Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Bullying: Efforts may be paying off

Ridgefield Press (Ridgefield, CT) December 23, 2013

"Ridgefield has put up an all-out effort to combat bullying, and it seems to be working.
A nine-school, district-wide attempt to educate students, in small groups, about the negative consequences of bullying has lowered the number of disciplinary incidents at all three levels — elementary, middle and high school — over the last school year.
Four of the six elementary school principals, along with middle school principals Martin Fiedler and Tim Salem, presented the 2012-2013 discipline data report to the Board of Education on Dec. 9, discussing their unified positive behavior intervention system and advisory programs." Read More

Preventing underage drinking starts at home

New Britain Herald (New Britain, CT) December 16, 2013

‘Tis the season for students around the state to reunite with former classmates and hometown friends. This time of year it is important for parents and their high school and college-age students to recognize that underage drinking and drug use can lead to devastating consequences. To help ensure that celebrations are safe and enjoyable, The Governor’s Prevention Partnership is offering parents eight tips for keeping teenagers healthy and safe this holiday season.
'There is no better role model than a parent,' said New Britain Police Chief James Wardwell. “Parental responsibility is at the forefront of safety.'
'It’s important for parents to know that they are still the strongest influencers in the lives of their children, even during the teenage years,' said Governor’s Prevention Partnership President, Jill K. Spineti. 'We remind parents to take time out during the stress of the holiday season to talk to their kids about the dangers of underage drinking and drug use.'" Read More

Parent-Sanctioned Teen Drinking Parties Persist Despite Laws, Officials Say

Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT) December 21, 2013

"The kids knew the rules: If they were drinking on the Sibiga property, they had to spend the night or leave their keys at the house, they told police.
But in the early morning hours of Aug. 6, despite the rules, a drunken teen got into a truck with three other youths and crashed just up the road, police said. Paige Houston, a 17-year-old RHAM High School student, was killed.
Advocates say it should be clear to parents — who too often think teens are safe as long as they're drinking on private property — that seizing young drivers' car keys isn't enough." Read More

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Adderall Abuse Increases Among High School Students

Digital Journal, December 18, 2013

"The University of Michigan's Monitoring the Future Study (MTF), an annual survey tracking teen drug abuse among eighth-, 10th- and 12th- graders, shows an increase in the abuse of the prescription medicine Adderall among high school seniors in the U.S. over the past few years. Adderall is a prescribed stimulant that is commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD.
According to MTF, the past-year non-medical use of Adderall among American high school seniors has been steadily increasing since 2009 when abuse rates were 5.4 percent. In 2010 and 2011, past year Adderall abuse increased to 6.5 percent among 12th-graders, continued increasing to 7.6 percent in 2012 and is now at 7.4 percent in 2013." Read More

The role parents play in mentoring relationships

Michigan State University, December 18, 2013

"Most mentoring programs require adult mentors and youth mentees to spend a significant amount of time together. This one-on-one time is needed to form a trusting relationship and to become familiar with each other. Michigan State University Extension suggests parents be included in the match process to feel comfortable with the mentoring relationship.
Before mentoring matches are created, expectations should be discussed and clearly outlined. Include parents in the mentoring intake process to ensure that they understand and value the role that they play in addition to what is expected and appropriate of the mentor. Mentoring contracts are helpful in guiding a conversation around expectations. The contract should be very specific and inclusive that clearly describes guidelines and limitations. After signing, the mentor, parent and youth agree to all terms of the mentoring match. If everyone is on the same page (mentor, parent and youth) the match will have a better chance at success and the parent will tend to be more supportive." Read More

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Small talk can have big impact on teen drinking

Missoulian, December 16, 2013

"Holidays – we are busier than ever before, and planning ahead for the approaching holiday festivities adds additional stress that impacts our routine and rhythm of daily life. It’s not exactly a convenient time for having a serious conversation with your teen about topics such as underage drinking. Some parents might think that battling underage drinking is a futile effort, but studies show that parents who adopt a zero tolerance for underage drinking were the top reason that teens don’t drink.
Holiday parties often increase the opportunity to use alcohol and other drugs. Opportunities for underage drinking rise dramatically when students are not in school or structured activities. Underage drinking is a leading contributor to death from injuries, which are the main cause of death for people under age 21. The month of December is National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention month." Read More

December Is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

GoodTherapy.org, December 16, 2013

"‘Tis the season for holiday parties and staying out into the wee hours with coworkers, family, and friends. Lights decorate streets, trees, and houses, and seasonal cheer is in the air.
Unfortunately, however, these opportunities for feasting and fun often go hand in hand with increased incidents of impaired driving, or driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. According to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one in three drivers who were killed in a car accident in 2010 tested positive for drugs (Kerlikowske, 2012)." Read More

Childhood bullying shown to increase likelihood of psychotic experiences in later life

Medical Xpress, December 17, 2013

"New research has shown that being exposed to bullying during childhood will lead to an increased risk of psychotic experiences in adulthood, regardless of whether they are victims or perpetrators. 
The study, published today in Psychological Medicine, assessed a cohort of UK children (ALSPAC) from birth to fully understand the extent of bullying on psychosis in later life – with some groups showing to be almost five times more likely to suffer from episodes at the age of 18." Read More

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Parents support anti-bullying policies that protect overweight students

Medical Xpress, December 10, 2013

"Parents, both with and without overweight children, are concerned about weight-based bullying and are in favor of a range of policy initiatives to address the issue, according to two new studies published this month by researchers at the Yale Rudd Center.
Researchers surveyed 918 American parents with children ages 2-18 years. The first study, published in Childhood Obesity, examined parental perceptions and concerns about weight-based victimization in youth. The second study, published in the International Journal of Obesity, examined parental support for policy measures and school-based efforts to address weight-based victimization of overweight youth." Read More

Holiday Party Season Poses Danger For Young Adults

Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT) December 10, 2013

"'Tis the season for students around the state to reunite with former classmates and hometown friends. This time of year it's important for parents and kids to recognize that underage drinking and drug use can lead to devastating consequences. To help ensure that celebrations are safe and enjoyable, The Governor's Prevention Partnership is offering parents 'tips for keeping teenagers healthy and safe this holiday season.'
'It's important for parents to know that they are still the strongest influencers in the lives of their children, even during the teenage years," said Governor's Prevention Partnership President, Jill K. Spineti. "We remind parents to take time out during the stress of the holiday season to talk to their kids about the dangers of underage drinking and drug use.'" Read More

Monday, December 9, 2013

Talking to your tween about substance abuse

Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC) December 8, 2013

"Believe it or not, it is never too soon to speak with your children regarding alcohol or drug use.
You may have noticed that kids these days are more mature and less innocent than perhaps you were at their age. We can thank the Internet for this and the era of cell phone, text messages and Facebook.
Children can view anything on the Internet and are learning more mature behaviors at an earlier age, and that is why we as parents need to create open communication with them as soon as possible.
While you may think it is not a good idea to introduce the idea of alcohol or drugs to your tween, it might actually work in your benefit to not keep it a secret from them."  Read More

Mother of Teen Killed by Drunk Driver Recounts Day at MADD Campaign Kickoff

Middletown Patch (Middletown, CT) December 6, 2013

"The mother whose son was killed in 2004 while a passenger in a car driven by a drunken driver that crashed into the Housatonic River in Kent implored people Friday never to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.
'There is nothing, nothing that we can do to bring Dustin back,' said Colleen Sheehey, who now sits on the Mothers Against Drunk Driving National Board of Directors. 'My ask is a very simple one — prevent drunk driving crashes; don't drink and drive, and please don't let the memory of the holidays end up being a horrible crash or death that changes your lives forever and ever.'" Read More

Facebook Extends Its Anti-Bullying “Compassion Research” Effort

Silicon Beat, December 5, 2013

"Facebook is expanding its efforts to help teens (and adults) deal with annoying or bullying behavior on the world’s biggest social network, by extending its online reporting tools and promoting its new 'Bullying Resource Hub' for kids, parents and educators.
And in coming months, Facebook’s Arturo Bejar says he hopes to adapt those tools for Instagram, the online photo-sharing service owned by Facebook that’s become increasingly popular among teens.
As we’ve reported before, Bejar is a Facebook engineering director who also oversees what the company calls its 'compassion research' program, in which Facebook has enlisted psychologists and child development experts to help improve procedures for flagging items that make them uncomfortable. The effort started with photos and has been extended to status updates and other comments posted on the site." Read More

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Arc New London County Wins Grant To Create Community Change

Hartford Courant (New London, CT) December 2, 2013

"The Arc New London County is one of eight Connecticut nonprofits selected by the Department of Developmental Services to participate in the Systems Change Mentoring Opportunity, made possible by the Community of Practice grant awarded to the state through The Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD). Connecticut is one of five states to receive a Community of Practice grant designed to identify and implement policies and practices that will serve as a national framework for states to support individuals and their families across the lifespan.
The $8,000 block grants distributed to agencies like The Arc NLC will fund nationally recognized mentors to coach agency leaders and staff to reinvent services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the state." Read More

