Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cough syrup behind marijuana and alcohol for teen abuse

KSFY (Sioux Falls, SD) June 29:

"Coricidin is a brand of cough syrup that helps suppress the common cold. If taken correctly it calms a cough. 'When abused it has a similar effect to alcohol, it tends to cause loss of motor skills and ability to perceive the world around them,' says Brad Patterson who is a drug counselor at Keystone Treatment Centers. He says many cough syrup abusers experience nausea. 'They have to take large quantities to get the effect, a by-product is initially getting sick.' Patterson says new research shows 10 % of high school students are getting high from cough syrup because it's a legal drug. In fact cough syrup falls right behind marijuana and alcohol regarding the drugs most teens abuse. 'The reality is it's only legal when taken as prescribed, if it's abused it can be very dangerous and cause negative effects,' says Patterson..."
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Student billboard designs on display in Times Square

Market Watch (New York, NY) June 29:

"Six students from New York City's High School of Art and Design are being given an opportunity that many designers only dream of -- their designs will be featured on Clear Channel's 'Spectacolor HD' digital billboard in Times Square. The billboards were created as part of Create! Don't Hate., a Design Ignites Change mentoring initiative. Professional designers from the New York chapter of AIGA mentored students from the High School of Art and Design to create billboard designs addressing the theme of tolerance. The final student designs address a wide variety of issues such as gay rights, racism and body image. Over the course of two months, the mentors led students through the design process -- from brainstorming and sketching to producing the final designs on the computer. Twenty-two students participated, with six of the designs ultimately chosen for display in Times Square on prime advertising space donated by Clear Channel Spectacolor. "
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Study: More teen girls getting high to cope at home

The New Britain Herald (New Britain, CT) June 29:

"New survey data released today not only shows increases in alcohol and drug consumption among teenagers, notably girls, but provides information as to why they drink and do drugs. The results, a press release said, heavily suggest that teenagers - specifically teen girls - are drinking and getting high to deal with problems at home, academic pressure and general stress. According to a new research analysis of the 2009 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS) from the Partnership for a Drug Free America sponsored by MetLife Foundation, teen girls are more likely to associate 'self-medicating' benefits with drinking and getting high. More than two-thirds of teen girls responded positively to the question 'using drugs helps kids deal with problems at home' (an 11 percent increase, up from 61 percent in 2008 to 68 percent in 2009) and more than half reported that drugs help teens forget their troubles (a 10 percent increase, up from 48 percent in 2008 to 53 percent in 2009). Stress has been identified as a key factor leading to drinking, smoking and drug use among girls, and more than three times as many young girls as boys reported having symptoms of depression in 2008. 'Parents of teen girls have to be especially attentive to their daughters' moods and mental health needs, which can have a direct effect on their decisions regarding getting high and drinking,' said Jill K. Spineti, President and CEO of The Governor's Prevention Partnership... 'Parents can help prevent alcohol and drug abuse by recognizing and addressing their daughters' worries and stresses, by supporting their positive decisions and by taking immediate action if they suspect or know they have been experimenting with drugs and alcohol."
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Monday, June 28, 2010

Online Bullies Pull Schools Into the Fray

The New York Times (New York, NY) June 27:

"Schools these days are confronted with complex questions on whether and how to deal with cyberbullying, an imprecise label for online activities ranging from barrages of teasing texts to sexually harassing group sites. The extent of the phenomenon is hard to quantify. But one 2010 study by the Cyberbullying Research Center, an organization founded by two criminologists who defined bullying as "willful and repeated harm” inflicted through phones and computers, said one in five middle-school students had been affected. Affronted by cyberspace’s escalation of adolescent viciousness, many parents are looking to schools for justice, protection, even revenge. But many educators feel unprepared or unwilling to be prosecutors and judges. Often, school district discipline codes say little about educators’ authority over student cellphones, home computers and off-campus speech. Reluctant to assert an authority they are not sure they have, educators can appear indifferent to parents frantic with worry, alarmed by recent adolescent suicides linked to bullying..."
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Chicago leads in heroin-related ER visits: A growing teen epidemic

The Examiner (New York, NY) June 28:

