Thursday, May 31, 2012

Amity BOE Considers Expanding Drug Dog Use

Bethwood Patch (Bethwood, CT) May 30, 2012

"When drug-sniffing dogs come into Amity High School to perform a search, they can sniff backpacks, lockers, public areas and cars in the parking lot, but that’s where their search ends. According to current Board of Education policy, the dogs cannot sniff students. That may soon change.
The Amity Board of Education’s policy committee on Tuesday night agreed to recommend to the full board a change in policy verbiage that would allow drug-sniffing dogs to sniff students when there is suspicion of drugs." Read More

SADD members campaign against underage drinking and drug use

Post-Chronicle (Hamden, CT) May 30, 2012

"Recently, members of Hamden High School’s Students Against Destructive Decisions Club have assisted the Hamden Youth Advisory Council in their “Positive Choices” Campaign to prevent underage drinking. HYAC encourages youth voice and youth participation and the efforts of the SADD group have been instrumental in conveying youth to youth messages about the dangers of underage drinking and drug use.
With support from HYAC and other agencies, SADD students have led 'Choice for Me, Drug Free' Fairs for 4th graders at nine Hamden elementary schools to educate students about underage drinking, smoking, drug use, peer-pressure, and self-esteem. Their presentations demonstrate resistance skills and promote 'Positive Choices' and healthy decisions, which are evident in their recently produced short film. The film is written, directed and performed by SADD members, to be viewed at the Fairs in the months ahead. Additionally, during the 'Choice for Me, Drug Free' interactive presentations for the older students, a lively and engaging puppet show is presented for second graders." Read More

What Are 'Bath Salts' And Are They Illegal?

Rueters, May 30, 2012

"What are 'bath salts'? We're not talking about the cosmetic variety that you add to bath water for soaking. Rather, the term "bath salts" describes illegal designer street drugs that have been linked to violent delusions and even death.
 In a bizarre and gruesome example, bath salts may have driven Rudy Eugene, 31, to strip naked and eat the face of Ronald Poppo, 65, on Saturday, some police and doctors in Miami believe. Police shot and killed Eugene when he refused to stop eating Poppo's face; Poppo is in critical condition at a hospital.
 Bath salts were also blamed in another Florida incident in which a man overdosed on the drug and died. Similar cases nationwide have led the Drug Enforcement Agency and state lawmakers to take action." Read More

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

“Back Off, Bully!”

New Haven Independent (New Haven, CT) May 28, 2012

"The next time a school-bus bully harasses a student on the way home, the victim has a new way to fight back—a cell phone.
That’s thanks to a group of enterprising high school students who came up with an award-winning app named BOB.
BOB, which stands for 'Back Off Bully,' is the brainchild of the 15 students in Adam Scott’s research, design and development class at Metropolitan Business Academy, a magnet high school on Water Street.
With the touch of a finger on a cell phone, kids can now anonymously report a bullying incident to school administration. Go to to check out the web application, which works on any cell phone, tablet or computer with access to the internet." Read More

Teens can get advice before college

Stamford Advocate (Danbury, CT) May 25, 2012

"The Regional Teen Prevention Council of the Housatonic Valley Coalition Against Substance Abuse will present its Transitioning to College program for high school seniors and their parents from 7 to 9 p.m. June 5.
It will be in Western Connecticut's Westside Student Center, off Lake Avenue Extension. A complimentary supper will be provided.
Speaker Michael Nerney will discuss substance abuse prevention and offer skills for teens to practice before they enter college."  Read More

Reports Of Bullying Up In State Schools; But Definition Varies Greatly

Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT) May 22, 2012

"Whenever there's publicity about bullying, Jo Ann Freiberg's phone rings off the hook in Hartford.
'Every time there is an article with 'bullying' in the headline, I can predict my phone will ring,' said Freiberg, Connecticut's consultant for dealing with bullying in schools.
By last month, 217 bullying cases had been reported to Freiberg in this school year, an increase of 30 from last year. The documentary "Bully" was playing in select theaters by April.
'That is not something that's a secret,' Freiberg said, 'but it's more reflective about how much chatting there is about bullying than it is about schools being safe.'" Read More

