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