Thursday, March 28, 2013

Most teens who drink get alcohol socially

Last week, I posted 2012 Healthy Youth Survey (HYS) information about youth substance use rates in NE Seattle.  Among NE Seattle students who use drugs/alcohol, HYS results continue to show that alcohol is their drug of choice.

HYS results also continue to show that youth who drink overwhelmingly get alcohol through social means, not by purchasing it.  Studies show that the same is true for marijuana

Among NE Seattle teenagers who drink:
  • 48% got alcohol from friends;
  • 21% got alcohol at a party;
  • 21% took alcohol from home without parental permission;
  • 14% got alcohol from an older sibling;
  • 11% bought alcohol from a store;
  • 11% got alcohol at home with parental permission;
  • 10% gave money to someone to buy alcohol for them;
  • 8% got alcohol at a family event;
  • 7% got alcohol some other way.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

New resources available for preventing underage drinking during prom & graduation season

With prom and graduation season approaching, teens are excited to celebrate these end-of-year moments free from all restraints. But with so many celebrations, it is also a time of increased pressure to fall under the influence of drugs, alcohol, and other risky behaviors.

To help teens "stay above" these pressure-filled moments, the "Above the Influence" campaign is launching new activities designed to raise awareness of the added risks and challenges youth face during this time of the year.  These activities, and more, are available through the ATI Activities toolkit found on the ATI Partners website.

Among the resources available on the website is this prom-related postcard.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

2012 Healthy Youth Survey results: Roosevelt High School

In October 2012, Washington State public school students in grades 6, 8, 10, and 12 took the Healthy Youth Survey.  Earlier today I posted the results regarding substance use among students attending Nathan Hale High School.  Yesterday I posted Eckstein Middle School substance use results. Below are results from Roosevelt High School.

Dark blue column = Roosevelt results
Light blue column = WA State average

Complete results are posted on the Prevention WINS website.

2012 Healthy Youth Survey results: Nathan Hale High School

In October 2012, Washington State public school students in grades 6, 8, 10, and 12 took the Healthy Youth Survey.  Yesterday I posted Eckstein Middle School substance use results.  Below are results from Nathan Hale High School.

Dark blue column = Nathan Hale students
Light blue column = WA State average

Complete results for Nathan Hale High School are posted on the Prevention WINS website

Some local convenience stores make it easy for youth to steal beer

During the Prevention WINS general meeting earlier this week, members of Nathan Hale's Raiders Against Destructive Decisions (RADD) provided coalition members with a summary of what they found when they visited local convenience stores that sell alcohol. 

They shared photos of one store that show single-serving beer cans and bottles next to soda, juices, and other products that teenagers frequently buy.  Single-serving beer containers are displayed along bottom shelves, making it easy for people to shoplift.  RADD also noted that the clerk did not pay attention to them while they were in the store.

RADD is now ready to take their presentation on the road and show it to local community groups.  RADD is available evenings starting at the end of April to give this 15-20 minute presentation.  To learn more or to arrange for a presentation, contact the RADD adult advisor

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

2012 Healthy Youth Survey results: Eckstein Middle School

Last week, results from the 2012 Washington State Healthy Youth Survey were released. 

During yesterday's Prevention WINS general coalition meeting, results for NE Seattle were reviewed.  The coalition looked at data from Eckstein Middle School, Nathan Hale High School, and Roosevelt High School.  Full results are posted to the Prevention WINS website and over the next few weeks I will post results here. 

Starting with Eckstein data, below are charts regarding substance use among 6th and 8th grade students.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Prevention WINS meeting: March 19, 8:00 a.m.

Prevention WINS General Coalition Meeting
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
8-9:30 a.m.
Seattle Children's Hospital, RC.3.906

Agenda items include:

  • Review of the 2012 Healthy Youth Survey results for NE Seattle; 
  • Presentation about RADD's Community Assessments of Neighborhood Stores; 
  • How to sustain youth substance abuse prevention strategies in our community.

All Prevention WINS meetings are open to the public.

In the news . . .

It's time to clean out my "to share" file again!

Parents, just say no to sharing tales of drug use with kids: New research suggests that parents should not talk to their children about their underage drug use.

