Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Why Do We Now Have a Prescription Drug Abuse Problem?

The Huffington Post, May 30, 2011

"Everybody's talking about it -- the fastest-growing drugs of abuse are prescribed painkillers, synthetic opiates like OxyContin.
There's nothing surprising about these drugs' ascendance. Painkillers have always been Americans' number-one drug attraction, in direct descent from morphine to heroin to Demerol to Percodan to... the present.
The best painkillers provide a sense of detachment from stress and emotional incontinence; that's why soldiers in Vietnam loved the heroin there so much, although most overcame their addictions (even including those who sampled narcotics stateside) once they got home." Read More

Pharm parties expose teens to dangers of mixing prescription drugs

Review Journal (Las Vegas, NV) May 31, 2011

"Prescription pills are becoming an increasingly popular drug of choice among teens, in part because of their accessibility.
'Pharm' parties are an emerging trend where an assortment of pills is mixed in a bowl and taken at random by partygoers, police officials said.
These pharm parties, or pharming, pill or phishing parties, as they're called, can be deadly.
It happened in 2006 when a girl attended a high school party while the host's parents were out of town. To enter the party, each kid had to donate prescription pills into the bowl." Read More

Friday, May 27, 2011

New Milford agency signs up to stop underage drinking

News Times (New Milford, CT) May 26, 2011

"Kevin Kwas wants to create a stigma against underage drinking.
Not as far as the New Milford Youth Agency intervention program manager is concerned. In fact, Kwas is counting on it being possible because he and fellow youth advocates know young lives are at stake.
Far from naive, the 11-year NMYA leader is well aware that the fight against underage drinking is a constant battle. To some, teenage consumption is seen as a rite of passage that's ignored until another family is devastated by an alcohol-induced tragedy." Read More

Yale study to decrease binge drinking

WTNH News-8 (New Haven, CT) May 26, 2011

"Binge drinking is becoming a large health and social problem in the United States.
Among young adults, binge drinking is often looked upon as a rite of passage, but it does come with serious consequences.
Now there's a Yale study aimed at 18 to 25 year olds to help reduce heavy drinking.
'I never really had a problem with drinking, I drink socially, but I think binge drinking is on a rapid climb nowadays,' says Tommy Horton of New Haven.
'There's beer pong, people doing shots, losing their inhibitions and getting involved with things they wouldn't get involved in and the next day having regrets,' says Katy Horton of New Haven." Read More

Cyber-bullying bill clears the state Senate on a unanimous vote

Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT) May 26, 2011

"A bill that aims to prevent cyber-bullying passed the state Senate unanimously today.
Lawmakers discussed the measure for about an hour and, after agreeing it was a good idea, placed the item on the consent calendar. It was approved this evening.
The bill would give school officials a tool to intervene when students are harassed or threatened through electronic means. It would require that school principals ensure a safe environment exists at every school and provide training in suicide prevention to teachers and other education officials.
And it seeks to regulate cyber-bullying that occurs off school grounds, if those actions impact the victim's schoolwork or willingness to attend school." Read More

Thursday, May 26, 2011

BU Joins Binge Drinking Study

BU Today (Boston, MA) May 26, 2011

"Binge drinking remains a serious public health issue on college campuses across the country. According to a 2010 study conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, nearly four of five college students drink. In the same survey, two of five students reported binge drinking at some point in the previous two weeks.
And there are even more sobering statistics: nearly 2,000 college students age 18 to 24 die each year from alcohol-related injuries. Another 600,000 are unintentionally injured after drinking. Alcohol use has also been linked to sexual abuse, unsafe sex, and academic problems.
Up until now, academic institutions have largely been on their own in their struggle to find solutions to the problem. But a new collaboration sponsored by Dartmouth College and including 14 institutions—Boston University among them—will now share and test their various methods for reducing binge drinking." Read More

Bullying seminar held in Cheshire

Record-Journal (Cheshire, CT) May 25, 2011

"The state legislature could be adding to public schools' bullying prevention requirements and attempting to improve school climates.
Connecticut Conference of Schools held a series of workshops which ended Wednesday that addressed some requirements of the new law and the topic of creating a positive school culture. Dave Maloney, conference assistant executive director, said many of the school administrators who attended had been keeping up with the law's progress.
'I think they came today to hear much more about the bigger question about building a positive school climate,' he said. 'It's all designed to make schools more positive places for learning.'" Read More

