Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fighting underage drinking

Connecticut Post (Fairfield, CT) December 29, 2010

"In a town with two universities, underage drinkers are constantly out and about, looking for the new hot spot.
Police and liquor officials catch a whiff of what is going on, set up a raid and the party comes to an end -- at least for a time.
Soon enough, students are drinking somewhere else.
As Sacred Heart University, Dean of Students Larry Wielk says, it is 'kind of like playing `Whack a Mole.''
'When one bar that serves to minors gets closed another one opens up, usually (with) the same owners with a different permittee,' he says. 'It's obviously a lucrative business.'" Read More

Mentoring Children of Prisoners: Mentor, role model, friend

Star Tribune (St. Paul, MN) December 29, 2010

"A special category of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program aims to interrupt a cycle of incarceration by pairing adult mentors with children of prisoners - a demographic that can be 'invisible' to the system.
Troy Allen, a tall man with a deep, booming voice, playfully nudged the curly-haired boy next to him.
'You know what that means, don't ya?' he said, motioning at the photographer shooting pictures of them as they munched on loose-meat sandwiches at Uncle Franky's in northeast Minneapolis. 'You've gotta chew with your mouth shut.'
Eleven-year-old Luke flashed a wide grin at Allen, 47, the boy's friend and mentor through Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of the Twin Cities." Read More

Underage Drinking Hits Hospitals at New Year

ABC News (Chicago, IL) December 30, 2010

"Hospital emergency visits due to underage drinking are likely to jump on New Year's day, U.S. government researchers said on Thursday, hoping to warn parents and young people of the dangers as they ring in 2011.
According to the latest statistics, there were an estimated 1,980 visits to emergency rooms in the United States on January 1, 2009 related to underage drinking, nearly four times the 546 such visits on an average day that year.
'That's a big jump,' said Frances Harding, director of the Center for Mental Health Services at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA, whose department released the study.
Emergency visits involving underage drinking around New Year's Eve exceeded those of two other popular U.S. holidays -- Memorial Day weekend and the Fourth of July weekend." Read More

Griswold takes aim at drug crime

Norwich Bulletin (Jewett City, CT) December 29, 2010

"Armed with a $2,400 grant, Griswold is prepared to become one of the first towns in southeastern Connecticut to try crime-fighting strategies developed by the Community Anti Drug Coalition of America.
Youth and Family Services Director Ryan Aubin said the grant application was made 'with the intentions of removing all concerns' from the town’s troubled areas 'for good.'
The youth and family services department received the annual local prevention grant from the Southeastern Regional Action Council last month. The money comes from the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services." Read More

Monday, December 27, 2010

SWAT Team Swarms Bar, Demands to See Alcohol Permit

Network World, December 27, 2010

"Raids on businesses are being conducted without search warrants under the guise of regulatory inspections. Examples of these assaults on privacy include arrests of 'criminal barbering' and SWAT teams charging in to see current alcohol permits.
Raids on businesses are being conducted without search warrants under the guise of regulatory inspections. Although the Fourth Amendment requires that searches be 'reasonable,' the SWAT team and other police, some wearing ski masks and carrying automatic weapons, can skirt around the warrantless searches by claiming the purpose was to check lawful permits." Read More

Adults surveyed on underage drinking

Norwich Bulletin (Windham, CT) December 24, 2010

"The Montville-based Southeastern Regional Action Council is conducting a survey on adult attitudes toward underage drinking.
Residents in the region older than 18 who are interested in participating can log on to through Dec. 31." Read More

Mentoring program breaks the stereotype

The Hour (Norwalk, CT) December 25, 2010

"They come by train or bus from Stamford, Bridgeport or inside Norwalk city limits, their $1 weekly dues likely tucked into jean pockets or folded into purses. Middle and high school girls, young ladies and single mothers find their way to the Universal Hair Salon at 40 Wall St. because sitting still is not an option. Some members of the YL Trapped Sisterhood talk about stretching as individuals within their communities as something as vital as breathing.
'We feel that young women in our age range are trapped by society,' Sarah Lauture said Tuesday night in a backroom at the salon. 'We feel as if they're trying to conform to a stereotype, and we're trying to break out of that stereotype. We're trying to create new roles for ourselves through acts of community service and weekly discussion about various topics.'" Read More

Parenting Style Plays Key Role In Teen Drinking

NPR, December 27, 2010

"For teenagers, friends play a big role in the decision to take that first drink. And by the 12th grade, more than 65 percent of teens have at least experimented with alcohol. But what parents do during the high school years can also influence whether teens go on to binge drink or abuse alcohol. Researchers at Brigham Young University have found that teenagers who grow up with parents who are either too strict or too indulgent tend to binge drink more than their peers.
'While parents didn't have much of an effect on whether their teens tried alcohol, they can have a significant impact on the more dangerous type of drinking,' says Stephen Bahr, a professor of sociology at BYU, and the author of the study that was published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.
As part of the survey of 5,000 teenagers, Bahr and his colleagues asked 7th- to 12th-grade students a series of questions about their alcohol use." Read More

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bill aims to curb underage drinking party buses

News 10 ABC (Burlingame, CA) December 22, 2010

"A Northern California lawmaker has introduced legislation that would crack down on underage drinking in chartered party buses. Assemblyman Jerry Hill on Wednesday joined the mother of a Burlingame teenager who died in a car crash in February after reportedly consuming large amounts of alcohol on a charter bus. Hill, a San Mateo Democrat, says 19-year-old Brett Studebaker's death prompted the legislation, AB45." Read More

Involve students in stopping bullying

CNN (Atlanta, GA) December 22, 2010

"'Tell someone': It's the phrase most often modeled as the first step in stopping bullying.
Experts on the news, researchers and authors repeatedly suggest that victims or witnesses speak to someone about it -- whether it's a classmate, a teacher, parent or friend -- the moment bullying becomes a concern.
But at November's International Bullying Prevention Association (IBPA) conference, I received some pushback when I voiced the 'tell someone' maxim. A teacher raised her hand and discussed a study that found that kids who do tell someone don't think adults take the right action afterward. And for a moment, I asked myself, 'Then what?'" Read More

New Hartford recreation department to host bullying prevention program in February

The Register Citizen (New Hartford, CT) December 22, 2010

"The New Hartford Town Recreation Department is taking an aggressive approach to address bullying in schools.
A bullying panel has been set for Feb. 10 at 6 p.m. at Berkshire Hall in New Hartford.
'We put together a varied group of people on the panel in order to make sure we cover each different spectrum of bullying, from school officials who deal with bullies in schools, to students who have experienced first hand what it’s like to be bullied,' said New Hartford Recreation Director Dennis Minor, during an interview Tuesday.
So far, the panel includes Rhiannon Smith, the 16-year old from Winsted who ran away from home this past fall after she said she endured years of being picked on by classmates, and New Hartford Elementary School nurse Christine Sloman, who says she commonly deals with the onset of bullying with younger children in school." Read More

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Program discourages underage drinking

The Boston Globe, December 16, 2010

"Young people are helping combat underage drinking in Revere by taking part in the Sticker Shock campaign. The program, started by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, sends teens into stores to place stickers on alcohol products that appeal to young people, with permission from business owners. The stickers remind adult buyers that they should not provide alcohol to anyone under 21." Read More

Presidential Proclamation--Mentoring Month

The White House (Washington D.C.) December 21, 2010

"Across our Nation, mentors steer our youth through challenging times and support their journey into adulthood. During National Mentoring Month, we honor these important individuals who unlock the potential and nurture the talent of our country, and we encourage more Americans to reach out and mentor young people in their community.
The dedication of mentors has helped countless young men and women succeed when they might have otherwise fallen short of their full potential. Mentors can provide a steady presence and share their valuable knowledge and experiences. Even brief amounts of quality time set aside by these compassionate adults can have a lasting impact on the development of a child. Mentors can also support the lessons of parents and teachers by encouraging students to complete their schoolwork and by instilling enduring values of commitment and persistence. From coaches to community leaders, tutors to trusted friends, mentors are working with today's youth to develop tomorrow's leaders." Read More

SERAC survey is under way

The Day (New London, CT) December 22, 2010

"The Southeastern Regional Action Council (SERAC) is conducting a survey on adult attitudes and beliefs about underage drinking.
Anyone who lives in southeastern Connecticut and is age 18 or older can take the survey at The survey is anonymous and is available until Dec 31. SERAC will use the data collected to provide education to the community and to develop prevention programs." Read More

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Teens raise awareness about teen suicide and bullying

NECN (Boston, MA) December 21, 2010

"Suicide is reportedly the third leading cause of death for young people between 15 and 24. It's a disturbing trend that's made a lot of headlines this year.
This Thursday, December 23, more than a thousand local high school and college students will rally to raise awareness about teen suicide and the bullying that has often led to it.
Development coordinator of Samaritans, Karina Carley and UMass -Amherst freshman and Samariteens volunteer Nick Galatis joined us to talk about the link between bullying and suicide.
Carley says teens deal with a lot of stress on a regular basis that makes growing up a difficult time." Read More

