Friday, July 30, 2010

Mentoring making a huge impact

The Hour (Norwalk, CT) July 30:

"An hour a week.  'It seems like nothing in the grand scheme of things,' said Jackie Effren, who coordinates the Norwalk Mentor Program at the Human Services Council. 'But look what it can do.'  According to an end-of-the-year survey completed by the program's 212 mentees, 205 mentors and various liaisons to schools, it can do an awful lot."
Read More

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Binge Drinking Crisis Among Teens, College Students

9 News Now (Fairfax, VA) July 29:

"YouTube is full of videos of young people who appear to be binge drinking. If you need proof it's happening everywhere, especially on college campuses, meet Ryan Smith. He's with Virginia Tech's Center for Applied Behavior Systems which is studying alcohol consumption. They give 400 breathalyzer tests every Thursday night in Blacksburg, at Fraternity parties around and downtown...Smith says more than 60% of their tests show people with over .08 blood alcohol content, the legal DUI limit. But 15% are over .2 BAC, more than twice the legal limit. 'It's about tremendous amounts consumed very rapidly and kids getting totally drunk,' said Jeff Levy who lost his son in a drunk driving wreck after the driver, a student at Radford, had been binge drinking. 'My son was one of five students that died in a single weekend in alcohol related incidents in college in Virginia.' Levy says parents need to be strict about not allowing their underage kids to drink..."
Read More

'Bigs' And 'Littles' Cruise The Clouds

Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT) July 28:

"Each year since 2002, the members of the 43rd Aviation Flying Club have donated their time, expertise and equipment so youngsters in the Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring program can become familiar with the basics of flying, and then experience the thrill of actual flight in a carefully maintained and fully equipped four-seat, single-engine plane. The activity has become so popular at Nutmeg that a lottery must be held annually to regulate the crush of candidates. This year's group was made up of 10 'bigs' (adult mentors) and 'littles' (the children being mentored)."
Read More

Our View: Parents, students part of bullying solution

Wisconsin Rapids Tribune (Wisconsin Rapids, WI) July 29:

"These days, with the popularity of social network websites, e-mail and text messages, a bully doesn't even need to be in the same room to victimize someone. Targets of physical, written or verbal abuse can have trouble focusing on their schoolwork. They might become so nervous that they get physically ill. Students and their parents often don't know exactly where to turn. A bully most likely isn't interested in becoming friends, and students might dread reprisal if they 'tell on' their antagonists...Preparing staff members to recognize bullying behavior and equipping them with effective means of dealing with it is an excellent step, and so is having school staff reach out directly to students. But it's going to take more. Parents, talk with your children. Tell them it's not OK to pick on others -- and tell them why..."
Read More

OxyContin prescription drug abuse "a silent, growing problem" among youths

Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, CA) July 27:

"Next to its tarry opiate cousin, 'hillbilly heroin' appears clean and trustworthy — pastel tablets neatly engraved with the dosage digits of modern medicine. But oxycodone packs a painkilling wallop with a strong addictive force. It hooked Rush Limbaugh, and these days it has gained a firm foothold in the youth party scene — with grim consequences...That false sense of pharmacological safety, experts say, has helped drive a pill-popping trend among teens and young adults that appears to be escalating. Emergency room visits for abuse of oxycodone products rose 152 percent from 2004 to 2008, with an even steeper increase among people younger than 21, according to a study released last month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration..."
Read More

Anti-gay bullying left out of school harassment law

The Anniston Star (Anniston, AL) July 29:

"Under an anti-harassment policy passed by the Anniston Board of Education Wednesday, students are explicitly protected from bullying based on their race, gender, religion or disability.  Sexual orientation? Not so much... 'When you leave the most common form of bullying out of your policy, that’s problematic,' said Carly Friedman, an assistant professor of psychology at Mississippi State University.  Friedman studies school bullying, and worked as a research consultant to the Alabama Safe Schools Coalition, an anti-bullying group that campaigned for a sexual orientation clause in the state policy.  Formerly a professor at Samford University, Friedman said her studies found that 49 percent of Alabama students hear anti-gay slurs multiple times per day, and 60 to 70 percent hear at least one anti-gay slur per day."
Read more

High school confidential

Easy Reader (Manhattan Beach, CA) July 28:

"A golden retriever will show up unexpectedly to sniff your car for contraband. You will be asked to take a drug test if your parents sign off on it. If you are discovered with drugs or alcohol, or if you decide to tell on yourself, you will be offered help from well-trained peer counselors, and a well-informed teacher, and can be steered to outside counselors as well.  Welcome to Mira Costa High School, regarded by members of the treatment community as a model of enlightened action when it comes to addressing drug and alcohol use among young people... The methods of prevention and treatment have been evolving and improving. In the hard sciences, researchers are ferreting out the precise connections between how substances make us feel good and how they can damage our brains and bodies, and are refining drugs that can be used to ease an addict’s withdrawal and recovery.  In the soft sciences, counselors are making increasing headway using cognitive therapy, which is designed to identify and change the dysfunctional thinking and behavior that can pervade an addict’s drugging or drinking. Counselors are involving entire families in the treatment of one member’s abuse, and educators at Mira Costa and at Redondo Union high schools are arming students with increasingly effective weapons against peer pressure to drink and use."
Read More

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Group airs survey results?

New Haven Register (Guilford, CT) July 13:

"Students’ drug habits, alcohol use and other dangerous behaviors are often 'invisible' to the community, and TEAM Guilford Kids is trying to bring the issues out into the open.  The group recently held a forum at the Guilford Free Library to present final results of a Developmental Assets Survey distributed to 1,542 middle- and high-schoolers in the fall...  When it comes to drinking, 52 percent said they first had more than one or two sips of alcohol when they were under 15 years old, and 6 percent reported they’ve ridden in a car with a driver who’d been drinking.  And 25 percent say they’ve used marijuana at least once in the last year, while 3 percent have used cocaine at some point."
Read More

Teen launches anti-bullying programs

Batavia Republican (Batavia, IL) July 26:

"Working with classmates, teachers and administrative officials, Nulph found most of the bullying problems occurred in the middle school, and the group would focus much of their attention there.  One of her programs follows the Big Brothers, Big Sisters model. Middle school teachers identify which students were struggling socially and recommend them for the program, in which a high school student would be assigned to mentor them.  'It was a tremendous success,' Nulph said. 'They loved having high school mentors. They felt better about themselves.'"
Read More

Take a pill, pass the test: The growing problem in Utah schools

KSL (Salt Lake City, UT) July 26:

"Adderall is touted as a way to focus and study for hours with clear recall. It's prescribed for young people with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  Part of the pressure, Harding said, comes from knowing so many of his peers were using Adderall, especially around finals.  'People who actually go after it and do it and use it constantly? Probably more like 25 percent, easy,' he said.  That number coincides with first-of-its-kind research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Teams there found 23 percent of young people admitted to abusing prescription drugs -- and Adderall was one of the most common."
Read More

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Teens help teens avoid dangers of underage drinking

News 8 Austin (Austin, TX) July 21:

"The Youth Partnership for Change is looking for teens to share the message about the dangers of underage drinking with peers, parents and teachers through public presentations. 'Young people aren't taking seriously the consequences, and with other young people actually the ones telling them what's happened to them and sharing their personal story about why they've been affected seems to be more effective,' Myra Constable, with YPC, said. Educators say teens helping teens also builds a safe foundation and environment for youth. 'It's also a culture, a new family, because you're becoming a new culture of not drinking and breaking those social norms and being a part of positive ones,' community educator Jaime Herrera said."
Read More

Teens believe marijuana use less risky than alcohol Read more: Warwick Beacon - Teens believe marijuana use less risky than alcohol

The Warwick Beacon (Warwick, RI) July 22:

"Surveys done in 2009 and this year find high school students are using drugs and alcohol at a younger age and that they believe using marijuana is less risky than drinking alcohol... Students were asked about their alcohol, tobacco and marijuana usage as well as what factors influence their decisions about the substances. Based on the results, students believe that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol and easier to obtain, causing more teens to experiment with the drug. All three high schools showed this trend as students moved into higher grades, with the transition between ninth and tenth grade being the largest. An average of 14 percent of freshmen who viewed marijuana as a dangerous substance thought it was less risky by the time they moved to their sophomore year."
Read More

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Governor's Prevention Partnership

