What to Know about Fake Pills

Fake Pills

Here’s to Your Health

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You’ve probably heard about fentanyl in the news. Let’s explore what fentanyl is and how it relates to fake pills.

Fentanyl is a deadly synthetic opioid that is being pressed into fake pills or cut into heroin, cocaine, and other street drugs to drive addiction. Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin. Cartels are making fentanyl and pressing it into fake pills. Fake pills are made to look like OxyContin©, Xanax©, Adderall©, and other pharmaceuticals. These fake pills contain no legitimate medicine. Fentanyl is also made in a rainbow of colors, so it looks like candy. 

What makes fentanyl deadly. DEA lab testing reveals that six out of every ten fake pills with fentanyl contain a potentially lethal dose. It only takes a very small dose of fentanyl- 2 milligrams – to be lethal, such as the amount found on the tip of a pencil. Fentanyl use can cause confusion, drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, changes in pupil size, cold and clammy skin, coma, and respiratory failure leading to death. 

Parents and Caregivers. It’s important to be aware that the drug landscape is dramatically different from when you grew up, or even from just a few years ago. Drug traffickers are using social media to advertise drugs and conduct sales. If you have a smartphone and a social media account, then a drug trafficker can find you. This also means they are finding your kids who have social media accounts. All parents and caregivers need to be educated on current drug threats to be able to have informed talks with their children. Here are six tips:

1. Encourage open and honest communication

2. Explain what fentanyl is and why it is so dangerous

3. Stress not to take any pills that were not prescribed to you from a doctor

4. No pill purchased on social media is safe

5. Make sure they know fentanyl has been found in most illegal drugs

6. Create an “exit plan” to help your child know what to do if they’re pressured to take a pill or use drugs

Compact 2020 is here to help you educate your child about fentanyl and fake pills. For more information, visit our Facebook page @Compact2020 or call 205-605-1824. †

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Healthy Living 

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What is mental health? Mental health refers to a wide variety of mental health conditions or disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behavior. Some examples of mental illness include depression, anxiety disorders and addictive behaviors. Many people have mental health concerns from time to time, but a mental health concern becomes a mental illness when ongoing signs and symptoms cause frequent stress and affect your ability to function. When it comes to teenagers, the National Alliance on Mental Illness states that one in five children ages 13-18 have or will have a mental health condition. 70% of youth in the Juvenile Justice System have a mental illness. 90% of those who died by suicide- which is the third leading cause of death in youth ages 10-24- had an underlying mental illness. 

Signs and symptoms of mental illness. These can vary depending on the disorder, circumstances, and other factors. Mental illness symptoms can affect emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Signs and symptoms include feeling sad, reduced ability to concentrate, excessive fears or worries, extreme feeling of guilt, and extreme mood changes. Symptoms can also include withdrawal from friends and activities, significant tiredness, low energy, detachment from reality, inability to cope with daily problems, major changes in eating habits and more.

Stigma around mental health issues. Some people suffer in silence because they fear the label that may be put on them. Unfortunately, this can be reality. We believe stigma stems from a lack of education and awareness. Poor mental health is not a visible illness, so people sometimes dismiss it. We shouldn’t be judgmental when a person with mental illness is reluctant to get help, has low self-esteem or acts out through bad behavior. These are all harmful effects directly associated with the stigma around mental health. Let’s do better. Learn about mental illness and stop putting labels on those in need of help. 

As a parent, what can you do? If your loved one is showing symptoms of a mental health disorder, sit them down and have an open and honest conversation with them about your concerns and refer them to a professional. We may not be able to make them go to a professional, but we can be there for them to give them the support they need. Reach out to your health insurance provider, primary care doctor or local mental health authority such as Central Alabama Wellness. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help. You are not alone. We are here to help you at Compact. For more information on this topic, visit us on Facebook @Compact or call 205-605-1824. †

Healthy Living

Proverbs 22:6 says,Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Most of us have heard this scripture. We usually relate it to our faith. We want to raise our children up to have a relationship with Jesus and to follow him. This becomes our goal and call as a parent. 