Cyber-Bullying: It's Not Cool to Be Cruel

The Huffington Post, December 17, 2010

"We've all heard the horror stories of young adults and children having hurtful or embarrassing photos, videos and/or speech about them posted on the Internet for the world to see. But did you know that cyber-bullying can be as simple as sending an e-mail to someone who has indicated they do not want to have any further contact with you? I also have a personal dislike for all the chain e-mails that go out, especially those that indicate that something will or won't happen if you don't forward it on to 10 or more of your friends." Read More

Troopers, Deep River Residents Target Underage Drinking

The Hartford Courant (Deep River, CT) December 20, 2010

"Resident state troopers from Essex, Chester and Deep River are working with Tri-Town Youth Services to identify and intervene in underage drinking situations through Party Patrols and Party Dispersals.
A 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that more than half (55.9 percent) of current drinkers aged 12 to 20 had used alcohol in the past month in someone else's home, and 29.2 percent stating that it had occurred in their own home. Close to 70 percent of those interviewed did not pay for alcohol the last time they drank, but cited unrelated people 21 or older — parents, guardians, and other adult family members — as main sources." Read More

Monday, December 20, 2010

Talking to Teens About Marijuana—9 Do's and Don'ts

US News Health, December 16, 2010

"Mary Jane won the popularity contest at your kid's school this year. Students in a national survey said they strongly prefer marijuana to other drugs, and more junior high and high schoolers say they're toking up.
The rise in 2010 was small but stood out because it registered across all three age groups sampled in the 36th annual "Monitoring the Future" survey of 46,000 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-graders. It also turned up at every level of use—in the last day, month, year, or ever. Seventeen percent of 8th graders, 33 percent of 10th graders, and 43 percent of 12th graders said they'd lit up at least once in their life, about one percentage point higher in all groups than in 2009. And one in 16 12th-graders got high 20 or more times in the previous month compared with about 1 in 20 last year, a jump of 25 percent." Read More

Friday, December 17, 2010

How you can prevent, identify and help stop bullying

ABC Action News (Tampa, FL) December 16, 2010

"Listening to a child recount an instance of bullying is enough to bring a parent to tears.
Now, as cases of bullying increase, schools, parents, teachers and children all across the country are meeting this challenge head-on.
One dramatic case of bullying at a West Palm Beach Middle School was captured on cell phone video.
The 13-year-old victim claims bullying by a classmate escalated to to him being beaten up at school." Read More

U.S. Education Secretary Highlights Best Practices of Bullying Policies (Washington D.C.) December 16, 2010

"In response to requests for assistance from state and local officials across the country following a rash of bullying-related suicides, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today distributed a memo to state leaders outlining key components of strong state bullying laws and policies. The technical assistance memo is intended to serve as a reference for state and local officials developing or revising anti-bullying legislation or policies.
'We need the commitment from everyone at the federal, state and local level to put an end to bullying,' U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. 'I hope that highlighting these best practices will help policymakers as they work to keep our children safe and learning.'" Read More

On pause from governing, mayor mentors Stratford youth

CT Post (Stratford, CT) December 16, 2010

"On Tuesdays, Ja'len Madison, 8, has lunch with the mayor. Not bad company for a fourth-grade student to keep.
This week, the student had some business to clear up. Shoving aside a tray of sausage links and French toast sticks at a table removed from the clamor of the lunch room at Second Hill Lane Elementary School, Ja'len informed Mayor John A. Harkins with gusto of the real reason the New York Giants were able to clobber the Minnesota Vikings with a 21 to 3 victory in Detroit Monday night: 'You only won last night because Brett Favre wasn't there,' he said with a smirk." Read More

Thursday, December 16, 2010

CAMY: Liquor Ads On Cable Drive Increase In Youth Exposure, December 15, 2010

"Youth exposure to alcohol advertising on TV in the U.S. increased 71% between 2001 and 2009, according to a report released Wednesday by the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY), driven by distilled spirits ads on cable.
The makers of those spirits panned the study as careless at best and biased at worst.
While the center concedes efforts by the industry to strengthen self-regulation, it says the average number of alcohol ads per year seen by young people increased from 217 in 2001 to 366 in 2009. The beer and distilled spirits industries agreed back in 2003 to place their ads only in shows whose makeup of underage audiences was 30% or less, compared to the previous threshold of 50% or less." Read More

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Staples students help educate peers about cyber bullying dangers

Westport News (Westport, CT) December 15, 2010

"Cyber bullying has real consequences. Some targets of torment, in various parts of the country, have gone so far as to take their lives. In addition, those who harass can face suspension, expulsion or arrest.
On Wednesday morning at Staples High School's library, Karen Garrity's health class highlighted various forms of cyber bullying, how to address it and laws related to it, as well as provided information on anti-bullying agencies. The goal was to hopefully eradicate this 21st century form of bullying." Read More

Dodd, Lautenberg, Casey, and Merkley introduce bill to continue efforts to prevent underage drinking, December 15, 2010

"Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) today, along with Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR), introduced the Sober Truth on Preventing (STOP) Underage Drinking Act Reauthorization, legislation designed to prevent underage drinking. According to the Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey released yesterday, the largest national survey of adolescents regarding their drug and alcohol use, underage drinking has decreased significantly and alcohol use among 12th graders marks the lowest level of alcohol use since the study’s inception in 1975.
The reauthorization builds upon the success of the original STOP ACT, which Dodd shepherded through Congress in 2006. The bill will continue federal government efforts to combat underage drinking and increase prevention activities in states and local communities, including college campuses. It would also continue public service media campaigns to increase adult awareness of the threat alcohol poses to their children, as well as increase research and data collection done at the federal level on adolescent alcohol use and brain development." Read More

Trunks for Teachers resources show students how to identify, deal with bullying

Evansville Courier & Press (Evansville, IN) December 14, 2010

"Krashonda Walters reached out to a new student at Bosse High School because of something she learned in the Trunks for Teachers bully program.
Walters is a student in Elizabeth Wade's interpersonal class, which is using the Trunks program created by the Committee to Promote Respect in Schools (or CYPRESS). CYPRESS started out as a committee to promote global tolerance and respect by using 'teaching trunks' on the Holocaust and the Civil Rights movement, but now has zeroed in on educating teachers and students about the harm of bullying." Read More

Drinking Teens – Serious Consequences for Parents

Akira News, December 14, 2010

"As an adult you know you did plenty of stupid things when you were a teen. Maybe that’s why teen drinking is a growing problem. Maybe our guilt as parents prevents us from being too strict about teenage drinking. To add fuel to the fire, hundreds of times a day our children see and hear TV, radio and Internet messages that support and/or glamorize getting drunk. On TV when someone gets a raise they have a drink. When they finalize their divorce they have a drink. When they feel depressed they have a drink. When they need a few laughs they have a drink.
It’s an uphill battle for parents that want their kids to avoid the downsides of alcohol abuse. But what the heck you say, it’s just a 'Right of passage.' If you rationalize letting teens drink at your house because 'At least they’re not driving' then you’re asking for more trouble than you can imagine. Teenage drinking is at epidemic levels and getting worse. Not just for teens that drink but for the parents that don’t consider it a big deal." Read More

The Partnership at Responds to 2010 Monitoring the Future Study Results

PR Newswire (New York, NY) December 14, 2010

"The University of Michigan's Monitoring the Future study (MTF) – the largest survey on teen drug abuse tracking over 46,000 8th, 10th and 12th graders – shows that teens' daily use of marijuana, especially among 8th graders, has increased significantly, with overall illicit drug use among this group jumping to 16 percent, up from 14.5 percent in 2009. The MTF survey also points to marked increases in Ecstasy use and underscores that intentional abuse of prescription (Rx) medicines among teens continues to be a cause for concern, as use remains high across all age groups surveyed.
While abuse of the Rx painkiller Vicodin decreased over the past four years among high school seniors from 9.7 percent to 8 percent, the use of OxyContin, another prescription opiate, stayed about the same for 12th graders at 5.1 percent. The MTF study has also confirmed research from The Partnership at, showing that kids are obtaining Rx medications from their peers, or through ease of access from the medicine cabinets in their homes, or the homes of family and friends.
Also causing concern is the stalling in the recent decreases in cigarette smoking across all three grades. For 12th graders, specifically, the recent increases in marijuana use have put marijuana ahead of cigarette smoking in some segments." Read More

Teen marijuana use up, alcohol use down

The Washington Post (Washington D.C.) December 14, 2010

"America's teens are using more marijuana and less alcohol, according to an annual government study of eighth-, 10th- and 12th-graders across the country.
Some 6.1 percent of high-school seniors reported using marijuana this year, up from 5.2 percent in 2009, according to the Monitoring the Future survey released by the National Institutes of Health.
Marijuana use by 10th-graders climbed from 2.8 percent to 3.3 percent, and for eighth-grade students it edged up from 1.0 percent to 1.2 percent." Read More

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Latest designer drug akin to cocaine

