Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cyber-bullying Defies Traditional Stereotype

Fairfax.com (Fairfax, VA) September 1, 2001

"The advent of social networking sites and text messaging has allowed young girls the opportunity to take on a role traditionally reserved for boys, experts say. The girls have become bullies - or, more specifically, cyber-bullies."  Read more.

Experts say early detection is key to stopping bullying

World-Herald News Service (North Platte, NE) August 30, 2010

"Mood changes, unexplained headaches and stomachaches and no desire to go to school are all part of growing up, right? Not necessarily. They could be symptoms of bullying. Although a common issue, local experts say parents often aren't aware that it's happening to their kids."  Read more.

UMass cracks down on underage drinking

WWLP 22 (Amherst, MA) August 30, 2010
"Underage drinking is an issue on college campuses every year, and this year is no different....Last year UMass was awarded 10 thousand dollars in grant funding as part of the Underage alcohol enforcement  grant program.
This year, more than one hundred sixty thousand dollars will be available to municipal, college and university law enforcement agencies for cracking down on underage drinking."  Read more.

Monday, August 30, 2010

CT guide to prevent underage drinking

22News WWLP.com (Hartford, CT) August 28, 2010

"Connecticut officials are offering parents a free guide to preventing underage drinking and drug use as children return to school or head off to college.

The Governor's Prevention Partnership has released the free parent guide, which is available on the Internet at http://www.preventionworksct.org/parentguide. Read more

DRUG-USE PREVENTION: Clinton, Chester, Essex, Deep River get $250,000 federal grant

The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) August 28, 2010
"The First Selectman’s Task Force on Substance Abuse in Clinton and the Tri-Town Substance Abuse Prevention Council, which is comprised of Chester, Deep River and Essex, will each receive a $125,000 grant from the Drug Free Communities Support Program." Read more.


Friday, August 27, 2010

New Survey Shows Importance of MADD's Work to End Drunk Driving

PRNewswire-USNewswire (Dallas, TX) August 26, 2010
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today released a National Survey of Drinking and Driving Attitudes and Behaviors which shows that underage drinking remains a significant problem among America's youth and that when young people decide to combine drinking and driving, they do so after drinking heavily, suggesting that the younger kids start drinking alcohol, the more likely they are to become drunk drivers.  Read more.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

New law targets bullying in schools

Bedford Bulletin (Bedford, New Hampshire) August 25, 2010
"School is back in session, and with it comes a new law that aims to crack down on bullying among students. The bill, which went into effect July 1, revises the statute on pupil safety and violence prevention to include harassment, intimidation, bullying and cyber-bullying."  Read more


NAPSI, August 2010
"Parents of middle school children might not think they need to worry about the subject, but statistics show that about 10 percent of 12-year-olds say they've tried alcohol."  Read more.

Bullies on bullying: Why we do It

MSNBC.com, August 26, 2010
Envy, lack of parental attention, homosexuality among causes, new study reveals. "Bullies with the most hostility reported picking on kids because those kids were not good at sports. The most frequent bullying involved picking on students they perceived to be gay or lesbian, a result that agrees with another recent study on bullying."  Read more.

Bullying crackdown at Mass. schools

NECN (Worcester, MA) August 25, 2010
"The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is asking school districts across the state to have an anti-bullying plan in their curriculum."  Read more

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Challenge of prescription drug abuse 'is being met head-on'

NewsTimes.com (Danbury, CT) August 24, 2010:

"Although prescription drug abuse among teens continues to be a challenge, that challenge is being met head-on in the Greater Danbury area and across the state...As part of its collaboration with The Governor's Prevention Partnership, the Housatonic Valley Coalition Against Substance Abuse has a new resource to aid in awareness-raising -- the DVD program 'Tackling Prescription Drug Abuse Among Connecticut's Youth.' This statewide program was presented by The Governor's Prevention Partnership, Comcast, Purdue Pharma and A&E."
Read more

State takes tough stance on bullying

Boston Herald.com (Boston, MA) August 25, 2010:

"In the wake of two youth suicides blamed on torment by classmates, the state yesterday released a model plan to help local officials craft their own policies to combat bullying.  'The release of this model plan is an important step toward changing school climates and fostering an environment of respect, but the important work of implementation remains ahead of us,' said state Rep. Martha Walz, co-chairwoman of the Joint Committee on Education and author of the anti-bullying legislation. 'The true success of this model plan will be measured in how well schools successfully prevent bullying.'"
Read more

Milton a 'No Bully Zone'

Standard Journal (Milton, PA) August 25, 2010:

"The Milton Area School District is officially a 'No Bully Zone.' Katie Kling, a first-grade teacher at Baugher Elementary School, is spearheading the district’s Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, which will be enacted in the elementary schools this year. 'The idea of this program is to change the element for the school. To make it a safer and more exciting place for the kids to be,' Kling said."
Read more

After teenager's fatal crash, friend faces alcohol charge

Boston Globe (Boston, MA) August 25, 2010:

"A Sudbury teenager faces a criminal charge after he hosted a party and provided alcohol to another local teen, who died after crashing his car hours later, police said yesterday. Timothy Jarrett, 19, was charged with knowingly allowing a minor to possess alcohol on his property, under a provision known as the social host law."
Read more

