Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Small New York Town Divided in Aftermath of High School Football Hazing

USA TODAY (Groton, NY) November 8, 2014

"Tucked away on the north end of Groton’s spacious Main Street sits Casper’s Diner, a classic small town eatery rich with coffee and food and the voices where the social conscience of any rural American town takes its shape.

From the booths and stools of the diner villagers congregate over savory meals and a friendly environment to banter about politics, the economy, local news and local sports, and, just as fervently, rumor. A kitschy sign atop the stainless steel coffee urn sets the tone for the social attitude of village life: 'The nice part about living in a small town is that when you don’t know what you’re doing, someone else always does.'" Read more

Holidays Can Trip Up Problem Drinkers

HealthDay, November 9, 2014

"The approaching holiday season can pose challenges for the 18 million Americans with an alcohol use disorder, an addiction specialist warns.

Binge drinking can cause a variety of problems, both social and health-related, including life-threatening interactions with some prescription medications, Dr. Eric Collins, an addiction psychiatrist and physician-in-chief at Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, Conn., said in a hospital news release." Read more

Monday, November 10, 2014

Police See Heroin Use on the Rise in the Leafy Suburbs

CT Post, November 9, 2014

"Two heroin-related arrests and an 18-year-old's overdose in less than a week, plus findings that a Greenwich woman's death last month was tied to the drug, have renewed concerns about heroin's growing presence in town.

Greenwich police have been tracking the rise of the highly addictive opioid for more than a decade, and in recent years its presence has grown greatly, as it has in other municipalities around New England." Read more

Connecticut, Rhode Island Join to Fight Prescription Drug Abuse

New Haven Register, November 8, 2014

"Health officials in Rhode Island say they’re working with their counterparts in Connecticut to detect the overprescribing of opioids and combat prescription drug abuse.

Prescribers and pharmacies can look up what prescriptions a patient has filled at pharmacies in their state through a prescription-monitoring program. Officials say that through a new data link, prescribers and pharmacies in Rhode Island and Connecticut can now see a patient’s history in both states." Read more

Friday, November 7, 2014

Bullying Reports to the State Vastly Different; Accuracy Questioned

WTNH Channel 8, November 5, 2014

"The News 8 Investigators are uncovering problems with school districts across the state and what is reported.

Every year schools send in numbers about bullying fights drugs and weapons on campus but schools just miles apart are reporting vastly different numbers.

It turns out the state employees who use these numbers for policy recognize there are issues with the numbers." Read more

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Families Challenged to Tackle Prescription Drug Abuse Across US

PR Newswire, November 5, 2014

"On November 8, 2014 the 5th Annual American Medicine Chest Challenge (AMCC) --- a national public health initiative to raise awareness about the dangers of prescription drug abuse and encourage safe disposal will be held in communities throughout the nation.

This initiative challenges families to take the Five-Step American Medicine Chest Challenge." Read more

Fairfield's Sacred Heart U. Participates In Anti-Binge Drinking Drive

Fairfield Daily Voice, November 6, 2014

"Nationally recognized anti-binge drinking campaign LessThanUThink kicked off at Sacred Heart University with a recent pre-concert event.

The event was held before the Eli Young Band concert and was aimed at raising awareness of the negative consequences of binge drinking, specifically at pre-concert activities.

Sacred Heart students swarmed the LTUT tables inside Roncalli, Merton and Seton halls for souvenirs including bandanas and water bottles. The water bottles were provided by Chartwells and had stickers attached with the message, 'It takes less than U think to stay hydrated.'" Read more

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Connecticut Presses Parents To Talk Safety With Teen Drivers

Hartford Courant, October 21, 2014

"The number of fatalities among Connecticut 16- and 17-year-old drivers dropped by about 70 percent after stricter laws were enacted, but law enforcement and safety experts said Tuesday that it's also vital for parents to reinforce safe driving messages with their teens.

'Safe driving is something that you learn, and the best teacher that a young driver has is their parent,' Attorney General George Jepsen said at a press conference to promote National Teen Driver Safety Week." Read more

Michelle Obama Holding College Peer-Mentoring Video Contest

USA Today, November 2, 2014

"High school and college students are competing for Michelle Obama to come to their schools to share her wisdom about moving on to higher education and adulthood.

The first lady announced on Thursday two video contests as part of her Reach Higher initiative, which encourages students to take their studies and training past secondary school." Read more

Monday, November 3, 2014

Good Coaching and Its Effect on Bullying

Huffington Post, October 31, 2014

"October is National Bullying Prevention Month, when organizations and people around the country work to help raise awareness of bullying prevention through events, activities, outreach, and education. Bullying is a problem that plagues many of our youth across all different communities, and can manifest in the form of mental and emotional abuse as well as physical violence.

To combat bullying amongst children, adults need to help kids understand the basic values of respecting their peers and appreciating peoples' differences. This needs to include proper guidance from parents and teachers, who are helping to build these young minds on a daily basis. However, one area that is often overlooked in the fight against bullying is coaching and youth sports." Read more

Local Pols Speak to Youths in "Women in Empowering the Government"

The Hour (Norwalk, CT) November 1, 2014

"Board of Education members Shirley Mosby and Rosa Murray joined Common Councilwomen Faye Bowman and Sharon Stewart to explain their roles in city government and talk about the importance of the participation of all persons, no matter how young, in democracy during Dr. Betty Shabazz Delta Academy's "Women Empowering the Government" forum Saturday at Bethel AME Church.

Mosby spent time outlining the struggles that African-American women had to incur to attain the right to vote and the significance of females in leadership roles during the two-hour forum." Read more

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

'Social Host' Laws May Help Curb Underage Drinking, Study Says

U.S. News & World Report, October 28, 2014

"'Social host' laws, which hold adults accountable for any underage drinking that takes place on their property, may help curb teenage drinking, according to the preliminary findings of a new study.

Researchers found that the number of teens who reported drinking at parties on weekends was reduced when they lived in towns with strong social host laws, according to the study published in the November issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs." Read more

Learn to Combat Cyber Bullying, Sexting

New Canaan Advertiser, October 28, 2014

"The New Canaan High School Parent Faculty Association (PFA) and administration are teaming up to reinforce the message that responsible online citizenship is critical.

Thanks to a grant from the Newcomers Club of New Canaan, and funding from the PFA, the High School will be bringing in a speaker, Richard Guerry, whose award-winning program focuses on ways to not only prevent existing trends such as “sexting” and “cyber bullying” but also to create solutions to digital issues our students may face. His goal is to construct a digital community free of negative and sometimes irreversible consequences resulting from poor judgment." Read more

Monday, October 27, 2014

Skateboard Company Declares War On Bullying

Forbes, October 25, 2014

"Bullying in the United States has taken center stage in recent years with evidence coming to light that youth who are bullied experience increases in mental health issues, negative physical performance, poor school performance, depression, anxiety and changes to eating and sleeping patterns. In contrast, those who bully are more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs, have criminal convictions and engage in other risky behaviors that endanger themselves. Whether bullied or bullying, it is clear that youth who are impacted by these behaviors lack feelings of self worth and self-value that all youth should know." Read more

Community Steers toward Better Path

The Day (New London, CT) October 26, 2014

"More than 100 people united Saturday at the Shiloh Family Life Center with the goal of preventing mass incarceration and crime through communitywide efforts, youth empowerment and mentorships.

The fourth Annual Community Prison Awareness and Prevention Gathering aimed to raise awareness of issues surrounding the mass incarceration of people of color and its effects on families, youths and the community, said Winston Taylor, the event's coordinator." Read more

Friday, October 24, 2014

Middletown Students Stand up to Bullying

WTNH News 8, October 22, 2014

"Over a hundred students from Middletown area schools joined together in a bully free rally at Middlesex Community College to stand up to all mean-spirited behavior. The “no bully zone program” is made possible thanks to a group of Middlesex county business owners.

David Director is the brainchild of the 'no bully zone' project. Director said that it is important business owners help the younger generation. 'As business owners I think it is really important. These are our future employees and neighbors and citizens. Someone needs to make a difference," expressed Director." Read more

Meet Facebook’s Mr. Nice

New York Times, October 22, 2014

"Of Facebook’s 7,185 employees, Arturo Bejar may have the most difficult job.

No, he is not responsible for increasing advertising revenue or keeping the website alive 24 hours a day. Mr. Bejar has a much more inscrutable task: teaching the site’s 1.3 billion users, especially its tens of millions of teenagers, how to be nice and respectful to one another." Read more

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Halloween a Good Time to Encourage Safety among Teens

Las Cruces Sun-News (Las Cruces, NM) October 18, 2014

"While Halloween is still a holiday focused on childhood fun — dressing up, carnivals and trick-or-treating — there are some older children-at-heart who face dangers when they head out for a grown-up version of Halloween.

