Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hall Freshmen Get Special Treatment from Upper-Class Mentors

West Hartford Patch (West Hartford, CT) August 29, 2012

"The first day of high school can be a scary occasion for an incoming freshman. We've all heard those stories about seniors giving wide-eyed freshmen the wrong directions to a classroom, or worse.
At Hall High School, several energetic teachers and about 80 juniors and seniors have worked to ensure that this year's group of incoming freshmen will not be walking around with that 'deer in the headlights' look when they report for school Wednesday morning." Read More

Connecticut toughens an underage drinking law

The Examiner (Hartford, CT) August 27, 2012

"As parents send their children back to school, Connecticut parents of teens have something new and scary to study: a significant revision of an underage drinking law that may have thousands of residents paying big fines and facing jail time.
In the last few minutes of Connecticut’s state legislative session in May, several high-profile bills were passed which received a great deal of media attention, including those affecting education, the death penalty, access to palliative marijuana and voter registration. However, one bill, expected to affect every family in the state, slipped in under the radar and that bill becomes law on October 1, 2012." Read More

Local coalitions get $500,000 to prevent youth substance abuse

West Hartford News (West Hartford, CT) August 28, 2012

"Senators Joseph I. Lieberman and Richard Blumenthal, along with Representatives Rosa DeLauro, Joe Courtney, and Jim Himes, announced four federal grant awards to community coalitions in Connecticut as part of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Program. The DFC Program is designed to support communities as they mobilize individuals and organizations to reduce youth substance use. The following community coalitions have been awarded $125,000:
Local Prevention Council serving East Haddam, CT, Enfield Together Coalition serving Enfield, CT, Durham Middlefield Local Wellness Council serving Durham, CT and Middlefield, CT, Bridgeport United Coalition serving Bridgeport, CT." Read More

Monday, August 27, 2012

Speak Up: Director Lee Hirsch’s battle against bullying

Westport Magazine (Westport, CT) August 25, 2012

"Too many people know that the emotional scars of bullying sink deep. When it comes to bullying, teenagers and children suffer too often in silence. Often, the victims of bullying are scared to speak up. Or worse—when they do, no one will listen. It seemed that society was all-too-happy to hide behind platitudes like 'kids will be kids' and 'get over it.' That is, until a rash of bullying-related suicides forced the nation to take a closer look at the problem. Now, the importance of combatting bullying has come to the forefront of national discussion." Read More

Durham and Middlefield Awarded $125,000 Drug-Free Grant

Durham-Middlefield Patch (Durham, CT) August 25, 2012

"The Durham Middlefield Local Wellness Council has been awarded a $125,000 Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program grant.
The federal grant will be used to engage with the local community and prevent substance abuse among youth, according to U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-3rd Dist.), who made the announcement Friday.
'The future of America is largely dependent on the ability of young people to make decisions that will help keep them healthy and safe,' DeLauro said." Read More

Survey: 17% of high schoolers drink, smoke, use drugs during school day

WTNH News-8 (New Haven, CT) August 22, 2012

"About 17% of American high school students drink, smoke or use drugs during the school day, a new survey by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University says.
It's no surprise to their classmates, either: 86% say they know the 2.8 million who are abusing substances during the day, according to the latest version of the center's annual back-to-school survey . The estimate is based on information gleaned from telephone interviews with about 1,000 kids ages 12 to 17." Read More

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Yale study: Marijuana may really be gateway drug

CT Post (Bridgeport, CT) August 21, 2012

"Anti-drug advocates who have admonished for years that marijuana is a "gateway drug" may be on to something, according to a study by Yale University School of Medicine researchers. But the executive director of the state chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws dismissed the findings as 'just another propaganda study.'
The Yale study, which appears online in the Journal of Adolescent Health, showed that alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana were associated with an increased likelihood of prescription drug abuse in men 18 to 25. In women of that age, only marijuana use was linked with a higher likelihood of prescription drug abuse."   Read More 

An Outstretched Hand and a Firm Grip on the Future

The Huffington Post, August 20, 2012

"It would be hard to refute the assertion that 'mentorship helps at-risk children.' That's a simple concept to appreciate, and one that has impressive statistics to back it up.
But even given my childhood experience of trauma and struggle and the strength my mentors provided me, I had no idea then the difference a role model could make and how blind to race, gender and socio-economic level the issue truly is. As Miss America, these last eight months of travel have allowed me to see the influence that mentors have on a child's life and now I remain more committed than ever to share my story." Read More

