Wednesday, November 30, 2011

School District Prepares Anti-Bullying Program

Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT) November 30, 2011

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

Montville schools beef up bullying policy

Norwich Bulletin (Montville, CT) November 29, 2011

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

Connecticut conference focusing on school bullying

Newsday (West Hartford, CT) November 30, 2011

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

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Police: Suspects Supplied Alcohol To Fatal Crash Victim

Hartford Courant (Ridgefield, CT) November 29, 2011

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

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

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

Survey: Underage Drinking Down In Waterford

Waterford Patch (Waterford, CT) November 29, 2011

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

Monday, November 28, 2011

Teens Turn to Digital Drugs

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

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

Trends in teen drinking discussed

Reminder News (Glastonbury, CT) November 21, 2011

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

Students want more from bullying policy

Stamford Advocate (Stamford, CT) November 24, 2011

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

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Text-message bullying becoming more common

Newsday, November 23, 2011

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

State Police To Step Up Patrols For Thanksgiving

Groton Patch (Groton, CT) November 23, 2011

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

Alcohol puts students at risk on 'Black Wednesday'

USA Today, November 22, 2011

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

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Big Brothers and Sisters Come to Fairfield

The Mirror (Fairfield, CT) November 9, 2011

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

Stamford organizations search for mentors

Stamford Advocate (Stamford, CT) November 21, 2011

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

Monday, November 21, 2011

Synthetic Pot: Still On The Market

Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT) November 21, 2011

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

The Dangers of Underage Drinking

Trumbull Patch (Trumbull, CT) November 19, 2011

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

Prescription drug abuse rising among teens, experts say

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

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

Family dinners one of your best anti-drug tools

Salem News (Salem, OH) November 20, 2011

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

Friday, November 18, 2011

Adults Asked To Take MADE Survey

Madison Patch (Madison, CT) November 16, 2011

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

Students take a stand against bullying

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

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

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

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

The Huffington Post, November 14, 2011

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

North Stonington teen data compiled on substance use

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

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

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

Madison Patch (Madison, CT) November 16, 2011

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

Friday, November 11, 2011

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

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

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

Prescription Drugs Abuse Becoming Epidemic In Middle Class America

Madison Patch (Madison, CT) November 11, 2011

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

Thursday, November 10, 2011

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

New York Times, November 9, 2011

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

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

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

Teens, drugs, problems: Talks tonight and next week

Ridgefield Press (Ridgefield, CT) November 10, 2011

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

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

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

HealthDay News, November 7, 2011

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

Defining Bullying in Greenwich

Greenwich Patch (Greenwich, CT) November 8, 2011

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

The Online Life Of Teenagers

Montville Patch (Montville, CT) November 7, 2011

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