Adult, and even teen, Halloween parties can involve alcohol, making it a particularly deadly night due to the number of drunken drivers on the roads. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), on Halloween night in 2012, almost half, 48 percent, of all crash fatalities involved a driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 grams, an illegal limit in every state. That percentage is even higher than the overall percentage of drunken-driving fatalities nationwide, 31 percent, for all of 2012. In addition, that same year, 19 percent of the fatal pedestrian crashes on Halloween involved drunk drivers." Read more

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Collaboration with Monroe Agencies Proves Crucial to Prevention Council

Monroe Courier, October 2, 2014

"The Board of Education got a refresher course on what Alcohol and Drug Awareness of Monroe (ADAM) does for the town, along with an update on the organization’s new initiatives, at the body’s latest meeting. 

Sally Lundy, chairman of ADAM, explained that ADAM is Monroe’s Local Prevention Council. The town is also part of a Regional Action Council, coordinated by the Regional Youth Adult Social Action Partnership (RYASAP). In addition to Monroe, the region includes Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Stratford, and Trumbull." Read more

Monica Lewinsky Speaks: 'It's My Mission To End Cyberbullying'

Forbes, October 20, 2014

"Monica Lewinsky has broken a decade-long silence to announce her campaign to end cyberbullying and today’s toxic culture of internet shaming.

In her first ever public address, the former mistress of President Bill Clinton revealed her plan to launch a “cultural revolution” against the sort of online harassment she experienced firsthand in the late 1990s.

'I was Patient Zero,' said Lewinsky, now 41, to an auditorium full of 1,000-plus high-achieving millennials at Forbes’ inaugural 30 Under 30 summit in Philadelphia. 'The first person to have their reputation completely destroyed worldwide via the Internet.'" Read more

GHS Junior Spearheads Plan for Anti-Drug Program

Hartford Courant, October 20, 2014

"Griswold High School junior Isabel Poole said the local upswing in drug abuse has touched her circle of friends. "I'm concerned about drugs. I know people personally [who have been involved with drugs]. I know what it does to them, and it's never good." Now, through her internship at the office of First Selectman Kevin Skulczyck, Poole is writing a grant proposal to fund a local anti-drug campaign that would involve members throughout the community.

The Griswold program will be patterned on Putnam's Partnership to Reduce the Influence of Drugs for Everyone (Putnam PRIDE). Putnam PRIDE Program Coordinator Romeo Blackmar said he welcomes the chance to collaborate with Griswold and share resources and ideas. A former tutor at Griswold High School, he offered to reach out to Griswold town officials after hearing that Griswold was facing the same drug abuse problems as Putnam." Read more

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

First Niagara Foundation Commits $75,000 to Support Governor’s Prevention Partnership

Hartford Courant, October 8, 2014

"Governor Dannel P. Malloy has joined First Niagara Bank in announcing a commitment of $75,000 from the First Niagara Foundation, the non-profit entity of First Niagara Bank, to support the Governor's Prevention Partnership (GPP), a statewide public-private alliance working to build a strong future workforce through leadership in youth mentoring. Governor Malloy serves as Co-Chair of the GPP Board of Directors.

'Through continued support from businesses like First Niagara, the Governor's Prevention Partnership is able to provide valuable mentoring programs to tens of thousands of young people across Connecticut,' said Governor Malloy. 'I applaud First Niagara for its leadership in helping to fund mentoring programs, and look forward to another successful year of inspiring young people in our state through mentoring.'" Read more

Monday, October 20, 2014

Julia Roberts Honored for Efforts in the Fight Against Bullying

ABC News, October 20, 2014

Find out why the Hollywood actress believes this is such an important issue here.

Monroe-Woodbury's JV Football Season Suspended for Alleged Bullying

News 12 Westchester (Woodbury, CT) October 19, 2014

"Monroe-Woodbury High School's junior varsity football season has been suspended amid reports of alleged bullying among members of the team.

Student athletes have sent written complaints to the district describing verbal abuse between teammates throughout the season.

The district's interim superintendent released a statement on the school website saying the remainder of the JV season is canceled until the investigation is complete." Read more

Activists Tackle Scourge of Prescription Drug Abuse

USA Today, October 18, 2014

"n retrospect, Dorothy Rhodes wishes she had said something, anything, to her son.

She knew that young people in their West Virginia community were dying, one after one, overdosing on prescription painkillers. But neither she nor anyone else spoke of the problem.

And then Rhodes received a phone call Dec. 17, 2008. Her only son, Chris, three weeks shy of his 20th birthday, had been rushed to the hospital. He soon died of an overdose of fentanyl, a legal narcotic used to treat pain." Read more

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Anti-bullying Event Oct. 22 Joins Justice Conference, Longmeadow's Max Burger to Take a 'Bite out of Bullying'

The Republican (Springfield, MA) October 14, 2014

"As part of the National Anti-Bullying day Oct. 22, the National Conference for Community and Justice, and the Max Restaurant Group are coming together to take a 'Bite out of Bullying.'

Max Burger, with restaurants in Longmeadow and West Hartford, will donate a portion of its proceeds that day to 'anti-bullying, prejudice reduction youth programs in middle and high schools throughout the region,' according to a press release from the conference, founded in 1927 as the National Conference of Christian and Jews." Read more

The Bullying Facts Every Educator Needs to Learn

Huffington Post, October 15, 2014

"Everyone has a story about bullying. Most of us have been both the bully and the victim of bullying. As a therapist for teens, I've seen the devastating effects year in and year out. I've also witnessed my fair share of well-intentioned, but misguided educators toss around best practices for dealing with this widespread issue. 

Approximately 32 percent of students report being bullied at school. According to an Edutopia article, 'Bullied students are more likely to take a weapon to school, get involved in physical fights, and suffer from anxiety and depression, health problems, and mental health problems.'" Read more

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Anti-Bullying Month: Strategies For Preventing It From Happening

Fox CT, October 13, 2014

"October is anti-bullying month. And that means we must identify what bullying is, the parties involved and then figure out appropriate strategies to remedy it. It goes beyond being teased once or twice. Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen repetitively and have a profound negative impact on a child’s psyche and overall well-being in school. We often try to figure out why bullies behave the way they do. Many times we proclaim as educators that it is because there is something that they are lacking or not feeling good about themselves. Ultimately, I feel that no matter the type of bullying it is, all bullying roots from a feeling of not being accepted in some way or valued. The best way to win this war, is to not fight at all, but rather teach youth about accepting others for all of their unique differences because that is what makes the world so great!" Read more

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Heroin No Longer Urban-Only Crisis

The Day, October 12, 2014

"This past summer, East Lyme First Selectman Paul Formica saw a public health crisis emerging in his community.

The crisis sent some residents to the hospital and nearly killed many others. At least two residents died. The crisis is heroin. It motivated Mr. Formica to schedule a community discussion at which 60-some people ranging from parents and grandparents to police and health care workers joined the conversation about the drug and how to combat it. The town is expected to soon announce a follow-up meeting.

'This is out there; it's what's happening,' Mr. Formica said. 'Education about it is the key.'" Read more

Drug Use at Work Roils Firms

Wall Street Journal, October 12, 2014

"When Mark Jurman started as plant manager at a piston factory in Marinette, Wis., two years ago, he quickly realized how deeply the area’s heroin and pain-pill problem was afflicting his workforce.

He sometimes discovered empty plastic bags at the factory stamped with the caricatures typical of heroin envelopes. Employees confided to him that some of their peers were high during work hours. Dealers hung around the plant’s parking lot, selling drugs to employees during shift changes. “Our parking lot was seen as one of the best places in town to buy drugs,” said Mr. Jurman, who oversees nearly 1,000 employees at KS Kolbenschmidt US Inc." Read more

Monday, October 13, 2014

Olympic Athlete’s Message against Bullying

WTNH, October 10, 2014

"Students at Windsor High School got a lesson in how to prevent bullying Friday from a gold medal winning Olympic athlete.

Moushaumi Robinson has been sprinting for 13 years. She won a gold medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics. Robinson is also a high school teacher and U.S. ambassador with the 'Hurt No More' campaign, an empathy-based bully prevention program. Robinson is teaching compassion to kids at Windsor high." Read more

The TASC List: A Bullying Lesson

Wilton Bulletin, October 12, 2014

"Students in schools across the country today exhibit thuggish behaviors, from playground intimidation to Internet aggression — and everything in between. There are many programs to tame such beasts, to prevent injury to body and spirit, and to reduce psychological damage. Some are effective; some are not.

In a few countries, however, what we call bullying takes the form of administration-sponsored activities to keep students in line, curb out-of-bounds behavior patterns, and punish performers thought to be operating below normal standards and expectations. In Japan, for example, the use of student-directed sanctions and admonishments against other students has been considered an ordinary extension of the disciplinary process and the drive for improved levels of conformity and compliance." Read more

Friday, October 10, 2014

New DEA Regulations Make it Tougher to Get Hydrocodone

WFSB Channel 3, October 8, 2014

"Commonly prescribed pain medications such as Vicodin, Lorcet and Lortab all contain hydrocodone, and according to the Drug Enforcement Administration are all highly addictive.

'Unfortunately, prescription pain abuse is a problem throughout the entire United States, and Southern Mississippi is no exception,' Gulfport DEA Resident Agent in Charge Robert Donovan said." Read more

New Canaan Schools Seek to Block New Smartphone App

New Canaan News, October 9, 2014

"A new location-based smartphone app aimed at students is under fire in New Canaan for enticing cyberbullying.