Abilene Reporter-News (Abilene, TX) December 13, 2010

"Just as the marijuana clone K2 may be hitting a summit, an Ivory Wave is troubling the waters.
The substance, also known as Vanilla Ice, mimics the effects of cocaine, much as K2 mirrors the high of marijuana.
Sgt. Van Holdbrook with the Abilene Police Department wasn’t surprised to hear about the latest in the lengthy line of synthetics designed to mimic the effects of illicit substances — all while being marketed as harmless products.
K2, a mixture of dried herbs, flowers, and tobacco covered with a synthetic compound similar to THC, is marketed as an incense. Ivory Wave is sold as a bath salt. Its precise ingredients are unknown." Read More

Monday, December 13, 2010

Teens More Likely To Drive Drunk Or On Drugs, December 12, 2010

"A new survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) indicates that on average 13.2 percent of all persons 16 or older drove under the influence of alcohol and 4.3 percent of this age group drove under the influence of illicit drugs in the past year.
The survey's state-by-state breakdown of drunk and drugged driving levels shows significant differences among the states." Read More

New legislation also targets cyberbullying

Eagle-Tribune (Merrimack Valley) December 12, 2010

"Val Viscosi, Methuen's director of guidance, is noticing a new type of anxiety among students. They feel the need to have access to their cell phones and to social networking sites at all times.
But it's not just that they're products of a digital age, needing Internet access. They want to know what's being said about them online.
'It's not like it's something that they're connected to because they find it necessarily enjoyable,' she said. 'It's something that they feel sort of more compelled to be constantly connected.'" Read More

State Police launch holiday enforcement program

Westport News (Westport, CT) December 11, 2010

"The Connecticut State Police recently launched the 2010 holiday enforcement program in an attempt to save lives and prevent injury as the Christmas and New Year holiday season approaches.
Operation SANTA -- S-top A-nother N-eedless T-ragic A-ccident -- is the major holiday accident and injury prevention message from the Connecticut State Police. This combined accident reduction effort (CARE) involves all state police departments across the country." Read More

East Haven Groups Address Underage Drinking

The Day (East Haven, CT) December 9, 2010

"East Haven's Youth Service Bureau and Youth Services Commission are currently focused on addressing the challenging issue of underage drinking. They were selected, from a group of several towns, by The Connection, Inc.-a state-based non-profit human service and community development agency-to collaborate with the agency on an underage drinking prevention project.
The main objective for the group is to create a strategic plan to stop underage drinking in town." Read More

Study Challenges Initiative to Lower Drinking Age to 18, December 10, 2010

"A new study challenges the theory that lowering the minimum legal drinking age from 21 to 18 would help curb binge drinking by college students.
Some college presidents and chancellors argue that if younger students could legally drink in bars and restaurants, they might learn more moderate drinking
habits, which would lead to less binge drinking at parties on college campuses. The idea is being promoted through an effort called the Amethyst Initiative, which launched in 2008.
About 135 college presidents have signed the initiative's public statement urging lawmakers to reconsider the minimum legal drinking age.
But lowering the drinking age without understanding the effects would amount to a 'radical experiment,' warned Dr. Richard A. Scribner, of the Louisiana State University School of Public Health." Read More

Friday, December 10, 2010

State Works to Ban Synthetic Marijuana (Southeastern Ohio) December 9, 2010

"It's a synthetic marijuana that goes by many different names K2, Spice and even potpourri.
Other than the name there's not much known about this substance other than if smoked it can cause an elevated heart rate, hallucinations, tremors and even seizures.
'The scary part about it is that people think that since it is legal, that it's not harmful, but it really is and we don't know what the long term effects are and there are millions of chemicals in it we know nothing about,' said Prevention Director at Muskingum County Behavioral Health Kris Headley." Read More

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Marijuana Write-Ups Spike

The Mirror (Fairfield, CT) December 8, 2010

"Pot, weed, grass–call it what you want, but marijuana still remains as the world’s most commonly used illicit drug. The frequent arrests at Fairfield University regarding the usage or possession of marijuana raise concern on campus.
In the month of November alone, there was an alarmingly high number of incidents involving marijuana. The Department of Public Safety shows that in the academic year of 2008-2009, approximately 30 drug related incidents had occurred, and 39 in the 2009-2010 year. Around 10 cases involving marijuana have been documented in December so far." Read More

Three New Haven Stores Cited In Sting For Alcohol Sale To A Minor

FoxCT (New Haven, CT) December 8, 2010

"Three New Haven stores sold alcohol to a minor last weekend in a sting operation by the state Division of Liquor Control and New Haven police, the division said Wednesday.
The stores were Shop Smart, 284 Putnam St.; Country Market, 13 Shelton Ave.; and Newhall Package Store, 332 Newhall St.
The operation Saturday visited 64 grocery and package stores in all, using youth volunteers trained by the Governor's Prevention Partnership." Read More

Teens join effort to combat underage drinking, December 8, 2010

"State highway safety officials are hoping the YouTube-generation will be able to communicate its anti-underage drinking message to their peers through video.
A team from Wilmington Christian School won the Office of Highway Safety's video contest earlier this week. The group from Wilmington Christian focused on the consequences of underage drinking and what that choice could cost young people. The group will receive a $2,000 prize after being selected as the winner. Director of the Office of Highway Safety (OHS) Jana Simpler says, 'The delivery of the message was powerful, clear, well planned out, and the execution was impressive.' She says, 'I am impressed with the level of creativity and ability all the contestants displayed in conveying the under 21 message.'" Read More

'Sociable Kidz' program helps vulnerable children combat bullying

CNN, December 9, 2010

"When educator Susan Hendler asked 11-year-old Colin Horton how his week at school went, she heard some troubling answers.
'I keep getting bugged by this kid at school,' Colin said.
'And what is he saying to you?' Hendler replied.
'He keeps saying swear words at me, and he keeps trying to punch me in the face.'
Colin and his friend, 11-year-old Michael Cohen, are no strangers to bullying. But the two also have something else in common -- both have been diagnosed with high-functioning autism." Read More

The Partnership at Launches First-of-Its-Kind Resource To Help Parents in Crisis Understand & Navigate Adolescent Drug& Alcohol Treatment

PR Newswire December 9, 2010

"Nine million of America's teens and young adults are struggling with drugs and alcohol(1), yet unlike most other adolescent health issues or diseases, parents have not found a concise path to resources and support for teen drug and alcohol addiction. In response, The Partnership at has launched Time To Get Help (, a first-of-its-kind website and online community to provide parents of teens and young adults with lifesaving information when families are in crisis and facing their child's addiction. It offers comprehensive insight into adolescent alcohol and drug abuse, dependence and addiction; support from top experts and other parents who have been there; and treatment options for their child and family." Read More

Our view: Adult enablers hurt teens

The Joplin Globe, December 9, 2010

"As holiday celebrations loom on the horizon, many moms and dads may be worrying about how to keep their teens from taking that drink at a party.
Some people may take the view that underage drinking simply is a rite of passage, and that teens are going to drink anyway.
They are wrong." Read More

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Yale Study Says Lesbian, Gay And Bisexual Adolescents Singled Out For Punishment

The Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT) December 6, 2010

"Lesbian, gay and bisexual adolescents are about 40 percent more likely to be subjected to school expulsions, arrests, police stops and convictions than other youths, according to a new study out of Yale.
The study, which will be published in the January 2011 issue of Pediatrics, was based on findings from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), which surveyed about 15,000 middle and high school students. The study followed them for seven years into early adulthood and collected facts about their sexuality and behavior. The youths were also surveyed about school expulsions and contact with the criminal justice system." Read More

National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month (Detroit, MI) December 7, 2010

"December marks National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month, and is an appropriate time to highlight the problem because of the holidays celebrated during this time.
Of course, December, and the holidays alone are not cause to recognize the tragedies that occur from drunk, and drugged driving because both are done on a daily basis no matter what month it is.
Thirty-six people die every day in the U.S., and about 700 are injured in car wrecks that involved a driver who was alcohol-impaired. Occasions to celebrate with drink, and merriment often turn into nightmares, however." Read More

Smokeless tobacco picking up steam

The Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT) December 6, 2010

"Ron Carroll prefers to smoke cigars and pipes. But when he can't do that he says he manages to unobtrusively get his nicotine fix by slipping a packet of tobacco, about the size of a teabag, under his upper lip.
'I use it all the time — movies, planes,' said the Chicagoan, who adds that he likes the fact he can remove the packet as easily as a piece of gum. There's no chewing, spitting or mess, he says.
'It's discreet, and you don't look like an addict, he said. 'Smoking's definitely more about the flavor; the whole experience,' Carroll said. 'With this, it's just taking the edge off.'" Read More

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Are students turning to Adderall to get A’s?, December 6, 2010

'It’s a very easy thing to find,' said one University of Massachusetts sophomore who wished to remain anonymous. 'All my friends are prescribed it, and so is my sister. I don’t even buy it.'
She was talking about Adderall, a drug prescribed to control Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and other attention-related issues. Adderall is made from amphetamines, a class of stimulants placed on Schedule II of the Federal Controlled Substances Act, meaning that 'The abuse of the drug . . . may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.'
She said that she doesn’t believe taking Adderall will have any negative consequences." Read More