Protect Your Teen From Dangerous Dark Net Drugs

The Huffington Post, December 2, 2013

"More than 60 percent of teens report that drugs are purchased, bought, and used at their school. Unfortunately for parents, teens are accessing some of the most dangerous drugs such as heroin and cocaine from no other place than their parent's house. Teens are flocking to the Dark Net to purchase drugs and then having them delivered to their parent's mail box. The Dark Net is a group of anonymous websites that are hosted by a group of computers. These sites on the Dark Net are not indexed by search engines such as Google and Yahoo making them unsearchable to the general public.
Users that access sites from the Dark Net have to download special browsers to hide all of their web activity. Tor (The Onion Router) is probably the most famous browser used by teens." Read More

Monday, November 25, 2013

Fairfield University joins town and business to give entrepreneurs a boost

Fairfield Sun (Fairfield, CT) November 25, 2013

"Three keystone Fairfield businesses are teaming up to help the next generation of entrepreneurs see their ideas bloom.
The Fairfield Accelerator and Mentoring Enterprise (FAME) opened Tuesday, Oct. 29, on the second floor at 1499 Post Road, also home to the downtown Fairfield University bookstore. Kleban Properties, Fairfield University and the town’s Economic Development Department joined forces to give businesses a boost." Read More

Yale Expert Says Teaching About Emotions Reduces Bullying

Hartford Courant (Orange, CT) November 22, 2013

"At a symposium Friday on reducing bullying and improving school climate, Marc Brackett, director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, told a crowd of about 200 educators that bullying prevention programs 'are mostly ineffective.'
About 28 percent of children report that they are bullied regularly in school — a percentage that has stayed about the same since 2005.
'Why are we spending billions of dollars a year on approaches that don't seem to make a difference?' Brackett asked." Read More

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Thanksgiving Feast For Children In "Beyond School Walls" Mentoring Program

Hartford Courant (Berlin, CT) November 18, 2013

"Two weeks before the official holiday, twenty-five very enthusiastic New Britain children sat down together for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with their Big Brothers and Big Sisters at Comcast's Western New England Regional Office in Berlin.
The main course, not surprisingly, was roasted turkey. It was complemented by sage stuffing, velvety mashed potatoes, an array of delectable side dishes, and desserts that ran the gamut from pies to cupcakes. As appetite-enhancing aromas wafted through the air, the children talked excitedly about the meal they were enjoying. They loved that it was homemade, but what they seemed to appreciate most was that it was prepared especially for them by the same Comcast employees who mentor them each week." Read More

Online Bullying May Be Civil Rights Violation

Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT) November 16, 2013

"The Nov. 14 article 'Online Bullying: School Punishes Four Students' [Page 1] could have mentioned that the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights issued a letter in October 2010 to all public schools clarifying that bullying is a form of harassment when based on protected characteristics (race, sex, etc).
In the examples listed in the article, the incidents of bullying described may well be Title IX violations (sexual harassment /discrimination). Title IX coordinators must follow up to ensure investigations are done through the lens of Title IX. In addition, the actions described may also be criminal acts." Read More

Sacred Heart athletes step off the court and into kids’ lives

Fairfield Sun (Fairfield, CT) November 16, 2013

"Athletes from Sacred Heart University’s men’s basketball team are participating in a mentoring program that benefits children of varying ages involved with Hall Neighborhood House in Bridgeport. Hall Neighborhood House hosts social, recreational and educational programs for children, youth, families and senior citizens.
As a settlement house over the past 125 years, Hall Neighborhood House’s expanding mission includes providing services that enrich and empower the lives of families, children and individuals in Bridgeport and the surrounding communities. These initiatives include the Youth Services program, Hall Arts Academy (HAA) and Ella Jackson Senior Citizen Center, as well as childcare preschool educational programs." Read More

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Most Teens Who Misuse Painkillers Aren't After a High, Study Finds

Newsday, November 13, 2013

"Most teens who misuse narcotic painkillers hope to get relief from pain, a new study reveals.
Researchers found that four out of five teens who misused prescription pain medications such as OxyContin or Vicodin by taking more than directed or using someone else's prescription cared less about getting high than they did about easing their discomfort.
Although research has shown that most teens given prescriptions for narcotic pain relievers use them properly, some young people do not. Sean McCabe and colleagues from the University of Michigan surveyed about 3,000 teens in 2011 and 2012 to determine why they abused these pain medications. They also took the teens' gender, race and ethnicity into account." Read More

Outback plans changes, forums for parents to address underage drinking

New Canaan Advertiser (New Canaan, CT) November 14, 2013

"The Outback Board recognizes that the consumption of alcohol by underage drinkers prior to social gatherings in our town is a serious issue. This is a widespread community problem, which is not limited to the Outback and requires a thoughtful response.
The Outback believes we can harness our resources and bring people together to be a positive force for change in New Canaan. In an effort to be part of this process, we have reached out to parents and community leaders in the past two weeks and will continue to do so in the weeks to come." Read More

Manchester High To Punish Students Engaged In Online Bullying

Hartford Courant (Manchester, CT) November 13, 2013

"Manchester High School administrators are vowing to punish students for a pervasive type of bullying — the social media posting of a list of female students described by one source as 'nasty, graphic and disturbing.'
Administrators learned on Friday that lists posted online "contained names of and derogatory information about some female students who attend the high school," Principal Matt Geary wrote in a letter to the school community.
'Multiple' students were involved in creating the lists, Geary wrote. A source who spoke on the condition of not being named said a group of boys at Manchester High created a list that used the full names of some girls and extremely degrading descriptions. One of the boys posted the list on Twitter, the source said." Read More

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Teen Athletes Might Be Using Opioids More Than Others

DailyRx News, November 11, 2013

"Sports are a great way for teens to maintain physical and mental health. But teen athletes can get injured. Sometimes, those injuries are so painful that teens are prescribed opioid painkillers, which might introduce the opportunity for drug misuse.
A recent study found that teens who played team sports were at risk for opioid medication misuse.
Teens who participated in sports were more likely to get injured than those who did not play organized sports, and the teen athletes' doctors often prescribed opioid medications (narcotics) to relieve their pain." Read More

National Drug Take Back Day Receives 324 Tons of Unwanted Medicine

Testcountry.com, November 9, 2013

"Here’s a bit of good news on preventing prescription drug abuse: The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reported through its Public Affairs desk that close to 650 thousand pounds of expired and unused medications were turned over to their custody last October 26 as part of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.
The annual affair started in 2010, and provided people with a venue to dispose of their unused medicines properly. This year, a total of 5,683 stations were installed to receive the influx of unwanted drugs from concerned citizens. The DEA recorded this year’s collected figure at 647,211 pounds or 324 tons, the largest amount in 4 years." Read More

Teen bullying increases sexual risk taking reports new study

Examiner.com, November 11, 2013

"Bullying among teens is a major social problem in the United States. It results in emotional trauma—and sometime eve death—to its victims. Now, a new study reports another impact of bullying: increased sexual risk taking among teens being bullied as well as those that do the bullying. The study was published online on November 11 by researchers affiliated with Boston University, the University of Illinois, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The researchers note that the psychological and educational impact of bullying have been explored extensively; however, no studies have evaluated a possible link between bullying and sexual risk-taking behaviors among teens." Read More

Monday, November 11, 2013

Praxair Recognized for Innovation In Support of Youth By The Governor’s Prevention Partnership

Conntact.com (Hartford, CT) November 7, 2013

"The Governor’s Prevention Partnership recently honored Praxair, with the 2013 Partner in Prevention Innovation Award at its 23rd Annual Governor’s Luncheon in Hartford. This marks the seventh year that The Partnership has recognized an outstanding corporate partner that has demonstrated a unique and innovative approach to supporting The Partnership’s mission to keep Connecticut’s kids safe, successful and drug free today for a stronger workforce tomorrow." Read More

Students take on school bullying in Plainville

New Britain Herald (Plainville, CT) November 9, 2013

"Emily Savage and Nicholas Norman are two sixth-graders who have joined group of more than 80 students who aim to put an end to bullying in the Middle School of Plainville.
This student group, called the Middle School of Plainville Ally (MSP Ally), was formed about three years ago to educate middle school students about bullying and ways to stop it. Its latest endeavor was Wednesday at a workshop called, “From Bystander to Ally,” put on by the Anti-Defamation League." Read More

Study: Teen boys battle body-image issues, too

Poughkeepsie Journal, November 9, 2013

"Teenage boys who pump iron and pop steroids in hopes of improving their appearance may be at risk for binge drinking and drug abuse, a new study suggests.
This kind of behavior is really a type of eating disorder, said lead researcher Alison Field, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Mass. Many people are just familiar with anorexia and bulimia as eating disorders, and they typically believe young women are the only ones who struggle with body image, she added." Read More

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Facebook to beef up efforts to curb bullying

Washington Post, November 6, 2013

"Facebook said it will beef up efforts to curb bullying on its site starting Wednesday as police, parents and educators sound greater alarm over the unmonitored and sometimes dangerous interactions among teenagers on social-media networks.
The company will make it easier for teens to contact an adult on the site when they feel bullied, and it will release talking points and guides for teens, parents and educators to deal with harassment." Read More

Can Family Conflict Drive Teen Girls to Drink?

