Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Youth substance abuse treatment for alcohol and marijuana

To follow up with an earlier entry about King County youth substance abuse treatment trends . . .

Youth treatment admissions are different from adult admissions
While marijuana and alcohol are the top two drugs used by youth admitted into treatment, with marijuana way ahead of alcohol, adult treatment admissions tell a different story. Among adults admitted into treatment in King County, alcohol is by far the primary drug. Illegal drugs round out the top five: cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and meth.

Most people who are addicted to alcohol and marijuana start using as youth
Of all people who entered treatment in King County in 2008, 81% of those who were admitted for alcohol addiction and 92% of those who were admitted for marijuana addiction started using the substances before the age of 18.

Not only does this information point toward the need for effective prevention programs among youth, it points to the importance of including youth substance abuse prevention in our conversations about marijuana decriminalization and legalization. Especially considering that the primary way that youth access needed substance abuse treatment is through the juvenile justice system. Our conversations should include how we, as a community, can prevent youth substance abuse and provide youth with access to treatment before they are in trouble with the law.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Positive adolescent development

On May 20, 2010, Prevention Wins hosted a community meeting featuring Dr. Leslie Walker from Seattle Children's Hospital. Dr. Walker spoke about positive adolescent development and parenting. A few interesting facts that she shared included:

-- If a child is reticent to share information with parents, parents usually monitor that child less. If a child easily discloses information to parents, parents often monitor that child more.

-- Children of parents who helped with homework are less likely to use illicit drugs.

-- Children whose parents engage in monitoring behaviors are less likely to use alcohol.

More information about parental monitoring skills is available at Parents: The Anti-Drug.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Parent Factor

The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) is hosting a free online broadcast about how coalitions are trying to reach parents in non-traditional ways.

The Parent Factor: Partners in Prevention
Thursday, June 24, 2010
10-11:00 a.m. Pacific Time

Prevention Summit 2010

Save the date . . .

Washington State Prevention Summit
October 15-16, 2010
Yakima Convention Center
What is the Prevention Summit? Check out last year's website.

Binge drinking in France

From The Guardian:

"Until several months ago, the apero was the bastion of civilised Gallic routine: a delicate early evening staple cherished as much by families in la France profonde as by the chattering classes of Paris.

That was before the noisy arrival of the apero geant -- giant aperitif -- a new phenomenon that is sweeping France, raising fears that the genteel pastime is being hijacked by binge-drinking revellers."

"Uppermost in the concerns of the French authorities is the spread of binge drinking among the younger generation. As more and more of its adolescents report getting drunk regularly, the nation that used to pride itself on its leisurely consumption has been forced to admit it too has a problem."

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Privatization of liquor stores

Up to three initiatives that concern the privatization of liquor sales may appear on the November ballot in Washington. If approved, the initiatives would be a significant set-back for substance abuse prevention efforts in our state. Liquor control is a proven "environmental strategy" for preventing underage drinking.

Here are a few talking points about why state-run liquor stores are good for preventing underage drinking:

The Washington State Liquor Control Board's 94% no-sale-to-minors compliance rate is the highest in the nation. The private-sector compliance rate for alcohol sales is much lower, with rates ranging from 76%-84%.

States with retail monopolies have a lower prevalence of drinking and binge drinking among people between 12 and 25 years old.

Because state-run stores are state property, states can more easily regulate the on-site marketing of alcoholic beverages, including the promotion of products within the stores the display of exterior advertising for alcoholic beverages.

The Washington Association for Substance Abuse & Violence Prevention (WASAVP) is working to prevent these initiatives from being approved by voters this fall. WASAVP is a volunteer-run organization and is always looking for new members to support its mission to unite prevention advocates.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Community meeting & coalition celebration

Keeping Our Adolescent Children Healthy
May 20, 2010
Eckstein Middle School
3003 NE 75th Street

6:00 p.m. free supper
7:00 p.m. keynote from Dr. Leslie Walker, Seattle Children's Hospital
8:00 p.m. celebrating Prevention WINS

This is a community event and everyone is welcome!

NE Seattle parent survey

Prevention WINS is conducting a survey of northeast Seattle parents about underage drinking and youth marijuana use in our community. If you are a parent of a child in grades K-12 in NE Seattle, please take few minutes to take the survey!

While all Seattle parents are welcome to take the survey, the coalition is targeting NE Seattle parents since the survey results will help us develop prevention strategies for NE Seattle families. Prevention WINS has funding to serve NE Seattle due to the high underage drinking rates in our community's high schools. Coalitions in other areas of the city are addressing youth substance abuse in West, South, and Central Seattle.
Some parents who have taken the survey have voiced concerns about questions asking about what they think other parents in our community do when it comes to preventing substance abuse among their children. One of the reasons this survey is being conducted is to assess social norms among parents in NE Seattle. The questions in the survey are asked specifically for that purpose.
Perceptions of others' behaviors about, for example, parenting practices and attitudes toward the risk of using marijuana, have a significant effect on and individuals own behavior. If the survey results indicate a discrepancy between parenting behaviors and perceptions of parenting behavioral norms in our community, the coalition may use that information to develop a social norms marketing campaign.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Teenagers, drinking & driving

Nearly all high school juniors and seniors believe their peers are more likely to drink and drive on prom and graduation nights according to the Center for Substance Abuse Research. Despite this perception, students do not think driving on these nights is dangerous.

In northeast Seattle, 23% of high school juniors and 33% of high school seniors report riding with someone who has been drinking.

Source: 2008 Healthy Youth Survey results for Eckstein Middle School, Nathan Hale High School, and Roosevelt High School.