Thursday, March 28, 2013

Use of smokeless tobacco growing among kids who mistakenly think it's a safer alternative to cigarettes, experts say

The Patriot News (Central PA) March 25, 2013

"As a Boy Scout leader and coach of several sports, Lower Franklin Township resident Todd Deihl sees himself as a role model for kids in his community.
Chewing tobacco didn’t fit in with that image, he realized.
'A boy saw me one night getting out a chew and I knew then I had to quit,' said Deihl, 48, who began using smokeless tobacco at age 18." Read More

Talking to kids about cyber bullying

WTNH News-8 (Torrington, CT) March 28, 2013

"Spreading another toxic form of communication could get students in Torrington expelled.
A letter has gone home to students and parents with a warning.
Torrington dad's like Dan Defrancesco are having difficult conversations with their daughters about incidents in town.
'It's a tough thing to talk about,' said Defrancesco." Read More

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

New cyber bullying policy in Torrington

WTNH News-8 (Torrington, CT) March 25, 2013

"The Superintendent in Torrington sent a letter to students and parents talking about the punishment for online bullying. This comes after the victim of an alleged sexual assault was bullied on social media.
When two Torrington High School football players were arrested for sexual assault, it created a firestorm on the internet.
Eighteen year old Edgar Gonzalez and Joan Toribio were arrested last month, along with an unidentified 17-year-old." Read More

Miss Teen USA turns personal experience into lesson about bullying

New Haven Register (New Haven, CT) March 25, 2013

"As a seventh grader, Logan West was suspended two days after defending herself against a bully, who targeted her for six months.
Six years later, West travels the country as Miss Teen USA to spread the word about Unite Against Bullying, which is the anti-bullying program she started to share her experiences.
West visited Emmett O’Brien Technical High School in Ansonia and John C. Daniels School in New Haven Monday to deliver presentations about the harmful effects of bullying." Read More

Monday, March 25, 2013

Straight-A teen dies after inhaling computer cleaner amid 'huffing' trend

NBC News, March 21, 2013

"A 14-year-old honor student from Northridge, Los Angeles, died this week after inhaling computer keyboard cleaner, a growing trend among students as young as eighth grade.
'I'm positive my daughter didn't realize it had the potential to kill her,' Carolyn Doherty said.
Aria Doherty, a straight-A student at Nobel Middle School, died Monday. She’d been home alone for a couple of hours when she inhaled the duster.
Her parents believe it was her first time huffing -- also known as bagging or dusting." Read More

Music for Mentoring

Guilford Patch (Guilford, CT) March 23, 2013

"The Guilford Youth Mentoring program will host its first Spring Benefit Concert on Sunday, April 7 from 3-6 p.m. at the Guilford Community Center (32 Church Street, Guilford) and will feature musical guests The Sandy Connolly Band, Take II and Call Me in the Morning, and Muddy Rudders.
Fun for the whole family, the afternoon will include a musical lineup of local bands including headliner, The Sandy Connolly Band, playing an eclectic mix of southern blues and rock n’ roll to the tune of Bonnie Raitt and Eva Cassidy. Other bands include, Take II and Call Me in the Morning, an electric group with acoustic overtones covering The Beatles and Eric Clapton and Muddy Rudder, a local group of veterans who perform classic rock n’ roll of the 60s and 70s." Read More

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Closing Arguments In Specyalski Manslaughter Trial

Hartford Courant (Killingly, CT) March 20, 2013

"Heather Specyalski was a mother who 'wanted to be a friend and not a parent,' prosecutor Andrew Slitt said during closing arguments during her manslaughter case Wednesday.
There was a 'culture of recklessness' at her Ashford house, which he said was a 'party house in 2008,' the year Brandon Specyalski died there of an alcohol and morphine overdose.
Defense attorney Jeremiah Donovan said Specyalski 'loved this child and did everything she could to take care of him that night.'" Read More

Police: Plainville Parents Arrested After Daughter Throws Drinking Party

Hartford Courant (Plainville, CT) March 19, 2013

"Police arrested the parents of a 17-year-old girl who allegedly celebrated her birthday by throwing a party Friday night where, police say, her underage friends drank alcohol.
Kassi and Anthony Diorio were at their Bruce Avenue home during part of the party, police said. They were charged with risk of injury to a minor and permitting a minor to illegally possess liquor.
Lt. Eric Peterson said police were called because a large amount of cars were cluttering the small residential street." Read More

