Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Congress Takes Action Against Bullying

PR Newswire (Albany, NY) June 26, 2012

"Announcement of The Congressional Anti-bullying Caucus.
The following is a statement by Michael Martin, Executive Director, National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT):
Whether on a school bus or anywhere else bullying is deplorable behavior that disrespects others, usually resulting in emotional and sometimes even physical scars.
On Thursday, June 28, the national resolve against bullying takes a major step forward with the launch of the bi-partisan Anti-Bullying Caucus in the U.S. Congress. The Caucus will create a national focal point for bullying prevention." Read More

Online Bullying Is a Top Concern Among Youth

Businesswire (Redmond, WA) June 26, 2012

"More than half (54 percent) of children around the world worry about being bullied online, according to a new Global Youth Online Behavior Survey released today by Microsoft Corp. Conducted in 25 countries* Jan. 11, 2012, to Feb. 19, 2012, among more than 7,600 children ages eight to 17, the survey focuses on how kids are treating one another online and whether parents are addressing online behaviors. Microsoft commissioned the survey looking at of a range of online behaviors among youth from 'meanness' (least severe) to online bullying or cruelty (most severe)." Read More

New, Bilingual Web Resources Help Hispanic Families Prevent and Address Drug and Alcohol Use Among Teens

PR Newswire (New York, NY) June 26, 2012

"The Partnership at today announced the launch of new tools for Hispanic parents and families, accessible at 'HablaConTusHijos,' a free, bilingual (Spanish/English) online resource to help Hispanic parents who are struggling to address drug and alcohol abuse by their children. Recognizing the urgent need within the Latino community for these kinds of comprehensive tools, The Partnership at created "HablaConTusHijos" to provide effective, yet easy-to-use, resources equipping Hispanic parents and grandparents to take action in preventing teen substance abuse. This new web resource was made possible with major support from MetLife Foundation." Read More

Monday, June 25, 2012

Bullying of Teachers More Damaging in Online Era

ABC News, June 23, 2012

"The bullying that bus monitor Karen Klein endured on a ride home from an upstate New York school was painful and egregious, but also shows how student harassment of teachers and administrators has become more spiteful and damaging in the online era.
 Much attention has been paid to students who bully students in class, after school and on the Internet. Less has been given to equally disturbing behavior by students who harass instructors, principals and other adults." Read More

Underage Drinking Remains Concern in Fairfield County

Inklings (Fairfield, CT) June 17, 2012

"Although drinking and driving has decreased in the time since a 2008 study showing accident rates to be high, Ingrid Gillespie, director of the Lower Fairfield County Regional Action Council, asserts that teen drinking is still a concern. Even if drinking and driving are on the decline, underage exposure to alcohol is prevalent and is harmful in its effects on the brain, Gillespie said. 
According to Gillespie, a 2000 study showed that the average American is first exposed to alcohol at age 13. However, in Fairfield County, that age is between 11 and 12." Read More

Want To Help Stop Prescription Drug Abuse? Empty Your Medicine Cabinet ...

Groton Patch (Groton, CT) June 24, 2012

"The non-medical use of prescription drugs – the very ones in your medicine cabinet -- is one of the most common forms of drug abuse in America, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). And the majority of teens abusing drugs get them from medicine cabinets in the homes of family and friends. And often, unused or expired prescription drugs are abandoned in the corners of the cabinet.
So what do you do with unused meds?
Don't flush them. That can contaminate the water supply. Don't throw them in the trash. Drugs can be retrieved and used, sold, or traded." Read More

Friday, June 22, 2012

Underage Drinking In Greenwich Spikes In Summer

Greenwich Daily Voice (Greenwich, CT) June 22, 2012

"With graduation parties and summer in full swing, underage drinking becomes more noticeable, according to the Greenwich Police Department.
'There’s an uptick because they’re outside more often,' Sgt. Mark Zuccerella said of the Special Victims Section of the police department. 'Underage drinking is always there, but in the warm weather it’s more blatant.'
Teens typically get alcohol from their homes, Zuccerella says. Some parents may believe their children will drink anyway so they believe it is better to let them drink at home where they can be supervised, according to the Health Alliance on Alcohol." Read More

Milford police crack down on selling alcohol to minors

New Haven Register (Milford, CT) June 21, 2012

"The recent arrest of the owner of Sassy’s Liquor Locker for selling alcohol to two minors is just one example of how police are stepping up enforcement of underage drinking laws for the graduation party season. 
The police department received funding from the Milford Prevention Council to help increase enforcement, especially through the use of more compliance checks of liquor stores.
'It’s setting a precedent in the community that this isn’t going to be overlooked,' said Tanya Schweitzer, the director of drug-free community grant for Milford Prevention Council." Read More