8 WTNH Connecticut Style (Hartford, CT) July 20:

"The 2009 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS), conducted by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America and distributed in Connecticut by The Governor's Prevention Partnership, found that teenage girls are more likely than teenage boys to perceive potential benefits from drug use and drinking, making teen girls more vulnerable to drug and alcohol abuse. The results heavily suggest that teenagers - specifically teen girls - are drinking and getting high to deal with problems at home, academic pressure and general stress. The PATS data also point to upswings in use of drugs that teens are likely to encounter at parties and in other social situations, with noteworthy and dramatic increases in alcohol use among girls."
Read More

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pain Pill Abuse Fastest Growing Drug Problem in United States

My Fox New York (New York, NY) July 19:

"The percent of Americans abusing prescription pain pills jumped 400 percent in the past decade, making it the fastest-growing drug problem in the nation, according to new findings published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Monday. Calling pain pills a major threat to public health, the report stated that while only 2.2 percent of adults and adolescents abused pills like OxyContin in 1998, that number rose to 9.8 percent a decade later. In some places, prescription drugs are rapidly overtaking other drugs as the biggest killers. Last week, KIRO-FM radio in Seattle reported that more people in Washington state are killed from prescription drug abuse than by all other illegal drugs combined..."
Read More

President responds to girl's letter on bullying

ABC Action News (West Philadelphia, PA) July 19:

"It's one thing to write a letter to the President of the United States. It is quite another to get a letter back. A Philadelphia fifth grader took her fight against bullying to the Oval Office, and thanks to that, she is getting some help... In January, she poured her heart out in a letter to the President - with every hope he would write back...She soon realized other kids across the country were getting it worse than she was. Ziainey's breaking point was when she read about a teenage girl who had killed herself after being bullied... On Friday March 10th, the response the 5th grader had been waiting for finally arrived...'Thank you for writing your letter. I have heard from many students about the challenges they face, and I am glad you wrote to share your story.' A letter signed by the President of the United States, addressing the issue directly..."
Read More

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Substance abuse quiz designed to get families talking

South County Independent (Wakefield, RI) July 15:

"Think you know the town’s substance abuse laws? Try this question: If a Narragansett police officer detects the odor of alcohol upon the breath of any minor – A. The odor can be used as evidence of illegal possession of alcohol; B. The officer may require the minor to submit to a Portable Breathalyzer Test; C. Either A or B; or D. Both A and B. If you know the answer to this and other questions, you could be entered to win $500 from the Narragansett Prevention Partnership. A new marketing campaign aimed at increasing awareness of alcohol issues among parents and children was launched this week with 'The Sobriety Test.' The online contest consists of three 10-question, multiple-choice quizzes designed to educate residents about the use of alcohol and other drugs by Narragansett youths, town ordinances related to alcohol and research studies about underage drinking. 'We think the community is ready for different ways to get these messages,' said Nancy Devaney, coordinator of the Narragansett Prevention Partnership. 'We aim always to make sure people know what the laws are.'
Read More

Cyber Bullying Through Blast Sites

My Fox (Memphis, TN) July 15:

"Cyber bullying is more common than ever with the popularity of what's called 'blast sites.' These type of websites name names and tell tales, usually of sexual exploits. Blasts sites have gone national in the last few years, with localized sites accessible to a nation of bloggers. And now, sites have become specialized. In Memphis, there are Facebook blast sites specifically to many of the Memphis City High Schools..."
Read More

Study: High School Drug Tests Have Limited Effectiveness

Ozarks First (online) July 14:

"Random high school drug tests connected with such privileges as playing sports have been found to have limited effectiveness. A U.S. Department of Education study found the students who agreed to the random tests reported lower levels of substance abuse than those in schools that didn't conduct the tests. However, the researchers found there wasn't any 'spillover effect' resulting in a decrease in reported substance abuse in students who weren't subject to the random tests. The study also concluded the random tests didn't have any effect on students' intentions to abuse substances after the tests were over."
Read More

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Parents encouraging teens to drink alcohol: New study reveals shocking results

Broward County Parenting Teens Examiner (Boca Raton, FL) July 13:

"According to a new study commissioned by The Caron Treatment Center, new research shows that parents' behavior may unintentionally contribute to teenage alcohol abuse."