"Chicago leads the nation with heroin-related emergency room visits, just one of several troubling indicators of the growing heroin crisis in the Chicago metropolitan area since the late 90's. In a report released on Monday, researchers from Roosevelt University cited the escalating amount of overdose death in the collar counties, a significant proportion of Cook County jail inmates testing positive for heroin, and the trending amount of users that inject the drug. The new users of heroin: affluent suburban teens and young adults who snort or sniff the highly addictive drug. Once stigmatized because of its junkie connotation, many believe it has proliferated because it no longer needs to be injected. Users eventually may turn to injection as their tolerance level increases their need. Heroin is easily obtained in the Chicago area and is trafficked through gangs using open air drug markets. Suburban kids with access to cars and cash frequent gang-controlled trafficking areas on the West side of Chicago, where they are welcomed and protected customers..."
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Friday, June 25, 2010

Parenting style influences teen drinking patterns, researchers say

Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, CA) June 24:

"Some parents assume that teenagers will drink alcohol and there is little they can do to prevent it. Research does indicate that parenting has little effect on whether kids decide to try alcohol. But parenting attitudes and actions can make a big difference in how much and how often a teenager drinks. Researchers at Brigham Young University surveyed 5,000 adolescents about their drinking habits and their relationship with their parents. They found the kids least prone to heavy drinking had parents who scored high on accountability (knowing where their kids were and with whom) and warmth. Having so-called 'indulgent' parents, who were low on accountability and high on warmth, nearly tripled the risk of the teen participating in heavy drinking. The study also found that 'strict' parents -- high on accountability and low on warmth -- more than doubled their teen's risk of heavy drinking. These results were apparent even when researchers controlled for other influences, such as peer pressure, religious and economic background..."
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Governor Signs Tighter Cyber Bullying Law

Ozarks First (Springfield, MO) June 25:

"Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has signed House Bill 1543, which calls for several reforms to public education. One of them will add 'cyberbullying' to all schools' anti-bullying policies. Now students who use texting, social media or other electronic means to harass another student will face disciplinary action. Lawmakers say cyberbullying has been a growing problem for several years, as more students have access to cell phones and the internet."
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Student-produced films will be shared in social media campaign in Danbury

News Times (Danbury, CT) June 24:

"Western Connecticut State University theater majors Crystal Schewe and Mike Crispin pose as college students at a party while a photographer from ACM Productions prepares to record them on Wednesday. The students filmed three video vignettes that illustrate the consequences of drinking alcohol and doing drugs...'The movies will show the reality of poor choices and the benefits of good choices,' said Greg Williams, the producer of the short films. 'It leaves it up to the viewers to decide which way they would like their life to play out.'... One of the films focuses on smoking marijuana, and another explores the consequences of taking prescription attention deficit disorder medication, something that is a growing trend among honors students, Williams said."
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Training session on teen prescription drug abuse to be held July 7

The Middletown Press (Middletwown, CT) June 25:

"Anthony Salvatore, chairman of the Middlesex County Substance Abuse Action Council, announced that his agency will hold a Teen Influencer training session on prescription drug abuse Wednesday, July 7, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce...The training session will include how to recognize, deal with and prevent prescription drug abuse amongst children in their teenage years. If you are working with kids this summer, take a little time to learn about the hazards of prescription drugs. This free workshop will bring together sports coaches, camp counselors, youth advisors, parents and mentors."
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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Heroin, cocaine lead list of most-used illicit drugs in state

CT Post (Bridgeport, CT) June 20:

"The revelation of the substance in Jacobsen's system begged a few pointed questions: What was this drug? Was it a new plague afflicting the youth of Connecticut? The reality is that the drug seems to be rare in this area. '(DMT has) never been used around here that much,' said Dr. Sheila Cooperman, vice chairwoman of the department of psychiatry at St. Vincent's Behavioral Health Services in Westport. In fact, hallucinogens in general are little seen in this state, she said. Other drugs, including heroin and crack and powdered cocaine, are much bigger problems in Connecticut. The prevalance of a particular drug in a region often is result of a variety of factors, with price and accessibility often major drivers, said Katherine Bush, spokeswoman for the Office of National Drug Control Policy. 'People who abuse drugs tend to do an internal calculation of which drugs are the most readily available,' she said..."
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Bullies Must Be Stopped Early

Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT) June 20:

"Although anecdotal, the Connecticut Department of Education keeps track of allegations of bullying in schools that come to its attention. Since Connecticut's law was passed in 2002, the department has learned of more than 1,000 cases, nearly 800 just in the past five years. We are about 35 cases ahead of last year at this time, nearing 200. Even with state laws, the problem of bullying is apparently increasing. What is going on in the lives of our teens and pre-teens? Must families and schools be satisfied with the status quo and learn to live with bullying, forcing children to learn and socialize in hostile and unsafe environments? Is there a way to reach bullies and change behaviors that state laws don't address?..."
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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

PARENTS TARGETED: Arrests sought of party hosts, underage drinkers after teen's death

The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) June 22:

"Police are seeking to arrest the parents who held a party after which an 18-year-old West Haven teen died Saturday, Chief John Drumm said Monday...They will likely be charged with serving alcohol to minors and various other alcohol violations; other criminal charges could follow, Drumm said. Jaquell Jackson, who lived in West Haven, was among a group of young people who were drinking at that home, said Drumm, who is also applying for arrest warrants for those underage drinkers. When Jackson was apparently in need of medical attention Saturday morning, no one called an ambulance; he was instead transported by someone who attended the Friday night party to the Yale-New Haven Shoreline Medical Center in Guilford, sources said..."
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New Web-Filtering Technology Helps Schools Curb Teen Drug Use

E-Releases (San Diego, CA) June 22:

"While annual surveys conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse have shown steady declines in teen drug use over the past five years, the Internet continues to pose a danger by providing young people easy access to information on how to obtain and use drugs... Given the plethora of content about these and other drugs available online, school administrators must continue to remain vigilant over how students are using their institutions’ networks for illicit activities by taking full advantage of the latest web-filtering and reporting technologies...For example, to properly identify potential issues with prescription drugs, administrators can simply search the keyword *drug*, and the iBoss will present all related activity as it appears in each category. In addition, Call Outs will pull data from sites and present the administrator with the specific information a student entered in searches, blogs, and forums. So if a student searched “purchase oxycontin,” the iBoss will present the user’s information as well as the term searched to help clarify the threat."
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Monday, June 21, 2010

Marijuana, America's most dangerous illegal drug

Minnesota Public Radio (Hastings, MN) June 21:

"Methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin may be America's most addictive and destructive drugs, but marijuana is the most dangerous illegal drug in our nation. The reasons for this conclusion are many. First is that marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in America. Almost 2 million persons began using marijuana last year in the United States, and marijuana use starts at a younger age than most other illicit drugs. Early marijuana use is associated with drug dependence as an adult. The younger the age of first use, the higher the likelihood of such dependence as an adult. More than 4 million Americans are estimated to be dependent upon or abusers of marijuana, more than any other illegal drug. Treatment admissions for marijuana abuse have been higher than for any other illegal drug in our nation since 2002. Marijuana is not the harmless substance many would like us to believe...Marijuana is far more powerful today than it was 30 years ago. THC levels have increased from the 1 percent potency level in the 1970s to more than 13 percent today (on average), with some samples containing THC levels of up to 33 percent..."
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President Obama Thanks Top National Mentors for their Service

PR Newswire (Washington D.C.) June 21:

"President Barack Obama today thanked Big Brothers Big Sisters of America's top mentors for their long time service to their mentees. Big Brother of the Year Art Rasher of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Big Sister of the Year Angela Rodriquez of Linden, New Jersey -- each matched with their mentees for nine years -- met with President Obama in the Oval Office...'These outstanding volunteers are true role models for the entire nation and examples of why Big Brothers Big Sisters works,' said Big Brothers Big Sisters of America President and CEO Karen J. Mathis. 'Year after year, with guidance from match support staff, these volunteer mentors are there for their Littles, sharing time, giving encouragement and showing their mentees that they deserve success. Their service makes it possible for Big Brothers Big Sisters to support children of single, low-income and incarcerated parents who seek our support to help their kids achieve in school and in life.'"
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Friday, June 18, 2010

Should Parents Be Jailed When Kids Drink?