Huffington Post, November 5, 2013

"A study recently published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs followed a group of 886 adolescent boys and girls (57 percent female) from age 12 through age 14. They assessed this group at each of these three ages in an effort to identify what factors might predict heavy drinking at age 14.
One factor -- family conflict -- was assessed using statements like these:
'We argue about the same things in my family over and over again.' The more strongly a teen endorsed this type of item, the stronger was the estimated family conflict." Read More

The End Of Bullying

Milford-Orange Bulletin (Milford, CT) November 6, 2013

"October is Nat’l Bullying Prevention Month and Saint Mary School used the opportunity to educate.
Parents and students of grades 6, 7 and 8 viewed the movie 'Bully' together with their teachers, Principal Lacerenza, Father Aidan and Officers Salati and Delmonte.
Introducing the movie and asking everyone to pledge against bullying was SMS alumni Lexi Phelan who is a supporter of PACER, one of the largest anti-bullying efforts in the U.S." Read More

Thursday, October 31, 2013

UConn Men's Basketball Scores An 8 Percent Graduation Rate

Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT) October 24, 2013

"The graduation numbers continue to be low for the UConn men's basketball program. In figures released by the NCAA on Thursday, UConn scored an 8 percent graduation success rate for players who entered school between 2003 and 2006 — far below the national average of 74 percent in the sport.
This period involves 12 players, only one of whom graduated, and most of whom went on to play professional basketball.
The GSR is determined by allowing athletes a six-year window from the time they enter school to graduate, and is measured for a four-year period. Players who entered the program in 2003 had until 2009, for instance." Read More

Think You Know What Your Child's Up to Online? Think Again

HealthDay News, October 30, 2013

"Parental perceptions can be way off when it comes to what their kids are exposed to while surfing the Internet, according to a new study that puts an e-spin on the enduring generation gap.
The survey of 456 parent-child pairs revealed that although nearly one-third of the 10- to 16-year-olds polled said they had been bullied online, just 10 percent of parents were aware of that.
Parents also underestimated how often their child was exposed to online pornography, the survey found." Read More

First Niagara Foundation Announces $80,000 Grant

Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT) October 30, 2013 

"Governor Dannel P. Malloy today joined First Niagara Bank in announcing a commitment of $80,000 from the First Niagara Foundation to support the Governor's Prevention Partnership (GPP), a statewide public-private alliance building a strong, healthy future workforce through leadership in mentoring. Governor Malloy serves as co-chair of the GPP Board of Directors.
'Last year, with the help of volunteers and local businesses like First Niagara, the Governor's Prevention Partnership was able to support mentoring relationships for 20,000 youth in 135 programs,' Malloy said. 'I applaud First Niagara for its efforts to support mentoring initiatives in Connecticut and look forward to continued success as a result of this collaboration.'" Read More

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

New warning about ‘study drugs’

Digital Journal, October 29, 2013

"A new warning has been issued about the dangers of taking prescription medicines as ‘study drugs’, to enable students to stay up late and cram for examinations.
Students who take powerful prescription medicines whist studying can easily become hooked on the medications and can carry this addiction into adulthood. Many of the drugs taken are not intended to help people to think and act faster; one of the popular study drugs taken is one intended for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). ADHD is a disorder marked by inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity."  Read More

SADD, State Working Together To Curb Underage Drinking

Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT) October 27, 2013

"One might expect a package store to be on the lookout for minors using fake IDs, but few people would expect minors to bust a package store for selling alcohol to them.
But in Connecticut, some students are doing exactly that. This year, as of mid-August, students have gone undercover and completed 412 compliance checks, with 97 resulting in action against the liquor store. And there are more compliance checks scheduled, according to Claudette Carveth, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Consumer Protection.
Carveth said the student volunteers, working with Students Against Destructive Decisions, go undercover for the compliance checks." Read More

The Governor’s Prevention Partnership 23rd Annual Governor’s Luncheon

CT-N (Hartford, CT) October 24, 2013

Watch Video Here

Monday, October 14, 2013

Prescription drug abuse dangerous, even fatal

News Times (Danbury, CT) October 12, 2013

"When a drug is purchased from a pharmacist, and not a street corner, there's a temptation to think it is perfectly safe.
But a recent report from a national nonprofit group shows prescription drugs, particularly painkillers, cause more fatal overdoses than heroin and cocaine combined.
And their use is pervasive all over the country, including Connecticut. The continued misuse of these drugs might be due in part to a misperception about how dangerous they are, said Ingrid Gillespie, president of the Connecticut Prevention Network." Read More

Ever-Morphing Party Drugs Keep Users, Authorities Guessing

Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT) October 13, 2013

"A couple of hours into a dance concert at Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury last month, four people started dropping almost simultaneously. Their friends told police that the four had taken 2C-P.
The news sent officers to the Internet for research. They had never heard of 2C-P.
Considering the variety of party drugs circulating, it's not surprising that police were caught off-guard. There is an ever-expanding family of designer drugs known by an assortment of names: molly, smiles, 25i and 2C-P, among others. Authorities said the substances that make up these drugs are ever-changing — a molecule is tweaked, or a new chemical is added — and often users aren't even sure what they're taking, let alone how it will affect them." Read More

Friday, October 11, 2013

Unity Day urges end to bullying

WFSB Channel 3 News (Greenwich, CT) October 10, 2013

"Wednesday was Unity Day around the country, which is a day devoted to taking a stand against bullying. 
The event comes as a school in Greenwich continues to heal after a student took his own life at the beginning of the school year. After his death, some classmates joined forces to try to tackle bullying.
Greenwich High School senior Elias Frank said he hated how his final year of high school started. Classmate Bart Palosz, 15, shot himself using the family gun after the first day of classes. Palosz's family said he was bullied for years and he just gave up." Read More

DEA, Resident Troopers Offering Drug Take-Back Day

Tolland Patch (Tolland, CT) October 10, 2013

"It's time for another prescription drug Take-Back Day. 
The latest initiative, sponsored by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and supported by the Tolland Resident State Trooper's Office, is scheduled for Oct. 26.
Prescription drugs can be dropped off from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. that day at the Resident Trooper’s Office, 749 Tolland Stage Rd." Read More

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Renowned Radio Personality Michael Baisden Launches "One Dream One Team" Mentoring Initiative In Nationwide Effort to Recruit Male Mentors for 12,000 African American Boys

PR Newswire (Orlando, FL) October 10, 2013

"When renowned radio personality Michael Baisden posted "A real man takes care of his kids no matter what the relationship is with the mother of the child," on his Facebook page, he never anticipated the over nine million views or one million plus likes and comments he received as feedback! The overwhelming response prompted him into immediate action. A diehard advocate for mentoring since 2010 with his "One Million Mentors National Campaign to Save Our Kids" 72-city tour, Baisden has now launched a new initiative, the "One Dream One Team" Mentoring Initiative. His specific goal is to help recruit African American male mentors for the 12,000 African American boys on the Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) waiting list for a one-on-one mentor match." Read More

Early Puberty Tied to Higher Odds of Substance Use in Teens: Survey

HealthDay News, October 9, 2013

"Teens who began puberty at an early age are more likely to experiment with cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana, researchers report.
The study included nearly 6,500 boys and girls, aged 11 to 17, who were asked about their substance use in the past three months. The participants also completed a questionnaire designed to determine when they began puberty.
The findings were published in the October issue of the journal Addiction.
Puberty typically begins between the ages of 9 and 10, but wide variation exists in its onset and how long it takes to complete puberty. The results from the study participants were in line with national estimates of puberty onset. For example, girls report developing earlier than boys and nonwhites report developing earlier than whites." Read More

Group mentoring

Michigan State University, October 8, 2013

"When most people hear the word mentor they think of a traditional one-on-one relationship between an adult and a young person. Over the past few decades, the definition of mentoring has expanded to include virtual relationships, peer relationships and group relationships. Group mentoring brings a small group of young people (usually four or fewer) together with a mentor. While the mentoring relationship is the primary goal, many programs focus on a project or topic to give the group something to work on together. Programs like Michigan 4-H Tech Wizards provide a great example of how group mentoring can lead to a myriad of positive outcomes for youth and a memorable experience for volunteers." Read More

