Friday, April 29, 2011

Should Adults Allow Supervised Teen Drinking?

WebMD, April 28, 2011

"Letting younger teens drink alcohol with supervision from mom and dad may lead to higher drinking rates and more alcohol-related problems as kids get older than a 'zero tolerance' approach, a new study suggests.
The research offers an international perspective on underage drinking and parental supervision since it looked at two countries on opposite sides of the globe with different attitudes toward it.
In the study, published in the May issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, scientists compared the opinions of 1,945 seventh-grade students and their parents over a three-year period. Slightly less than half the group came from Washington state while the rest were from Victoria, Australia." Read More

Youth services to hold drug disposal site

Norwich Bulletin (Hebron, CT) April 28, 2011

"In an effort to get prescription drugs out of the hands of teens, youth services is hosting a local medication disposal site as part of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.
The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at RHAM High School, 85 Wall St., on Saturday. The event is being put on by the Andover, Hebron and Marlborough Youth and Family Services’ Substance Abuse Task Force.
It’s also being sponsored by the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency and State Police Troop K.
'The goals we’ve talked about is to provide a safe and effective way to get id of these medications,' said Kelly LaFleur, a member of the task force who’s coordinating the event.
Anyone from any town is invited to drop off unused, unwanted and expired prescription and over the counter medications, LaFleur said. Items that won’t be accepted include illegal narcotics and other drugs or needles. The service is free and anonymous." Read more

Connecticut police and DEA collecting unused prescription drugs in safety effort

Daily Journal (Hartford, CT) April 28, 2011

"Connecticut state police and federal agents will be collecting unused prescription drugs in an effort to prevent pill abuse, theft and potential health hazards.
Troopers are urging the public to bring unwanted or expired prescription drugs to one of more than a dozen drop-off sites across the state on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There's no cost, and no questions will be asked.
People nationwide turned in about 242,000 pounds of prescription drugs last September at more than 4,000 sites run by the Drug Enforcement Administration and state and local law enforcement officials." Read More

Monday, April 25, 2011

State Police are Taking Back Unwanted Prescription Drugs at Local Barracks

Naugatuck Patch (Bethany, CT) April 22, 2011

"State police and federal officials will give the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.
On April 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. bring your medications for disposal to Connecticut State Police Barracks Troop I at 631 Amity Road, Bethany, just down Route 63 from Naugatuck. The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked.
The Connecticut State Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) are sponsoring the program.
Last September, Americans turned in 242,000 pounds — or 121 tons — of prescription drugs at nearly 4,100 sites operated by the DEA and more than 3,000 state and local law enforcement partners." Read More

Bullying hits parents, too

MSNBC, April 24, 2011

"One evening two weeks ago, Nancy Anderson Dolan's 13-year-old son opened his laptop and yelled like he'd been struck. Dolan rushed to his side and saw what had appalled her child: An expletive-filled message from a child her son has known for years, threatening to hurt him.
Moments later, her son's phone lit up with text messages from another child: More threats, more cruel insults.
'It was an odd experience, like kind of a home invasion, actually, because it was just so sudden and unexpected,' Dolan, a counselor in Calgary, Alberta, told LiveScience. 'It was freakish. You just couldn't wrap your mind around something like this happening.'
Even now, after involving her son's school and helping him recover from the cyberbullying incident, Dolan finds herself on edge.
'We are having a pretty optimal response, but still that sense of not being able to keep my child safe is so pervasive,' she said. 'It strips away any facade you might have that you think you are able to protect your children.'
Most research on bullying has focused on its effect on children, for the good reason that children bear the brunt of the suffering. But parent reports suggest that Dolan's emotional reaction isn't unusual. When a kid is bullied, many parents say they feel angry, frustrated and helpless." Read More

Torrington teens surveyed on drinking

Republican American (Torrington, CT) April 24, 2011

"It came as little surprise to substance abuse experts that roughly seven out of 10 Torrington High School juniors have tried alcohol at least once, and 34 percent reported drinking in the past 30 days.
Those figures, compiled from an anonymous survey of local students in grades 7-11 conducted in June 2010, are comparable to results found in similar surveys at the state and national level. That according to a report prepared by Quantitative Services on behalf of the Northwest Coalition to Stop Underage Drinking and the McCall Foundation, a local nonprofit that administers the state grants which fund the coalition.
Kevin Pettit, prevention coordinator at the McCall Foundation, said the survey, the first of its kind conducted locally, has helped the coalition — already active for about a decade — to shape its prevention strategy." Read More

