Thursday, June 30, 2011

Local Coalitions Launch Safe Teens Campaign

Ledyard Patch (Ledyard, CT) June 27, 2011

"You would think that public health and safety officials who deal with the ill-effects of underage drinking would breathe a sigh of relief after the prom and graduation season is over.
Actually, says Ledyard Safe Teens Coordinator Karensa Mansfield, this is just the beginning.
'With graduation behind us and the start of summer vacation, teen-agers have a lot of time on their hands,' said Mansfield, whose organization is partnering with the Groton Adolescent Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition on a marketing campaign called 'Be the Wall.'" Read More

Nearly Half of U.S. Teens Smoke, Drink Alcohol, or Use Drugs

WebMD Health News, June 29, 2011

"Nearly half of all American high school students smoke, drink alcohol, or use illicit drugs, according to a new report. And one in four who started using these substances before they turned 18 may become addicts.
One-quarter of people in the U.S. who began using drugs or alcohol before age 18 meet the criteria for drug or alcohol addiction, compared with one of 25 Americans who started using drugs or alcohol when they were 21 or older, according to the report by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University in New York City.
'I was surprised at the prevalence of substance use disorders among young people,' says study author Susan E. Foster, CASA’s vice president and director of policy research and analysis. The new study opens a window of opportunity for providers and parents to intervene and prevent addiction, she says." Read More

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Study Reveals Possible Brain Damage in Young Adult Binge-Drinkers

Newswise (Cincinnati, OH) June 27, 2011

"It’s considered a rite of passage among young people – acting out their independence through heavy, episodic drinking. But a new University of Cincinnati study, the first of its kind nationally, is showing how binge drinking among adolescents and young adults could be causing serious damage to a brain that’s still under development at this age.
Researcher Tim McQueeny, a doctoral student in the UC Department of Psychology, is presenting the findings this week at the 34th annual meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism in Atlanta.
High-resolution brain scans on a sample of 29 weekend binge drinkers, aged 18 to 25, found that binge-drinking – consuming four or more drinks in one incident for females and five or more drinks for males – was linked to cortical-thinning of the pre-frontal cortex, the section of the brain related to executive functioning such as paying attention, planning and making decisions, processing emotions and controlling impulses leading to irrational behavior." Read More

Summer Bullying Prevention Tips For Your Family

The Huffington Post, June 28, 2011

"With the arrival of summer, camp season has officially begun! Across the country, parents have begun to pack bags, fill out forms and sew on name tags in preparation for this beloved rite of passage for their kids.
But the question remains: Although summer camp is typically a time in which boys and girls learn to step out from under the watchful gaze of their parents and celebrate a new kind of independence, how do parents protect their children from being bullied when they are so far away from home?" Read More

Research Shows Bullies and Victims Are Home Grown

Manchester Patch (Manchester, CT) June, 29, 2011

"Since I’ve been writing this article, many people have been sending me information on bullying. Thank you very much by the way, and “keep those cards and letters coming!”
A couple of recent items that I have received really caught my eye. They were scientific studies that showed the relationship between home life and bullies.
For example, a study from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) determined that, 'violent family encounters were most common among youth who were identified as someone who has both bullied and been victimized.'" Read More

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bowling Joins President Obama's Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative to Promote Responsible Fatherhood

PR Newswire (Arlington, TX) June 22, 2011

"The Bowling Proprietors' Association of America (BPAA), bowling's leading non-profit trade association and the voice of the industry, today announced a historic partnership with President Obama's Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative to help promote responsible fatherhood in the United States. As part of the partnership, and timed to National Bowling Day – August 6, 2011, the BPAA will offer free game coupons for fathers and sons on, the online home of the bowling industry.
The partnership with the BPAA is part of a larger initiative to promote responsible fatherhood by allowing fathers and their children to spend quality time together. President Obama is joining with fathers across the nation to send a strong message about personal responsibility and 'stepping up to the plate,' while supporting fathers who want to be there for their children." Read More