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

School compassion for bullied and bully

Stamford Advocate (Stamford, CT) October 7, 2013

"Officials at Trailblazers Academy have released some details about how they handled a disagreement between two students before police stepped in and arrested one for bullying.
On Tuesday, Stamford Police arrested a 12-year-old girl after the parent of a 13-year-old complained. The 13-year-old indicated she was contemplating suicide because of how the other girl made her feel. Police, who did not reveal the name of the school, investigated the claims for two weeks before filing disorderly conduct charges against the 12-year-old." Read More

Glastonbury parents arrested for underage drinking party

WTNH News-8 (Glastonbury, CT) October 1, 2013

"Two parents are facing charges, accused of hosting a dangerous underage drinking party at their home in Glastonbury.
Police say more than 100 teenagers were at that party.
'They knew the party was going on, they knew alcohol was there and they didn't do anything about it,' said Agent James Kennedy, Glastonbury Police Department." Read More

5 Orange businesses accused of selling alcohol to minors

New Haven Register (Orange, CT) October 2, 2013

"Five businesses allegedly sold alcohol to youths during compliance checks conducted by the Liquor Control Division and Orange Police Department in late September, according to a press release from the Department of Consumer Protection.
A total of eleven businesses were tested for compliance on Sept. 19 after the Liquor Control Division and Orange Police Department selected restaurants and bars in town. Two youth volunteers, trained and provided by the Governor’s Prevention Partnership, entered the businesses and attempted to purchase alcoholic beverages from the employees." Read More

Monday, September 30, 2013

Youth summit discusses how teens use social media to express feelings

Channel 3 Eyewitness News (Hartford, CT) September 27, 2013

"Spotting kids that are crying out for help was one of the topics discussed Friday at Connecticut's first ever Youth Safety Conference.
The youth summit was put on by the Governor's Prevention Partnership where officials looked at social media and how its a place where many teens share their feelings.
In August, 15-year-old Bart Palosz took his own life following the first day of classes at Greenwich High School. Shortly before his death, the Greenwich teenager posted an ominous message on a social media website about a song he wanted played at his funeral." Read More

FREE Parent Forum: Video Gaming, Social Media and the Safety of Our Children

Danbury Patch (Danbury, CT) September 25, 2013

"Did you know that excessive internet use can have a potential negative effect on your child? When not used appropriately, recent research indicates that time spent online may negatively impact a child’s brain function, academic achievement, social connections and engagement. Excessive and inappropriate video gaming and social networking is also believed to possibly desensitize youth to violence and mean behaviors.
During this parent forum, a panel will discuss appropriate use and share tips on supporting children by monitoring video gaming and use of social media." Read More

Fairfield Warde Students Stand Up to Violence & Bullying

Fairfield Patch (Fairfield, CT) September 27, 2013

"The Center for Women and Families works with schools, police and municipal leaders to end domestic violence and bullying. Now two Fairfield Warde High School students joined the fight.
Kaleigh Fidaleo, a junior, and senior Cozette More formed the leadership group Raising Abuse Awareness for Teens (RAAFT) at their school and membership has grown to 15 students." Read More

Mentoring program illuminates opportunity

Connecticut Post (Bridgeport, CT) September 19, 2013

"Guadalupe Ramirez, 18, knew from a young age that she was undocumented, having been brought to the United States from Mexico by her mother when she was not yet 4 years old.
It was never an issue. Until high school.
Friends at Bullard Havens Technical High School started talking about college, getting summer internships, applying for scholarships and financial aid. Without a Social Security number, Ramirez could do none of those things." Read More

Monday, September 23, 2013

Bullied no more: St. Luke’s student speaks out

NC Advertiser (New Canaan, CT) September 21, 2013

"Alex Levy, a 15-year-old student at St. Luke’s School in New Canaan, is no stranger to bullying and the feelings of despair and isolation that come with it. A victim of severe bullying before he attended St. Luke’s, Alex is now using his past torment to help educate others.
Alex is a teen ambassador for STOMP Out Bullying, an organization that strives to assist kids and teens and focuses on reducing and preventing bullying, cyber bullying and other forms of digital abuse, while also providing education to stop violence, racism and homophobia in schools."  Read More

Drop-off box at police HQ accepts unwanted meds

Darien News (Darien, CT) September 21, 2013

"Residents looking to dispose of unwanted, excess and expired prescription and over-the-counter medications may use the safe and secure permanent drop-off box in the lobby of the Darien Police Department, 25 Hecker Ave.
The Darien Health Department has partnered with the Police Department to establish a permanent collection program in order to reduce the supply of drugs that can potentially harm teens and adults as well as protecting the environment from improper disposal." Read More

Norwalk Mentor Program Welcomes New Director

Norwalk Daily Voice (Norwalk, CT) September 23, 2013

"The Norwalk Mentor Program, kicks off its 28th year with its annual 'Back to School Breakfasts' and a new leader.
Nancy Pratt joins the program as its new director. Pratt has helped recruit mentors for the program the last four years as Outreach Coordinator of RSVP of Southern Connecticut.
The mentoring program is run by the Human Services Council in partnership with the Norwalk Public Schools. The breakfasts will occur over the next few weeks." Read More

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Putnam drug prevention group gets $125K per year grant Read more: Putnam drug prevention group gets $125K per year grant

Norwich Bulletin (Putnam, CT) September 13, 2013

"Putnam’s PRIDE has gotten a boost of confidence.
The coalition of local organizations and community members runs the town’s drug and alcohol prevention programs, but has been running without grant funding for two years. It has just won a grant that will fund efforts for the next five years.
'It’s a vitally important program,' Mayor Peter Place said. 'We’ve will have $125,000 a year for five years and we can send a message out that we really care about this issue and the children of our community. We’re in this for the long run.'" Read More

Health, Prevention Officials Warn Parents After Recent Deaths From ‘Molly’

Newtown Bee (Newtown, CT) September 13, 2013

"School District and local Prevention Council representatives have teamed up to warn parents about a high-powered type of Ecstasy that has contributed to the deaths of four individuals in New York, Boston, and in Washington, D.C., since the beginning of September.
Martha Shilstone, Newtown student assistant counselor, and Judy Blanchard, co-chair of the Newtown Prevention Council and district health coordinator for Newtown Public Schools say that parents may not be aware their children are consuming the drug, because they are acquiring and using it when they are attending concerts formerly known as 'raves.'
It is most commonly taken at dance parties featuring electronic dance music." Read More

Extreme binge drinking not uncommon in high school

CT Post, September 16, 2013

"Almost 1 in 10 U.S. high school seniors have engaged in recent extreme binge drinking — downing at least 10 drinks at a rate that barely budged over six years, according to a government-funded report.
Less severe binge drinking, consuming five or more drinks in a row, has mostly declined in recent years among teens. But for high school seniors, the 2011 rate for 10 drinks in a row — 9.6 percent — was down only slightly from 2005.
The most extreme level — 15 or more drinks in a row within the past two weeks — didn't change from 2005 to 2011. Almost 6 percent of high school seniors reported recently drinking that amount." Read More

Bullied Kids Often Develop Physical Symptoms, Study Says

Health Day News, September 16, 2013

"Kids who are the victims of bullies are often reluctant to report the abuse. But a new study shows that frequent and unexplained physical symptoms are common in bullied children, and experts say they can be signs that should alert parents and teachers to a problem.
The research is a combined look at 30 studies representing almost 220,000 school-aged children from 14 countries.
Taken together, the studies show that kids who are bullied are more than twice as likely as kids who aren't to report feeling bad or sick, even when there's no obvious explanation for their symptoms." Read More

Monday, September 16, 2013

Meriden organization receives grant to combat substance abuse

Record Journal (Meriden, CT) September 16, 2013

"Rushford Center will receive a $125,000 federal grant every year for the next five years to combat underage drinking and marijuana use.
Rushford, part of Hartford HealthCare, is one of four organizations in the state to receive funds through the Drug Free Communities grant. The organization provides mental health and addiction services through locations in Meriden, Middletown, Durham, Portland and Glastonbury.
Rushford administrators said the grant was competitive." Read More

Ask and tell on teen substance abuse

Connecticut Post (Bridgeport, CT) September 13, 2013

"Earlier this month, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) published the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The findings confirm trends that addiction therapists working with teens have known, but that parents may be overlooking.
Although the report explains that adolescent drug use is decreasing, there is still a large concern for drug use and abuse among our teens. The report shows many new findings in illicit substance use and abuse. Perhaps the most significant is the increase in marijuana and heroin use." Read More

Durham, Middlefield to get substance abuse grant

Middletown Press (Middlefield, CT) September, 13, 2013

"U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, CT-3, announced Friday that a Durham and Middlefield drug-free support program was one of three groups receiving federal grant money that will go toward preventing youth substance abuse.
DeLauro said that a $375,000 grant would be split between the Durham-Middlefield Drug-Free Community Program, along with the Assets Steering Committee in Guilford and Bridges, A Community Support System in Milford, which each receiving $125,000." Read More

