Tuesday, December 30, 2008

More links

A few more good websites I have come across lately:

The Center for Science in the Public Interest: Alcohol Policy -- www.cspinet.org/alcohol/. It includes a link to BeerSoaksAmerica.org that describes itself as "a response to beer industry propaganda", including underage drinking and ads targeting youth.

The Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) "Quick Stats" on underage drinking -- http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/quickstats/underage_drinking.htm

The Federal Trade Commission's We Don't Serve Teens -- http://www.dontserveteens.gov/

Though I've come across this one before, it keeps (unintentionally) falling off of my radar . . . International Institute for Alcohol Awareness -- http://www.iiaaonline.org/. It includes a link to the Not in Our House campaign that has information for parents, school administrators, coaches, 9th & 10th grade teachers, and students themselves about preventing adults from serving alcohol to youth.

University of Minnesota's Alcohol Epidemiology Program -- http://www.epi.umn.edu/alcohol/ -- contains data in its Quick Facts tab about youth access to alcohol; where and when youth drink; public opinion on alcohol policy; and other related topics.

Finally, if I haven't mentioned this before, I should have. The Washington State Alcohol/Drug Clearinghouse -- http://clearinghouse.adhl.org/ -- contains links to all sorts of resources including free materials you can order through the site.

Who's to blame when you get drunk?

On National Public Radio's Talk of the Nation yesterday . . .

Who's To Blame When You Get Drunk? A man who got drunk on a United Airlines flight was arrested for beating his wife as they walked through customs. The couple is now suing the airline for serving him too many drinks. On an airplane, at a bar, or at a party, who's responsible when someone gets drunk? Guests were:

Jody Drews, mother of Jesse Drews, who died after drinking 15 shots in less than an hour at a bar

Michele Simon, a public health lawyer, and research and policy director for the Marin Institute

Susan Cheever, author of My Name Is Bill, about Bill Wilson, the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous

Communities That Care

Communities That Care (CTC) now has its own Wikipedia page. CTC is a coalition-based prevention operating system that uses a public health approach to prevent youth problem behaviors such as violence, delinquency, school drop out and substance abuse. This model is similar to the one used by the NE Seattle Coalition to Prevent Underage Drinking. Like the coalition, CTC's main strategy focuses on strengthening protective factors that can buffer young people from problem behaviors and promote positive youth development. We also work to reduce risk factors.

CTC was developed by the Social Development Research Group at the University of Washington's School of Social Work.

Effective prevention on college campuses

The third updated edition of Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention on College Campuses: Model Programs, published by U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, is now available at no charge.

The report includes descriptions of model programs at Auburn University, Boston College, Bowling Green State University, George Mason University, Gonzaga University, Grand Valley State University, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Lehigh University, Loyola Marymount University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Michigan State University, Rutgers, San, Diego State University, and Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute.

The book, which is in the public domain, can be viewed online at highereducationcenter.org/files/product/model.pdf. To obtain a free hard copy of the book, call toll-free 1-877-433-7827 (1-877-4-ED-PUBS) or 1-800-872-5327 (1-800-USA-LEARN) or email edpubs@inet.ed.gov.

Reducing drunk driving deaths

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has published "Lives Saved in 2007 by Restraint Use and Minimum Drinking Age Laws." The report's findings indicate that the 21-year-old minimum drinking age laws have prevented an estimated 4,441 drunken driving deaths in the last 5 years alone. (Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Sustance abuse and suicide prevention

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released a new white paper focusing on the current state of knowledge about the interrelationship between substance abuse and suicide. Entitled “Substance Abuse and Suicide Prevention: Evidence & Implications”, the document stresses substance abuse as a risk-factor for suicide and suicide attempts and the importance of continued learning about this connection to help prevent suicidal behavior.

Funding opportunities

Drug Free Communities Grant

The 2009 Request for Applications (RFA) for the Drug Free Communities program will be released on or about January 12, 2009. Subsequent to the release, application workshops will be held around the country to assist communities in responding to the details of the RFA. The closest one to Seattle will be held in Portland on Monday, February 2, 2009. Although there is no registration cost to attendees, you must RSVP.

