Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Pediatrics Group Says Schools Shouldn’t Drug Test

TIME, March 30, 2015

"A leading U.S. pediatrics group is recommending against in-school drug testing as a way to prevent young people from experimenting with illegal substances.
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The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a policy statement on Monday saying it opposes randomly drug testing students because there’s not enough evidence to show it’s effective, and because random testing can damage relationships between students and their schools. It’s also a possible infringement on privacy, the group says.

Fifteen years ago, the Supreme Court established the legality for school-based drug testing for students. Proponents of the practice say that random testing at schools deters students from using drugs." Read More.

Visit our Resource Center here for tips on preventing underage drinking.

When Drinking Problems Begin: Kids Given Sips Of Alcohol Tend To Be First Ones Drinking In High School

Medical Daily, March 31, 2015

"Parents who subscribe to the 'European model' believe in introducing children to alcohol at an early age in order to teach them how to drink responsibly and lessen the “taboo” appeal of alcohol. A recent study conducted at the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University has found that children who are allowed to 'sip' their parents’ alcoholic beverage at an early age often end up becoming the first of their friends to have a full drink by high school.

Although underage drinking is often swept under the rug because 'everyone is doing it,' experts still consider it a major public health concern. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 35 percent of high school students admitted to drinking some amount of alcohol in the past 30 days, 21 percent admitted to binge drinking, 10 percent said they drove while drunk, and 22 percent said they rode in a car with an intoxicated driver." Read More.

Visit our Resource Center here for tips on preventing your child from underage drinking.

Synthetics Are Emerging As Drugs of Abuse

The Weston Forum, March 31, 2015

"Abuse of unregulated synthetic drugs — found on the shelves of some gas stations, convenience stores, head shops and on the Internet — has been on the rise, particularly among teens and young adults.

'It’s a very experimental population and they’re interested in trying the latest or new thing,' said John Douglas, MD, clinical director of Silver Hill Hospital’s Outpatient Opioid Addiction Program, during a meeting of the Wilton Task Force to Reduce Substance Abuse Among Youth on Thursday, March 19.

Dr. Douglas told the group of 16 attendees about the six most common emerging drugs — synthetic cathinones ('bath salts'), piperazine derivatives ('legal ecstasy'), kratom ('Ithang'), methoxetamine ('legal ketamine'), synthetic cannabinoids ('legal marijuana'), and Salvia divinorum ('Salvia')." Read More.

Visit our Resource Center here for more information on preventing underage substance abuse.

Monday, March 30, 2015

You Find Pills In Your Child's Room -- What Should You Do?

March 30, 2015, Consumer Affairs

"I found pills in my son’s room. Now what? Roy came into the pharmacy and was obviously upset. 'Look what I found in my son’s room,' Roy said to the pharmacist. 'What are these pills?'

The pharmacist took the three capsules and used her knowledge and expertise to identify them. She told Roy that one was a prescription antinausea medicine and the other two were prescription antihistamines.

What the 15-year old boy was doing with them seemed unclear. The pharmacist explained to Roy that even though the pills were not narcotics or even a controlled substance, the reason why his son had them should be explored.

Most mental health care providers agree that the child should be confronted in a calm manner, with both parents taking a firm stand and a united front to impress upon the child that pills are dangerous. Keep in mind that the child may not understand what medications are used for and why. But that does not make them any less dangerous. However, if the pills were narcotics, the conversation should be stepped up to reveal the person who gave the child the drugs." Read More.

Visit our Parent Resource Center here for more information on preventing youth prescription drug abuse.

Trumbull cops: Don't Mix Alcohol and Prom

Trumbull Hamlet Hub, March 29, 2015

"The following comes from the Trumbull Police Department and local volunteers for the Trumbull Partnership Against Underage Drinking & Drugs (TPAUD).

With spring finally upon us, we want to take the time to talk about safe driving and underage drinking. At the end of each school year, more high school students get their driver’s license and begin to drive to school and to after-school activities. The Trumbull Police Department provides two officers in the morning and afternoon each school day to assist with traffic on Daniels Farm Road at Strobel Road and at the entrance to Hillcrest Middle School. Students, parents, faculty, buses and residents utilize this area to a great extent before and at the end of each school day.

Prom and graduation season is also upon us, and we all need to do our part to insure that our youth have memorable and safe celebrations. One way we can all work towards providing a safe environment for our children is to ensure that alcohol is not a part of these events. If you are hosting a post-prom or graduation party, take steps to ensure that no one under 21 is served alcohol or brings alcohol into your home." Read More.