Following a number of complaints from New Canaan High School parents, the district is currently working to block Streetchat, which allows anonymous postings of photo messages." Read more

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

New Wax Form of Marijuana Worries Law Enforcement

WFSB Channel 3, October 3, 2014

"A new drug is emerging in the metro and causing serious concern.

The drug goes by the names wax, butter and honeycomb because its waxy texture makes it look like lip balm. While many adults may not have heard of it, there's a good chance their teens have.

Drug agents call it the strongest form of marijuana and some users claim a single hit keeps users high all day." Read more

Early Drinking Behavior has Lifelong Effect

Yale Daily News, October 7, 2014

"The longer the amount of time between the first time someone drinks and gets drunk, the lower the likelihood of becoming alcohol-dependent, a new Yale study, “First Drink to First Drunk,” has found.

The age at which an individual first drinks alcohol, also known as the age of onset (AO), is one of the most researched risk factors for heavy drinking later in life. But researchers have spent less time examining the relationship between AO and the age of first intoxication (AI) — the first time someone gets drunk." Read more

Monday, October 6, 2014

Plainville Middle Schoolers Stand up to Bullies after Training Program

Bristol Press, October 3, 2014

"Wouldn’t it have been nice if you’d had 75 kids standing behind you when your middle school bully attacked?

That’s sort of what the Middle School of Plainville is implementing. The school has a program under which 75 kids were trained to help their classmates deal with bullies.

The schools this week held a bullying training program for parents and guardians Tuesday, presented by the Anti-Defamation League. Marji Lipshez-Shapiro, director of education for the Connecticut office of the League, led a panel of 11 students from the MSP Allies program who talked about strategies for preventing and dealing with bullying and answered questions from the audience." Read more

Teens, Parents and Alcohol: Tough Questions You Need to Answer

Huffington Post, October 3, 2014

"Rolled eyes, sullen silence or even outright denial; these are often the reactions parents encounter when they try to talk with their adolescent children about alcohol. As a pediatrician, I get a lot of tough questions from parents about how to broach this subject with their teens. It can be a difficult situation for parents and one full of awkwardness, but it's critical for parents to at least start the conversation, as it will open the door for ongoing conversations in the future." Read more

Friday, October 3, 2014

Saint Brigid School Promotes Anti-Bullying Efforts

West Hartford News, October 1, 2014

"Unfortunately, across the nation bullying has become the new norm for many school administrators in both the public and private school sectors. Long before the tragedy at Newton’s Sandy Hook Elementary School, West Hartford’s Saint Brigid School had an anti-bullying campaign in place for several years.

To add to those efforts, Saint Brigid School recently announced that seventh-grade teacher Melissa Seidl has been designated by the American School Counseling Association University (ASCA), as a certified Bullying Prevention Specialist, trained to educate, prevent and/or intervene when bullying occurs. In addition to Seidl’s teaching responsibilities, she developed an anti-violence curriculum that has been taught at other schools and will be implemented this fall at Saint Brigid School." Read more

Center for Youth Leadership Tackles Bullying

The Hour, October 1, 2014

"With a mission of tackling social issues that affect teenagers, the Center for Youth Leadership will be addressing one of the biggest youth problems this month.

In recognition of National Bullying Awareness Month, CYL held a press conference at Brien McMahon High School Wednesday.

The student youth organization, along with Mayor Harry Rilling and BMHS Guidance Counselor Chad Sutherland discussed the effects of bullying and ways to prevent it." Read more

Monday, September 29, 2014

'Choose Kindness': Disney Channel to Launch Anti-Bullying Campaign

ABC News, September 25, 2014

"To mark National Bullying Prevention Month in October, Disney Channel will launch 'Choose Kindness,' an anti-bullying campaign featuring more than 20 stars of Disney Channel, Disney XD and Radio Disney in programming aimed at young children.

The initiative includes a public service campaign featuring Alex Angelo, the 14-year-old host of Radio Disney's 'Saturday Night Party' with Alex Angelo. Those PSAs will air starting Oct. 1. The PSAs will also air in video form on Club Penguin, a virtual world where children can spread the word about bullying prevention, according to a release today from Disney Channel." Read more

New Rule to Ease Safe Disposal of Unwanted Prescription Drugs

PBS, September 27, 2014

"To dispose safely of unwanted, expired and unused prescription drugs, the Drug Enforcement Administration held its ninth Prescription Drug Take Back Day Saturday at more than 5,200 collection sites around the country.

The final event was hosted on the cusp of a new prescription drug disposal rule that goes into effect in October, which will allow people to safely dispose of unneeded drugs at participating retail pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, narcotic treatment programs and prescription drug manufacturers." Read more

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Transgender Student Remembers Year Marred By Bullying

Rhode Island Public Radio, September 24, 2014

"Last year, we introduced you to Pawtucket student Hannah Rini, who was about to start her first year of middle school as an openly transgender student. Before her first day at Goff Junior High she was filled with hope about the new friends she would make. She felt confident because of the way her elementary school friends accepted her when she came out:

'I don’t know how they knew, but they knew I was trans. Maybe the way I was acting? They just weren’t surprised one bit,' Rini said at the time." Read more

Younger Age at First Drink, Higher Odds for Problem Drinking: Study

U.S. News & World Report, September 23, 2014

"Both drinking and getting drunk at an early age are key risk factors for alcohol abuse by high school students, a new study suggests.

The conclusions, based on a survey of high school students who drink, could help expand alcohol-prevention efforts aimed at teens to include those who already drink, to stop them from becoming binge drinkers, the researchers suggested." Read more

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

New Prescribing Rules for Hydrocodone Set to Start in October

NBC Connecticut, September 23, 2014

"Beverly Schilke has lived with constant pain every day for more than 40 years after a flesh-eating bacteria ravaged both her legs.

'It's probably like somebody was taking a hot poker and sticking it at you all the time,' said Schilke.

She has endured more than 200 surgeries.

'It's just ferocious,' said Schilke. 'It just continues to go on and on until they can cut it out.'" Read more

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

West Hartford Hosting Prescription Drug Take Back on Sept. 27

West Hartford Patch, September 22, 2014

"In early September, the West Hartford Substance Abuse Prevention Commission administered an electronic survey of West Hartford parents of high school students. Of 391 respondents, 86.4% said that they kept prescription drugs in unlocked medicine cabinets or drawers.

On Saturday, September 27, 2014, the West Hartford Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration will coordinate a collaborative effort with state and local law enforcement agencies to remove potentially dangerous controlled substances from our nation’s medicine cabinets." Read more

Monday, September 22, 2014

Heroin Use on the Rise in More Affluent Communities

CT Post, September 20, 2014

"Earlier this year, a 22-year-old Greenwich native named George stood before a room of parents in the Greenwich YMCA, and told them how he came to be hooked on heroin. 

It started when he was an eighth-grader at Western Middle School, he said. Walking home from school one day, he saw a couple of older kids smoking a crooked cigarette." Read more

Westport Teen Releases Anti-Bullying Music Video

The Hour (Westport, CT) September 20, 2014

"After moving from her hometown of New York City to Westport at 11 years old, Nina Lee said she struggled to make friends as the new girl in town.

'It was a hard transition moving from a place where I had a life to being the new girl in school and not knowing anyone,' Nina said." Read more

Friday, September 19, 2014

Generation Stress? How Anxiety Rules the Secret Life of Teens

TODAY Parents, September 17, 2014

"When hormones, grades and peer pressure rule your life, turmoil often follows. Yet many families don’t realize how crippling the stress can be for their teenagers.

TODAY’s series on the secret lives of teens began Wednesday with NBC special anchor Maria Shriver taking a look at anxiety, an issue many adolescents struggle with and keep hidden from their parents.

One in eight children suffers from an anxiety disorder, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. The problem is so severe for 10 percent of teens that it disrupts their lives." Watch video

Microscopes And Mentoring New Science Lab At Assumption School

Hartford Courant (Manchester, CT) September 17, 2014

"Microscopes and mentoring opportunities were highlights of a class held in the new science lab at Assumption School in Manchester. Second grade students in Sister Joan Marie Crapps's class, who recently studied the states and properties of matter in science, took a closer look at solid matter using microscopes in the school's lab.

The students gained an entirely new perspective on everyday solids such as salt, sugar and paper.

'It was really cool,' said Stefaniya Barbieri, a second grade student, who was surprised by what she saw under the microscope." Read more

Thursday, September 18, 2014

How Marvel Uses Superheroes to Deal With Bullying

Branding Magazine, September 16, 2014

"The colors of autumn and the sound of rustling leaves won’t be the only thing declaring October is lying just around the corner. This time, a few superheroes might be the most adequate announcement of a month to come.

