Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Use of ecstasy, heroin, synthetic marijuana, alcohol, cigarettes declined among US teens in 2015

Michigan News | University of Michigan, December 16, 2015

"The results from the latest national survey in the Monitoring the Future series on use of licit and illicit drugs by American teenagers show that some important improvements are taking place.

The use of both alcohol and cigarettes reached their lowest points since the study began in 1975. Use of several particularly dangerous illicit drugs—including MDMA (ecstasy, Molly), heroin, amphetamines and synthetic marijuana—also showed a decline this year. Marijuana use, however, remained level.

Monitoring the Future tracks trends in substance use by surveying over 40,000 8th­, 10th­ and 12th­grade students each year located in about 400 public and private secondary schools across the contiguous 48 states. Now in its 41st year, MTF is conducted by a team of research professors at the University of Michigan and is sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse." Read more

For additional resources to speak with youth on the dangers of substance abuse, click here

Friday, December 18, 2015

Drinking and Driving Becoming Less Common Among Teens and Young Adults

Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, December 15, 2015

"The number of teens and young adults who drive under the influence of alcohol or a combination of alcohol and marijuana is declining, a new study finds.

Self-reported driving under the influence of alcohol declined by 59 percent among those ages 16 to 20 between 2002 to 2014, HealthDay reports. Among young adults ages 21 to 25, the rate dropped by 38 percent.

Driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana dropped by 39 percent in both age groups, according to the study, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There was little decrease in the number of young adults who said they drove under the influence of marijuana alone." Read more

For additional resources to speak with youth about the dangers of underage drinking and substance abuse, click here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A New Direction On Drugs

60 Minutes, December 13, 2015

"Top drug official Michael Botticelli says the old war on drugs is all wrong, and wants to refocus the country's drug policy

After forty years and a trillion dollars, the nation has little to show for its war on drugs. Prisons are beyond crowded and there's a new outbreak in the heroin epidemic. If it's time for a change, it would be hard to find a leader more different than Michael Botticelli. The president's new Director of National Drug Control Policy isn't a cop. He's lucky he didn't go to jail himself. And we knew that things had changed the first time we used the nickname that comes with his job, the 'drug czar.'

Michael Botticelli: It's actually a title that I don't like.

Scott Pelley: Why?

Michael Botticelli: Because I think it connotes this old "war on drugs" focus to the work that we do. It portrays that we are clinging to kind of failed policies and failed practices in the past.

Scott Pelley: Are you saying that the way we have waged the war on drugs for more than 40 years has been all wrong?" Read more

For resources to speak with youth about the dangers of drug abuse, click here.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

9 Tips for Talking With Kids About Alcohol

Make it Better Magazine, November 30, 2015

"When it comes to kids and alcohol, the news is mixed.

The bad news is that 66 percent of kids have consumed more than just a few sips of alcohol by the end of high school, and over a quarter have done so by eighth grade, according to a clinical report by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published in September.

The good news is that number represents a decline in the number of kids drinking, and research shows that kids are less likely to drink if a parent has spoken with them about not doing so." Read more

For additional resources to speak with youth about the dangers of underage drinking, click here.

Friday, December 4, 2015

High-Potency Marijuana May Damage Nerve Fibers in Brain, Study Suggests

Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, December 3, 2015

"A new study suggests smoking high-potency marijuana may cause damage to nerve fibers responsible for communication between the brain’s two hemispheres.

The study included MRI scans of 99 people, including some who were diagnosed with psychosis, HealthDay reports. The researchers found an association between frequent use of high-potency marijuana and damage to the corpus callosum, which is responsible for communication between the brain’s left and right hemispheres.

The corpus callosum is especially rich in cannabinoid receptors. THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, acts on these receptors." Read more

For more information to speak with youth about the dangers of substance abuse, click here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Meth Awareness Week Kicks Off November 30

NEW YORK- November 18, 2015

"National Meth Awareness Week will be observed Monday, November 30 through Friday, December 4, in an effort to combat the abuse and use of methamphetamine. Meth Awareness Week is coordinated by The Meth Project, a large-scale, teen-targeted prevention program of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, which aims to significantly reduce meth use through public service messaging, public policy and community outreach. The week will kick off with a digital media campaign and social content that ask teens to get involved and take action.

This year’s theme, 'Raise the Volume,' encourages participants to get involved within their communities to help amplify the message of choosing life over meth. With participation from state partners including Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, the awareness campaign will launch with various local events and enhanced digital media support." Read more

For resources to speak with youth about the dangers of substance abuse, click here

Friday, November 20, 2015

Resource for mentors and parents about how to explain terror to children and adolescents

The Chronicles of Evidence Based Mentoring, November 18, 2015

"The attacks in Paris raise difficult questions for mentors. Should mentors, teachers, and other caring adults shelter young people from stories and explanations, and shift conversation elsewhere. Although this might be a good idea in some instances, there may be situations when it’s helpful to talk through difficult topics with mentees. Particularly when young people are eager to discuss and understand, events such as this, when handled well, provide mentors, teachers, and other caring adults with profound “teachable moments.” As this powerful New York Times video points out, the best way to start is to respond to the young people’s questions in a clear, compassionate manner that they can understand.

Of course, discussing politics, religion, and world events can be difficult, particularly when there are competing ideas about what is best for our country – ideas that are rooted in differing values, culture, and worldview? Promoting the welfare of a young person does, in many cases, require that mentors build rapport not only with mentees, but also with the mentees’ primary caregivers so that they may develop an understanding of the family’s circumstances, belief systems, and expectations. If mentors lack such sensitivity they can misuse their power with heavy-handed persuasion. Power differentials inherent in the ages and roles of adults and youth can widen when there are also differences in class and cultural backgrounds. Mentors may not even be aware of the social inequities driving these differentials or how these can play out in interpersonal relationships (Fisher, 1997). Mentors may express beliefs or opinions that are at odds with the experiences, values, and beliefs of their mentees, creating conflict for the young person. They should thus strive to refrain from religious or political proselytizing, raise their own awareness of power dynamics in cross-age and cross-cultural relationships, and seek consultation from mentoring programs to effectively negotiate these differentials. Training can be critical to the success of mentoring relationships. Moreover, programs can improve efforts to reach volunteer mentors with backgrounds more similar to the youth being served (Liang & Grossman, 2007)." Read more

Holiday Help for Parents

By Jacqueline Longo, Program Coordinator, Youth Leadership
The Governor’s Prevention Partnership, November 20, 2015

"The holiday season can pose a greater increase in underage drinking and other risky behaviors such as alcohol impaired driving and illegal drug use by our youth. Below are some tips to keep our youth safe during this festive time of the year. For additional material and for our full version of  'A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Underage Drinking' please visit The Governor’s Prevention Partnership website at

Make time to talk.
While the holiday season is a time for young people to meet up with old friends, it is also a time to connect with family. Talk to your teen about the risks of underage drinking and drug use, while encouraging him or her to spend quality time with both family and friends.

Don’t relax your rules just because it’s the holiday season.
Although it is the holiday season and most youth will have a break from school and after school activities, teen’s still need limits and close monitoring. Expectations may need to be re-negotiated or reiterated for college students returning home." Read more

For more resources on talking with youth about prevention of underage drinking and substance abuse,click here.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

60 Minutes Story Highlights Heroin Epidemic in Suburban Communities

CBS, November 1, 2015

On Sunday, 60 Minutes ran a story about the heroin epidemic, as it increasingly spreads to suburban communities across the country. All of the young people profiled in the story became addicted to heroin after abusing prescription drugs – some starting with painkillers prescribed following an injury, others were misusing them recreationally. This piece brings attention to the fact that heroin is inexpensive and available in all of our communities, and a problem that has the potential to impact any young person.

Federal and local authorities all over the country say it's the biggest drug epidemic today. Not methamphetamines or cocaine, but heroin.

You might think of heroin as primarily an inner-city problem. But dealers, connected to Mexican drug cartels, are making huge profits by expanding to new, lucrative markets: suburbs all across the country. It's basic economics. The dealers are going where the money is and they're cultivating a new set of consumers: high school students, college athletes, teachers and professionals.