Alcohol Energy Drinks: There's More You Should Know

The Huffington Post, December 6, 2010

"Alcohol energy drinks are a combination of alcohol and an energizing soft drink with lots of caffeine, sugar and other stimulants (like guarana, taurine and ginseng). Sort of a toned down version of speed mixed with the disinhibiting effects of alcohol.
These drinks, often called Caffeinated Alcoholic Beverages (CABs), have become exceptionally popular, to the detriment of too many youth, who are now appearing in Emergency Departments around this country and the world. According to the U.S. Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are about 25 brands of CABs; the leading two experienced a 67-fold sales increase from 2002 (when marketing started doing its job) until 2008." Read More
The Providence Journal (East Greenwich, RI) December 6, 2010

"For some students at East Greenwich High School, just walking to class, to the lunchroom, to the parking lot can be painful.
Students are called 'fatso' or worse. Others hear 'faggot' on and off all day. Some endure the n-word as they pass through the hallways.
Nearly 200 students wrote anonymous essays this fall, conveying their innermost feelings about the harassment and ostracism they experience or observe every day." Read More

Monday, December 6, 2010

As Bullies Go Digital, Parents Play Catch-Up

New York Times, December 4, 2010

"Ninth grade was supposed to be a fresh start for Marie’s son: new school, new children. Yet by last October, he had become withdrawn. Marie prodded. And prodded again. Finally, he told her.
'The kids say I’m saying all these nasty things about them on Facebook,' he said. 'They don’t believe me when I tell them I’m not on Facebook.'
But apparently, he was." Read More

Mentoring Summit to Culminate 10th National Mentoring Month, Friday, December 03, 2010

"A National Mentoring Summit will be held at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., January 25, 2011. The summit will bring together influential mentoring stakeholders from the public and private sectors to chart the mentoring field’s future, expand its circle of influence and focus the power of mentoring on a set of outcomes.
The summit will be hosted by MENTOR, the U.S. Department of Justice – Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Harvard School of Public Health and partner organizations." Read More

Students take teen drinking prevention to the web

CT Post (Stratford, CT) December 4, 2010

"Web television isn't just another mode of mindless entertainment. Students and community leaders here are learning it can be an invaluable teaching tool.
In June, Stratford resident J. Sibley Law, a pioneer of online video content, teamed with a cast and crew of 30 high schools students from How Youth Positively Entertain, or Hype, a student group based at the town Community Services Department. Hype provides teens with a forum to create underage drinking prevention programing for their peers." Read More

Friday, December 3, 2010

Connecticut Bans Four Loko Beverage Sales

Inklings News (Staples, CT) December 3, 2010

"It has been affectionately dubbed as 'blackout in a can.'
Every 23.5 ounces can of Four Loko contains the equivalent of 4.7 beers’ worth of alcohol and an unspecified amount of stimulants, including caffeine, taurine, and guarana, according to information found on the manufacturer’s website,
The beverage, which is marketed as an 'alcoholic energy drink,' contains 12 percent alcohol by volume.
It has been banned in the states of Washington, Oklahoma, Michigan, Utah, New York, and has been suspended from stores in Connecticut." Read More

Drug, alcohol abuse prevention program receives funding

Wilton Villager (Wilton, CT) December 3, 2010

"An anti-drug program geared toward middle-school students has received a $7,500 boost from the Fairfield County Community Foundation.
The program, called Youth to Youth, operates at Middlebrook School as part of the Wilton Youth Council's ongoing campaign to combat underage substance use.
'The goal is to encourage young people to make positive decisions,' said Tanya Leonard, a special education teacher who runs the local chapter of the international program." Read More

More effort need to combat underage drinking

Smoky Mountain News (Waynesville, NC ) December 2, 2010

“ 'Alcohol is the most widely used substance of abuse among America’s youth. A higher percentage of young people between the ages of 12 and 20 use alcohol than use tobacco or illicit drugs. The physical consequences of underage alcohol use range from medical problems to death by alcohol poisoning, and alcohol plays a significant role in risky sexual behavior, physical and sexual assaults, various types of injuries, and suicide. Underage drinking also creates secondhand effects for others, drinkers and nondrinkers alike, including car crashes from drunk driving, that put every child at risk. Underage alcohol consumption is a major societal problem with enormous health and safety consequences and will demand the nation’s attention and committed efforts to solve.'
This is a direct quote from former Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Kenneth Moritsugu, from his 'Call To Action' in 2007. But one may wonder why there is all this fuss about underage drinking. Isn’t it just something that is 'a rite of passage?' Don’t all kids do it?" Read More

Tips To Keep Prescription Drugs Out Of The Wrong Hands

WAAY-TV, ABC 31 (Huntsville, AL) December 2, 2010

"Drug investigators say students are getting prescription drugs out of their parent's medicine cabinets. Then they sometimes distribute and sell them at school, but there are steps parents can take to help keep their kids safe.
WAAY 31’S Stephanie Beecken asked some kids and parents about what they thought about the middle school students having prescription drugs in school. The parents were shocked. The kids weren't surprised.
15-year-old Kyras Birmingham wasn't surprised to learn middle school students were busted for prescription drugs." Read More

Peer Pressure and Alcohol: a Difficult Combination for Many Teens

Akira News, December 2, 2010

"However, teens can also experience feelings of doubt and may lack self-esteem. For these reasons, they are particularly susceptible to peer pressure: an overwhelming desire to fit in and do 'what everyone else is doing,' even if it means participating in such high-risk activities as drinking, smoking and sex.
It’s all part of a teenager’s efforts to try to separate from his or her parents and establish a personal identity.
To help teens and their families cope with peer pressure, The Health Alliance on Alcohol (HAA), a national education initiative established to address the issues of underage consumption of alcohol that includes members Heineken USA, New York Presbyterian Healthcare System and White Plains Hospital Center, has developed a booklet entitled 'Facts & Conversations: Peer Pressure.'" Read More

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fighting Binge Drinking on Campus? It Takes a Village.

Newsweek Education, December 1, 2010

"It’s no secret that binge drinking is a thriving extracurricular activity on most college campuses today—any frat party or tailgate bash will show you that. For years, university administrations have vowed to crack down on the practice, but their efforts seem to consistently fall short, as evidenced by student deaths and booze-induced sexual-abuse crimes. Nearly half of college students binge-drink, meaning they have five or more drinks in one sitting with the intention of getting drunk, says the Core Institute, a Southern Illinois University group that administers national surveys and tracks alcohol use at colleges and universities. What’s worse, more than 1,800 students die each year in alcohol-related accidents—a number that is rising." Read More

December Proclaimed National Drunk, Drugged Driving Prevention Month

WMBB News-ABC 13 (Florida) December 1, 2010

"Alcohol and drugs factored into more than 21,000 crashes last year, leading to more than 15,000 injuries. Since the holiday season is typically a time of celebration and heightened travel for many who drive to visit friends and family, December is designated as National Drunk and Drugged Driving (3D) Prevention Month. To combat impaired driving, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has teamed up with the Governor’s Office of Drug Control, local law enforcement agencies and safety advocates to educate drivers and to enforce the Driving Under the Influence laws. To emphasize the importance of this issue, Gov. Charlie Crist issued a proclamation to recognize 3D Prevention Month in Florida." Read More

What’s ‘bullying’?

The Boston Globe (Boston, MA) December 1, 2010

"The State's new anti-bullying law is widely heralded as the most aggressive in the country. It criminalizes bullying and cyber-bullying by students, and requires schools to ferret out and respond to such incidents, many of which take place outside of school.
Unfortunately, in my experience as a former teacher, a parent of three children, and an attorney representing schools, the law, while well-intended, is fraught with problems and has already led to unintended and unfortunate consequences." Read More

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Health department takes shots at binge drinking

Crain's New York (New York, NY) November 30, 2010

"Two drinks can be the difference between getting home safely at the end of the night and being unable to leave the subway. At least that's the warning the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is pushing in a series of new advertisements about excessive drinking.
During this holiday season, the city will run the ad campaign in the subways to offer a 'reality check' to New Yorkers about the dangers of excessive drinking during a time of the year when alcohol consumption increases. One version of the ad shows a woman dressed for a night out and slumped on the stairs with the warning, 'Two drinks ago you could still get yourself home.'" Read More

More teens getting dangerous prescriptions

Reuters Health (New York, NY) November 29, 2010

"The chance that a teenager or young adult will receive a prescription for a controlled medication has nearly doubled in the last 15 years in the U.S., according to a new report.
In 2007, one out of every nine teens and one out of six young adults in their 20s received prescriptions for medication that have the potential for abuse, such as pain killers, sedatives and stimulants like Ritalin.
'This study indicates that there are many more abusable prescriptions in people's medicine cabinets, in homes where there are children,' said Dr. Cindy Thomas at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, who reviewed the findings for Reuters Health." Read More

