Thursday, December 29, 2011

Survey: Teens More Likely To DUI On New Year's Eve Than Any Other Night

Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT) December 27, 2011

"Teens consider driving on New Year's Eve more dangerous than prom night, homecoming or the Fourth of July.
And yet, a greater percentage of teens say they have driven under the influence of alcohol or drugs on New Year's Eve than any of those other party-prone nights, according to a survey conducted by Liberty Mutual and Students Against Destructive Decisions —formerly Students Against Driving Drunk.
'Prior to New Year's Eve, parents need to have a conversation with their teen drivers about the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol and fatigue as well as how to be a good driver and a good passenger,' said Dave Melton, a driving safety expert with Liberty Mutual and managing director of global safety. 'Teens also need to be prepared for dangerous behaviors of other drivers who will be impaired on New Year's Eve.'" Read More

Presidential Proclamation -- National Mentoring Month, 2012

The White House (Washington D.C.) December 28, 2011

"Every day, mentors help young Americans face the challenges of growing into adulthood. By setting a positive example and sharing their time, knowledge, and experience, mentors play an essential role in preparing our Nation's youth for a bright future. During National Mentoring Month, we celebrate the contributions of all those who cultivate a supportive environment for the next generation, and we recommit to expanding mentorship opportunities across our country.
At school and at home, in the library and on the field, mentors lift our youth toward their goals and ambitions. As a teacher, a relative, or a trusted friend, a mentor's steady and dependable support can inspire a child to strive for success and instill in them the confidence to achieve their full potential. Mentorship strengthens our American family, and by teaching enduring values like diligence and self-discipline, we make a powerful and lasting investment in our youth, our communities, and our Nation." Read More

Local Advice on Keeping Kids From Drinking

Farmington Patch (Farmington, CT) December 29, 2011

"Dozens of teens fill an empty house. Cars overflow into the street and loud music worries the neighbors into calling the police. When officers arrive, alcohol is everywhere. There are teens throwing up, teens passed out, teens jumping out second-story windows and a stream of kids escaping out the back door and into the woods.
Yes, this is the typical party scenario, and it does happen in Farmington while parents aren’t home. But according to Farmington Police Chief Paul Melanson, this is not where most teenagers are doing their drinking." Read More

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Ledyard student survey tracks use of pot, alcohol, cigarettes

The Day (Ledyard, CT) December 27, 2011

"Results from the 2011 youth drug and alcohol survey, which show that tobacco use among the town's seventh- through 12th-graders is down but alcohol and marijuana use is trending upward, were presented to members of the Board of Education last week.
'The survey asks some really good questions about alcohol, drugs and tobacco use and gives us a baseline to determine if there are any trends of concern,' Superintendent of Schools Michael Graner said Wednesday. 'Overall, tobacco use is way down which is a good thing, but the two areas of concern that I know the youth survey has looked at throughout the region are marijuana use and alcohol use.'" Read More

Liberty Mutual/SADD Study Reveals More Teens Drink and Drive on New Year's Eve Than on any Other Holiday

Market Watch (Boston, MA) December 27, 2011

"While New Year's Eve may conjure images of a celebratory toast, it's also traditionally one of the worst days of the year for alcohol related car crashes and deaths for young drivers. And new data from a 2011 teen driving study by Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) reveals an interesting yet cautionary anomaly: teens believe New Year's Eve is the most dangerous time of year to drive, yet it also is the holiday or event when teens most frequently drive under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
According to the survey of nearly 2,300 eleventh and twelfth graders, when teen drivers were asked about how dangerous they feel certain events are for driving and the likelihood of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs on one of these events, New Year's Eve topped both lists." Read More

Bully prevention program gets help from guests in Cromwell

The Middletown Press (Cromwell, CT) December 24, 2011

"All year, Principal Bo Ryan and his staff have been emphasizing the need for Woodside Intermediate School students to respect themselves and their classmates and to work to prevent bullying.
Friday morning, Ryan got a little help in emphasizing those messages.
Well, actually more than a little help: how about Wesleyan University men’s basketball coach Joe Reilly, Vanderbilt University defensive line football coach Sean Spencer, members of Cromwell High School’s football team, cross-country team, cheerleading squad and dance team, and the mascots from UConn, the Hartford Whale, and the New Britain Rock Cats among others." Read More

Friday, December 23, 2011

Arguing with mom preps teens for peer pressure

MSNBC, December 22, 2011

"If your teen keeps arguing with you, don’t worry – it may do her good in the long run.
Researchers found adolescents who can hold their own in a dispute with mom – rather than quickly caving -- are less likely to be pressured by friends into drinking and doing drugs, according to a new report in the journal Child Development.
While it can be challenging to calmly discuss sensitive subjects, a measured give-and-take can provide teens with the tools they need to bat away peer pressure, said study co-author Joanna Chango, a graduate student at the University of Virginia." Read More

9 Things You Need To Know About Hosting Safe Holiday Parties [With Poll]

Madison Patch (Madison, CT) December 22, 2011

"Last year, approximately 10,500 people died in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes, according to figures released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Ad Council.
'Historically, holiday periods have shown higher incidences of alcohol-impaired driving crashes, so whether you're at a holiday party, a New Year’s Eve bash at a bar or reveling with friends, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Ad Council are reminding everyone that the best way to stay safe is to plan ahead and designate a sober before you head out for your festivities.'" Read More

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Youth Drug Use: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Huffington Post, December 21, 2011

"Last week, I joined officials from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Department of Health and Human Services to announce the results of the largest annual survey on youth drug use in America. NIDA's annual 'Monitoring the Future' study, which questions more than 46,000 teens in over 400 public and private schools across America, is a vital source of information about the types of substances young people are using, as well as their attitudes and perceptions regarding substance use -- including alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.
This year's data revealed some troubling new trends, including startling new information showing an emerging threat of so-called 'synthetic drugs,' which have been marketed as 'legal' alternatives to marijuana. According to the survey, one in nine high school seniors has used synthetic marijuana marketed as 'K2' and 'spice' in the past year. That means the use of these drugs now rank as the second most frequently used illegal drug among high school seniors, second only to marijuana." Read More

A Prevention Message with an Unexpected Twist

Partnership at (New York, NY) December 21, 2011

"Armed with the knowledge that Latino kids are at higher risk for drug use and addiction than their non-Hispanic counterparts, we teamed up with marketing communications agency Wing to help educate parents about the issue. A new, 30-second public service announcement (PSA) takes an unconventional approach to drug prevention and alerts parents that their kids are more exposed to drugs than they realize.
The campaign, titled 'Sheep,' uses animation to illustrate to parents that drugs don’t always come from easily identifiable sources. The TV spot urges parents to visit our Habla Con Tus Hijos website, a Spanish-language resource where they can learn how to talk to their kids about the risks of substance abuse." Read More

New London school board set to revise policy on bullying

The Day (New London, CT) December 22, 2011

"The Board of Education will discuss tonight an updated policy to prevent bullying that requires all school employees to report the abusive behavior.
In response to new legislation, the school district must have a bullying prevention and intervention policy in place by Jan. 1.
The proposed policy, which enhances the existing policy, also is aimed at curbing incidents of student bullying both on and off school grounds, according the board president Bill Morse.
'This policy is also giving more beef to enforcement and follow through,' Morse said." Read More

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Keeping Teens Safe During The Holidays

Fox 61 News (Hartford, CT) December 19, 2011

"Teen drinking can be an issue during the holiday season with the abundance of parties, find out ways you can keep them safe." Watch Video Here

School chiefs report no increase in steroid use

News Times (Danbury, CT) December 20, 2011

"A Danbury drug education workshop plans to concentrate on steroid use and abuse as a direct result of the arrest of a Bethel man who federal prosecutors claim sold steroids to area high school-age athletes.
The workshop is believed to be the area's only education-based response to the charges against Bethel resident Mark Mansa, who was arrested in February after what authorities said was a lengthy investigation into selling marijuana and steroids in the Danbury area.
The Housatonic Valley Council Against Substance Abuse added steroid education and prevention to its free prescription-drug misuse workshop in February for coaches and interested parents." Read More

Pitt Study Finds Text Messaging Effective in Curbing Binge Drinking in Young Adults

90.5 Public Radio (Pittsburgh, PA) December 16, 2011

"A team of researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine conducted a randomized 12-week trial of a text messaging-based program aimed at reducing so-called hazardous drinking behavior. The study involved 45 people between the ages of 18 and 24 who were discharged from area emergency rooms and identified as having engaged in dangerous drinking, such as binge drinking.
They were split into three groups. The first group only received an informational packet in the emergency room about the effects of binge drinking. The second group received weekly text message assessments of their drinking without any feedback. The third group got 12 weeks of assessments delivered via text and immediate feedback on their responses." Read More

Monday, December 12, 2011

Teen partying is mostly outside schools’ jurisdiction

Ridgefield Press (Ridgefield, CT) December 10, 2011

"Will Ridgefield teens recently arrested on charges related to underage drinking be punished in school? That is unknown, as their names, and what schools they attend, have not been made public because of their ages.
But can Ridgefield High School students caught at drinking parties be punished in school? Generally, the answer is no, says High School Principal Jeffrey Jaslow.
'For things that are off-campus, the school basically does not get involved if the behavior does not involve controlled substances,' at least on a disciplinary level, he said." Read More