Prescription Drug Abuse
The existential pain of being young, white, and affluent discusses how the abuse of prescription drugs is most common among those who enjoyed the most advantages in adolescence.

Washington near top, again, in prescription pain pill use provides information from the 2010-11 National Survey on Drug Use and Health that shows that our state ranks in the top five among all 50 states in the percent of people 12 and older who report misusing prescription painkillers.

Washington State Department of Health data show that while hospitalizations for prescription pain medication overdoses continue to increase in our state, the number of deaths have decreased.  A story broadcast on KPLU reports that Washington deaths have dropped for three years in a row.  "We can't point to just one thing we have done and say, 'This is the reason we have this outcome.'  It's been a number of things over time," says Dr. Maxine Hayes, State Health Officer at the Department of Health. 

The geography of violence, alcohol outlets, and drug arrests in Boston suggests that areas with the highest levels of violent crime were poorer and had greater numbers of alcohol outlets and higher drug arrest rates.

A model to determine the likely age of an adolescent's first drink of alcohol discusses a study that added social and family risk factors to an assessment used to determine when a teenager is likely to start drinking.

Bucking the teen curfew in Switzerland describes a growing trend among Swiss towns to introduce curfews as a way to reduce "the sight, and sound, of teenagers drinking alcohol in the park on long summer nights."

Marijuana Legalization in Colorado
Colorado task force says marijuana should be in child-proof packages and not contain any logos or ingredients designed to solely appeal to children.

Drug testing company sees spike in children using marijuana and " . . . it appears that they're using pot more often."  Experts also say that "children are getting higher than ever with alarming levels of THC, marijuana's active ingredient, in their bodies."

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Early conversations about drugs and alcohol are important for building trust

The March 2013 edition of Seattle's Child includes an article from "The Dad Next Door" about what parents can do to prevent youth substance abuse.

When providing advice about building trust he writes, "Start early, and keep it up.  Because one day, if you run out of trust, your options will be few, and none of them will be good."  If parents start talking with their kids about drugs and alcohol, set up family rules, and monitor their whereabouts before 8th grade, it will just become how things are done at home.  Establishing rules and starting to monitor children after they enter high school is much more difficult.

If you are a NE Seattle parent of a fifth grade student and don't know how to start a conversation with your child, two Prevention WINS coalition members can help.  They can provide free 30-minute presentations to NE Seattle parent groups about how to start talking now.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Learn about policies to improve student safety during prom and graduation season

The prom and graduation season are celebratory events.  Unfortunately, the days prior and following these events can include tragic stories of serious injuries and deaths resulting from poor decision making by youth while under the influence of alcohol.  A number of strategies and policies can prevent youth access to alcohol and prevent underage drinking.

Learn about these strategies during a free webinar, "Policies to Improve Student Health and Safety During High Risk Times of Year", Thursday, March 21, 12-1:15 p.m.  Click here to register.

Online course teaches how to prevent underage parties

A new online course provides information about best practices for preventing underage drinking (and now toking) parties and how to disperse them.  A few of the outcomes participants in the 6-hour training can expect are:

Identify methods to talk to adults about underage use in their community;

Share safe party tips and prevention efforts with potential hosts and parents;

Give example of effective ordinances;

Be able to effectively work with the media.  

Other online courses include "Conducting Compliance Check Operations" and "Environmental Strategies".  A new course, "Techniques for Managing Special Events", will be added soon.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Talking to teens and parents about marijuana

Earlier this week, I attended a presentation given by Dr. Sarah Swoboda about how health care providers can talk to adolescents and their parents about marijuana in this new ear of legalization.  Below are a few of her slides.  Though the presentation was for health care providers, much of it can inform substance abuse prevention.

AAP = American Academy of Pediatrics

Data for the slide above comes from: How much for a dime bag?  An exploration of youth drug markets.

The slide above indicates that youth are more susceptible to marijuana dependence than adults.  This is reflected in youth substance abuse treatment data that indicates that the primary reason youth enter treatment is for marijuana.  Adults primarily enter treatment for alcohol problems.

The full presentation may be viewed here.