With its days devoted to a one cause only, October was named to be a National Bullying Prevention Month. Joining their efforts, as it should be when such a big issue is on the line, Marvel Comics and anti-bullying organization Stomp Out Bullying presented a way of fighting this modern-day disease in a spirit of its beliefs – peacefully and with compassion, in order to mark the right way to approach the subject as well as the weeks that follow." Read more

Windsor High School Seeking Adult Mentors to Meet with Students

Reminder News, September 17, 2014

"Since being hired as the School and Community Resource Coordinator at Windsor High School, Kendrick Moore has been busy. Building a mentoring program from the ground up takes time, and he has had a lot of work to do.

Since December of 2013, Moore has launched the peer mentoring program and the Young Men's Leadership Academy." Read more

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

School Program Seeks Volunteer Mentors for Danbury Kindergartners

NewsTimes (Danbury, CT) September 15, 2014

"After the Morris Street School lost its kindergarten aides for three years because of budget cuts, a group of Unitarian-Universalists stepped in as volunteer mentors to help the children with their reading and writing skills.

The volunteers never left. They became a part of The Morris Street School Project started by Charles Schott, a retired IBM executive in Brookfield and a Unitarian-Universalist." Read more

The Esquire Mentoring Project: A Note from the Editor

Esquire.com, September 16, 2014

"There has been, in recent months, a lot of talk about a crisis in American masculinity. It's become something of a knee-jerk reaction to everything from allegations of rape on college campuses to killing sprees, as if such anomalies were evidence that manhood is metastasizing into little more than a collection of bad impulses. Since we are a magazine mostly about the concerns of men, I think it's important that we put forward a vision of what it means to be a good man at this time in this country. And we think it's time for more men to help the next generation of boys grow up successfully. To mentor them. That's what our October issue is designed to do: inspire Esquire men to make a difference. But mentor is such a bad word. Use it and you can see people tuning out, nodding along as their minds wander. Mentor. Ugh. What does it even mean? In reality, it means a lot." Read more

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Six Flags New England Raises Awareness about Bullying

CBS 3 Springfield (Agawam, MA) September 14, 2014

"Six Flags New England and the Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover Foundation teamed up for the second annual Back to School Anti-Bullying Day on Sunday.

The foundation has a goal to put and end to bullying and make the public aware of its consequences and impacts.

Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover was just 11 years old when he took his life after being repeatedly bullied at school." Read more

Monday, September 15, 2014

R.I. Leads Way in Treating Overdoses

Providence Journal, September 15, 2014

"By the end of August, all 60 CVS pharmacies across Rhode Island offered the opiate antidote Narcan, also known as naloxone, without a prescription. Narcan offers immediate help during an overdose from opiates such as heroin or prescription painkillers like OxyContin. If given early enough, Narcan can even reverse an overdose by restoring breathing and save the life of the user. This breakthrough could save hundreds of lives across Rhode Island, where a recent spike in overdose deaths has led to what some are calling an epidemic." Read more

Green Bay Schools Ban LGBT bullying

USA Today, September 12, 2014

"The Green Bay Area School District has banned bullying based on gender identity, and educators are looking for other ways to make the school day easier for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender kids.

The Green Bay district is among the first in Wisconsin to train staff on related issues and consider ways to make gay-straight alliances more effective, said Brian Juchems, of the Madison-based Gay Straight Alliance for Safe Schools." Read more

Pleasantville Community Fundraising for a Substance Abuse Prevention Program

HamletHub, September 13, 2014

"A committee of concerned citizens and officials is raising money to support the hiring of a substance abuse prevention counselor and numerous anti-drug programs for the Pleasantville School District.

The committee is planning to apply in February for a five-year, $125,000 annual grant from the Pleasantville Safe Community Coalition to fund drug and alcohol initiatives." Read more

Friday, September 12, 2014

Governors to HHS: Rescind FDA Approval of the Zohydro Painkiller

The Wall Street Journal, September 4, 2014

"In the latest bid to squelch availability of the Zohydro ER painkiller, a handful of governors from New England have asked the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to rescind approval of the controversial drug.

The governors – from Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Connecticut – argue that the prescription painkiller should be yanked because of an “epidemic” of opioid addiction that is spreading through their states." Read more

WWE Stars Speak Out against Bullying

Citizen's Voice (Hanover, PA) September 10, 2014

"Students at Hanover Area Memorial Elementary School were thrilled to see their special guests Tuesday. 

World Wrestling Entertainment star Mike 'The Miz' Mizanin and tag team champions Jimmy and Jey Uzo headlined a 'Be a STAR' anti-bullying rally. More than 500 students packed the auditorium to cheer and participate.

'Don’t be a bystander,' Mizanin said, advising students on what to do when they see bullying. 'Tell the bully to stop.'" Read more

Thursday, September 11, 2014

St. Brigid School's "No To Bullying" Campaign

Hartford Courant, September 10, 2014

"Unfortunately, across the nation bullying has become the new norm for many school administrators. Recognizing this, Saint Brigid School has had an anti-bullying campaign in place for several years.

To add to those efforts, Saint Brigid School is pleased to announce that their seventh-grade teacher Melissa Seidl has been designated by the American School Counseling Association University (ASCA), as a certified Bullying Prevention Specialist, trained to educate, prevent and/or intervene when bullying occurs." Read more

Rilling, Rivera Kickoff Norwalk Mentoring Challenge

The Hour (Norwalk, CT) September 10, 2014

"Two city leaders engaged in a friendly competition for the betterment of the city on Monday.

Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling and Superintendent of Schools Manuel Rivera kicked off the Norwalk Mentoring Challenge where they are encouraging adults to step up to the plate to mentor Norwalk youth.

With the help of several local organizations including United Way of Coastal Fairfield County, the Norwalk Mentor Program, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Southwestern Connecticut, Check & Connect and FCA After School Program, the challenge is looking to link mentors with children in need of additional guidance." Read more

Study: Teens Who Smoke Weed Daily are 60% Less Likely to Complete High School than Those Who Never Use

The Washington Post, September 9, 2014

"Teenagers who smoke marijuana daily are over 60 percent less likely to complete high school than those who never use. They're also 60 percent less likely to graduate college and seven times more likely to attempt suicide. Those are the startling conclusions of a new study of adolescent cannabis use out today in The Lancet Psychiatry, a British journal of health research.

Researchers gathered data on the frequency of cannabis use among 3,725 students from Australia and New Zealand, and then looked at the students' developmental outcomes up to the age of 30. They found 'clear and consistent associations between frequency of cannabis use during adolescence and most young adult outcomes investigated, even after controlling for 53 potential confounding factors including age, sex, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, use of other drugs, and mental illness.'" Read more

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

E-Cigarettes Are Gateway to Substance Abuse and Addiction

TIME, September 3, 2014

"For a product so young, e-cigarettes are already generating volumes of research. And the latest, appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine, suggests that e-cigarettes serve as a “gateway drug” — meaning they could make users more likely to use, and become addicted to, other drugs like cocaine.

The wife-husband research team Denise Kandel and Eric Kandel has been studying nicotine for years, and in their earlier work they found that nicotine dramatically enhanced the effects of cocaine by activating a reward-related gene and shutting off inhibition. When mice had nicotine before cocaine, they behaved differently too — they ran around more and spent more time in the space where they were fed, likely driven by a need to satisfy their craving for the drug." Read more

4 Arrested After Twitter Helps Alert Police to Underage Drinking Party

NECN, September 8, 2014

"Twitter helped alert police to an underage drinking party in Merrimack, New Hampshire over the weekend.

On Friday at 9:33 p.m., Merrimack Police received an anonymous complaint about an underage drinking party at 13 Monadnock Lane. The caller told police they learned of the party via posts on Twitter.

When police arrived, they found a large gathering inside the residence. All of those at the party were under the age of 21. Alcoholic beverages and a small amount of marijuana were found at the scene." Read more

Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early, Other DAs, to Host Anti-Bullying Training

MassLive.com (Paxton, MA) September 8, 2014

"As another school year begins, two Massachusetts agencies are sponsoring a conference to help teachers and school administrators stop bullying.

The Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center and office of Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. will co-host the conference at Anna Maria College in Paxton on Oct. 16.

Elizabeth Englander, director and founder of the aggression reduction center, will present the professional development program for kindergarten through grade 12 faculty and staff. The center is based at Bridgewater State University." Read more

Monday, September 8, 2014

Marvel And Stomp Out Bullying’s Variant Covers Encourage You To Stop Being Such A Jerk

ComicsAlliance, September 4, 2014

"Superhero comics have always come down pretty hard against bullying, whether it’s Superman sticking up for the little guy in 1938 or Marvel’s more direct approach to having nerdy weaklings suddenly turn into super-strong crime-fighters who turn the tables and beat the living crap out of the bad guys. Captain America, Spider-Man and the Hulk all follow that classic formula, and heck, the X-Men are an entire school made up of an oppressed minority that spends most of their time fighting robots made of racism.

So yeah, Marvel is, historically speaking, pretty dead set against bullying. That’s why it’s no surprise that they’re teaming up with the STOMP Out Bullying organization next month for a series of variant covers designed to raise awareness of bullying and help prevent it. The results are some pretty great covers that range from charming to genuinely hilarious." Read more

"Teen Nation Tour" Kicks Off Anti-Bullying Concerts and School Programs

PR.com (San Antonio, TX) September 5, 2014

"Overweight, Gay, or simply different from the crowd are just a few of the reasons children and teens are being bullied -- sometimes to death -- in America's schools and over the internet. Bullying leads to depression, social isolation and suicide, the latter of which is now the third leading cause of death among young people, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Studies have shown that the most effective way to reach teens, especially regarding bullying, is through other teens, on a peer-to-peer level.