The grants support coalitions of youth; parents; media; law enforcement; school officials; faith-based organizations; fraternal organizations; State, local, and tribal government agencies; healthcare professionals; and other community representatives. The Drug Free Communities Support Program enables the coalitions to strengthen their coordination and prevention efforts, encourage citizen participation in substance abuse reduction efforts, and disseminate information about effective programs.

Stipend for Teach-In

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is making available a limited number of stipends for community-based organizations (CBOs) to conduct Reach Out Now Teach-Ins (RONTIs). Stipends in the amount of $300 will be awarded to up to 2,000 organizations on a first-come, first-serve basis. CBOs must declare their intent to participate by completing an online confirmation form.

Since the NE Seattle Coalition to Prevent Underage Drinking held a Town Hall Meeting in March 2008, our community is eligible for the stipend. Please contact me if you are part of the NE Seattle community and would like to host a Teach-In.

Grants to Prevent High Risk Drinking Among College Students

The U.S. Department of Education´s Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools recently announced that they are accepting applications for the Grants to Prevent High-Risk Drinking and Violent Behavior Among College Students competition. They anticipate awarding 18 grants in the amount of $100,000-$150,000 each. The deadline to apply is Jan. 30, 2009.

This program provides funds to develop, enhance, implement, and evaluate campus-based and/or community-based prevention strategies to reduce high-risk drinking and violent behavior among college students.

School Character Education Grant

The Sprint Character Education Grant Program accepts applications for funding of character education programs promoting leadership, youth volunteerism, character education, and school pride. Grants will fund the purchase of resource materials, supplies, teacher training, and equipment that facilitates character education for K–12 students.

Applications for 2009 will be accepted February 1-27. Public schools may apply for individual school grants up to $5,000.

From JoinTogether.org:

Youth Violence Prevention Grant

The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will award a pair of $500,000 grants to assess the efficacy of community policy, economic and environmental changes aimed at reducing youth violence.

"The purpose of this program of research is to assess the efficacy or effectiveness of interventions and policies designed to change the economic or environmental characteristics of a community to reduce rates of youth violence perpetration and victimization," according to the CDC. "Youth violence has been linked to a variety of factors, including individual, family, community, and societal characteristics. Although much research has been conducted on interventions to change the characteristics of individuals and families, less research has focused on evaluating interventions and policies designed to change community economic or environmental factors."

Nonprofits and public agencies are eligible to apply. Letters of intent are due Jan. 26, 2009; applications are due Feb. 23.

Gang Resistance Grants

The U.S. Department of Justice will award grants of up to $125,000 under its Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) Program, which aims to prevent youth gang involvement, violence and delinquency.

The program centers on lectures by police officers focusing on life-skills development -- similar to the D.A.R.E. drug-prevention program.

Application deadline is Jan. 22, 2009. Law-enforcement agencies are eligible to apply.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Youth binge drinking in France

According to the BBC news, binge drinking was once thought to be the exclusive province of young Brits and Americans, but now French adolescents are defying cultural stereotypes and drinking heavily with the intention of getting drunk, too.

According to the story, "The (French) government recognises the problem and plans to raise the legal age for buying alcohol from 16 to 18 next year."

"In some parts of Paris, municipal authorities have already targeted teenage drunkenness by declaring "dry areas" where drinking on the streets is banned at night."

"These measures mark a major shift in a society which used to take pride in initiating children into the art of sipping wine with their parents from an early age."

"The consensus was that this approach bred a moderate, mature attitude to alcohol."

"A glass or two of wine at home over dinner, it used to be thought, protected the French from the need to indulge in a British-style Saturday night booze-up at the pub."

The article goes on to state, "Our societies resemble each other more and more, and binge drinking, especially at weekends, has developed in recent years in France," says Patrick Bloche, mayor of the 11th Arrondissement, or district, of Paris."

Of course there is opposition to new French policies. People argue that teens are going to drink not matter what restrictions are put in place. This is simply not true. We have plenty of research that backs up the idea that prevention works. We know that teaching youth refusal and other social skills reduces underage drinking rates in a community. We know that parents who talk to their children about alcohol make a significant difference. We know that anti-underage drinking community norms make a difference in prevention. As our society's change and become more alike, it's important to remember that old ways of prevention and harm reduction may need to be re-assessed and updated.