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

State bullying workshop set for next month

The News-Times (Danbury, CT) August 23:

"Danbury area residents who work with children are invited to the Center for Children's Advocacy's first workshop of the 2010-11 season, 'Bullying: Protecting Our Children and Youth' Sept. 29 from 8:30 to 10:15 a.m. in Starr Hall, Room 204, at the University of Connecticut School of Law in West Hartford.  The workshop will define the law, tell how to report bullying behaviors, and provide resources for attorneys, educators and advocates."
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Text tip line set up in W. Bridgewater to stop bullying

WHDH (West Bridgewater, MA) August 23:

"Parents and students in West Bridgewater will now be able to alert police and administrators about bullying by sending a text message.  'It’s a 21st century way for the kids to get a note to the principal,' said Dr. Patricia Oakley, the Superintendent of West Bridgewater Schools.  'You need to have a place where kids can report things. It has to be easier for kids to report, and kids are just comfortable texting,' said Officer Ken Thaxter of the West Bridgewater Police Department."
Read More

New anti-bullying plan includes cell phone search

Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Oak Harbor, WA) August 23:

"Oak Harbor school principals may start looking through cell phones as a way to crack down on cyber-bullying, but some students and their parents in the Island County school district say the proposed policy is an invasion of privacy... The district wants principals to confiscate and search electronic devices when they suspect students may be using their phones to harass others through e-mails, text messages or photos.  The policy would extend to messages and images sent outside of school hours if that content was then shared during school."
Read More

Teen Burn Victim Speaks Out Against Bullying

AOL News (Deerfield Beach, FL) August 23:

"Michael Brewer says it's not wise to try to take care of a bully on your own.  Nearly a year after three of his classmates allegedly poured rubbing alcohol over him and set him on fire, the Florida teen is speaking out against bullies. He has some friendly advice for anyone who is being harassed by other kids: Tell an adult.  'If you try to take it on yourself, they're going to do something even worse -- or kill you,' Brewer told ABC News in an interview broadcast today."
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UNK Today: Ugly campaign planned

Kearney Hub (Kearney, NE) August 20:

"A bride looks furious as a bridesmaid lies on a table, her head in the wedding cake, passed out after drinking too much.  'When you were 3, sleeping through parties was cute, but it ain’t so cool at 23.'  The image and slogan are part of the 'It Ain’t Pretty' campaign, which aims to take real-life situations, such as the wedding scene, and turn them into lessons to deter students from binge drinking."
Read More

Darien teen charged for underage drinking party

Darien Times (Darien, CT) August 23:

"The 17-year-old girl who lived at the Indian Spring Trail home told police her parents were away, and she admitted to drinking alcohol and inviting friends over, police said.  She told police that people began showing up uninvited and the alcohol had been brought to the party by others, police said. The girl, whose name was not released because she’s a minor, was charged with providing alcohol to minors."
Read More

States struggle to slow prescription drug abuse

Stateline.org (online) August 24:

"In the past decade, prescription drug abuse has soared to new levels. A recent White House study found a 400 percent increase in abuse from 1998 to 2008. Other experts cite the doubling of prescription drug-related emergency room visits from 2004 to 2008.  And the problem continues to escalate nationally, despite prescription drug monitoring programs already running in 33 states. Meanwhile, nine other states have passed legislation to establish such programs, but because of budget problems, they can’t find the money to get them started, according to the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws."
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YMCA of Greater Cincinnati one of five Ys nationally to implement new mentoring program

Soapbox Cincinnati (Cincinnati, OH) August 24:

"The YMCA of Greater Cincinnati is one of six Ys across the nation that will implement a new Mentoring Program that will replicate the successful Building Futures program at the San Francisco Y.  The San Francisco Program is geared toward at-risk kids aged 6-18. It's an intensive, hands-on program that pairs mentees and mentors one-to-one for an average of two hours a week for one year. The program helps children cope with issues like low self-esteem, peer and family conflict, academic problems and decision-making skills. Mentees are referred from schools and other YMCA programs...  Mentors will undergo 15 hours of training over four weeks in understanding cultural/social development, youth culture and risk factors. Mentors will also have ongoing support by a YMCA mentoring coordinator and the YMCA Mentoring Resource Center and have access to other support through optional monthly mentor support meetings. YMCA mentors will meet with their mentees weekly for a year either at their local YMCA branch (they will have free use of the branches during their visits) or at the student’s school."
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Monday, August 23, 2010

Hammond: Michigan has tried a lower drinking age

Lansing State Journal (Hammond, MI) August 23:

"Michigan's legal drinking age was lowered in the 1970s to 18, but the problems that followed were so great that voters adopted a constitutional amendment to return the legal drinking age to 21 - a standard that is now in effect in all 50 states...  Advocates of a lower drinking age frequently argue that kids in European nations have the opportunity of learning to drink moderately at home, an advantage denied American teens.  However, it is a myth that European kids are more moderate and responsible than their American counterparts. A recent survey of 15- and 16-year-olds from 35 European nations showed that every nation except Turkey had a higher rate of binge drinking than that of the United States."
Read More

Massachusetts Strengthens State’s Prescription Monitoring Program

GovMonitor (Boston, MA) August 23:

"Recognizing that at least 9,000 residents are suspected of engaging in 'doctor shopping' annually, the program will now be able to provide comprehensive prescription history reports to prescribers and pharmacists through an electronic system available in real time.  The law also broadens the scope of the Prescription Monitoring Program. Currently, the program only monitors the prescribing and dispensing of Schedule II controlled substances; however, with this statute and the Massachusetts Public Health Council’s unanimous approval of updated regulations on August 11th, the Program will now monitor all federally controlled substances, including Schedules II through V, prescribed by professionals licensed to prescribe."
Read More

Friday, August 20, 2010

Educators To Use Anti-Bullying Software

WCVB TV (South Hadley, MA) August 20:

"School officials in South Hadley said the new software targets bullies before it's too late. Resident Ed Wall, a graduate of the school whose father taught there for 30 years, funded a startup company that developed the software.  With it, users can go online and report a bullying incident that will be quickly sent to the cell phone of a school administrator. Anyone can access the site through a link on the school or town websites. It can be done using names or anonymously."
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Economic Background Influences Type of Teen Deliquency

Psych Central (Newburyport, MA) August 19:

"A teen’s economic background influences choices regarding sexual behavior and alcohol consumption.  New research suggests that youths from low-income backgrounds are more likely to begin having sex at younger ages, while teens from families with middle-class income may begin drinking earlier."
Read More

Gangs and drugs prevalent in public schools, survey finds

Los Angeles Times (Washington, DC) August 20:

"More than a quarter of public middle and high school students say both gangs and drugs are present at their campuses, according to a survey released Thursday by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University.  Those roughly 5.7 million students nationwide are also more likely than their counterparts at private and religious schools to smoke, drink and use drugs, said Joseph A. Califano Jr., chairman and founder of the center, which has been surveying youth for the last 16 years.  Califano said the survey illustrated 'a trajectory of tragedy for millions of children and their parents.'  Forty-six percent of teens report gangs at public schools, compared with just 2% of teens at private and religious schools. Forty-seven percent of public school teens said drugs are used, stored or sold at school, compared with 6% of private school students."
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DEA Heads First-ever Nationwide Prescription Drug Take-back Day

Fort Bend Now (Fort Bend, IN) August 19:

"The Drug Enforcement Administration and government, community, public health and law enforcement partners today announced a nationwide prescription drug 'Take-Back' initiative that seeks to prevent increased pill abuse and theft.  The DEA will be collecting potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs for destruction at sites nationwide from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 25. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked."
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Victims of bullying suffer academically as well, psychologists report

Physorg.com (online) August 20:

"The UCLA study was conducted with 2,300 students in 11 Los Angeles-area public middle schools and their teachers. Researchers asked the students to rate whether or not they get bullied on a four-point scale and to list which of their fellow students were bullied the most — physically, verbally and as the subject of nasty rumors.  A high level of bullying was consistently associated with lower grades across the three years of middle school. The students who were rated the most-bullied performed substantially worse academically than their peers. Projecting the findings on grade-point average across all three years of middle school, a one-point increase on the four-point bullying scale was associated with a 1.5-point decrease in GPA for one academic subject (e.g., math) — a very large drop."
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

New Law Requires Pharmacies in Massachusetts to Carry Rx Lock Boxes

PR Newswire (Los Angeles, CA) August 18:

"On August 9, 2010, Massachusetts passed Chapter 283 of the Acts of 2010, adding Safeguards to the Prescription Monitoring Program and furthering Substance Abuse Education and Prevention. Section 11 of the act requires all pharmacies in Massachusetts that dispense schedule II, III, IV, or V prescription drugs to make available lock boxes for sale at each location... To help pharmacies comply with the new law, Rx Locker, a lock box designed by renowned addiction expert Dr. Drew Pinsky to secure prescription medications within the home, is offering all pharmacies a special compliance package."
Read More

Alcohol-energy drink craze fueling concern

The Gainesville Sun (Gainesville, FL) August 18:

"The latest drinking craze on college campuses - and even at high school parties - is what many experts call a dangerous mix of caffeinated energy drinks and alcohol. Roberts said the drinks create a 'triad of problems,' by combining students, whose decision-making skills are underdeveloped, with alcohol, which impairs good decision-making, and caffeine, which simply makes them alert, but not quick to react.  'It's something that we're aware of, particularly in a college town,' Roberts said. 'It destroys your coordination and judgment.'   Which leads some people to actually get behind the wheel of a car."
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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Newtown teen's death sounds alarm about substance abuse risks

The News-Times (Newtown, CT) August 15:

"The death of a 17-year-old Newtown High School student on Memorial Day weekend, after she apparently took an unfamiliar hallucinogen at a small party in Monroe, has been a wake-up call to adults fighting teen substance abuse.  Dimethyltryptamine, or DMT, the drug Danielle Jacobsen is suspected of ingesting before she was found dead in a condominium complex pond, is not one police believe is plentiful, or popular, in this area... So what is the legacy of this tragedy?  Law enforcement and substance abuse specialists said it is crucial for parents, educators, and civic leaders to be aware drug experimentation is not limited to one social group or another. Parents need to know their teens' whereabouts, keep medications locked away and talk with other parents about their child's activities, friends and attitudes, they said."
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Gov. Culver: Announces educational campaign to prevent synthetic marijuana use