Friday, September 13, 2013

Raytheon mentors drive meaningful, measurable outcomes with students

The Sacramento Bee (Waltham, MA) September 12, 2013

"Thousands of Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) employees nationwide are headed into local schools this fall to share their knowledge and skills by mentoring students as part of the company's MathMovesU® science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education initiative.
Students who work with the Raytheon mentor network report increased interest in academics and improved grade performance. The MathMovesU mentoring programs provide students nationwide with hands-on, project-based learning, one-on-one tutoring, and real-life math and science applications – techniques that are proving highly effective." Read More

McKersie: no tolerance for bullying

Greenwich Time (Greenwich, CT) September 12, 2013

"Public Schools Superintendent William McKersie was adamant Thursday that the Greenwich school district's zero tolerance of bullying policy is more than just words on paper.
'We for sure have a zero tolerance on bullying,' he said. 'In the last 24 hours, I've had to be very explicit about our zero tolerance. I agree with progressive justice and progressive discipline, but at the end of the day, for students with validated, definite cases of bullying, expulsion is what we will look to.'" Read More


Knowdrugs.org, September 13, 2013

"Know Drugs: The Parents Guide iPhone/iPad app provides parents and carers with all of the essential information and advice you need to understand the important issues around young people’s drug use.
Using video, graphics and photos this essential app equips you with a comprehensive collection of resources that you can use to educate your teenager about the world of drugs." Read More

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Gang presence escalates aggression in bullying, according to study

The Rock River Times (Champaign, IL) September 11, 2013

"The presence of gangs in the vicinity of schools creates a pervasive climate of fear and victimization among students, teachers and administrators that escalates the level of aggression in bullying incidents and paralyzes prevention efforts, suggests a new study in the journal Psychology of Violence.
Gang presence causes incidents of victimization toward students and teachers to become more violent. And, fearing for their own safety, bystanders, teachers and administrators adopt a laissez faire attitude toward bullying that perpetuates a culture of victimization, the researchers say." Read More

Greenwich student urges bullying victims to find someone who can help

Greenwich Time (Greenwich, CT) September 9, 2013

"Sixth grade was hell for Audrey Niblo.
She got her hair pulled in the halls of Eastern Middle School. Water bottles were hurled at her on the school bus. 'You smell like skunk,' her peers told her on Facebook.
'They made fun of me because I didn't wear size double zero designer clothes like everyone else,' said Audrey, who is now 16.
Audrey said she was also taunted by classmates because she has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder." Read More

Former Miss Teen USA continues anti-bullying message

Reminder News (Vernon, CT) September 9, 2013

"Logan West just recently completed her year as Miss Teen USA. The former Miss Teen Connecticut USA said her year was 'a whirlwind.'
'It was more than I could have ever imagined,' she said. 'I went into this competition thinking that I could do it, but never honestly believed that I would win. So to have won, and to have had such an amazing year, has been an incredible journey.'
After touring the country and the world, and then crowning her successor in August, West has returned home to Connecticut, coinciding with her family's move to Vernon. She said she is also turning the page of her life to, as she puts it, 'be Logan, without a title attached.'" Read More

Monday, September 9, 2013

Anti-bullying expert invited to speak

Greenwich Time (Greenwich, CT) September 7, 2013

"As the community struggles to understand the conditions that led a bullied Greenwich High School student to take his own life after the first day of classes, an anti-bullying expert will be on hand to help advance the dialogue at next week's Board of Selectmen meeting.
Ross Ellis, founder of Stomp Out Bullying, said she will discuss the death of 15-year-old Bart Palosz as well as bullying and suicide prevention tactics when he addresses town leaders Thursday morning." Read More

Anti-Homophobia Measures Reduce Binge Drinking for All Students

Science Daily, August 15, 2013

"Canadian high schools with anti-homophobia policies or gay-straight alliances (GSAs) that have been in place for three years or more have a positive effect on both gay and straight students' problem alcohol use, according to a new study by University of British Columbia researchers.
GSAs are student-led clubs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning (LGBTQ) youth and their straight allies. Their purpose is to provide support and advocacy and help make schools more inclusive." Read More

New pilot program for parents whose children are struggling with drug and alcohol problems

News Medical, September 7, 2013

"The Partnership at Drugfree.org, the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to finding evidence-based solutions to adolescent substance use disorders, has announced a new, pioneering pilot program specifically for parents whose children are struggling with drug and alcohol problems. The Parent Support Network is a groundbreaking initiative designed to provide direct peer-to-peer support and assistance to parents who are dealing with their teen or young adult's substance issues.
Working together with the Center for Motivation and Change, a group of nationally recognized clinicians and researchers specializing in motivational and cognitive-behavioral approaches to addiction, The Partnership at Drugfree.org has trained an initial group of parents from around the country in parent-to-parent phone coaching based extensively on two evidence-based approaches." Read More

Thursday, September 5, 2013

What Kids Wish Their Parents Knew: Preventing Bullying

Greenwich Patch (Greenwich, CT) August 30, 2013

"While Greenwich High School's 'Names Day' is an anti-bullying program for freshmen who are typically 14 or 15, a new workshop called "What Kids Wish Their Parents Knew" will be geared toward parents of elementary school and middle school children.
The Anti-Defamation League–the folks who created Names Day–are pairing up with the Jewish Community Center (JCC) to help parents spot, intervene and prevent bullying.
The JCC refers to the statistics of adolescent suicide – the third leading cause of death among Connecticut residents ages 15-19 as 'staggering,' and, in a release, described the untimely death of Greenwich High School student Bartlomeiej 'Bart' Palosz (15) as 'an urgent reminder that bullying, name calling and cyber-bullying are frequently associated with tragic consequences.'" Read More

The Partnership at Drugfree.org Comments on National Survey on Drug Use and Health, Statement of Steve Pasierb, President and CEO

PR Newswire (New York, NY) September 4, 2013

"Mixed news from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), released today by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), found that while prescription (Rx) drug abuse among young adults has decreased from its peak in 2009, the same progress has not been made to achieve year-to year declines (from 2010-2012) in abuse of Rx medicines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has deemed abuse of prescription medicines an 'epidemic' and one that continues to threaten the health and well-being of American teens and young people."  Read More

Rockville Bank Foundation Donates $10,000 to The Governor's Prevention Partnership

Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT) August 28, 2013

"Rockville Bank Foundation, the charitable arm of Rockville Bank, recently presented The Governor's Prevention Partnership with a $10,000 contribution to support The Partnership's mission to keep Connecticut kids safe, successful, and drug-free today for a stronger workforce tomorrow.
Celebrating more than 20 years of keeping Connecticut kids safe, successful and drug-free, The Governor's Prevention Partnership is a statewide, nonprofit public-private alliance, building a strong, healthy future workforce through leadership in mentoring and prevention of youth violence and bullying, underage drinking, and substance abuse." Read More

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Social media pics affect risky behaviour

Health 24, September 3, 2013

"Teenagers who see friends smoking and drinking alcohol in photographs posted on Facebook and Myspace are more likely to smoke and drink themselves, according to a new study from the University of Southern California (USC).
'Our study shows that adolescents can be influenced by their friends' online pictures to smoke or drink alcohol,' said Thomas W. Valente, Ph.D., professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and the study's principal investigator. 'To our knowledge, this is the first study to apply social network analysis methods to examine how teenagers' activities on online social networking sites influence their smoking and alcohol use.'" Read More

East End Community Council in Bridgeport holds Connecticut Against Violence Back to School picnic

News 12 (Bridgeport, CT) August 31, 2013

"Community leaders on Bridgeport's East End held a picnic today in an effort to end bullying among children and teens.
The East End Community Council in Bridgeport held the Connecticut Against Violence Back to School event Saturday afternoon.
The picnic featured free book bags and a raffle with prizes that included a bike and Kindle e-readers." Read More

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Teen Girls Drinking Alcohol at Higher Risk of Breast Cancer

Nature World News, August 29, 2013

"Drinking alcohol during teens and early adulthood increases risk of breast cancer in women, a new study reported.
Researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis said that they have found a link between alcohol consumption in early age and breast cancer later in life. Previous research had usually assessed alcohol consumption in women mid or post-childbearing years. The current study shows that teen girls who drink excess amounts of alcohol might be at a greater risk of breast cancer.
About 25 percent of youth aged between 12 and 20 years reported drinking alcohol and about 16 percent said that they binge drink, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health ( 2011)." Read More

Under Age Drinking

WTNH News-8, August 28, 2013

"Pat Rehmer, Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services was in the studio to discuss a disturbing trend taking place right here in Connecticut. Underage drinking, particularly binge drinking, is a public health problem and often leads to alcohol dependence or abuse in persons who first use alcohol before the age of 21 or older. Therefore,a group of state and community agencies have gotten together to try to decrease underage drinking. While rates of underage drinking are starting to decrease they are still unacceptably high." Read More