KING5 story about parenting workshops

Thanks to partnerships with the University Family YMCA, Seattle Children's Hospital, and Seattle Public Schools, the coalition to prevention underage drinking in NE Seattle is able to offer many Guiding Good Choices (GGC) parenting workshops for free. With underage drinking rates in NE Seattle higher than the statewide average, these workshops are a part of a community-wide effort to reduce alcohol use among the youth in our community.

KING5 recently taped a GGC session at the YMCA and started broadcasting a story about it this weekend as part of their Children's HealthLink series.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Blog about using technology for prevention

Technology in Prevention is a blog for those of us who want to explore ways to use the Internet and other new technologies for drug/alcohol prevention. It describes itself as, "A virtual how-to hotspot for people who want to connect, inquire, discuss and learn to put technology solutions to work for prevention and social change."

Have you wondered what the following terms mean and how you may be able to use them:




The blog provide information about what these, and other tools, are and how we can use them as part of community prevention strategies. Check it out: www.technologyinprevention.blogspot.com.

Community organizing training

The Art & Science of Community Organizing

January 27-29, 2009 and March 18-19, 2009

Location: Homewood Suites by Hilton
6955 Fort Dent Way
Tukwila, Washington 98188

Sponsored by the Washington State Department of Community, Trade, and Economic Development (CTED).

Alcohol energy drinks to be discontinued

From the Marin Institute:

"In a major victory for public health and safety, MillerCoors has agreed to a landmark settlement with 13 state attorneys general and the city attorney of San Francisco, who were investigating the company over its alcoholic energy drink, Sparks. MillerCoors will stop producing and selling caffeinated beverages such as Sparks, a popular orange-flavored alcopop made with stimulants. MillerCoors also agreed to end misleading and youth-oriented marketing tactics. Combining caffeine with alcohol has been linked to various public-health risks, especially among underage drinkers. Last year, Marin Institute released the report, Alcohol, Energy Drinks, and Youth: A Dangerous Mix."

Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna was among the attorneys general who asked MillerCoors to stop producing these alcoholic energy drinks. Earlier this year, Attorney General McKenna said, “Drinks like Sparks Red offer a witch’s brew of stimulants and alcohol, marketed in a way that is very appealing to young people. But MillerCoors can’t responsibly ignore the overwhelming evidence that this dangerous mix has a devastating impact on our youth.”

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Leadership forum scholarships available

The annual Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) Leadership Forum will be held in the Washington, DC area February 9-12, 2009. The forum includes many opportunities to learn about what prevention activities are working in communities around the nation and features a Capitol Hill Day, when advocates meet with their federal representatives.

Scholarships are available and applications must be submitted by December 22.

Minority sexual orientation and youth alcohol use

According to findings published in the November edition of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, "compared with heterosexual participants, youth reporting any minority sexual orientation reported having initiated alcohol use at younger ages . . . Younger age at alcohol use initiation among participants with minority sexual orientations significantly contributed to their elevated risk of binge drinking."

The article concludes: Our findings suggest that disparities in alcohol use among youth with a minority sexual orientation emerge in early adolescence and persist into young adulthood. Health care providers should be aware that adolescents with minority sexual orientation are at greater risk of alcohol use.

Public lecture on prevention at UW School of Social Work

The University of Washington's Social Development Research Group is co-sponsoring a lecture by Steve Sussman on “Tobacco Prevention and At-Risk Adolescents”.

Date: Wednesday, January 7

Time: 3:30 - 5:00 p.m.

Place: UW School of Social Work Commons (Rm. 305)

Dr. Sussman is first author on the book Developing School-Based Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Programs (1995) and is the lead author on the upcoming text The Social Psychology of Drug Abuse. He was the principal investigator of Project Towards No Tobacco Use (Project TNT), a tobacco-use prevention and cessation project among young teens that is being disseminated nationally by the Centers for Disease Control as a "Program That Works" and by the Centers for Substance Abuse Prevention as a model program.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Parents pledge to keep kids alcohol-free in their homes

As part of the coalition's community-wide activities to prevent underage drinking, the second edition of Eckstein's Drug Free Homes Parent Pledge & Directory was released today.