Senate seeks to change drinking norms with marketing campaign

The Tufts Daily (Medford, MA) November 30, 2010

"In an effort to curb what is considered by administrators to be a dangerous drinking culture on campus, the Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate is designing a social norms marketing campaign to reduce binge drinking among students.
The campaign will include posters that disclose information about the drinking norms on campus and warnings against high levels of alcohol consumption, according to sophomore Yulia Korovikov, chair of the Senate's Administration and Policy Committee." Read More

Alcohol-infused whipped cream catches regulators eye in Mass. as its popularity continues to grow

New York Daily News (Boston, MA) November 29, 2010

"With Four Loko making its way off shelves, regulators have a new favorite college binge drinking tool to look out for: alcoholic whipped cream.
A source told the Boston Herald that the Massachusetts Alcohol Beverages Commission will be closely monitoring the alcoholic treat, which has been on shelves since April and is becoming increasingly popular, the paper reported on Sunday.
There are two brands of the whipped cream - Canisters of Cream and Whipped Lightning – and it comes in a variety of flavors including Caramel Pecan, Chocolate, Hazelnut Espresso and more, depending on the brand." Read More

Monday, November 29, 2010

Inside the bullied brain

The Boston Globe (Boston, MA) November 28, 2010

"In the wake of several tragedies that have made bullying a high-profile issue, it’s becoming clear that harassment by one’s peers is something more than just a rite of passage. Bullied kids are more likely to be depressed, anxious, and suicidal. They struggle in school — when they decide to show up at all. They are more likely to carry weapons, get in fights, and use drugs.
But when it comes to the actual harm bullying does, the picture grows murkier. The psychological torment that victims feel is real. But perhaps because many of us have experienced this sort of schoolyard cruelty and lived to tell the tale, peer harassment is still commonly written off as a 'soft' form of abuse — one that leaves no obvious injuries and that most victims simply get over. It’s easy to imagine that, painful as bullying can be, all it hurts is our feelings.
A new wave of research into bullying’s effects, however, is now suggesting something more than that — that in fact, bullying can leave an indelible imprint on a teen’s brain at a time when it is still growing and developing." Read More

Hall High School stands up against bullying

West Hartford News (West Hartford, CT) November 29, 2010

"We all know that bullying at schools is of nationwide concern, but students at Hall are determined to Stand Up Against Bullying!
Beginning Nov. 15, students completed a week of activities addressing issues of bullying in their school that included students completing an online bullying/climate survey written by the Student/Faculty Committee. Students signed a 'Together We Can' pledge to stand up against bullying written by the Multicultural Club and students purchased 'Don’t Be a Meanie' bracelets from members of the Action Club. Staff wore 'Together We Can' buttons made by special education students." Read More

MTV Launches Site To Combat Cyber-Bullying

NY1 (New York, NY) November 25, 2010

"Digital dissing is like a tattoo. While it used to be feuding teens wrote bad things about each other on the bathroom walls that custodians could quickly wash off or paint over, today it's a defamatory post on Facebook, Twitter, or a derogatory or embarrassing email blast that can spread instantly to every student in school -- a digital barb that often lasts online forever.
'Our research has shown that up to 50 percent of 14 to 24 year olds have experienced some kind of digital abuse,' said Jason Rzepka of MTV.
In response, MTV recently launched 'A Thin Line,' an online tool to help young people understand and deal with cyber bullying." Read More

How Family Dinners with Young Children Could Help Curb Bullying

The Huffington Post, November 26, 2010

"If you're ever struggling to make dinner-table conversation with a young child, one question will save you every time: 'So tell me, what was the favorite part of your day?'
My family has turned this question into a family dinner ritual. My younger daughter always raises her hand as soon as the question is asked, hoping to go first...I originally hoped to shed light on what appeared to be a new and under-reported positive impact that family dinners had on young children: a decrease in bullying." Read More

Danbury kids walk all over bullying (Danbury, CT) November 26, 2010

"At some point, Leandra Thompson will tell you, she ran out of tears. But not because she was emotionally exhausted.
Leandra, a 15-year-old sophomore at Danbury High School, ran out of tears because she refused to give them away anymore to the hate.
No teenager should need a police escort to get on and off the school bus, not in this country. No teenager should be afraid to read a text message or log onto Facebook.
But for Leandra and countless other kids in Greater Danbury and all across America, these fears carve up their youth and their dreams with malignant precision." Read More

Mentors: Showing children the way

The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) November 29, 2010

"Since its inception in 1992, the Middletown Mentor Program has helped thousands of children navigate the difficulties of growing up by forming lasting friendships with caring adults.
There are currently 56 children matched with mentors in 11 schools throughout Middletown, while fourteen children are waiting to be matched with mentors. A disproportionate amount of those – thirteen children – attend MacDonnough Elementary School, as administrators recognize the benefits of the program and more mentors become interested in helping the most disadvantaged students." Read More

Connecticut State Police to employ Operation CARE over Thanksgiving weekend

News-Times (Danbury, CT) November 24, 2010

"Operation CARE (Combined Accident Reduction Effort), which State Police say is an important part of their highway safety plan, will be in place over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
State police have announced that they will supplement normal routine patrol personnel with additional state troopers over the long weekend.
According to a state police press release, the troopers will target aggressive drivers and unsafe operation, as well as drunk driving." Read More

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How Parents Can Prevent Bullying

New York Times (New York, NY) November 22, 2010

"September 19: Billy Lucas, age 15, of Greensburg, Indiana, hanged himself from the rafters of his family’s barn. September 19: Seth Walsh, 13, of Tahachapi, California, hanged himself from a tree in his yard. September 22; Tyler Clementi, 18, a Rutgers University freshman, jumped off the George Washington Bridge in New York City. September 23: Asher Brown, 13, of Houston, shot himself in the head. These four boys didn’t know each other, but they did have something in common. They’d been bullied and school, and one by one, they all apparently came to the same conclusion: If you’re gay or thought to be gay, life just isn’t worth living.
The list, sadly, is familiar. But the question that the writer Kenneth Miller asks next is an important twist on the ones so many of us have been asking as each of these suicides has made the news in recent months...If the world has become more accepting, he wonders, 'why are so many still driven to try to take their own life?'
The only possible answer is that while society is doing more, it is not doing enough. And in the next five pages Miller explores what more can be done." Read More

Jim Himes honored for commitment to fight drunk driving, underage drinking

Minuteman News Center (Westport, CT) November 23, 2010

"Washington, DC Congressman Jim Himes (D-CT) has been recognized by The Century Council, a national not-for-profit organization funded by distillers, for his outstanding commitment to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking. Congressman Himes was one of 16 Members of Congress to be honored for his ongoing dedication.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 10,839 alcohol-impaired traffic fatalities in 2009. Understanding the scope of this national epidemic, this year’s award recipients joined The Century Council to help educate middle school youth and their parents about responsible decision-making concerning beverage alcohol." Read More

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Operation Sticker Shock to Help Curb Underage Drinking (Wahoo, NE) November 22, 2010

"Some students are helping fight the 'drunk driving dilemma' in our area. Their focus is adults who give booze to minors.
Drunk driving is a real danger on our roads, in some cases minors are busted behind the wheel.
Now some teens are fighting the trend putting stickers on alcoholic drinks. The stickers come with a serious message." Read More

Official: Schools can’t tackle bullies on their own

Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) November 22, 2010

"Schools can’t tackle bullying alone was the message at a new community forum Monday.
'For so long we have heard that we have a problem with bullying. We really want to get to the next step and see what we can do about it,' said Celine Provini, director of program planning and development for the Governor’s Prevention Partnership.
The public forum — said to be the first of its kind in the state of Connecticut — brought together experts, educators, parents and students in an effort to begin a conversation, addressing the severity of bullying in school." Read More

Bullying Conference Displays Pain, Explores Remedies

The Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT) November 22, 2010

"The bullying began in the fifth grade for Jacob Gardner, a gay high school student from Madison. It started with name-calling.
'That was the first time I was called fag,' he said Monday at a packed conference at the Legislative Office Building called 'Bullying In The Classroom And The Chat Room: Ensuring that Every Student Is Safe To Learn.' 'It was also the first time I heard people say 'that's so gay.' "
Read More

Monday, November 22, 2010

Smoking marijuana as teen may have lasting brain effects, study suggests

USA Today, November 20, 2010

"Teenagers respond differently to drugs than adults, and early use may lead to long-lasting effects on brain development, according to new research.
A study presented at the Society for Neuroscience meeting, in San Diego last week, shows people who start using marijuana at a young age have more cognitive shortfalls. Also, the more marijuana a person used in adolescence, the more trouble they had with focus and attention." Read More