Friday, April 22, 2011

After Son's Death, Mom Pushes for Awareness of Teen Alcohol Abuse

Chantilly Patch (Chantilly, VA) April 21, 2011

"What can happen in an hour?
That's what Karla Rupp thought when she dropped off her son Bo at a concert last September, an hour before it started.
But what happened in an hour cost Bo his life.
'Bo didn't know what could happen in an hour,' Rupp said. 'Dying wasn't part of the plan.'
Rupp spoke for the first time publicly this week about the circumstances leading up to her son's death at a Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting. Bo Rupp, then a sophomore at Westfield High School, made headlines back in September when he apparently ran in and out of traffic near his Virginia Run home on Pleasant Valley Road in Centreville, then sat down in the middle of the roadway and was struck by a neighbor's car. He died the next day.
Karla Rupp said that Bo brought his backpack to the concert that night. Nothing to be alarmed about inside, she thought, just some iced tea bottles." Read More

Enfield Teens Create "Teens Who Think, Don't Drink" Campaign

Hartford Courant (Enfield, CT) April 21, 2011

"The Enfield Together Coalition (ETC), a community coalition committed to preventing and reducing underage drinking, in partnership with the Enfield Youth Council (EYC) is launching a campaign to encourage teens to stay alcohol free. Designed by Enfield teens, the campaign slogan, 'Teens Who Think, Don't Drink,' is being launched as part of April's National Alcohol Awareness Month and will be used during prom and graduation seasons.
'The slogan the teens came up with is right on point and the response to it has been fantastic,' stated Jean Haughey, director, Town of Enfield Youth Services. 'When teens take the initiative to reach out to their peers with a positive message about making smart choices, there is a much greater likelihood that the message will get through. It's wonderful to see our young people taking a leadership role in the community.'" Read More

Thursday, April 21, 2011

AG Goes After Colt 45’s Blast

NBC Connecticut, April 21, 2011

"When Snoop Dogg released Doggumentary, the Blast was flowing at his release party. He’s the face behind the new fruit-flavored alcoholic beverage by Colt 45 and some attorneys general are going after the drink, saying it’s targeted at people under the age of 21.
Attorney General George Jepsen is one of 16 attorneys general who wrote a letter to the Pabst Brewing Company asking the company to reduce the amount of alcohol in the the 12-percent alcohol drink.
Blast comes in brightly colored 23.5-ounce cans and contains the equivalent of 4.7 servings of alcohol, Jepsen said, so drinking one can in less than two hours would qualify as 'binge drinking' under public health standards." Read More

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

NBA superstar Kevin Garnett promotes mentoring

The Mash (Chicago, IL) April 19, 2011

"Before facing down Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls at the United Center recently, Boston Celtics superstar Kevin Garnett made a stop at the James Jordan Boys and Girls Club in Chicago on April 6 to promote Wheaties FUEL’s 'FUEL a Future' campaign to empower parents and adults to mentor teenagers in their community.
The program encourages adults to pledge playing one game of basketball with a teen in their community in order to mentor them and help empower them through fun, athletic activity. Wheaties FUEL has promised to donate $1 per pledge to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, on top of a $50,000 donation. Garnett said this type of mentoring is especially necessary in today’s strange, Internet-infused world.
'Kids have no direction these days,' he said. 'With all these modern social networks, hands-on mentoring has become a ghost. We adults with influence in the community should go out and exert that influence on these kids. Not text them, not tweet them, but go out and interact with them.'" Read More

Facebook beefs up anti-bullying measures

ABC News, April 19, 2011

"An internet advocacy group has welcomed increased security measures announced by social networking site Facebook to help keep children safe from online bullying.
Young users will be able to request two passwords to make it harder to sign in to their account and have their session encrypted so their movements on the site cannot be intercepted.
Facebook also expanded its social reporting tools, allowing young users to notify a trusted adult if they are being bullied on the website and developed a free guide for teachers on social media safety." Read More

Groton event targets prescription drug abuse

The Day (Groton, CT) April 20, 2011

"As federal drug enforcement officials on Tuesday announced a new federal initiative to combat what it called the 'alarming health crisis' of prescription drug abuse, a local take-back event to provide the public with a chance to safely dispose of unused or unwanted medications was being planned.
The local event, organized by town police and the senior center, will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 30 at the senior center, 102 Newtown Road.
Other partners in the event are the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, Groton TRIAD and the Ledge Light Health District. The event is one of many nationwide that are part of the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Program." Read More