The Governor’s Prevention Partnership Offers Parent Tips To Ease Stress As Kids Head Back-To-School

East Haven Patch (East Haven, CT) August 21, 2012

"Children and parents can face many challenges as the transition to back-to-school takes place. Often times, the new school year can mean heightened stress for children as they adjust to new friends, new teachers, a return to homework, and new and harder classes. Getting back into the swing of things can be tough, even for the most resilient kids and parents. Many parents, with busy work schedules and never-ending to-do lists, end up not finding the time to talk to their children about the upcoming school year and how to deal with the challenges they may be facing.
'It is crucial for parents to make time to talk with their children everyday after school to really get in touch with them,' said Jill K. Spineti, President and CEO of The Governor’s Prevention Partnership. 'Opening up that line of communication with a child is essential to making sure they are dealing with their stress in a safe and healthy way and for building a trusting relationship so they can turn to their parents when there is a problem. There’s no doubt that children who are supported by caring parents and adults are more likely to succeed.'" Read More

Monday, August 20, 2012

Parents Allowing Even a Sip of Wine at Dinner Are Putting Their Child at Risk of Alcoholism

Medical Daily, August 16, 2012

"Introducing your child to alcohol before they become of age could be putting them at risk for alcoholism in adulthood.
While many adults believe that allowing their children to have a sip of alcohol at home under supervision is a healthy way to encourage responsible drinking, a new study from Yale University has found the opposite.
In fact, a new study published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, found that the younger people are when they have their first drink, the more likely they are to develop problems with drinking in adulthood." Read More

Teen Anti Cyber Bully Campaign Goes Viral

WFMY News 2 (Osseo, MN) August 18, 2012 

"Seventeen-year-old Kevin Curwick, an Osseo High School football team captain, is using Twitter to fight cyber bullies and compliment his classmates, but much to his surprise, now people across the world are returning the favor.
'A nice word can go a long ways," he said. "We are a society looking for the positive.'
Curwick has heard from people from Iowa to Connecticut, and from Australia to England ever since he came forward behind the anonymous Twitter account, @OsseoNiceThings." Read More

Binge Drinking College Students Report Being Happier

ABC News, August 20, 2012

"The negative effects of binge drinking are well-known, which makes the findings of new research released today linking binge drinking and reported happiness in college students troubling to many health experts.
The survey of 1,595 undergraduate students revealed binge drinking students report being happier than their non-binge drinking peers. The results were released this morning at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association in Denver.
Specifically, the survey revealed that happiness was directly related to 'status' — with wealthy, white, male, heterosexual and/or Greek-affiliated students being happier than 'lower status' students." Read More

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Synthetic drugs and teens

Sun-News (Las Cruces, NM ) August 13, 2012

"In July, President Obama signed the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2012 into law as part of S. 3187, the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act. The legislation bans synthetic compounds commonly found in synthetic marijuana (known as K2 or spice), synthetic stimulants (known as bath salts) and hallucinogens by placing them under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.
This law comes at a time when calls to poison control centers for exposure to synthetic marijuana doubled between 2010 and 2011, according to The Partnership at, and is on track to rise again in 2012. Recently, the Unified Prevention! (UP!) Coalition for a Drug-Free Doña Ana County, an initiative of the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico (CFSNM), highlighted the synthetic drug, bath salts. This week will highlight synthetic marijuana." Read More

UNH Researchers Develop Anti-Bullying Curriculum

Portsmouth Patch (Portsmouth, NH) August 14, 2012

"Researchers at the University of New Hampshire believe they have made a significant breakthrough in reducing bullying and meanness in middle school students. A study of the Courage to Care program, which was developed by UNH Cooperative Extension, found students who participated in the program were less likely to emotional pick on other students.
Nearly 180 Granite State seventh graders in the Courage to Care groups were pre and post tested on their ability to show empathy and on the number of incidents of bullying and meanness they were involved with. In addition an equal number of students who did not go through the program were pre and post tested over the same nine-week period. The scores of the two groups were compared to see if there were differences between those that participated and those that did not." Read More

Bullying + Zero Tolerance ≠ Safe Schools

Huffington Post, August 14, 2012

"When we heard about Jamey Rodemeyer and other youth who had taken their own lives after years of being bullied for their sexual orientation and gender identity, we got angry. Maybe angrier than we had ever been. It would have been easy to want to punish and get revenge on all students who bully others. But it would have been wrong.
Yet, that's exactly what's happening across the country. According to Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right: Why Zero Tolerance is Not the Solution to Bullying, by Advancement Project, the Alliance for Educational Justice, and Gay-Straight Alliance Network, there's a national trend to respond to bullying by calling in the police or using other harsh discipline that excludes students from school. For example, fifteen states have passed laws that make bullying a crime. In a lot of school districts, law enforcement gets involved in even the most minor incidents of bullying." Read More