Teen drinking trend is quantity over frequency

West Hartford News (West Hartford, CT) May 25, 2011

"Across the nation, teen binge drinking incidents sky rocket on prom night. And with prom season here, concerns have been ratcheted up as local law enforcement, parents and counselors struggle to curb the trend.
The Community Action Research Team is a group of West Hartford youths who engaged in a yearlong research project in which they analyzed binge drinking among their peers.
One of the key findings was the pervasiveness and perceived normalcy of binge drinking among West Hartford teens." Read More

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Saloon To Shut For One Day As Punishment For Underage Drinking

Weston-Redding-Easton Patch (Redding, CT) May 24, 2011

"The Georgetown Saloon will be raging on June 12, when Georgetown Day returns to Redding. But if the restaurant seems quiet the next day, it’s won’t be because everyone is recuperating from the previous day’s festivities.
The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection announced yesterday that the Saloon would be closed on June 13 for alleged violation of two of the state’s statutes: sale of alcohol to a minor and permitting a minor to be in a barroom.
On Dec. 18, 2010, a compliance check conducted by the state’s Liquor Control Commission, in coordination with the Redding and Wilton Police Departments, found three of Redding’s bars to be in violation of the law — the Saloon, the Lumberyard Pub and the Redding Roadhouse." Read More

Angela Carella: Loss creates chain of help for teens

Stamford Advocate (Stamford, CT) May 24, 2011

"A year after Rachel Sottosanti died, her father gave her a day.
He invited all of Stamford to the Italian Center to eat barbecue and play softball, a sport Rachel loved, and raise money for scholarships in her name. He also had a doctor speak about teen suicide, which is how Rachel's life ended at 19.
Now, two years after Rachel's death, David Sottosanti again is inviting Stamford to Rae's Day, slated for June 11 at the Italian Center. In the time since the first event, teenagers -- friends of Rachel and his other three daughters, and players he coaches in youth softball and basketball -- are talking to him, Sottosanti said." Read more

Anheuser-Busch Will Reduce Alcohol In Fruity Malt Beverage, "Tilt"

The Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT) May 24, 2011

"Anheuser-Busch InBevagreed this week to reduce the alcohol content on its fruity malt beverage, Tilt, from 12 percent to 8 percent.The beverage is sold in 24-ounce cans that come in blue-raspberry, lemon-lime and other flavors.Attorney General George Jepsen praised the beer company's decision, saying it reduces the amount of alcohol in a 24-ounce can to 3.2 servings from nearly five.
'I am pleased that Anheuser-Busch has taken our concerns seriously and reduced the number of servings of alcohol in Tilt," Jepsen said. "I urge other manufacturers of similar products to also substantially reduce their alcohol content. We look forward to continued discussions to that end.'" Read More

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

STEPS Makes Strides in Awareness With Spring Campaign

Southington Patch (Southington, CT) May 22, 2011

"As a follow up to our two-part series in April 2011, one which looked at STEPS present and future, we zoomed in for an update on the progress of STEPS in its most recent initiatives.
STEPS is a Southington community coalition with a mission aimed at growing great children. STEPS is an acronym for Southington's Town-wide Effort to Promote Success.
It also describes the nature of its vision as a series of steps over time, rather than a quick fix. STEPS is made up of students, parents, educators, media, clergy, law enforcement representatives, business members and other community stakeholders all dedicated to its singular long-term purpose." Read More

Preventing bullying

WTNH News-8, May 23, 2011

"More than 100 educators, administrators, parents and students statewide set to participate in Bullying Prevention Workshop Series. Three one-day workshops will teach schools how to prevent bullying by implementing positive school climate best practices.
With a focus on Connecticut’s youth, The Governor’s Prevention Partnership is a statewide public-private alliance, building a strong, healthy future workforce through leadership in mentoring and prevention of violence, underage drinking, alcohol and drug abuse. Created in 1989, The Governor’s Prevention Partnership is a statewide public-private alliance dedicated to building a strong, healthy child ready to succeed in our future workforce. Co-chaired by Governor Dan Malloy and Donald Langer, CEO of AmeriChoice by United Healthcare, The Partnership has become a leading example of the power of partnerships to benefit youth in the areas of mentoring and prevention of violence, bullying, underage drinking, alcohol and drug abuse." Read More