Heroin is showing up everywhere -- in places like Columbus, Ohio . The area has long been viewed as so typically Middle American that, for years, many companies have gone there to test new products. We went to the Columbus suburbs to see how heroin is taking hold in the heartland. Read more

For resources to talk to youth about the dangers of substance abuse, click here

and Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Heroin’s Low Cost and Easy Access Attract People Addicted to Painkillers: Study

Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, October 29, 2015

"A study of people addicted to painkillers who began using heroin confirms that many of them were drawn to heroin’s low cost and wide availability.

Researchers surveyed 15,000 people being treated for drug addiction, and conducted in-depth interviews with 267 of them. They found almost half of those interviewed were addicted to opioid painkillers such as OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet before using heroin, HealthDay reports.

Three-fourths of those interviewed said they tried heroin because of its lower cost and greater availability." Read more

For resources to talk to youth about the dangers of substance abuse, click here

Friday, October 30, 2015

Human Rights Campaign Foundation and Partnership for Drug-Free Kids Join Forces to Prevent LGBTQ Teen Substance Abuse

Partnership for Drug Free Kids, October 28, 2015

"The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation and Partnership for Drug-Free Kids today released Preventing Substance Abuse Among LGBTQ Teens, an issue brief focusing on helping parents, educators and other youth-serving professionals understand the unique challenges – including bullying and family rejection – faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) youth that contribute to their heightened rates of substance abuse.

The issue brief is the first product of a new collaboration between HRC Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest LGBTQ advocacy organization, and Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, a national nonprofit working to reduce substance abuse among adolescents. The two organizations are working together to develop content and materials for LGBTQ teens, as well as their parents and families. The resources are designed to promote understanding and provide practical guidance on protecting LGBTQ youth, along with reducing their risk of drug and alcohol abuse through better family support, safer schools and more caring adults in communities." Read more

For resources to talk to youth about the dangers of substance abuse, click here

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Teens prescribed opioids more likely to abuse drugs as adults, U-M study shows, October 27, 2015

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved the use of OxyContin for kids between the ages of 11 and 16, but a new University of Michigan study shows that legal prescription opioid use by high school students leads to a greater likelihood of drug abuse when the teens become adults.

According to the U-M study, high schoolers who use prescription opioids like OxyContin, Vicodin and other pain relievers are 33 percent more likely to abuse the drug by the age of 23.

'Most likely, the initial experience of pain relief is pleasurable, and this safe experience may reduce perceived danger,' Richard Miech, the lead author of the study and a research professor at the U-M Institute for Social Research, said in a press release." Read more

For resources to talk to your child about the dangers of prescription drug abuse, click here

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Five Tips for Parents to Prevent Drinking in College

SAMHSA, September 25, 2015

"The transition from high school to college is a big shift – and parents provide essential guidance and information to keep their young adults safe and healthy. Although a student may be open to discussing class selection, living arrangements, and schedules, having a conversation about parties and drinking isn’t as easy. For that reason, SAMHSA has developed some tools for parents to have that conversation – including one that addresses the dangers of underage drinking in college and can help young adults make informed and smart choices.

SAMHSA’s 'Talking With Your College-Bound Young Adult About Alcohol' parent guide and accompanying video called 'The Sound of Your Voice' provide approaches and tips for starting that important dialogue.

The resources highlight five tips to having an open conversation about alcohol with young adults:" Read more

For resources to talk to youth about the dangers of underage drinking, click here

Monday, October 26, 2015

JAMA article highlights trends of nonmedical prescription opioid use and use disorders

SAMHSA, October 13, 2015

"Today the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published an article which indicates that while the percentage of nonmedical use of prescription opioids has decreased, the prevalence of prescription opioid use disorders, high-frequency use, and related mortality increased among adults aged 18-64 in the United States.

The article is based on analysis conducted by researchers at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The article shows that nonmedical use of prescription opioids among people aged 18 to 64 decreased from 5.4 percent in 2003 to 4.9 percent in 2013. However, the article shows that there have been increases in the following problems among adults aged 18-64 over the year:

  • Prevalence of prescription opioid use disorders (dependence or abuse) increased from 0.6 percent in 2003 to 0.9 percent in 2013.
  • Prevalence of high frequency use (200 days or more) increased from 0.3 percent in 2003 to 0.4 percent in 2013.
  • The mean number of days of nonmedical use of prescription opioids increased from 2.1 days in 2003 to 2.6 days in 2013.
  • Drug overdose death rates involving prescription opioids increased from 4.5 deaths per 100,000 people in 2003 to 7.8 per 100,000 people in 2013." Read more

For resources to talk to your child about the dangers of prescription drug abuse, click here

Friday, October 23, 2015

Excessive drinking is draining America’s economy

CBS News, October 16, 2015

"The astronomical costs associated with heavy alcohol use are taking a major toll on the U.S. economy, according to a new report from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

The study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, found that excessive drinking cost the U.S. $249 billion in 2010, a significant increase from the $223.5 billion reported in 2006. Over $100 billion of these costs were paid by the government.

'The increase in the costs of excessive drinking from 2006 to 2010 is concerning, particularly given the severe economic recession that occurred during these years,' Dr. Robert Brewer, head of CDC's Alcohol Program and one of the study's authors, said in a statement. 'Effective prevention strategies can reduce excessive drinking and related costs in states and communities, but they are under used.'" Read more

For resources to talk to your child about the dangers of underage drinking, click here

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids Responds to White House Plan to Address Prescription Drug Abuse and Heroin

The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, October 21, 2015

"The White House has announced today that President Obama will host a community forum in Charleston, West Virginia on the prescription drug abuse and heroin epidemic in that state and in communities across the country. The President will announce a plan to help curb the flow of prescription painkillers and ease the path to treatment for individuals struggling with opioid addiction.

The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, a national nonprofit working to reduce substance abuse among adolescents, has been integrally involved in development of the White House plan, and particularly in today’s launch of Safe Drug Disposal: A Guide for Communities Seeking Solutions. This new PDF created by the Partnership, in collaboration with Office of Community Oriented Policing Solutions (COPS), Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), will help communities take steps to safely dispose of medicines, protecting their citizens from accidental use, intentional abuse and environmental damage.

One of the key elements of the White House plan is broad-based support from media to bring awareness to this epidemic. Many of the Partnership’s longtime media partners are committing more than $20 million in time and space to this national effort. They include ABC-owned TV Stations, CBS Television Network, CafeMedia, Google, Meredith, The New York Times and Turner Broadcasting." Read more

For resources to talk to your child about the dangers of prescription drug abuse, click here

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Addiction to prescription drugs on increase in Connecticut, officials say

The Bulletin (Norwich), October 17, 2015

"Recovery from drug abuse is a long and hard road that requires acceptance of your past, recovering prescription drug addict Anthony Recck, of Willimantic, said.

Recck, 51, became addicted to prescription drugs in his 20s, after a series of knee surgeries. Once his prescription for Oxycontin ran out, he moved on to cocaine and later heroin.

'Once I had the taste it was a downward spiral,' Recck said.

After a divorce, losing his mother on Christmas Day and not being able to see his children, Recck’s addiction became a constant in his life." Read more

For resources to talk to your child about the dangers of prescription drug abuse, click here

Monday, October 12, 2015

Alcohol can rewire the teenage brain, October 5, 2015

"Alcohol is a drug. And every day, more than 4,750 American kids aged 15 and younger take their first full drink of this drug. That’s according to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA. And the problem is not just that this consumption is illegal. Kids who start drinking before age 15 also are five times more likely to become alcoholics or abuse alcohol than are people who wait until adulthood for their first sip. Another big problem for kids who experiment with this drug is that they are more likely than adults are to consume too much alcohol over a short period of time. This is known as binge drinking.

What few people realize is that binge drinking poses many risks that go well beyond getting drunk and acting irresponsibly. That’s why an organization of doctors has just issued a new report laying out those risks. It appeared in the August 30 issue of Pediatrics.