Bridgeport to adopt anti-bullying policy

Stamford Advocate (Bridgeport, CT) December 12, 2011

"The city school district is poised Monday to adopt its own plan to step in and stop bullying, even if it occurs in cyberspace.
The plan is required of every district in the state under changes to the state's anti-bullying law adopted unanimously by the Legislature over the summer and spells out the steps that would be taken and the consequences that would occur if bullying is verified. Those interventions could include counseling, peer mediation, restitution, age-appropriate consequences, suspension and even expulsion.
It also designates Susan Smith, director of social work for the district, as the city's Safe School Climate Coordinator." Read More

How to create a safe, respectful school climate

Stamford Advocate (Fairfield, CT) December 13, 2011

"Jo Ann Freiberg bristles at the title 'anti-bullying czar,' but as the state Department of Education consultant in charge of school climate improvement -- and yes -- bullying, Freiberg has become the point person for school districts trying to carry out a new state law that requires them to combat bullying that interferes with education -- even when it occurs off campus or over the Internet.
The 58-year-old married mother of three grown children has a background in ethics and has worked for more than 30 years in the areas of character-building, violence-prevention and classroom management." Read More

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Study: Teen sexting fears overstated

Concord Monitor (Concord, NH) December 6, 2011

"Chances are, the kids really are texting about homework.
Fewer teens and tweens are sending racy pictures over their cell phones than previously thought, and only a small percentage face criminal sanctions if they get caught, according to two studies by researchers at the University of New Hampshire.
The studies, published yesterday in the journal Pediatrics, should ease the nerves of worried parents nationwide, said Kimberly Mitchell, research assistant professor of psychology at the university's Crimes against Children Research Center." Read More

U.S. Education Department Releases Analysis of State Bullying Laws and Policies (Washington D.C) December 6, 2011

"The U.S. Department of Education released today Analysis of State Bullying Laws and Policies, a new report summarizing current approaches in the 46 states with anti-bullying laws and the 41 states that have created anti-bullying policies as models for schools.
The report shows the prevalence of state efforts to combat bullying over the last several years. From 1999 to 2010, more than 120 bills were enacted by state legislatures from across the country to either introduce or amend statutes that address bullying and related behaviors in schools. Twenty-one new bills were enacted in 2010 and eight additional bills were signed into law through April 30, 2011.
Out of the 46 states with anti-bullying laws in place, 36 have provisions that prohibit cyber bullying and 13 have statutes that grant schools the authority to address off-campus behavior that creates a hostile school environment." Read More

Monday, December 5, 2011

Research shows that many adults support underage drinking

Top News, December 4, 2011

"With December being celebrated as ‘National Drunk and Drugged Driving (3D) Prevention Month’, the findings of a new research carried by SADD and Liberty Mutual Insurance have highlighted the disquieting results of the growing trend which has adults supporting underage drinking.
Drawing attention to the increasing evidence which shows that adults permit teen drinking at home, the research revealed that nearly one-third of the teenagers confessed to having consumed alcohol with their parents; with approximately 25 percent of the teenagers having disclosed that they were allowed to consume alcohol when their parents were not around." Read More

Prescription drug abuse a problem for students

The Lewis Flyer (Romeoville, IL) December 4, 2011

"Prescription drug addiction or abuse is a serious public health problem in this country that began around the 1990s and is still at an extreme high today.
This began being a common problem once there was a greater availability to all of the U.S. The age group that doesn’t follow the instructions when it comes to prescription drugs has a wide range, but with the population of college students, we hear more focus on that specific area with this issue.
'The statistics for college student prescription drug abuse have been increasing, as well as the number of high school students,' said Zachary Hitchens, mental health counselor at Lewis. 'I cannot say for sure that college students abuse them the most, but it is a growing trend and a concern nationally.'" Read More

Friday, December 2, 2011

Schools adjust to anti-bullying law

News Times (Danbury, CT) December 1, 2011

"Danbury High seniors Ashish Rao and Matt Hanrahan still have the posters they displayed in the school cafeteria during October as part of an anti-bullying campaign.
Are you a bully?
Are you brave enough to be kind?
Rao, president of the student body, and Hanrahan, president of the senior class, both 17, led the initiative that included students tying blue ribbons on their wrists or bags in solidarity against bullies. The two hope to pursue other activities during the school year to shine a light on the problem." Read More

Tis The Season To Talk With Your Kids About Drinking And Drugs (With Poll)

Clinton Patch (Clinton, CT) December 2, 2011

"The holidays can provide happiness and excitement as friends and family come together for celebrations. Yet, celebrations also provide increased opportunity for teens to experiment with alcohol as it becomes more accessible during the holiday period.
'It's important for parents to take time during the holiday season to talk to their kids about the dangers of underage drinking and drug use, and to remain vigilant,' said Department of Public Health Commissioner Jewel Mullen, in a prepared release. 'Parents are still the strongest influencers in their children's lives, even during the teenage years, and we want to ensure that our most precious resource-our young people-stay safe this holiday season.'
According to The Governor's Prevention Partnership, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the health and safety of the state's young people, teens who learn about the risks of drugs and alcohol at home are 50 percent less likely to use substances." Read More

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

School District Prepares Anti-Bullying Program

Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT) November 30, 2011

"Responding to a new state law against bullying in schools, Regional School District 8 is putting together an anti-bullying program that will include reporting procedures and staff training.
District Superintendent Robert Siminski said the effort will also include a time line for investigating incidents of bullying, a response to the incident, establishing a safe-school climate committee and training for staff in bullying prevention and intervention.
'We must have a bullying policy, report procedures when an act of bullying is seen, notification requirements to employees and parents,' he said." Read More

Montville schools beef up bullying policy

Norwich Bulletin (Montville, CT) November 29, 2011

"The Montville Board of Education has unanimously approved a bullying policy that adheres to new state anti-bullying legislation enacted in July.
The new law changes the definition of bullying and requires schools to update bullying policies and adopt a Safe School Climate Plan to address prevention and outline provisions for intervening with acts of bullying.
Superintendent Pamela Aubin said the new bullying policy will have more stringent guidelines for investigations and will call for preventive measures and early intervention." Read more

Connecticut conference focusing on school bullying

Newsday (West Hartford, CT) November 30, 2011

"Social workers, teachers, students and education experts are gathering in Connecticut this week for a regional conference on strategies to spot and prevent school bullying.
The 2011 New England Anti-Bullying Conference is scheduled for Friday at the University of Hartford. It's expected to draw people from throughout the region for a full day of speakers and panel discussions.
Connecticut, Massachusetts and several other states have strengthened their laws against bullying in recent years in the wake of several high-profile suicides and criminal prosecutions." Read More

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Police: Suspects Supplied Alcohol To Fatal Crash Victim

Hartford Courant (Ridgefield, CT) November 29, 2011

"Five teenagers and a 21-year-old man have been charged with supplying alcohol to a 16-year-old girl who died in a car crash in August.
The alcohol was made available at two different house parties attended by the teen driver, Jacqueline Brice, the night of Aug. 3, police said.
Brice was killed while driving home at 3:50 a.m. on Aug. 4, police said. Her blood alcohol content was .19 percent, police said.
Among those arrested is a 16-year-old girl who hosted a large party at her home in Ridgefield while her parents were away. She was charged with delivery of alcohol to minors." Read More

Rise in Prescription Stimulant Abuse Concerns College Administrators, November 28, 2011

"College administrators say they are concerned about an increase in prescription stimulant abuse among students, The Washington Post reports.
Abuse of prescription stimulants such as Ritalin and Adderall, popular among students trying to stay focused while studying, has long been an issue on college campuses, the article notes. But as sales for these drugs increase, administrators say they are worried abuse of the drugs is also on the rise.
Reducing abuse of these drugs is very difficult, administrators say. It is not obvious when students are taking the drugs." Read More

Survey: Underage Drinking Down In Waterford

Waterford Patch (Waterford, CT) November 29, 2011

"In 2006, the Waterford Alcohol and Drug Education (W.A.D.E.) Coalition was formed to combat youth drinking and drug use. Five years later, it appears the effort has worked, according to results of a recent survey.
Waterford seventh, eighth and ninth graders are less likely to drink, are more likely to think their parents disapprove of drinking and are more likely to think alcohol will have negative physical effects compared to 2006, according to the survey. This is good, Waterford Youth Services’ Grant Coordinator Christine Poscich, who helps run W.A.D.E., said." Read More

Monday, November 28, 2011

Teens Turn to Digital Drugs

NBC Connecticut (West Hartford, CT) November 22, 2011

"You can't see, taste or even touch digital drugs, but some people say all you need to get high is your computer.
Digital drugs, also referred to as sonic drugs or 'I-dosing,' are sound files that are downloadable, legal and popular with teenagers.
For as little as $1, you can download audio files that promise to deliver the experience of being drunk or of taking marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy or just about any other drug you can name.
'There’s one track that actually mimics driving under the influence of alcohol. There’s other ones for crystal meth, cocaine, heroin, all different kinds of drugs,' Stephanie Moran, program director at the Governor's Prevention Partnership, said." Read More