Some of the study highlights are:
  • What parents aren't saying can make an impression.
  • Teens perceive grades as more of a worry to their parents than alcohol.
  • Many teens have their first drink at age fourteen.
  • Drinking fuels drug use and sex.
  • Parents allow drinking under certain circumstances.
Read More

T-shirts support anti-bully effort

The Republican (Holyoke, MA) July 14:

"Odalis Amparo knows it will take more than T-shirts to stop the bullying that occurs daily at Holyoke High School in forms large and small.  But, the 17-year-old junior knows any fighting of bullying is welcome.  'I think they need to not be accustomed to it and they need to tell someone about it,' said Amparo.  Amparo is among the students at the school - including this year's graduating seniors - who approved class T-shirts bearing an anti-bullying logo."
Read More

Teenage binge drinkers could suffer osteoporosis later in life--study (online) July 14:

"Researchers from Loyola University Health System in Chicago, U.S., stated that binge drinking (consuming large amounts of alcohol within a short period of time) during teen years is related to an increased risk of osteoporosis and other health hazards with age. Osteoporosis is a bone-disease leading to an increased risk of fractures due to reduced bone material density (BMD), disrupted bone micro-architecture and, alteration in the amount and variety of proteins in bone. The Times of India (TOI) quoted study-leader and bone-biologist John Callaci, PhD, Loyola University Health System as saying, 'Lifestyle-related damage done to the skeleton during young adulthood may have repercussions lasting decades.'"
Read More

Drop-off box keeps meds out of wrong hands

Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY) July 14:

"Bullitt County has a permanent place for its residents to dispose of unused medication... Any unused prescription medication, excluding opened liquid prescriptions, can be disposed of in a white drop box at the right side of the lobby.  Bullitt County Chief Deputy Danny Thompson said the box, kept under lock and key, is an anonymous means to dispose of drugs.  'We want to eliminate the possibility of people's houses being broken in to steal drugs,' he said."
Read More

Monday, July 12, 2010

Cyber Bullying; Take action when high-tech harassment occurs

Telegraph Herald (Dubuque, IA) July 11:

"Bullying's not just for playgrounds anymore. Today's bully has made harassment high-tech. 'According to research, over 40 percent of teens with Internet access report being cyber-bullied,' said Tabethe Schemmel, a violence prevention educator with the Riverview Center, in Dubuque. 'A lot of kids feel they can do the cyber bullying because they can be anonymous.' Cyber bullying occurs when someone repeatedly harasses, mistreats or makes fun of another person online or while using cell phones or other electronic devices. 'I see it increasing in the school districts in our area, with Facebook and IM (instant messaging),' Schemmel said...Here are tips to keep your child safe from the cyber bully..."
Read More

Prescription drug overdose cases skyrocket at emergency departments

American Medical News (online) July 12:

"With newly released data showing that prescription drug misuse now rivals illicit drug use as a cause of emergency department visits, the Food and Drug Administration in June released a long-awaited proposal aimed at curbing recreational use of opioid analgesics. Physicians and advocates for pain patients hailed the FDA's proposal for addressing the growing opioid abuse problem while not impeding legitimate access to pain treatment. Fatal poisonings from opioid overdoses tripled to nearly 14,000 deaths from 1999 to 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in September 2009. The tally of near-deadly incidents involving opioids is far higher and growing rapidly, as revealed in the CDC's June 18 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Emergency department visits related to misuse of prescription or over-the-counter drugs doubled from 500,000 in 2004 to 1 million in 2008, said the report, based on estimates from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Drug Abuse Warning Network. DAWN generated the estimates by reviewing data and medical charts submitted by 231 U.S. emergency departments..."
Read More

Friday, July 9, 2010

Teens Drink More During Summer Before College, Study Finds

Science Daily (online) July 7:

"Adolescents tend to increase their alcohol use the summer before entering college and during their first semester at college. This is also true of children who have been consistently monitored and emotionally supported. However, these children don't increase consumption to the levels of kids who didn't have that kind of parental involvement in high school."
Read More

Parents be warned: Your kids may be 'Robo tripping'

CNN The Chart (online) July 8:

"There's a trend among kids, dubbed 'Robo tripping,' and it's not the latest dance. In fact, 'Robo tripping' is one of several colloquialisms used to describe getting high from - of all things - cough medicine.  (Get it? 'Robo' or Robitussin.)  The high comes from ingesting large doses of dextromethorphan, found in over-the-counter cough suppressants such as syrups and lozenges.  'I was looking for something that was easy to find, easy to do...even though I know...that this is not good, that this is wrong,' said Shannon, whose story about abusing dextromethorphan as a teenager appears on the Partnership for a Drug-Free America website.  It is that ease that may be the biggest problem."
Read More