Bullying and suicide can go hand-in-hand

CT Post, August 28, 2013

"Bullying and suicide too often go hand-in-hand.
When a teen is being harassed, he or she can feel dejected and hopeless. 'It can really leave you in a place where you wonder `What is the point anymore?'' said Dr. Robin Stern, assistant director of special projects for Yale University's Center for Emotional Intelligence.
Thus it's unsurprising, if profoundly sad, to hear that the suicide of 15-year-old Greenwich High School student Bartlomiej 'Bart' Palosz might have been linked to bullying." Read More

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

When Protection Hurts: Educating and Empowering Students of All Abilities

The Huffington Post, August 27, 2013

"On Tuesday, the Department of Education Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) issued a Dear Colleague letter outlining the all too familiar negative effects of bullying. The piece focused on students with disabilities, who experience significantly higher rates of bullying than their typical-peers. In the letter, OSERS reminded schools of their 'obligation to ensure that a student with a disability who is the target of bullying behavior continues to receive FAPE (Free and Appropriate Public Education) in accordance with his or her IEP (Individualized Education Plan)'. 
That obligation might seem obvious to most, but there's more to it. We all know bullying harms students. But, is it possible that efforts to prevent or end bullying could also deny students' educational rights, particularly their right to be included?" Read More

Report: Underage tobacco sales at record lows

CT Post, August 27, 2013

"New statistics show that the sale of tobacco to minors in the U.S. were held near all-time lows last year under a federal-state inspection program intended to curb underage usage.
The violation rate of tobacco sales to underage youth at retailers nationwide has fallen from about 40 percent in 1997 to 9.1 percent in the last fiscal year, according to a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration report released Tuesday. The rate, which reached an all-time low of 8.5 percent in 2011, is based on the results of random, unannounced inspections conducted at stores to see whether they'd sell tobacco products to a customer under the age of 18." Read More

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

What Does Assertiveness Have to Do with Stopping Bullying?

Huffington Post, August 26, 2013

"Round-the-clock internet availability and 24/7 cell phone access gives kids the opportunity to be in touch at any (and every) moment. For many tweens and teens, it is a thrill to be able to connect with friends beyond the school day or a traditional curfew. For those who are targeted by cruel peers, however, it can seem as if there is no escape from cruel teasing, taunting, and texting. In this world of constant contact, children need to know how to communicate effectively.
Assertiveness is a style of communication in which a person expresses his thoughts and feelings in a verbal, non-blaming, respectful way (Long, Long & Whitson, 2008). When considered in the context of young people targeted by bullies, assertive communication is the essential middle ground between an aggressive comeback that escalates a bully's hostility and a passive response that projects a target's lack of power." Read More

Parents can help teens who have problem with drinking

Nevada Appeal, August 26, 2013

"If you as a parent think your teen hasn’t experimented with alcohol, the statistics could shake up your assumptions.
In 2012, one-fourth of twelfth graders reported binge drinking and 11 percent of eighth-graders said they consumed alcohol in a 30-day period prior to a survey conducted by the Institute for Social Research at The University of Michigan.
But you can take steps to forestall your teen’s interest in drinking." Read More

Party Busted: Southington Police Cracking Down on Underage Drinking

Southington Patch (Southington, CT) August 26, 2013

"The Southington Police Department has a message for those under 21-years-old: if you make the decision to drink alcoholic beverages, be prepared to pay the price.
Just one day after citing four for underage drinking, the department responded to a noise complaint on Friday evening and proceeded to cite 11 others, including three people under the age of 18, for taking part in an underage drinking party on Berlin Street." Read More

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Parents Beware: Heroin Use Rising Among Teens

CBN News, August 19, 2013

"The drug that was once relegated to the homeless and rock stars is now popping up at highschool parties in the suburbs.
Heroin's renewed popularity is directly related to the increase in prescription drug abuse.
Millions of American adults and teenagers are addicted to the prescription pain killers vicodin and oxycontin, so much so that they'll do anything to get them -- even kill.
But finding the drugs and paying for them is hard. Sometimes just one pill sells for $80." Read More

Feds Urge Schools To Tackle Bullying Of Kids With Disabilities

DisabilityScoop, August 21, 2013

"In new guidance sent to educators across the country, federal education officials say that schools may be liable if they don’t properly address bullying of students with disabilities.
The guidance issued Tuesday in a four-page “Dear Colleague” letter details the unique obligations that schools have under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to ensure that children with disabilities are not victimized.
Specifically, officials from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services said that bullying can lead to a denial of a student’s right to a free and appropriate public education, or FAPE, if it "results in the student not receiving meaningful educational benefit.'" Read More

Face The State Special - Underage Drinking

WFSB Channel 3 Eyewitness News (Hartford, CT) August 18, 2013

"A 30-minute segment of Face the State dedicated to underage drinking in Connecticut." Read More

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

CDC: Heavy Drinking a Costly Burden to U.S.

HealthDay News, August 13, 2013

"Excessive drinking is a major economic problem in the United States, costing billions of dollars in health care costs, lost worker productivity and other consequences involved, the federal government reported Tuesday.
The nationwide economic burden of excessive drinking in 2006 was $223.5 billion. The cost for each state ranged from $420 million in North Dakota to $32 billion in California. The median cost per state for each single alcoholic drink was $1.91, the report said." Read More

WSU tries new tactics against booze

CT Post (Spokane, WA) August 12, 2013 

"Washington State University will take new steps to try to reduce binge drinking and drug use by students, including scheduling more Friday morning classes and notifying parents if an underage student is caught drinking or using drugs, university officials announced Monday.
The Pullman-based school started examining ways to address drug and alcohol use by students after a student died of alcohol poisoning in October." Read More

Teens Have The Power To Make A Better Choice Than Drinking And Drugs

Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT) August 13, 2013

"In every health class, students learn about real people who have escaped unhealthy friendships and managed to live substance-free lives. I am one of those people.
When I was in middle school, I started hanging out with a group of people who I thought were my true friends and could do no wrong. We traveled through middle school as a tight-knit group, and everyone seemed to be very innocent. But once high school rolled around, things changed.
Early into freshman year, this group ended up going down the wrong path and began abusing alcohol. It was at first tough for me to decide which path to take, even though I knew the right one in my heart." Read More

Monday, August 12, 2013

In Teen Girls, Alcohol Habits Tend to Differ By Race

Psych Central, August 11, 2013

"A new study reveals racial differences in the alcohol habits of high school females, with alcohol use more common among white girls than black girls.
And among those who do drink, black girls tend to consume more liquor, whereas white girls generally drink both beer and liquor.
'This study is timely because only by understanding racial differences in the type of alcohol consumed can researchers and community decision-makers better tailor policies and preventive interventions to reduce the negative consequences of excessive alcohol use,' said Mildred Maldonado Molina, Ph.D., associate professor in the department of health outcomes and policy at the University of Florida." Read More

YMCA Of Greater Hartford To Offer National Mentoring Program For Kids And Teens In Hartford

Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT) August 10, 2013 

"Nearly one in five youth live in poverty and are at risk of falling prey to crime, drugs and other hurdles that could keep them from reaching productive adulthood, obtaining an education and successfully entering the workforce. Also, research shows that youth are more likely to succeed with the support of a caring adult.
In an effort to help more kids and teens achieve, the YMCA of Greater Hartford, through its Wilson-Gray YMCA Youth and Family Center branch, will begin offering the Building Futures Mentoring Program. The national YMCA program, supported by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), connects youth ages 6 to 17 with adult mentors for 12 to 18 months." Read More

Plainville Sets Antibullying Program For Middle-Schoolers

Hartford Courant (Plainville, CT) August 9, 2013 

"Bullying, in person or online, is harmful and stopping it is the focus of a workshop scheduled Monday for middle school students.
'Becoming an Ally: Responding to Name-Calling And Bullying,' sponsored by the national Anti-Defamation League, will be presented to about 30 seventh- and eighth-graders who have had prior training in confronting cruel behavior by classmates and helping victims,Thomas Laudadio, the middle school dean of students, said Friday.
The session is the latest in a series of anti-bullying programs and workshops the school system has organized in the nine years since the schools began teaching students and staff how to combat bullying, which includes emotional, as well as physical torture, he said." Read More

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Help your special needs child with bullies

Chicago Parent (Chicago, IL) August 5, 2013

"It's a given that parents will always worry about their kids and try to do what it takes to keep them safe. But when it comes to the bullying a child with special needs may face, it's hard for parents to know how to help.
And, unfortunately, it's not uncommon for children with special needs to be the target of bullies. Statistics from AbilityPath.org's Walk a Mile in Their Shoes report show that children with special needs are two to three times more likely to be bullied than their peers.
Kathy Ruffulo, vice president of children's services at Aspire Children's Services, believes bullies are something on every parent's radar. She says education and building a child's selfesteem can help protect them from getting emotionally injured by bullying." Read More