Trends in teen drinking discussed

Reminder News (Glastonbury, CT) November 21, 2011

"On Nov. 16, the Glastonbury Alcohol and Drug Council, in conjunction with the town of Glastonbury and the Rushford Center, gave a presentation for parents and community members on the new trends in teen underage drinking and drug use.
GLAD President Sheryl Sprague, who is also manager of prevention services at Rushford, said the aim of the forums is to educate parents and make them aware of what environment their teens are facing.
Rachel Bruno, prevention coordinator from the Governor's Prevention Partnership, was the keynote speaker at the event. She said that her presentation is never the same twice, because the trends and products change so rapidly. Bruno said that while nationally, underage drinking has declined, those numbers are still very high, as are the percentages of young people using drugs." Read More

Students want more from bullying policy

Stamford Advocate (Stamford, CT) November 24, 2011

"The Board of Education has unanimously approved a new bullying policy, which will bring the district in compliance with a new statewide mandate to update local policies.
Many of the state's new mandates were already covered in Stamford's policy, such as the inclusion of cyberbullying, which the district has included in its bullying policy since it was last updated in 2010.
According to the Cyberbullying Research Center, 20.8 percent of children between ages 10 and 18 have been cyberbullied at least once, and 17 percent were cyberbullied at least twice in the month before the center's survey." Read More

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Text-message bullying becoming more common

Newsday, November 23, 2011

"A growing number of U.S. kids say they have been picked on via text messaging, while there has been little change in online harassment, researchers reported Monday.
Of more than 1,100 middle school and high school students surveyed in 2008, 24 percent said they had ever been "harassed" by texting. That was up from about 14 percent in a survey of the same kids the year before.
'Harassment' meant that peers had spread rumors about them, made 'rude or mean comments,' or threatened them." Read More

State Police To Step Up Patrols For Thanksgiving

Groton Patch (Groton, CT) November 23, 2011

"The Connecticut State Police will supplement normal routine patrol personnel with additional Troopers over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Troopers will patrol all roads and highways across Connecticut and focus on drunk driving and target aggressive speeding drivers and unsafe operation.
Thanksgiving eve and day are two of the busiest traffic days of the year. Motorists need to remember, not to follow too close, to slow down, stay off your cell phone, BUCKLE UP while driving, and report any suspected drunk drivers to police." Read More

Alcohol puts students at risk on 'Black Wednesday'

USA Today, November 22, 2011

"This 'black' is ominous -- blacking out from drinking too much alcohol. For youth, particularly college students, Wednesday is a time to spend with friends before family get-togethers begin.
'The night before Thanksgiving is considered one of the biggest party nights of the year,' said Indiana State Police Trooper Kent Rohlfing of the Bloomington post.
The night is just the beginning of the holiday season, where festivities often include alcohol. Experts say this is a time when parents need to play a key role in keeping youth away from alcohol." Read More

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Big Brothers and Sisters Come to Fairfield

The Mirror (Fairfield, CT) November 9, 2011

"Rob Vogel ’13 never had a big brother. But he wished he did.
'I didn’t have that big brother to show me the ropes in certain things,”' Vogel said, who is the oldest brother in his family. 'I feel like that’s [maybe] a sentiment a lot of people have who don’t have big brothers: it’s like certain things could have been much easier to learn if I had a big brother teaching me.'
Now Vogel, the FUSA vice president, has started a new program that will give others the big brother he always wanted.
Fairfield BIGS, a new club at Fairfield University, is looking for students to become mentors to local underprivileged students whose parents might not be able to spend a lot of time with them." Read More

Stamford organizations search for mentors

Stamford Advocate (Stamford, CT) November 21, 2011

"Dozens of Stamford residents gathered Wednesday night at the Stamford Marriott to share and learn about mentoring opportunities throughout the city during an open house.
The program, hosted by the Connecticut Mentoring Partnership and the Governor's Prevention Partnership, sought to recruit mentors to serve 4,000 city youths in need of an adult to look up to and learn from.
Several local organizations attended the event in an effort to boost their mentor rosters." Read More

Monday, November 21, 2011

Synthetic Pot: Still On The Market

Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT) November 21, 2011

"Ayana Harry reports that synthetic marijuana, banned by Connecticut, can still be found easily in stores." View Story Here

The Dangers of Underage Drinking

Trumbull Patch (Trumbull, CT) November 19, 2011

"Trumbull High School Freshmen Learn the Dangers of Drinking: A knife plunged into a man's throat. A swollen abdomen. Drunk people passed out on couches and on the toilet.
Anything can happen when under-21s drink, from assaults to liver damage and unconsciousness. Sometimes they may not 'sleep it off.'
THS Freshmen heard that and more at Thursday's mandatory parent/student meeting about underage drinking. They heard a recovered alcoholic and a mother whose son was killed in 2004 when he rode with a drunk driver. Not to mention the attorney who explained that adults are liable for youths younger than 21 who drink. Youths will lose their driver's licenses or will have to wait if they want to get one if caught drinking." Read More

Prescription drug abuse rising among teens, experts say

The State Journal-Register (Springfield, IL) November 20, 2011

"If increased numbers of young people seeking help through a local counseling center is any indication, the use of opiates — addictive narcotics that lessen pain and/or induce stupor — is on the rise.
Many times, the use of illicit opiates starts with abuse of prescription pills, says Jamie Marshall, program director with Solutions Counseling & DUI Services.
The abuse of pharmaceuticals is a growing problem, Marshall says.
'We’re getting a larger number than is typical for us of young people coming through with not only alcohol and drug issues, street-drug issues, but opiates, some even heroin,' she says. 'Almost everyone that I talked to that has this as a problem started the use of opiates with like (prescription painkillers) Vicodin or OxyContin. Because they can’t afford to buy the Vicodin or OxyContin or obtain the scripts anywhere, they’re switching over to heroin use.'" Read More

Family dinners one of your best anti-drug tools

Salem News (Salem, OH) November 20, 2011

"Do you recall dinner hour at your house when you were growing up? Was there a set hour when your family sat down together to eat the evening meal? When your mother called you in from your outdoor activities and you knew you'd better get moving immediately because you had to wash your hands, ditch the baseball hat and be at your designated place at the table?
'Family dinner is an ideal time to strengthen the quality of family relationships,' says Joseph A. Califano Jr., founder and chairman of CASA (National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. 'As the quality of teens relationships with their parents declines, their likelihood of using tobacco, alcohol and marijuana rises.'" Read More

Friday, November 18, 2011

Adults Asked To Take MADE Survey

Madison Patch (Madison, CT) November 16, 2011

"The Madison Alcohol and Drug Education coalition is asking parents to take give minutes and fill out a survey about attitudes towards teen drinking and drug abuse.
Liz Nace, from MADE, has provided us with the PDF with this article, which has additional information, and the link on it. Or you can go directly to the survey from this link. Or, you can go to the MADE website ( to take the survey.
There are also paper copies available at MY&FS and Scranton Library for those without computer access, Nace says." Read More

Students take a stand against bullying

WFSB Channel 3 (Hartford, CT) November 16, 2011

"Some 350 high school and middle school students from 22 different districts spent Tuesday morning inside the State Armory, each one taking part in the Connecticut Kid's Speak, a program designed to get students to speak out against bullying and discrimination.
'Research says if someone is doing it and someone stands up and says, 'hey, that's not cool,' 80 percent of the time that person stops,' said Lisa Tregoning, with the Governor's Prevention Partnership.
The goal was to show the students from suburban, urban and rural school districts that they're more alike than they are different." Read More

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Vodka Tampons? Reported Alcohol Abuse Among Teens Also Includes 'Butt Chugging'

The Huffington Post, November 14, 2011

"It would appear that nobody wants to use their mouth anymore to get drunk.
Much to their parents' dismay, teens have long been known to secretly consume alcohol, and the latest method reportedly has them doing so with tampons and bongs.
'[It's a] quicker high, they think it's going to last longer, it's more intense,' Dr. Dan Quan from Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix told KPHO News.
Vodka tampons are exactly what they sound like. Teens supposedly soak a tampon in alcohol and consume it by either taking as shots or inserting the tampons in their rectums or vaginas, KPHO reported." Read More

North Stonington teen data compiled on substance use

The Day (North Stonington, CT) November 15, 2011

"Alcohol is the 'substance of choice' for the town's youth, according to a study of high and middle school students, but its overall substances use rates are lower than regional averages.
Presented Tuesday by members of Positive Health in Teens (PHIT) and the Southeastern Regional Action Council (SERAC), the study found that about a quarter of the school's high school students reported recent alcohol use.
The data, presented to about 25 adults and 15 students, comes from results of a survey given in April to North Stonington seventh- through 12th-grade students." Read More

Thanksgiving Eve Night Biggest Night For Underage Drinking (With Poll)