The New York Times (New York, NY) June 17:

"It’s graduation party season, which means social host laws that hold parents responsible for teenage drinking are back in the news. Last week, two Harvard Medical School professors were arrested because teenagers were found drinking at their daughter’s graduation party, though they said they did not see the alcohol.  How effective are these laws, which can impose fines or jail time for parents? Some parents believe it is better to have teenagers party at home so that adults can monitor the event and take away the car keys than have kids drinking elsewhere unsupervised. Is this a bad idea? Is there an alternative to social host laws?"
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Police Use Social Media to Find Suspects

WIBC Indiana (Indianapolis, IN) June 17:

"Teens charged with underage drinking said they didn't have any alcohol, but pictures posted on Facebook showed them sipping from bottles of liquor, wine or beer. In another case, Franklin police found a group of Bob Marley fans who were spraying 'One Love' graffiti across the city through a MySpace page dedicated to the singer's hit... Local police officers, prosecutors and attorneys are turning to social networking sites to find suspects and tie them to a crime. But the investigation doesn't end when a person is charged or makes an appearance in court; online profiles of defendants, witnesses and victims are monitored to see what they're saying about the case, attorneys said. Screenshots of a Facebook profile or a wall posting are more frequently finding their way into evidence during a trial and can bolster or discredit someone's testimony..."
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“Lock Your Meds” campaign increases awareness of over-the-counter and prescription drug abuse statewide

Connecticut Plus (online) June 16:

"Connecticut’s Prescription Monitoring Program’s (PMP) 'Lock Your Meds' campaign was designed to raise awareness and educate Connecticut residents about of over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription drug abuse and the proper storage and disposal of expired or unwanted medications. 'Experimentation with OTC and prescription medications among youths has been a growing problem for years but only recently has the pressing concern been brought to attention,' said Jerry Farrell, Jr., Commissioner of the Department of Consumer Protection. 'Connecticut is taking every measure possible to protect our teens and young adults.' The National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, conducted every other year since 1991, assessed prescription drug abuse among high school students for the first time in 2009. Survey findings, showing that 1 in 5 U.S high school students said they have taken a prescription drug without a doctor’s prescription, were recently released by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."
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Pot use rises in summer months for teens

Tri-County Times (Fenton, MI) June 16:

"Summer vacation means more free time, and even boredom, for teens. National studies show many try marijuana during summer months. Forty percent of teens who smoke marijuana first tried it during the summer, according to the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse. Approximately 5,800 teenagers try marijuana for the first time, each day, in early June and July. Using the drug seems to make teens more aggressive, said Chief Pete VanDriessche of the Linden Police Department. If they use marijuana and drive, it can result in accidents. In addition, marijuana use seems to give teens a sense of 'being invincible,' he said. Signs parents can look for are school grades going down, and a completely different set of friends than the teen had before. In addition, the teenager might act like he or she always is hiding something. Eyes might be bloodshot, and the teen could be losing weight, VanDriessche said. He or she might not be as concerned with his/her appearance..."
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Summer is here along with the beer ... underage drinking is a summer plague

NY Daily News (New York, NY ) June 17:

"Summer is a fun season and also the most dangerous time of the year for young people who drink underage. But just as the problem of teenage drinking is reaching its peak season, state Sen. Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) joined with State Liquor Authority officials, the NYPD, community leaders and local merchants last week to announce an innovative program to help curtail the growing menace. 'We are going to crack down on those who sell alcohol to minors and also on those who sell them phony IDs,' said Klein. The Senate deputy majority leader also demanded passage of his legislation - scheduled to be voted on today - which offers incentives to bar owners and workers who attend training programs aimed at combatting underage drinking. Participants would also be entered into a sweepstakes to win an $850 ID scanner. A companion bill was already passed in the Assembly. 'By enlisting local bars and restaurants, we prevent more minors from being served and together ensure a safer summer for all New Yorkers,' Klein said."
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Prescription Drugs Match Heroin, Cocaine in Overdoses in U.S.