Visit our Parent Resource Center here for information on preventing underage drinking and substance abuse.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Comcast Awards Grant to Leadership Greater Hartford Youth Program

The Hartford Courant, March 26, 2015

"Leadership Greater Hartford (LGH) announced today that it has received a $2,500 grant from Comcast to support their Common Ground youth leadership program.

Common Ground is a fifteen-week program that engages high school students from the Greater Hartford area for training in leadership, diversity awareness, and community problem solving. Every year since 1988, a diverse group of 40 students, from urban and suburban high schools throughout the region, has participated in Common Ground. Bloomfield, Bulkeley, Classical Magnet, East Hartford, Glastonbury, South Windsor, Suffield, and the University High School of Science and Engineering participated in the 2014 Common Ground program. The 2015 semester begins September 23, 2015.

According to Ted Carroll, President of Leadership Greater Hartford, 'Our community needs to grow tomorrow's leaders today. Fortunately, companies like Comcast recognize this need and have stepped up in a big way to address it. We are very grateful for their belief in young people and in the future of the community.'" Read More.

Visit The Partnership's website here to find a youth mentoring program in your area.

State Police Break Up Teen Party, Arrest Host

The Journal Inquirer, March 26, 2015

"BOLTON — State police broke up a house party of underage drinkers and arrested a 17-year-old girl hosting the weekend gathering while her parents were out of town, authorities say.

Police went to the Brookfield Road home after receiving an anonymous tip around 1 a.m. Sunday, March 15, and found 18 intoxicated minors and no adults, state police said.

'It’s a situation where it could’ve gone wrong in a lot of different ways,' Resident State Trooper Brian Contendre said." Read More.

Visit our Resource Center here for tips and advice on how to prevent underage drinking.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Student Health Survey Results Surprise Some

My Record Journal, March 25, 2015

"WALLINGFORD — Of the 1,700 town high school students surveyed in 2013, 24 percent of 12th -graders and 18.6 percent of 11th-graders said they had five or more drinks of alcohol in a row on one or more of the past 30 days.

The survey also revealed 31.5 percent of Wallingford students said they had sexual intercourse at least once in their lives, including 55.5 percent of 12th-graders. Of students who played sports, 20 percent reported they suffered a likely concussion in the past year.

State epidemiologist Celeste Jorge, with the state Department of Health, presented the findings of the Connecticut School Health Survey to members of the Town Council Tuesday, and while many of the results put the town’s students below the state average, councilors found the results jarring." Read More.

Visit our Resource Center here to learn more on how to prevent underage drinking and drug abuse.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Mentoring Programs Aim to Increase High School Graduates

U.S. News & World Report, March 23, 2015

"More students than ever are graduating high school and gaps in achievement among racial groups are closing.

But for teens who didn’t graduate high school, having a caring adult in their life might have made a difference. Mentoring is one effective strategy to prevent dropouts promoted by the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network." Read More.

Click here to find a mentoring program in your area.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Enfield Schools Mentor Program Seeking Volunteers

The Hartford Courant, March 19, 2015

"Enfield School district officials are seeking interested volunteers to expand the district's mentoring program.

Jaime Cowles, vice president and banking center manager in Webster Bank's Enfield branch, has been a mentor for six years.

'The particular mentee I'm working with, after two months of meeting, she started improving in school, she opened up more," Cowles said. "She started bringing a lot more light to our meetings.'" Read More.

Visit our website here to find mentoring programs in your area.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Democrats Reintroduce Anti-Bullying Bill in Congress

Metro Weekly, March 18, 2015

"Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill reintroduced anti-bullying legislation Wednesday that seeks to prohibit harassment on college campuses.

Sens. Patty Murray (Wash.) and Tammy Baldwin (Wisc.) reintroduced the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act in the Senate with five cosponsors and Rep. Mark Pocan (Wisc.) reintroduced the bill in the House of Representatives with 27 cosponsors.

The bill would require institutions of higher education receiving federal student aid funding to establish policies that prohibit harassment based on actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or religion and would allocate federal aid to assist in establishing such policies. The proposed legislation also establishes a grant program at the Department of Education to support campus anti-harassment activities and programs, such as training and counseling." Read More.

