Thursday, February 26, 2009

SAMA newsletter

I just got SAMA's February newsletter and it contains two good articles about Prescription Drug Awareness Day and the Secure Medicine Return Bill in Olympia.

Another blog

I was just at the CADCA website looking for information on an upcoming webinar, when I came across their National Coalition Institute's Blog. Not only does it contain useful information for coalitions but it lists links to other coalition and prevention-related websites (including this one).

What is "environmental" prevention?

A term that people involved with underage drinking and youth substance abuse prevention hear a lot these days is "environmental strategies". These types of strategies are aimed at changing the environment in which substance abuse can occur. It's more than a one-time program, it's changing the community in which we live. By altering the environment in our neighborhoods, we can impact behaviors and decisions regarding substance abuse.

Learn more for free and from the comfort of your own desk . . .

The Path to Community Change
A free webcast program
Thursday, March 26, 2009
10:00 - 11:00 Pacific Time

Learning Objectives:
1. Learn what an environmental strategy is and how to implement them.
2. See how applying environmental strategies can impact substance abuse.
3. Discover why it takes a group to implement true change.
4. Learn the seven strategies to affect community change.

Register by clicking here.

CADCA previously did some webinars on environmental strategies. Here are a few resources they provided:

PowerPoint on Environmental Strategies
A new publication about environmental strategies
"Roots of Environmental Strategies: A Public Health Model"
Example of a community implementing environmental strategies

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Other coalitions in WA

Prevention Works in Seattle (formerly NE Seattle Coalition to Prevent Underage Drinking) is one of twelve coalitions in Washington funded by a SPF-SIG grant from the Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse (DASA). DASA's February edition of "Focus" highlights the activities and accomplishments of a few coalitions in eastern Washington.

Asotin City Council Supports Youth Coalition (page 8) describes how the city council in this town in the southeast corner of the state voted to support the vision, mission, and goals of their local coalition.

The Science of the Positive: Social Norms Marketing (last page) describes how three coalition's are working with Jeff Linkenbach to create social norms marketing campaigns.

Friday, February 20, 2009

60 Minutes story about drinking age

This Sunday, February 22 at 7:00 p.m., 60 Minutes (CBS) will air a segment about "The Debate on Lowering the Drinking Age".

MADD has a good website about why the drinking age should stay 21.

In September, on behalf of the coalition, I submitted an opinion piece to The Seattle Times that was published in its online version.

If, as a country, we expand this debate about the drinking age, I encourage everyone who participates to be respectful of differing opinions and to ask ourselves what is best for our children and our communities. Remember that many prevention programs have been proved to reduce underage drinking rates, including among 18-21 year-olds and on college campuses.

Update: Social Emotional Learning Bill

I originally posted information about House Bill 1162-2009-10, providing for social emotional learning in public schools, on January 30.

A substitute version of the bill was voted out of the House Education Committee on February 10. The new version focuses on starting a Social Emotional Learning (SEL) account under the Secretary of State for funds to be deposited from both public and private entities. As they are available, the funds will be administered by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to provide SEL resources to Washington's schools.

A public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, February 25, 8:00 a.m.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Peter Block at CADCA Forum

One of the highlights of the 19th Annual CADCA Leadership Forum was listening to Peter Block's plenary session talk. He talked about creating public conversations that are not based on what is wrong with our communities and our youth, which focus on blame and deficiencies, but to focus on what is right with our communities and our youth and to build on those strengths. Community conversations that can create positive change should be about:

-- how citizens can take ownership of their communities;

-- what possibilities exist, focusing on the positive;

-- commitment to the community;

-- what gift each individual has to offer (it's not about the money). "Youth are gifts waiting to be delivered."

Check out -- LaDonna Coy has a good post about his presentation.

Peter Block's talk was preceded by an invigorating presentation by Karen M. Carpenter-Palumbo, Commissioner of the New York State Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services. She spoke passionately about the need for agencies and organizations to work together on common issues -- "communities of solution".