Business Week (Online) June 17:

"Emergency-room visits from abuse of prescription and over-the-counter medicines doubled in the U.S. in four years, matching for the first time the number of overdoses of illegal drugs such as cocaine and heroin. Regulator-approved treatments were implicated in a record 1 million patients who sought help at hospital emergency departments in 2008, twice the number as in 2004, according to a study released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in Atlanta. Overdoses from illicit drugs were unchanged, at 1 million emergency visits. The most hospitalizations were caused by painkillers, with visits more than doubling, and tranquilizers, with an 89 percent increase..."
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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Rules Matter, How Parents' Acceptance of Teenage Drinking Can Lead To Long-Term Damage

Basking Ridge Patch (Bernard, NJ) June 15:

"Delay first use. That's the message the Bernards Municipal Alliance, a volunteer group dedicated to fighting substance abuse problems in town has been honing in the last several months for a campaign aimed at Bernards parents on the correlation between early drug use and long-term dependence...A number of recent studies have postulated that not only does it matter a great deal when children first use alcohol, but the position parents take on teenage drinking, does in fact have a great effect on their children's habits..."
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NH gov signs cyberbullying bill

Boston Herald (Concord, NH) June 15:

"New Hampshire’s law requiring schools to have policies against bullying has been updated for the electronic age. Gov. John Lynch signed legislation today to strengthen it by adding cyberbullying. New Hampshire first enacted an anti-bullying law in 2000. The legislation signed Tuesday adds a new definition for cyberbullying that addresses the use of electronic devices, including telephones, cell phones, computers, pagers, e-mail, instant messaging, text messaging and Web sites. Schools will be required to educate staff and volunteers to recognize and address bullying..."
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Underage Drinking Party Busted; More Than 30 Arrested

The Hartford Courant (Chesire, CT) June 14:

"Police broke up an underage drinking party... Saturday night, arrested the 17-year-old host and cited more than 30 of his guests. The host was charged with three counts of risk of injury to a minor and one count each of possession of alcohol by a minor and permitting a minor to possess alcohol...Thirty-one of his guests, who range in age from 16 to 19, were charged with possession of alcohol by a minor... Many of the party goers ran away, said Lt. Jay Markella. The officers found the rest of the teenagers downstairs. They also found over 19 cases of beer and 'plenty' of hard alcohol in the home, Markella said."
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Monday, June 14, 2010

Campaign vs. underage drinking continues

Record Journal (Meriden, CT) June 12:

"Police and health professionals say there has been a slight decline in underage drinking over the past year, but local organizations aren't about to slow down their efforts anytime soon. The city will soon implement a strategy to decrease drinking among teenagers thanks to a $75,000 grant awarded to Meriden through the federal 'Partnership for Success' program, and local organizations will be aiming to raise awareness over risk factors, enhance enforcement and create a cultural change. 'Meriden was fortunate to be one of 23 communities in Connecticut to receive money for this, and we will work to continue progress made in recent years,' said Sheryl Sprague, prevention manager at the Rushford Center"
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Grad student seeks to combat school bullying with state tour

WLBZ 2 (Bangor, ME) June 13:

"A woman in the city is looking to help victims of school bullying by sharing her personal story in schools across the state. Jennifer Huerth says she faced so much emotional and sometimes physical abuse from other students during her years in school that she eventually decided to drop out. The now aspiring guidance counselor has been reaching out to victims of bullying by speaking to groups at the University of Maine and several other schools. It is a program Huerth hopes to share with 25 schools in the state next year, as she is currently in the running for a $5,000 grant from the Pepsi Refresh Project. The former high school teacher says the program is aimed at offering support to both victims and bullies. 'Those that are doing the bullying generally have something else going on in their lives,' she said, 'and it's about identifying what are those problems and how we can help these kids. What's the underlying cause of this situation?'..."
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CDC survey finds 1 in 5 youths abuse prescription drugs

The Independent (Grand Island, NE) June 13:

"Drug advertising, especially on television, has become pervasive since the 1990s. Big pharmaceutical companies have spent billions and made billions advertising and selling prescription drugs that are dangerous and potentially deadly when abused. As prescription drugs such as OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin, Adderall, Ritalin and Xanax become more prevalent in society, they are falling more and more into the hands of young people. A survey released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that one in five U.S. high school students say they have taken a prescription drug without a doctor's prescription..."
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Friday, June 11, 2010