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bullies squelched when bystanders intervene: study, August 13, 2012

"With new national anti-bullying ads urging parents to teach their kids to speak up if they witness bullying, one researcher has found that in humans' evolutionary past at least, helping the victim of a bully hastened our species' movement toward a more egalitarian society.
Humans have evolved a genetically-controlled drive to help weaker individuals fight back against a bully. The drive to help the weaker group members led to a dramatic reduction in group inequality and eventually enabled humans to develop widespread cooperation, empathy, compassion and egalitarian moral values, according to the paper which appears today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences."  Read More

Binge drinking, dieting linked in drunkorexia study

CBC News, August 13, 2012

"A Simon Fraser University study in British Columbia is warning calorie-conscious young people, worried about gaining weight from binge drinking, not to cut out food in order to save space for alcohol.
The practice of foregoing food in order to binge drink and not gain weight — known as 'drunkorexia' — surfaced several years ago, but the SFU study is the first to look at its long-term effects.
SFU researcher Daniella Sieukaran followed 227 students at Toronto's York University, all aged between 17 and 21 years old, for four months." Read More

Monday, August 13, 2012

Regional substance abuse council expands, changes name

Record Journal (Meriden, CT) August 9, 2012

"The Meriden and Wallingford Substance Abuse Council is expanding under a new name. The regional council that helps communities prevent substance abuse and other addictions now includes of Branford, East Haven, Guilford, Hamden, North Haven and North Branford as well as Wallingford and Meriden.
Those towns were not being served by a regional council and the Meriden-Wallingford Substance Abuse Council took them on. As a result, the council has changed its name to the South Central Connecticut Substance Abuse Council." Read More

How Alcohol Ads Target Kids

Live Science, August 11, 2012

"Parents might do their best to shield their kids from advertising related to alcohol, but alcohol marketers are doing their best to reach them anyway. That's the finding of new research that discovered that the content of alcohol ads placed in magazines is more likely to violate industry guidelines if the ad appears in a magazine with sizable youth readership.
The research, which was done by the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, found that ads in magazines with a substantial youth readership (15 percent or more) frequently showed alcohol being consumed in an irresponsible manner." Read More

Thursday, August 9, 2012

How to teach your child about bullying

Fox News, August 8, 2012

"Every parent knows that bullying is a bigger problem than ever, with 41 percent of school staff reporting that they see it happening once a week or more frequently, according to a recent study by the National Education Association. What’s even more shocking is that experts are starting to see bullying as early as kindergarten when kids make fun of other children or form cliques.
Even when your children are just toddlers, there are ways you can prepare them now so they don't become bullies - or victims - later. Here are seven of them." Read More

School Culture Can Contribute to Bullying of LGBT, Immigrant Students

US News, August 8, 2012

"Jockeying for popularity and status within high school cliques can bring out the worst in teens. Students at the center of their social circles are often more likely to be bullies, and they tend to target teens they see as different or weak.
Immigrant students and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) youth typically fit that bill, and addressing bullying aimed at these students can require a different approach, experts said during a panel discussion on Monday at the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Summit, hosted by the Department of Education and other government agencies." Read More

Will your teen become a problem drinker? The brain tells all

Fox News, August 9, 2012

"Years before teenagers turn to heavy drinking, their developing brains already look different from their sober peers, according to a new study.
Researchers followed a group of teenagers over three years and found that those who developed heavy drinking habits (defined as four to five drinks on one occasion) showed less activity in brain regions used for higher-order decision-making, called working memory, before tasting alcohol."  Read More 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

10 Groton businesses cited for selling alcohol to minors

The Day (Groton, CT) July 29, 2012

"More than one-third of the 27 bars, restaurants and stores checked by town and city police Saturday night were cited for selling alcohol to minors.
Working in compliance with the state Liquor Control Division, and the Governors Prevention Partnership, Town Police said they conducted compliance checks of 18 stores that sell alcoholic beverages and nine drinking establishments.
Six of the stores sold alcohol to minors and four of the drinking establishments for a non compliance rate of 37 percent." Read More

Over 100,000 Bully-Related Tweets Sent Every Week [STUDY]