Visit our Parent Resource Center here for more information on how to handle or prevent bullying.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Abuse-Deterrent Opioids Prevent Users From Intensifying High

Forbes, March 16, 2015

"The rise in opioid-related deaths has many in the medical community outraged over practitioners prescribing opioids for chronic pain. Some, mainly those in pain management, believe this practice is justified. Others claim there are better alternatives. Pharmaceutical companies, on the other hand, are taking a shot at the opioid epidemic by promoting opioids with abuse-deterrent properties.

A new study conducted by researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis revealed that abuse-deterrent opioid medications can cut down on prescription drug abuse. The report, recently published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), showed that 25% of drug abusers were still able to abuse OxyContin with abuse-deterrent properties. Researchers surveyed nearly 11,000 drug users at 150 drug-treatment facilities in 48 states." Read More.

Visit our Resource Center here for more information on preventing prescription drug abuse.

Friday, March 13, 2015

When Combating the Bully, Our Hands Aren't Tied

The Huffington Post, March 12, 2015

"As a part of growing up, most of us have experienced bullying either directly or indirectly. And despite our efforts to build awareness, today bullying still persists. As a society, we have to not only work to eradicate bullying, but also to prepare children for it. Like animals in the jungle, if somebody is weak, they get picked on so another can assert dominance. And the sad truth is, the behavior kids face today is at a new high, or low, depending how you measure it.

Thanks to the Internet, cyber bullying is a whole new outlet for kids to attack the weakest members of the social herd outside the classroom. So how can we, as adults, combat this critical issue? As it turns out, we're not as powerless as we might at times feel. Here are a few steps we can take." Read More.

Visit our Resource Center here for more information on how to combat bullying.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

"Palcohol" Powdered Alcohol Wins Federal Approval

CBS News, March 11, 2015

"A controversial powdered alcohol product called Palcohol, intended to be mixed into drinks, has gained approval from a federal agency.

Palcohol first made news last spring when it briefly received the greenlight from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, before the bureau backtracked and said the label approvals had been given in error.

On Wednesday, bureau spokesman Tom Hogue told The Associated Press the issues were resolved and that four varieties of Palcohol were approved. But Hogue noted that states can also regulate alcohol sales in their borders." Read More.

Visit our Resource Center here for information on how to prevent underage drinking and drug abuse.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Study Finds 17 Percent of College Students Misuse ADHD Drugs

Partnership for Drug Free Kids, March 11, 2015

"An estimated 17 percent of college students misuse drugs designed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a new analysis of previous studies.

Past studies have differed widely in their estimate of how many college students misuse ADHD drugs, ranging from 2 percent to 43 percent, MedicalXpress reports. The researchers of the new review looked at 30 past studies, and calculated that overall, one in six college students misuse ADHD drugs. Misuse can mean taking more of the drug than has been prescribed, or using the medication without a prescription, the article notes." Read More.

For more information on preventing underage substance abuse, visit our Resource Center here.

Mentoring and Social Media: New Research Guides Policy and Practice

The Chronicle of Evidence Based Mentoring, March 10, 2015

"Digital communication (e.g. texting, emailing, Facebook, etc.) is increasingly changing how today’s youth communicate within their social and family networks. Research exists on how digital media is used in family and peer relationships, but there is a lack of research exploring use of digital media in formal youth mentoring relationships.

This study is a critical first step toward the assessment of current practices, measurement of impact, and evaluation of the perceptions of program staff regarding use of digital communication between mentors and their mentees. Results from this study are relevant to youth-serving program staff and academics that are interested in conducting future research on this subject." Read more.

For more information on mentoring programs in Connecticut visit our Youth Mentoring page here.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Rep. Dan Carter Pushes Bill Preventing Drug Abuse

Bethel's Hamlet Hub, March 3, 2015

"A few new proposals by State Representative Dan Carter (R-2) could expand the breadth to which insurance policies cover certain medical services for residents of Connecticut.

Carter’s bill, H.B. 5784, would prevent pharmacists from substituting a prescribed abuse-deterrent opioid for a generic supplement – unless the pharmacist receives written permission from the prescribing health care provider to do so." Read More.

For more information on preventing prescription drug abuse, visit our Resource Center here.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Positive School Climate

Connecticut Council for Education Reform, March 4, 2015

"Bloomfield’s third priority area focuses on developing a positive school climate. The district seeks to meet the National School Climate Standards by creating supportive communities of learners who demonstrate enthusiasm for learning and respect for one another. For students to be able to focus on learning, they need to feel comfortable and safe in their school environment. All Bloomfield schools have embraced this goal and are implementing it in a variety of ways.