Man Gets 4 Years In Prison For Providing Ecstasy That Killed East Hampton Teen

Hartford Courant (Middletown, CT) March 19, 2013

"It's been nearly 11 years since the drug overdose death of 16-year-old Makayla Korpinen shattered a family and rocked the East Hampton community.
Tuesday marked a milestone — and offered some promise of an end — in the long, sad saga endured by her still-grieving family who filled an entire row of seats in the gallery of a courtroom in Superior Court.
'We hope today will begin the healing process for our families,' Makayla's mother, Catherine, said minutes before Jason Nedobity, the man who supplied the drugs that killed Makayla, was sentenced to four years in prison. Makayla's death was the first in the state linked directly to Ecstasy, an illicit party drug." Read More

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mentoring: Programs That Work

WNPR (Hartford, CT) March 14, 2013

"Many students aren’t getting the help they need, but could flourish with a little help.
'Every student needs to know there’s some adult out there who’s looking out for them. Even if it’s not a biological parent. It makes a huge difference in outcomes.'
That was leading education reform scholar Pedro Noguera on Where We Live." Read More

Windsor Locks PD Sets Sights on Underage Drinking

Windsor Locks - East Windsor Patch (Windsor Locks, CT) March 19, 2013

"Windsor Locks Police Chief Eric Osanitsch recently announce the department will be stepping up efforts to reduce incidents of underage drinking in town.
The ability to do so, Osanitsch said, is due to funding recently received from the Windsor Locks Wellness Coalition and New Directions, Inc. of North Central Connecticut, an Enfield-based substance abuse treatment facility.
New Directions' grant was made possible through assistance from the state mental health addiction services initiative, Osanitsch said recently in a statement." Read More

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Poisoning From Prescription Drug Abuse is 100% Preventable

Nebraska TV, March 11, 2013

"National Poison Prevention week is almost here and the Nebraska Regional Poison Center wants everyone to be informed on how to prevent accidental poisoning and what to do if someone ingests a harmful material.
The number to your poison center is 1-800-222-1222. This number should be programmed into and located near every phone in the United States.
The fastest growing drug problem in the United States is the abuse of prescription medications. It is estimated that 30,000 Americans will die from prescription drug abuse and overdoses this year.
Poisonings are the leading cause of unintentional home injury deaths for those ages 15 to 59, largely resulting from unintentional drug overdoses of prescription medications." Read More

Study: Random Drug Testing of Middle Schools Students Proves Effective In Preventing Substance Abuse

NJ Today (Atlantic City, NJ) March 8, 2013

"The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) and Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind released the results of their six year study of the effectiveness of drug-testing in the prevention of substance abuse among New Jersey middle school students at the statewide Addiction Conference.
For several years, some New Jersey middle schools have asked parents for permission to carry out random drug testing in the school. Now, the first longitudinal study measuring the effectiveness of these programs indicates these tests tend to reduce rates of drug abuse in later years." Read More

5 Things Parents Do That May Encourage Teen Substance Abuse

Huffington Post, March 4, 2013

"When a teenager starts using drugs, the finger-pointing begins. The first to get blamed is usually a parent, followed perhaps by a bad influence at school, an older sibling or a high-pressure coach or teacher. While there's no place for blame -- it's counterproductive and in most cases, misplaced -- there is room for understanding.
Well-meaning parents sometimes do things that unwittingly encourage their teens to experiment with drugs and alcohol. Is there room for improvement in your parenting practices?" Read More

Monday, March 11, 2013

Aetna Study Shows Decrease in Prescription Drug Misuse, Waste and Abuse Through Increased Monitoring

Fort Mill Times (Hartford, CT) March 8, 2013

"Prescription drug abuse is an epidemic in the United States with about 2.4 million Americans struggling with addiction to prescription painkillers known as opioids. According to the CDC, opioid addiction is a leading cause of death in the United States and adds $72.5 billion in expense to the health care system each year.1 A recent study of Aetna’s (NYSE: AET) programs designed to address prescription drug misuse, waste and abuse showed reduced opioid use among 4.3 million members by 15 percent between January 2010 and January 2012. These outcomes were unveiled at the Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute’s Drug Benefit Conference held February 18 – 20 in Las Vegas." Read More

Courage to Speak Drug Free Family Night

Fairfield County Online (Fairfield, CT) March 11, 2013

"You are invited to the '9th Annual Courage to Speak Empowering Youth to be Drug Free Family Night' at West Rocks Middle School, 81 West Rocks Rd, Norwalk, CT on March 19, 2013 (snow date March 20) at 5:15 pm to 7:30 pm for a very exciting event.
Bring your children ages 8-18 with you. The event is open to all communities in Fairfield County and beyond.
It’s about one thing – bringing children and parents together to talk openly and honestly about the dangers of drugs." Read More