Tips To Help Parents Keep Teens Safe During Graduation Celebrations/Summer Parties

Madison Patch (Madison, CT) May 25, 2012

"Graduation season is a time to share memories and celebrate accomplishments. The summer is filled with graduation parties and teens spending time with friends before they part ways for jobs and college. While this is an exciting time for everyone, The Governor's Prevention Partnership, in support of the 'Set the Rules' statewide campaign, is urging parents to open lines of communication and to talk with their teens about the dangers of underage drinking and drug abuse.
 'Set the Rules' is designed to provide information and resources to help keep Connecticut's youth from drinking alcohol. The statewide media campaign, sponsored by the Connecticut Office of Policy & Management and the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services in partnership with other Connecticut state agencies (see below), educates parents and adults about Connecticut's social host law and the impact of alcohol on teenage brain development. 'We are asking all Connecticut adults to keep youth safe by following up on the campaign message,' said the CT Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Commissioner Pat Rehmer. 'Set the rules and tell children that underage drinking is not acceptable, that it is dangerous and illegal.'" Read More

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Elements Behavioral Health Reminds Parents to Lock the Cabinet During National Prevention Week

PR Web, (Los Angeles, CA) May 23, 2012

"The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration designated this week (May 20-26) National Prevention Week, with a specific awareness event set for each day of the week. On May 22, 2012, communities nationwide will promote the prevention of prescription drug abuse and illicit drug use. In honor of SAMHSA’s first annual National Prevention Week, Elements Behavioral Health is reminding parents to do their part by locking the cabinet. is a campaign dedicated to raising awareness about the risks of prescription drug abuse and encouraging families to put locks on their medicine cabinets or store prescription and commonly abused over-the-counter medications in a lockbox. By safely disposing of unused prescription medications, parents remove the temptation for teens to experiment with prescription drugs." Read More

Underage Drinking Program Topic

Voices News (Southbury, CT) May 23, 2012

"A community conversation for parents and responsible adults, 'Parents, Parties and Underage Drinking,' will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, May 31, at the Southbury Town Hall in room 205.
Presenters include Jennifer DeWitt, executive director of the Central Naugatuck Valley Regional Action Council; Rob Bette, community resource officer of the Southbury Police Department; and a representative from the Judicial District of Waterbury’s DA’s office.
The forum will provide those attending with information and an opportunity for questions and frank discussion." Read More

Listening to loud music linked with pot use, unsafe sex, study says

Hartford Courant, (Hartford, CT) May 21, 2012

"Warning: Music may be hazardous to your health.
It’s not just your hearing that’s at risk, according to a study out Monday in the June issue of the journal Pediatrics. Teens and young adults who listen to digital music players with ear buds are almost twice as likely as non-listeners to smoke pot, the study says. And those who attend concerts or frequent dance clubs are nearly six times as likely as homebodies to go on a binge-drinking bender.
These findings are based on survey results collected from 944 low-income students at two vocational schools in the Netherlands. The students ranged in age from 15 to 25, with an average age of 18. The study authors, public health experts in Rotterdam, focused on these kids because risky health behaviors are more common in this cohort, they wrote." Read More

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Tech For Tracking Cyber Bullies

Fox 61 News (Glastonbury, CT) May 22, 2012

"Police turn to tech tools to enforce cyber bullying laws." Watch News Story Here