Monday, April 18, 2011

Graphic Drug Prevention Program To Kick Off In Connecticut

The Hartford Courant, April 15, 2011 "'The Graphic Truth,' the controversial drug/alcohol prevention program so urgently requested by local superintendents and school officials makes it debut. Currently, the death rate among 12 -18 year old students is at the highest in Connecticut's history and schools have run out of viable options. The program includes live presentations hosted by people who have personally experienced addiction; the use of very graphic video re-enactments of the true-to-life consequences of drug/alcohol abuse; a color-animation of the what physically occurs within the brain to cause addiction; a video from Dr. Daniel Amen's recent discovery of the permanent damage today's substances are having on the developing brains of young students; and a Q & A with students/faculty." Read More

Trumbull PD’s Party Patrol starts tonight

Connecticut Post (Trumbull, CT) April 15, 2011 "The Trumbull Police Department will start its Party Patrol tonight since it is the first day of Trumbull High School’s Spring Break. The PD is working with the Trumbull Partnership Against Underage Drinking (TPAUD) in launching of Underage Drinking Party Patrols, designed to increase the enforcement of the underage drinking laws. During Spring Break, prom, and graduation season, the Trumbull Police Department will have additional officers on patrol looking for underage drinking activity and house parties." Read More

How to Protect Your Child From Cyber-Bullying

Middletown Patch (Middletown, CT) April 13, 2011 "'What is cyber-bullying and what can I do to protect my child from it?' Cyber-bullying is basically harassing or tormenting another person through an online medium like Facebook or texting. There are several defined types of cyber-bullying: cyber-stalking, exclusion, outing, masquerading, etc. But let’s not get hung up on definitions. Bullying is simply when one person does something, physically or emotionally, to intentionally cause harm to another person. So what’s a parent to do? First of all... Be a parent – in more than just title. Be involved on a daily basis in your child’s life. Teach, monitor, assess and re-teach as necessary. Be the primary influence in your child’s life. This will be a common theme you’ll hear in this column. I’m a firm believer that parents need to take the majority of the responsibility for how their children turn out. Are they responsible, contributing members of society or are they prejudiced, bratty, self-centered and abusive members of society? How they turn out is somewhere around 80 percent due to how they were parented." Read More


Hartford Business Journal (Hartford, CT) April 18, 2011 "Throughout Connecticut, businesses, colleges and other civic-minded organizations mentor state students. They do so not only because students benefit from the one-on-one attention they receive, but also because helping young people gain confidence and build academic achievements is good for everyone. In business, we like to talk about the multiplier effect of economic investment that creates other businesses and additional jobs outside our own companies. Northeast Utilities believes mentoring students has a similar multiplier effect on the human experience because everybody gains from this work. Mentoring provides a direct link to students, but think of the benefits to society when mentors, teachers, classmates, parents and younger brothers and sisters also profit from the experience. That process builds a foundation for a better community and a more sound society." Read More

Friday, April 15, 2011

Mom of bullied teen who committed suicide shares her chilling story in Brookfield

News-Times (Brookfield, CT) April 14, 2011 "As she sat quietly in the front of the room, Tina Meier showed a clip from her visit to the 'Dr. Phil' show to parents and staff at Whisconier Middle School on Wednesday. On the video, she described a parent's worst nightmare -- discovering her 13-year-old daughter, Megan, hanging in her closet. Megan was distraught about being rejected by someone she thought was a boy she befriended on the Internet. The person actually was the mother of a school mate and family friend who instigated and monitored a MySpace account created for the sole purpose of communicating with Megan." Read more

Norwich student bullying reports on rise

Norwich Bulletin (Norwich, CT) April 14, 2011 "Mequeyla Mendoza sat alone, shut out from the intermittent bursts of horseplay and laughter expected from a cafeteria full of middle schoolers. Midway through a student forum on bullying that brought out more silliness than seriousness from her peers, the Kelly Middle School student put her head down and rested her chin on folded arms. 'I’ve been bullied, called names — mean names,' the sixth-grader said. 'It bothers me a little bit when I think about it. Lately, I’ve just tried to practice self-control and walking away. That’s been working out.' Stories like Mequeyla’s are stacking up by the dozens for Debbie Kievits, the coordinator of the Greater Norwich Anti-Bullying Coalition Bully Busters. In response to a recent flurry of bullying reports from parents of students in kindergarten through middle school, Bully Busters sponsored forums for students and the community this week." Read more