Teens relaxing attitudes toward drinking

The Record Journal (Meriden, CT) May 22, 2011

"It's easy to say that throughout high school Chantel Martin didn't just coast by. As secretary of the 2011 senior class, member of the National Honor Society, secretary of student council, recruiter for Wilcox Technical High School and captain of the volleyball team, she hasn't had much time for a social life.
When she has had time for a social life, it's involved parties with alcohol. She's decided to pass on the booze.
'Everyone was stupid drunk at the party I went to,' said Martin, a Wilcox senior. 'I had commitments the next day, so I just decided to pass.'
Now that she's graduating and heading off to the University of Connecticut in the fall, she's already decided that she's going to continue passing on the red plastic cup in college." Read More

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Binge Drinking May Damage Memory

Discovery News, May 18, 2011

"After surveying a group of college-aged students at a Chilean university, the research team selected 122 to participate in the study. Nearly half reported binge drinking while the other half did not. Researchers made sure the students had similar grades, didn't use recreational drugs regularly and shared consistent intelligence scores.
During the experiment, students were tasked with learning a list of words. After going over the list five times, scientists asked the students to repeat the words they could remember, even if they weren't in the same order as the list. Participants were also given stories to memorize and shown photos of family members to describe later.
Researchers found that binge drinkers were less capable of recalling items from the list and performed worse at remembering the details of the story. There wasn't a difference in performance between groups when they were asked to provide details from photos of family members." Read More

Childhood Plastic Surgery to Combat Bullying: A Disturbing Trend, Doctors say

Fox News (Houston, TX) May 18, 2011

"The number of children and teens getting plastic surgery has gone up 30 percent over the last decade.
More and more are resorting to operations to avoid being picked on and bullied.
Girl Gets Ears Pinned
You may remember South Dakota 1st grader Samantha Shaw. She went national after undergoing surgery to get her ears pinned back.
Her mom turned to plastic surgery as a preventative to bullying.
Shaw’s plastic surgeon believes there’s a difference between cosmetic surgery and reconstructive surgery.
While that may be true, many people don’t make that distinction. They say plastic surgery is plastic surgery and is not appropriate for a young child or teenager." Read More

Fake IDs offered to teens online

WBTV (Mecklenburg County, NC) May 18, 2011

"With prom season here and graduations right around the corner, underage drinking becomes an even more immediate concern for parents and law enforcement.
Gone are the days of borrowing an older sibling's driver's license or tampering with the birth date on your own license.
These days high school and college students have access to something previous generations did not have- a world of ever-evolving technology at their fingertips. The internet offers kids the opportunity to purchase a very convincing fake identification card without leaving their bedroom." Read More

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Adderall abuse can cause serious long-term damage

KSL.com (Salt Lake City, UT) May 17, 2011

"Students across the country are abusing a prescription drug typically used to treat ADHD. It's the so-called 'smart drug' also known as a 'study buddy' called Adderall. Experts say one in 10 people use it without a prescription.
'I had a few friends my freshman year use Adderall, primarily to study but sometimes they'd also use it for recreation,' said a student who didn't want to reveal his identity.
He explained that he noticed Adderall helped his friends study, and that's actually the problem: Doctors say that when taking Adderall under a doctor's care, people usually do well. However, when used without a prescription, people can begin the downward spiral of addiction." Read More

MADD to discuss the dangers of teen drinking

The Day (Groton, CT) May 17, 2011

"'Power of Parents, It’s Your Influence,' a free workshop launched by MADD, the Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and sponsored by Nationwide Insurance and the GASP coalition will take place at 6 p.m. May 25 at the library.
The program is designed to help parents and caregivers of teenagers talk about the dangers of underage drinking. As part of the 30-minute program, parents will receive a handbook to equip them with the tools to help keep their teen safe.
'Parents are the number one influence in their child’s decisions about drinking,' said Michelle Hamilton, coordinator at Ledge Light Health District for the Groton Adolescent Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition. 'The GASP Coalition recognizes that most Groton teens don’t drink alcohol, but having open conversations with your kids about the dangers of underage drinking, and setting clear rules is an important part of prevention.'" Read More

Anti-bullying workshop series starting in Conn.