YAH joins forces with parents to stop underage drinking

Hudson Star Observer (Hudson, WI) June 11:

"Most graduation parties have the same main ingredients. Relatives, friends, cake, gifts, cards, good food and, on occasion, a rented moon bounce. However, Amy Nowicki, a member of the Youth Action Hudson group, said alcohol is becoming more and more a part of grad parties and other summer events. 'We want to make people aware,' Nowicki said. 'Don’t host kids at your house even though you think it will be safer for them to drink there rather than somewhere else. It is still illegal.' Youth Action Hudson is teaming up with parents and local law enforcement to help people remember 'Parents Who Host Lose the Most: Don’t Be a Party to Teenage Drinking'. The goal of this campaign is to provide parents with precise information on the risk of underage drinking to teenagers’ health and the legal consequences of providing them with alcohol."
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Mentors help students see eye-to-eye

WLS-TV (Chicago, IL) June 11:

"Mentoring is a win-win opportunity. Mentors feel rewarded, mentees gain valuable experience. Project Eye-to-Eye's mentoring program puts students together who share the same disability. At Golf Middle School in Morton Grove, 7th graders with learning disabilities are mentored by college students who also have learning disabilities. 'We're doing an art project that can kind of help people explain their learning styles. We use an example of a can of peas - you can see that it's a can of peas by the picture, but if you are a person you can't see their learning style,' said David Kessler...  'Project Eye-to-Eye started in 1994 at Brown University with the sole goal of trying to pair mentors with mentees to try to do meta-cognitive work to help people understand their learning styles,' Kessler said."
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Can calling parents curb risky drinking in college?

Winona Daily News (Winona, MN) June 9:

"Colleges these days work closely with parents on students' financial aid applications or living accommodations. But, when it comes time to inform parents about their son or daughter's underage drinking violation, colleges are divided about how much mom and dad should know. Most college students are legal adults when they arrive on campus - adults with the freedom to manage personal issues. Yet, colleges partnering with parents can bolster efforts to reduce risky drinking at a time when college-age, drinking-related tragedies continue in the region, local college officials said. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act protects the privacy of student information such as test scores and grade-point averages, but, for more than a decade, campuses have had the legal authority to contact a parent or guardian of students under the age of 21 about alcohol and drug-related matters..."
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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tips for parents and children to overcome bullying

Tribuna Connecticut (Danbury, CT) June 9:

"Surveys indicate that as many as half of all children are bullied at some time during their school years, and at least 10% are bullied on a regular basis. Bullying behavior can be physical or verbal. Boys tend to use physical intimidation or threats, while bullying by girls is more often verbal. Recently, bullying has even been reported in online chat rooms and through e-mail. Inappropriate postings have also been placed on social networking websites such as Facebook, MySpace, etc.  If you suspect your child is bullying others, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible.  If you suspect your child may be the victim of bullying, ask him or her to tell you what’s going on. You can help by providing lots of opportunities to talk with you in an open and honest way."

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Teen prescription drug abuse common says study, East Texans agree

KLTV (Tyler, TX) June 8:

"An alarming survey reveals a dangerous trend among American teens. One out of five high school students admit to abusing prescription drugs. The survey found this risky behavior is most common among twelfth graders. 26% of them say they have used medication without a prescription. It is least common among ninth graders, as 15% admitted to abusing prescription drugs.  'More than 20%,' said Kiandria Cain, a high school sophomore. 'People carry around pills and stuff like that. That's what they do more than drugs.' 'I know a lot of people doing it for AP tests and stuff like that to help them focus during the test and SAT,' said Eric Johnson, who just graduated high school. 'When it's like a four hour test, it helps them stay focused during the whole thing.'"
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Teen Headaches Tied to Alcohol, Coffee

U.S. News, Health (Online) June 7:

"A new German study links drinking and smoking to higher rates of migraine and tension headaches among teens and young adults. An estimated 5 to 15 percent of high school students surveyed reported suffering from migraines, and 15 to 25 percent said they have tension headaches.  ‘Our study confirms that adolescents with any type of headache might benefit from regular physical activity and low consumption of alcoholic drinks,’ Milde-Busch said."
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Friday, June 4, 2010