Nearly 400 SADD Student Leaders and their Advisors to Tackle Teen Safety Issues at SADD National Conference

WFSB Eyewitness News (Torrance, CA) June 21, 2012

"Nearly 400 youth leaders and their adult advisors from SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), the nation's leading peer-to-peer youth education, prevention, and activism organization, will learn and share best practices to improve teen health and safety at the 2012 SADD National Conference. Taking place June 24 – 27 at the Torrance Marriott South Bay in Torrance, Calif., the Conference empowers young people to lead initiatives in their schools and communities that will encourage prevention education and create a positive effect on the lives of their peers.
Since beginning in 1981, SADD has provided quality prevention education programming to its nearly 10,000 chapters nationwide. This year's conference sponsors include the California Office of Traffic Safety (Presenting Sponsor), Toyota,, DCH Auto Group, The National Road Safety Foundation, and the FDA/Center for Tobacco Products. The exhibit hall will feature 20 of the leading government, for profit, and nonprofit organizations working in the field of youth health and safety." Read More

Thursday, June 21, 2012

More Mental Health Woes in College Kids Who Abuse Prescription Drugs

HealthDay News, June 19, 2012

"Prescription drug abuse among American college students is linked to depression and suicidal thoughts, a new study finds.
Researchers analyzed data from more than 26,000 college students at 40 campuses who took part in the 2008 American College Health Association National College Assessment survey.
As part of the survey, the students were asked about their nonmedical use of prescription drugs such as painkillers, stimulants, sedatives and antidepressants, and about their mental health symptoms over the past year." Read More

Medicine Cabinet As Entry Point for Teen Drug Abuse

Metrofocus, June 19, 2012

"A new survey by the group, Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ), found that more than 70 percent of parents recognize that their own medicine cabinets are an access point for drugs. Every day over 5,000 teens experiment with drugs for the first time, abusing prescription and over-the-counter drugs that they get from medicine cabinets at home and in their friends’ homes. On a recent episode of NJ Today, PDFNJ Executive Director Angelo Valente discussed the problem, and potential solutions." Read More

Anti-bullying app debuts in New Haven

New Haven Register (New Haven, CT) June 19, 2012

"Someone with an obscure Twitter handle posts a TwitPic of a girl in your chemistry class along with mean-spirited comments.
Instagram shows the boy whom classmates whisper about as he walks down the hallway.
Formspring allows users to post anonymous comments about others.
Fourteen students from Metropolitan Business Academy recognized that people often hide behind such technology when they bully others, and they wanted to change the way smartphones are used, so they created an anti-bullying app affectionately named 'BOB.'" Read More

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Preventing Drug Abuse in Depressed Youths

Daily Rx, June 18, 2012

"Adolescents who get treatment for their major depressive disorder (MDD) before they begin abusing drugs are less likely to start. Early treatment is the best prevention method. 
New research suggests that some drug abuse for adolescents with MDD can be avoided with effective treatment. 
Researchers said 'It does point out that alcohol use disorders are very prevalent during that particular age period and there’s a need for a lot of prevention and education for college students to avoid getting into heavy drinking and then the beginnings of an alcohol disorder. I think that is definitely a take-home message.'" Read More

Set the Rules

WTNH News-8 (New Haven, CT) June 18, 2012

"The Governor's Prevention Partnership is gearing up for summer with their 'Set the Rules' Campaign.
 The goal of the campaign is to provide information and resources to help keep Connecticut teens from drinking alcohol and urges parents to talk about the dangers of underage drinking and drug abuse.
 The state agency sponsored campaign educates parents and adults about Connecticut's social host law, which can have significant financial consequences.
'Set the Rules' is filled with tips for parents to keep kids safe during graduation and the summer season." Read More

Monday, June 18, 2012

State Laws Cut Teen Drinking and Driving, Large Study Shows

US News, June 15, 2012

"Two kinds of state laws can help reduce drinking and driving by teens, a large new study finds.
Graduated driver licensing laws limit new drivers to less risky driving situations until they acquire enough skills to become fully licensed. Use-and-lose laws permit the suspension of a teen's driver's license if they are caught using alcohol.
Researchers analyzed the drinking-and-driving behaviors of more than 111,000 males and more than 110,000 females, aged 16 to 17, from data in the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System for 1999 to 2009." Read More