IowaPolitics.com (Des Moines, IA) August 16:

"'This campaign’s goal is to make Iowa parents aware of a new substance and its potentially harmful effects, and to urge them to talk with their kids to prevent the use of products such as K2,' Culver said. 'Emergency action last month by the Pharmacy Board to ban synthetic marijuana sales in Iowa was an important step, but since K2 may still be available through other means, education is required.' ... 'When informed, parents can have a great deal of influence when it comes to youth making healthy choices,' said Tom Newton, Director of the Iowa Department of Public Health. 'These messages will help parents learn more about K2, so they can add it to the mix when talking with their teenagers about substance abuse.'"
Read More

Underage drinking: Parents who play host are wrong

Patriot-News (Harrisburg, PA) August 17:

"A 2005 study conducted by the American Medical Association reported that about one-third of all teens said it was easy to obtain alcohol from their parents. That figure jumps to 40 percent when it comes to getting alcohol from a friend’s parent. In addition, one out of four teens said he had attended a party where minors were drinking in front of parents.  Problems also occur if one parent says 'no' to serving alcohol while their child’s friends’ parents do not. Studies show that when another says 'yes' then the teens who want to drink hang out at that house.  Pennsylvania is throwing a spotlight on the problem as it seems to be growing. State and community-funded campaigns, including new billboards and posters in public places, warn parents they will be prosecuted if they supply alcohol to minors."
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Monday, August 16, 2010

More young teens abusing prescription drugs, experts say

The News-Times (Danbury, CT) August 15:

"Cases of young teens abusing prescription drugs are increasing.  According to Fran Carino, a supervisory assistant state's attorney and veteran juvenile prosecutor, young people don't understand that even if they are prescribed a drug but bring it to school in something other than its proper container, they can be arrested.  If they give a pill away they can be charged with distributing a controlled substance, Carino said.  'I can tell you anecdotally that there is an increase of those cases involving kids getting their hands on prescription drugs,' Carino said. 'I don't remember seeing these cases before, and that's a concern. It presents a different issue for the kids.'" 
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Prescription drug abuse in Danbury area is stealing lives

The News-Times (Danbury, CT) August 15:

"Ridgefield substance abuse therapist Liz Jorgensen is shocked that no one has hit the panic button yet over the latest drug abuse trends.  Statistics indicate prescription drug overdoses are killing nice kids from nice families in well-to-do communities all over the country.  Prescription drug use in Connecticut now kills more people under the age of 34 than car crashes, Jorgensen said, quoting a national study of figures from 2006 released this year.  Nationwide, 45,000 are killed in car crashes; 39,000 die from prescription drug overdoses, according to the study.  'Why isn't everybody freaking out?' asked Jorgensen, who owns Insight Counseling and leads educational seminars and workshops on substance abuse. 'It's terrifying.'"
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Dallas conference addresses high-tech bullies and ways to combat them

The Dallas Morning News (Dallas, TX) August 15:

"Beaux Wellborn, the co-founder of the Bully Suicide Project and moderator of the student panel, emphasized that bullying is far different for the youth of today because it extends beyond the school day and the school yard.  'Giving somebody a Facebook [account] today is like giving somebody the license to drive or a loaded gun because handled improperly ... you will lose your child,' he said.  The anonymity of cyberbullying can create an imbalance of power, said Kate Dodd, director of Youth Education and Prevention at The Family Place in Dallas. She also said such bullying can begin unintentionally through videos or pictures one person may find funny, but others find degrading."
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Police say it's peak time for teen drinking

The Patriot-News (Harrisburg, PA) August 16:

"With one month left in the peak season for illegal drinking, authorities are urging parents to take precautions so their homes don't wind up as headquarters for underage boozefests.  'You can never say, 'My child wouldn't do this' because more times than not, peer pressure can make kids do things they wouldn't normally do,' said Detective William Goodhart of the Middlesex Twp. police. Goodhart, who has served 26 years in law enforcement, advises parents to keep their ears open to what their kids are talking about.
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NIDA and Federal Partners to Launch National Drug Facts Week

NIDA Press Office (Washington, DC) August 16:

"Expanding on the success of its online Drug Facts Chat Day, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) today announced it is launching National Drug Facts Week, a new national awareness week designed to bring together teens and scientific experts to discuss the facts about drug abuse. NIDA is a component of the National Institutes of Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  'What we learned through our annual Web chat is that teens have many questions about drug use and are eager for objective, factual answers,' said NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow. 'So we wanted to build a series of events where teens could ask scientists their questions directly.'  The week, which starts on Monday, November 8, encourages community-based question and answer events between teens and scientists. Events can be sponsored by a variety of organizations, including schools, community groups, sports clubs, book clubs, and local hospitals. NIDA provides an online toolkit that advises teens and their sponsoring organizations on to how create an event, how to publicize it, how to find a scientific expert, and where to find scientific information on drugs."
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Federal officials aim to prevent bullying

eSchool News (Washington, DC) August 16:

"In day two of the federal Bullying Prevention Summit in Washington, D.C., policy experts from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and school leaders shifted their conversations from the scope of bullying across the country to the practical steps schools can take right now to help prevent bullying in the classroom.  While most of the sessions were helpful, federal officials were short on answers to questions about cyber bullying."
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Thursday, August 12, 2010

School bullying summit's big hope: an anti-bullying tipping point

The Christian Science Monitor (Boston, MA) August 11:

"In his opening remarks, Education Secretary Arne Duncan made clear that he sees addressing bullying – and the broader issues around ensuring that students feel safe and have a school free of disruptions – as integral to education policy. 'A school where children don’t feel safe is a school where children struggle to learn. It is a school where kids drop out, tune out, and get depressed,' said Secretary Duncan in his prepared remarks, dismissing the notion that bullying can be 'shrugged off' or is an elusive concept.  'Bullying is definable,' he said. 'Good prevention programs work to reduce bullying. And bullying is very much an education priority that goes to the heart of school performance and school culture.'"
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Home tour for parents to portray teen drinking

Enid News and Eagle (Enid, OK) August 11:

"The party is portrayed by local teen actors from church youth groups, Kingfisher’s Teens Awareness Group, Teens Need Teens and Gaslight Teens. The actors will act out scenes that could happen at a teen drinking party, including drinking games that encourage young people to drink dangerous amounts of alcohol in a short period of time, sexual promiscuity and law enforcement involvement.  The Reality Party’s mission is to educate parents about teen drinking because many adults believe drinking is a rite of passage and think drinking and parties are the same as when they were young, said Tammy Grantz, executive director of PreventionWorkz APRC."
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Study Finds NJ Parents Recognize Their Role In Drug Prevention

NJ Today (Trenton, NJ) August 12:

"The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey’s (PDFNJ) Center for Prevention Research (CPR) released the results of its 2010 Tracking Survey of Parents’ Attitudes & Behaviors Toward Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention which once again found that the more frequently a family has a meal together the more parents feel that their opinions have an influence in their child’s decision on whether to use drugs or alcohol.  The study also found that parents continue to see prescription drug abuse as a serious threat in New Jersey.  'The role of parents in their child’s decision to use and abuse drugs is once again confirmed through this recent research,' explained, Joseph A. Miele, chairman of PDFNJ. 'The 2010 Tracking Survey of Parents’ Attitudes & Behaviors Toward Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention shows that New Jersey parents, by the simple act of eating a meal with their child, are creating an environment for their children to feel comfortable about approaching them with discussions about drugs and alcohol.'
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Alcohol Ads Reach Fewer Young People

MedPage Today (Little Falls, NJ) August 12:
"Alcohol companies may have substantially cut down on the amount of magazine ads aimed at underage individuals in recent years -- but young people are still being overexposed to such ads -- especially those for beer, according to a new report."
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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cartoon Network Names Multi-Platform Bullying Prevention Campaign STOP BULLYING: SPEAK UP

Business Wire (Atlanta, GA) August 11:

"Cartoon Network, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS, Inc.), announced today further details of its multi-platform Bullying Prevention Campaign at the National Bullying Prevention Summit in Washington, DC. Speaking to an audience comprised of government officials, business leaders and leading educators of bullying prevention, Cartoon Network’s President and Chief Operations Officer Stuart Snyder unveiled the official title of the CAMPAIGN—STOP BULLYING: SPEAK UP—which will serve to educate and empower young bystanders to take action to reduce/prevent bullying. Bystanders represent the 75-85% of students in schools that witness incidents of bullying every year, whether on the playground, in the classroom, on the bus, on social media websites, or cell phones. The STOP BULLYING: SPEAK UP on-air and online CAMPAIGN will launch in October to coordinate with the fifth annual National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, sponsored by the National Center for Bullying Prevention.  As part of a larger commitment to the anti-bullying efforts, CNN, sister network to Cartoon Network, which has to date covered numerous stories about the rise and growing concern over bullying in America, will also recognize October Bullying Prevention Month by presenting an Anderson Cooper 360° Town Hall event the first week in October, along with the network’s previously announced month-long series of stories on the victims, perpetrators and root causes of bullying which will air across CNN and HLN. Renowned and award-winning journalist Anderson Cooper will welcome government and education leaders, parents groups and child behavioral experts from top universities and non-profit institutions to discuss the many issues and concerns surrounding bullying."
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Anorexia bullying settlement: first of its kind

Philadelphia Eating Disorder Examiner (Pittsburgh, PA) August 11:

"A federal judge has approved a settlement of $55,000 in a first-of-its-kind lawsuit by a woman who claims her daughter was bullied into anorexia. Mary V. filed the lawsuit against the Pittsburgh, Pa. Schools last August on behalf of her daughter, who is now 15. Her daughter cites daily harassment by boys during the 2006–07 and 2007–08 school years, when the girl was in sixth and seventh grade. The harassment involved unrelenting taunting about the girl’s weight, including comments about her being 'fat.' She subsequently developed anorexia, and entered an inpatient treatment program for because her weight was 'dangerously low.'"
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Changing Student Perceptions Can Reduce Alcohol Abuse

About.com (online) August 11:

"Many college students drink excessively because they believe 'everyone' is doing it. But when they find out that most students do not binge drink and the heavy drinkers are in the minority, they will reduce their own harmful drinking. When they discover that their behavior is not 'normal' they modify their behavior.  But how they receive this feedback can also make a difference in how students respond.  A lot of research shows that students tend to overestimate the amount of alcohol their peers drink. Therefore they think their own heavy drinking is 'normal' behavior.  A new study of 7,275 college students found that students who were given personal feedback either face-to-face or via the Internet about how much their peers actually consumed drank less often and indulged in less binge drinking that those who did not receive the information."
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Suburban Mentor Program Sows Seeds of Success

NBC Chicago (Aurora, IL) August 10:

"Boys to Men was founded at Aurora East High School in 2002, a year that saw 25 people in that city killed by violence.  The mentoring group's founder says the idea was spurred by emotion and anger.  'We realize that no matter what race you are, no matter what side of town you live on, every boy wants to become a man,' said Clayton Muhammad.  'We got so tired of going to funeral after funeral of young people, we should be going to graduation parties.'  In about eight years, Boys to Men has spread to a dozen suburban area schools and about 200 young men have been through the program. All of them graduated high school, and the majority went on to college or the military."
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Effective Web 2.0 strategies to support youth mentoring programs

Helium (online) August 10:

"Young adults today are known as 'digital natives' because they don’t remember a time before computers, cell phones and all the technology that rules our lives today. This makes them very comfortable with innovations such as Web 2.0. To engage the children and youth you are mentoring, try using some of the programs below.  All Web 2.0 programs are fun, but some can also help keep you and your mentees organized, or help with educational needs."
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As kids go off to college, parents hope they've done their job well

Atlanta Journal Constitution (Atlanta, GA) August 10:

"Gan and thousands of teary-eyed parents are bidding farewell to their wide-eyes teens heading to dorm rooms across the nation. Some worry whether the values and beliefs they’ve instilled in their children will be diluted by jungle juice and Jello shots amid the trappings of parties and peer pressure. College parties (and their companion, drinking), after all, are sometimes thought of as virtual rites of passage for freshmen students, most of whom are underage.  The drive to college should not be the first time parents talk to their children about partying and drinking, said Darnita Killian, vice president for student affairs at Spelman College. Conversations now should just reinforce the lessons that have been taught at home already, she said...  The first few weeks of college can be make-or-break times for neophyte students who find the transition difficult, according the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a Bethesda, Md., agency. Heavy drinking during the first six weeks of the semester can hinder a smooth transition to campus life, a contributing factor to why about one-third of first-year students fail to enroll for their second year, claims NIAAA."
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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Colleges Failing at Curbing Binge Drinking

About.com (online) August 10:

"A new survey shows that a majority of colleges ignored evidence-based government recommendations to cut down on excessive drinking by students.  In 2002, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) issued a detailed report, 'A Call to Action: Changing the Culture of Drinking at U.S. Colleges,' that outlined the seriousness of the college drinking problem and presented recommendations for prevention efforts which were based on scientific evidence for effectiveness."
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Studies Show Teen Media Consumption Up, Parents Losing Touch

"The increasing consumption of entertainment media, including television and the internet, by teenagers not only puts them at risk for poor academic performance, it also makes it harder for their parents to talk to them about the dangers of drug and alcohol use. Parents can reduce the risk of their teenagers ever experimenting with drugs and alcohol by 50 percent just by talking with them, but finding the time has become more challenging... 'These new findings present a unique opportunity for parents to play a more active role in what their kids are watching, monitor how they are spending their time online and remain aware of the impact all of this media consumption is having on their impressionable teens,' said Jill K. Spineti, President and CEO of The Governor's Prevention Partnership. 'We know that kids today are bombarded with pro-drug and drinking messages via everything from song lyrics, movies and video games to social networking sites. Videos of kids abusing cough medicine and common household products to get high are all too accessible online, and that's why it's more important than ever for parents to break through the media noise and make their voices heard.'"
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Monday, August 9, 2010

Bully bystanders: Are bystanders being hurt more than bullied victims?

NY Parenting Issues Examiner (New York, NY) August 8:

"The 'bystanders' said that they'd witnessed someone being bullied through name-calling, hitting or kicking, being ignored, having rumors spread about them or being pressured to smoke, drink or use drugs. One-third (34 per cent) said they'd been victims of bullying, while one in five (20 per cent) admitted being perpetrators, and many students fell into more than one of those categories.  The witnesses reported higher rates of depression, anxiety, and drug abuse than kids who are actual victims of bullying. Why does watching violence do such harm?"
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Hospital Emergency Department Visits Involving Underage Alcohol Use

Newswise (online) August 9:

"The new report shows that, in 2008, there were 188,981 alcohol-related visits to emergency departments by patients aged 12 to 20, accounting for about one third of the drug-related emergency department visits (32.9 percent) by this age group. According to the report, the majority of the emergency department visits in underage drinkers involved males -- 53.4 percent among those aged 12 to 17, and 62.1 percent among those aged 18 to 20.  The report further reveals that of the underage drinking emergency department visits, 70 percent involved alcohol alone while 30 percent involved alcohol in combination with other drugs. Of note, fifty-seven percent of these emergency department visits that involved alcohol combined with another drug, involved the use of marijuana. The report indicated that 17.8 percent of underage-drinking visits involving alcohol and drugs reported use of anti-anxiety drugs, 15.3 percent reported use of narcotic pain relievers, and 13.3 percent reported use of cocaine."
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Friday, August 6, 2010

Maniago, Bingham take part in Torrington's National Night Out

The Register Citizen (Torrington, CT) August 6:

"Residents in many Torrington neighborhoods participated in the National Night Out Crime and Drug Prevention event.  The event is in its 27th year and is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime efforts. The event also aims to strengthen neighborhood spirit as well as police and community partnerships."
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Prescription Nation: Why we should worry about the quiet epidemic of painkiller abuse.