Community Conversation: Parents need to lead by example

Wilton Bulletin (Wilton, CT) June 4:  

"About 50 people attended the follow-up Community Conversation on Tuesday, May 11, at Trackside Teen Center to continue a dialogue with students on the issue of teen drinking and substance abuse... According to the report, which is a compilation of questions, answers and discussion from the original Community Conversation, the three leading contributing factors to substance abuse among teens is lack of alternatives, poor role modeling by adults, and easy availability. One of the issues discussed at the Cider Mill meeting was: To what extent is underage drinking and drug use becoming a social norm?"
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Campus drinking: Colleges' problem, or society's?

USA Today (Philadelphia, PA) June 4: 

"At a conference all about how college health officials can help students solve their problems, one speaker took an unexpected stance in a speech on student alcohol use and abuse: colleges can't do much to stop it.  'I don't think the problem of alcohol is an underage problem. It is not a college or university problem,' he said. 'I think alcohol is a community problem - it is a societal problem.' Efforts like the Amethyst Initiative - a group of college presidents who advocate for the lowering of the U.S. legal drinking age to 18 - and the National Social Norms Institute at the University of Virginia, Ehlinger argued, aren't working."
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Thursday, June 3, 2010

New Report Provides Startling Look at Substance Abuse On An Average Day In The Life Of American Adolescents

Newswise (Online) June 3: 

”On an average day, 508,000 adolescents aged 12-17 in the United States drink alcohol; 641,000 use illicit drugs; and more than 1 million smoke cigarettes, according to a national survey sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)… Among the report's major findings is that on any given day during 2008, 563,000 adolescents used marijuana, nearly 37,000 used inhalants, 24,000 used hallucinogens, 16,000 used cocaine and 2,800 used heroin. ‘This report is a wake up call about the extent to which our nation’s youth engage in risky behavior by using illegal and potentially dangerous substances everyday,’ said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D. ‘Parents, families and people working in the public health and public safety professions can prevent substance abuse and promote emotional health. In the long run our efforts can improve health status and lower costs to families, businesses and governments.’”
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Seymour’s Bungay mentoring program earns A+ scores

New Haven Register (Seymour, CT) June 3: 

“Violet Johnson retired from her secretary’s job at Bungay Elementary School 14 years ago, but it’s like she never left. One day a week, Johnson returns to the school where she worked for 25 years to volunteer in a senior mentor program with first- and second-graders on reading and social skills. ‘The children all come in with smiles on their faces,’ Johnson said Tuesday during the final session of the school year. ‘There is something about the one-on-one (attention). They want to please us.’…There are 13 women who mentor students Tuesday mornings…Volunteer Anne Belske of Seymour said they see ‘a big improvement in the children in their reading (skills). They also become more outgoing,’ she said.”
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With Drinking, Parents Rules Do Affect Teens Choices

National Public Radio (Online), May 31: 

"As teenagers mature into their senior year of high school, many parents begin to feel more comfortable about letting them drink alcohol. But new research from brain scientists and parenting experts suggests loosening the reins on drinking may not be a good idea in the long run. And, researchers say, parents' approach to addressing teen drinking does influence a teen's behavior.  Brain researchers are finding that alcohol has a particularly toxic effect on the brain cells of adolescents. That's because their brain cells are still growing, says Susan Tapert, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego."
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Weston groups work to ensure a safe prom and graduation season

 The Weston Forum (Weston, CT) May 31  

"With the Weston High School graduation quickly approaching, Weston Youth Services, along with Weston’s ADAP, the Weston High School PTO and Positive Directions, would like to offer parents and teens some helpful tips on having a safe, fun and alcohol-free graduation season. According to the 2008 underage drinking survey administered by Positive Directions to students in grades seven to 12 and their parents, the average age of first use of alcohol happens between ages 13 and 15. More female students at Weston High School reported recent alcohol consumption than their male counterparts (67% vs 45% of seniors)...It should be noted that Connecticut has a “social host” law, making a parents or homeowners responsible if alcohol is served/consumed on their property with their knowledge or consent. It makes it illegal for anyone under 21 to consume alcohol on public or private property."
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