Madison Patch (Madison, CT) November 16, 2011

"Much of the focus around underage drinking is around graduation or prom night, but Mothers Against Drunk Driving say in their latest newsletter that the night before Thanksgiving is the biggest night for underage drinking.
'Thanksgiving-Eve Night–the night before Thanksgiving–is the biggest night for underage drinking, even more than graduation or prom night,' says the November newsletter. 'The fridge and the liquor cabinets are stocked, parents are distracted by relatives and dinner preparations, and older siblings or college-age friends are around.'" Read More

Friday, November 11, 2011

East Lyme seeks ordinance to outlaw or curb sale of drug paraphernalia

The Day (East Lyme, CT) November 11, 2011

"The Coalition on Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention will hold a public forum next week to discuss, among other issues, the possibility of banning or regulating the sale of drug paraphernalia in stores in the town.
The same day, ASAP will distribute during the school day a five-question survey on drugs and alcohol that students can answer anonymously.
Earlier this month, the Board of Selectmen held a preliminary discussion on whether the town could write an ordinance that could either outlaw or curb the sale of items that could be used to imbibe marijuana and other illegal drugs." Read More

Prescription Drugs Abuse Becoming Epidemic In Middle Class America

Madison Patch (Madison, CT) November 11, 2011

"An alarming rise in prescription drug abuse, along with an increasingly available selection of synthetic drugs, are just a few of the trends parents should be aware of as they talk with their children about drug and alcohol abuse, experts said Thursday night at a workshop sponsored by the Madison Alcohol and Drug Education (MADE) coalition.
The MADE coalition presentation, 'Current Youth Drug and Alcohol Trends' Thursday night at Memorial Town Hall, featured Catherine LeVasseur, formerly of The Governor’s Prevention Partnership and now the new Coordinator for M.A.D.E. and Charles Grady, Senior Investigator at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Haven. They presented startling information on the latest alcohol and drug products, marketing strategies and drugs of choice our youth are confronting." Read More

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Teenagers Tell Researchers It’s a Cruel, Cruel Online World

New York Times, November 9, 2011

"State legislatures across the country have passed or proposed laws against what they call cyberbullying. But how do young people parse bullying from being mean online? And when it happens, what do they do about it?
A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center and released Wednesday teases out these complex, often painful threads of teen life on social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Two-thirds of the teenagers surveyed said people were 'mostly kind' to each other on these networks, even as 88 percent said they had witnessed 'people being mean or cruel.' One in five admitted to having joined in on the cruelty." Read More

Mayor Bloomberg: Anti-Truancy Program is Working (New York, NY) November 9, 2011

"New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said an anti-truancy program that assigns mentors to chronically truant students is showing results.
Bloomberg said students who had a mentor to encourage them to go to school clocked a total of more than 7,000 school days than chronically absent students not in the program.
'As we work to take schools to the next level, there's one statistic we can't ignore. One out of nearly five students missed a month of more of school last year,' Bloomberg said.
A spokesman for the mayor added the attendance boost from mentors averaged 16 days per student." Read More

Teens, drugs, problems: Talks tonight and next week

Ridgefield Press (Ridgefield, CT) November 10, 2011

"Troubled by teen drug and alcohol use? Concerned about the psychological health of young people? Two free programs in the coming week — tonight’s Family University, and next Thursday’s discussion of the RHS student risks and assets survey — may be of interest.
The Family University tonight will feature Youth to Youth speaker Ty Sells’ 'Power of Acceptance' presentation, followed by a panel discussion featuring: parent Petra Wynkoop, who lost her 21-year-old son in 2010; local counselor Liz Jorgensen; Pastor Bill Pfohl of Jesse Lee Methodist Church; and a young person now struggling with recovery." Read More

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

More Than a Third of Teens Turning to Alcohol, Drugs: Study

HealthDay News, November 7, 2011

"More than a third of American teenagers are turning to alcohol or drugs, with 32 percent saying they drink, 19 percent saying they use drugs and 15 percent saying they do both, a new study shows.
An even closer look at the data found that Native American teens were the most likely ethnic group to use drugs or alcohol, with almost 48 percent admitting they have done so in the past. In addition, among the nearly 8 percent of teens whose use of alcohol or drugs was deemed addictive, 15 percent were Native Americans, the researchers found." Read More

Defining Bullying in Greenwich

Greenwich Patch (Greenwich, CT) November 8, 2011

"The Connecticut General Assembly passed a new school bullying prevention law, An Act Concerning the Strengthening of School Bullying Laws, Public Act. No. 11-232, over the summer. While the new law took effect on July 1st, some provisions do not apply until July 1, 2012.
School Districts Have More Responsibility
The new law was crafted to strengthen the previous statute, but also expands the definition of 'bullying,' incorporates significant revisions aimed at strengthening the existing statute and imposes additional obligations on school employees and school districts." Read More

The Online Life Of Teenagers

Montville Patch (Montville, CT) November 7, 2011

"How do you control an 'immature group of people using a technology they don’t really understand?'
'Before, you were afraid of having your children hang out in a bad neighborhood,' parent Cheryl Lincoln said. 'Now, that bad neighborhood can be in your living room.'
Late last week, Clark Lane Middle School Principal James 'Jim' Sachs presented 'The Online Life of Your Middle School Child,' a 90-minute discussion focused on teenagers and their use of the Internet. To bring some first-hand knowledge to the subject, Sachs brought along his two teenage daughters, Marina and Milan." Read More

Friday, October 28, 2011

THS Students Combat Bullying with Mediation

Trumbull Patch (Trumbull, CT) October 14, 2011

"While the state's anti-bullying law is a new development, Trumbull High School already has a club in place to settle disputes.
Trumbull High School Crisis Intervention Specialist William Mecca and Associate to the Dean Dennis McLaughlin are co-advisers to the school's Peer Mediation and Peer Leader programs. There are also four student mentors who recently explained their role to the Board of Education. They provide proactive education and discipline students when disagreements reach the boiling point." Read More

Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Supports the Drug Enforcement Administration's Nationwide Prescription "Drug Take-Back Day"

PR Newswire (Chicago, IL) October 27, 2011

"In a nationwide effort to prevent medication abuse and diversion by ridding homes of unwanted and unnecessary prescription drugs, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) is again supporting the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day taking place on Saturday, October 29.
'Unused prescription medicines that remain in homes can be misused or abused if they get in the wrong hands of children, family or friends,' said Allan Korn, M.D., BCBSA senior vice president and chief medical officer. 'The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies nationwide continue to make patient safety a healthcare priority and we encourage all Americans to take part in this nationwide event to help curb the prescription drug abuse epidemic. We commend the DEA's efforts of providing a safe and easy way for Americans to dispose of their unnecessary prescription drugs.'" Read More

Thursday, October 27, 2011

'Drunkorexia' common for college women; one in six skip meals to get drunk faster, save money

NY Daily News (New York, NY) October 19, 2011

"For many college women, drunkorexia is becoming a tradition.
Experts find that as many as one in six college women in the US skip meals to get drunk faster and 'make room' for alcohol calories, with three times as many women reportedly engaging in what's dubbed "drunkorexia" than men.
The phenomenon affects thousands of women, according to experts, and a team from the University of Missouri in the US is now underscoring the long-term health implications.
In findings announced Monday, researchers stated that 16 percent of those surveyed reported restricting calories to 'save them' for drinking. Motivations for drunkorexia include staying slim, getting intoxicated faster and saving money that would otherwise be spent on food to buy alcohol." Read More

WPD Officer Awarded for Drug Prevention Efforts

Windsor Patch (Windsor, CT) October 26, 2011

"On Thursday October 20, 2011, Officer Kari Tkacz of the Windsor Police Department, the School Resource Officer assigned to Windsor High School, received recognition from the Capital Area Substance Abuse Council (CASAC) at CASAC’s annual 21st meeting held at the Arts Exclusive Gallery in Simsbury, CT.
CASAC is a strategic catalyst tasked with collaborating with communities to reduce substance abuse and other risky behaviors through advocating for education, prevention, healthy decision making, and high impact programming in sixteen (16) towns of the Capitol Region." Read More

School Board Candidates Say How They Would Curb Bullying at Stratford Schools

Stratford Patch (Stratford, CT) October 27, 2011

"Reginias Davis left last night’s school board forum with about four pages of notes scribbled on loose leaf, the initials of the candidates marked in caps next to the paragraphs.
The Stratford resident was lucky enough to have had her question about school bullying answered by all five of the contenders -- only about a third of the questions, submitted via index cards, were addressed due to time constraints.
But after the forum held at the Wooster Middle School auditorium ended Wednesday night, Davis said she still wasn’t sure who she would vote for on Nov. 8. Moreover, Davis said she wasn’t satisfied with her question’s answers from the three Democrats and the two Republicans running for the Board of Education (BOE)." Read More

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Study: Soft drinks linked to violent tendencies in teens