Lorena Siqueira is a pediatrician at Florida International University and Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami. She studies teen alcohol use and helped write the new Pediatrics report. 'When kids drink, they tend to do heavy drinking,' she notes. Unfortunately, she adds, 'Their bodies are not ready to handle that kind of alcohol.'

Teens are most likely to binge drink." Read more

For resources to talk to your child about the dangers of underage drinking, click here

Thursday, October 8, 2015

October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month Blog, October 5, 2015

This month, across the world, from New York to New Zealand, thousands of schools, communities, organizations, and individuals will come together to release new resources, campaigns, and efforts aimed at raising awareness for bullying prevention. Nearly a decade old, Bullying Prevention Awareness month was initiated by PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center in October 2006. Since it began, the event has grown to an entire month of education and awareness activities, and is being recognized by schools and communities throughout the world. PACER recognized that students, parents, and people around the world need to become more aware of the serious consequences of bullying.

“National Bullying Prevention Month has grown more than we could have ever expected,” said Paula Goldberg, PACER’s executive director. “In less than 10 years, PACER has helped to create a bullying prevention movement with millions of individuals across the globe.”

PACER developed National Bullying Prevention Month to raise awareness and also to change the culture around bullying, which was historically considered a childhood rite of passage. “We know that bullying can lead to school avoidance, decreased self-esteem, depression, and even self-harm,” said Julie Hertzog, director of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. “Bullying intervention and prevention is something in which everyone can play an important role. Read more

For tips and resources to talk to your child about preventing bullying, visit our Resource Center here

Friday, September 25, 2015

October is National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month: Participate in the CADCA 50 Challenge!

CADCA, September 22, 2015

Did you know that one in 25 youth ages 12 through 17 has abused cough medicine to get high from its dextromethorphan ingredient, and one in 5 young adults has abused a prescription drug? Help raise awareness of the dangers of prescription (Rx) drug abuse and over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicine abuse during National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month in October, and take part in the CADCA 50 Challenge.

Through the CADCA 50 Challenge, we’re asking you to host a town hall meeting or another type of educational event about BOTH prescription drug abuse and OTC cough medicine abuse in your community during National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month in October. One coalition will even be named CADCA’s Dose of Prevention Award winner and receive this honor at the National Leadership Forum in February in Washington, D.C. read more

For resources to talk to your teen about the dangers of substance abuse, click here

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Prescription Drug Take Back Day – Saturday, September 26

By Kristen Granatek, Senior Program Manager, Prevention Services

"The Governor’s Prevention Partnership is partnering with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection to promote National Prescription Drug Take Back on Saturday, September 26, 2015. This annual event sponsored by the DEA is an opportunity to dispose of unused or leftover prescription drugs in a safe manner.

More than 50 communities across the state are sponsoring prescription drug drop off sites which will be open from 10-2 on September 26. Any quantity of prescription drugs can be disposed anonymously, no questions asked and free of charge.

Click here for a list of communities participating in the DEA National Prescription Take Back on September 26:

The DEA is only able to accept pills and patches – no liquids, needles or sharps may be disposed of at collection sites."

For specific information on permanent drop boxes, including locations and the types of medication that may be dropped off, check the website of the Department of Consumer Protection

For additional information for prevention professionals, Prevention professionals may use the DEA’s resources to promote the National Prescription Drug Take Back, found here.

For parents and concerned adults, visit The Partnership’s parent resource area by clicking here.

To contact Kristen Granatek, email her at or call 860.523.8040 x 53.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Governor’s Prevention Partnership Congratulates CT’s New Drug Free Communities Grantees

By Kristen Granatek, Senior Program Manager of Prevention Services

"Last week, the Office of National Drug Control Policy announced new and renewed Drug Free Communities (DFC) Grantees, including 4 new Drug Free Communities in CT. Bethel, Milford, Wolcott and New London join 16 other communities from around the state with DFC grant funds to involve and engage their local community to prevent substance use among youth.

The Drug-Free Communities Support Program, created by the Drug-Free Communities Act of 1997, supports community wide efforts to prevent youth substance use. CT’s 20 DFC communities receive grants of $125,000 per year for up to 5 years to facilitate youth and adult participation in local youth drug use prevention efforts.
DFCs address issues such as underage drinking; tobacco use; and marijuana and prescription drug abuse on a local level. Each DFC forms a coalition of community leaders, parents, teachers, religious organizations, healthcare professionals, law enforcement and youth to create solutions that work for the specific needs of their community.

The Governor’s Prevention Partnership applauds the state’s Drug Free Communities Grantees on the positive impact they are having on the lives of youth in their communities."

Additional information on the Drug Free Communities Support Program can be found here

For more on The Governor’s Prevention Partnership’s work to prevent youth substance abuse, go here.

Monday, September 14, 2015

2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health Finds Marijuana Use Continuing to Rise Among Youth

CADCA, September 10, 2015

"The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) report shows progress in reducing some forms of substance use – especially among teens. Substance use levels in many areas, however have remained relatively constant.

SAMHSA issued its 2014 NSDUH report on mental and substance use disorders as part of the kick off for the 26th annual observance of National Recovery Month.

The report found some areas of progress, particularly among teens. For example, the percentage of adolescents aged 12 to 17 who were current (past month) tobacco users declined by roughly half from 15.2 percent in 2002 to 7.0 percent in 2014. Similarly, the level of adolescents engaged in past month illegal alcohol use dropped from 17.6 percent to 11.5 percent over the same period. The level of current nonmedical users of prescription pain relievers decreased from 3.2 percent in 2002 to 1.9 percent in 2014 among adolescents aged 12 to 17." Read more

For resources to talk to your child about the dangers of substance abuse, click here

Thursday, September 10, 2015

High School Kids Use E-Cigarettes to Smoke Cannabis: Study

NBC News, September 7, 2015

"High school students have found a creative new use for e-cigarettes, researchers reported Monday. They're a low-profile way to smoke cannabis.

The battery-powered devices let students sneak cannabis, and they might also be delivering a very powerful dose of the drug, the researchers report in the journal Pediatrics.

'This is a relatively novel way of using marijuana, and kids are using it at a fairly high rate,' said Meghan Morean, an assistant professor of psychology at Oberlin College in Ohio, who conducted the research at Yale University.

'The smell of vaping marijuana isn't as strong as smoking it, plus the similarity in appearance of hash oil and nicotine solutions make this a really inconspicuous way of using marijuana,' Morean said in a statement. Read more

For resources to talk to your child about the dangers of substance abuse, click here:

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

College Students Smoking More Pot than Cigarettes, Study Finds

CADCA Resources

"The University of Michigan this week released some data highlighting drug use by American college students in 2014.

Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey data shows that daily marijuana use by college students increased from 3.5 percent in 2007 to 5.9 percent in 2014 and surpassed daily cigarette smoking for the first time in 2014.

Daily or near daily use is defined as 20 or more times in the past 30 days. Past month and past year use of marijuana also increased (21 percent and 34 percent respectively in 2014) while the percentage of all 19-22 year old high school graduates who view regular marijuana as dangerous decreased from 55 percent in 2006 to 35 percent in 2014." Read more

For resources to talk to your child about the dangers of substance abuse, click here:

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Bullied New Milford Teen Inspires Fans to '#BeBrave'

Hartford Courant, August 30, 2015

"There are 393 comments on Ally Del Monte's blog post 'A Princess at Any Size' on the Huffington Post. Her readers have a lot to say.

'You are so strong and I believe that you will inspire others to be brave as well,' one fan gushes on Ally's personal blog,

'Moved to tears, you eloquently redefine what it means to be a 'princess' inside and out with beauty, power and inspiration! I hope this gets read by as many who need to hear its message as possible,' says another, ending her message with a heart." Read more

For resources to talk to your child about bullying, click here:

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Know the warning signs of bullying

Idaho Statesman, August 30, 2015

"For many children, the start of a new school year can be very stressful, especially if they’ve been victims of bullying in the past. Mayo Clinic Children’s Center psychologist Dr. Bridget Biggs says parents and caregivers should know the warning signs. 'If your child is reluctant to go to school, stressed after spending time online or avoids social situations, he or she may be being bullied.' Dr. Biggs points out that the consequences of bullying can be serious.
Victims are at increased risk of depression, anxiety, sleep problems, self-harm, poor grades and, in rare cases, suicide.