bigstock Mother and daughter training 6214905Today I want to build upon that great foundation by communicating the importance of training up our children not only to know Jesus, but to serve him unhindered by stewarding the very body we have been given by God. The fact is, we can desire to be used by God in this lifetime and to do all that He has called us to, but if we don’t steward our bodies, we may not be able to physically sustain the call He has on our life. It doesn’t matter how much we desire to serve God and others if we wake up every day tired, in pain, and with various sicknesses. Many times, this causes us to default to focusing on ourselves rather than others. Our body is a vehicle given to us by God in this lifetime to accomplish everything he has for us. Are we stewarding that vehicle in a way where we can get maximum use and longevity? 

We ponder this question with our adult clients as we seek to structure their health plan in a way that will help them have full focus and freedom on serving God. But it is very rare that our children experience this type of education in school. They are taught random facts about the body and how to play various sports. But they are rarely taught to think rightly about health and how it can impact others. They are taught how to pass a test instead of how to apply what they are learning to sustain health in any season of life. As parents how are we intentionally training up our children not only to follow Jesus, but to sustain that walk throughout our whole life? Are we being the example they need of what it looks like to be good stewards of the body we have been given? 

These are a few questions I invite you to consider. If you don’t fully understand how that’s ok, we can help each other. We have curriculum based on helping you as parents equip your kids to build a biblical foundation in their health that makes health fun for students. We are here to support you any way we can. Check the F.O.R.M. Curriculum out on our website. God can use YOU to help train the next generation up in the way they should go!

Ashton Tate 

Founder of Glory to Glory Fitness in Nashville TN, and the creator of The F.O.R.M. Curriculum, a turn-key and biblically based health curriculum for schools and homeschool families. 

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Healthy Living

Families of the addicted get sick too. Many family therapists have written volumes on the codependency of family members who have a loved one riddled with addiction. Numerous books have been written exploring the damage done to families due to alcoholism and other addictions including drugs, gambling, sex, and even food. The following is a scenario that has been given to me several times throughout my career as a therapist:

Addiction One Day at a Time with Jesus
Learn a protocol to wellness for families of loved ones addicted to opioids from authors Barry Chesney and Cathy Napier during November at Valleydale Church.

It’s another sleepless night as I pick up my cell phone. The time is 2:40 a.m. and there’s still no text from her. I’ve conditioned myself to listen intently for the notification ding. The only communication I would receive indicating she was alive was a text, never a phone call. My daily mantra, whenever I received this text, was, “She’s drug-free. She’s alive.” But when the texts stopped again, unfortunately, I knew she had relapsed—or worse, was dead. How many times have we reported her missing? How many times have we stayed home instead of roaming the streets looking for her? We knew she was running with the wrong crowd. We knew that she was shooting up heroin. And we were in a state of terror most of the time. She’s twenty-four years old. I can’t ground her or spank her. I can’t put her in time-out or take her phone away. I can only hope and pray for her protection…

In November, Valleydale Church is hosting workshops designed for families with addicted loved ones with Cathy Napier and Pastor Barry Chesney. Chesney and Napier have written a workbook, Addiction: One Day at a Time with Jesus that approaches addictions with both a biblical and psychological protocol for wellness. Learn a protocol for wellness for families of addicted loved ones on November 2, 9, 16, and 30 starting at 6:30 p.m. at Valleydale Church’s Worship Center. Attendees will learn: 

1. How to stage an intervention for immediate help.

2. How to use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy along with God’s word for their benefit during difficult times.

3. How to use journaling for their benefit.

4. How to communicate positively with their family members. And more!

Learn more about these events at www.valleydale.org/midweek

-Cathy Napier 

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Healthy Living

This time of year brings many wonderful things such as cozy gatherings with loved ones, warm fires, and delicious food. Unfortunately, it also brings along coughs, sneezes, and sniffles.  At such a busy time of the year, getting sick can really put a damper on your holiday plans. Here are some tips to help you stay healthy and energized this season.

Develop healthy lifestyle habits.