USA Today, October 25, 2011

"Teens who drink lots of soda seem to be prone to violence, new research suggests. But the study authors concede that sodas are probably not the direct cause of the aggression.
While there's a chance that the sugar and caffeine from carbonated drinks contributes to violent behavior, the study shows an association, not a cause-and-effect. Soda consumption, for example, may be a marker of heightened violent tendencies already present in the teen, or of poor parenting, the researchers said.
'Soda (could be) a red flag that is indicating something else is wrong,' said study co-author Sara Solnick, an associate professor of economics at the University of Vermont in Burlington." Read More

Police: Four East Haven Stores Violate Liquor Law with Sale of Alcohol to Minor

East Haven Patch (East Haven, CT) October 25, 2011

"On Oct. 22, the East Haven Police Department and agents from the Connecticut Department of Consumer protection, Liquor Control Division, conducted unannounced compliance inspections of establishments that sell alcohol products.
The inspections were performed in an effort to determine compliance with state laws concerning the sale of alcohol to youth under the age of 21.
Under the direction and supervision of state investigators and police, an underage youth, supplied and trained by the Connecticut Coalition to Stop Underage Drinking, entered the establishments and attempted to purchase alcohol." Read More

Brookfield celebrates Red Ribbon campaign

News Times (Brookfield, CT) October 25, 2011

"Police Chief Robin Montgomery wants to see a lot of red shoes, red scarves, red hats and even red lipstick around town. He wants to see red, not just because it's his favorite color, but because of its message.
Brookfield is one of many towns across the nation participating in the Red Ribbon Campaign this week, a visible public stand against abuse of alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs.
After federal Drug Enforcement Administration agent Kiki Cameron was murdered by drug traffickers in 1985, Congress started the National Red Ribbon Week campaign as a way to increase community awareness of the need for early and continued abuse prevention efforts, according to a news release from the Brookfield Substance Abuse Coalition." Read more

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Connecticut High School Play's Gay Kiss Scene Causes Uproar

Huffington Post (Hartford, CT) October 21, 2011

"The media's recent acknowledgment of gay bullying in schools hasn't caught on across the board. This week, during a Connecticut high school's performance of a play involving a kiss between two male students, several audience members walked out; the unhappy viewers included a number of uniformed members of the school's football team, which principal Adam Johnson described as 'almost symbolic.'
The students at the Hartford Public High School were performing the musical 'Zanna, Don't!', a fictional story of a high school where academic excellence determines popularity and while homosexuality is the norm, heterosexuals feel compelled to hide their love." Read More

Bullying survey spurs town action

Norwich Bulletin (Colchester, CT) October 24, 2011

"Students, parents, community groups and town and school officials in Colchester are putting the results of a recent town survey on bullying into action.
The April survey, given in April to students in grades 5-12 and offered on the town’s website garnered about 2,000 responses.
'We were very encouraged by the participation,' said Diane Hettrick, a resident who volunteered in 2010 to head the town’s anti-bullying task force. '(Bullying) is in the news all the time.'
The results of the survey, presented Tuesday to the Board of Education, will be shared with the Board of Selectmen next month.
In it, 58.6 percent of respondents said they feel bullying is a problem in Colchester, with 9 percent citing it as a 'big problem.'" Read More

School Board Reviews Proposed Policy On Bullying

Hartford Courant (Glastonbury, CT) October 24, 2011

"The board of education on Monday began discussing its proposed bullying prevention and intervention policy, intended to give teachers and administrators more power outside school grounds and in cyberspace.
By Jan. 1, the board must approve the Safe School Climate Plan, part of the state legislature's anti-bullying law that gives school officials more power to intervene when a student is harassed or threatened by electronic means, even if the bullying occurs off school grounds.
Under the plan, Assistant Superintendent Rosemary Tralli would become the plan's coordinator with principals at each school known as specialists. The principals would investigate or surpervise the investigation of reported acts of bullying and train staff to recognize it. A committee would be set up at each school to develop and foster a safe school climate and address issues related to bullying." Read More

Monday, October 24, 2011

First Niagara’s $100K pledge to mentor CT youths

Hartford Business Journal (New Haven, CT) October 20, 2011

"First Niagara Bank is pledging $100,000 to The Governor's Prevention Partnership to support mentoring programs that promote well-rounded development of Connecticut's youths, authorities say.
The Buffalo regional lender that this year bought out former NewAlliance Bank in New Haven also committed to help The Partnership recruit qualified mentors, specifically during National Mentoring Month in January.
Meanwhile, two Connecticut corporations -- Pitney Bowes and Webster Bank -- were honored by The Partnership for their ongoing efforts in assisting in the mentoring of the state youths." Read More

Gay-Straight Alliance: Speak up on bullying

Record-Journal (Wallingford, CT) October 23, 2011

"When Shaun Gilhuly joined the Gay-Straight Alliance at Sheehan High school as a freshman, he was one of a handful of members.
'We had about four or five people, and the first year, we didn't do too much,' Gilhuly said.
Now a senior, Gilhuly is president of the club, which has grown to 46 members. This school year, Gilhuly said the group is expanding its message, focusing on issues that affect not just lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered students. This year, the club has taken a stance against bullying, an issue Gilhuly said can only be tackled with student involvement." Read More

Prescription Drug Abuse Concerns Prompt New Tactics By Town

Madison Patch (Madison, CT) October 24, 2011

"For too many kids, prescription drugs are free, available, and sometimes no further away than the closest medicine cabinet in their home.
The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection says that one in five teens have abused prescription drugs, including oxycodone, which is a narcotic opiate like heroin. In addition to a whole series of physical problems, the use of oxycodone can lead to the use of heroin, since it is 'easier to get and less expensive,' according to literature from the state.
Another problem is that three in 10 teens think that prescription drugs are not dangerous." Read More

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pitney Bowes Receives Innovation Award from The Governor's Prevention Partnership

Market Watch (Stamford, CT) October 19, 2011

"Pitney Bowes Inc. today received the 2011 Partners in Prevention Innovation Award from The Governor's Prevention Partnership in Connecticut. The award recognizes more than two decades of work the company has done on behalf of Connecticut youth.
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy will present the award to Pitney Bowes at the 21st Annual Governor's Luncheon in New Haven.
'We are proud to receive this award from Governor Malloy and The Governor's Prevention Partnership,' said Murray Martin, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Pitney Bowes. 'This award underscores our commitment as a global company to support the continued improvement of the communities where we live and work. On behalf of Pitney Bowes, I would like to thank the Governor and the Partnership for this great honor.'" Read More

AWARxE Launches 'Does a Drug Dealer Lurk in Your Medicine Cabinet' Ad Campaign

PR Newswire (Mount Prospect, IL) October 19, 2011

"AWARxE, a consumer protection program provided by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy® (NABP®) Foundation, has launched a national ad campaign encouraging consumers to get informed and take action to protect their families from the dangers of prescription drug misuse and abuse. By asking, 'Does a Drug Dealer Lurk in Your Medicine Cabinet?,' the ad campaign aims to motivate consumers to use AWARxE resources to obtain information about this public health threat affecting families and communities across the country, and to participate in prevention efforts. AWARxE highlights the importance of participating in the third Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, October 29, 2011, which gives consumers a means for getting unused, unneeded prescription drugs – including controlled substances – out of their homes and to an authorized DEA collection site for proper disposal, helping to prevent misuse of the drugs." Read More

Stamford High students speak out about bullying

Stamford Advocate (Stamford, CT) October 19, 2011

"More than 150 Stamford High School students turned themselves into moving billboards last Friday, with their biggest insecurities plastered on otherwise plain white T-shirts, in an effort to break the silence around bullying in Connecticut's schools.
'It's one of those issues that people just kind of beat around the bush,' said Hannah Carlson, 16, a Stamford High senior and a member of the Mayor's Youth Leadership Council, which organized the demonstration. 'You don't really talk about it, and we wanted to get it out there and know that it happens in our school, and we need to stop it.'" Read more

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Katz brings message of drugs to city parents

The Hour (Norwalk, CT) October 12, 2011

"She usually tells the story to children: That of the well-liked boy who earned his black belt in grade school, played sports in high school and took honors courses at the University of Hartford before overdosing on heroin at the age of 20.
This month, however, Ginger Katz will bring the story of her son, Ian, to adults throughout Fairfield County with a drug prevention seminar called Courageous Parenting 101.
'Even if you think your children will never do drugs, you have to learn about everything they're going to be exposed to,' said Katz, founder of the Courage to Speak Foundation." Read More

Underage Alcohol Usage: Soaking Gummy Bears In Alcohol Is Newest Trend For Teens

The Huffington Post, October 12, 2011

"One of the scariest things about raising teens is the possibility that they might be influenced to drink. You can warn them of the dangers and consequences until you’re blue in the face, but sometimes, peer pressure gets the best of them. The American Academy of Pediatrics found that more than four million adolescents drink alcohol in any month.
And what’s more frightening, is how clever they’ve become about hiding the act from parents. Once upon a time, teens stole alcohol from their parents, so keeping a close watch on your own liquor cabinet was a fine way to curb the problem. But today, their creativity puts the old trick of refilling bottles with Sprite to shame. And the latest trend in undercover drinking is especially savvy – especially around Halloween time.
Teens are using gummy candy (bears and worms to be exact) to get drunk. They soak the candy in alcohol, reports." Read More

