Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Health department takes shots at binge drinking

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

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

More teens getting dangerous prescriptions

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

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

Senate seeks to change drinking norms with marketing campaign

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 29, 2010

Inside the bullied brain

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

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

Hall High School stands up against bullying

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

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

MTV Launches Site To Combat Cyber-Bullying

NY1 (New York, NY) November 25, 2010

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

How Family Dinners with Young Children Could Help Curb Bullying

The Huffington Post, November 26, 2010

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

Danbury kids walk all over bullying

CTNews.com (Danbury, CT) November 26, 2010

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

Mentors: Showing children the way

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

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

Connecticut State Police to employ Operation CARE over Thanksgiving weekend

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

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

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How Parents Can Prevent Bullying

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Operation Sticker Shock to Help Curb Underage Drinking

Action3News.com (Wahoo, NE) November 22, 2010

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

Official: Schools can’t tackle bullies on their own

Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) November 22, 2010

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

Bullying Conference Displays Pain, Explores Remedies

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

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

Monday, November 22, 2010

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

USA Today, November 20, 2010

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

Holiday no excuse for unsupervised youth parties

Hometownlife.com, November 21, 2010

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

OUR VIEW: A new kind of bullying

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

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

Family critical in smoking prevention

Onenewsnow.com (California) November 19, 2010

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

Why Bully Victims Suffer in Silence

Fox News, November 19, 2010

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

Outreach, Enforcement Can Curb College Kids' Drinking: Study

USNews.com - HealthDay News, November 19, 2010

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

Friday, November 19, 2010

Westbrook looks at ways to discourage underage drinking

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

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

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Use Science to Convince Teens Sober Holidays are Better

Businesswire.com (Washington) November 17, 2010

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

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

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

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

Safe Communications Inc. Launches New Anti-Bullying Site, AnonymousTips.com

PRNewswire.com (Scottsdale, AZ) November 18, 2010

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

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

FDA threatens to seize alcoholic energy drinks

Chicagobreakingbusiness.com, November 17, 2010

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

Drug, Alcohol Youth Survey Results Presented to Community

Lymeline.com (Old Lyme, CT) November 16, 2010

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

Bi-partisan N.J. anti-bullying legislation moves toward State Senate floor vote

Newjerseynewsroom.com (New Jersey) November 15, 2010

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

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

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Binge drinking could hurt teens later in life

MSNBC.com, November 15, 2010

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

Prescription drug abuse on the rise in the United States

Payson Roundup, November 16, 2010

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

No more caffeine alcohol drinks for Connecticut

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

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

Monday, November 15, 2010

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

Chicago Tribune (Chicago, IL) November 10, 2010

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

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

Akira News, November 14, 2010

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

Cyber-Bullying Education Needs to Start Earlier

The Huffington Post, November 12, 2010

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

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

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

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

Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools: Who is Kevin Jennings?

AllGov.com, November 13, 2010

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

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

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Students feel conduct codes fail to deter illegal behavior

Inkling News (Staples, CT) November 12, 2010

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

Friday, November 12, 2010

Multi-Leveled Interventions Can Change College Drinking Culture

ConsumerAffairs.com, November 12, 2010

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

More Students Abstain from Alcohol, Feel More Connected

Trumbull Patch (Trumbull, CT) November 11, 2010

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

Non-Medical Rx Use More Common Among 'Rural' than 'City' Teens

CADCA.org, November 3, 2010

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

Thursday, November 11, 2010

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

Fairfield Weekly.com (Fairfield, CT) November 11, 2010

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

Trumbull Fights Alcohol Abuse With Safety Training Class

Trumbull Patch (Trumbull, CT) November 7, 2010

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

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Concerns prompt URI to ban malt drinks laced with caffeine

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

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

High Carcinogen Levels Seen in Kids Living With Smokers

HealthDay News, November 9, 2010

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

Kids pick up on parents' stress, survey finds

USA Today, November 9, 2010

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

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fighting Bullying With Babies

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

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

Hyper-networking: A new teen health risk category?

CNET News (Portland, Ore) November 9, 2010

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

Prescription Drug Abuse: When Legal Prescriptions Become Illegal Drugs

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

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

Michigan bans alcohol-infused energy drinks

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

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

RI educators hold online anti-bullying forum

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

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

Monday, November 8, 2010

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

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

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

15 minutes a day can change a child's life

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

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

Parents being surveyed about teen alcohol, drug use

The Day.com (New London, CT) November 4, 2010

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

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Doctors, students become 'pen pals' with MGH mentoring program

Boston.com (Boston, MA) November 3, 2010

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

'Party Mom' sent to jail

The Reporter (Norristown, PA) November 3, 2010

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

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

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Proposition 19: California rejects marijuana legalization measure

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

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

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Rural Adolescents More Likely Than Urban Ones to Abuse Prescription Drugs

Internal Medicine News (United States) November 2, 2010

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

Monday, November 1, 2010

Group Hopes Survey Aids Fight Against Youth Substance Abuse

The Hartford Courant.com (Southington, CT) October 31, 2010

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

Caffeine and Alcohol: Wham! Bam! Boozled.

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

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

Parents and Students Collaborate for Community Conversation on Teen Drinking

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

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

Teens turning to prescription drugs to manage daily lives

newstimes.com (Danbury, CT) October 28, 2010

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

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

Norwich Bulletin (Norwich, CT) October 29, 2010

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

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

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

WiltonPatch.com (Wilton, CT) October 28, 2010

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

Agency Gets Grant Toward Reducing Underage Drinking - Enfield Coalition Receives $320,000 From State

CTnow.com (Enfield, CT) October 29, 2010

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

How dangerous is popular alcohol-infused energy drink?

3KSN.com (Wichita, Kansas) October 29, 2010

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