood and adulthood
  • Anxiety disorders in close biological relatives
  • Parental history of mental disorders
  • Elevated afternoon cortisol levels in the saliva (specifically for social anxiety disorder)

Treatments and Therapies

Anxiety disorders are generally treated with psychotherapy, medication, or both.


Psychotherapy or “talk therapy” can help people with anxiety disorders. To be effective, psychotherapy must be directed at the person’s specific anxieties and tailored to his or her needs. A typical “side effect” of psychotherapy is temporary discomfort involved with thinking about confronting feared situations.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a type of psychotherapy that can help people with anxiety disorders. It teaches a person different ways of thinking, behaving, and reacting to anxiety-producing and fearful situations. CBT can also help people learn and practice social skills, which is vital for treating social anxiety disorder.

Two specific stand-alone components of CBT used to treat social anxiety disorder are cognitive therapy and exposure therapy. Cognitive therapy focuses on identifying, challenging, and then neutralizing unhelpful thoughts underlying anxiety disorders.

Exposure therapy focuses on confronting the fears underlying an anxiety disorder in order to help people engage in activities they have been avoiding. Exposure therapy is used along with relaxation exercises and/or imagery. One study, called a meta-analysis because it pulls together all of the previous studies and calculates the statistical magnitude of the combined effects, found that cognitive therapy was superior to exposure therapy for treating social anxiety disorder.

CBT may be conducted individually or with a group of people who have similar problems. Group therapy is particularly effective for social anxiety disorder. Often “homework” is assigned for participants to complete between sessions.

Self-Help or Support Groups

Some people with anxiety disorders might benefit from joining a self-help or support group and sharing their problems and achievements with others. Internet chat rooms might also be useful, but any advice received over the Internet should be used with caution, as Internet acquaintances have usually never seen each other and false identities are common. Talking with a trusted friend or member of the clergy can also provide support, but it is not necessarily a sufficient alternative to care from an expert clinician.

Stress-Management Techniques

Stress management techniques and meditation can help people with anxiety disorders calm themselves and may enhance the effects of therapy. While there is evidence that aerobic exercise has a calming effect, the quality of the studies is not strong enough to support its use as treatment. Since caffeine, certain illicit drugs, and even some over-the-counter cold medications can aggravate the symptoms of anxiety disorders, avoiding them should be considered. Check with your physician or pharmacist before taking any additional medications.

The family can be important in the recovery of a person with an anxiety disorder. Ideally, the family should be supportive but not help perpetuate their loved one’s symptoms.


Medication does not cure anxiety disorders but often relieves symptoms. Medication can only be prescribed by a medical doctor (such as a psychiatrist or a primary care provider), but a few states allow psychologists to prescribe psychiatric medications.

Medications are sometimes used as the initial treatment of an anxiety disorder, or are used only if there is insufficient response to a course of psychotherapy. In research studies, it is common for patients treated with a combination of psychotherapy and medication to have better outcomes than those treated with only one or the other.




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Dental Anxiety- It’s Real

Dental Anxiety- It’s Real

Have you ever skipped a dental appointment because you were nervous? You are not alone! Many people share this anxiety and fear. Dental visits are not always pleasant, but they are necessary for your overall health. Here are some quick tips and tricks on how to deal with the nerves.

New Products:

Maybe you had an appointment many years ago that felt a little uncomfortable. Good news! There are a host of new products these days that are used to help with the pain and discomfort. Topical anesthetic gels and dental patches are used to keep patients comfortable during injections and deep cleanings. “Laughing gas” or nitrous oxide is also used to ease the discomfort and calm the nerves a bit. Ask your dentist about the use of some of these products. Some are even covered by insurance.

Get the Facts:

Before your appointment, ask your dentist or the office staff what to expect. Let them know what your fears and concerns are. They can walk you through what he/she will be doing so you know what to expect. Tell your dentist about the difficulties you have had in the past so that they can best accommodate those fears and make sure they won’t happen again. Addressing your concerns and knowing what to expect can dramatically reduce those anxieties!


Ask your provider what resources they offer to make you more comfortable. Many dentists have televisions where you can watch your favorite shows! Music is also a great option. Turn on your favorite tunes and drown out all the strange sounds that the dental office can bring. Distracting yourself can be a great way to get your mind off of all your worries and fears.

Create a Sign:

Before your dentist starts a procedure establish a sign that shows that you are experiencing discomfort. For example, raising your hand or giving “thumbs up” can be a great way to get your message across so that your dentist knows exactly how you are feeling. Your dentist really does care about your comfort!