Based on parent pledges implemented in other communities (often under the name of "Safe Homes"), parents agree to monitor their children and not allow underage alcohol use in their homes. The resource section provides parents with tips for keeping parties alcohol-free and information about how to recognize signs of alcohol and drug use among youth.

By signing the pledge, parents signal to other parents, children, and the community that they do not think underage drinking is acceptable.

The pledge is not a legally-binding contract -- it's one tool parents can use to prevent underage drinking and drug use. For information about other parenting resources and programs, visit www.PreventionWorksInSeattle.org.

Free Prevention Workshops

The Washington State Tobacco Prevention Resource Center offers many free trainings for the prevention community.

Among the upcoming trainings being offered in western Washington that would help with underage drinking prevention, as well as tobacco prevention, are:

Strategies for Community Level Prevention & Change -- Dennis Embry of the PAXIS Institute will be the trainer. He is an expert on low-cost, evidence-based prevention "kernels" that have been proven to influence behavior;

Motivational Interviewing -- a style of interacting founded on the belief that people are more persuaded by what they hear themselves say than by what someone else says or tells them to do;

The Impact of Stereotypes on Ethnically Diverse Groups -- exploring how people have been socialized to think about differences and to increase understanding of how oppressive experiences shape the racial identity of people of color.

It's easy to register online . . . register soon, though. Trainings usually fill up quickly!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Free Parenting Forum Jan. 29th

The locally-based, nationally-recognized SAMA Foundation is hosting a Parent Infromation Forum for parents concerned about their child's alcohol and/or other drug use. Space is limited, sign up here.

SAMA stands for Science and Management of Addictions. This organization was founded by parents who spent several painful years dealing with their teen daughters alcohol and drug problems. They've created an excellent resource through their website and actively work to give parents in similar situations the support and resource information they need. If the forum sign-up is full, it's worthwhile to visit the site.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Parents who let kids drink? It’s a bad idea

Earlier this week, the Tacoma News Tribune published an article about parents who provided alcohol to their minor children and were arrested. As these parents are finding out, there are serious legal consequences for providing kids with alcohol.

While many parents seem to think that other parents think it is okay to give teenagers alcohol, it's simply not true. The NE Seattle Coalition to Prevent Underage Drinking completed a parent survey in our community last spring. It turns out that 90% of the parents surveyed said that it is NOT OKAY for teenagers to drink at parties even if they don't get drunk. In addition, 90% of parents stated that it is NOT OKAY for parents to give alcohol to teenagers who are not their own children.

So, as parents, let's stop providing our children with alcohol. The vast majority of parents will support you if you provide healthy alternatives to alcohol and you won't be putting yourself at odds with the law.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Youth Substance Use Trends

Rates of youth alcohol dependence or abuse remained steady between 2002-2007, according to the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health Report. The report also shows that alcohol continues to be the number one drug of choice among adolescents nationwide. Northeast Seattle is no different.

In terms of addiction, the percent of adolescents meeting the criteria for alcohol dependence or abuse is higher than those meeting the criteria for illicit drug dependence or abuse. Rates of alcohol dependence/abuse remained the same between 2006-07.

We know that youth who use alcohol at an earlier age are more likely to become addicted. That's why it's important for parents to start talking to their children about alcohol sooner rather than later. Visit the coalition's website for links to resources about preventing youth alcohol and substance abuse.

Problem parents?

A recent publication from the Center for Substance Abuse Research reports that there are four characteristics of "problem parents". "Problem parents" are defined as those who fail to

1. monitor their children's school night activities;

2. safeguard prescription drugs at home;

3. address the problem of drugs in schools;

4. set a good example.