New research predicts likelihood of being bully, victim

USA Today (online) July 8:

"Bullies and their victims may have more in common than you'd think.  Children and teens who have poor problem-solving skills are more at risk of becoming bullies, victims or both than peers who don't have such difficulties, according to a new review of studies conducted over the past 30 years.  And those with academic problems are even more likely to become bullies, says the research, in the June issue of the journal School Psychology Quarterly out today."
Read More

1 of 8 stores cited by agents in underage drinking sting

Norwich Bulletin (Putnam, CT) July 8:

"Only one of eight stores that sell alcoholic beverages failed to comply with the law that prohibits sales to minors during a recent check by Putnam police and agents from the state Department of Consumer Protection, Liquor Control unit, police announced Thursday."
Read More

Metro Taxi Scores Triple-Header in 2010 Marketplace Honors (West Haven, CT) June 17:

"Metro Taxi plays an active role in the many communities it serves by sponsoring youth activities, neighborhood events, holiday toy and food drives and supporting local educational and health initiatives. Additionally, Metro Taxi has built robust community partnerships with the American Red Cross and The Governor’s Prevention Partnership that help build and sustain healthy communities.  'Bill and Isabelle bring their personal values and goals to work with them, and both Metro Taxi and their community have benefited,' said Jill Spineti, president and CEO of The Governor’s Prevention Partnership, a statewide nonprofit serving youth. 'We are pleased to be a community partner with Metro Taxi and value the Scalzi’s creativity, generosity and commitment to prevention of underage drinking and helping to keep our kids safe, successful and drug free.'"
Read More

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Summer offers teens more time for risk-taking

Daily Center Times (online) July 7:

"Summertime in Happy Valley is without a doubt one of the most pleasant times of the year. While summer is a great time for relaxing and taking it easy, parents can’t afford to ease up on expectations and monitoring. The long, lazy days without classes or homework mean more free time for kids of all ages. Unsupervised, unstructured time can result in an increase in risky behaviors. The problem of underage drinking reaches its peak in the summer. Early alcohol use has been linked to greater sexual risk-taking, academic difficulties, other substance use, and criminal or violent behavior. It also is the primary contributor to adolescent death from homicide and suicide in the United States..."
Read More

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Mentoring program yields higher grades for Oak Park students

Journal of Oak Park and River Forest (July 6) Oak Park, IL:

"The academy began in the 2008-2009 school year at the middle schools, targeting mainly at-risk African American boys. Officially called the Brothers Leadership Academy for Young Men, the program involves adults, both men and women, mentoring and tutoring students. This year, freshmen at OPRF who participated as eighth-graders also returned as mentors.  Among the goals for the middle-schoolers is learning how to respect adults and peers, and how to develop their own leadership skills. About a dozen students participated this year. The program is voluntary and filled through staff and parent referrals.  Though attendance fluctuated this year, the students who remained enrolled throughout had better GPAs than those who left, according to data compiled by the program."
Read More

Young people battle prescription drug addiction

St. Louis Today (July 7) St. Charles, MO:

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last year for the first time included a question about prescription drug abuse on its youth survey.  The results, reported last month, showed one in five in high school had, sometime in their lifetime, taken at least one prescription pill such as Oxycontin, Percocet, Vicodin, Adderall, Ritalin or Xanax not prescribed to them. Nearly one in 10 reported taking 10 or more...  'As a society we have decided it is not OK to drink or smoke, but prescription drugs are seen as the golden bullet...' Patterson said. 'They are seen as savior drugs, and people do not recognize some of the dangers that come from them. Many parents say they monitor the alcohol or cigarettes in the house, but how many times do you hear them say they monitor their medicine cabinets?'"
Read More

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mental Health Woes Plague 'Cyberbullies' and Their Victims

Health Day News (online) July 6:

"Teens who 'cyberbully' others via the Internet or cell phones are more likely to suffer from both physical and psychiatric troubles, and their victims are at heightened risk, too, a Finnish study finds. The survey of almost 2,500 teens found that more than 7 percent of teens bullied other teens online, about 5 percent were targets of this aggressive behavior, and 5.4 percent said they were both bullies and bullied. 'People may wonder how similar teens in Finland are to teens in the U.S., but national research that I recently published indicates that rates of traditional bullying and victimization from bullying are very similar among kids in both countries,' said Dr. Matthew Davis, an associate professor of pediatrics, internal medicine and public policy at the University of Michigan..."
Read More

