Monday, October 26, 2009

Teen exposure to unhealthy messages online

A Snapshot of Data from Parents. The Anti-Drug provides a great deal of data about teen Internet use and their exposure to drug/alcohol messages; bullying; and other messages that are not "age, stage, or developmentally" appropriate or healthy. The last section of the document is entitled: Parents Are Oblivious to Their Teen's Exposure to Risk Online.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Earlier this week (10/20) I blogged about Red Ribbon Week activities at Nathan Hale High School. Well, KING5 did a story about the activities, including an interview with RADD (Raiders Against Destructive Decisions) members, and here it is!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Federal support of prevention

Earlier this month, ONDCP Director Gil Kerlikowske addressed the International Association of Chiefs of Police. During his address, he emphasized the importance of comprehensive prevention programs. Among his remarks:

Our youth are the group most vulnerable, so our first order of business has to be doing whatever we can to prevent young people's initiation into drug use.

media campaign not only raises awareness of the drug problem, it helps reduce the demand for drugs. Research shows that teens exposed to the media campaign's messages, in addition to in-school prevention programs, are significantly less likely to smoke marijuana.

The importance of drug-prevention programs has long been recognized, and there is no shortage of prevention programs, on a small-scale.

A large body of research shows that if we could align and coordinate more of the individual, short-term prevention programs, we could create more powerful and effective "continuing prevention" systems . . . They should also bring to bear multiple sources of influence on adolescents, including parents, schools, police, faith communities, healthcare providers, peers, and other members of the community.

Uncoordinated prevention efforts are not the fault of those who provide prevention services . . . One of my priorities will be promoting blending funding streams among Federal agencies to encourage communities to prepare for and adopt comprehensive prevention programs . . .

Parenting & underage drinking

Here are a few interesting charts that were included in our latest Drug-Free Homes Parent Pledge:

Data source: 2008 Healthy Youth Survey of students grades 6-12 attending Eckstein Middle School, Roosevelt High School, and Nathan Hale High School. Thanks to Lauri Turkovsky at DBHR for creating them!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Football players wearing red ribbons

If you are going to the football game between Nathan Hale (NHHS) and Ingraham High Schools on Thursday, you will notice that the NHHS football players are wearing red ribbons.

Raiders Against Destructive Decisions (RADD), the substance abuse prevention club at NHHS, is observing Red Ribbon Week this week. The purpose of Red Ribbon Week is to increase awareness about the harmful effects of underage drinking and substance abuse.

In addition to football game activities, RADD is sponsoring school-wide announcements, lunch-time activities, and contests. RADD and their activities are part of a community-wide effort to raise awareness of the high underage drinking rates in northeast Seattle and to work towards reducing those rates.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Is prevention a public safety issue?

I just watched Round 4, Public Safety: Law & Justice, of the Countywide Community Forums. It features a panel discussion that includes a King County Council member, the Sheriff, King County Prosecutor, and King County judges. What continues to strike me is how much of our public safety system deals with drug and alcohol addictions. The primary topic during the first half of the forum was how police and the courts deal with people who have addiction and mental illness problems. The majority of people who enter the justice system do so with a drug/alcohol problem and/or a mental illness.

After watching the forum, I couldn't help but think, once again, that it is a shame that none of the panelists talked about PREVENTION. They talked about the need for treatment but they didn't talk about how we can prevent addiction so that people don't end up in the justice system.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Free parenting workshops at Children's Hospital

A series of Guiding Good Choices parenting workshops will take place at Seattle Children's Hospital:

November 16, 23, 30, December 7 & 14
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

To register, contact Kelly Kerby at Children's Hospital at 987-1359.

This is the last year of the grant that allows us to provide Guiding Good Choices (GGC) for free in northeast Seattle. Take advantage of this opportunity to help your children remain drug and alcohol free. GGC is an evidence-based underage drinking and substance abuse prevention program for parents of students in grades 4-8.

Coalition meeting today!

General Coalition Meeting
TODAY! Thursday, October 15
4:30-6:00 p.m.
Eckstein Middle School Library

Discussion Topic: How do northeast Seattle teenagers access drugs and alcohol?

All coalition meetings are open to the public.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Drug-Free Homes Parent Pledge

Within the next week, the 2009-10 Drug-Free Homes Parent Pledge will be mailed to all Eckstein Middle School parents and guardians. When parents/guardians sign the pledge they agree not to allow underage drinking in their homes and agree to monitor their teenagers to the best of their ability.

The pledge is part of a community-wide campaign to prevent underage drinking. It is one tool the coalition offers parents/guardians. Guiding Good Choices parenting workshops and a Student Assistance Counselor are also available to help adults prevent underage drinking and substance abuse.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Partnership with LCB

Over the past three years, the Prevention WINS coalition has been fortunate to have the Washington State Liquor Control Board (LCB) as a strong community partner. Lt. Susan Blaker, Regional Government Liaison, has been an active member of the coalition's Enforcement & Consequences Roundtable, a group that gets together regularly with the goal of increasing communication and cooperation between enforcement agencies, courts, and probation.

Lt. Blaker recently emailed me to tell me about the work Seattle Liquor Control Officers are doing. She wrote:

I took an informal poll of our officers asking for an approximate number of MIP’s (Minor In Possession) they have written this past summer. Our Seattle team reports 73 . These citations are above the officer’s regular duties performed inside licensed premises. The officers report contacting intoxicated juveniles as young as 14 years of age in high crime areas of Capitol Hill.

We have an amazing high energy group and I wanted you to be aware of their efforts in this area of public safety.

In northeast Seattle, the LCB has been working with the Seattle Police Department to remove the liquor license from a local mini-mart that has a long history of selling alcohol to minors.

The LCB has been supportive of statewide prevention, as well. As I've blogged about previously, the LCB is in the process of changing rules regarding alcohol advertising to reduce youth exposure to them.

Preventing underage drinking and youth substance abuse is a community-wide endeavor that includes students, parents, schools, community organizations and agencies. We are fortunate to have dedicated partners like the LCB and other enforcement agencies.

Keeping booze ads out of kids' faces

If we believe advertising works, then the Washington State Liquor Control Board is ready to make a smart move.

From "The Olympian" opinion page:

"The proposed rules eliminate such alcohol marketing from our smaller ball fields, such as where Little League teams play. Under these rules, the minimum distance these ads can be from schools, day cares, public parks, etc. is set at no less than 500 feet."

More coverage on, "State considers curbing liquor ads"

Monday, October 5, 2009

General coalition meeting

Prevention WINS General Coalition Meeting
Thursday, October 15, 2009
4:30 - 6:00 p.m.
Eckstein Middle School library

Topic: How do northeast Seattle teenagers access drugs and alcohol?

Snacks will be served!

Everyone is welcome!

Candidate forum at Eckstein

Candidate Forum
Monday, October 12
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Eckstein Middle School

7-8:00: City Council, City Attorney & Mayoral Candidates

8-9:00: School Board Candidates

Everyone is welcome!

Local officials can effect policy regarding underage drinking and youth substance abuse. These policies can effect our community prevention activities. Will we have elected officials with whom we can partner? Make an informed decision -- attend Monday's forum!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Prevention for everyone

If you've been to any prevention-related conferences lately, you will have heard about Dr. Dennis Embry. To get a taste of what he talks about, check out this video: Prevention for Everyone. In it, he makes the case for why prevention for everyone is important to all our futures.

More about the legal drinking age

Members of the faculty of the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health recently wrote a commentary for, Drinking age of 21 save lives.

From Reuters: Pressures mount as binge-drinking hits Italy. Another article busting the myth that European countries don't have a youth drinking problem.