Research throws new light on why children with autism are often bullied

Medical Xpress, August 7, 2013

"A study of hundreds of teachers and parents of children on the autistic spectrum has revealed factors why they are more or less likely to be bullied.
Dr Judith Hebron and Professor Neil Humphrey from The University of Manchester, say older autistic children are more likely to be bullied than youngsters – going against prevailing thought.
The survey of 722 teachers and 119 parents also revealed that the children would be more likely to be bullied at mainstream, rather than special schools. However, smaller class sizes and a higher ratio of adults to pupils are two of a number of reasons why there may be fewer opportunities for bullying in special schools." Read More

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Vulnerability to alcohol and drug abuse may begin in the womb

Business Standard, August 4, 2013

"A new study has revealed that a mum's high-fat, sugary diets may lead to birth of an offspring with a taste for alcohol and sensitivity to drugs.
According to findings from animal lab experiments presented at APA's 121st Annual Convention, vulnerability to alcohol and drug abuse may begin in the womb and be linked to how much fatty and sugary foods a mother eats during pregnancy.
'The majority of women in the U.S. at child-bearing age are overweight, and this is most likely due to overeating the tasty, high-fat, high-sugar foods you find everywhere in our society. The rise in prenatal and childhood obesity and the rise in number of youths abusing alcohol and drugs merits looking into all the possible roots of these growing problems,' Nicole Avena, PhD, a research neuroscientist with the University of Florida's McKnight Brain Institute, said." Read More

Monday, August 5, 2013

Trying to be cool parent can be deadly mistake

The Day (New London, CT) August 4, 2013

"It is mid-summer and prime time for vacations and other recreational activities. It's also a prime time when teenagers may drink alcohol.
This is not only dangerous, but potentially lethal. Attention is growing on teen's drinking alcohol in large quantities, or binge drinking. It occurs at teen gatherings in places such as a friend's house, in the woods or fields, at concerts or on the beach.
Often the teens are unsupervised, but occasionally a misguided adult is present and aware of the drinking. Underage drinking can cause health problems and cause teens to take risks; the results can be alarming and sometimes catastrophic. Adults who are aware of underage drinking on their premises can face legal charges such as fines and imprisonment." Read More

Thursday, August 1, 2013

One In 3 US Youths Victimized By Dating Violence — With Girls Nearly As Aggressive

Medical Daily, July 31, 2013

"One in three American youths say they have been victimized by dating violence, and nearly as many admit to perpetrating it — girls included.
A new study presented at the American Psychological Association's annual meeting on Wednesday described rates of physical, sexual, or psychological violence toward partners in a dating relationship among youths ages 14-20.
Interestingly, one-third of girls admitted to waging forms of abuse toward a dating partner, though they were more likely to perpetrate acts of psychological violence than physical or sexual violence." Read More

Several local students participate in ‘Don’t be a bully’

New Britain Herald (New Britain, CT) July 31, 2013

"Several dozen city middle school students shared an important message with family and fellow students Thursday: 'Don’t be a bully, be unique.'
The children, members of ConnCAP — the Connecticut Collegiate Awareness and Preparation Program — performed the play “A Day in the Life of New Berry Middle School” at Copernicus Hall at CCSU.
The ConnCAP program is a state-funded preparatory program for students planning to attend New Britain High School. The program’s academic sessions, which consist of academic advising and enrichment, high school preparation information, holistic development, career development, college admission information and campus visits, and cultural enrichment activities are held for six weeks during the summer at CCSU." Read More

Steroid Abuse Among Connecticut Teenagers is a Growing Problem

CT.com (Hartford, CT) July 31, 2013

"Brian Cunningham says no one asked him where he got the 200 doses of illegal steroids found in his Southington High School locker back in April. Nor did anyone ask the 18-year-old who among his friends or teammates might also be doping.
Not the cops, not school officials. One Southington High administrator told a reporter he believed Cunningham, a defensive end on the Blue Knights varsity football team for two years, was an isolated case." Read More

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Growing Up Poor May Raise Odds for Smoking: Study

Health Day News, July 30, 2013

"Poor children are more likely than their wealthier counterparts to smoke cigarettes, but less likely to binge drink and no more likely to use marijuana, a new study reveals.
The Duke University researchers also found that economic struggles early in life -- such as family worries about paying bills or having to sell possessions for cash -- can reduce a child's self-control, even if they receive strong parenting during their teen years." Read More

LGBT Teachers Less Likely To Challenge Anti-Gay Bullying Out Of Job Safety Concerns, Study Finds

Huffington Post, July 30, 2013

"Despite the ever-present challenges lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students face at school, a new study finds that gay teachers are actually less likely to challenge bullying in the classroom than their straight counterparts out of fear for their own jobs.
As TES Magazine reports, the study comprised interviews with more than 350 teachers and school principals over how they deal with anti-gay incidents at school. The bulk of the interviewees who identified as LGBT said that not only did they not feel safe coming out at school, but they had rarely intervened when they witnessed homophobic remarks being made." Read More

Pediatricians asking parents about tobacco use

The Columbus Dispatch, July 28, 2013

"If you are a parent and a smoker, you can expect your child’s pediatrician to talk to you about quitting.
In fact, some parents might leave a visit with a prescription for a nicotine patch or gum, the number of a quitting hot line and a date set for their last cigarette.
Secondhand-smoke exposure during childhood can cause a variety of health problems, including attention-deficit disorder, aggression, asthma, hearing problems, pneumonia, increased hospitalizations and developmental delays." Read More

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Drug prevention groups warn of new teen drug trend 'dirty Sprite'

WSOCTV (Charlotte, NC) July 22, 2013

"Some local drug prevention groups said they are seeing a new trend when it comes to teens and drugs.
'I'm seeing what's called dirty Sprite,' said Begg, a student assistant specialist with Caron, a nonprofit drug and alcohol addiction treatment center.
In the past year she said more teens are talking about something called dirty Sprite, also known as 'purple' and 'drank.'" Read More

Facebook Debuts New Anti-Bullying Features

90.0 WBUR, July 23, 2013

"Child psychologist Marc Brackett, director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, is working with Facebook to develop what he says is the first emotionally-intelligent bullying prevention system on a social network.
Brackett says that if young teenagers — 13 and 14-year-olds — encounter posts they think are a problem, they will see icons designed specially for them that say 'this post is a problem,' and they will be guided through screens that help them sort through their emotions and how best to respond." Read More

Police: 11 Danbury Stores Sold Alcohol To Minors

Danbury Voice (Danbury, CT) July 23, 2013

"Nearly a dozen Danbury package stores sold alcohol to minors in a recent Danbury police liquor compliance check, according to a police report.
The Governor’s Prevention Partnership, which also assisted in the operation, provided three youths who went into 44 package stores in the city and attempted to buy alcohol, police said.
Officers watched the youths as they entered the stores, police said. Of the 44 stores, 11 sold alcohol to the minors who were working with the police, police said." Read More

Monday, July 22, 2013

Connecticut drivers must take responsibility

CT Post, July 19, 2013

"Summer can be an especially dangerous time for inexperienced younger drivers who might be tempted to mix drinking with trips to the beach, summer concerts and parties. Underage drinking poses huge dangers by itself, but when combined with driving, the risks are magnified. To curb this dangerous behavior and to help educate teens and parents, the Connecticut Department of Transportation and the Department of Consumer Protection Liquor Control Division are lead members of an underage drinking coalition to implement a multifaceted, high visibility media campaign centered on educating residents about the dangers of high-risk drinking and drunk driving." Read More

State Selected For National Initiative On Prescription Drug Abuse

FoxCT (Hartford, CT) July 22, 2013

"Deaths from prescription painkillers have reached epidemic levels. The state of Connecticut has been selected by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) to participate in a national effort to address policy options and other strategies to decrease prescription drug misuse, abuse, and diversion. Drug overdose death rates in the United States have more than tripled since 1990 and have never been higher. In 2008, more than 36,000 people died from drug overdoses, and most of these deaths were caused by prescription drugs. In Connecticut, drug poisoning is the leading cause of accidental death among adults. Connecticut is one of only 16 states in which death from overdose is more common than death from vehicular accident." Read More

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Expressing concern about binge drinking can influence student choices

Medical Express, July 18, 2013

"Jeff Hayes, a professor of counseling psychology in Penn State's College of Education, helped conduct a study and co-wrote a journal article on alcohol consumption of college-aged students. The study focused on how students who had people in their lives who expressed concern about alcohol consumption were more likely to be concerned about their own alcohol consumption.
The consequences of binge drinking on college campuses can be dire, both for the student and others, according to Hayes. He pointed to a statistic that more than half of college students who sought counseling reported drinking alcohol at a level considered to be "hazardous" by the World Health Organization." Read More

Children’s Community Programs of Connecticut Youth program makes plea for mentors