The Teen Nation Tour (TNT) is a peer-to-peer community service program and campaign to educate youth about bullying. The message is delivered in a way that students can relate – through music. The powerful 90 minute school assemblies for middle and high school students feature young, emerging recording artists from around the country who perform Top 40, country, pop, and rock hits. Artists volunteer their time to be on the tour and share personal bullying experiences, discuss the types of bullying, and prevention options." Read more

Thursday, September 4, 2014

CVS Stops Selling Tobacco, Offers Quit-Smoking Programs

USA Today, September 3, 2014

"CVS Caremark plans to stop selling tobacco products in all of its stores starting Wednesday — a move health experts hope will be followed by other major drugstore chains.

CVS announced in February that it planned to drop tobacco by Oct. 1 as the sales conflicted with its health care mission. To bolster its image as a health care company, CVS will announce a corporate name change to CVS Health. Retail stores will still be called CVS/Pharmacy." Read more

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Study Calls Painkillers ‘Gateway’ to Heroin Use

American News Report, September 2, 2014

"One of the nation’s largest drug screening companies has released a new report claiming there is “concrete evidence” linking prescription painkillers with the rising use of heroin.

In a study of drug tests collected from 171,061 chronic pain patients, Ameritox detected heroin in 2,206 of the patients’ urine samples. Although that is just 1.3% of the total number of pain patients studied – Ameritox drew some sweeping conclusions from the data, saying it was a sign that 'chronic pain patients are using heroin with painkillers' and 'prescription opioids are the new gateway to heroin abuse.'" Read more

Law Enforcement Using Social Media to Crack Down on Underage Drinking

WFSB-TV (Conway, SC) August 31, 2014

"Dozens of videos are all over Twitter from parties held at Coastal Carolina University.

Many of the posts lead back to a group called I'm Shmacked. It makes videos at universities all around the country. The videos are aimed to show off a school's party scene, and weeks ago I'm shmacked announced the group would film at CCU." Read more

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Is Teen Drinking Worse Than Teen Marijuana Use?

Newsweek, September 2, 2014

"Every year, more and more Americans support marijuana legalization. In 2010, 41 percent of Americans favored legalization; by 2014, 54 percent supported such reforms, per the Pew Research Center. This shift in attitudes has also been reflected in legislation across the country: Weed is fully legal in the states of Washington and Colorado, and at least 18 other states will have enacted some form of decriminalization by October 2014, according to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Lawas." Read more

Friday, August 29, 2014

Overdose Awareness Day Is August 31st

Huffington Post, August 19, 2014

"Imagine: A health crisis claiming over 16,000 lives each year. Then imagine a prescription drug that could be made widely accessible to save those lives, but isn't.

This is not a hypothetical situation. Overdose deaths have surpassed car crashes in the United States as the second leading cause of accidental death. Drug overdose was responsible for over 41,000 deaths in 2011, and over 16,000 of those deaths were attributable to opiates." Read more

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Lockers among the Hurdles Facing New Middle-Schoolers on First Day

The Day (Waterford, CT) August 27, 2014

"'I know I’m doing it right, I think,' Nitia Somineni, 11, assured herself between fumbling attempts to open her locker.

Wednesday was the first day of sixth grade at Clark Lane Middle School for Nitia and her twin, Nidhi. The two kneeled before their lockers alongside another friend from Great Neck Elementary School, who will join them on the Aquamarine Team this year.

Students on the same teams share teachers for the core subjects of math, science, social studies and language arts." Read more

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Town Joins Statewide Effort to Reduce Drug Overdoses

Ridgefield Press, August 20, 2014

"Looking to lower the growing number of opiate related deaths throughout the state, the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities has formed a drug abuse prevention working group that wants to improve the current system for monitoring prescription drugs.

Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi attended the group’s latest conference in New Haven on Aug. 5, along with 154 other representatives from municipalities across the state.

The group first met on May 22 and then for a second time on June 24. Mr. Marconi said members will meet again in September to consider state legislation and other proposals." Read more

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

NASCAR: Matt Kenseth Targets Bullying by Authoring Children's Books

Detroit Free Press, August 26, 2014

"Matt Kenseth likes books. He doesn’t like bullies.

So when the Joe Gibbs Racing driver was offered a chance to become a first-time author of a children’s series, the topic was obvious.

'There were three kids who picked on me constantly in high school and never stopped,' Kenseth told USA TODAY Sports. 'Everyone kind of goes through it, but everything these days seems to start younger and younger. So that was the top of my mind for the first one.'" Read more

Prescription Drugs Can be Dropped at Meriden Police Department

Record Journal (Meriden, CT) August 8, 2014

"City residents no longer have to worry about their unwanted or expired prescriptions getting into the wrong hands or tainting the local water supply.

Residents can drop old medicines off at a prescription drop box in the lobby of the Police Department, 50 W. Main St., no questions asked.

'Unfortunately, prescription drugs have become the target of theft and misuse, oftentimes by young people who have access to residential homes and apartments,' said Krystle Blake, chairperson of the Meriden Healthy Youth Coalition, which lobbied for the drop box. 'This is something we’ve been working on for nine months to a year with Meriden police.'" Read more

Tai Chi for the Brain

WTNH News 8, August 24, 2014

"With the school year about to begin, Tai Chi instructor Karl Romain is helping parents teach their kids about how to prevent bullying.

He discusses his book 'The Self Confidence Factor: A Parents’ Guide to Bully Prevention.'" Watch the full interview

Monday, August 25, 2014

DEA Restricts Narcotic Pain Drug Prescriptions

The Wall Street Journal, August 22, 2014

"The Obama administration moved Thursday to restrict prescriptions of the most commonly used narcotic painkillers in the U.S. in an attempt to curb widespread abuse.

The Drug Enforcement Administration said it would reclassify hydrocodone combination drugs such as Vicodin and put them in the category reserved for medical substances with the highest potential for harm. The "rescheduling" means people will be able to receive the drugs for only up to 90 days without obtaining a new prescription." Read more

Join Twitter Chat on Cyberbullying, Digital Etiquette

USA Today, August 22, 2014

"For the past several weeks, Steven Petrow has been answering reader questions in the Your Digital Life column about digital etiquette for USA WEEKEND.

Now's your chance to get your question answered in real time. Steven (@stevenpetrow) will host a Twitter chat about cyberbullying, and other matters of modern life, starting at 1 p.m. ET on Thursday, Sept. 18.

Use hashtag #usaweekend for the chat." Read more

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Colchester Schools Embrace New Theme of Community Engagement

Reminder News, August 19, 2014

"Engagement is the theme for the new academic year, according to Colchester Superintendent of Schools Jeffry P. Mathieu. The theme is meant to encourage the schools to work together as a community among students, parents, staff and townspeople. After a tumultuous budget year where a new school building plan was defeated soundly earlier in 2014 and passing a town and school budget required three referenda with the narrowest of victories, it was obvious there was a divide in town regarding spending and priorities. 'It's time to work together,' Mathieu said." Read more

School District Kicks Off New 'Anti-Bullying' Program

WBTV 3 (York County, SC) August 20, 2014

"Children returning to six elementary schools in York County District 1 will be greeted with a few new rules as they enter school Wednesday morning.

Those rules are on a 'Bully Free Zone' sign outside front doors of the schools across the district.

Wednesday not only marks the first day back to school but the first day of a brand new anti-bully campaign in York School District 1 elementary schools." Read more

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Legal Marijuana for Parents, but Not Their Kids

The New York Times, August 18, 2014

"When the antidrug educator Tim Ryan talks to students, he often asks them what they know about marijuana. “It’s a plant,” is a common response.

But more recently, the answer has changed. Now they reply, 'It’s legal in Colorado.'

These are confusing times for middle and high school students, who for most of their young lives have been lectured about the perils of substance abuse, particularly marijuana. Now it seems that the adults in their lives have done an about-face." Read more

'See Something, Say Something' Anti-bullying App Launches in Beaufort County

WSAV News 3 (Beaufort County, SC) August 18, 2014

"With kids back in school in Beaufort County, parents are coming together to stand against bullying as the Beaufort County School District launched their anti-bullying app ‘See Something, Say Something.’

As the buses rolled in, loads of students were ready to start a new school year on Monday morning. Beaufort County schools released the app for smart phones and tablets ‘See Something, Say Something.’" Read more

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Efforts To Prevent Prescription Drug Misuse Should Focus on Peers, Not Peer Pressure

Headlines & Global News, August 16, 2014

"A new study found that campaigns to prevent prescription drugs misuse can be more effective by focusing on peers and not peer pressure.