Media Bistro, August 6, 2012

"A new study of what types of tweets people are sending shows that some of us have a mean streak: there are over 100,000 insulting, teasing, and otherwise nasty tweets sent on the network every week.
Bullying is a problem for many children on the school yard, and it’s crept into their digital worlds as well. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin in Madison created a computer program to analyse tweets for their content and sentiment in order to determine how many of them were bully-related." Read More

Anti-bullying ads on TV, online will urge parents not to let kids be bystanders

The Washington Post (Washington D.C.) August 6, 2012

"Parents are urged to teach their kids to speak up if they witness school bullying in new ads that target an issue that top Obama administration officials vow to make a national priority.
A long-term campaign featuring television, print and web ads was unveiled Monday and will start running in October. The campaign is a joint effort by the Ad Council, a nonprofit that distributes public service announcements, and the Free to Be Foundation, a group that includes entertainers Marlo Thomas, Alan Alda and Mel Brooks." Read More

The 2012 Civil Rights and Anti-Bullying Leadership Summit

Connecticut Plus (Hartford, CT) August 6, 2012

"The Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) invites the public to attend the 2012 Civil Rights and Anti-Bullying Leadership Summit on August 9, 2012. The event will take place from 1pm-5pm on the second floor of the Legislative Office Building, Hartford, CT.
Connecticut students, parents, school administrators, and members of various organizations from around the state will meet at the legislative office building to discuss the effects of bullying, its consequences, and our civil rights and responsibilities as members of the state’s workforce and education system. Participating in this event will be enlightened speakers from the Connecticut Department of Education, the Governor’s Prevention Partnership, the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities’ Legal Division, and the United States Department of Justice. Those attending the summit will also hear first-hand accounts of bullying from effected parents and students." Read More

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Partnership at Announces New Partners in National Medicine Abuse Action Campaign

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

"'The Medicine Abuse Project' Will Prevent Half a Million Teens from Abusing Medicine in Five Years.
The Partnership at, announces that Abbott Laboratories, Purdue Pharma, A&E, Horizon Media, Consumer Healthcare Products Association, Endo Pharmaceuticals, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Watson Pharmaceuticals, Aetna and Pfizer have joined with inaugural partners Mallinkrodt, the pharmaceuticals business of Covidien, Cardinal Health and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) for "The Medicine Abuse Project," a multi-year effort to raise awareness and curb the abuse of medicine. The Medicine Abuse Project will launch the week of September 23-29, 2012." Read More

New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg Addresses State Mentoring Partnerships

Mentor (New York, NY) July 31, 2012

"Underscoring the importance of mentoring, the nation's largest city's mayor addressed State Mentoring Partnerships assembled at the 2012 States Caucus meeting at Viacom's headquarters in Times Square. Introduced by MENTOR’s President and Chief Executive Officer David Shapiro as the 'Mentoring Mayor,' Mayor Michael Bloomberg spoke about the critical impact of myriad mentoring initiatives throughout the city of New York." Read More

Hartford police continue efforts to curb underage drinking at concerts

WFSB Channel 3 News (Hartford, CT) August 4, 2012

"Hartford police are continuing efforts to cut down on the amount of underage drinking during concerts the Comcast Theatre.
Officers made seven custodial arrests during a Thursday OAR concert for offenses ranging from breach of peace to interfering with an officer. One person was charged with assault on an officer.
Hartford police has taken a zero tolerance policy, and has successfully diminished the amount of underage drinkers during concerts.
In July, Hartford Mayor Pedro E. Segarra and Police Chief Rovella announced the City of Hartford and Hartford Police Department were instituting a zero tolerance policy with regard to underage drinking at and around the Comcast Theater venue, beginning with the Jason Aldean concert." Read More

Sears To Host "Super Back-to-School Saturday"

PR Newswire (Los Angeles, CA) August 6, 2012

"In an important initiative to help stop bullying, Sears is excited to announce its 'Super Back-to-School Saturday' event on August 11, 2012. On this day only, Sears will donate up to $70,000 of all apparel, footwear and fine jewelry purchases made using a downloadable 15 percent off savings pass, both in-store and online. Donations will directly benefit charities affiliated with Sears' Team Up to Stop Bullying, an initiative designed to bring solutions quickly and effectively to victims, families, educators and communities. 'Bullying is an extremely relevant and long-standing issue nationwide. Sears is eager to make a difference for those who are impacted, and through Team Up to Stop Bullying we provide the resources to create solutions' said Lana Krauter, senior vice president and president, Sears Apparel." Read More