General coalition meeting 2/23

The next general meeting of Prevention Works In Seattle (formerly NE Seattle Coalition to Prevent Underage Drinking) will take place

Monday, February 23,
12:45 - 2:15 p.m.,
Eckstein Middle School, P10

The agenda includes reviewing new data to update our community assessment and planning for increased "environmental" strategies for the Drug Free Communities grant.

All coalition meetings are open to everyone interested in reducing underage drinking and youth substance use/abuse.

Interested in participating in the coalition but can't make daytime meetings? Consider joining one of the coalition workgroups. Active workgroups include:
  • Media Advocacy Workgroup
  • Parenting Workgroup
  • Drug Free Homes Parent Pledge Workgroup
  • Funding & Sustainability Workgroup
  • Enforcement & Consequences Roundtable.
Except for the Roundtable, all workgroups meet in the evening.

CADCA Leadership Forum

Last week, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) hosted its 19th annual Leadership Forum in the Washington, DC area. Prevention Works In Seattle/NE Seattle Coalition to Prevent Underage Drinking sent nine Nathan Hale High School students and two coalition members/chaperones to the conference.

One of the most exciting and important parts of the forum is Capitol Hill Day, when coalitions meet with their federal representatives. The Seattle delegation, including the Hale students, met with Representative Jim McDermott and his Chief of Staff, Mike DeCesare. We spoke about the drug and alcohol issues affecting our communities and how Rep. McDermott can best support our work. Here's a photo of our Hale group with Rep. McDermott:

Among the topics we discussed is the need for continued federal funding of drug/alcohol prevention programs in Seattle. Many of our prevention programs, including coalitions, rely on funds from the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention.

The entire Washington State delegation (80+ of us!) met with Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, but I'll blog about that later.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Monitoring teenagers

One way for parents to prevent alcohol and drug use among their children is to know where they are and what they will be doing during unsupervised time. Research shows that teens with unsupervised time are three times more likely to use marijuana and other drugs. Unsupervised teens are also more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as underage drinking, sexual activity, and cigarette smoking than other teens.

SAVE THE DATE! Join parents in our community to learn more about monitoring skills . . .

Monday, March 23
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Eckstein Middle School

This free parenting forum will feature Dr. David Hawkins, developer of Guiding Good Choices, and time will be set aside for parents to discuss with other parents their concerns and solutions when it comes to monitoring teenage children.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

WA high rates of nonmedical use of pain relievers

The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently released "States in Brief" reports from the National Survey on Drug Abuse and Health. From the first page of Washington's brief comes this statement:

"Washington's rates on many measures of use and abuse of alcohol and illicit substances have remained at or above the national rates. Of particular note are the rate of past year nonmedical use of pain relievers for all individuals 12 and older . . . . These rates have consistently been among the highest in the country."

The report also notes:

"While rates of unmet treatment need for alcohol use have generally been at or below the national rate, rates of unmet need for drug treatment in Washington State have generally been at or above the national rates for the population as a whole, as well as those age 18-25 and those age 26 and older."

Federal drug policy

The federal anti-drug budget trend toward funding supply reduction versus demand reduction (prevention and treatment) "runs counter to what research would otherwise suggest is necessary for an effective federal drug control policy", according to a policy brief by Carnevale Associates, LLC.

A second policy brief outlines their recommendations to the Obama Administration regarding effective national drug policy. It concludes:

"The next administration must rely on data and research when formulating the drug control strategy. Such an approach will likely lead to: reallocation of resources from supply reduction to demand reduction initiatives; identification of performance measures suitable for use with a research-based strategy; and re-establishment of surveillance systems essential to making the strategy responsive to emerging problems. Such fundamental change will produce better results while saving countless dollars and lives."

Hopefully, the new administration (including the soon to be former Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske) is listening and we will see an increased focus on prevention in our communities.