Washington Examiner, May 17, 2011

"A three-day series of workshops to recognize and prevent school bullying is kicking off in Connecticut.
Teachers, administrators, parents and students from throughout the state are scheduled to participate in the workshops, which start Wednesday at the Connecticut Association of Schools headquarters in Cheshire.
The training includes separate events addressing the different kinds of bullying in elementary, middle and high school settings. Students and administrators also will discuss programs they've used to reduce bullying in their schools." Read More

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tips for parents about underage drinking

News Times (Danbury, CT) May 16, 2011

"The Governor’s Prevention Partnership and the Connecticut State Police are urging parents to talk with their teens about the dangers of underage drinking and drug abuse especially since a new study found that as underage drinking is becoming more normalized, parents have trouble talking to their children.
In new study shows that: teens report almost half (45 percent) do not see a 'great risk' in heavy drinking; only 31 percent of teens strongly disapprove of teens and peers their age getting drunk; a majority of teens, 73 percent report having friends who drink alcohol at least once a week.
*One in three (32%) said they drank to 'forget their troubles;' nearly one in four (24%) said they used alcohol to help deal with problems at home; one i five (20%) of teens reported they drank to “deal with the social pressures and stress of school." Read More

Monday, May 16, 2011

How NOT to raise a bully (or a victim)

WTKR-TV3 News Channel 3 (Hampton Roads, CT) May 13, 2011

"Millions of people around the world have seen this viral video from Australia. Watch as the larger boy slams the smaller one to the concrete. It's enough to make the blood boil.
But those who've seen it, know this is the 'end' of the video - now watch the beginning.
Whatever history exists between the two, it's the smaller boy who picks this particular fight, who throws the first punch, and that's also violent behavior.
By no means does it excuse the larger boy's actions, but it does underscore how tricky the bullying problem can be.
'I just wanted to fit in,' said Robert Diaz.
Vinal Tech High School student Roberto Diaz says he's been on both ends of the bully equation. Before he came out as gay, Diaz harassed other kids who had come out." Read more

Our overblown paranoia about the Internet and teens

PopRx, May 16, 2011

"In David Schwimmer's recent film 'Trust,' a teen girl falls for a boy she meets on the Internet. But when they agree to meet face to face, she discovers he's an adult man approaching middle age. By now, we can all see the horror that is coming: The young girl is raped by a pedophile, and her world collapses into a million little pieces.
'Trust' is the latest film to stir our deep desire to protect children from the evil that lurks on the Web. Practically speaking, that may mean taking away teens' cell phones, sitting beside them as they use the computer, or buying filtering software. It's understandable that -- like television, movies and rock 'n' roll before it -- the Internet has become a lightning rod for parental anxiety. And as a pediatrician, I can assure you doctors have been pulled into this debate about 'e-risks,' as I call them: Internet pedophilia, sexting, cyberbullying and, most recently, "Facebook depression" (more on that later). Parents worry about how their teen's use of the Web is affecting their health. Do they need a prescription sleep aid, or is all that late-night gaming making it hard to sleep? Do they have ADHD, or do most kids IM 50 people while they're doing their homework? The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a report in March on the risks posed to youth on the Internet and how doctors like me should address the issue." Read More

Second medication drop-off a success

Greenwich Time (Greenwich, CT) May 15, 2011

"Nearly 7,000 pounds of unwanted and expired medications were turned in to police stations throughout Connecticut during a national event which took place on April 30.
The Greenwich Police Department participated in the national prescription drug take-back initiative for the second time seeking to take medications off the street so they could be disposed of properly.
About 40 people showed up to Greenwich police headquarters to drop off medication during the initiative, which was sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Agency. Across New England, officials pulled in nearly 39,000 pounds of medication, according to officials. More than 180 tons of medication were collected across the country, where more than 5,000 collection sites were set up. Exact figures for medication collected in Greenwich were not available." Read More

Thursday, May 12, 2011

IN OUR SCHOOLS: Eileen FitzGerald Criminal charges in teen bullying case could send a message

News-Times (Danbury, CT) May 11, 2011

"Massachusetts high school freshman Phoebe Prince paid a terrible price for the meanness of others when she committed suicide Jan. 14, 2010, after two months of relentless bullying.
The 15-year-old Irish immigrant brought national attention to the serious problem of bullying and her short life will have a lasting impact if it improves the future for others who are targets, too.
Just maybe.
Six students were charged with felonies for harassing Prince, a dramatic statement by the Northampton district attorney to hold them accountable for their poor judgment." Read more