  • Get adequate sleep. Aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. Our immune system is most active at night while it focuses on recovery and developing immune memory.
  • Eat a colorful diet. Having a balanced diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables and low in simple sugars will help ensure you’re getting nutrients that can boost immunity and decrease inflammation in your body.
  • Exercise. Many studies have found that exercise protects against viral infections, including influenza, the common cold, and COVID.
  • Reduce your stress. Too much stress, especially for prolonged periods of time, can significantly lower your immune system. I often find that changing my perspective and finding gratitude can help me stay positive.

Practice healthy hygiene.

  • Wash your hands often. Up to 80% of communicable diseases are spread through touch, so strive to keep your hands free of germs!
  • Refrain from touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Keep your hands moisturized. Dry, cracked hands compromise our first line of defense against infections – our skin.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing. Be sure to cough or sneeze into your elbow to keep your hands clean.

Dietary supplements provide additional support.

  • Zinc. This essential mineral is not naturally made by the body, so it must be obtained through diet or supplementation.  It regulates immune functions, has antioxidant activity, and helps maintain a balanced inflammatory response within your immune system.
  • Vitamin C. A recent study shows over 40% of the population is deficient in vitamin C. Vitamin C supports a variety of immune system functions, and it’s also necessary for the production of collagen. Collagen is an essential protein that’s necessary to heal and repair the body.
  • Vitamin D. This all-star hormone helps modulate the immune system – ramping up defense when necessary and calming the immune response when its work is done.
  • Melatonin. While typically associated with sleep, this hormone also has a powerful influence on our immune system and generally supports innate immunity.
  • Probiotics. A staggering 70% of the immune system resides in the gut. Probiotics are good bacteria that naturally inhabit our digestive system. Our immune system and the good bacteria that live in our gut work together to support a healthy immune response.
  • Quercetin. This nutrient is commonly found in fruits and vegetables. Quercetin helps the body maintain a healthy, stabilized immune response when facing illness. As a potent antioxidant, it also helps protect against the damage that can occur in our cells from infections.

Joseph Feick and Family-Joseph Feick, Pharm.D.

Owner, Double Oak Mountain Pharmacy



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Senior Scene

Proveer at Grande View provides the Hoover community with a vibrant, upscale and modern senior living community. The word “proveer” means to provide. With Proveer at Grande View, that is their purpose.

The staff at Proveer has dedicated themselves to understanding the needs of seniors who call their community home, the desires of their adult children who call their team extended family, and the expectations of associates who call Proveer partners. “Grande View” isn’t just in the name. Proveer is located on top of a ridge just off U.S. 280, in the residential community of Meadowbrook. The community will be unique in style and feel with several dining venues. All day dining will also be available. The community also has stunning views of Double Oak Mountain. When the activities of daily living get to be a burden, that’s when Proveer at Grande View can help. They provide extensive care for their residents, including:

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Proveer at Grande View is located at 700 Corporate Ridge, Hoover, 205-307-5500.
  • On-site rehabilitation services
  • Medication management
  • Activities of daily living assistance
  • Pharmacy services
  • Individualized service plans
  • Home health hospice coordination
  • Personal pendant for assistance

Assisted living. Proveer offers assisted living, which means the staff will provide as much or as little support as you need. Services include on-site rehabilitation services, medication management, pharmacy services, individualized service plans and more.

View from Proveer Grande View
Residents at the new Proveer Grande View enjoy spectacular views of Double Oak Mountain.

Memory Care. Through the signature memory care program Cherish, Proveer provides the care needed for individuals living with dementia and their families. In addition to receiving passionate care every day, residents can also enjoy making friends, pursuing their hobbies and eating heart-healthy meals. The layout is easy to navigate, and there are various floor plans to fit all residents’ lifestyles. For more information, call 205-307-5500 or visit www.proveeratgrandeview.com. †


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Healthy Living

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What is vaping? Also referred to as e-cigs, e-hookahs, ends, or juulings, vapes or e-cigarettes are devices that operate by heating a liquid solution to a high enough temperature so that it produces an aerosol that is inhaled. When e-cigarettes first began entering the market around 2007, some devices were designed to resemble regular cigarettes while others looked like cigars, pipes, pens, and even USB flash drives. More recently, e-cigarettes with sleek and high-tech designs with easy rechargeable batteries have entered the market. The most popular- the JUUL- emerged in 2015 and quickly established itself as a leading e-cigarette product comprising nearly three-quarters of the e-cigarette marketplace by 2019. 