Holiday no excuse for unsupervised youth parties, November 21, 2010

"So, it's the night before Thanksgiving……Wednesday, Thanksgiving Eve. What does that mean?
It's amateur (drinking) night. Forget St. Patrick's Day, July 4 or New Year's Eve. This is the biggest party night of the year for many.
It's a time to leave the stresses of the school year and/or office behind for just a few days and begin connecting with friends and family you haven't seen during the year. Keep in mind that meeting with friends and family after not seeing them for a while brings on stresses and pressures of its own kind.
It's also the unofficial kickoff to the holiday season. Thanksgiving, traditionally, is when homes are usually fully stocked with booze for family parties. According to statistics from the National Center on Addictions & Substance Abuse, more young people drink on the day before Thanksgiving than on any other day of the year." Read More

OUR VIEW: A new kind of bullying

The New Britain Herald (New Britain, CT) November 21, 2010

"Cyberbullying hits kids hard — so hard that many young people can’t deal with it on their own. That’s why we — the media, parents and schools — all have a responsibility to fight it.
Cyberbullying involves messages or images intended to demean someone that are distributed via social networking, cell phones or any online device, sometimes anonymously.
The National Crime Prevention Council reports that 43 percent of teens have experienced cyberbullying in the past year. In fact, the subject has attracted nationwide attention recently after several boys committed suicide after digital gay bashing, and a Massachusetts girl killed herself after intense harassment by her classmates." Read More

Family critical in smoking prevention (California) November 19, 2010

"A change in cigarette packaging may prevent some young people from smoking, but one doctor doesn't think it will be enough to solve the problem of addiction.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced it will make the first key changes to cigarette packaging in a quarter-century, requiring packages to contain health warning labels that feature graphic drawings or photos, along with text cautioning that smoking kills and is addictive. The top 20 percent of cigarette ads must also contain notice about the dangerous effects of smoking." Read More

Why Bully Victims Suffer in Silence

Fox News, November 19, 2010

"From the time she started school through sixth grade, Trish McClune was bullied. Kids called her 'Tissue' and wiped their noses on her clothes. Once, her best friend punched her. Even her cousins and sister got in on the game, forming 'WHEAT' — the 'We Hate Everything About Trish Club.'
'There were times when I'd just sit outside by myself at recess,' McClune, now 31 and a communications associate in Lancaster, Pa., told LiveScience.' Just sit outside and pick the grass, because I felt like the world hated me.'" Read More

Outreach, Enforcement Can Curb College Kids' Drinking: Study - HealthDay News, November 19, 2010

"With alcohol-related deaths and injuries rising on U.S. college campuses, college officials are trying various ways to stem the tide of heavy drinking. One effort that targeted off-campus boozing shows some promise, researchers say.
A program at a group of public universities in California cut the level of heavy drinking at private parties and other locations by 6 percent, researchers report in the December issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine." Read More

Friday, November 19, 2010

Westbrook looks at ways to discourage underage drinking

New Haven Register (Westbrook, CT) November 19, 2010

"Underage drinking is a growing problem, officials said, and the town needs a prevention program.
First Selectman Noel Bishop met with Youth and Family Services members and state police Wednesday to discuss the idea.
'Underage drinking is a big problem here,' said Danielle Drugan of Westbrook Youth and Family Services. 'We started to see a change in this town. The middle school is where some of these cases seem to be exploding. We don’t have an answer to what’s causing the trend but with the economy the way it is and dual-family incomes needed, there are less people to watch the kids.'" Read More

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Use Science to Convince Teens Sober Holidays are Better (Washington) November 17, 2010

"Thanksgiving is just a week away and with it comes possibilities of binge drinking, bullying, drunk driving accidents and parties where alcohol is readily available to teenagers.
Explaining the science of how alcohol can harm adolescent brains and bodies can help, according to The Science Inside Alcohol Project of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). While teens can argue with just about everything else their parents say, according to AAAS, it’s harder for them to argue with science. Science can explain how:" Read More

‘Drunkorexics’ skip meals to offset extra calorie intake from binge drinking

The Tufts Daily (Medford, MA) November 17, 2010

"Excessive alcohol consumption is undoubtedly a contributing factor to the dreaded 'freshman 15' — but at what point does compensating for those liquor calories become a full−blown eating disorder?
'Drunkorexia,' though not a medical or technical term, is colloquially used among researchers and mental health professionals to describe behavior that combines disordered eating — like extreme restrictions and purging — with alcohol abuse and binge drinking. Particularly prevalent on college campuses, 'drunkorexic' behavior includes starving one's self or limiting food intake in order to offset alcohol consumption later on." Read More

Safe Communications Inc. Launches New Anti-Bullying Site, (Scottsdale, AZ) November 18, 2010

"Safe Communications Inc. (Pink Sheets: today launched, a new online tool to help students, parents, and teachers report bullies and cyber-harassment by providing a free, safe and secure way to inform school administrators and law enforcement officials of bullying activity. Completely anonymous, the new site allows bullied students an avenue to share information with authorities without fear of reprisal.
'Cyberbullying has become a major problem in our schools, causing psychological harm to our nation's youth and interfering with the educational process,' said William J. Bennett, former U.S. Secretary of Education. 'Now students have a safe and effective tool for reporting abuse and improving safety for themselves and their classmates.'" Read More

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

FDA threatens to seize alcoholic energy drinks, November 17, 2010

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned four makers of alcoholic energy drinks on Wednesday that their products could be seized if they continue to combine caffeine and alcohol in their beverages.
The move by the FDA, which described caffeine as an 'unsafe food additive' in malt alcoholic beverages, was anticipated by at least one company – Chicago-based Phusion Projects, which manufactures Four Loko. The company announced Tuesday that it is removing caffeine and two other ingredients from its products." Read More

Drug, Alcohol Youth Survey Results Presented to Community (Old Lyme, CT) November 16, 2010

"Nearly 60 citizens of Lyme and Old Lyme gathered at the Lymes' Senior Center last Tuesday evening to hear the results of the most recent youth survey on substance use.
Mary Seidner, Director of the Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau (LYSB) and Community Action for Substance Free Youth (CASFY) Coalition member, stated, 'The good news is that the majority of our youth are substance free and that youth use of alcohol is down slightly from when we last measured in 2006. Driving that decrease is likely the increase in parents expressing strong disapproval of underage drinking. CASFY has worked hard over the past four years to get the message to parents: talk to your kids and set rules.'" Read More

Bi-partisan N.J. anti-bullying legislation moves toward State Senate floor vote (New Jersey) November 15, 2010

"Bipartisan legislation designed to end bullying in New Jersey schools and colleges was approved by the education committees of the Senate and Assembly on Monday, setting the measure up for a floor vote by the upper house.

The many facetted proposal is expected to gain overwhelming support in both houses and the approval of Gov. Chris Christie. In addition to the two main sponsors in the Senate, the bill has 26 co-sponsors; more than two-thirds of the entire upper house has put their name on the bill. A strong majority of Assembly members also are ready to support the bill." Read More

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Binge drinking could hurt teens later in life, November 15, 2010

"Binge drinking during adolescence may permanently disrupt a person's stress hormones, leading to mental disorders in adulthood, based on new research on rats.
A study found that rats exposed to high levels of alcohol in adolescence have altered stress responses in young adulthood. These changes could produce disorders like anxiety and depression, the researchers reported today (Nov. 15) at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in San Diego.
Although researchers don't yet know if the results apply to humans, the findings raise alarming questions about teenagers' binge drinking, said study researcher Toni Pak, a professor of cell and molecular physiology at the Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine, in Maywood, Ill.
'Exposing young people to alcohol could permanently disrupt normal connections in the brain that need to be made to ensure healthy adult brain function,' Pak said in a statement." Read More

Prescription drug abuse on the rise in the United States

Payson Roundup, November 16, 2010

"Today 'medical marijuana' seems to be the hot topic of discussions. While this is a big issue, there are many other dangerous legal drugs that are easily available not only to adults but to our children — prescription drugs. These can be easier to obtain than street drugs. Family members or friends may have them but they are sometimes sold on the streets just like illegal drugs." Read More

No more caffeine alcohol drinks for Connecticut

The Register Citizen (Torrington, CT) November 16, 2010

"Torrington-based Dwan & Company Distributors is one of a handful of Connecticut liquor wholesalers that have agreed to suspend the distribution of many caffeinated alcoholic energy drinks.
Governor M. Jodi Rell and Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Jerry Farrell have obtained agreements from Connecticut’s liquor wholesalers to voluntarily suspend their shipment and deliveries of the alcoholic drinks beginning Dec. 10. They include the Four Loko, Four Maxed and Joose brands.
Four Loko is a fruity-tasting drink with an alcohol content equivalent to five shots of vodka and a strong dose of caffeine in each 24-ounce can." Read More

Monday, November 15, 2010

'Hundred Dresses' gets its anti-bullying message across to kids

Chicago Tribune (Chicago, IL) November 10, 2010

"Isaiah Ward stood quietly, thinking, in the aisle of the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie. His classmates filed past him toward the school bus that would take them back to Hope Institute and Learning Academy, on Chicago's West Side.
After a moment, he answered a question about 'The Hundred Dresses,' a musical he and his classmates had just seen about a young girl who is teased and bullied and another young girl who knows it is wrong but does nothing.
'That shouldn't happen,' said Isaiah, 9. 'Those kids shouldn't have been mean. Maddie should have been nice. She should have said, 'Stop.''
Clearly, the fourth-grader understood the central message of the play. But he also understands reality." Read More

Alcohol Access And Your Teen: Is Your Teen Mature Enough To Drink?