Mentoring program needs 30 mentors

The Hour (Norwalk, CT) October 12, 2011

"The Building Futures through Mentoring program on Tuesday night evoked the legacy of Richard N. Fuller Sr., the late local civic leader, to recruit much-needed mentors.
'We don't have 60 mentors yet. In addition to that, we're trying to encourage African-American men to get involved. We're doing that on the legacy of Rick Fuller,' said Darlene Young, program coordinator. 'We've got a lot of young black boys and Hispanic boys who are on a waiting list, who are waiting for mentors.'
Fuller died Aug. 31 at age 67 after a lengthy illness. Over the years, he served Norwalk and its youth as a teacher, a school board member and as the executive director of The George Washington Carver Community Center." Read More

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

WWE Promotes Bully Prevention In Stamford and Abroad

Stamford Patch (Stamford, CT) October 12, 2011

"World Wrestling Entertainment and The Creative Coalition are two of many companies within the Be a STAR (Show Tolerance and Respect) Alliance, founded in Apr. 2011, which will work against school bullying during October's National Bullying Prevention Month.
'WWE co-founded the Be a STAR program with the Creative Coalition,' WWE Creative Executive VP Stephanie McMahon said. Besides Be a STAR, WWE's best known philanthropic effort may be its support of American troops, often doing shows overseas and providing free tickets in the U.S. for those currently serving." Read More

Middletown Parents to BOE: Stop the Bullying

Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) October 12, 2011

"A Middletown teenager who was bullied at middle school is now grabbing national headlines.
HBO recently documented Monique McClain’s story after boxer Sergio Martinez took her under his wing. The 13-year-old was bullied at Woodrow Wilson Middle School nearly a year ago and hasn’t been back since.
'She went through a period of time where she was very depressed. She lost a lot of weight. She went from being the most popular kid to having no friends,' Alycia McClain, Monique’s mom, said." Read More

Teen drinking culture exposed

Greenwich Time (Greenwich, CT) October 10, 2011

"Hours before high school students arrived clad in Saturday-night finery one day in September, strobe lights danced on the empty hardwood floors of the Arch Street Teen Center in cascades of red, blue and green as the room throbbed with the lyrics of 'Shots' by electro hip-hop group LMFAO: 'shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, shots, everybody.'
Even in the strict alcohol and drug-free environment of the Greenwich teen center, which promotes a philosophy of 'party sober,' a glamorized view of drinking seems inescapable for teens. Over the past year, Arch Street witnessed eight instances in which students arrived drunk at events for high school-age teens, according to director Kyle Silver." Read More

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Danbury workshop focuses on 'epidemic' of prescription drug overdoses

News-Times (Danbury, CT) October 9, 2011

"Western Connecticut State University president James Schmotter told a story to 120 medical professionals on campus, reinforcing their need to be there.
'Three days after Hurricane Irene, we would have lost a young man to a prescription drug overdose if a police officer hadn't intervened,' Schmotter said at the start of a workshop Thursday night on prescription drug abuse that focused on opioids like Vicodin, Percocet, Oxycontin and Lortab.
'The point is that these are not evil drugs. They have a place,' said Elizabeth Jorgensen, of Insight Counseling in Ridgefield, who helped coordinate the program. 'But we're in the middle of an epidemic and people don't understand it. That's why we organized the workshop -- to get the word out.'" Read More

New cyberbullying law forces schools to intervene

Connecticut Post (Trumbull, CT) October 8, 2011

"All 28 Trumbull High students sitting in a circle jumped up when asked if they had ever heard a rumor for the first time on the Internet or through a text message.
Most jumped up again when asked if they had ever read put-downs online and they remained on their feet when asked if they felt powerless to do something about it.
The exercise was part of a daylong Anti-Defamation League training session for handpicked 'peer leaders' designed to train students in ways to stop bullying. It is one way Trumbull plans to comply with a new state law that requires school officials to intervene when cyberbullying occurs." Read More

Parents can help teens manage overscheduling stress

USA Today, October 10, 2011

"Lauren Biglow, a college freshman, once was one of those high school students with crazy, stressful schedules — high-level academics mixed with sports, clubs, community service, and way too little sleep, real food or unstructured fun.
But her parents, she says, were not part of the problem.
'I would come home overflowing with stress over the fact that I had so many things to do simultaneously. And they would say, 'This is crazy, listen to yourself. You need to take a breath, re-evaluate and decide what you need to cut down on.' '
Biglow and her parents did what a growing chorus of psychologists, educators and activist parents say is needed: They talked about school stress and did something about it." Read More

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Norwich schools teach kindness as antidote to bullying

Norwich Bulletin (Norwich, CT) October 6, 2011

"It took Luis Reyes a couple of days to draw the picture he hopes his classmates will remember forever.
The third-grader drew a picture of himself being bullied.
'It really happened to me,' Luis, 8, said of the drawing of kids throwing ice at him. 'It was mean. It made me feel sad.'
Luis was part of a school climate rally at Uncas Elementary School on Wednesday, where students learned about character, caring and kindness.
Schools district- and statewide celebrated Safe School Climate Awareness Day and will do so annually the first Wednesday in October. It’s part of Connecticut’s updated bullying legislation, and what the state calls a suitable public school observance to increase public awareness of the effects of bullying." Read More

Youth group sends parents a message about underage drinking

Middletown Press (Cromwell, CT) October 6, 2011

"Members of the Cromwell High School Youth Action Council are taking the lead in mounting an educational program that targets parents, telling them not to buy alcohol for their underage children.
The goal of the 'Responsible Hosting Campaign,' which kicked off Wednesday afternoon with an event at the Willowbrook Spirit Shoppe, is to dissuade parents from buying alcohol that they then intend to serve young people.
In recent years, a number of parents have begun buying alcohol for youthful parties rather than having the children buying – or trying to buy - their own. The parents say they can exercise better control of teen parties that way." Read More

Mayor's youth leadership council 'blows up' bullying with demonstration

Stamford Advocate (Stamford, CT) October 6, 2011

"Fifty-six teenagers collapsed to the ground at Veterans Park in Stamford shortly after 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. They remained there, silent and still, for 25 minutes.
Each minute that ticked away on the large clock tower on Old Town Hall just a few yards from the teens symbolized 1 percent of Connecticut teens who reported being bullied on school property in the 2009 Connecticut School Health Survey.
The demonstration was designed and carried out by the Mayor's Youth Leadership Council, the city's largest youth activism organization, which promotes safe schools and communities, with an emphasis on teen dating violence and bullying." Read more

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Alcohol Abuse On Campus: Is the Administration to Blame as much as the Students?

Fox News, (Boston, MA) October 4, 2011

"It’s autumn, time for colleges across the country to confront the annual task of persuading incoming freshmen that there is, indeed, such a thing as too much alcohol. But despite their earnest efforts, the colleges continue to face an uphill battle.
Many universities now require students to begin taking alcohol-abuse education courses online even before the school year starts. Two of these programs, AlcoholEdu and e-CHECKUP TO GO (e-CHUG), are used on hundreds of campuses as a proactive tool against alcohol abuse." Read More

Stop Bullying and Speak Up

The Huffington Post, October 4, 2011

"There's nothing funny about bullying, but appealing to students' comic sensibilities might help open discussions about this serious subject. That's the idea behind the Stop Bullying: Speak Up Comic Challenge. During October, students and teachers can join a nationwide dialogue about bullying prevention that will play out through the engaging medium of comic strips.
Bitstrips for Schools, a popular online platform for using comics in education, is teaming up with the Cartoon Network to launch the comic challenge during Bullying Prevention Month." Read More

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Day devoted to stop bullying

WTNH News-8 (Hartford, CT) October 4, 2011

"The first Wednesday in October is being designated as Safe School Climate Awareness Day.
Last spring the state legislature passed a measure strengthening Connecticut's bullying laws. The bill requires schools to increase public awareness of the effects of bullying and promote respect.
Two Hartford public schools are taking part in the awareness day. Classical Magnet and the Hartford Culinary Arts Academy will provide anti-bullying and anti-bias training to students." Read More

Fake pot legal, but dangerous

CT Post (Bridgeport, CT) October 1, 2011

"They go by names like Voodoo, Euphoria, Dead Man and Black Magic, offer a cheap high and are easily found at local tobacco and head shops.
The herbs and synthetic cannabinoids commonly known as K-2 and spice, also have a dark side, sometimes causing sweating, vomiting and even hallucinations.
Connecticut lawmakers have tried to regulate or outlaw the substances, but the makers and distributors of K-2 and similar products have confounded those efforts, altering the blend of substances or carefully labeling the products as not for human use." Read more

Facebook Pages May Offer Clues to Underage Drinking

Health Day News, October 3, 2011

"Facebook and other online social networking sites might be new weapons in the fight against underage drinking and alcohol abuse, a new study shows.
Researchers say verbal and visual cues on underage college students' Facebook profile pages can highlight their alcohol consumption and point out who's at most risk for abuse.
'Our job is to distinguish between drinking in a relatively safe environment, when it's not really a problem, from drinking behaviors that could lead to negative outcomes,' explained study lead author Dr. Megan A. Moreno, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin in Madison." Read More

