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 According to, 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

The States with the Worst Prescription Painkiller Problem

CBS News, July 1, 2014

"Doctors in some states seem to wield a freer hand issuing prescriptions for powerful narcotic medications, leading to wide variations in narcotic drug use among states, U.S. health officials reported Tuesday. 

Physicians in Alabama -- the state with the highest number of narcotic painkiller prescriptions -- issued nearly three times as many of those prescriptions as doctors in Hawaii -- the lowest prescribing state, according to researchers with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

'The bottom line is we're not seeing consistent, effective, appropriate prescribing of painkillers across the nation, and this is a problem because of the deaths that result,' Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, said at a news conference." Read more

Monday, July 7, 2014

Litchfield Mentoring Program to Hold Workshop this Summer

Register Citizen, July 2, 2014

"The Student Compass, a program with the goal of preparing kids for college and a career after college, is offering a college search and application workshop this summer.

Jake Horne, a Harvard graduate, Litchfield resident and founder of the effort, will cover topics such as looking at student goals, admissions requirements for colleges, comparing colleges, application process, and time management.

The workshop is open to students of any school who will be entering their junior or senior year in the fall. There are no dates set for the workshop yet, however, Horne said he can do as many sessions as necessary to accommodate the demand. The workshop will be two hours long and cost $25, which will be donated to the Litchfield Community Center, where the workshop will be held." Read more

Law Adds to Bullying Legislation

Citizen's News (Hartford, CT) July 4, 2014

"A new bill that changes how schools respond to bullies was signed into law during a ceremony June 11.

By law, each local and regional board of education must develop and implement a safe school climate plan to address bullying in its schools. Under prior law, the plan required a school to invite the parents of a student who commits a verified act of bullying and parents of the victim to a meeting to discuss the measures the school is taking, according to a press release." Read more

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Torrington Police Officers to be Recognized for Helping Save Heroin Overdose Victim

Register Citizen (Torrington, CT) July 2, 2014

"His mother found him in the bathroom.

He had been brushing his teeth, but moments later, he was kneeling over, slouching, reaching out for something he couldn’t grasp.

'He kept like, gulping. Like he was trying to gulp air, like he was trying to breathe,' the mother said. 

The 34-year-old man was soon on the bathroom floor, unconscious. After smacking her son’s face a few times, telling him to wake up, she screamed to his fiancĂ© to call 911." Read more

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Prescription Overdose Deaths in Florida Plunge After Tougher Measures, Report Says

New York Times, July 1, 2014

"Prescription drug overdose deaths in Florida fell sharply after the state began strengthening its prescribing laws and stepping up enforcement. Federal researchers said Tuesday that it was the first significant documented decline in the nation since the epidemic of prescription drug abuse took hold more than a decade ago.

The death rate from prescription drug overdoses in Florida fell by 23 percent from 2010 to 2012, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and by more than half in the same period for oxycodone, one of the most widely abused drugs and one that has been at the heart of the health crisis." Read more

Ameritox Sponsors Youth Basketball Camps Focused on Drug Abuse Prevention

ABC 27 (Baltimore, MD) June 30, 2014

"Ameritox(SM), the nation's leader in medication monitoring solutions, will sponsor of a series of summer basketball camps organized by Kentucky-based Operation UNITE. The camps will focus on teaching youth the dangers of drug use, the value of self-respect within the framework of basketball skill instruction. 

Operation UNITE, created by Kentucky Congressman Hal Rogers in 2003 to join government, law enforcement, and businesses together in fighting Kentucky's rampant drug abuse, launched its annual "Shoot Hoops, Not Drugs" basketball camps last year. The camps were created to instill strong deterrents for drug abuse in school-aged children, the demographic most likely to become drug misusers and abusers. The camps' messages build confidence and a sense of the importance of teamwork." Read more

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Report Shows Drop in Madison High Schoolers Using Alcohol, Marijuana, Tobacco

New Haven Register (Madison, CT) June 30, 2014

"The number of high school students in town using alcohol, marijuana and tobacco dropped last year, according to statistics presented to the Board of Selectmen, continuing a trend that officials say has occurred in part because of the work of the Madison Alcohol and Drug Education Coalition.

The coalition — known as MADE — works to prevent high-risk behaviors by teenagers and last week presented the 2013 survey results, which indicate that past 30-day use of alcohol, marijuana and tobacco by high school students dropped to a level below the state and national averages. The survey, which high school students participate in every two years, has shown an overall drop in past 30-day use of each substance by Madison students since it was first administered in 2009." Read more

TD Garden Illnesses Tied to Molly Use

Boston Globe, June 26, 2014

"Boston Police said Thursday that a dangerously pure form of the drug ecstasy, known as Molly, appeared to be a factor in the mass illnesses the night before at TD Garden, where more than 80 young people attending an electronic dance music concert became sick, with nearly half treated at local hospitals.

'The word I’m getting from our drug people, they believe that it was a lot of voluntary ingestion of Molly,' said Boston Police spokesman Sergeant Michael McCarthy.

He said that while he did not know what was in their systems, some of the young people were showing signs of Molly overdose, which include racing pulse, chest pains, shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting. Alcohol also was a factor in some of the illnesses, police said." Read more