Bloomfield High School has developed a mentoring program that matches every student in the school with an adult mentor. Every other Wednesday, mentors meet with their mentees to see how they are doing School Climate2and to provide assistance, if necessary. They conference with students after each benchmark assessment and celebrate success with student assemblies once a month. The High School is working hard to create a culture of high expectations for all students, including Advanced Placement (AP) courses that are growing in participation, and additional supports to help students reach their potential. Athletics and arts programs are also highly acclaimed at Bloomfield High School." Read More.

Visit our mentoring page here for more information on mentoring programs available within Connecticut.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

If My Child is Cyber Bullied-What Laws Govern Cyber Bullying in Connecticut

The National Law Review, February 3, 2015

"Fifty-two percent of young people report being cyber bullied. According to a 2011 report, 25% of teenagers in Connecticut have experienced repeated bullying on their cell phone or the Internet. 95% of teens who witness cyber bullying on social media ignore the behavior. More than half say they never confide in their parents when cyber bullying happens to them.

Becoming more common than ever, cyber bullying, which was once considered a "coined media catchphrase", has morphed into a well-documented serious problem punishable as a crime. Victims are not only internalizing their feelings and keeping quiet about the online harassment, some are even taking their own lives. Both Phoebe Prince and Tyler Clementi committed suicide after online torture went too far and became too much for them to handle." Read More.

Visit our Resource Center here to learn more about how to prevent bullying.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

HRC Submits Testimony For Safe Schools For All Students Act In New Mexico

The Human Rights Campaign Blog, March 3, 2015

"Today, HRC submitted testimony in support of the Safe Schools for All Students Act (SB 393)in New Mexico, which would protect students in New Mexico from bullying and harassment.

In her testimony before the Senate Education Committee, Senior Legislative Counsel Alison Gill outlined the importance of this bill and argued that all youth should be protected from bullying and harassment. 'The passage of this anti-bullying legislation is critical to ensure the safety and well-being of young people in New Mexico,' she said. 'In New Mexico in 2013, 46 percent (nearly half) of middle school students reported being bullied on school property.'" Read More.

Visit our Resource Center here for more tips on how to prevent bullying.

Prescription Drug Abuse: Only Half Of Doctors Use State Programs Meant To Curb 'Doctor Shopping'

International Business Times, March 2, 2015

"With prescription drug abuse on the rise, nearly every state has created a database that doctors and pharmacists can log in to if they want to check up on a patient who seems a little too eager for a bottle of Vicodin – but only about half of doctors are using them, according to a study published by researchers from Johns Hopkins University. These systems, called prescription drug monitoring programs, are supposed to help doctors identify 'doctor shoppers' who go from office to office complaining of pain and then selling off their medication.

'This is an enormous problem. It is in fact an epidemic and it has really skyrocketed from 2000 to the present," says Steven Stack, president-elect of the American Medical Association and an emergency physician at St. Joseph East Lexington in Kentucky. "We have an incredible need to address this as a nation.'

Each day, 46 people in the U.S. die from overdosing on prescription drugs, according to the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey. A team of researchers from Johns Hopkins conducted the first nationwide study to examine doctors’ use of the programs aimed at preventing some of these deaths, and published their results on Monday in Health Affairs. The team asked 420 physicians if they were aware that their state offered such a program, and whether they used it." Read More.

For more information on preventing prescription drug abuse, visit our Resource Center here.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Include Medicine Cabinets On Your Spring Cleaning List

WRBL.com, March 2, 2015

"After marijuana and alcohol, the most commonly abused drugs by those over the age of 14 are prescription and over-the-counter medications.

In fact, says the National Institute on Drug Abuse pointing to the 2014 Monitoring the Future Study conducted by the University of Michigan, the top pharmaceutical drugs of choice for 12th graders during the past year were Adderall and Vicodin. Adderall was abused by 6.8 percent of 12th graders, while Vicodin was 4.8 percent. According to the report, marijuana was at the top of the list at 35.1 percent.

Reports like this, and many others, all clearly indicate there is a growing epidemic in the United States, particularly around prescription drugs." Read More.

Comcast Gets Into Mentoring In A Big Way

The New Britain Herald, March 1, 2015

"For nearly every holiday, about 25 students from Lincoln Elementary School in New Britain make the short trip to neighboring Berlin, pull into the parking lot of Comcast’s Western New England regional office and share some time with their Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

Recently, there was a whole lot of laughter, just as much bonding, and tons of creativity on display as the New Britain youngsters gathered to celebrate Valentine’s Day." Read More.

More information on mentoring programs in Connecticut can be found here.