New Haven Register (New Haven, CT) July 16, 2013

"There are children in foster care or in the justice system in Greater New Haven who need the non-judgmental guidance that an adult mentor can give them.
Mentors can give a young person a new perspective and help them to make better choices in life.
Ansonia native Patricia Nicolari, a former educator, is coordinator of the youth mentoring program at Children’s Community Programs of Connecticut. The nonprofit organization is based in Westville." Read More

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sweet Tooth May Foretell of Binge Drinking, Brain Scans Show

Healthfinder.gov, July 12, 2013

"A love of sweets might predict a fondness for the bottle, a new study suggests.
Researchers used functional MRI technology to scan the brains of 16 young adults while they drank either plain water or an intensely sweet mixture of sugar in water. Their brain activity was then compared to their drinking patterns.
There was a strong association between the participants' response to the sweet water in their brain's left orbitofrontal area -- part of the brain's reward system -- and binge drinking, according to the study published in the July 10 online edition of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research." Read More

The Partnership at Drugfree.org to Lead Above The Influence Campaign

Herald Online (New York, NY) July 16, 2013

"The Partnership at Drugfree.org is taking the lead on Above the Influence (ATI), a popular and effective teen-targeted drug and alcohol prevention campaign. The nonprofit will be responsible for all national youth outreach, including advertising, social media and campaign websites. ATI was previously a project of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).
'No one is better suited than The Partnership at Drugfree.org to ensure the continued success of Above the Influence,' said Gil Kerlikowske, Director of ONDCP. 'The Partnership has been there since the beginning of Above the Influence, and together, we have made a difference in the lives of teens.'" Read More 

Help GASP Help Our Kids

Groton Patch (Groton, CT) July 15, 2013

"Calling all Groton adults!
While waiting out this heat inside an air conditioned space is a perfect time to take this important Groton Adolescent Substance Abuse Prevention (GASP) Coalition survey.
Why? It’s pretty simple. GASP 'wants to understand the role adults play in the use of alcohol and other substances among adolescents, to guide development of prevention programs.'" Read More

Monday, July 15, 2013

Study: LGBT youth face higher rates of online bullying

One Community (New York, NY) July 12, 2013

"LGBT youth experience nearly three times as much bullying and harassment online as non-LGBT youth, but also find greater peer support, access to health information and opportunities to be civically engaged, according to a new report released today by GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network.
The study, 'Out Online: The Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Youth on the Internet,' is based on national surveys of 5,680 students in 6-12th grade, and is the first to examine in-depth the experiences of LGBT youth online." Read More

TD Charitable Foundation Supports The Governor's Prevention Partnership

Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT) July 12, 2013

"TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable arm of TD Bank, recently presented The Governor's Prevention Partnership with $20,000 to support their positive youth behavior initiatives.
The Governor's Prevention Partnership is a public-private partnership created in 1989. It is a unique alliance between state government and business leaders with a mission to keep Connecticut's youth safe, successful and drug-free today for a stronger workforce tomorrow. Co-chaired by Governor Dannel Malloy and Mary McLaughlin, senior vice president of Comcast's Western New England Region, The Partnership provides leadership and services to help schools, communities, youth organizations, and businesses create and sustain quality programs in mentoring, prevention of underage drinking and drug abuse, bullying, and by responding to emerging threats and raising awareness through the media." Read More

Two Norwalk Liquor Stores Fail Alcohol Compliance Checks

Norwalk Patch (Norwalk, CT) July 15, 2013

"The Department of Consumer Protection recently the results of alcohol compliance checks conducted on July 10 by the Division of Liquor Control in cooperation with Norwalk Police and youth volunteers from the Governor’s Prevention Partnership.
Agents from the Liquor Control Division and officers from the Norwalk Police Department conducted compliance checks at 27 package stores in the city. Two teenagers—ages 17 and 19—provided by the Governor’s Prevention Partnership, assisted in the operation. Of the 27 stores tested, two stores allegedly failed by selling alcoholic liquor to the minor(s)." Read More

Thursday, July 11, 2013

News 12 rides with undercover cops as part of Gov. Malloy's Prevention Partnership initiative

News12 (Norwalk, CT) July 10, 2013

"News 12 Connecticut's Sara Hagen rode along with an undercover police operation Wednesday to see which liquor stores sell alcohol to minors.
Out of the 27 tested establishments, there were only two stores that sold to minors. Officials say the results were better than expected.
Liquor Center on East Avenue and Harbor View Wine and Spirits on Main Street allegedly sold alcohol to a minor who was trained by the state for Wednesday’s operation." Read More

Binge-Drinking Impairs Brain: New Study

Epoch Times, July 7, 2013

"Binge-drinkers have to work harder to perform random tasks, says a new study.
Researchers from the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain compared 26 binge-drinking students with 31 others who didn’t drink as much and found that the binge drinkers had to use more brain power to complete random visual tasks." Read More

A Summer of Drinking: Alcohol’s Effect on the Teen Mind

EmpowHER, July 4, 2013

"Holidays like the Fourth of July are usually characterized by drinking and socializing with friends and family. It’s nice to let loose and enjoy some fireworks after working hard the rest of the year. A new study from Caron Treatment Centers shows just how much Americans love to drink, for better or worse.
The Caron survey found that 83 percent of Americans think Independence Day is the summer holiday where people drink the most.
And while excessive drinking in adults is harmful enough, these toxic behaviors are also hurting adolescents during the summer. The survey showed that 61 percent believe summertime is the time of year where teens are prone to drink the most alcohol." Read More

Health Officials Warn Of Binge Drinking This Summer

Fox CT (Hartford, CT) July 4, 2013

"Dr. Jewel Mullen, commissioner of the state Department of Health, visited Fox CT’s Morning Extra to talk about concerns about binge drinking that crop up during the summer.
According to a survey by the state, 22 percent of high school students reported binge drinking (five or more drinks in a row) in the past 30 days. For adults, 17.5 percent reported binge drinking in the past 30 days. Dangers of heavy drinking include vomiting, alcohol overdose and impaired judgment that may lead to people engaging in other risky behaviors including unprotected or unwanted sexual activity." Read More  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Lyme-Old Lyme group fights underage drinking

The Day (Old Lyme, CT) July 4, 2013

"A Lyme-Old Lyme substance-use prevention coalition is initiating a campaign to reinforce the risks of providing alcohol to minors.
Local establishments from post offices to markets in the two towns are hanging posters depicting three hands stacked in front of a bottle with the writing: 'To Get to Alcohol, Kids Have to Get Through Us.'
Shoreline Sanitation trucks will serve as a "moving billboard" featuring an open hand with the message: 'I will be a parent [not a bartender]. The majority of parents say 'no" to underage drinking,' said Lymes' Youth Services Bureau Director Mary Seidner." Read More

Impulsive adolescents more prone to heavy drinking

Health 24, July 8, 2013

"Scientists at the University of Liverpool have shown that young people who show impulsive tendencies are more prone to drinking heavily at an early age.
The research suggests that targeting personality traits, such as impulsivity, could potentially be a successful intervention in preventing adolescent drinking from developing into problems with alcohol in later life." Read More

State cracking down on underage alcohol sales

Ridgefield Press (Ridgefield, CT) July 5, 2013

"Citing long holiday weekends, a broad array of sold-out concerts and outdoor events, and the arrival of college students home for the summer, the Department of Consumer Protection Liquor Control Division is stepping up enforcement activities, looking for retailers that would sell alcoholic beverages to persons under the legal age of 21, Commissioner William M. Rubenstein said this week.
'There are too many motor vehicle accidents involving youth who have been drinking and too many young people being brought to emergency departments — often unconscious — due to alcohol over-consumption,' Mr. Rubenstein said." Read More

Friday, June 28, 2013

New Teacher Guide to Prevent Prescription Drug Abuse by High Schoolers

Digital Journal (Washington D.C.) June 28, 2013

"To help tackle the serious problem of youth prescription drug abuse, high school teachers will have free access to a new resource guide, Rx for Understanding: Preventing Prescription Drug Abuse. The guide was developed by the National Education Association Health Information Network (NEA HIN) in partnership with RxSafetyMatters, a program of Purdue Pharma L.P.
This new comprehensive resource guide, is designed for educators to help students from grades 9-12 learn about the health problems caused by prescription drug abuse and misuse." Read More

Survey: 35% of Teens Think Stimulant Abuse is Major Problem

Join Together, June 25, 2013

"A new survey of young people ages 10 to 18 finds 35 percent think prescription stimulant abuse is a big problem with their peers, and 15 percent said they had used stimulants at some point. One-tenth of kids said they had diverted medications in some way.
The survey found 7.5 percent said they had used stimulants such as Adderall or Ritalin in the last month; 3.9 percent said they took the drugs for nonmedical reasons. The findings were reported at the recent annual meeting of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence, by Linda B. Cottler, PhD, MPH, Chair of the Department of Epidemiology in the College of Public Health and Health Professions and College of Medicine at the University of Florida." Read More