Biggs has tips for parents and caregivers on how to help children who are victims of bullying." Read More

For resources to talk to your child about bullying, click here:

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Empty Plate: Kids Are Being Bullied to Skip Lunch at School

Whether because of pressure to be thin or more direct targeting, some students go hungry.

US News & World Report, August 24, 2015

"Anti-bullying curriculum has created a generation of kids who are much more aware of overt, classic bullying. However, bullying and peer pressure take many forms, and at times can be very difficult to spot. One alarming trend happening in some school cafeterias is kids facing pressure to not eat lunch, or to eat much less than they actually want.

This troubling practice is becoming more common, according to Dana Thompson, a registered dietitian who works with families through her diabetes practice in Glendale, Arizona. 'One of the things that is being reported is the significant amount of peer pressure exerted by certain girls to not eat lunch,' she says. 'Girls are avoiding eating or throwing out their lunch for fear of rejection by cliques.'

Thompson explains this is an act of bullying because it appears to be pressure applied purposefully – that is, the victim is targeted with dirty looks if she eats her lunch or indirect statements intended to make her feel ashamed about how much she eats. Read more

For tips and resources to talk to your child about preventing bullying, visit our Resource Center here

Monday, August 31, 2015

First-of-a-kind study shows college students often start using substances during summer

However, winter is the peak time for college students to start the non-medical use of certain prescription drugs

SAMHSA, Thursday, August 27, 2015

"A study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for the first time provides insight on substance use initiation patterns among the one in every five full-time college students (aged 18 to 22) using illicit or potentially harmful substances. The study, which tracks initiation by month, shows the peak times for the initiation of substances including alcohol, marijuana, and inhalants.

For example, combined 2002 to 2013 data from SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health find that 383,000 full-time college students used marijuana for the first time in the past year – which averages out to about 1,000 new marijuana users each day. However, in June the level peaks at about 1,500 full-time college student marijuana initiates a day.

Similarly, 450,000 underage full-time college students (aged 18 to 20) started drinking in the past year – about 1,200 a day on average throughout the year. Underage drinking initiation peaks among full-time college students in June with an average of 1,883 underage college students starting to drink each day." Read more

For resources to talk to your child about the dangers of alcohol and substance abuse, click here

Friday, August 28, 2015

Forming a bond

New mentoring program proposed to benefit high school pupils

Rocky Hill Life, August 2015

"Sometimes a teenager can benefit from forming a friendship with a caring adult who is not a parent or other family member. A bond is created that provides advice, life experiences and more, without any judgment.

That’s why the Rocky Hill Chamber of Commerce has begun the process of establishing a mentoring program at Rocky Hill High School. A committee led by Shane Dugan of Nutmeg State Federal Credit Union began meeting several months ago and the hope is to launch the program as soon as the new academic year begins at the end of August.

Stephanie Malkin is entering her 12th year as the school psychologist at Rocky Hill High School. She will coordinate matters with the chamber." Read more

For more information on Mentoring, click here

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

When Back-to-School Means Back to Being Scared for Kids With Disabilities

The Blog (Huff Post), August 11, 2015

"Typically going back to school means seeing old friends and making new connections, and while most kids are nervous about going back to school, some kids are actually terrified.

Research suggests that between 150,000-200,000 students are bullied in our schools every day. Many school systems have even added hotlines and 'Student Resource Officers' (SRO's) who can help identify and prevent bullying. Still bullying happens, and statistics show that students with disabilities are more at risk. In fact, anyone who looks different, acts different, or believes something different from whatever is the local cultural norm is a target.

Not only do students with disabilities sometimes look different from non-disabled peers, but students with certain disabilities like dyslexia or dysgraphia also learn differently, and students who learn differently often receive additional resources or extra help which can bring unwanted attention from potential bullies." Read More

The Governor’s Prevention Partnership’s All Abilities Alliance program supports youth with disabilities who may be bullied in school. To learn more about how it may be implemented in your community, click here

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The heroin epidemic’s toll: One county, 70 minutes, eight overdoses

The Washington Post, August 23, 2015

"The first call came at 7:33 p.m. last Sunday: Two people had overdosed on heroin in a home just a few hundred yards from the station where firefighters were awaiting their nightly round of drug emergencies.

Six minutes later, there was another. A 50-year-old man had been found in his bedroom, blue from lack of oxygen, empty bags of heroin by his body.

At 8:11, a third call. Then another, and another, and another and another." Read more

For resources to talk to your teen about the dangers of substance abuse, click here.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Back-to-School Survival Guide for Parents

PARENT BLOG | By Julie, August 17, 2015

"Getting ready for the upcoming school year isn’t all about notebooks, brand-new clothes and lunchboxes. It’s also about preparing your child for a new transition and laying the foundation for good communication.

Questions about drugs and alcohol will inevitably come up during the school year as your son or daughter meets different friends, encounters unfamiliar social situations and is exposed to pop culture and media.

To help parents, the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids has assembled this virtual backpack. Not only will it better equip your child during this transition, it’s filled with tips and tools for talking, listening and improving your overall communication so that when your child has questions about drugs and alcohol, you will be the one he or she turns to." Read more

For resources to talk to your child about the dangers of underage drinking and substance abuse, click here.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Rash of Local Overdoses Highlight the Dangers of Synthetic Marijuana

The Governor's Prevention Partnership | By Kristen Granatek, August 21, 2015

Willimantic Police reported that 7 people overdosed on synthetic marijuana in a 24 hour period on Wednesday and Thursday. This follows a similar string of overdoses in May. Police report that those taken to the hospital smoked synthetic marijuana, then ingested large quantities of cough syrup in attempt to increase the high associated with the drug.

Synthetic marijuana, known as K2 or Spice, is an herbal mixture laced with synthetic cannabinoids (psychoactive man-made chemicals) that mimic the effects of the active ingredient in marijuana. Plant material is sprayed with chemicals resulting in a product that may look similar to potpourri. It is often labeled as “incense” with a warning label “not for human consumption”. In 2012, CT banned the sale of synthetic marijuana and related products. It remains easy to obtain online and on the streets.

Synthetic marijuana has been popular with young people because of the intensity of the high it produces and the perception that the product is “natural” and therefore safe. In fact, quite the opposite is true. The chemicals sprayed on the product can have serious short term effects including: increased heart rate and blood pressure, extreme high body temperatures, distorted perception, loss of coordination, problems with short term memory and learning, paranoia, and hallucinations. In some cases, symptoms including paranoia and hallucinations have been shown to last weeks or even months after the high wears off. Synthetic marijuana is highly addictive, with long term users frequently experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

Additional information on the case in Willimantic, can be found here

For more information on synthetic marijuana:
Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection
National Institute on Drug Abuse

Resources for parents seeking help for their children:
For resources to talk with your teen about the dangers of substance abuse, click here
Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services

Monday, August 10, 2015

MENTOR Joins Forces with LinkedIn to Mobilize Members to Mentor

CSRwire (BOSTON), Aug. 05, 2015

"LinkedIn, the world's largest professional network on the Internet with 380 million members worldwide, is leveraging its powerful social media platform and community to mobilize members to mentor. MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) is proud to team up with LinkedIn on this initiative to elevate the impact of mentoring relationships and call on more adults to mentor young people.

MENTOR’s research in a report called The Mentoring Effect found that young adults who were at risk for falling off track but who had a mentor were 55 percent more likely to go on to college and 78 percent more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities. Yet, one in three young people is reaching age 19 without ever connecting to a mentor either formally through a program or informally through family, community or social networks. MENTOR CEO David Shapiro shares his thoughts on mentoring's connection to growth and opportunity for young people in America via LinkedIn Pulse.