Seattle Police Chief new "Drug Czar"

As you've probably already heard, Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske reportedly has been nominated by the Obama Administration to direct the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Here is a sample of what's been reported in local media:

The Next Drug Czar, KUOW's The Conversation, February 11, 2009;

A new drug czar, a new opportunity, The Seattle Times, February 16, 2009;

From Seattle's top cop to 'drug czar', Seattle Post-Intelligencer, February 10, 2009.

Join Together's article includes quotes former Police Chief Norm Stamper and Washington State Representative Roger Goodman.

Recovery Support Summit

FREE Recovery Support Summit
February 25, 2008
11:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Garfield Community Center
2323 East Cherry Street, Seattle

To attend the summit, please RSVP by February 20 to or 206-322-7262.

The keynote speaker will be Randy Muck, the Chief, Targeted Populations Branch, at SAMHSA's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. He is responsible for the development, implementation, and evaluation of national programs for the treatment of adolescent substance abuse disorders.

Presented by the SAMA Foundation in partnership with Ryther Child Center, Seattle Public Schools, King County MHCADS Division, Public Health-Seattle King County, Teen Line, Seattle Counseling Services, and Lakeside Milam Recovery Center.

Think your child is using?

A new online resource is now available for parents who suspect their child is drinking or using drugs. Time To Act is a science-based resource that was created to ensure that every parent has free access, on their own terms, to the most current information on how to help their child and their family take the next steps.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Push to eliminate beers ads from NCAA games on tv

The Campaign for Alcohol-Free Sports TV is encouraging colleges and the NCAA to eliminate beer ads from game telecasts. More than 225 organizations have endorsed their efforts.

Super Bowl ads

According to a survey done among more than 8,400 middle and high school youth, by the Drug-Free Action Alliance in Ohio, following were their top five Super Bowl ads:

#1 and #2: Doritos

#3, #4, and #5: Anheuser-Busch alcohol products.

This survey comes after a recent report from media watchdog group Common Sense Media that found that ads featuring alcohol, sex, and violence are ubiquitous during NFL games.

As a way to try to counter-act the influence of beer ads during the Super Bowl, the Marin Institute hosted a Free The Bowl Video Contest. Click here to view the winning videos.

Prevention saves money!

Every dollar invested in substance abuse prevention yields $10 in savings, according to researchers from Iowa State University who recently presented their findings to the United Nations. Specifically, the researchers found that Life Skills Training and the Iowa Strengthening Families Program demonstrated significant cost benefits.

In 2004, the Washington State Institute for Public Policy reported similar findings. A summary of their findings can be viewed by clicking here.

Prevention Works In Seattle/NE Seattle Coalition to Prevent Underage Drinking is working with Eckstein Middle School to implement Life Skills Training, a middle school prevention curriculum.

Walking distance to alcohol retailer impacts youth alcohol use

According to an article published in the American Journal of Public Health, drinking rates are higher among 12 - 17 year-olds who live within a half-mile of an alcohol outlet and those teenagers are more likely to binge drink and engage in drunk driving.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

NW Alcohol Conference

The second annual Northwest Alcohol Conference is scheduled for July 16-17 in Boise Idaho.


After reading the post about youth alcohol use in the UK and Europe (1/30), LaDonna Coy, who blogs at Technology in Prevention, wrote a comment. She added this blog to her blog roll and blogged about this blog!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The CHANGES Parent Support Network (CPSN) is a non-profit organization to help parents who are experiencing problems with their adolescent children. CPSN provides a forum for empowering parents through its parent support groups, parenting workshops and educational seminars and materials. Parent support groups meet weekly throughout the Puget Sound area; Snohomish County, Kent, Seattle, Redmond and Des Moines. Meetings are free; donations are accepted. For more information, check out their website: Or call the number below:
CHANGES Parent Support Network
P.O. Box 33211
Seattle, Washington 98133

A FREE post substance abuse treatment, relapse prevention group
For teens ages 14-18
Light snacks and beverages will be served
Teens: Tuesdays 6:15 to 8:15 P.M. April 7th - June 23rd
Parents: Tuesday, April 7th & June 23rd

Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center
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