Resiliency during early teen years can protect against later alcoholism

PSY Post, May 18, 2012

"Resiliency is a measure of a person’s ability to flexibly adapt their behaviors to fit the surroundings in which they find themselves. Low resiliency during childhood has been linked to later alcohol/drug problems during the teenage years. A new study has examined brain function and connectivity to assess linkages between resiliency and working memory, finding that higher resiliency may be protective against later alcohol/drug use.
Results will be published in the August 2012 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and are currently available at Early View.
'Research in the1980′s found that lower resiliency in children between three to four years old was related to subsequent adolescent drug usage,' said Barbara J. Weiland, a researcher at The University of Michigan and corresponding author for the study." Read More 

New Steps Pediatricians Can Take to Reduce Teen Substance Use

Join Together Newsroom, May 18, 2012

"Teens who complete a five-minute computer screening program that includes six questions about alcohol and drug use, and who talk with their pediatrician briefly about the results, reduce their risk of drinking up to one year later, according to a new study.
Researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital studied more than 2,000 teens from New England and the Czech Republic. The teens completed the screening program, which asks six questions about alcohol and drug use, and then presents a score and risk level. The teens read through 10 pages with facts and stories that illustrate the serious health effects of substance use." Read More

Monday, May 21, 2012

17 National Groups to Release New Guidelines for Public Schools on How to Combat Bullying and Uphold Free Speech

PR Newswire (Washington, D.C.) May 17, 2012

"At a press conference on Tuesday, May 22, a coalition of 17 education, religious and civil liberties groups will release new guidelines aimed at helping public schools uphold the First Amendment while combating harassment and bullying.
The press event will take place at 10 a.m. in the Zenger Room at the National Press Club, 529 14th St. N.W., Washington, D.C.
According to the guidelines, students should be able to attend public schools where they are free to share their views and engage in discussions about religious and political differences while simultaneously attending safe schools that prohibit discrimination, bullying and harassment." Read More

Students Learn Life Lessons

Ellington-Somers Patch (Ellington, CT) May 18, 2012

"On Thursday, Ellington High School students got a chance to learn some life lessons – like what a crash feels like, what happens if you are in a rollover crash without a seatbelt, and what happens on the Connecticut State Police 'Bat Mobile.'
Ahead of Saturday’s prom, the Developing Positive Youth Culture group, formerly the Drug Abuse Prevention Council, sponsored a week of activities at the school." Read More

What’s So Bad About Bullying?

Clinton Patch (Clinton, CT) May 20, 2012

"This article is written by Stephanie Smallshaw, an eighth grade student at the Jared Eliot Middle School.
Every seven minutes, a child is bullied on a school playground, with more than 85 percent of those instances occurring without any intervention.
Surveys from 2009 show that more than 100,000 children carry guns to school as a result of being bullied.
A child commits suicide directly because of bullying once every half hour, with 19,000 bullied children attempting suicide over one year." Read More

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

UNITED WAY: Share your story about a positive male mentor

Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) May 12, 2012

"This is your invitation to share your story about a positive male role model or mentor that inspired you at some point in your life. Was it your father, brother, neighbor, teacher, or coach? We know you have true tales to tell, and we’d like to hear from you.
Now through the United Way Day of Action on June 21, United Way is collecting stories about positive male mentors on our website. Some stories will be shared on our social media and also printed in The Middletown Press, our Day of Action partner, like you could see in Friday’s paper.
The United Way Day of Action is held every year on and leading up to June 21, the summer solstice. It is intended to call attention to an important issue or cause and to ask people to take some kind of action in support of it." Read More

Students spread anti-bullying message

Citizen's News (Naugatuck, CT) May 13, 2012

"Chelsea Maza and Mason Cabanas, both juniors at Naugatuck High School, stood on a stage Friday in the City Hill Middle School auditorium and asked nearly 300 eighth-graders what they thought of bullying.
'I think of something that’s happened to me … a lot of times, and I’m really sick of it,' one boy said when handed the microphone.
For that reason, Maza and Cabanas brought their presentation, called 'Crossing the Line,' to the middle school Friday morning, first as an assembly for seventh-graders, and then for eighth-graders." Read More