As MENTOR celebrates its 25th anniversary, this new joint venture is representative of the organization’s efforts over 25 years to build a movement in support of quality youth mentoring relationships." Read more

For more information on mentoring, click here

The public health issue of our time: prescription drug abuse

The News & Observer, August 3, 2015

"The North Carolina Medical Society, dedicated to protecting the health and welfare of North Carolinians, is faced with a public health emergency – opioid abuse.

North Carolina is not alone. According to the National Institute for Drug Abuse, in 2012 an estimated 2.1 million people in the United States suffered from substance-use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers. This number includes people with chronic pain who may abuse their prescriptions as well as addicts who may buy them on the street or shop around until they find a new doctor who will prescribe the drugs.

The number of unintentional overdose deaths from prescription pain relievers has soared in the United States, more than quadrupling since 1999. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports more Americans die each year from prescription drug overdoses than motor vehicle wrecks. Data from the N.C. Division of Public Health reveal more than 1,000 people in our state die of prescription drug abuse annually." Read more

For resources to talk with your teen about the dangers of prescription drug abuse, click here.

Back to School: Let’s talk about bullying

North Dallas Gazette, August 3, 2015

"US adults repeatedly rate bullying as a major health problem for children, but only 56 percent think schools should intervene when a child is socially isolated.

But, a new poll from the University of Michigan shows adults have different views about what bullying behaviors should prompt schools to take action.

A 2011 survey indicated that 20 percent of high school students report that they have been the victims of bullying.

The vast majority of adults (95 percent) say schools should take action if a student makes another student afraid for his/her physical safety. Eighty-one percent say schools should intervene when someone humiliates or embarrasses another student and 76 percent call for intervention when someone spreads rumors." Read more

For tips and resources to talk to your teen about preventing bullying, visit our Resource Center here

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

10 things to know about prescription opioid abuse in the United States

Becker’s Spine Review, July 20, 2015

"For years, physicians have been prescribing opioids as a way to combat pain, yet this feeds into our nation's serious, often fatal, opioid abuse problem. The number of prescription opioid abusers is spiking, and healthcare professionals are addressing this problem head-on, to avoid unnecessary casualties.

Here are 10 things to know about opioid abuse:

1. In the United States, approximately 2.1 million people abuse opioids, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. There are 26.4 million people abusing opioids around the world. The number of deaths in the United States due to prescription opioid pain relievers has tripled in the last 20 years, with opioid analgesic poisoning resulting in more deaths each year than heroin or cocaine. The United States alone consumes 99 percent of the world's hydrocodone pills as well as 80 percent of the world's prescription opiates." Read more

For resources to talk with your teen about the dangers of substance abuse, click here.

Prescription drug overdose deaths higher than car accident deaths

Colorado’s Own The CW2 (Denver), July 16, 2015

"DENVER — Prescription drug abuse is an epidemic in Colorado and across the country.

'As a nation, the number of deaths that come from overdose is greater than the number of deaths from car accidents,' said Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell.

Burwell’s comments came during a visit to Denver on Thursday, in which she met with Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and other state medical officials to specifically discuss the surge in prescription opioid abuse.

Colorado has improved its national standing when it comes to prescription drug abuse in recent years through programs that reduce and monitor opioid prescribing, increase medicated assisted treatment and improve access to the overdose drug Noloxone." Read more

For resources to talk with your teen about the dangers of prescription drug abuse, click here.

Auburn kids enjoy First Niagara Mentor Matters Appreciation Picnic, July 23, 2015

"Eighty kids enjoyed the First Niagara Mentoring Matters Appreciation Picnic at the Booker T. Washington Community Center in Auburn on Thursday July 23rd 2015. The kids had a cook out and played games on a perfect summer afternoon as they celebrated their mentoring program sponsored by First Niagara.

First Niagara and BTW staffers worked together to provide the food for the kids. The six-week mentoring program was funded by the First Niagara Mentoring Matters Grant. Niagara First has been providing the grants for organizations in Central New York since 2007.

'The First Niagara Mentoring Matters Grant has made a huge impact on the students that we serve. Not only are we able to tell the students how truly special they are we can now show them. Having a mentor builds self-esteem and boosts confidence levels which encourage the development of an optimistic outlook when striving to achieve positive outcomes in life.' said BTW Executive Director Denise Farrington." Read more

For more information on mentoring, click here

Friday, July 17, 2015

New law to cut down heroin and opioid abuse

The Bristol Press, July 15, 2015

"Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed his 'Second Chance Society' legislation Wednesday, a section of which is aimed at curbing heroin and prescription opioid abuse.

Approved last month by unanimous vote in the state Senate, the law improves prescription monitoring and prescribing practices, increases education and tools for healthcare professionals and provides greater emergency access to the drug naloxone, which can reverse the effects of a heroin overdose.

'We have to treat addiction like a public health issue, not a crime,' Malloy said in a bill-signing ceremony in New London. 'In signing this legislation today, Connecticut is taking a stand against a nationwide prescription opioid and heroin overdose epidemic to become a leader in combating opioid and heroin abuse, preventing drug addiction and overdoses.” Read more

For tips and resources to talk to your teen the dangers of substance abuse and prescription drug abuse visit our Resource Center here

Parents: Keep Talking To Your Kids July 15, 2015

"The positive influence parents can have on their children cannot be stressed enough.

That influence faces a stiff test when Montana’s youth are forced to make tough decisions concerning drugs and alcohol.

However, in a recent survey students reported that Montana parents are talking even more to their kids about the dangers of using alcohol and other substances.

That is great news. It’s vital that children continue to hear positive messages from people they know and who care about them. In most cases, that’s a parent. The importance of talking to youth about substance use and abuse and being involved in their lives cannot be measured." Read more

For tips and resources to talk to your teen the dangers of underage drinking and substance abuse, visit our Resource Center here

Underage Drinking Can Lead To Adult Brain Abnormalities, Reveals New Research

Inquisitr, July 11, 2015

"According to a recent study conducted by Duke University, scientists determined that underage drinking can lead to abnormalities in the adult brain.

The study on underage drinking, specifically on adolescent alcohol consumption, was published in the June 2015 edition of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

The study discussed in the article, entitled “Adolescent Intermittent Alcohol Exposure: Persistence of Structural and Functional Hippocampal Abnormalities into Adulthood,” was conducted on rats. It determined that exposure to alcohol on the developing adolescent mind can lead to a number of health issues." Read more

For tips and resources to talk to your teen about the dangers of underage drinking, visit our Resource Center here

Friday, July 10, 2015

Statement from Partnership for Drug-Free Kids President and CEO, Marcia Lee Taylor on New CDC Report on Heroin Overdose Deaths

Partnership fpr Drug-Free Kids, July 10, 2015

Heroin and prescription painkiller abuse is having a devastating effect on public health and safety across the United States – and without proper prevention and treatment, more families and communities will be impacted.

According to a concerning new report released this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heroin overdose deaths have nearly quadrupled in the decade between 2002 and 2013. The CDC also cites the surge in heroin abuse is largely due to the increased abuse of prescription (Rx) opioids. National research studies show that 4 out of 5 heroin users first began with recreational use of prescription pain relievers[1] and nearly 50 percent of young people who inject heroin started by abusing Rx drugs.[2]

The new CDC data is further evidence that more must be done to prevent heroin abuse and prevention and treatment are key components to turning the tide on heroin and prescription drug addictions. We know from experience that the most effective way to confront these challenges is to initiate a comprehensive response that addresses all aspects of this critical public health issue. Read more

For tips and resources to talk to your teen the dangers of substance abuse, visit our Resource Center here

EAST WINDSOR: Businesses rally against underage drinking (East Windsor, CT), July 9, 2015

Mayor Janice Mironov issued a proclamation June 23 recognizing Alcohol Awareness Month while kicking off the “We Check for 21” initiative aimed at deterring underage drinking.

The mayor presented all the liquor license holders in the township with a proclamation.

“This is the month where typically the liquor licenses are issued,” said Mayor Mironov.