The Drug Abuse Prevention Council Prepares for New Campaign

Ellington-Somers Patch (Ellington, CT) April 15, 2011 "Ellington’s own Drug Abuse Prevention Council held their monthly meeting Tuesday at Ellington High School and kept up on some housekeeping business. The DAPC is home to programs like Youth Services, Rise Above, and the Parent Connection. At the meeting, events put on by the department of Human Services were discussed, like Rise Above’s recent success, game night. Game night attracted 50-plus students, and Prevention Coordinator Debbie Stauffer described it as a 'teen center for a night.' Rise Above is also putting together prom favors, and sponsoring all of the kids games for the Fair on the Green on May 7, including a dunk tank. They are also hosting the last dodgeball game of the year tomorrow." Read More

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Prescription Drug Disposal Event Scheduled for April 30

North Haven Patch (North Haven, CT) April 11, 2011 "The North Haven Substance Abuse Action Council will be holding a prescription drug collection event, the first since September 2010, at the town fire headquarters on April 30. The Council, comprised of concerned parents, educators, and student volunteers, will be joined at the event by representatives from the Drug Enforcement Administration, who oversee the proper handling, categorization, and disposal of the substances. Last year, the Council collected upwards of 2,500 unwanted pills from homes in North Haven, a measure Nancy Leddy, Youth Services Administrator for the town, believes curtails potential abuse, overdoses, and robberies committed in order to procure drugs." Read More

Beer Institute Recognizes Alcohol Awareness Month, Highlights Commitment to Reduce Underage Drinking, Drunk Driving

PR Newswire (Washington D.C.) April 13, 2011 "In recognition of National Alcohol Awareness Month, Joe McClain, president of the Beer Institute, emphasized the long-term commitment of brewers and importers to reduce underage drinking and drunk driving. As an industry, they have made significant investments in public safety, education and prevention campaigns. Beer Institute members combat underage drinking and drunk driving through a wide variety of programs. Among the recent examples of their efforts are: Anheuser-Busch has created a Family Talk Facebook page (available at to provide resources and encourage open, honest communication between children and parents about alcohol responsibility. In addition, through the company's We I.D. program, Anheuser-Busch and its family of 600 wholesalers host trainings and distribute tools to help retailers serve and sell alcohol responsibly, and post signage to remind customers that they will be asked to show a valid I.D. when they purchase alcohol." Read More

Dramatic bullying forum in Norwich urges parents, students to take a stand

The Day (Norwich, CT) April 13, 2011 "A forum on bullying Wednesday quickly turned into an emotional support group, as two parents and a grandparent vowed to help participating middle school and high school students avoid what they say is the hell their sons are going through in high school. The mother and grandmother of a St. Bernard High School senior, who asked not to be identified, said they have tried for three years to get the school and Montville police to respond to the bullying they said progressed to criminal behavior. They said their son’s car was vandalized and urinated on in the school parking lot, and that the boy suffered repeated bullying since his sophomore year. They reported incidents to teachers, principals and superintendents, but no action was ever taken. At one point, the mother confronted the bullies, but they taunted her." Read More

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

MADD Announces First Annual PowerTalk 21 Day and Brand Refresh

PR Newswire (Dallas, TX) April 11, 2011 "As part of Alcohol Awareness Month, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) unveils a new logo today in advance of next week's first annual PowerTalk 21™ day on April 21, the national day for parents to start talking with their kids about alcohol. In an effort to get the conversation started between parents and teens across the U.S., MADD — along with National Presenting Sponsor Nationwide Insurance — is urging families to get a free Power of Parents, It's Your Influence™ handbook at 'After more than 30 years of saving lives and serving people, we're excited to reveal a refreshed version of our logo and reintroduce our brand, especially leading up to PowerTalk 21 day — a day that truly signifies our real-world approach to keeping today's youth alcohol free, so they grow up healthy and don't become tomorrow's drunk drivers,' said MADD CEO Kimberly Earle." Read More

New MetLife Foundation Funding to Help Big Brothers Big Sisters Promote Positive Academic Outcomes for Hispanic Children