Akira News, November 14, 2010

"So your teen is having some friends over to 'hang out.' Your teen wants you to provide a movie, snacks, and a six-pack of beer. Should you do it? Isn’t it safer to have your teen home with you so you can provide supervision? When you were young, the drinking age was 18, and you turned out fine. Isn’t it more important to teach your teen to be a responsible drinker than to abide by a law that features an arbitrary age limit?" Read More

Cyber-Bullying Education Needs to Start Earlier

The Huffington Post, November 12, 2010

"While cyber-bullying appears to be more prevalent among teens, prevention and education need to start earlier, particularly as online media consumption for youth continues to rise. The top online activities for 8-18 year-olds include social networking, playing games and visiting video sites such as YouTube, according to a report from the Kaiser Family Foundation. A recent survey by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center and Hotspex found that 40% of parents believe that kids should start using mobile technology by age 6." Read More

Beer distributors, Four Loko manufacturer, will halt shipping of caffeinated, alcoholic drink to NY

Daily News (New York, NY) November 14, 2010

"The flow of Four Loko into New York is finally being shut off.
The State Liquor Authority has pressured the state's biggest beer distributors to stop delivering Four Loko and other caffeinated alcoholic cocktails to New York retailers by Dec.10.
And the maker of the sweet-but-potent beverage has agreed to stop shipping its wildly popular drink to New York distributors after Nov. 19." Read More

Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools: Who is Kevin Jennings?, November 13, 2010

"An outspoken advocate for homosexuals, as well as a writer and educator, Kevin Jennings has served since July 2009 as assistant deputy secretary to head the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools in the U.S. Department of Education. Founded in 2002, the Office administers drug and violence prevention programs for students in elementary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education.

Born May 8, 1963, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Jennings was the youngest of five children to Chester Henry, an itinerant Southern Baptist preacher, and Alice Verna (Johnson) Jennings, who had only a grade-school education. His economically-disadvantaged family moved numerous times around the South while Jennings grew up, and he would eventually attend nine schools in four states. At the age of eight his father died while the family was living in a trailer park in Lewisville, North Carolina. He spent much of his adolescence in rural communities that hated African Americans and gay people; several of his cousins and uncles were in the Ku Klux Klan." Read More

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Students feel conduct codes fail to deter illegal behavior

Inkling News (Staples, CT) November 12, 2010

"The Athletic Code of Conduct is the oldest of the Codes in place at Staples; according to Physical Education teacher and boys’ track coach Laddie Lawrence, the original version was drafted in 1980 in compliance with a new requirement of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference. Despite this fact, most of the non-athletic Codes were late to follow suit and were implemented five years ago or less. Since the late 90’s, Athletic Director Marty Lisevick has seen the Code develop and evolve.
'When I came here 11 years ago, and [an athlete] violated the Code on a first offense, he or she was usually kicked off the team and attorneys often got involved. It was a real mess. However, two years after that, the coaches, assistant principals and I met to discuss the Code’s flaws. Thus, it’s currently much more ‘forgiving’ than it was before,' Lisevick said." Read More

Friday, November 12, 2010

Multi-Leveled Interventions Can Change College Drinking Culture, November 12, 2010

"Colleges and universities know many students participate in dangerous alcohol-related activities, like binge drinking, but may not know what to do to stop them.
But a two and a half year long study at Indiana University has shown some notable results involving ways to change drinking culture among undergrads.
The study, which took place from 2006-2009, involved a quasi-experimental format that compared freshmen who lived on campus with non-freshmen who lived off-campus." Read More

More Students Abstain from Alcohol, Feel More Connected

Trumbull Patch (Trumbull, CT) November 11, 2010

"Fewer Trumbull students are drinking and more feel connected, among other positive trends, according to the results of a survey released at Monday night's Board of Education Meeting.
The results come from a survey taken by the 'Trumbull Partnership Against Underage Drinking.'
'The trends are moving in the right direction,' said TPAUD grant coordinator Melissa McGarry." Read More

Non-Medical Rx Use More Common Among 'Rural' than 'City' Teens, November 3, 2010

"Teens who reside in rural communities appear more likely than their peers who live in more urban areas to use prescription drugs for non-medical purposes, according to a report posted online that will appear in the March 2011 print issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the journals of the American Medical Association." Read More

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hot Topic: How Can We Prevent Gay Teens From Being Bullied?

Fairfield (Fairfield, CT) November 11, 2010

"Is there any way to prevent more tragic suicides by young people who’ve been bullied for being gay?
One response has been the 'It gets better' campaign, started by sex advice columnist Dan Savage. The short internet videos are compelling, personal stories from famous and not so famous people giving advice to gay teens that, as you grow up, it gets better." Read More

Trumbull Fights Alcohol Abuse With Safety Training Class

Trumbull Patch (Trumbull, CT) November 7, 2010

"Police Officer Timothy Fedor organized a special alcohol safety training course on Saturday to educate and certify business owners, servers, bartenders, and others on alcohol safety and awareness. This is the first of its kind in the town of Trumbull and was a town-wide effort to help prevent accidents, injuries, and abuse." Read More

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Concerns prompt URI to ban malt drinks laced with caffeine

South County Independent (Kingston, RI) November 10, 2010

"The University of Rhode Island last week announced a campus-wide ban on popular stimulant-enhanced alcoholic beverages that have gained notoriety in the last several months.
Citing the beverages' growing popularity among students and several incidents that have garnered national attention, the URI Alcohol Team formally recommended the ban on Oct. 26." Read More

High Carcinogen Levels Seen in Kids Living With Smokers

HealthDay News, November 9, 2010

"Tobacco carcinogens were found in the urine of 90 percent of children who lived in a home where at least one parent smoked, a new study has found.
The analysis of urine samples from 79 U.S. children aged 1 month to 10 years also found that the average level of tobacco carcinogens in the children was about 8 percent of the level found in smokers." Read More

Kids pick up on parents' stress, survey finds

USA Today, November 9, 2010

"Parents may think they're shielding their kids from worry and stress, but a report to be released today by the American Psychological Association finds they don't do a very good job of hiding their stress from their children.
Ninety-one percent of 1,136 young people ages 8-17 surveyed cite ways they know parents are stressed, largely by their behavior." Read More

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fighting Bullying With Babies

The New York Times (New York, NY) November 8, 2010

"Imagine there was a cure for meanness. Well, maybe there is.
The typical institutional response to bullying is to get tough. In the Tyler Clementi case, prosecutors are considering bringing hate-crime charges. But programs like the one I want to discuss today show the potential of augmenting our innate impulses to care for one another instead of just falling back on punishment as a deterrent. And what’s the secret formula? A baby." Read More

Hyper-networking: A new teen health risk category?

CNET News (Portland, Ore) November 9, 2010

" Cue deep, foreboding, slightly accusatory voice: 'Do you or your friends text more than 120 messages per school day? You may be at greater risk for substance abuse, permissiveness, depression, poor sleep, and more. Don't wait until it's too late. Get help now. Hyper-networking is no joke.'" Read More

Prescription Drug Abuse: When Legal Prescriptions Become Illegal Drugs

ABC13 WSET-13 (Lynchburg, VA) November 8, 2010

"The professionals call it an epidemic. Prescription painkillers now kill more people than heroin and cocaine combined. It's happening across all different age groups too. The abuse is so wide-spread, there is actually a State Police task force to take on prescription drug abuse.
Law officials say addicts are putting our medical professionals on the front line of a drug war, and that what people do with their prescription drugs, could put lives at risk." Read More

Michigan bans alcohol-infused energy drinks

Los Angeles Times (Chicago, MI) November 4, 2010

"Four Loko, the high-octane alcoholic beverage favored on college campuses, is again under fire.
Michigan announced Thursday that it is banning alcoholic caffeinated drinks like Four Loko, which is produced by Chicago-based Phusion Projects and has been singled out for criticism by health experts. A day earlier, members of Chicago's City Council proposed their own ban on energy drinks that contain alcohol." Read More

RI educators hold online anti-bullying forum

The Boston Globe (Providence, RI) November 8, 2010

"Rhode Island educators, anti-bullying activists and advocates for gay and lesbian youth said there must be a zero-tolerance policy for bullying in schools, as they held a forum Monday in response to incidents of bullying of gay students around the country." Read More

Monday, November 8, 2010

Narconon Drug Prevention Specialist Points Out That Many Parents May Omit Prescription Drugs When Warning Their Children About Drug Abuse

24-7 Press Release (Los Angeles, CA) November 7, 2010

"When the current generation of parents was growing up, the biggest drug problems were marijuana, alcohol, amphetamines, heroin and sedatives. So when today's parents of teenagers talk to their kids about drugs, they may overlook the fact that prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing substance abuse problem out there. They probably don't know about the numbers." Read More