Newsweek (online) August 6:

"But beyond the policy wonks, nobody seems to get how awful and scary this is. This isn’t about taking one of your friend’s Vicodins when your back goes out. This is about millions of young people who think that because painkillers are prescribed, they’re safe. And if they’re safe, adolescent minds reason, they’re safe in any quantity or combination. What that shocking 400 percent statistic doesn’t begin to tell you are the rising numbers of addictions, overdoses and deaths that result from opioid abuse—all of which have risen exponentially over the same 10 years....The old 'just say no' approach won’t work here. Prescription drugs, like alcohol, aren’t illegal—millions of them are lawfully prescribed and appropriately and gratefully used to relieve pain every year. So law enforcement can’t solve this problem alone."
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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Princeton Review's Top Party School List Rankles Administrators

Suite101 (online) August 4:

"The 2010 list of top party schools published by the Princeton Review may help prospective students decide on 'the ultimate college experience,' as one blog post put it, but the list continues to garner the consternation of university administrators and college health care personnel. The American Medical Association has repeatedly asked the editors of the Princeton Review to discontinue the listing and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has published sobering statistics on the results of college binge drinking, or 'episodic drinking.' University administrators view the top party school list as unscientific and a misrepresentation of their institutions."
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Legal Drug That Mimics Marijuana Grows In Popularity

KFOX 14 (El Paso, TX) August 4:

"Spice contains a synthetic component that mimics THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.  It can be purchased legally online or at smoke shops, and it’s undetectable in drug tests.  Eugene Flournoy, the program coordinator for teen substance abuse services at Aliviane, said he’s familiar with K2, which is basically a name-brand of the drug spice... He said the active ingredient that mimics THC makes K2 so dangerous because it is about 100 times more potent than THC."
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WCSD: Prescription drug use on the rise; we're trying to combat it

My News 4 (Reno, NV) August 5:

"Americans in this day and age are now prescribed more medications than ever. And kids are finding them. According to statistics I obtained from the district, about 70 percent of teens get prescription pills easily, many of those pills are stolen from friends and relatives.  Just ask the teens themselves... 'It's easy to get because all you have to do is -- if your parents aren't home -- get it from the medicine cabinet,' said 8th grader Chase Crowley... So what is the district doing about it? For starters, it's involving students in its own anti-pill message. Students produced and acted in this DVD for their peers. It educates students about the consequences of taking and mixing pills. From trouble breathing to vomiting to hospitalization. Video of Heath Ledger and Michael Jackson show the ultimate price of pill abuse.  And also Included in the DVD are the distraught parents of a 15 year old son who died from a methadone overdose."
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Mentoring program gives hope to children of inmates

Star Advertiser (Oahu, HI) August 5:

"Keiki o Ka Aina is trying to make things less difficult for children growing up with parents behind bars by using volunteers from the community to spend time doing activities with the kids... Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents has more than 150 4- to 16-year-olds and mentors across Oahu.  A recent outing at the boxcar racing track in Kunia brought caregivers, mentors and the children together in a monthly activity for the children to meet other children who might be experiencing the similar feelings of loss and sadness."
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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Booklet offers Wilton parents tips on teen substance abuse

The Hour (Wilton, CT) August 3:

"'This booklet is educational in nature and is for every parent and/or grandparent to hang onto,' said Fawcett. 'The booklet has a lot of good information in it, things that parents really can use.'  Fawcett said that the Teen Booklet for Parents covers various topics on teens abusing alcohol and drugs including; why kids use and don't use, negative effects of substance abuse, signs and symptoms, parties on the social scene, beyond high school and legal consequences."
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New Findings Imply Exercise in Adolescence May Help Prevent Drug Abuse

ECN Magazine (Upton, NY) August 4:

"Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory have shown that daily physical exercise during adolescence decreases cocaine-seeking behavior in young adult rats. These results indicate that physical activity during adolescence may protect against cocaine abuse later in life. The researchers also found a gender disparity: In both exercising and sedentary animals, females exhibited more cocaine preference than males. The results will appear in the July 2010 issue of Behavioral Brain Research, now available online.  'This is a first step in trying to understand the connection between exercise and substance abuse,' said lead author Panayotis (Peter) Thanos, a neuroscientist with Brookhaven Lab and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) Laboratory of Neuroimaging. 'We want to see how manipulating exercise will impact susceptibility to drug abuse and addiction.'"
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U-M study: Pep talk to teens in the ER reduced violence, alcohol misuse

University of Michigan Health System (Ann Arbor, MI) August 3:

"A brief, motivational talk in the emergency room reduced by half the chances that teenagers would experience peer violence or problems due to drinking, according to a study published Aug. 4 in a theme issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association... 'The study tells us that technology can aid in assisting high-risk youth in busy clinical settings, as well as deliver important prevention messages,' says Cunningham who is also an associate professor of emergency medicine at the U-M Medical School and associate professor of health behavior & health education at the U-M School of Public Health. 'Emergency staff are busy and not all hospitals have the resource of a social worker or therapist present at all times in the emergency department.'"
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More substance abuse by immigrant children

UPI (Rockville, MD) August 4:

"Children of Hispanic-Americans adults born outside the United States have much higher levels than their parents of substance abuse, health officials say.  A study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration finds 37.2 percent of Hispanic-Americans who immigrated to the United States say they participated in binge drinking during the past month, while past-month binge drinking among U.S. born Hispanic-American adults is 57.7 percent."
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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Cravings, Emotions Use Same Part of Brain

WebMD Health News (online) August 2:

"Researchers at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., wanted to evaluate what was going on in the brains of smokers when they were asked to perform a task designed to test how cravings are regulated, meaning whether patients refrained from what they knew wasn’t good for them or if they succumbed to the craving... Substance abuse is a major public health problem. In the United States, about 43 million Americans or 20% of U.S. adults smoke, and 8% of people age 12 and older have used an illicit drug in the previous month, according to the CDC. The results suggest that cravings involve neural dynamics parallel to those regulating emotions,the authors say."
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State Police Seize 4,000 Bags Of Heroin

Hartford Courant (Fairfield, CT) August 2:

"Arturo Diaz... and Irving Colon... were charged with conspiracy to commit possession of narcotics, conspiracy to commit possession of narcotics with intent to sell, conspiracy to commit possession of narcotics within 1500 feet of a school, conspiracy to commit possession of narcotics with intent to sell within 1500 feet of a school and criminal attempt to commit sale of narcotics, Connecticut State Police Lt. J. Paul Vance said in a press release."
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Kids and drugs: Awareness is key for parents

Abilene Reporter News (Abilene, TX) August 2:

"'Social media brings in a whole new element to the whole thing because kids like to brag about what they’ve done and put that out there,' said Melanie Seals, director of prevention and intervention services with the Abilene Regional Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse. 'Parents need to make sure they’re not turning a blind eye.' But Seals and others who track such issues in Abilene say some parents often are willingly part of the problem.  It’s now not uncommon, Seals said, for parents to view underage drinking as a rite of passage, even offering teens a 'safe' haven to engage in such activities.  'They think that as long as they take away the keys and they’re (youths) staying here at the house, it’s OK,' she said.  Such activities can have hefty legal consequences, not just for underage drinkers but for parents, too."
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YMCA program pairs troubled kids with adult mentors

Marin Independent Journal (Marin, CA) August 2:

"The program matches adult mentors like Brown with at-risk youths aged 6 to 16 whose family, friends, teachers or counselors have identified as dealing with low self-esteem, social isolation, family problems, poor academics or other difficulties. Participants agree to spend at least one to three hours a week with their young person, sharing favorite activities, listening and offering help and support where it's appropriate."
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Monday, August 2, 2010

Underage drinking message now airing on radio

New Haven Register (Cheshire, CT) August 2:

The town’s Coalition to Stop Underage Drinking is taking its message to the airwaves.  The group has spent about $5,000 in grant money to pay for three weeks worth of public service announcements that have begun running on radio station WHCN (105.9 FM), said Michelle Piccerillo, the town’s director of Youth and Social Services... 'It’s part of a social marketing campaign designed to reach to the parents of teenagers to remind them that not only is it illegally for teenagers to drink, it’s dangerous,' Piccerillo said."
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Different attitudes require different treatments

Newark Advocate (Newark, OH) August 2:

"Just as teen boys and girls have different attitudes about substance abuse, drug treatment facilities use different strategies to help them, said Patrick Evans, president and CEO of Behavioral Healthcare Partners of Central Ohio.  For many years, drug treatment facilities treated men and women the same. But in recent years, many programs use different techniques for the two sexes.  'You always have to be looking at the individual,' Evans said. 'But being male or female does impact the treatment approach.'"
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Emotional cost of bullying made worse by genetic makeup, experts claim

BioNews (online) August 2:

"Scientists have found evidence to support a relationship between genetic make-up and emotional response to childhood bullying.  The study assessed 2,232 British children for variants of the 5-HTT gene that encodes for a serotonin transporter. After pre-bullying problems and other risk factors were taken into account, results showed that variation in the gene moderated the development of emotional problems following bullying.  If children who were frequently bullied also carried the SS variant of the gene, they were found to be at greater risk of developing emotional problems at age twelve than were children with SL or LL variants."
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Coventry store cited for sale of alcohol to a minor

ShorelinePlus.com (Coventry, CT) August 2:
"On Saturday, July 31st, agents from the Department’s Division of Liquor Control and officers from the Coventry Police Department partnered to conduct compliance checks of local businesses that sell liquor.  Twelve locations were tested and one (1) failed by selling to an 18 year-old volunteer trained and provided by the Governor’s Prevention Partnership."
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