The NE Seattle Coalition to Prevent Underage Drinking is helping parents prevent underage drinking and substance abuse among their children through:

Guiding Good Choices workshops;

Parent Pledge & Directory;

Parenting resources on our website;

Planning a parenting forum on how to monitor your children. See our calendar of events for information on our next planning meeting.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Children’s Hospital Presents:
Teens Mastering Recovery

A FREE post substance abuse treatment, recovery support group
For teens ages 14-18

Light snacks and beverages will be served

Teens: Tuesdays 6:15 to 8:15 P.M. January 13th - March 24th

Parents: Tuesday, January 13h & March 24th

Seattle Children’s Hospital
4800 Sandpoint Way NE
Seattle, WA

Teens should have:
· Successfully completed a substance abuse treatment program
· A parent/guardian willing to participate in 2 group sessions
· A desire to remain abstinent while continuing to grow and learn in early recovery.
· A strong desire and ability to participate in all sessions.

For information or to recommend a teen for this group contact:
Mandy Williams, MSW CDP

Free parenting workshops!

Free Guiding Good Choices parenting workshops will be offered throughout the winter and spring of 2009 in northeast Seattle. Thanks to the University Family YMCA, Children's Hospital, and Seattle Public Schools, we are able to sponsor the workshops at different times and places.

Guiding Good Choices is an evidence-based substance abuse prevention program for parents of children in grades 4-8. It was developed by J. David Hawkins and Richard Catalano of the University of Washington's Social Development Research Group.

While these workshops are for families living in zip codes 98105, 98115, and 98125 and/or who have a child attending Eckstein Middle School, if space is available, other families may register, as well.

Visit www.PreventionWorksInSeattle.org for more information.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Coalition in the news!

Sally James, a freelance writer, recently interviewed several community members for a story on underage drinking, parenting, and the prevention efforts of our coalition. The story appears in the online version of December's Seattle’s Child. It was written in response to an article a parent sent to Seattle’s Child about her son’s involvement in a car crash.

Webinar on Reward & Reminder Program

This free webinar is on the science behind Reward and Reminder and how this strategy can be applied to reducing rates of underage drinking in a community. Reward & Reminder is a program that helps communities monitor retail compliance with laws prohibiting the sales of tobacco and alcohol to minors.

When: Friday, December 12 at 2:00 - 3:30 pm Eastern (11:00 am - 12:30 pm here on the west coast)

Featuring Dr. Dennis Embry of the Paxis Institute.

No reservations are needed. Just dial in and click on the link below the day of the meeting.

Webinar Link: Participants can join the event directly at:

The net passcode is Kernel

Dial in Phone number: 888-972-6407. The phone pass code is Kernel

Adolescent Development VideoConference

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has scheduled a VideoConference Presentation entitled Adolescent Development and Alcohol Use, scheduled for Tuesday, December 9, 2008 at 2:00 pm Eastern Time.

The presenters are two of NIAAA’s experts on underage drinking research –

Dr. Vivian Faden, Deputy Director of NIAAA’s Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research, and Dr. Patricia Powell, Chief of NIAAA’s Scientific Policy Branch.

Drs. Faden and Powell will cover a wide range of areas related to adolescence and alcohol – statistics, neuroscience, growth and development, influence of peers and parents, cultural and behavioral milestones in adolescence, and societal influences, among other issues. They will outline the “state of the science” in this area and how this pertinent information can be used by educators, counselors, community leaders, and parents when addressing this issue with today’s youth. A Q & A session will follow.

To access the upcoming presentation and Q&A session, please follow these simple steps:

At 2:00 pm (11:00 am here on the west coast) on December 9, call the toll-free conference line at 800-369-1707. The passcode is 6207. An operator will register you and put you on hold. Please keep this line open during the presentation as it will be used for the Q&A session immediately afterward.

Once you have registered with the conference operator, visit https://webmeeting.nih.gov/adolescent/ to view the presentation and slideshow. Please note that the audio for this presentation will be heard through your computer speakers – not the telephone line -- so please make sure your speaker volume is sufficient.

How Teens Obtain Alcohol

A study released by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shows that teenagers get alcohol the following ways:

30.6% paid for the last alcoholic drink,

26.4% got it for free from a nonrelative of legal drinking age,

14.6% got it for free from another underage person,

5.9% got it from a parent or guardian,

8.5% got it from another relative who was of legal drinking age.