The municipal clerk read the resolution requiring township Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) licensees to pledge “We Check for 21” as a condition of receiving their liquor license renewal. Read more

For tips and resources to talk to your teen the dangers of substance abuse, visit our Resource Center here

Mayo Clinic: 1 in 4 one-time painkiller prescriptions become long term

Mayo Clinic: 1 in 4 one-time painkiller prescriptions become long term
Patients at risk of dependency urged to avoid opioid drugs

Consumer Affairs, July 7, 2015

Drugs prescribed by doctors to relieve pain often end up becoming the object of abuse as users quickly become addicted.

It is estimated that between 26.4 million and 36 million people abuse opioids worldwide, with an estimated 2.1 million people in the United States suffering from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers in 2012. By contrast, about 467,000 are addicted to heroin.

The problem is opioids perform an important function in healthcare. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, they reduce the intensity of pain signals reaching the brain and affect those brain areas controlling emotion.

Since almost all addiction to painkillers like Vicodin, OxyContin and Percocet start with a legitimate prescription, doctors at the Mayo Clinic wondered how many first-time users of an opioid drug went on to become long-term users. When they investigated, they discovered it was 25%. Read More

For tips and resources to talk to your teen the dangers of substance abuse, visit our Resource Center here

Thursday, July 2, 2015

One third of people under 17 in the U. S. were assaulted in 2014, June 29, 2015

"A minimum of one third of children in the United States experienced some type of physical assault in 2014. Dr. David Finkelhor with the University of New Hampshire in Durham and colleagues analyzed the data collected from phone interviews with children and their caregivers.

The study was part of the U. S. Department of Justice and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence. The study was published on June 29, 2015, in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

The data was collected on 4,000 children that were 17 years of age and younger. The sample group was ethnically and economically diverse and is considered to be statistically representative of the entire population of young people in the United States. The objective of the study is to determine how much violent contact young people are exposed to and hopefully develop better methods of reducing the instances of violence and the aftereffects of violence." Read more

For tips and resources to talk to your teen about preventing bullying, visit our Resource Center here

Partnership for Drug-Free Kids Partners with CafeMom to Educate Mothers about Teen Substance Abuse

PRNewswire-USNewswire (NEW YORK), June 29, 2015

"For the second consecutive year, CafeMom, the leading digital media company for moms, has teamed up with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, a national nonprofit dedicated to reducing substance abuse among adolescents to raise awareness about the dangers of teen substance abuse.

Through this collaboration, CafeMom will feature resources from the Partnership's Medicine Abuse Project, a multi-year campaign that aims to prevent half a million teens from abusing medicine, and the Marijuana Talk Kit, a comprehensive guide that addresses the new challenges families face with their teens around the topic of marijuana.

The information will be highlighted as part of CafeMom's 'Health and Safety' content series, a donated robust advertising sponsorship and content package to share the Partnership's valuable research, helpful tools and tips with CafeMom's highly engaged audience of more than 30 million women." Read more

For tips and resources to talk to your teen the dangers of substance abuse, visit our Resource Center here

Concerns over powdered alcohol continue to grow

WBFO (Buffalo) – June 22, 2015

"With powdered alcohol set to launch this summer, a new poll shows most U.S. adults are concerned that the product will increase underage drinking.

According to the University of Michigan, 60% of U.S. adults favor a complete ban of powdered alcohol while 90% are worried the product will be misused by underage drinkers.

Local attorney and former prosecutor Matthew T. Murray says powdered alcohol presents unique problems that need to be considered." Read more

For tips and resources to talk to your teen the dangers of underage drinking, visit our Resource Center here

Cyberbullying on Social Media Linked to Teen Depression

Live Science, June 22, 2015

"Cyberbullying on social media is linked to depression in teenagers, according to new research that analyzed multiple studies of the online phenomenon.

Victimization of young people online has received an increasing level of scrutiny, particularly after a series of high-profile suicides of teenagers who were reportedly bullied on various social networks. In 2013, for example, a spate of suicides was linked to the social network, where users can ask each other questions anonymously. The deaths of teens who had been subject to abuse on the site prompted (which was acquired by in 2014) to launch new safety efforts. Twitter, likewise, announced plans in April to filter out abusive tweets and suspend bullying users." Read more

For tips and resources to talk to your teen about preventing bullying, visit our Resource Center here

Becoming a father figure: Local men making big impact

Mentors, role models, brothers and fathers all have a positive impact on their charges.
THMEDIA.COM, June 21, 2015

"In Washington Park on a warm Monday afternoon, a man kicks a soccer ball toward a young boy who squeals in delight as he returns it.

Jon Peiffer, 25, has been mentoring Christian Dias, 9, for a year. It was something Peiffer always wanted to do, and now, he had time. So he contacted Mentor Dubuque, previously known as Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Dubuque.

'This is my opportunity to give back,' Peiffer said. 'I had really amazing parents, and I was taught when you're blessed with something, you pay it forward.'" Read more

For more information about mentoring, visit our resource center here

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Underage Drinking And Binge Drinking Are Declining, But Something Worse May Be Replacing It

Inquisitr, June 14, 2015

"A recent government report revealed that underage drinking and binge drinking rates have largely dropped between 2002 and 2013. The percent of underage drinkers decreased from 28.8 percent to 22.7 percent in that 11-year period according to the Washington Post. Reportedly, the number of binge drinkers of all ages decreased from 19.3 percent to 14.2 percent, based on the survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The study also revealed that alcohol abuse is not as alluring to youth as it once was. However, alcohol abuse is still reported as the most common form of substance abuse for under aged kids. but another study found that another substance is just as popular, and for an even younger demographic than expected." Read more

For tips and resources to talk to your teen about underage drinking, visit our Resource Center here

Parents should ‘talk it out’ as summer begins

Citizen-Times, June 12, 2015

"North Carolina’s young people are marking the beginning of summer and the expanded sense of freedom this time of year often brings. As parents, we celebrate another year’s accomplishments with them. But we must also remember that in many ways, our job gets harder this time of year — especially when it comes to preventing underage drinking.

As chairman of the North Carolina ABC Commission, a former U.S. congressman and former lieutenant governor of this great state, I have always been committed to the health and safety of North Carolina’s young people and families. Now, I have nine additional reasons to take the issue of underage drinking very personally — my grandchildren. As parents and grandparents, we are all in this together. But in order for us to address this problem, we must understand how big of an issue it truly is in North Carolina." Read More

For tips and resources to talk to your teen about underage drinking, visit our Resource Center here

Alabaster schools launch app which allows students to report bullying

Fox 6 (Alabaster, AL) Jun 11, 2015

"Alabaster schools have some new policies and an app to help deal with bullying. The app was just created and will be in place when students return in the fall. It's called Anonymous Alerts.

Students can just download the app and if they are being bullied or if they know of someone who is being bullied. They can then shoot a text anonymously about the situation.

That information will go to that student's principal, the school resource officer, the superintendent and the system's student services coordinator, Dorann Tanner. Tanner said the schools aren't really seeing a big problem with bullying but they wanted students to have this tool just in case they need it." Read more

For tips and resources to talk to your teen about preventing bullying, visit our Resource Center here

JSD considers bullying prevention, intervention, June 11, 2015

"After reports of violent hazing in high school sports and cruel bullying in schools and online, efforts in prevention and intervention on behalf of both the bullied and the bullies is a high priority for the Juneau School District.

Director of Student Services Bridget Weiss and Director of Teaching and Learning Ted Wilson presented to the Juneau Board of Education at its regular meeting on Tuesday strategies to improve school climate and decrease bullying and hazing.

Across the nation, Weiss said 1.5 million students report being hazed each year, and 28 percent of students between the ages of 12 and 19 report being bullied." Read more

For tips and resources to talk to your teen about preventing bullying, visit our Resource Center here

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Sanger student recognized for anti-bullying efforts

Fresno bee, June 17, 2015

"Ryan Warren has put in hours of work raising awareness against bullying. He has created pledge cards, stickers and bracelets. He has spoken at the Sanger City Council, set up booths at city events to promote his cause and even held his own rally.