Now, let’s look at what’s in a vape. E-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is a highly addictive chemical that is particularly risky to teens and young adults. According to the FDA and the 2019 National Youth Tobacco survey results, more than five million United States middle school and high school students are current e-cigarette users. The U.S. Surgeon General classified nicotine as addictive as cocaine or heroin. Teenagers whose brains are still developing have a heightened risk of getting hooked on nicotine. Early research has shown that nicotine addiction may result in lifelong problems with concentrating. There are other chemicals in e-cigarettes that you may not realize including glycol, formaldehyde, acetone, lead, and nickel. 

Should I be concerned for my teen? Vaping related injuries started to rise in the summer of 2019. In September of 2019, the CDC reported six deaths and 380 cases of lung- related issues from vaping. By February of 2020, there had been 68 deaths. That is a 1,000% increase since 2019. According to a new study led by researchers at Stanford University, vaping is linked to a substantially increased risk of COVID-19 among teenagers and young adults. Among the participants who were tested for COVID-19, those who used e-cigarettes were five times more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19 than non-users. 

How can I get help for my loved one? Kids today are exposed to so much more than they were 10, 20, or 30 years ago. Our kids are stressed and anxious and some turn to nicotine and alcohol to help them cope with those stressors. If you’ve discovered that your child is addicted to vaping or nicotine, remember you are not alone. Compact is here for you. Visit our Facebook page for video resources, visit our website www.compact2020.com or call our parent talk line, 205-605-1827.


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Healthy Living

Dr. Anthony Kleinsmith’s goal is to help people become healthier versions of themselves. As a formulator and researcher for more than 30 years, Dr. Kleinsmith is passionate about the benefits of colostrum. After growing up on a dairy farm and seeing firsthand the benefits available from colostrum, he began studying colostrum as a child and hasn’t stopped.

Dr. Kleinsmith
Dr. Kleinsmith holds a Ph.D. in Nutritional Science from Chatworth College.

What is colostrum? “It’s a pre-milk liquid superfood produced by mammalian mothers to jumpstart offspring. It is only produced in a zero-to-six-hour time frame with cows and a three-day time period with humans,” Dr. Kleinsmith explains, adding that colostrum provides immune and growth factors that promote the health of the newborn.

What are the benefits of taking colostrum? Dr. Kleinsmith says that people who take colostrum can expect many improvements in their overall health including “more useful skin, energy, weight loss or weight gain, improvements in gut issues, support to the nervous system, and more.” Colostrum benefits encompass anything in the anti-aging, regeneration, immune system, weight loss, stress, and youthfulness arenas, and more. “Colostrum is a functional food supercharged with 97 Immune Factors and 87 known Growth Factors.”

Colostrum is available in many forms including capsules, chews and more.

To read more about the research behind colostrum or if you have any questions, visit 3624.anovite.com/whycolostrum6. Dr. Kleinsmith and his team have not changed their formula for colostrum since beginning in 1991. Colostrum products come in different forms including powder, capsules, chews, skincare products, and even treats for pets.

Why take colostrum? “Do you have something you’re worried about or something that you physically feel that hurts? What would you do to stop it?” Dr. Kleinsmith asks, adding, “Colostrum, with over 32 years of research and literally millions of bottles sold around the world, will give back to that depleted body building blocks which will allow your body to heal itself.”

To order, including a 90-Day Money Back Guarantee & Free Shipping in the US, call toll-free 877-295-1269 Monday thru Friday 8 am – 5 pm MT and mention this article in Birmingham Christian Family.

-Melissa Armstrong

Kleinsmith Family
Dr. Kleinsmith has been married to his wife Trish for 32 years and they have three children. The family lives in Utah.