The Role of Parents in Teenage Adderoll Abuse: How Families can Help or Hinder

PR Web, June 16, 2012

"The newest wave of drugs in high school is prescription medication that helps students focus, get ahead, and achieve higher SAT scores says the article in the New York Times which quotes DEA agents and child psychologists. (The New York Times, June 11th: The demand for Aderroll - medication used to treat ADHD - has increased, according to this study, and study authors say it's being used by high schoolers to increase their focus and help them get ahead in school by doing better on the SATs.
Family therapist Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil believes this shows a break down in how families deal with stress and support one another and points out that this type of behavior is a form of cheating."  Read More 

Violations Of Liquor Laws Found At Three Madison Businesses

Madison Patch (Madison, CT) June 16, 2012

"On June 9, 2012, the Madison Department of Police Services in conjunction with Agents from the State of Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection’s Liquor Control Division, and the Governor’s Prevention Partnership, conducted unannounced compliance inspections of establishments that sell alcoholic products. The inspections were performed in an effort to determine compliance with state laws concerning the prohibition of the sale of alcohol to youths under the age of twenty-one." Read More

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Teen Alcohol Abuse May Be Cause, Rather Than Effect, Of Social Isolation And Poor Grades: Study

Huffington Post, June 12, 2012

"Teen alcohol consumption is at times credited as a result of high stress lifestyles and an allowance for students to unwind around friends. But a recent study suggests that underage consumption might actually be the cause, rather than an effect.
A sociological study published in the June issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior has found that alcohol consumption may actually lead to increased social stress and poor grades, especially among students in schools with tight friendship circles and low rates of drinking." Read More

Controversial Energy Drink 'Cocaine' Back on Retail Shelves in Connecticut

Litchfield County Times (Torrington, CT) June 12, 2012

"A controversial energy drink that caused a nationwide flap in 2007 and was, for a while, pulled from retailers' shelves in Connecticut is quietly back on shelves in the state and has been since early summer of 2010. The re-emergence of the drink came without a whisper following the strife three years prior.
'Cocaine', manufactured for Redux Beverages LLC in Las Vegas, hit shelves in November 2006 accompanied by marketing statements such as 'The Legal Alternative,' 'Speed in a Can,' 'Liquid Cocaine,' and 'Cocaine – Instant Rush.'" Read More

Litchfield, Housatonic high schoolers choose two local non-profits to receive $2,500 grants

Register Citizen (Torrington, CT) June 12, 2012

"The Torrington chapter of FISH has 35 beds, but Tuesday morning 47 people woke up there.
FISH was one of two local agencies to receive a grant from Youth in Philanthropy. The program, run through the Community Foundation in Northwest Connecticut, Inc., establishes an annual 'youth fund.' Local high school leaders are put on a council to determine how the fund should be spent; they meet with community members to determine what issues are important, then research nonprofits in the community and then review grant applications before selecting a group to fund." Read More

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

New Litchfield County venture to provide students with critical mentoring

The Register Citizen (Litchfield, CT) June 11, 2012

"The very mention of this country’s inflating student loan debt immediately registers a look of sorrow on the faces of Jake Horne and John Payne.
It’s a staggering figure, one that’s only rising. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, Americans collectively owe $904 billion in student loans, an 8 percent increase over this time last year. Compare that to the $679 billion credit card debt held by Americans, and it is evident something needs to be done.
Mr. Horne and Mr. Payne believe so, as they are true advocates of higher education. College may be a bubble waiting to burst, and the thought immediately registers a look of sadness on their faces." Read More

‘Good-Grade Pills’: How High School Students Are Using Prescription Drugs to Get Ahead

TIME, June 11, 2012

"Students abusing drugs like Adderall and Ritalin isn’t a new problem: they’ve long been weapons of choice for college kids looking to pull all-nighters. But according to the New York Times, that trend is now trickling down to the high school level. In a lengthy story on the front page Sunday, the Times reported that behind many high achieving students lies a secret addiction to prescription stimulants.
While drugs like Adderall, Vyvanse, Concerta, Focalin and Ritalin — the 'good grade pills,' as the story dubbed them — calm people with A.D.H.D., those without the disorder receive an energy jolt from the pills. Students use that jolt to help keep them awake to study or to stay focused during tests like the S.A.T. In fact, since 2007, the number of prescriptions for A.D.H.D. medications dispensed to people ages 10 to 19 has risen by 26%, to almost 21 million yearly, or about two million individuals, the Times reports."  Read More

For fighting teen depression, suicide, talking about it can help

CT Post (Bridgeport, CT) June 12, 2012

"By the time she was 22, Wanda Szarek knew three people who had committed suicide.
When Szarek, now 23 and living in Stamford, was starting her senior year at Fairfield University, she learned that a high school friend, Nora Miller, a junior, had committed suicide while at Wesleyan University.
'Nora was someone I had looked up to for years,' Szarek said. 'It was very frightening. I struggled to make sense of her life.'" Read More 