Internet Use Linked to Teen Drinking

Fox News, May 11, 2011

"Teens who drink alcohol spend more time using the computer for activities such as social networking than do those who don't drink alcohol, according to a new study.
The study found a link between recreational use of the computer (for non-school related activities) and teen drinking.
The finding suggests certain online activities may influence teen drinking. For instance, it's possible references to alcohol on social networking sites or online advertisements may encourage teenagers to drink, the researchers say.
However, the study found only an association, and not a direct cause-effect link. This means it's impossible to tell which happened first: the computer use or the drinking. It could also be that teens who drink are prone to using the computer for longer periods of time." Read More

Alcohol and Minors Don't Mix, Says Panel

Fairfield Patch (Fairfield, CT) May 12, 2011

"Bad decisions can have dire consequences especially when it comes to underage drinking.
That was the message drilled home Wednesday night in the Fairfield Warde High School auditorium by a team of moderators and the Interactive Educational Theatre group, which performed a series of skits illustrating all too common scenarios related to alcohol and minors.
The theatre group, a non-profit touring company that specializes in social issue education, was comprised of teachers Erika Nelson-Hayden, Tony Republicano and Magda Skomal. The moderators were Fairfield criminal defense attorney Megan McLoughlin, Fairfield Police Chief Gary MacNamara and Fairfield Police Lt. Tom Mrozek. About two dozen local parents of teens attended." Read More

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Protecting Teens from Dating Violence

Shelton Patch (Shelton, CT) May 9, 2011

"In nearly lock-step bi-partisan fashion, the Connecticut General Assembly moves to further protect teens from the perils of dating violence.
HB 6629 would allow teens to secure a restraining order against an abusive teen dating partner. HB 6053 would revise the state's bullying law to include teen dating violence. And SB 1138 targets cyber-bullying. The three proposed bills should get a floor vote in the coming weeks.
'The whole idea here is how teens can protect themselves through the legal system,' said Bob Kocienda, chair of the Norwalk-based Center for Youth Leadership." Read More

Former CHS Grad Talks Dangers Of Drunk Driving

The Cheshire Herald (Cheshire, CT) May 7, 2011

"By his own admission, Ryan Tapp is the prime example that 'it can't happen to me.'
Tapp, a 2006 Cheshire High School graduate, admits that he spent every weekend from his sophomore to his senior year getting drunk with friends in town. He often drove home drunk from whatever party he was at, putting himself and others at risk. In school, he did not apply himself, and 'never bothered' to get more than a C.
Yet despite that, Tapp was serving in the Marines, eventually on his way to Iraq, a dream and goal he set for himself when he was just a boy. But that all changed forever at 3 a.m. on January 1, 2008. He would never fulfill his dream.
Tapp, who was 20 at the time, spent New Year's Eve partying at Central Connecticut State University. He decided to leave the party and come back to his parent's house in Cheshire. None of his friends even knew he had left.
Tapp, who was drunk, got onto Interstate 84 to head home. He was driving westbound towards Cheshire, on the eastbound side of the highway." Read More

Teenage Alcohol Consumption Associated With Computer Use

Newswise (New York, NY) May 9, 2011

"Teenagers who drink alcohol spend more time on their computers for recreational use, including social networking and downloading and listening to music, compared with their peers who don't drink.
Results of an anonymous survey of 264 teenagers were reported in the online edition of the journal Addictive Behaviors in a study authored by Weill Cornell Medical College public health researcher Dr. Jennifer Epstein.
'While the specific factors linking teenage drinking and computer use are not yet established, it seems likely that adolescents are experimenting with drinking and activities on the Internet. In turn, exposure to online material such as alcohol advertising or alcohol-using peers on social networking sites could reinforce teens' drinking,' says Dr. Epstein, assistant professor of public health at Weill Cornell Medical College." Read More

Monday, May 9, 2011

Former CHS Grad Talks Dangers Of Drunk Driving

Cheshire Herald (Cheshire, CT) May 7, 2011

"By his own admission, Ryan Tapp is the prime example that 'it can't happen to me.'
Tapp, a 2006 Cheshire High School graduate, admits that he spent every weekend from his sophomore to his senior year getting drunk with friends in town. He often drove home drunk from whatever party he was at, putting himself and others at risk. In school, he did not apply himself, and 'never bothered' to get more than a C.
Yet despite that, Tapp was serving in the Marines, eventually on his way to Iraq, a dream and goal he set for himself when he was just a boy. But that all changed forever at 3 a.m. on January 1, 2008. He would never fulfill his dream.
Tapp, who was 20 at the time, spent New Year's Eve partying at Central Connecticut State University. He decided to leave the party and come back to his parent's house in Cheshire. None of his friends even knew he had left.
Tapp, who was drunk, got onto Interstate 84 to head home. He was driving westbound towards Cheshire, on the eastbound side of the highway." Read More