PR Newswire (Tampa Bay, FL) April 11, 2011 "MetLife Foundation's continued financial support of Big Brothers Big Sisters with a $500,000 grant will enable it to expand its services to meet the needs of Hispanic children and families. Since 2008, MetLife Foundation has contributed a total of $1.5 million, including this year's grant, to Big Brothers Big Sisters to bring the benefits of its evidence-based mentoring services to the nation's growing Hispanic population. Today's grant will help 20 Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies nationwide expand work with Hispanic youth and engage Hispanic parents in strengthening academic outcomes for their children. 'We're extremely excited, as the new grant enhances our efforts to engage families; provide educational resources to address cultural gaps; provide critical education-system knowledge; and deliver resources to prepare mentees for college,' said Big Brothers Big Sisters of America President and Chief Executive Officer Karen J. Mathis. 'We hold ourselves accountable for helping children who face adversity succeed in school, have greater aspirations and avoid delinquency and risky and behaviors to achieve lifelong success. This funding enables us to create and professionally support the one-to-one safe, strong, enduring mentoring relationships that contribute to these outcomes.'" Read More

How to Protect Your Child From Cyber-Bullying

Manchester Patch (Manchester, CT) April 13, 2011 'What is cyber-bullying and what can I do to protect my child from it?' Cyber-bullying is basically harassing or tormenting another person through an online medium like Facebook or texting. There are several defined types of cyber-bullying: cyber-stalking, exclusion, outing, masquerading, etc. But let’s not get hung up on definitions. Bullying is simply when one person does something, physically or emotionally, to intentionally cause harm to another person. So what’s a parent to do? First of all... Be a parent – in more than just title. Be involved on a daily basis in your child’s life. Teach, monitor, assess and re-teach as necessary. Be the primary influence in your child’s life. This will be a common theme you’ll hear in this column. I’m a firm believer that parents need to take the majority of the responsibility for how their children turn out. Are they responsible, contributing members of society or are they prejudiced, bratty, self-centered and abusive members of society? How they turn out is somewhere around 80 percent due to how they were parented." Read More

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Teen, parents charged for after-prom party with alcohol (Hickory, NC) April 11, 2011 "A Hickory couple and their teenage son are facing charges after law enforcement officers say the family threw a post-prom party and served alcohol to dozens of teens. 61-year-old James Osborne, 55-year-old Robbin Osborne and their 18-year-old son, Victor, were called with aiding and abetting under-age persons to possess alcoholic beverages early Sunday morning. All three have since been released from the Catawba County Jail. According to Alcohol Law Enforcement agents, a Hickory High School resource officer caught wind of the plans for the post-prom party and reported it to ALE. Officers were able to stop cars leaving the home on Gunpowder Drive and after questioning several drivers were able to build a case of probable cause, agents told WBTV." Read More

Speak Out: The Documentary tackles bullying issue

Digital News, April 11, 2011 "On April 13 the worldwide premiere of Alex Vander Vlugt's SSpeak Out: The Documentary will take place on his organization's third annual Pink Shirt Day, a national campaign designed to raise awareness about bullying. Speak Out is the second film for Alex Vander Vlugt. The 18-year-old is the founder and director of SPEAK OUT based in Guelph, Ontario. He wanted this film to be used as a tool to combat bullying and encourage teens to talk about the issue. He applied for a $5,000 grant with the Pepsi Refresh Project for funding the venture. After a two month public voting campaign Alex's idea was chosen as one of the ten to receive funding. 'The mission of Speak Out: The Documentary is to make a positive difference in the lives of children and youth and build a bully-free society for all students and community members,' said Alex Vander Vlugt in a press release. 'Created by youth for youth, the film will help us speak out for those that can't.'" Read More

Parenting, Part II: Talk to teens about alcohol

USA Today, April 12, 2011 "As prom and graduation season looms, parental worries turn to alcohol. And they should: About 70% of teens drink during high school years, and 23% of seniors admitted to binge drinking in 2010, researchers at the University of Michigan say. Today's teens drink less than many of their parents did, but alcohol remains a major killer, especially for teens who drink and drive or get into cars with drunken drivers. Ask an emergency room doctor about the effect of teen drinking — as I did this week — and you'll hear stories that will haunt you. 'It is so unbelievably painful to go out and tell a parent that their child has been hurt badly by something that was preventable,' says Sandra Schneider, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians." Read More

Monday, April 11, 2011

Successful Schools May Help Keep Kids Out of Trouble

HealthDay News, April 9, 2011 "Students who go to schools that achieve better-than-expected academic results may be less likely to use drugs or alcohol, steal or fight, finds a new study. University of Florida researchers looked at academic achievement scores at 61 inner-city middle schools in Chicago between 2002 and 2005. Seven schools did better than expected and the rates of drug and alcohol use and delinquency by students at those schools were as much as 25 percent lower compared to other schools. The study was published in the March issue of the journal Prevention Science. The schools in the study all had high numbers of students from ethnic minorities and poor homes, factors that are often associated with lower achievement in school, noted lead author Amy Tobler, a research assistant professor of health outcomes and policy at the University of Florida College of Medicine." Read More