It’d be a lot for anyone to take on, much less a fourth-grader like Ryan. On Thursday he will be recognized for his efforts by the City Council.

Ryan, 10, has attended Hallmark Charter School in Sanger since leaving Centerville Elementary in January. He got the idea for his campaign, 'Stand Up & Be Heard: Stop Bullying Now,' after being harassed by some students at Centerville."Read more

For tips and resources to talk to your teen about preventing bullying, visit our Resource Center here.

Teen drug addiction: 7 things every parent should know (Salt Lake City), June 12th, 2015

"It is difficult to put the words 'children' and 'drug addiction' in the same sentence, but if we want to protect our kids from drug and alcohol abuse we need to educate them. Teens, and even younger kids, should know why they need to avoid substances and make smart choices.

Absorb these seven eye-opening facts about underage substance abuse — and make sure you share them with your kids as well.

1. Teenage drug use leads to addiction
According to Everyday Health, nine out of 10 adult addicts begin using before age 18. Additionally, 25 percent of Americans who started using any addictive substance before age 18 are still addicted.

At least part of the reason why teen substance users are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol as adults has to do with the developing brain. The Everyday Health article also says if substance abuse happens when the brain is more fully developed in your mid-20s, you are less likely to become addicted." Read more

For tips and resources to talk to your teen about substance abuse, visit our Resource Center here.

Prescription drug abuse among teens still a concern, doctors say

ABC2 (Baltimore), June 11, 2015

"For many teens across Maryland, last month represented prom season, a time of joy and excitement and a rite of passage for those preparing to graduate high school.

Dr. Annie Soriano views the season through a different lens. To Soriano, the division head of pediatric emergency medicine at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, knows it’s the time of year she expects to see more teens come through her hospital suffering for an accidental drug overdose.
'It’s prom season and there are girls out there that want to lose weight quickly to better fit into their dress and start taking diet pills,' Soriano said. 'It’s also finals season and teens are looking for pills that help them focus better and stay up longer.'" Read more

For tips and resources to talk to your teen about prescription drug abuse, visit our Resource Center here

10 ways to protect graduation celebration against underage drinking

Redlands daily facts, June 10, 2015

"While graduation is an important milestone in your teen’s journey to adulthood, it’s also a crucial time to promote responsible behavior.

These tips will help navigate the murky waters of hosting a graduation party that includes underage guests:
• Agree on a guest list ahead of time with your teen. Set a limit to the number of guests that can attend, to avoid last-minute party-crashers.

• In the party invitation, specify the beginning and ending time, and what guests may and may not bring." Read more

For tips and resources to talk to your teen about underage drinking, visit our Resource Center here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Anti-Bullying Kid of the Week: Dare to be Different

WGN Radio, June 9, 2015

"Camille Paddock started an anti-bullying organization… and she’s sixteen. She was a victim of some pretty severe bullying, and now she’s entering pageants! Her story is very inspiring, and you can read more of her story below:

My daughter Camille is a 16 year old sophomore at Huntley high school in Huntley IL. She is the founder of a non for profit 501c3 anti bullying organization called Cam’s Dare to be different. Camille was a victim of bullying for years due to her alopecia. Alopecia is an auto immune disease that causes hair loss with no cure. Her hair started to fall out in about the 4th grade. She loss about 65% or so of her hair on the top of her head. We got pretty good at hiding it by parting her hair differently. In the 7th grade her hair started to grow back but she loss one and half of her eyebrows. The bullying started at that point. The bullies who were once her friends called her names like Freak and hairless cat. They would meow at her and laugh, they shoved her in the halls and threw food at her during lunch. She loss all of her friends except for one because they were afraid of being bullied. She felt alone and humiliated daily! I went to the school but nothing was done and the bullying just got worse. I watch helplessly as my once outgoing straight A student go into a deep dark hole. Nothing we said helped." Read more

For tips and resources to talk to your teen about preventing bullying, visit our Resource Center here.

Restoring cars and fostering hope

Chicago Tribune, June 8, 2015

“Just in time for Father's Day is a story about two Chicago dads who want to share their skills because they know the importance of having a strong father figure.

Carlos Rhodes and Kenny Trotter, of the Beverly community, grew up in tough neighborhoods — Robbins and the Englewood community — but both credit their fathers and grandfathers for giving them a strong sense of what it is to be a man and a father.

Today, perhaps not even consciously, both men are honoring their dads and granddads by launching a mentoring program for disadvantaged youth. Calling their program Mach 1 Mentoring, the men are using their own money and freely giving their time to rehab a building they bought in Blue Island. They are in the last stages of fixing up the space so they can bring in old cars that young people will restore to showroom quality.” Read more 

For more information about mentoring, visit our Resource Center here.

The New Age of Bullying: Cyber and In-Person Harassment and Black Children

Atlanta Black Star, June 8, 2015 

"Gone are the days when good-natured teasing and a safe but comfortable social awkwardness were just a part of growing up. Most people can remember being teased by their friends and classmates for being taller or shorter than everyone in the class at some point. Some people recall being bullied after having to get braces or glasses. And of course, there was always a bully or two in every school who stole lunch money from smaller, weaker children and basically took pleasure in intimidating those who were too scared to fight back.

While it’s true that some of these bullying situations went further than they should have, cyber bullying has taken harassment and criticism to an overwhelmingly new level for today’s school-aged children and teenagers. To make things worse, Black and brown children are more likely to experience and exhibit bullying. This is likely due to the growing (and ever present) racial tension in the U.S., as well as the messages of self-hate that are rampant in many communities of color." Read more

For tips and resources to talk to your teen about preventing bullying, visit our Resource Center here.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Racial discrimination and ethnic identity in Latina/o youth

The Chronicle of Evidenced Based Mentoring, May 28, 2015

"Ali Mroczkowski, my student, and I recently published a study on the roles of adult racial discrimination and ethnic identity in Latina/o youth’s perception of the economic value of education (Mroczkowski & S├ínchez, 2015). The youth in our study were high school students who were mostly from ethnically homogenous communities and schools. Thus, there might not have been much opportunity to experience racial discrimination from adults, and as such, students generally reported no to little racial discrimination from adults. However, even experiencing just a little discrimination was enough to be related to lower perceptions of the economic value of education. The more racial discrimination that youth reported in 9th grade, the less they perceived in 10th grade that earning an education would pay off economically. In fact, we found that this relationship was only supported for the male students in our study. It seems that Latino male students are more sensitive to the negative effects of racial discrimination on their values and attitudes toward education.

But we found that ethnic identity can play a protective role in the negative effects of racial discrimination. A stronger ethnic identity weakened the negative effect of racial discrimination on male students’ perception of the economic value of education.” Read more

For more information on Understanding the Needs of Latino Families, view our webinar here.

The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids Collaborates with DDB California on New Campaign That Offers Parents “Real Help”

Partnership for Drug Free Kids, April 8, 2015

"The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, a national nonprofit working to reduce substance abuse among adolescents by supporting families and engaging with teens, is collaborating with DDB California on a new, integrated creative campaign that includes TV, print and radio public service announcements (PSAs). The ads are part of a campaign called 'Real Help,' and are geared toward parents of teens and young adults who have been impacted by substance abuse or addiction. The TV spots were directed by two-time Oscar®-Winner Angus Wall, who edited blockbuster films like 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,' 'The Social Network' and 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.'

The 'Real Help' campaign is comprised of three :30 TV spots (Awkward Silence, Just a Phase, Embrace), one :15 TV spot (Awkward Silence), two print ads (Awkward Silence, Hug) and one :30 radio spot (Awkward Silence)." Read More

For more information on substance abuse among teens, visit our Resource Center here.

Yale study treating and preventing opioid dependency

WTNH (NEW HAVEN, Conn.), June 2, 2015

"The number of opioid dependent patients in the country is now a major public health issue. A Yale study and a legislative effort aims to treat and prevent addiction.

It’s estimated 100 million people in the U.S. need pain medication, but those who are addicted or overdose on it find themselves in the emergency department.