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cigna Launches Drug and Alcohol Awareness Series

Market Watch (Bloomfield, CT) September 28, 2011

"Cigna has launched a free monthly drug and alcohol awareness series. These seminars will help people better understand the physical, mental and emotional signs of individuals who may be dealing with substance abuse, with an emphasis on child and teen substance abuse.
Registration isn't required and people can listen to the entire series or any individual seminar. Each seminar features an expert who will speak for about 45 minutes followed by a question and answer session. Playback of each seminar will be available for those unable to listen live." Read More

Connecticut education leaders take on bullying

WTNH News-8 (Farmington, CT) September 28, 2011

"State education leaders held an anti-bullying summit today in Farmington.
It's called 'School Climate and Bullying: Implementing the new Connecticut Anti-Bullying Legislation.'
More than 400 superintendents, principals and other administrators were at the Farmington Marriott. The conference focused on bullying in schools and how the new law affects Connecticut schools.
'This legislation is going to affect every student in every school in the whole state,' said Dr. Dennis Carrithers, CT Association of Schools." Read More

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Online Bullying Pervasive Among Young People, Poll Shows

Huffington Post (Washington D.C.) September 27, 2011

"Catherine Devine had her first brush with an online bully in seventh grade, before she'd even ventured onto the Internet. Someone set up the screen name 'devinegirl' and, posing as Catherine, sent her classmates instant messages full of trashy talk and lies. 'They were making things up about me, and I was the most innocent 12-year-old ever,' Devine remembers. 'I hadn't even kissed anybody yet.'
As she grew up, Devine, now 22, learned to thrive in the electronic village. But like other young people, she occasionally stumbled into one of its dark alleys." Read More

Teens at Smaller Schools May Delay Drinking

My Health News Daily, September 27, 2011

"Teens' positions within their school's social network may influence when they start drinking alcohol, a new study says.
The teenagers who started drinking over the course of the one-year study were the ones with the most popular friends and the most 'friends of friends.'
In addition, teens who attended schools with 'dense' social networks (with a high number of social ties between individuals) were more likely to start drinking than were those from schools with less-dense networks, the study found." Read More

SAMHSA awards $22.5 million to advance state substance abuse prevention planning

SAMHSA, September 26, 2011

"The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced today 46 grant awards for $22.5 million over the next year to help states, tribes and territories enhance their substance abuse prevention efforts.
'We stand at a crossroads in our nation’s efforts to prevent substance abuse and addiction,' said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde. 'The nation’s most recent survey data from SAMHSA shows an uptick in substance abuse in America. These new grants are designed to help states and better position communities to reach America’s young people before they become involved with alcohol, illegal drugs, tobacco and abuse of prescription drugs.'" Read More

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

National Summit Brings Together Leaders to Address Campus Drinking, Drugs and Sexual Violence

PR Newswire (Bethlehem, PA) September 26, 2011

"Twenty years after the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act took effect, the nation's most prominent thought leaders on campus safety will come together to discuss the critical issues - binge drinking, sexual violence and general safety and security - facing colleges and universities.
The event 'Proceeding in Partnership: The Future of Campus Safety' will take place at Lehigh University on September 29th from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, please go to the event web site (
Two of the summit's panel discussions focus on alcohol/drugs and sexual violence. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism College Task Force estimates that drinking by college students aged 18 to 24 contributes to 1,825 student deaths, 599,000 injuries, and 97,000 cases of sexual assault or date rape each year." Read More

Sleep-deprived teens engage in more risky behavior

MSNBC (Atlanta, GA) September 26, 2011

"The two-thirds of U.S. teenagers who get less than eight hours of sleep on school nights are more likely to smoke, drink and fight, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In a survey of more than 12,000 teens, 68.9 percent reported that they sleep less than eight hours on an average school night.
In 10 of 11 categories, those students were more likely to engage in risky behavior than students who sleep more than eight hours on school nights, the study found." Read More

New Bullying Law Requires More of Wilton Schools

Wilton Patch (Wilton, CT) September 26, 2011

"At last week’s regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting, Assistant Superintendent of Schools Tim Canty presented to the board an overview of anti-bullying requirements that must be enacted in all public schools for the next school year.
Legislative changes involve a redefinition of bullying, staff training in anti-bullying measures, the appointment of a 'safe school climate' (SSC) specialist and coordinator, and the establishment or designation of an existing committee to deal with bullying issues, according to a report issued to the Board of Ed authored by Superintendent Gary Richards and presented by Canty." Read More

Monday, September 26, 2011

Teenagers are in need of community, say psychologists

The Ridgefield Press (Ridgefield, CT) September 25, 2011

"A psychologist spoke of Ridgefield’s painful loss of three young lives this summer. The first selectman pleaded for parents’ help with the problems of young people — alcohol, drugs, depression, risk taking. And the audience heard about towns where a core of folks committed to simple, old-fashioned sounding virtues — loving families, caring neighborhoods, responsible role models, clear boundaries — had done the right thing often enough to have it catch on, gather momentum, and grow into a sense of community that helps young people to grow up healthy.
Not that the kids were without problems, but these communities helped young people develop the strength and resilience to get through problems." Read More

Mentors scarce in Norwich’s schools

Norwich Bulletin (Norwich, CT) September 26, 2011

"Ford Samedy wants to learn more about donating to local food charities.
So the eighth-grader at Teachers’ Memorial Middle School is calling out anyone who can guide him in the right direction.
;Mentors are supposed to help students and make them better,' Ford said. “And they’re supposed to help us get to know our community.”
Ford could be the poster child for Norwich Public Schools' new push for more volunteers and mentors — a pool officials have seen dwindle over the past few years." Read More

Friday, September 23, 2011

Bath Salts: a growing drug problem, September 22, 2011

"It's a drug disguised as something you may use every single day.
They're called Bath Salts, but not the ones you're thinking.
They are synthetic drugs, made to mimic the effects of a cocaine or heroin high.
These drugs were street legal just a few months ago, but a change in the law hasn't stopped people from abusing this latest form of designer drug.
With names like 'Ivory Wave' or 'Pure White' it's easy to think these are the Epsom salts used in a calming bath." Read More

Bethel parents learn how to combat bullying

News Times (Bethel, CT) September 22, 2011

"Mean texts. Starting rumors. Standing by while friends are cruel.
Harsh scenes by some college actors illustrated for parents an increasingly hurtful environment in schools for some students during a workshop the Bethel Bullying Task Force sponsored Wednesday at Bethel Middle School.
More than 100 people learned tips for talking to their children about bullying and saw some of the bullying behaviors.
'We need to work with the kids who are being bullied, with the bullies and all the kids witnessing it or we won't change the school culture,' said Kelly Mullins of the Danbury's Women Center, who presented the program." Read More

Federal Partners Celebrate Anti-Bullying Efforts and Pledge to Continue Work at Second Annual Bullying Prevention Summit

U.S. Department of Education (Washington D.C.) September 21, 2011

"Federal partners joined together today for the second annual Bullying Prevention Summit, a two-day event hosted by the U.S. Department of Education in partnership with eight other federal agencies that make up the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Steering Committee. The event engages representatives from federal agencies, national organizations, parents, teacher and students to discuss and share progress on anti-bullying efforts across the country.
According to recently released data by the National Center for Education Statistics, more than 70 percent of students play some role in bullying, whether as a bully, a victim or a witness, demonstrating the need for increased awareness." Read More

Thursday, September 22, 2011

2011 Family Dinners Report Finds: Teens Who Have Infrequent Family Dinners Likelier to Smoke, Drink, Use Marijuana

PR Newswire (New York, NY) September 21, 2011

"Teens Likelier to Have Access to Alcohol, Marijuana, Prescription Drugs When Family Dinners Infrequent
Compared to teens who have frequent family dinners (five to seven per week), those who have infrequent family dinners (fewer than three per week) are almost four times likelier to use tobacco; more than twice as likely to use alcohol; two-and-a-half times likelier to use marijuana; and almost four times likelier to say they expect to try drugs in the future, according to The Importance of Family Dinners VII, a new report from The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA* Columbia)." Read More

Macdonough Elementary School recognized for exemplary school climate

Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) September 22, 2011

"The Connecticut Association of Schools honored Macdonough Elementary School Wednesday morning with its Exemplary School Climate Recognition award.
'The people to praise and congratulate for this are the staff members, teachers and all the folks here in the Macdonough community who made this work,' Superintendant Michael Frechette said, regarding Macdonough and the unique learning community its exposing young students to.
As an effort to educate students on bullying and teach them how to be respectful and caring citizens, Macdonough has implemented a number of programs, including two programs unique to the school: the 5-year-old SURFS Ceremony and Walking Wednesday." Read More

Bullying? 'Not at Our School'