Senior-Student Mentoring Can Be Great Win-Win

U.S. News (online) July 6:

"Effectively pairing senior volunteers with students is one of the big win-win opportunities in virtually every community in the country. There is great need in the schools, and it's gotten more acute during the recession...Enter a growing stream of retired folks who've enjoyed stable and successful careers, are loaded with skills and experience, and eager to give back to their local communities. What better match to make than between such retirees and students in need?...The Washington-based nonprofit has Experience Corps programs in 22 cities, with a total of about 2,000 senior volunteers and 20,000 students. The program works with younger students -- kindergarten through third grade -- and focuses its efforts on at-risk children in lower-income areas..."
Read More

Study: Underage drinking trips to ER spike in July 4 weekend

CNN (online) July 4:

"Hospital emergency room visits related to underage drinking nearly double during the July 4 holiday weekend, according to a federal study released this month. A report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration says that daily underage drinking-related visits are 87 percent higher during the holiday weekend than on an average day in July. The study estimates that there were 502 hospital emergency room visits involving alcohol use on an average day in July 2008..."
Read More

Friday, July 2, 2010

Teen Brain’s Uneven Development Explains Why Teens Act the Way They Do

Manhasset Press (Manhasset, NY) July 2

"'From early adolescence through their mid-20s, a teen’s brain develops somewhat unevenly, from back to front. This may help explain their endearingly quirky behavior but also makes them prone to risk-taking.'  The parts of the adolescent brain which develop first are those which control physical coordination, emotion and motivation. However, the part of the brain which controls reasoning and impulses - known as the Prefrontal Cortex - is near the front of the brain and, therefore, develops last. This part of the brain does not fully mature until the age of 25.  It’s as if, while the other parts of the teen brain are shouting, the Prefrontal Cortex is not quite ready to play referee. This can have noticeable effects on adolescent behavior."
Read More

Teens: Student's Suicide Didn't End Bullying

WCVB (Boston, MA) July 2

"Just months after 15-year-old Phoebe Prince committed suicide in South Hadley after relentless bullying, allegedly by other students, more teens are saying they're still being tormented.  The Prince case brought a lot of attention to South Hadley, and yet, at least six other students have since come forward saying they've been bullied, state prosecutors said."
Read More

Thursday, July 1, 2010

ER visits for underage drinkers soar

WTOP (Washington, DC) July 1

"The Drug Abuse Warning Network tracked emergency room visits for underage drinkers on a typical July day and compared them to daily emergency room visits over the three-day, July 4 weekend in 2008. The study involved hospitals across the country.  'We saw an 87 percent jump in the number of visits for underage drinking related incidents,' says Peter J. Delaney, director of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Office of Applied Studies."
Read More

Prescription Drug Abuse A Mounting Problem

Foster Folly News (Washington, DC) June 30

“'The National Drug Control Strategy provides a blueprint for reducing prescription drug abuse. Parents, law enforcement, the medical community, and all levels of government have a role to play in reducing prescription drug abuse,' Director Kerlikowske, of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), said.  In his testimony, Kerlikowske said that several recent studies show the startling increase in prescription drug abuse. The 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that in recent years the number of individuals who, for the first time, consumed prescription drugs for non-medical purposes exceeded the number of first-time marijuana users. Monitoring the Future, a study of youth attitudes and drug use, shows that seven of the top 10 drugs commonly reported abused by 12th graders are prescription drugs. And another study, the 2007 Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS), showed that from 1997 to 2007, there was a 400 percent increase in treatment admissions for individuals abusing prescription pain killers.  'More than 26,000 Americans died from unintentional drug overdoses in 2006, and prescription drugs – particularly opioid painkillers – are considered a major contributor to the total number of drug deaths,' Kerlikowske said."
Read More

McGruff the Crime Dog Celebrates His 30th Birthday With a Makeover

Marketwire (Arlington, VA) June 30

"The video represents a new way for McGruff to talk about bullying -- a pervasive issue for young people -- in an entertaining manner as part of NCPC's Circle of Respect initiative. To take the idea of bullying prevention further, NCPC developed the Circle of Respect to stop behaviors like bullying before they get out of hand. The recent cases of young people who have tragically ended their lives because they were so badly bullied, are yet another painful example that this is a real problem in America."
Read More