April is National Alcohol Awareness Month

Brookfield Patch (Brookfield, CT) April 10, 2011 "April is national Alcohol Awareness Month, a timely subject as families prepare for prom, graduation season and summer break. The Housatonic Valley Coalition Against Substance Abuse (HVCASA) is encouraging all 12 of its Local Prevention Councils — serving Bethel, Brookfield, Danbury, Newtown, New Milford, Sherman, Ridgefield, Redding, New Fairfield, Bridgewater, Roxbury, Washington, Warren, Morris, Goshen, Litchfield, Kent, Sharon, Salisbury, Canaan, North Canaan and Cornwall — to join in the state-wide public awareness campaign known as 'Set The Rules CT.' Developed by the Office of Policy and Management (OPM), this campaign aims to reduce underage drinking by educating parents about Connecticut's Social Host Law and the impact of alcohol on the teen brain." Read More

Speakers share experiences with bullying at prevention rally

CT Post (Fairfield, CT) April 11, 2011 "When Michael Cicirelli was attending high school in Ohio, he was the target of several bullies who routinely physically and verbally attacked him. 'They hit me in my kidneys, legs, spine, but never my face -- I never got a black eye,' he said, adding they wanted the bruising to go unnoticed. 'They would kick and punch me when there was no one else around,' he added. 'I remember being scared and humiliated,' Cicirelli, 23, said, but he was reluctant to turn in the trio. That's because he is from a very a 'highly conservative' section of Ohio where 'it's a scandal to be gay,' he said." Read More

Friday, April 8, 2011

Bullying Remains in School District’s Spotlight

Westport Patch (Westport, CT) April 5, 2011 "After a YouTube video saying there was bullying at Bedford Middle School went viral, school officials continue responding to the national attention garnered by the clip. 'It is important to note, that despite the recent media attention, Bedford is a place where kindness and inclusion abound,' said Bedford principal Melissa Kay in her monthly email message to parents. 'Many students feel that the media has inaccurately portrayed their school. Students at Bedford, as in all schools, struggle with making appropriate decisions and choices some of the time.' In the video titled 'Words are worse than Sticks and Stones,' 13-year-old Alye Pollack says she is bullied and insulted daily. She doesn’t say a word in the clip, but holds up pieces of paper explaining her situation. The video, which was reported by Patch on March 26, has since been featured on CBS, Fox News and the Huffington Post. It has more than 415,000 views." Read More

HVCASA Focuses On Preventing Underage Drinking For Alcohol Awareness Month

Ridgefield Patch (Ridgefield, CT) April 7, 2011 "April is national Alcohol Awareness Month. It is timely because it helps us to prepare for prom, graduation season and summer break. The Housatonic Valley Coalition Against Substance Abuse is encouraging all twelve of its Local Prevention Councils -- serving Bethel, Brookfield, Danbury, Newtown, New Milford, Sherman, Ridgefield, Redding, New Fairfield, Bridgewater, Roxbury, Washington, Warren, Morris, Goshen, Litchfield, Kent, Sharon, Salisbury, Canaan, North Canaan, and Cornwall -- to join in the state-wide public awareness campaign known as 'Set The Rules CT'. Developed by the Office of Policy & Management, this campaign aims to reduce underage drinking by educating parents about Connecticut's Social Host Law and the impact of alcohol on the teen brain." Read More

Survey Slated to Target Teen Alcohol Use

Hamden Patch (Hamden, CT) April 8, 2011 "An alarming nationwide study released this week shows teenagers believe downing five or more alcoholic drinks every day is no big deal. The study released Wednesday by The Partnership at shows that 45 percent of teens surveyed nationwide saw no great risk in consuming that much alcohol on a daily basis. And of the 2,544 teens nationwide who responded to anonymous questionnaires from March to June 2010, nearly 70 percent of them have tried alcohol. The average age most teens said they had their first drink was 14, with nearly a quarter of those teens saying they first consumed alcohol as young as age 12, the study showed." Read More

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Students honored in DARE ceremony