The study was conducted by researchers from Purdue University. The researchers evaluated survey interviews with 404 adults ages 18 to 29 who misused prescription drugs in the past 90 days. This included 214 in-person interviews. These individuals were recruited from popular nightlife locations such as bars, clubs, and lounges in New York City. Average misuse of prescription drugs, such as painkillers, sedatives and stimulants, was 38 times in the past 90 days." Read more

Monday, August 18, 2014

Himes, Boucher, Lavielle Speak Out against Cyberbullying at Wilton Y

The Hour (Wilton, CT) August 14, 2014

"In an era when children are getting computer access, along with portable devices, at younger and younger ages, problems such as cyberbullying are harming those same youngsters at an alarming rate.

Such was the impetus for Wednesday morning's "Delete Cyberbullying" event presented by Cablevision at the Wilton Family YMCA, part of Optimum's "Internet Smarts" program.

Rep. Jim Himes, D-CT, Sen. Toni Boucher, R-126, and Rep. Gail Lavielle, R-143, all shared insights and stories to let the 100 or so 3rd through 9th graders know that being bullied is not their fault, letting bullying go on makes one complicit in the behavior, and that it takes a team effort to make the bully feel like the one who is at fault." Read more

Anti-Bullying Activist Paige Rawl to Visit the Westport Library

HamletHub (Westport, CT) August 15, 2014

"Paige Rawl was born HIV positive and, after sharing her secret with a teenage friend, was bullied severely in middle school. Her classmates called her cruel nicknames, such as PAIDS, and her soccer coach even joked that her HIV status could help the team since opposing teams would not want to get near her. When the bullying became unbearable, she left her middle school and decided to take a stand by speaking out and sharing her story. At age 14, Rawl became the youngest person ever to be certified through the American Red Cross as an HIV/AIDS Educator, and she lobbied Congress in her home state of Indiana to help pass the Anti-bullying Bill #1423, which took effect on July 1, 2013." Read more

North Haven Raises Drug Awareness with TV Show

New Haven Register (North Haven, CT) August 15, 2014

"After trying various outlets to reach the community about drug awareness and prevention, First Selectman Michael Freda and substance abuse advocates are heading into people’s homes — on the television screen that is.

In an effort to raise awareness about drug and alcohol abuse, Freda and members of the town’s Substance Abuse Action Council are taping a miniseries of TV shows discussing various topics surrounding substance abuse.

Freda said the idea for the show surfaced after attempts to hold public discussions about drug and alcohol prevention." Read more

Thursday, August 14, 2014

U.S. Rep. Esty Bill Aims to Increase Care Options for Heroin, Opioid Addicts

Register Citizen, August 2, 2014

"U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-5, co-introduced a bill Friday which aims to increase care options for those suffering from heroin addiction and opioid abuse.

The bill would expand the availability of inpatient care for substance abuse treatment for insured individuals. 

The move is the congresswoman’s latest effort to combat her state’s—and the nation’s—growing concerns over the rise of opioid abuse and accidental deaths from heroin use." Read more

Teen Creates Awesome Science Project That Could Help Stop Cyberbullying

The Huffington Post, August 13, 2014

"A 13-year-old has created a project that could actually stop cyberbullying.

Trisha Prabhu, an Illinois middle schooler, was recently selected as a finalist for the 2014 Google Science Fair, according to Business Insider. Her project sought to reduce rates of cyberbullying among teens by creating an alert system that would ask teens to rethink their actions before posting anything harmful online. After testing her project with hundreds of trials, it appeared to achieve its aim." Read more

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Williams' Death Puts Spotlight on Depression, Suicide

CT Post, August 12, 2014

"Beloved by millions the world over, actor and comedian Robin Williams didn't show his audience that he was a man in pain.

But the stories that surfaced following the actor's death from an apparent suicide by hanging painted a much different picture -- one of a man living with depression and addiction. It's a sad, but familiar story to many local mental health experts, including Dr. Sheila Cooperman, vice chairwoman of psychiatry at St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport. She said Williams' death puts a familiar, well-loved face on mental illness, from which many people suffer in silence." Read more

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

UConn Sanctions and Bans Fraternity, Two Sororities From Campus

NBC Connecticut, August 12, 2014

"One fraternity and two sororities have been banned from the University of Connecticut amid hazing allegations and student code violations, according to a spokesperson for the university.

It comes just months after two other Greek organizations were shut down for similar but unrelated allegations.

The state university notified fraternity Sigma Chi and sororities Delta Gamma and Delta Zeta on Monday that 'they will lose their chapter registrations, recognition and on-campus housing at UConn as a result of hazing and other behaviors' that violated UConn's Student Code, according to spokesperson Stephanie Reitz." Read more

Monday, August 11, 2014

Connecticut Law Firm Awards $20,000 In Scholarships

Hartford Courant, August 9, 2014

"Connecticut's injury law firm, Carter Mario Injury Lawyers, is pleased to announce the winning students in their Ninth Annual 'CarterCares' Scholarship Program. Each scholarship winner has shown academic excellence, and demonstrated their understanding of the seriousness of bullying - both physical and cyberbullying.

The law firm asked each applicant to prepare a presentation encouraging their peers to take a stand against bullying in their schools and communities. These projects ranged from video presentations, to essays, to a custom song on the consequences of bullying. Each of the ten winning students received a $2,000 scholarship from Carter Mario, and was honored at an event held at the Offices of Carter Mario Injury Lawyers, in Milford, on Thursday, May 15. In addition to the scholarship awards, the honorees were also presented with a citation on their achievements from the office of Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen." Read more

Race Highlights Drug Overdose Dangers for 16 years

It's Relevant (Norwalk, CT) August 9, 2014

"It's a race that has been raising awareness on the dangers of drugs for years.

'This running race is bittersweet, every time I come down here, I have a tear in my eye,' said Ginger Katz, Founder and CEO of the Courage to Speak Foundation.

Over 150 runners took their mark at Calf Pasture Beach early Saturday morning for the 16th Annual Ian Eaccarino Memorial 9-mile race, to remember a young man who lost his life to a drug overdose 18 years ago. After losing her 20 year old son, Ian Eaccarino to an overdose, Ginger Katz began reaching out to drug prevention resources and established the Courage To Speak Foundation in 1996." Read more

Friday, August 8, 2014

Torrington Officials, Substance Abuse Agency to Unveil Drug Drop Box

Register Citizen, August 5, 2014

"The city’s police department and a local substance abuse agency are holding a ribbon cutting Thursday morning for the launching of a prescription drug drop box program.

The pill drop off box was installed inside the Torrington Police Department’s lobby in April but was not immediately ready for use. The box was installed with the help of the McCall Foundation, a local, private nonprofit behavioral healthcare agency that provides substance abuse treatment.

The release said the foundation received a grant from the state’s Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to help establish the pill drop off program." Read more

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Connecticut Above Average In Pot, Cocaine, Alcohol Use

Hartford Courant, August 6, 2014

"Connecticut residents in 2011-2012 smoked more marijuana, took slightly more cocaine, and guzzled more booze than the national average, according to the latest survey on the nation's drug and alcohol trends.

The National Survey of Drug Use and Health said that on average, we popped fewer pills that year – but that might change in the next survey. Federal law enforcers say prescription drug abuse has been rising steadily in Connecticut over the last five years." Read more

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Heroin Abuse Bill Establishes Federal Funding For Inpatient Care

Hartford Courant, August 4, 2014

"U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty is cosponsoring legislation that would establish a federal grant program to fund inpatient treatment for heroin abuse.

The bill is a response to a high rate of heroin overdose deaths in Connecticut and throughout the country that drew attention from local and national leaders this year. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in March described the problem of heroin and prescription drug abuse as an 'urgent public health crisis.'" Read more

Police See Drop in Underage Drinking at Summer Concerts

WFSB-TV (Hartford, CT) August 4, 2014

"Saturday's Jason Aldean concert in Hartford was a sold out show, but ended with a police officer in the hospital and dozens of minors ticketed for underage drinking.

The police officer is expected to make a full recovery after the alleged drunk driver hit him, and the teens will likely spend part of the rest of their summer in community court.

Hartford police and Live Nation officials said the parking lots where concertgoers are before the show are where they find the majority of the problems." Read more

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Area School Awarded Grant for Mentoring Program

Bristol Press, August 3, 2014

"The Liberty Bank Foundation has awarded a $2,300 grant to support the peer mentoring program at West Bristol K-8 School.

The West Bristol School Leadership Academy, implemented in 2012, has 20 seventh and eighth grade students mentor 20-plus elementary-age students in a structured after-school program. It is part of the Board of Education’s mentoring program.

The academy provides multiple and year-long opportunities necessary to build a K-8 cohesive community school and produce positive outcomes for both older peer mentors and their younger mentees." Read more

Monday, August 4, 2014

Increasing Availability, Knowledge of Heroin Antidote Narcan in Torrington

Register Citizen (Torrington, CT) August 3, 2014

"Despite recent legislation extending the state’s Good Samaritan law for anyone intervening in an overdose, heroin is more readily available here than the drug antidote, a leading advocate in the city’s fight against opiate deaths said.

