Monday, August 29, 2016

Prevention WINS 2016-17 general meeting schedule

The Prevention WINS coalition will meet the following dates during the 2016-17 school year:
  • September 13, 8-9:30 a.m. at Eckstein Middle School
  • November 15, 8-9:30 a.m. at Nathan Hale High School
  • January 10, 8-9:30 a.m. at Washington Poison Center
  • March 14, 8-9:30 a.m. at a place to be determined
  • May 9, 8-9:30 a.m. at a place to be determined
  • July 11, 8-9:30 a.m. at a place to be determined

All meetings are open to everyone who is interested in preventing youth substance use in NE Seattle.

Monday, August 15, 2016

E-cigarette education training August 22

Prevention WINS and the WA Poison Center are hosting:
E-Cigarettes:  Finding the Truth among the Vapors
Training of Trainers 
designed to equip community organizations with the knowledge, tools, and confidence to provide educational presentations on e-cigarettes and marijuana vaping to adults throughout the community.

Monday, August 22, 2016    

1:00 — 4:15pm

Seattle Public Library NE Branch 

6801 35th Ave NE
Space is limited.  Register by August 19th

Questions? Contact Liz Wilhelm

This event is not sponsored by The Seattle Public Library.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Coalition to meet July 12

General Coalition Meeting
Tuesday, July 12, 2016


  1. Welcome and review of agenda – Whitney Pennington

  1. Introductions

  1. WAPC snapshot

  1. Comments from Dr. Walker

  1. Presentation: Dr. Sarah Walker – working with East African Families

  1. RADD activities report

  1. Washington Poison Center – E-Cigs - Train the Trainers project update

  1. MIDD 4C program at Eckstein  update

  1. DFC business
  1. Evaluation Committee activities  update

  1. King County YMPEP update

  1. Sharing & Announcements

 Reminder: Next General Prevention WINS Meeting, Tuesday, September 13, 8am-9:30am
Location TBD

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

History repeats: Marijuana tax revenue dedicated to prevention shifted to general fund

Over the years, this blog has included posts about tax revenue earmarked for teen substance use prevention being diverted to the state general fund. Prior to the passage of Initiative 502 which created the legal commercial marijuana system in our state, prevention advocates warned that the initiative's dedicated funds for prevention could and would be moved to fund other things as soon as the legislature was legally able to. And legislators did.

The Seattle Times editorial board recently wrote about it after a Seattle 16 year-old died because he "likely jumped from a balcony in a panic after smoking pot for the first time."The editorial describes the broken promises that, not surprisingly, are similar to previous broken promises for tobacco and liquor revenue earmarks:

Based on the revenue coming in or forecast through 2018, the state Department of Social and Health Services should have had $113 million for programs “aimed at the prevention or reduction” of substance abuse among middle and high schoolers — kids the age of Warsame. Instead, the agency is budgeted to receive only about half that amount.

Similarly, the state Department of Health should have had $77 million to operate a marijuana-education hotline and a statewide public-education campaign regarding marijuana for youths and adults. Instead, the Legislature earmarked less than one-third that amount — $24 million — and the marijuana-information hotline hasn’t materialized.
Source: Seattle Times, May 17, 2016

In communities, this means that while access to marijuana increases, as children are exposed to marijuana advertising, and marijuana use becomes normalized, young people aren't receiving messages to counteract marijuana marketing, not all middle schools are implementing tested and effective prevention programs, and not all parents are learning skills for supporting healthy decision making among their children. It means that, once again, legislators and those who promised Washingtonians that marijuana legalization would be good for substance use prevention are failing to do their part to help our teenagers stay drug free.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Prevention WINS meets May 10

The Prevention WINS coalition will meet:
Tuesday, May 10, 8:00 a.m.

All coalition meetings are open to the public. Everyone is welcome!

Agenda items include a presentation about King County's Secure Medicine Return Program and updates about coalition and other local prevention activities.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

What is substance use prevention?

The annual National Prevention Network (NPN) meeting was held in Seattle last fall and the University of Washington's David Hawkins gave a keynote address about substance use prevention. As our state expands prevention programming, particularly activities for preventing youth marijuana use, his keynote address provides a good reminder about what works and what does not.

Before a great deal of prevention research was done, many substance use prevention programs were used that have since proven ineffective. The last thirty years of research have made a significant difference in understanding what is most effective.