Record-Journal (Meriden, CT) April 5, 2011 "Students from public and private schools were honored Monday night at the 22nd Drug Abuse Resistance Education awards ceremony at the Four Points by Sheraton hotel. Eleven fifth-graders received top student awards and 13 high school students received role model awards. 'Every one of these students are helpful, kind, considerate, respectful. That’s what we try to teach at DARE,' said DARE coordinator Tom Cirillo, a police officer. 'They follow the DARE philosophy.' The top students were chosen for their excellence in the DARE program by their teachers, Cirillo said. Role model students are high schoolers who volunteer to help teach the DARE curriculum and who answer questions from elementary school students about their choices concerning, drugs, alcohol, smoking or choosing friends." Read More

Wheaties FUEL® Champions Mentorship with “FUEL a Future” Campaign

Business Wire (Minneapolis, MN) April 6, 2011 "Wheaties FUEL®, the first-ever cereal designed specifically to help fuel wins, today launches its 'FUEL a Future' campaign to empower parents and other mentors to help develop the next generation of champions through sports. Starting April 6, any adult can pledge to play one game of basketball with a child in their family or community at Wheaties FUEL will donate $1 per pledge to Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Wheaties FUEL guarantees a $50,000 donation to Boys & Girls Clubs and will donate up to $40,000 more based on pledges.* To celebrate the launch of the 'FUEL a Future' campaign, Wheaties FUEL is hosting a special mentor event today at the James Jordan Boys & Girls Club in Chicago. Twenty-six Chicagoland teens and their mentors have been invited to participate in an exclusive basketball clinic and private discussion with a special guest 'coach.'" Read More

Dancing for ‘Champions’: Fundraiser to Benefit Mentor Group

Fairfield Mirror (Fairfield, CT) April 5, 2011 "'Mentoring Makes Champions for Life – you can help ‘champion’ a child to better grades, better confidence, more strength in the face of adversity, and a successful, crime-free adult life'. So reads the pamphlet for one of Fairfield’s newer student organizations, the Champions Mentoring program. This student-run organization, started by Christine Beggan ’12 seeks to provide healthy mentor-mentee relationships with young students in Bridgeport with either one or both of their parents incarcerated. Beggan has paired up with FUSA’s Freshman Class Council to host the first-ever Dance-a-Thon to raise money for the Champions program." Read More

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

National Study Confirms Teen Drug Use Trending in Wrong Direction: Marijuana, Ecstasy Use Up Since 2008, Parents Feel Ill-Equipped to Respond

PR Newswire (New York, NY) April 6, 2011 "Following a decade of steady declines, a new national study released today by The Partnership at and MetLife Foundation indicates that teen drug and alcohol use is headed in the wrong direction, with marked increases in teen use of marijuana and Ecstasy over the past three years. The 22nd annual Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS), sponsored by MetLife Foundation, affirms a disturbing trend that has emerged among American teens since 2008 and highlights that as underage drinking becomes more normalized among adolescents, parents feel unable to respond to the negative shifts in teen drug and alcohol use. According to the three-year trend confirmed in this year's 2010 PATS data, there was a significant 67 percent increase in the number of teens who reported using Ecstasy in the past year (from 6 percent in 2008 to 10 percent in 2010). Similarly, past-year marijuana use among teens increased by a disturbing 22 percent (from 32 percent in 2008 to 39 percent in 2010)." Read More

'Don't be that kid:' Westport schools battle bullying

Westport News (Westport, CT) April 5, 2011 "Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon -- a week after a Westport middle school student's YouTube video pleading for an end to bullying gained widespread attention -- outlined for the Board of Education on Monday the school district's efforts to curb bullying at every level of the school system. Beyond the schools' anti-bullying policy, adopted in 2002, he said the initiative includes a social skills curriculum in kindergarten to health classes at the high school level designed to prevent bullying and hazing. There are even workshops for parents on the subject. 'I think the parent education part is huge,' said Westport PTA Council Co-President Marianne Goodell, 'because, sadly, we often find the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.'" Read More

Stamford Middle School Welcomes Olympian Apolo Anton Ohno to Learn to Say 'Yes' to a Healthy Lifestyle and 'No' to Underage Drinking