Milford Prevention Council Joins "Sticker Shock"

Milford Patch (Milford, CT) June 23, 2011

"Two busloads of teenagers pulled up behind Fairway Liquor Mart last Thursday. If you think this sounds like the start of a TV crime drama, think again.
The boys and girls, students at East Shore, West Shore, and Harborside middle schools, Lauralton Hall, and Jonathan Law High School were on a campaign to stop underage drinking.
Specifically, the goal of this program is to remind adults not to purchase alcohol to pass on to minors." Read More

Changes in state bullying law applauded

The Day (Norwich, CT) June 23, 2011

"Leaders of the effort to reduce bullying in the Norwich area applauded changes to the state's 2001 bullying law and await implementation by school systems in time for the new school year.
The Greater Norwich Anti-Bullying Coalition held a news conference Wednesday to discuss changes the group had lobbied for during the spring legislative session.
The bill, which awaits Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's signature, includes a new definition of bullying as repeated use of written, verbal or electronic communication or physical actions or gestures directed at another student. Schools must have a "school climate officer" to receive bullying reports and create a school-safe climate plan in addition to anti-bullying policies." Read More

Monday, June 20, 2011

Roberta Helming: Drugs are real danger to our kids, community

Norwich Bulletin (Norwich, CT) June 16, 2011

"It must have come as a real eye opener for Colchester parents when a Drug Enforcement Administration agent told them recently that drugs such as heroin and oxycontin are 'easily available' in small towns throughout Eastern Connecticut — even Colchester.
Eric Ebrus, a DEA agent assigned to the state police, revealed that little secret during a forum on teen drinking and drug abuse sponsored by the town, the schools and United Community and Family Services. But he could have been speaking to parents in any community.
The problem exists in every town. It knows no boundaries between poor towns or affluent cities. It has no racial, age, gender or class preferences." Read More

Chamber President: At Graduation Time, Remind Teens to Avoid Drugs, Alcohol

East Haddam-Haddam Patch (Haddam, CT) June 17, 2011

"High school graduation is a time to celebrate. As parents and guardians, this moment is a major milestone in the lives of our children and in our own lives as well. Let’s keep in mind, though, that we must continue to be parents and do the right thing when it comes to celebrating this great occasion; alcohol has no place at a teenage party.
Happily, an overwhelming number of Middlesex County parents intend to do the right thing this season. Last year the Middlesex County Substance Abuse Action Council, a nonprofit affiliate of the Chamber of Commerce, surveyed adults throughout Middlesex County.
A random sample of 631 parents responded. More than 80 percent said they were 'very much against' the idea of adults serving alcohol to teens at home parties. Some had even stronger negative opinions. Parents who refuse to serve alcohol are clearly in the majority, even though that majority may be silent at times." Read More

Putnam Bank Foundation Contributes $1,250 To Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters

The Hartford Courant (Putnam, CT) June 17, 2011

"The Putnam Bank Foundation has recently donated $1,250 to Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters for the ongoing support of the mentoring programs for over 150 at-risk children in Northeastern Connecticut, including the towns of Putnam, Killingly, Pomfret and Plainfield. Nutmeg's Northeast Connecticut mentoring program was established in 2008 due to funding provided by the State of Connecticut's Office of Policy and Management. The program continues as a direct result of the ongoing funding made available by the Putnam Bank Foundation.
'With the assistance of Putnam Bank,' said Laura Green, president & chief executive officer of Nutmeg, 'we've been able to benefit a great many deserving children in the area. In addition to consistent financial support, senior management at Putnam Bank has taken a decidedly hands-on approach to youth mentoring. It's one of the reasons we presented the bank one of our Community Partnership Awards in 2009. As a matter of fact, you can't get more hands on than Bob Halloran, Putnam Bank's president & chief executive officer. Bob has personal experience as a 'Big Brother' (friend, confidant and role model) to a local boy.'" Read More