Joy Pendola, clinical manager at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital and co-chairman of the Litchfield County Opiate Task Force, said that could change once the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services approves a plan for a physician at the hospital to begin writing prescriptions for naloxone, more commonly known as Narcan." Read more

Hamden Prepares for Annual ‘National Night Out’ that Spotlights Crime, Drug Prevention

New Haven Register, August 1, 2014

 "The town will join thousands of other communities across the country next week for National Night Out.

On Tuesday, communities throughout the nation are being invited to join forces for the night, which is a crime and drug prevention event.

National Night Out is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and is co-sponsored locally by the Hamden Police Department and Hamden Youth Services Bureau with special support from TARGET, which is the national corporate sponsor. The event will involve more than 11,000 communities from 50 states, U.S. Territories, Canadian cities and military bases around the world." Read more

NC Mayors Back National ‘Bully’ Effort

The Charlotte Observer, August 3, 2014

"When Mooresville Mayor Miles Atkins recently announced his support for The Mayors Campaign to End Bullying, people in the community began reaching out to help.

Started in June, the campaign has gathered support from more than 170 mayors nationwide through a partnership between the U.S. Conference of Mayors and The Bully Project." Read more

Friday, August 1, 2014

Sticker Shock Brings Awareness To Underage Drinking

WLNS-TV (Jackson, MI) July 31, 2014

"What better way to eliminate underage drinking than to slap a sticker on alcoholic beverages.

For the second year in a row, students with the group 'Most Teens Don’t' teamed up with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office to promote the project called 'Sticker Shock.'

With the help from a grant, middle and high schoolers from Grass Lake want to show adults how dangerous selling alcohol to minors can be." Read more

Thursday, July 31, 2014

How to Talk Your Teenager about Drunk Driving

The News Wheel, July 30, 2014

"Just like so many other topics, finding the right way to talk with your teen about drunk driving can be uncomfortable and difficult. Parents are the key to keeping teen drivers safe, so make sure you are open with your children and let them know you are always available to answer their questions. Use these helpful topics to learn how to talk to your teenager about drunk driving, and get the conversation started.

Underage drinking. Underage drinking is illegal and dangerous, and should be avoided. Begin the conversation by making your position clear on underage drinking, and have a conversation about your expectations and the consequences of getting behind the wheel when drunk." Read more

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

House Passes Bill Aimed at Reducing Prescription Drug Abuse

The Hill, July 29, 2014

"The House on Tuesday passed legislation by voice vote to establish enforcement standards for prescription drug abuse.

Specifically, the measure would amend the Controlled Substances Act to modify the definition of "imminent danger to the public health or safety" so that it applies to drugs that pose present or foreseeable health risks. 

The bill would also allow prescription drug companies registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration to submit a "corrective action plan" before a drug is suspended.

Members of both parties said the legislation would help combat abuse of prescription drugs." Read more

Feds Test How Stoned is Too Stoned to Drive

USA Today, July 27, 2014

"A small group of volunteers spent much of the last year getting drunk and stoned on marijuana furnished by the federal government before getting behind the wheel.

The volunteers were part of what federal scientists say was the most comprehensive study ever conducted on how marijuana, and pot combined with alcohol, affect drivers. The data now being analyzed ultimately will help regulators decide how stoned is too stoned to drive. It's similar to the studies conducted to develop levels for drunken driving. Volunteers were recruited from around Iowa City, home to the University of Iowa's National Advanced Driving Simulator." Read more

FedEx Pleads Not Guilty to Online Pharmacy Charges

CNBC, July 29, 2014

"FedEx on Tuesday pleaded not guilty in a San Francisco court to charges that it conspired to distribute controlled substances from illegal Internet pharmacies.

The shipping company is accused of delivering controlled substances and prescription drugs from illegal Internet pharmacies despite multiple warnings from government authorities, according to a 15-count indictment filed earlier this month. Instead of closing the pharmacies' accounts, FedEx is accused of changing the shipping account classification." Read more

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Rep. Esty Hears Heartbreaking Stories of Opioid Addiction during Litchfield Visit

Register Citizen, July 26, 2014

"Inside Frances Clem’s art studio is a piece of her son’s artwork from high school.

Made from graphite, it shows a young man walking down a street littered with pills and drug bottles toward a courthouse, then back in the streets. Superimposed symbolically over it is a recycle sign.

For Clem, the piece is as haunting as it is poignant. Her 25-year-old son, Christopher, was found dead on a snow-covered South End lawn a decade ago. The autopsy from the state medical examiner revealed he died of exposure, but, for some time, police investigated the death as a possible homicide." Read more


WLS-TV ABC 7 (Chicago, IL) July 27, 2014

"Chicago is receiving $10 million in federal funding to expand youth mentoring and tutoring programs known as Becoming a Man and Match Education. There's also money for research on the effectiveness of these kinds of initiatives.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel says these programs will provide more children with opportunities and an alternative to the streets." Read more

Colts and Indiana A.G. Working to Stop Prescription Drug Abuse

ABC 57 News, July 22, 2014

"The Indianapolis Colts are teaming up with Indiana's Attorney General to prevent prescription drug abuse. The U.S. Center for Disease Control said that Indiana is currently listed as one of the top 10 states for prescribing narcotics.

The state is also ranked 17th in the nation for dying from a drug overdose.

According to the Indiana State Department of Health more than 1,000 Hoosiers died from drug overdoses in 2012, compared to fewer than 500 in 2003." Read more

Friday, July 25, 2014

8 Confirmed Heroin Deaths in Torrington in 2014, More than 150 in Connecticut

Register Citizen, July 24, 2014

"At least 151 people died of opioid overdoses in Connecticut during the first six months of the year, according to the latest available figures from office of the chief medical examiner.

The figures were provided to The Register Citizen Thursday and represent the number of fatal, accidental opioid cases recorded by the office from the first overdose in the state, which occurred on Jan. 2, to June 17, the last confirmed accidental death. An official from the medical examiner’s office said that the numbers were updated in early July and do not include pending toxicology reports.

The figure already is more than half of the total number of fatal overdoses last year." Read more

Thursday, July 24, 2014

FDA Approves New Painkiller from OxyContin Maker

CT Post, July 23, 2014

"The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new combination pain pill from the maker of OxyContin that is designed to discourage abuse by painkiller addicts.

Purdue Pharma's new drug Targiniq ER is an extended release tablet that combines oxycodone — the active ingredient in OxyContin — with the drug naloxone. FDA regulators approved the drug for daily, round-the-clock pain that does not respond to other medications." Read more

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

My Brother's Keeper Takes Next Steps with MENTOR-NBA Partnership

Christian Science Monitor, July 22, 2014

"'If you need to get everyone’s attention, then partner with someone who has a big bullhorn,' says David Shapiro, CEO of MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, after President Barack Obama announced the partnership between MENTOR and the NBA to help inspire more men of color to become mentors.

I’d would say that every organization that relies on mentors to help children of any race just benefited from the call to volunteer that was relayed via the biggest “bullhorn” on the planet, the US presidential podium.

On Monday, the White House announced a partnership between MENTOR and another big voice in the crowd, the National Basketball Association in support of the President’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative to connect boys and young men of color to resources to achieve success." Read more

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

‘Haze’ Screening Presents Dangers of Underage Binge Drinking

Greenwich Post, July 22, 2014

"With June come and gone, Greenwich has big hopes for a new class of high school graduates as they look to the future with unbridled hope. But with that hope comes potential issues that worry parents.

For the majority of Greenwich’s high school graduates, the next step will be a four-year college or university experience, and families have already started preparing their children for that transition. With that comes the freedom of living away from home for the first time and the potential dangers that come with that. Parents worry, as their kids enter the realm of higher education, that they will also be confronted with the dangers of drug abuse and peer pressure." Read more

AT&T Commits $18 Million To Youth Programs With Mentoring At White House Event

MarketWatch, July 21, 2014

"AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson joined President Obama today to commit $18 million to education programs with a youth mentoring component. This funding supports the company's goal of providing youth across the country 1 million hours of mentoring by AT&T employees through the end of 2016.

 'Research shows that the presence of a mentor in a young person's life significantly improves their potential for success. That's why thousands of AT&T employees volunteer to mentor students across the country,' said Randall Stephenson, AT&T Chairman and CEO. 'I am proud to be a part of this initiative with the president.'" Read more

Monday, July 21, 2014

Obama to Report Widening of Initiative for Black and Latino Boys

New York Times, July 20, 2014

"President Obama will announce on Monday that 60 of the nation’s largest school districts are joining his initiative to improve the educational futures of young African-American and Hispanic boys, beginning in preschool and extending through high school graduation.

 The districts, which represent about 40 percent of all African-American and Hispanic boys living below the poverty line, have committed to expand quality preschool access; track data on black and Hispanic boys so educators can intervene as soon as signs of struggle emerge; increase the number of boys of color who take gifted, honors or Advanced Placement courses and exams; work to reduce the number of minority boys who are suspended or expelled; and increase graduation rates among African-American and Hispanic boys." Read more

CVS, Doctors Urge Action on Prescription Drug Abuse

The Hill, July 18, 2014

"A coalition of leading healthcare stakeholders is urging the White House to move forward with a plan to fight prescription drug abuse.