For example, while it may seem intuitively correct that providing information about drugs would be a straight-forward way to prevent young people from starting to use drugs, such a strategy actually increased drug use in some studies.

Locally, the UW's Social Development Research Group studied the effects of risk and protective factors on youth drug use. They found that protective factors can reduce youth drug use even in the presence of many risk factors.

Protective factors include the communication of clear standards in families, at schools, and in the community. When families, schools, and communities express clear standards against teenagers using drugs, youth are less likely to use drugs.

Individual prevention programs that encourage family bonding, teach skills that teenagers need to be able to avoid or refuse drugs, and provide parents with information about giving their children opportunities and recognition for pro-social behaviors have been found to be effective.

Communities have a role to play in prevention, too. Policies such as the minimum legal drinking age, taxes, and restrictions on where and when legal drugs are sold are proven methods for preventing youth drug use.

So, which prevention activities should be implemented in communities? Whichever ones address the problems specific to a community. Prevention activities are not one-size-fits-all. Know your community and what factors are putting teenagers at risk and what factors are protecting against drug use.

The entire keynote presentation may be viewed by clicking here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Safely dispose of unwanted medications on Saturday

From the Seattle Police Department:

On Saturday, April 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Seattle Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its 11th opportunity in six years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your pills for disposal to any of the city’s five precincts. You can find the drop-off site in your neighborhood by visiting our precinct map.    The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last September, Americans turned in 350 tons (over 702,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,000 sites operated by the DEA and more than 3,800 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 10 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 5.5 million pounds—more than 2,750 tons—of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Recent police blotter reports point to the need for a comprehensive array of prevention activities

Recent SPD Blotter reports remind us why substance use prevention needs to start early and take a comprehensive approach.

On Wednesday, April 13, the Blotter reported that an "18-year-old woman's mother called 911 . . . and reported her daughter overdosing at her home near NE 50th Street and Sand Point Way NE."

On Monday, April 18, the Blotter reported that bike officers "responded to the Westlake Mall at about 6:30 PM Sunday after a witness found a 21-year-old woman unresponsive in a third-floor bathroom . . . strewn with a half-dozen needles and a heroin cooker."

Luckily, both times first responders were able to revive the young women. Both provide good examples of how policies that encourage people to call 911 if they witness an overdose and enable first responders to carry Narcan/Naloxone can save people's lives.

On Saturday, April 23, the Blotter reported that a 22 year old man "believed to be high on methamphetamine and PCP smashed a downtown Ballard window during the afternoon lunch hour and attacked customers with a shard of glass . . ."

Considering the ages of the people involved in these incidents, they provide good examples of why a well-funded, multi-pronged approach to prevention is important. Preventing drug use among teenagers can prevent drug overdoses and criminal behavior among young adults.  

Middle school prevention programs
Most teenagers who use drugs start using drugs by the time they are juniors in high school. The transition between middle and high school is a time of especially high risk for initiating drug use. That's why prevention programming in late elementary and early middle school is important. Many prevention activities conducted by Prevention WINS and partner organizations target middle school students and their parents. This includes evidence-based prevention programs like Life Skills Training and Guiding Good Choices.

Reducing access to drugs
But school-based prevention programs and supporting parenting activities proven to prevent drug use is not enough. This is especially true if drugs are readily available in a community, like heroin is now. To effectively prevent youth drug use and later abuse, policies that reduce access to drugs need to be adopted and enforced. As with the reduction of drug-related deaths, policies play a key role in a comprehensive prevention strategy.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Today is "Talk With Your Kids About NOT Using Marijuana Day" in WA

Governor Jay Inslee proclaimed today, April 20, 2016, as "Talk With Your Kids About NOT Using Marijuana Day".

Parents have the greatest influence on a child's decision about drugs, including marijuana and alcohol. In fact, teens who learn about the risks from their parents are 50% less likely to use drugs than kids who do not.

The Start Talking Now website provides parents with information about how to start the conversation about drugs. A parent guide produced by Seattle Children's Hospital provides parents with information about how to help their children make healthy decisions, including the decision not to use drugs.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Everyone has a role to play: "Talk. They Hear You" campaign materials can help

April is Alcohol Awareness Month, a great opportunity to learn more about preventing underage drinking. The "Talk. They Hear You." campaign from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides many resources for community members to use in prevention activities.