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Healthy Living 

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How big of a risk is alcohol use among teens? To illustrate the extent of alcohol misuse and abuse among teens and young adults in the United States, consider this:

Alcohol is the most widely used substance by teens and young adults. 14 years old is the average age of a teen’s first drink. 90% of underage drinking is in the form of binge drinking and 11% of the alcohol consumed in the United States is by people age 12 to 20 years old. 

These facts aren’t an attempt to demonize alcohol, which aside from being legal has deep ties to rites of passage and celebratory occasions. The facts are presented to make the point that alcohol misuse and abuse can be just as debilitating to someone as harder drugs, especially to teens whose bodies are still developing.

What are some of the health effects of regular heavy drinking? Even though alcohol causes euphoria and relaxation in most people, drinking can magnify existing problems with anxiety, depression, and anger. After a night of heavy drinking, the hangover effect occurs. Aside from headaches and upset stomachs, the hangover effect can cause difficulty concentrating, mood swings, and unexplained feelings of anxiety and depression. If drinking is a daily occurrence, these emotions are something some people deal with every day. 

There is also a strong connection between suicidal thoughts and heavy drinking. Lowered inhibitions and intense emotions brought about by alcohol can cause many people to attempt and/or commit suicide. Long-term effects of heavy drinking can cause havoc on physical health. Damage to the liver, heart, and brain can all occur. It can also cause high blood pressure, stroke and multiple types of cancer. Underage drinking is a primary contributor to death from injury which includes drunk driving. When someone self medicates with a substance, they can end up stifling thoughts and emotions that need to be worked through. There is no such thing as drinking problems away. All of those thoughts and emotions will eventually come back and need to be dealt with one day. If you need help with a drinking problem, talk to a family member or friend or someone in the addiction health field. Don’t go this alone; there are people out there to help. All you need to do is ask.

Visit Compact on Facebook @compact2020 to find more tips and facts from Officer Schniper all month long. Learn more about Compact at www.compact2020.com. †


Brookdale Luncheon

Senior Living

Join the Brookdale Family!

We are excited and proud to say that Brookdale University Park is open to new residents! Brookdale residents enjoy an engaging lifestyle with a selection of care options to meet changing needs. The community conveniently located off Lakeshore Drive offers a full continuum of care, including independent living, assisted living, Alzheimer’s and dementia care and skilled nursing and rehabilitation. Call 205-870-0786 to connect with one of our team members who would be delighted to help you plan your personal visit, www.brookdale.com.

Two Brookdale Residents

Living Well with Low Vision. Low vision is usually caused by eye diseases or health conditions. Some of these include age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataract, diabetes and glaucoma. A low-vision specialist, such as an ophthalmologist or optometrist, can help those with low vision make the most of their remaining sight and maintain independence and quality of life. Below are some low-vision activity enhancements and safety awareness tips to use in your surroundings.

Activity Enhancements:

  •  Organize work areas
  • Develop systems, and use them consistently
  • Keep clutter to a minimum
  • Practice environmental consistency
  • Use the right lighting for the job
  • Non-skid materials and rubber bands for built-up handles and contrasteye test

Safety Awareness:

  • Focus on fall management
  • Avoidance of burns
  • Learn to use door and window locks
  • Spare keys to your home stored wisely
  • Practice personal safety with strangers in home and community
  • Consider an emergency call system

Brookdale Luncheon IMG 0062You’re invited to Bites & Insights! Join Brookdale on July 21 at 2 p.m. to enjoy delicious food prepared by Brookdale chefs and listen to residents share why they choose to call Brookdale home. Contact Lee Cobb at 205-789-9408, lcobb6@brookdale.com to learn more and reserve your spot!

An Invitation to Experience Brookdale 

Residents of Brookdale University Park enjoy an engaging lifestyle with a selection of care options to meet changing needs. The community conveniently located off Lakeshore Drive offers a full continuum of care, including independent living, assisted living, Alzheimer’s and dementia care and skilled nursing and rehabilitation. 205-870-0786, www.brookdale.com

Brookdale exterior

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