Montville Patch (Montville, CT) September 22, 2011

"At least two students at Montville High School say that the tragic suicide of a student last January has provided one silver lining – less bullying at the school.
Anne Jeon and Jordan Hartman said the bullying level has diminished since the death of Joseph Mendes, whose family claims that repeated and severe harassment at the school was the root cause of his taking his life.
'It was a transformational event – it kind of brought everybody together,' Jeon said of the suicide, following an after-school workshop Wednesday that aimed to consider ways to further curtail bullying among students." Read More

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New U.S. Study First to Show Less Physical Bullying in Schools

PR Newswire (Seattle, WA) September 20, 2011

"Schools using a bullying prevention program saw significantly less physical bullying and fewer teachers reporting fighting as a big problem, according to a study conducted by the Social Development Research Group at the University of Washington to be released this week.
'Outcomes from a School-Randomized Controlled Trial of Steps to Respect: A School Bullying Prevention Program' compared schools using Committee for Children's Steps to Respect program with control schools and found 33 percent less physical bullying." Read More

Officials: Three restaurants sold alcohol to minors

West Hartford News (West Hartford, CT) September 20, 2011

"Three West Hartford businesses allegedly sold alcohol to minors during a recent compliance check, officials said.
The Department of Consumer Protection’s Division of Liquor Control and the West Hartford Police Department partnered with two youth volunteers trained and provided by the Governor’s Prevention Partnership on Sept. 16 to conduct a compliance operation in that town.
Eight establishments were tested for compliance. The volunteer youths entered the establishments and attempted to purchase alcoholic beverages. Of the eight locations tested for compliance, three allegedly failed by selling alcoholic liquor to the youths." Read More

Quiet aggression: Schoolgirl bullying remains under the radar

CT Post (Greenwich, CT) September 20, 2011

"Discarding the traditional image of the bully that 'lives on the playground and takes your lunch money,' Rachel Simmons is fascinated with the undercurrent of female aggression that pervades schoolgirl social interactions through rolled eyes, passed notes and Facebook posts where personal conflicts are broadcasted in a public forum.
Author of 'Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls' and a Teen Vogue relationship advice columnist, Simmons is fluent in "girl talk." Using that knowledge to help educate others, she lectured parents and teachers at Convent of the Sacred Heart Monday night and addressed 350 of the school's middle and upper school students Tuesday morning regarding bullying and social media." Read More

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New Study Shows Significant Rise in Cigar Use Among Young Adults

PR Newswire (Washington D.C.) September 19, 2011

"A new study in October issue of the American Journal of Public Health measures brand usage trends and the prevalence of cigar use among specific populations. The study, funded by Legacy, the nation's largest organization devoted to tobacco use prevention and cessation, is the first of its kind.
Cigars and cigarillos have become an emerging issue in tobacco control in recent years, in part because of their appeal to young people through lower prices and sweet flavors." Read More

Pledge to 'Stop Bullying: Speak Up' with new Facebook app, September 19, 2011

"There are bullies, victims and those who watch bullies harass victims and don't do much to stop it.
Facebook's Stop Bullying: Speak Up Social Pledge app addresses that third party, with the opportunity to take an 'interactive social media pledge.' You'll get a personal greeting and thank you from CNN's Anderson Cooper, and you can check out a video collection of mostly kid-centric celebs — Selena Gomez, the cast of 'Dude, What Would Happen?' etc. — speaking out, It Gets Better-style, against bullying." Read More

Windsor Public Schools Seeking 15 Adult Mentors For Elementary School Students

The Hartford Courant (Windsor, CT) September 19, 2011

"The Windsor Public Schools is seeking 15 adults to become mentors to students in the district's four elementary schools, and has scheduled two identical training sessions on October 12 and October 20 for interested volunteers.
'We have a dedicated core group of mentors in the Windsor Public Schools, but need more adults who can give as little as an hour a week to make a positive difference in the life of a child,' explains Mike Greenwood, coordinator of the Windsor Public Schools Mentoring Program. 'There always is a need for a caring adult in a child's life and it takes very little to be an effective mentor. A mentor needs to be willing to play games or pursue other mutual interests and, mostly, be there to listen - simply listen - to the student. You don't need to advise or counsel,' notes Greenwood. 'Your regular presence and willingness to listen tells a student you care and you are there just for from him or her.'" Read More

Monday, September 19, 2011

Schools Target "Cyberbullies"

Cheshire Patch (Cheshire, CT) September 16, 2011

"Students who tease or humiliate their classmates on the Internet could face discipline under a revised bullying policy introduced by the Cheshire Board of Education.
The proposed policy widens the definition of bullying to include 'cyberbullying' and would require schools to deal with off-campus bullying -- including comments made online -- if it 'creates a hostile environment at' or 'substantially disrupts' school.
The changes bring the district in line with Connecticut's new anti-bullying law, which took effect in July. The school board gave first reading to the policy Thursday night." Read More

Number of Kids Poisoned by Household Medications Up 28 Percent

ABC News, September 16, 2011

"Every year, half a million kids age 5 and younger get into household medications and are poisoned. Though parents tend to believe that these tragic accidents will never happen to their kids, Dr. Randall Bond, a leading advocate for better prescription drug safety in the home, is proof that it can happen to anyone.
'We had a bottle of Sudafed in the top shelf of the cabinet in our bedroom, and we thought our children would never get into it,' he says. 'But sure enough, we had guests over and my daughter, who was 3 at the time, opened all the drawers, climbed onto the counter, and opened up the medicine cabinet and started to take it.'" Read More

A Conn. teenager speaks out about bullying

WFSB Channel 3 News (Wethersfield, CT) September 16, 2011

Watch the news story here

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Statement of Beer Institute President Joe McClain on the HHS Survey Showing Record-Low Level of Teen Drinking

PR Newswire (Washington D.C.) September 14, 2011

"Today, Beer Institute President Joe McClain issued the following statement on the release of the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which showed the rates of underage drinking declined to record-low levels:
'Findings from the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health demonstrate the collective efforts of many – including parents, educators, retailers, community leaders, law enforcement, elected officials and members of the beer industry – are having a positive impact in reducing underage drinking. Just last week, we, along with our member companies, proudly announced our continued support of the federal government's 'We Don't Serve Teens' program to help parents and other adults effectively talk about the subject of underage drinking with teens. Efforts like these contribute to the record-low levels of teen drinking we are seeing, but there is still more work to be done. This positive news should only embolden our efforts to continue helping teens make responsible choices.'" Read More

New Study on Parents' Perception of Teen Drug Use

WIBC 93.1 (Indianapolis, IN) September 14, 2011

"A new study talks about parents' perception of alcohol and marijuana use among teenagers.
The study from the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital says that 10 percent of parents think their own teens drank alcohol in the last year and five percent think their teens smoked marijuana in the last year but people with teenagers say 60 percent of other teens have drank alcohol and 40 percent have smoke marijuana. Clinical psychologist Dr. Greg Sipes explains the statistics." Read More

District Takes Aim at Bullying

Fairfield Patch (Fairfield, CT) September 15, 2011

"The Fairfield school district's new policy on bullying, 'policy 5330,' debuted in its first read to the Board of Education Tuesday to wide praise, with some criticism and suggestions.
Under Connecticut’s Public Act 11-232—or, An Act Concerning the Strengthening of School Bullying Laws—signed into effect by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in July, each district was recommended to create and adopt a clear policy on bullying behavior." Read More

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

New Drug and Alcohol Prevention Program Proven Successful in Helping Parents Talk with Their Kids

PR Newswire (New York, NY) September 13, 2011

"A new study demonstrates the successfulness of a prevention program that educates and equips parents and other caregivers to be better able to deal with their teens on drug and alcohol issues. Its results were announced today by The Partnership at
The program, Parents360 Plus, is the latest innovation in PACT360, the law enforcement-led community education initiative developed by The Partnership at with grant funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The study was an independent evaluation conducted by Community Science, an award-winning research and development organization. The key findings of this study show that parents who received the intervention training had significantly greater increases in the important measures of knowledge of substance abuse and related resources, and in self-efficacy (or confidence in their ability) in communicating with their teens on this topic than did control group parents who did not receive the intervention." Read More

Northwest Connecticut coalition formed to fight underage drinking

The Register Citizen (Torrington, CT) September 13, 2011

"McCall Foundation, The Northwest Connecticut Coalition to Stop Underage Drinking and the Harwinton Burlington Coalition to Stop Underage Drinking kicked off their 2011 - 2012 campaigns with an integrated marketing campaign that includes a billboard located at the Torrington Post Office, school programs to educate both parents and students, T-shirt giveaways in all participating schools, law enforcement activities and an innovative 'street team' approach.
'We know that teens are influenced by their friends. For this reason, we chose the ‘street team’ approach. We pick positive peer role models to influence their friends to make good choices. Teens on the street teams will be helping us promote our message which is that underage drinking isn’t cool or safe and that many other kids are saying no to alcohol. The street teams will distribute T-shirts at community and school events. The shirts have slogans such as ‘Think Don’t Drink’ - they use a positive approach to reducing underage drinking,' said Kevin Pettit, Program Supervisor." Read More