Putnam High School tries to direct students away from drinking, driving

Norwich Bulletin (Putnam, CT) May 7, 2011

"For Putnam High School’s first-year Students Against Destructive Decisions chapter, it’s crunch time — and not just because finals are around the corner.
In the week leading up to the prom Friday, the 14 students, mostly seniors, will bring in the director of nursing from the local hospital, put on a mock car crash and distribute letters from elementary schoolers asking their peers not to drink alcohol, and especially not to drink and drive. It’s the culmination of a year’s worth of substance abuse prevention work.
Lisa Mooney, a social worker at the elementary and high schools and the group’s adviser, said the efforts aim to communicate two messages: first, that drunken driving carries very real, sometimes life-ending consequences, and second, that younger students do care about and look up to high-schoolers." Read more

Taking on the bullies

The Day (Westerly, CT) May 8, 2011

"On a warm spring evening at the Seaside Dance studio in Westerly, troupe members used their nimble limbs to send a message: Bullying hurts.
Eleven- to 18-year-olds in black leotards pirouetted through Adam Lambert's 'Mad World,' tap-danced to 'Mean Girls' by Sugarland and used modern dance moves to simulate a suicide in Pearl Jam's grunge classic, 'Jeremy.'
In their award-winning 'Take a Stand' number, the girls called out statistics about bullying, and together they have a strong voice, for every last one has a story to tell about being treated cruelly by their contemporaries.
It does not matter that they are bright, beautiful young ladies. All have been stung, and they say bullying is escalating, mostly because kids have near-constant access to phones and computers." Read More

Monday, May 2, 2011

Attorneys General Blast Latest Malt Beverage

Bethwood Patch (Bethwood, CT) April 30, 2011

"A new fruit-flavored malt drink that crams 4.7 servings of alcohol into a 23.5-ounce can is under fire by attorneys general from Connecticut to California.
In a letter sent to the Pabst Brewing Companydated April 21, 16 state attorneys general – including Connecticut’s George Jepsen – urged the company to dial down the alcohol content in the drink called Blast by Colt 45, which the letter labeled a 'binge-in-a-can' product. (Find the letter attached to this article as a PDF)
'It’s an alcohol delivery system,' said Buddy Sangalli, director of the Connecticut Poison Control Center. 'It’s possible for some people – depending on body size, naiveté to alcohol – to get alcohol poisoning from one can.'" Read More

Energy Drinks and Alcohol Still a Risky Mix

Food Safety News, May 2, 2011

"In the wake of regulatory threats against the makers of alcoholic energy drinks, some are calling for further scrutiny of nonalcoholic energy drinks promoted as mixers for alcohol.
Last year, after the Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission told the four biggest manufacturers of alcoholic energy drinks the caffeine in their beverages was an unsafe additive, and that their marketing might be unfair and deceptive, the companies agreed to reformulate.
Of course, that did nothing to stop people -- especially young people -- from adding alcohol to energy drinks as they've always done, but did call into question whether the practice should be encouraged in advertising and promotions.
'If marketing a product that combines caffeine and alcohol is illegally deceptive, then promoting a drink as a mixer is equally deceptive,' said Michele Simon, research and policy director at the Marin Institute, an alcohol industry watchdog." Read More

Woodland event takes on bullying

Milford-Orange Bulletin (Milford, CT) May 1, 2011

"It’s a Thursday afternoon, and about 18 kids are crowded around a table in a small meeting room at the Boys and Girls Club of Milford commiserating over what is, for many youths, a daily reality: being bullied.
'A long time ago when I started to come here, people kept calling me ‘unibrow’ because I had a unibrow, and it hurt my feelings a lot,' said a little girl with fluffy dark hair tamed by a pink headband.
'Once this kid was bullying me, and I got mad and flipped him over. He was bullying me for a long time,' a boy across the table chimed in.
These stories are reasons Nick Owens, 11, pushed two months ago for the Boys and Girls Club to start an anti-bullying group, an outlet where members could gather Thursday afternoons to empathize with others over such experiences, suggest ways to combat teasing and build self-esteem. Meanwhile, bullying stories and suicides and arrests related to them have captured the nation’s attention." Read More