New Study Shows Long-Term Effects of Drug Prevention

PR Newswire (White Plains, NY) May 15, 2012

"A new study presented at an international conference in Texas demonstrates the long-term effectiveness of a classroom-based prevention program targeting teen drug use. The study tracked teens who participated in the Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST) program as 7th graders and found that their participation in the program produced long-lasting reduction in drug use 12 years later. The study's findings were presented in April at the Blueprints for Violence Prevention conference held in San Antonio, Texas.
The study assessed LST's impact on young adults in their early to mid-20s who received the program when they were in the 7th grade. The results of the study found that participants were 23% less likely to have ever used illicit drugs than were individuals who did not receive the LST program." Read More

Ellington Stores Sold Alcohol to Minors

Ellington-Somers Patch (Ellington, CT) May 15, 2012

"According to Ellington Resident State Trooper Patrick Sweeney, three Ellington establishments sold alcohol to a minor without obtaining proper identification.
On May 12, troopers and officers of the Ellington Resident Troopers Office, in conjunction with members of the Department of Consumer Protection, Liquor Commission, and the Governor’s Prevention Partnership, conducted compliance checks on retail liquor establishments in Ellington." Read More

Friday, May 11, 2012

Beyond the Bully and the Bullied: Bullying Also Impacts the Mental Health of the "Bystanders"

Market Watch (Avon, CT) May 9, 2012

"Although not everyone may be a victim of bullying or a bully themselves, people oftentimes overlook the third person involved in a bullying situation: the witness or bystander. Research suggests that approximately two out of every three children have witnessed bullying, and with the advent of cyberbullying, that number continues to grow rapidly. The bystander has an opportunity to intervene to help resolve a conflict, or at least prevent it from escalating. A study published by the Canadian Journal of Psychology found that once a bystander stepped in to help the target of bullying, the behavior stopped within 10 seconds. However, simply witnessing a bullying event also can have mental health consequences for the bystander that can last beyond the incident itself." Read More

The Courage to Speak tonight in Colchester

Norwich Bulletin (Colchester, CT) May 10, 2012

"Ginger Katz, CEO and Founder of The Courage To Speak Foundation. Inc., will be giving the Courage to Speak Presentation, a dynamic, riveting and thought-provoking drug prevention presentation, at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, at Bacon Academy.
Katz, who lost her son to a drug overdose in 1996, has made over 1000 drug prevention education presentations throughout the country that have touched the hearts and minds of thousands of students, parents, law enforcement professionals, educators and prevention specialists. Katz's presentation combines prevention facts with her family's experience to help participants learn about the code of silence and denial surrounding substance abuse and drug-related violence. Other topics include that it is OK to ask adults for help, how to recognize risky behaviors and relationships and how important it is for students and parents to talk together openly and honestly about the dangers of drugs including alcohol." Read More 

Who is your male mentor?

Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) May 10, 2012

"Now through the United Way Day of Action on June 21, Middlesex United Way is inviting people from all across the community to share their stories about a positive male mentor in their lives. Stories can be submitted at and will be posted on United Way’s website and shared on social media. Some stories are also selected to appear here in The Middletown Press.
The United Way Day of Action takes place each year on or leading up to June 21, the summer solstice. The Day of Action is meant to call attention to an important issue or cause and ask people to 'take action' in support of it. Together, we can send a strong message about the importance of positive male role models in young people’s lives." Read More

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Permanent Drug Take-Back Box Installed in Lobby of Manchester Police Department

Manchester Patch (Manchester, CT) May 5, 2012

"The Manchester Police Department has permanently installed a Prescription Drug Take-Back Box in the lobby of the department's headquarters at 239 East Middle Turnpike. Due to the success of the National Drug Take Back initiatives by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Manchester Police Department has decided to take it a step further and make the drop box accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Police are giving the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous, expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked." Read More 