Monday, June 11, 2012

DSSD creates tougher rules for Alive @ Five

Stamford Advocate (Stamford, CT) June 10, 2012

"With the Alive @ Five kickoff performance only weeks away, event organizers are planning new, 'very stringent' measures to thwart underage drinking and rowdiness at the summer concert series.
Downtown Special Services District President Sandy Goldstein said she plans to hire an outside security company to monitor the entrance to Columbus Park and pat down concertgoers if necessary."  Read More

Meriden's Project Graduation: Food, Friends, Fun and No Alcohol

Meriden Patch (Meriden, CT) June 11, 2012

"This is the season for high school seniors to celebrate their accomplishments and look toward the future. But sadly, it’s also a time when young dreams can be cut short by drinking and driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of car accidents involving alcohol increases sharply during graduation season.
 Meriden Project Graduation gives graduates from the city’s three high schools—Maloney, Platt and Wilcox Tech—a way to celebrate safely. Since 1998, the organization has organized an alcohol- and drug-free graduation party." Read More

Parental Acceptance a Top Concern for LGBT Teens

US News, June 11, 2012

"Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender teens are fielding negative messages about their sexuality from places most consider as safe havens, according to a survey of more than 10,000 LGBT youth ages 13 to 17. 
Ninety-two percent of LGBT teens surveyed confront hostility toward homosexuals—and schools, religious leaders, and elected officials are often the ones sending the messages, states a report released last week by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a nonprofit that advocates for LGBT rights." Read More

Friday, June 8, 2012

Mural puts bullying into hall of shame

CT Post (Stratford, CT) June 7, 2012

"Three Eli Whitney Elementary School students will sign their names in paint on a wall in the school later this month when they complete the mural they designed to discourage bullying among their classmates.
The mural depicts a group of students standing by their lockers in a hallway. One student is taunting another. Looking on, the other classmates decide to report it.
'I've honestly been bullied and I wanted to do anti-bullying for the mural because it's like a role model for everybody,' said 11-year-old Brandon Powell, who worked on the project." Read More  

Despite dangers, teens admit to cell phone use while driving

CT Post (Bridgeport, CT) June 7, 2012

"More than half of teen drivers surveyed by state health officials admitted they talk or text on their phone while behind the wheel.
The 2011 Connecticut School Health Survey administered to more than 6,000 high school and middle school students found 53 percent of those surveyed said they talked on a cell phone while driving at least once the month before.
The annual survey results follow the arrest of a New Canaan teenage driver in May who authorities said was distracted by her handheld cell phone when she struck and killed a jogger."  Read More

Friday, June 1, 2012

Random House Children's Books Launches Choose Kind, An Anti-Bullying Campaign Inspired By Debut Novel WONDER

PR Newswire (New York, NY) May 31, 2012

"Random House Children's Books launches Choose Kind (, a campaign to encourage students, educators, families, and readers of all ages to combat the nationwide rise in bullying with every day acts of kindness, it was announced today by Chip Gibson, President and Publisher. The initiative was inspired by WONDER (Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers), the debut novel by R. J. Palacio, which tells the story of Auggie, a fifth grader with a facial deformity who attends a mainstream school for the first time.
'WONDER has inspired us, and captured our hearts entirely,' said Gibson. 'The outpouring of enthusiasm from book lovers and educators moved us to share the poignant message of this novel with a wider audience. I am proud to give them, and anyone around the world, the opportunity to discover the story and to pledge with us to Choose Kind.'" Read More

Drug take-back event scheduled

News Times (New Milford, CT) May 29, 2012

"New Milford Hospital and its community partners will sponsor a drug take-back Saturday between 9 a.m. and noon at the Western Connecticut Health Network Laboratory Patient Service Center at 120 Park Lane.
The effort is intended to provide the community with a 'safe, eco-friendly means to dispose of outdated prescriptions and old over-the-counter medications,' according to organizers." Read More

CT KIds Court finalists stand up against bullying

StamfordPlus (Hartford, CT) May 31, 2012

"The State of Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, the State Department of Education, The African American Affairs Commission, the Asian American Affairs Commission and the Office of Protection and Advocacy are co-sponsoring the CT Kids’ Court Essay Competition which will take place this evening at the state Capitol in the Old Judiciary room at 5:00. The Kids’ Court Competition provides Jr. High and High School students with an opportunity to research a specific civil or human rights issue and advocate a position, initially in an essay and then orally before a panel of judges." Read More