'Similar to any other chronic-relapsing disease in the emergency department, we screen and we often initiate treatment,' said Dr. Gail D’Onofrio.

She and Dr. David Fiellin did more than that. The Yale School of Medicine researchers offered them an opportunity to sign up for a multi-intervention study. They found that those treated with buprenorphine, brand name Suboxone, responded best." Read More

For more information on substance abuse among teens, visit our Resource Center here.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

'Drunkorexics' Swap Food For Binge Drinking To Lose Weight: What Are The Dangers?

Medical Daily, April 15, 2015

"The weekend is synonymous with sleeping in, cheat meals, and drinking alcohol — sometimes in excess. So, you may find yourself trying to curb some of the damage by even counting calories on your alcohol of choice. In some case, this leads drinkers to calorie-swap food for a glass of wine to control dietary intake and maximize the effects of alcohol — also known as “drunkorexia.”

Counting Calories: The Food Swap

It is recommended for a healthy man or woman to consume 2,000 calories per day, according to the Food and Drug Administration. This helps consumers easily calculate the Daily Values needed for their own diets. Daily calorie intake is also one of the largest determinants of overweight and obesity, which is why counting calories is essential for weight management.

Living off a 2,000-calorie diet means you have to pick and choose where you get your sources of nutrition. A drunkorexic will limit their food/calories during the day, says Dr. Vanessa Pawlowski, a psychologist with a private practice in Beverly Hills, Calif., so that when they drink at night they do not have to worry about gaining weight from the extra calories of alcohol. 'Sometimes people will also eat excessively while drinking and may throw up to compensate the calorie intake. Or people may also exercise excessively to burn calories associated with drinking,' Pawlowski told Medical Daily in an email." Read More.

The Governor's Prevention Partnership provides publications here with advice on how to talk to your teen about healthy lifestyle choices and the dangers of drinking.

Senate Ed. Committee Spars Over Bullying Prevention in ESEA Rewrite; Nears Finish

Education Week, April 15, 2015

"The Senate education committee adjourned Day Two of its markup of a bipartisan overhaul Elementary and Secondary Education Act overhaul Wednesday, having nearly completed the task of considering the 87 amendments that members filed to the legislative compromise.

What had been a relatively calm legislative process since the markup began Tuesday produced a more passionate debate Wednesday afternoon when members considered a pair of dueling amendments on harassment and bullying, particularly of LGBT students.

An amendment from Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., chairman of the committee and co-author of the underlying bill, would allow states and school districts to use federal funds to implement or improve bullying-prevention policies." Read More.

Visit our Resource Center here for tips and advice on what to do if your teen is being bullied.

Health Care Costs from Opioid Abuse: A State-by-State Analysis

The Partnership for Drug Free Kids, April 13, 2015

"The healthcare costs attributed to the abuse of prescription opioids (Rx painkillers) are now close to $25 billion in the United States. Knowing and understanding the impact of Rx painkiller abuse is crucial to addressing this concerning health epidemic.

Given the notable differences – across the country and among the 50 states – in the level of Rx opioid abuse, state-specific estimates are essential for local policymakers, as many of the tactics and strategies that are currently in place to help address abuse of Rx opiates may be devised and implemented at the local level.

This analysis offers the first estimates on the summary of results for every state." Read More.

For more information on prescription drug abuse among teens visit our Resource Center here.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Pot Plus Booze Doubles Odds for Drunk Driving, Study Says

U.S. News and World Report, April 14, 2015

"Drinkers who smoke marijuana as they imbibe are twice as likely to drive drunk compared with people who stick to alcohol alone, a new study reports.

These 'simultaneous' users are also three times more likely to face social troubles as a result of drinking and marijuana -- drunken brawls, broken marriages, damaged relationships and ruined careers among them.

'There are a lot of problems related to alcohol, and marijuana seems to potentially enhance the effects of alcohol in causing these problems,' said study co-author William Kerr, associate director of the Alcohol Research Group.

Many states have authorized medical marijuana use, and four -- Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska -- have legalized recreational pot.

'If cannabis use becomes more prevalent as U.S. states and other countries continue to legalize it, then we need to be prepared to advise people appropriately,' said lead author Meenakshi Subbaraman, an associate scientist at the Alcohol Research Group, a program of the Public Health Institute. 'If you use both substances together, your risk of drunk driving, and possibly other consequences, may be higher than if you stick to using one at a time.'

Drugs like marijuana and cocaine are involved in about 18 percent of motor vehicle driver deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These other drugs are often used in combination with alcohol at the time of the accident." Read More.

Visit our Resource Center here to learn more about preventing youth substance abuse.

How Mentoring Builds Business Insight

Forbes, April 14, 2015

"With National Volunteer Week currently underway, now is a good time to look at how businesses can make positive impacts on their communities – and their bottom line – through youth mentoring. Numerous studies suggest that youth who have been mentored are more likely to be successful in school, become leaders in their communities and enter young adulthood with better opportunities for ongoing education and career choices.

Yet some 16 million American youth — one in three — will reach the age of 19 without ever having had a mentor of any kind, according to The Mentoring Effect. Public investment in mentoring has plateaued for many years, and an endless parade of grim statistics about the dim prospects for our nation’s youth reminds us that mentoring is more critical than ever.

To scale mentoring into a movement that could have a lasting impact, businesses need to encourage greater investments, constant innovation and improvement. At the National Mentoring Summit held in Washington, DC, this winter, we issued a call to action for more companies to start or enhance mentoring programs for our nation’s youth. We need businesses to step up because businesses have access to precisely what at-risk youth need – tens of thousands of dedicated human beings who can help the next generation succeed!" Read More.

Visit The Governor's Prevention Partnership website here to find a mentoring program near you.

Bipartisan Bill Introduced to Allow Children to Use Medical Marijuana

Bloomberg News, April 14, 2015

"If it has medicinal value, why not allow children to use it?

On Tuesday, a bipartisan bill was introduced in the House of Representatives that seeks to give access to medical marijuana to children suffering from a variety of illnesses.

Representative Morgan Griffith, a Virginia Republican, and Earl Blumenauer, a Democrat from Oregon, put forth the Compassionate Access Act, which would 'allow the states to provide appropriate access to patients needing these legitimate, medical treatments under the supervision of their physician,' the congressmen said in a statement.

'There are countless reports of marijuana's medical benefits in treating conditions including cancer, epilepsy, and glaucoma,' Griffith said in the statement, adding, 'It's time to research this further, and, where legal, to allow real doctors and real pharmacists to prescribe or dispense marijuana for legitimate medical reasons for real patients.'

The bill, which is backed by the Epilepsy Foundation, and the American Academy of Neurology, would re-classify marijuana so that states could decide how to regulate it and allow researchers to study the effects of the drug on patients." Read More.

Visit our Resource Center here for information on marijuana use among teens in Connecticut.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Scientific Look At The Damage Parents Do When They Bully Their Gay Kids

The Washington Post, April 14, 2015

"Public tolerance for laws and practices that discriminate against LGBT people under the guise of religion has rapidly declined. President Obama last week called for an end to so-called conversion therapies that seek to “fix” LGBT youth in some fundamentalist Christian circles. Public support for marriage equality – overturning the traditional concept of “one man, one woman” – has ballooned. And the chorus of indignant voices responding to Indiana’s religious freedom law was so overwhelming that the state has had to hire a PR firm to repair its image.

Politicians and activists have been increasingly vocal about how businesses, churches and government institutions treat LGBT people – children and teenagers, in particular. But the most important arena has escaped wide criticism: their homes. The disdain and discrimination that many gay or gender non-conforming youth receive from their parents has the potential to do far more damage than hostility they experience from others.

The evidence abounds: Kids lacking parental support for their sexual orientation are at higher risk for mental health problems, drug use, and unprotected sex. And the risk isn’t minor – those who felt rejected by their families are eight times more likely to have attempted suicide." Read More.

Visit our website here to learn more about how The Governor's Prevention Partnership is working hard to prevent bullying and promote a positive school climate.