A racial divide in school discipline

Connecticut Post (Bridgeport, CT) May 8, 2012

"Black and Hispanic students across the state are suspended from school at far greater rates than their white classmates, and education experts say this disparate treatment of students is widening the achievement gap. Students who are excluded from the classroom, education experts say, are more likely to fall behind in their class work and less likely to graduate.
Last year, black and Hispanic students received nearly 75 percent of the 42,913 external suspensions given to Connecticut students, even though they made up just 32 percent of student enrollment, according to an analysis of student discipline data by Connecticut Voices for Children." Read More

AMCC Launches First In the Nation Prescription Drug Prevention Mobile App

Market Watch (Washington D.C.) May 8, 2012

"The American Medicine Chest Challenge (AMCC), the nation's largest privately funded public health campaign preventing prescription drug abuse, announced today, the release of a mobile app 'AMCC Rx Drop' connecting users to the locations of permanent prescription drug collection boxes for the collection of unused, unwanted, and expired medicine.
This free App, sponsored by the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA), will link to the AMCC directory of local, county and state law enforcement sponsored permanent collection sites across the country. Currently, the app links to hundreds of collection sites in 41 states across the country. It is available in both the Apple and Android stores." Read More

Chilling Look Into Your Kids' Online World

Montville Patch (Montville, CT) May 9, 2012

"Your children could be criminals, right now.
That's one of the strong messages Connecticut State Trooper Samantha McCord conveyed Tuesday at the Leonard J. Tyl Middle School, in Part I of a two-part series on cyber safety. About 50 people – including administrators, parents and children – attended the event, which was put on by Montville schools in partnership with the Montville Police, Youth Services, and Parks and Recreation.
McCord specializes in internet crime. She is stationed in Meriden, with the Connecticut State Police Compute Crimes and Electronic Evidence Unit, and cyber crime is her focus." Read More 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mass Mentoring Partnership Names Marty Martinez New President & CEO

PR Newswire (Boston, MA) May 2, 2012

"The Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP) Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Marty Martinez as the organization's President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Martinez was selected after an extensive national search.
Martinez has been with Mass Mentoring since 2007, most recently as Chief Program Officer, and has been a leader in shaping and implementing MMP's initiatives to promote and ensure high-quality standards and practices for youth mentoring. Martinez brings extensive experience in youth development and organizational sustainability, and is a leader in the mentoring field in Massachusetts. He has helped lead MMP's management team in shaping organizational strategies; developing strong partnerships with funders, elected officials, and other key stakeholders; and in creating an action plan to continue the growth and success of MMP and the field of mentoring." Read More 

Recognizing and Overcoming the Mental Health Effects of Being a Bullying Victim

Business Wire (Avon, CT) May 2, 2012

"As a society, we've become more aware of bullying as a devastating form of abuse that can have long-terms effects on victims, negatively impacting their self-esteem, isolating them from their peers and in more serious cases, leading to depression, anxiety, substance abuse and sometimes suicide. Studies estimate that as many as 160,000 students may stay home on any given day because they're afraid of being bullied and the emotional pain they've caused. With the prevalence of cyberbullying, even more youth and young adults are finding themselves to be a victim of bullying." Read More 

National Study: Teen Heavy Marijuana Use Up 80 Percent Since 2008

Westport Patch (Westport, CT) May 2, 2012

"New, nationally projectable survey results released today by The Partnership at, The Governor’s Prevention Partnership Connecticut affiliate, and MetLife Foundation found past-month marijuana use – particularly heavy use – has increased significantly among U.S. high school students since 2008. In Connecticut, The Governor’s Prevention Partnership reports a similar trend reported by local surveys done in communities across the state.
The national Partnership Attitude Tracking Study, sponsored by MetLife Foundation, found that 9 percent of teens (nearly 1.5 million) smoked marijuana heavily (at least 20 times) in the past month. Overall, past-month heavy marijuana use is up 80 percent among U.S. teens since 2008." Read More