Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fighting underage drinking

Connecticut Post (Fairfield, CT) December 29, 2010

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

Mentoring Children of Prisoners: Mentor, role model, friend

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

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

Underage Drinking Hits Hospitals at New Year

ABC News (Chicago, IL) December 30, 2010

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

Griswold takes aim at drug crime

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

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

Monday, December 27, 2010

SWAT Team Swarms Bar, Demands to See Alcohol Permit

Network World, December 27, 2010

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

Adults surveyed on underage drinking

Norwich Bulletin (Windham, CT) December 24, 2010

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

Mentoring program breaks the stereotype

The Hour (Norwalk, CT) December 25, 2010

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

Parenting Style Plays Key Role In Teen Drinking

NPR, December 27, 2010

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

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bill aims to curb underage drinking party buses

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

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

Involve students in stopping bullying

CNN (Atlanta, GA) December 22, 2010

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

New Hartford recreation department to host bullying prevention program in February

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

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

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Program discourages underage drinking

The Boston Globe, December 16, 2010

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

Presidential Proclamation--Mentoring Month

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

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

SERAC survey is under way

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

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

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Teens raise awareness about teen suicide and bullying

NECN (Boston, MA) December 21, 2010

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

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

The Huffington Post, December 17, 2010

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

Troopers, Deep River Residents Target Underage Drinking

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

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

Monday, December 20, 2010

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

US News Health, December 16, 2010

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

Friday, December 17, 2010

How you can prevent, identify and help stop bullying

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

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

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

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

On pause from governing, mayor mentors Stratford youth

CT Post (Stratford, CT) December 16, 2010

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

Thursday, December 16, 2010

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

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

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Staples students help educate peers about cyber bullying dangers

Westport News (Westport, CT) December 15, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

Drinking Teens – Serious Consequences for Parents

Akira News, December 14, 2010

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

The Partnership at Responds to 2010 Monitoring the Future Study Results

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

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

Teen marijuana use up, alcohol use down

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

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

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Latest designer drug akin to cocaine

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

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

Monday, December 13, 2010

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

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

New legislation also targets cyberbullying

Eagle-Tribune (Merrimack Valley) December 12, 2010

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

State Police launch holiday enforcement program

Westport News (Westport, CT) December 11, 2010

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

East Haven Groups Address Underage Drinking

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 10, 2010

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

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

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Marijuana Write-Ups Spike

The Mirror (Fairfield, CT) December 8, 2010

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

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

FoxCT (New Haven, CT) December 8, 2010

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

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

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

'Sociable Kidz' program helps vulnerable children combat bullying

CNN, December 9, 2010

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

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

PR Newswire December 9, 2010

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

Our view: Adult enablers hurt teens

The Joplin Globe, December 9, 2010

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

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Smokeless tobacco picking up steam

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

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

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

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

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

Alcohol Energy Drinks: There's More You Should Know

The Huffington Post, December 6, 2010

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

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

Monday, December 6, 2010

As Bullies Go Digital, Parents Play Catch-Up

New York Times, December 4, 2010

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

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

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

Students take teen drinking prevention to the web

CT Post (Stratford, CT) December 4, 2010

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

Friday, December 3, 2010

Connecticut Bans Four Loko Beverage Sales

Inklings News (Staples, CT) December 3, 2010

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

Drug, alcohol abuse prevention program receives funding

Wilton Villager (Wilton, CT) December 3, 2010

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

More effort need to combat underage drinking

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

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

Tips To Keep Prescription Drugs Out Of The Wrong Hands

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

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

Peer Pressure and Alcohol: a Difficult Combination for Many Teens

Akira News, December 2, 2010

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

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fighting Binge Drinking on Campus? It Takes a Village.

Newsweek Education, December 1, 2010

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

December Proclaimed National Drunk, Drugged Driving Prevention Month

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

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

What’s ‘bullying’?

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

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