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

M'town's Truth About Substance Abuse

Middletown Patch (Middletown, CT) June 13, 2011

"In the third of Patch's video series entitled The Truth About Substance Abuse in Middletown, Middletown Police Lt. John Maguire and Deputy Chief Craig Weber take the mic with tidbits of information about popular drugs, what dangerous drugs to watch out for, drinking, drugs and driving, statistics and penalities.
As with the first and second parts of our series, we leave you with this background reflection ...
Graduation season is upon us. It's a time to celebrate major milestones and take special care to enjoy them safely.
So, while parties are being planned and spirits are high, some are calling for a low moment of reflection and somber introspection. The idea, they say, is not to spoil the splendor, but to get celebrants through the good times without casualties." Read More

College Students Who Sleep in Drink More, Study Less

HealthDay News, June 14, 2011

"Scheduling classes later in the day provides college students with more time to sleep in the morning, but it may also encourage them to stay up later drinking, new research suggests.
Researchers found that undergrads whose classes started later were more likely to binge drink and get lower grades.
'Later class start times predicted more drinking, more sleep time and modestly lower grades, overall,' said the study’s co-lead author Pamela Thacher, associate professor of psychology at St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y. in a news release from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. 'Later class start times seemed to change the choices students make: They sleep longer, and they drink more.'" Read More

Area Middle School Girls Emerge from Mentoring Program

Norwalk Patch (Norwalk, CT) June 14, 2011

"The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. has a new initiative: to mentor 10,000 girls nationwide to become intelligent leaders in their community. Twenty-one of those girls are being molded right here in Fairfield County.
Emerging Young Leaders is a nationwide program that focuses on character building, civic engagement, educational enrichment and leadership development. The Omicron Upsilon Omega chapter of the sorority, with members throughout Fairfield County, launched the program in January with female students from the Trailblazers Academy in Stamford and the George Washington Carver Center in Norwalk." Read More

Monday, June 13, 2011

Heroin all too easy to get, DEA agent tells Colchester forum

Norwich Bulletin (Colchester, CT) June 13, 2011

"Award and scholarship winners, Eagle Scouts and star school athletes are common in Colchester, a town known for its achievements in the classroom and on the field.
But there’s something else in town not so easily seen, and not celebrated: a supply of heroin and prescription painkillers like oxycontin and vicodin, as well as young users.
Eric Ebrus is a Drug Enforcement Administration agent assigned with state police. He spoke to Colchester parents Wednesday about teen drinking and drug use as part of a forum sponsored by the town, the school district and United Community and Family Services.
He said heroin and oxycontin are easily available in smaller towns in Eastern Connecticut." Read More

Connecticut adopts wide range of education laws

CT Post (Hartford, CT) June 10, 2011

"Connecticut students will get more protections against online bullies, the chance to earn credits by mastering American Sign Language and the right to pay in-state college tuition even if they are undocumented immigrants under newly adopted state laws.
But public teachers' evaluation methods, the wide age range in Connecticut kindergarten classes and the state's cost-sharing method for helping public schools won't change anytime soon. Nor will Connecticut enact its school curriculum reforms until 2016, though it's offering help to districts who want to start the reforms early." Read More

Troopers break up two underage drinking parties

The Middletown Press (Haddam, CT) June 10, 2011

"On the very night state police began working with young people’s coalition to reduce underage drinkers, troopers broke up two parties where nearly two-dozen underage youths were found in possession of alcohol.
In one of the incidents, an adult hosting a party on Ironworks Road in Killingworth was issued a summons for allowing a minor to possess alcohol.
Troopers from both Haddam and Killingworth say they welcome the participation of the youth coalition and will continue to work with them to reduce underage drinking.
The Youth & Family Services of Haddam-Killingworth helped organize the 'Healthy Communities/Healthy Kids Coalition' to work with troopers to control underage drinking." Read More