Eileen FitzGerald: Alcohol use has long term consequences for youths

News Times (Danbury, CT) March 6, 2013

"The average age that a teen starts drinking in Danbury is 13, according to surveys that students fill out themselves.
And drinking early can cause long-term damage.
That's because while the adolescent brain is still forming, alcohol can damage or kill neurons.
Parents and teens need to understand the medical risks of drinking at this age. So the Midwestern Connecticut Council of Alcoholism; Danbury's local substance abuse coalition, Stand Together Make a Difference; and Danbury middle schools have planned programs for parents and teens in the coming weeks about underage drinking." Read More

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Youth Interventions Lower Prescription Drug Abuse

National Institutes of Health, March 4, 2013

"A new study found that middle school students in small towns and rural areas who received brief interventions had lower rates of prescription drug abuse into late adolescence and young adulthood. Prescription drug abuse is taking a medication without a prescription, or in ways or for reasons not prescribed. Abuse of prescription drugs can have serious and harmful consequences, including addiction, poisoning and even death from overdose. Surveys have found that prescription and over-the-counter medications are among the top substances abused by young people. Developing successful community-based interventions to prevent this abuse is an important public health goal." Read More

Parent & Child Drug Prevention Event

Monroe Patch (Monroe, CT) March 5, 2013

"You are invited to the 9th Annual Courage to Speak Empowering Youth to be Drug Free Family Night at West Rocks Middle School, 81 West Rocks Rd, Norwalk, CT on March 19, 2013(snow date March 20) at 5:15 pm to 7:30 pm for a very exciting event. Bring your children ages 8-18 with you. The event is open to all communities in Fairfield County and beyond.
It’s about one thing – bringing children and parents together to talk openly and honestly about the dangers of drugs." Read More

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Bullying vs. Teasing Among Teens

Huffington Post, March 4, 2013

"Bullying and teasing are not infrequent experiences among teens. Approximately 30% of teens report having been either bullies or victims of bullying. While statistics on teasing are not available, it's reasonable to assume, based on experience, that almost every teen has probably experienced either teasing or bullying at some point in their lives.
So, what I have been asking myself during my frequent conversations with myself is the difference between teasing and bullying. Is teasing a source of affection and bullying a source of stress, depression and those nasty stomach pains? When we think of teasing, we think of individuals making fun of each other to some extent, maybe mildly and affectionately or ruthlessly and persistently. When we think of bullying, we conjure up images of teen girls gossiping about each other, spreading rumors, sending peers away from the lunch table or destroying reputations. We think of teen boys as mercilessly hurting each other physically and causing harm in a very clear and overt manner." Read More

Michael Casparino Named To The Governor's Prevention Partnership Board

Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT) March 4, 2013

"Jill Spineti, president and CEO of The Governor's Prevention Partnership, has announced the appointment of Michael J. Casparino, president, Northern Connecticut, People's United Bank, to the board of The Governor's Prevention Partnership, a nonprofit, public-private organization dedicated to keeping Connecticut youth safe, successful and drug-free today, for a more productive workforce tomorrow.
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." Read More

Friday, March 1, 2013

When bullying goes high-tech

CNN, February 28, 2013

"Brandon Turley didn't have friends in sixth grade. He would often eat alone at lunch, having recently switched to his school without knowing anyone.
While browsing MySpace one day, he saw that someone from school had posted a bulletin -- a message visible to multiple people -- declaring that Turley was a 'fag.' Students he had never even spoken with wrote on it, too, saying they agreed.
Feeling confused and upset, Turley wrote in the comments, too, asking why his classmates would say that. The response was even worse: He was told on MySpace that a group of 12 kids wanted to beat him up, that he should stop going to school and die. On his walk from his locker to the school office to report what was happening, students yelled things like 'fag' and 'fatty.'" Read More

Could your child be a bully?

CNN, February 26, 2013

"Eva was a bully. Tall for her age, she used her height to intimidate her peers. She made fun of those without designer clothes and got suspended several times for fighting.
She was also well-liked, outgoing, funny -- and a victim of bullying herself.
'When you're in junior high, you're just trying to figure out who you are,' the 24-year-old remembers. She says she bullied others because she was, as were most kids, insecure." Read More

New Study Shows Volunteer Mentors Decrease Symptoms of Depression in Higher-Risk Youth

PRNewswire (Issaquah, WA) February 38, 2013 

"Having the guidance of a caring adult mentor may help overcome symptoms of depression among young people, according to a five-year study of 1,300 youth in Washington State.
The study, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, sheds a new and encouraging light on the effects of a positive adult role model in the lives of higher-risk youth. The Role of Risk: Mentoring Experiences and Outcomes for Youth with Varying Risk Profiles focuses on youth from seven community-based mentoring programs serving youth in Washington. It was authored by leading national researchers, Drs. Carla Herrera , David DuBois and Jean Grossman , with Issaquah-based Washington State Mentors acting as the intermediary." Read More