PR Newswire (Norwalk, CT) April 1, 2011 "April is Alcohol Awareness Month, and Diageo, the world's leading spirits, wine and beer company, and industry leader in promoting responsible drinking, marked the occasion by congratulating Apolo Ohno, the most decorated US Winter Olympian for presenting The Century Council's interactive 'Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don't Mix' program at the Cloonan Middle school in Stamford. Guy Smith, Executive Vice President, Diageo North America, a founding member of The Century Council, said of the event, 'Diageo employees are mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, grandmothers and grandfathers too, and we never want kids to consume our products. We know that educating them about the dangers of underage drinking can help and that is why Diageo is proud to support Apolo Ohno in his work with The Century Council and the Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don't Mix initiative.' The Century Council created an interactive, physical fitness activity that builds on the existing Ask, Listen, Learn program and encourages kids to 'say 'YES' to a healthy lifestyle and 'NO' to underage drinking.' The activity, as well as a supporting website, encourages kids to live a healthy lifestyle. The website also provides parents with information and strategies to help jumpstart the conversation about the dangers of underage drinking." Read More

Monday, April 4, 2011

No Retreat: Marijuana Is A Dangerous Drug, To Society As Well As Users

Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT) April 1, 2011 "Marijuana is a harmful, federally illegal drug that does not save or improve lives. There are several bills before the General Assembly this year that would decriminalize pot. The harm to public health and safety and increased cost to law enforcement far outweigh any perceived benefit. Marijuana is a gateway drug that ruins lives. Many of my constituents suffer unbelievable hardships because of marijuana use by their children. I am reminded of the horror of a friend and constituent, Ronni McLaughlin, who found her beautiful son dead in her home after he overdosed on drugs at the age of 20. Her son Dan opened the gate to drug abuse by smoking a few joints of marijuana. His marijuana addiction created a desire for more potent substances and finally heroin, which ended his life. This story has been repeated by too many Connecticut families." Read More

Learn How to Spot Fake IDs at Fairfield U. Forum

Fairfield Patch (Fairfield, CT) April 3, 2011 "Despite a growing effort to prevent underage drinking in Fairfield County, law enforcement officials say people under the age of 21 are still trying to use fake identification cards to purchase alcohol. Taking a step towards educating businesses on the problems associated with fake ID use, the Fairfield Police Department in association with Fairfield University is sponsoring a training program for restaurants, bars and liquor stores on how to spot fake IDs. The forum is scheduled for Tuesday, April 12 at Fairfield University at 1073 North Benson Road. The free event will be held from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. at Alumni House." Read More

Study Looks At College Kids, Binge Drinking

Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT) April 3, 2011 "For all the studies on alcohol abuse in college, researchers still have questions about it: What are the long-term effects of drinking in school? How does binge drinking affect the brain? Why do some students who drink heavily in college have no drinking problems later in life, while others do? These are among the questions being explored in an ongoing study at three Connecticut colleges on binge drinking among college students. Researchers at Trinity College, Yale University and Central Connecticut State University have completed three years of the five-year study and were to present some of their findings so far at the annual Cognitive Neuroscience Society meeting in San Francisco this past weekend. The Brain and Alcohol Research with College Students (BARCS) study, funded with a $3 million grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, has more than 2,000 students as subjects from Trinity and CCSU. Students in their first years are surveyed about their drinking habits and their family's drinking habits. A saliva sample is taken to allow researchers to examine genetic material." Read More

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Partnership at Responds to New Research Linking Reduced Drug Use Among Young Girls and Exposure to Drug Abuse Prevention Messages

PR Newswire (New York, NY) March 31, 2011 "An independent study published in this month's American Journal of Public Health found a link between greater exposure to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy's (ONDCP's) 'Above the Influence' campaign and reduced drug use among females. The research found that girls 'might be especially receptive to' drug abuse prevention messages about achievement and living life above negative influences that are part of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign (NYADMC). The Partnership at today welcomed the new study findings that come at a time when, over the past seven years, cuts in federal funding for the campaign have drastically reduced teens' exposure to its drug abuse prevention messages by two-thirds – placing future funding and support for the NYADMC in serious doubt." Read More

"Grim Reaper Day" urges students not to drink

Greenwich Time (Greenwich, CT) March 31, 2011 "Thirty-six students walked among their classmates down the halls of Greenwich High School Thursday wearing long, white T-shirts and yellow placards around their necks describing how they 'died,' based on true events: 'Today, I was at a party. I drank too much, passed out and died from blood alcohol poisoning. I wish someone had called 911,' a placard read. 'Today, while crossing Hillside Road, a drunk driver hit me. I died after being on life support for 12 hours,' another stated. These students volunteered to participate in GHS's first 'Grim Reaper Day' to draw attention to teen alcohol-related tragedies, enacting their own 'deaths' to show their peers alcohol-related tragedies could happen to them and that they are preventable." Read more