15 minutes a day can change a child's life

Bogota Bulletin, (Bogota, NJ) November 5, 2010

"During a recent presentation by the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, Bogota Jr./Sr. High School parents were given the opportunity to learn how daily 15-minute conversations with their children can open lines of communication about drug and alcohol use. The presentation, held Oct. 28, was organized in conjunction with Red Ribbon Week to raise awareness of drug, alcohol and violence prevention. David Julian, substance abuse counselor with the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, said 15-minute conversations help parents create an open dialogue with their children that can lead to drug and alcohol prevention." Read More

Parents being surveyed about teen alcohol, drug use

The (New London, CT) November 4, 2010

"Usually when organizations and school conduct surveys to research alcohol and drug use by students it’s the teens who arec asked the questions. But the Southeastern Regional Action Council is looking for input from parents and guardians as it conducts its Regional Community Survey. From now through Dec. 31, parents and guardians can fill out an online survey which asks the adults questions about the topic and their attitudes about teen drinking and drug use." Read More

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Doctors, students become 'pen pals' with MGH mentoring program (Boston, MA) November 3, 2010

"Dr. Heidi Fusco recalled that the second year of her residency at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital left little time for anything beyond work and sleep. Yet the Beacon Hill resident found time in her harried schedule to send e-mails to a Boston student she was mentoring named Chantelle, who wanted to be a pediatrician. Fusco is one of 25 Boston doctors who volunteer their time—and wisdom—as part of a mentoring program that paired the doctors with local 10th-graders." Read more.

'Party Mom' sent to jail

The Reporter (Norristown, PA) November 3, 2010

"Saying he can’t comprehend the logic of some parents, a judge sent an Abington mother to jail for turning a blind eye to an underage drinking party at her home, during which one boy became seriously ill. The judge said he discounted Tompkins’ testimony that she didn’t know the teens were drinking, despite her acknowledgment she knew a keg of beer was in the basement.

'I don’t understand parents…how you can even assume or believe kids aren’t going to get into it,' said Tressler, who, during a nonjury trial, weighed the testimony of Tompkins and some of the teens who attended the party." Read more.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Proposition 19: California rejects marijuana legalization measure

The Washington Post (Washington, D.C.) November 3, 2010

"Proposition 19 failed to pass, but the nationwide debate it sparked has not died down... California voters on Tuesday rejected a ballot measure that would have made their state the first in the union to legalize the personal use and possession of marijuana." Read more.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Rural Adolescents More Likely Than Urban Ones to Abuse Prescription Drugs

Internal Medicine News (United States) November 2, 2010

"Adolescents living in rural areas of the United States are more likely to abuse prescription drugs than are those living in urban areas, according to a report published online Nov. 1 in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine." Read more.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Group Hopes Survey Aids Fight Against Youth Substance Abuse

The Hartford (Southington, CT) October 31, 2010

"A group seeking to curb drug and alcohol abuse among youths in town is hoping that the results of a survey showing the prevalence of dangerous behavior among young people will persuade people to join their work...Results of the survey, showed that a significant percentage of young people in town have attitudes and behaviors that could lead to substance abuse, violence and other problems." Read more.

Caffeine and Alcohol: Wham! Bam! Boozled.

The New York Times (New York, NY) October 30, 2010

"I found a biliously colored cache of it easily enough, just a block and a half from my Manhattan apartment, in an unremarkable bodega’s back refrigerator case, veritably screaming for attention among the more prosaically packaged Heinekens, Anchor Steams and Sapporos. This Four Loko hooch — subject of so many recent news reports, focus of so much alarm — definitely stood out...While Four Loko has been on the market for only about two years, the dangers it poses are hardly new or isolated. Read more.

Parents and Students Collaborate for Community Conversation on Teen Drinking

Inklings/Staples High School (Westport, CT) October 31, 2010

"A community discussion on underage drinking was held on Oct. 26 in the Bedford Middle School cafeteria. ...The theme of the discussion was 'who is responsible' for the teen drinking problem in Westport...many of the teenagers who spoke up during the discussion emphasized that parents are as equally to blame as students." Read more.

Teens turning to prescription drugs to manage daily lives (Danbury, CT) October 28, 2010

"Teens might use drugs to get high, but more often, teens are turning to non-medical uses of prescription drugs to manage their daily lives, said Allison Fulton, executive director of the Housatonic Valley Coalition Against Substance Abuse. 'The No. 1 reason students take prescription drugs is to deal with the stress at school,' Fulton said. 'They think they're cleaner, safer and not as bad as illicit drugs.'" Read more.

Night of partying, underage drinking, in Willimantic leads to multiple arrest

Norwich Bulletin (Norwich, CT) October 29, 2010

"A series of raucous parties, and suspected underage drinking, led to a series of arrests last night and this morning by police in Willimantic...At 12:19 a.m., officers responded to reports of a loud party a 25 Chestnut St. where police said about 30 people were playing drinking games. The four hosts of the party were charged with breach of peace.

At 12:31 a.m., officers were called to investigate a loud party at 28 Chestnut St. where the 21-year-old host of the party was charged with breach f peace. Police said there were about 30 people outside the home and anywhere from 50 to 100 inside that scattered when police arrived. Read more.

On the Rise: Prescription Drug Abuse Among Conn. TeensPrescription drug abuse is the leading cause of death among ages 15-34 in the state, according t (Wilton, CT) October 28, 2010

"Heroin. Cocaine. Marijuana. These are the illegal drugs that are the focus of many teenage drug awareness programs. But according to a panel of doctors, police officers and social workers in Danbury Monday night, Conn. teens are becoming more and more likely to abuse prescription drugs, which hold fewer social stigmas but can be just as dangerous, the experts said." Read more.

Agency Gets Grant Toward Reducing Underage Drinking - Enfield Coalition Receives $320,000 From State (Enfield, CT) October 29, 2010

"The Enfield Together Coalition, an agency that seeks to reduce underage drinking, has received a $320,000 grant for prevention, enforcement and media efforts from 2010 to 2014." Read more.

How dangerous is popular alcohol-infused energy drink? (Wichita, Kansas) October 29, 2010

" It’s known as 'blackout in a can' – an alcohol-infused energy drink that’s the rage on college campuses from coast to coast. But the effects are so potent the drink is sending kids to the hospital, prompting and investigation by the FDA." Read more.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Study: Half Of Teens Admit Bullying In Last Year

NPR - Associated Press (Los Angeles, CA) October 26, 2010

"Half of high school students say they've bullied someone in the past year, and nearly half say they've been the victim of bullying, according to a national study released Tuesday. The survey by the Los Angeles-based Josephson Institute of Ethics asked more than 43,000 high school students whether they'd been physically abused, teased or taunted in a way that seriously upset them. Forty-three percent said yes, and 50 percent admitted to being the bully." Read more.

Underage drinking forum in Westport: Parents can make a difference

Westport News (Westport, CT) October 27, 2010

"A two-hour discussion Tuesday night on a dozen topics related to underage drinking led to the conclusion that parental communication can help reduce the chance that their children will experiment with alcohol, or at the very least may prevent them from engaging in dangerous binge drinking." Read more.

Purdue honored for youth prevention efforts (Farmington, CT) October 27, 2010

"Honored for its strong commitment to keeping Connecticut’s youth safe, successful and drug-free, Purdue Pharma L.P. received the Leadership Award at the 20th Annual Governor’s Luncheon held by The Governor’s Prevention Partnership Oct. 20 ... The award recognizes Purdue Pharma L.P. for its dedication to making a real difference in keeping Connecticut’s youth off drugs specifically through its funding and support of Regional Action Councils (RACs) across the state." Read more.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Plainfield High School trying to end torment with new anti-bullying group

Norwich Bulletin (Plainfield, CT) October 24, 2010

"Senior student Devin Snow said, in his four years at Plainfield High School, he’s seen bullying increase. 'It’s definitely become a huge issue,' Snow, 17, of Sterling said. 'More and more kids are thinking it’s a joke rather than realizing it’s hurting someone.'" Read more.

Report: 43 percent of teens face cyber-bullying

CBS21News (Newport, PA) October 22, 2010

"Many kids have been the target of cyber-bullying. That's according to a recent report released by the National Crime Prevention Council.

Parents are advised to talk to their kids about it. Parents can ask kids if they've been bullied online or through a cell phone and tell them about the consequences of cyber-bullying. To know what to do about cyber-bullying, you first have to understand what it is." Read more.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Adults Who Initiate Alcohol Use Before Age 21 More Likely to Abuse or Become Dependent on Alcohol

Center for Substance Abuse Research (College Park, MD) October 18, 2010

"Early onset of alcohol use is associated with a greater likelihood of developing alcohol abuse or dependence at a later age, according to data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). Those who first used alcohol at or before the age of 14 were nearly four times more likely to meet the criteria for past year alcohol abuse or dependence than those who started using alcohol between the ages of 18 and 20 and more than six times more likely than those who started using alcohol at or after age 21." Read more.