The Alliance to Prevent the Abuse of Medicines, whose members include CVS and the American Medical Association, wrote to the administration's drug czar with praise for his 2014 policy agenda.

'We unequivocally support the position that reducing the incidence of abuse must be done primarily through a public-health approach, rather than through incarceration,' the coalition wrote to Michael Botticelli, acting director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

'A public health focus is necessary to balance the need to curb prescription drug abuse, diversion, overdose and death while simultaneously ensuring that patients have access to the appropriate treatments.'" Read more

Drug Take-Back at Walgreens Saturday

Ridgefield Press, July 18, 2014

"An anonymous drug take-back day organized by the Ridgefield Police Department and Walgreens will allow people to drop off unwanted medications without getting out of their cars Saturday, July 19, from 10 to 2 at the 46 Danbury Road pharmacy.

All medications that are collected as part of this initiative are taken to an incineration facility by Officers of the Ridgefield Police Department for destruction.

'Rates of prescription drug abuse continue to increase at alarming rates in the United States and studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, to include the family medicine cabinet,' organizers said." Read more

Fairfield First Responders to Deploy Anti-Opiate

CT Post, July 18, 2014

"A few days ago, Police Chief Gary MacNamara said, an emergency call to police reported that a Fairfield resident was overdosing on heroin. Luckily, he said, when first responders arrived at the scene, the overdose victim had already started to regain consciousness.

But when that doesn't happen, local police, firefighters and emergency medical technicians will soon be able to dispense naloxone, also known as narcan, to block the effects of opiates and help a victim to breathe again." Read more

Friday, July 18, 2014

Discussion on State’s Liquor Law to be Presented: Owners, Managers of Local Bars and Restaurants are Invited to Attend

Bristol Press, July 17, 2014

"Owners and managers of local bars and restaurants are invited to attend a free, informational session on liquor law at Hawk’s Landing Country Club July 23.

The two-hour session will be from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the club at 201 Pattonwood Drive. It is sponsored by The Southington Police Department in conjunction with the Southington STEPS Coalition, The State of Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection Liquor Control Division, and the Town of Southington.

The STEPS Coalition (Southington’s Town-wide Effort to Promote Success) is an asset based prevention coalition that is following the Search Institute’s '40 Developmental Assets for Adolescents' model, which can be viewed at search-institute.org. According to southingtonsteps.org, the coalition is 'made up of leaders from every sector of the Southington community, all with the same intentions of ensuring our youth grow up to be caring, competent and successful individuals.'" Read more

Roland Williams Launches Mentoring Program for Urban Young Men

WXXI News, July 15, 2014

"East High School alum and Super Bowl Champion Roland Williams is kicking off a new mentoring program here in Rochester for urban young men.

After multiple proposals and negotiations with the city school district to help improve its football program, Williams launched the Champion Academy on Tuesday. The city school district is contributing 34,000 to the program. Williams says he's using some of his own resources to get the initiative off the ground." Read more

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Kids Photography Studio Turns Portraits on their Heads in Anti-Bullying Campaign

Greenwich Time, July 15, 2014

"Persuading your child to trade the cowgirl hat and temporary tattoo stickers for an unwrinkled outfit and a dainty smile and then sit still for a portrait can be a challenge. In some cases, it simply can't be done.

'I have a little boy who comes in here and never takes off his Batman cape,' said Katie Farro, head photographer at Classic Kids Photography. 'He just won't do it, so we work with it. And really we get the best photos that way because he's happy. His mom is going to treasure those photos forever.'" Read more

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Malloy Applauds Bridgeport's Drop In Violent Crime: Governor Hails Efforts To Keep Kids Safer — And 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'

Hartford Courant, July 15, 2014

"Channeling Shakespeare and clearly enjoying a back-and-forth with a crowd of about 40 teenagers, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy visited the Burroughs Community Center Tuesday to celebrate the city's falling rates of violent crime.

Bridgeport's chapter of Project Longevity, city officials said, has reached out to 79 potential offenders between the ages of 17 and 34 — some of them with records of violent crimes — inviting them to group meetings with police officers and other members of the community to talk about the consequences of violent activity and offering to help them find jobs." Read more

A Second Try at Cyberbully Law

Albany Times Union (Albany, NY) July 15, 2014

"County lawmakers have drafted a narrower version of the cyberbullying law struck down by the state's highest court this month.

But the new version has yet to be vetted by County Attorney Thomas Marcelle, whose office was charged with defending the flawed 2010 law that the Court of Appeals ruled violated the First Amendment protection of free speech by reaching 'far beyond the cyberbullying of children.'

The court's chief gripes with the measure, which is intended to protect children from online bullying, were that it was written in a way that applied to both children and adults and so broadly defined the crime that it covered 'every conceivable form of electronic communication' — not just those online." Read more

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids Launches New Prescriber Education Campaign

MarketWatch (New York, NY) July 15, 2014

"The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, a nonprofit dedicated to reducing teen substance abuse and supporting families impacted by addiction, has introduced a new campaign targeting healthcare professionals as part of its Medicine Abuse Project . This education effort, supported by a multi-year grant from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), recognizes the key role healthcare professionals play in prescribing responsibly, communicating the risks of misuse and abuse and identifying and helping patients who may already be misusing or abusing medication.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), enough prescription pain relievers were prescribed in 2010 to medicate every American adult continually for a month. Since 1999, overdose deaths involving prescription painkillers have quadrupled, says a 2013 report from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)." Read more

Monday, July 14, 2014

Mentors Recognized for Supporting, Encouraging Local Students

Stratford Star, July 10, 2014

"Seventy-seven members of the community volunteered as mentors for a student in the Stratford Public Schools during this past year, and they were recognized at the Board of Education’s monthly meeting June 21.

This year’s group brings to 355 the total number of mentors who have helped more than 500 students since the school-based program began here.

Diane Christiano, coordinator of career and technology education, describes the program, which runs in each Stratford public school, as arranging a structured relationship between a caring adult who listens attentively and a student who would benefit from positive support and encouragement from an adult role model." Read more

Norwalk Police Install New Prescription Drug Drop Box

The Hour, July 12, 2014

"The Norwalk Police Department is giving residents a new way to dispose of their unwanted or expired prescription drugs yearround in an effort to combat prescription drug abuse.

A prescription drug drop box had been installed in the lobby of police headquarters, 1 Monroe St., so that residents can safely and effectively dispose of the medications and possibly keep them out of the wrong hands. The installation of the drug drop box was made possible by a grant from the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators." Read more

Friday, July 11, 2014

Two Watertown Students Arrested After Instagram Harassment

Hartford Courant, July 9, 2014

"Police have charged two high school students after an investigation into an Instagram page that targeted other students with harassing comments.

Detective Mark Conway said that there were two victims and most of the comments on the photo- and video-sharing social network were directed at the victims' appearance or other characteristics. None of the comments were related to race or sexual orientation, he said.

'We take all complaints of bullying, threatening and harassment seriously. Unfortunately, it seems that each year, students are being arrested for this type of crime,' Deputy Chief R.J. Desena said in a statement." Read more

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Obama Drug Strategy Aims to Change How Americans See Drug Abuse

Christian Science Monitor, July 9, 2014

"When Michael Botticelli, President Obama’s acting 'drug czar,' unveiled the administration’s annual drug control strategy on Wednesday morning, he emphasized that 'we cannot arrest or incarcerate our way out of the drug problem.'

And he introduced the document in very personal terms. 'I’m also a person in long-term recovery from substance-abuse disorders,' said Mr. Botticelli, the acting director of national drug control policy. 'I’m speaking about my recovery because for too long the stigma associated with the disease of addiction has quieted too many of our fellow Americans who have struggled with this disease.'" Read more

School Based Health Centers Combat Dangerous Teen Behaviors

It's Relevant Greenwich, July 8, 2014

"'At the middle school level we start to see a lot of bullying and it actually starts to manifest itself in different forms of self injury, self harm and even worse sometimes,' said Madeline Chaffee, a health educator for Family Centers' School Based Health Centers.

According to a recent survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Connecticut teens are more likely to be bullied at school. Even though school is out for the summer, Family Centers School Based Health Centers can be a resource for many teens and their families." Read more

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Teens Act to Reduce Youth Access to Drugs and Alcohol

Seacoast Online (York, Maine) July 8, 2014

"The Choose To Be Healthy Coalition [YOU]th on July 3 launched a sticker shock project targeting adults in southern York County, according to Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist Devin Rowe.

The sticker shock project raises public awareness about underage drinking laws through bright orange stickers placed on multi-packs of beer, wine coolers and other alcohol products that appeal to underage drinkers, according to Rowe." Read more

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Police to Get Awards for Newtown Response

NewsTimes (Danbury, CT) July 8, 2014

" Connecticut State Police will be honoring officers who responded to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown. 

An awards ceremony is scheduled for Tuesday at Rentschler Field in East Hartford.

Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner Dora Schriro and state police Col. Brian Meraviglia will present medals to officers who responded to the killings of 20 children and six adults at the school in December 2012. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman also are expected to attend." Read more