Thursday, December 29, 2011

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

Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT) December 27, 2011

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

Presidential Proclamation -- National Mentoring Month, 2012

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

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

Local Advice on Keeping Kids From Drinking

Farmington Patch (Farmington, CT) December 29, 2011

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

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Ledyard student survey tracks use of pot, alcohol, cigarettes

The Day (Ledyard, CT) December 27, 2011

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

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

Market Watch (Boston, MA) December 27, 2011

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

Bully prevention program gets help from guests in Cromwell

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

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

Friday, December 23, 2011

Arguing with mom preps teens for peer pressure

MSNBC, December 22, 2011

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

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

Madison Patch (Madison, CT) December 22, 2011

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

Thursday, December 22, 2011

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

Huffington Post, December 21, 2011

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

A Prevention Message with an Unexpected Twist

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

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

New London school board set to revise policy on bullying

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

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

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Keeping Teens Safe During The Holidays

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

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

School chiefs report no increase in steroid use

News Times (Danbury, CT) December 20, 2011

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 12, 2011

Teen partying is mostly outside schools’ jurisdiction

Ridgefield Press (Ridgefield, CT) December 10, 2011

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

Bridgeport to adopt anti-bullying policy

Stamford Advocate (Bridgeport, CT) December 12, 2011

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

How to create a safe, respectful school climate

Stamford Advocate (Fairfield, CT) December 13, 2011

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

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Study: Teen sexting fears overstated

Concord Monitor (Concord, NH) December 6, 2011

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

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

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

Monday, December 5, 2011

Research shows that many adults support underage drinking

Top News, December 4, 2011

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

Prescription drug abuse a problem for students

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

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

Friday, December 2, 2011

Schools adjust to anti-bullying law

News Times (Danbury, CT) December 1, 2011

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

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

Clinton Patch (Clinton, CT) December 2, 2011

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