Friday, June 3, 2011

Positive Anti-Binge Drinking Messages Most Effective

Medical News Today, June 2, 2011

"Binge drinking among college students has long been viewed as dangerous and destructive. Government and non-profit health organizations spend millions of dollars annually on public service announcements (PSAs) aimed at dissuading college students from hazardous drinking habits. These organizations primarily use 'loss-framed', or negative messages, to show the dangers of binge drinking. Now, University of Missouri researchers have found that 'gain-framed', or positive messages, are much more effective in convincing college students to abandon binge drinking." Read More

Educators aware of prescription drug use, turn to prevention

USA Today (Phoenix, AZ) June 2, 2011

"Judging by the turnout at a session on non-medical prescription drug use at the American College Health Association's annual conference here on Wednesday, the issue is one colleges are well aware of. But considering that research on the topic is only beginning to emerge, and that some major surveys of student drug use don't even inquire about prescription medicines, it is likely that most of those colleges aren't so well-equipped with prevention methods.
That's what Stacy Andes, director of health promotion at Villanova University, said in an interview after her presentation. 'I think they're becoming more concerned,' she said, while adding, 'I think they're not measuring the problem to the extent that they need to be, so they're not implementing the prevention methods they need to.'" Read More

MHS Students Strive to Keep Important Anti-Bullying Message Alive

Manchester Patch (Manchester, CT) June 3, 2011

"Last December was a tough month for Manchester High School, when a large brawl in the school's hallway resulting in almost 20 arrests and a lockdown brought a lot of negative attention to the school.
Parents, administration, students, and the community at large were demanding answers: what can be done to change the culture at Manchester High School?
In mid-February, the school began to put some ideas into action, starting by staging a Rachel's Challenge event." Read More

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Now It's the Parent's Turn...

Enfield Patch (Enfield, CT) June 1, 2011

"Last week, I discussed five bullying scenarios and five possible responses your child can take. Each one of those responses included the child 'reporting' the incident to both parents and school staff. Let’s discuss some steps for the parents to take once a bullying incident takes place.
First and most importantly, long before your child needs to come and talk with you about a potentially "touchy," serious or embarrassing situation, be sure you have developed an atmosphere where your child feels safe and comfortable when coming to talk with you about such things. This is even more important as they get into their teen years. If you mess up on this point, you’ll end up with a teen that won’t come to talk with you about things like drugs, sex and moral issues. They’ll turn to their friends, who don’t have any more experience in these matters than they do." Read More

Wilton One of Four Fairfield Co. Towns To Introduce Drop Boxes For Old Medications

Wilton Patch (Wilton, CT) May 31, 2011

"The Connecticut Prevention Network, in cooperation with the Department of Consumer Protection Drug Control Division, local prevention councils, environmental and police departments in the towns of Greenwich, Ridgefield, Wilton,and New Canaan, are collaborating on an effort to help area residents safely dispose of unused, unneeded medications. The Lower Fairfield County Regional Action Council (LFCRAC) is the Prevention Network member coordinating this initiative.
'This is the first regional collaboration of its type in Connecticut, and we’re all looking forward to a very successful launch,' Ingrid Gillespie, Director of the Lower Fairfield County Regional Action Council said. She and her colleagues have been active participants and co-sponsors of Drug Take Back events in the area for the past three years, and recognize their health and safety benefits." Read More

Kids Who Bully, Have Aggressive Behaviors Are Twice as Likely to Have Sleep Problems, U-M Study Says

PR Newswire (Ann Arbor, MI) May 31, 2011

"Children who are bullies or have conduct problems at school are more likely to be sleepy during the day according to University of Michigan Medical School researchers.
Researchers looked at elementary school students in the Ypsilanti, Michigan, public schools who had exhibited conduct problems like bullying or discipline referrals and found that there was a two-fold higher risk for symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing, particularly daytime sleepiness among these students. The study was published last week in the journal Sleep Medicine.
'What this study does is raise the possibility that poor sleep, from whatever cause, can indeed play into bullying or other aggressive behaviors – a major problem that many schools are trying to address,' says Louise O'Brien, Ph.D., assistant professor in U-M's Sleep Disorders Center and the departments of Neurology and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery." Read More