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