OCT
31
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What Every Parents Should Know About CBD

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THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is the most well-known component of marijuana, and it is the one that "gets you high," so to speak. But have you heard of CBD? Many parents haven't, or even if they have, they aren't sure what to make of it or even understand if their son or daughter is using CBD. What's certain is that it's becoming more and more widely ...
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OCT
02
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It’s Time Parents Knew What Vaping Is

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As I sit here and write this column, I am sure some of the information below will have changed or updated. That is the nature of the topic I am about to cover. So if something happened over the past week, sorry about that but I am glad you are keeping updated.Anyway, allow me to start with a little bit of a backgrounder. Vaping has been around for ...
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AUG
06
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Pathways Summer Camp 2019: Final Two Weeks!

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Karolyn Estevez, Youth Development SpecialistAs summer 2019 comes to a close, we note that this year's camp has been filled with much joy and enthusiasm by both our staff and our campers. Throughout the last two weeks of camp, our students dove deeper into learning healthy coping skills as well as competitive team building games. One of the main go...
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AUG
06
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Pathways Summer Camp 2019 – Weeks 1 & 2

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Written by Karolyn Estevez, Youth Development SpecialistPathways has been very busy this summer with this year's summer camp.This year Pathways welcomed approximately 50 students to participate in the summer program and our 2019 campers are filled with energy and enthusiasm.Each day students come in ready to partake in the activities that the couns...
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JAN
16
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School Athletes and Opioids: A Risky Proposition

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By Elaine Chan, InternThe New Year can offer many, new, and exciting opportunities. However, the New Year can also pose arduous obstacles. One of the challenges that school administrators and communities may face is the opioid misuse prevalence among student–athletes as new sports season starts.Despite the positive benefits young athletes gain from participating in organized sports, such participation may actually put some adolescents at risk for substance use because of increased access to pain medications.Youths who participate in high-injury sports may be surrounded by peers who are more likely to have leftover prescription opioids, making it easier to receive diverted prescription opioids to ease injuries without having to acknowledge to parents and coaches that they need medical attention (e.g., hiding injuries from coaches to participate). Therefore, youths involved in organized sports may be at a higher risk to misuse opioid medications because of their increased risk for injury.Great ways to supplement...
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DEC
13
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Addiction News & Policy Update for Week Ending December 14, 2018

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Internet gambling addiction is a looming crisisIn her Nov. 28 presentation at Liberty University, First Lady Melania Trump stated that the opioid epidemic was the “worst drug crisis in American history.”Learn More Surge in young people going into private addiction clinics as poorer addicts 'pushed into gangs'While well-off addicts can afford private treatment, poorer teenagers with mounting drug problems are being failed by public services, making them 'ripe for grooming', experts warnLearn More The Strongest Evidence Yet for a Highly Controversial Addiction TreatmentWhen other approaches fail, the most effective way to fight a heroin addiction can be heroin itself.Learn More  Update—Outbreak of Life-threatening Coagulopathy Associated with Synthetic Cannabinoids UseSince the index patient with hypocoagulopathy associated with synthetic cannabinoids use was identified on March 8, 2018 in Illinois, at least 324 people have presented to healthcare facilities with serious bleeding from possible exposure. Learn More Fentanyl overtakes heroin as the No. 1 opioid overdose killerAs...
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NOV
09
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Don’t Let the Burden of Loss Drag Our Youth Down

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The past few weeks have been rough for the Wellspring family. One of our staff lost her 36 year old son and at Carteret High School, and more specifically our Pathways program at the school, lost one of their students.This got me thinking about the power of loss to transform us and those around us. Everyone experiences it differently, and though there is no “right” or “wrong” way to grieve, some ways of coping are more productive than others. The thing is, I don’t ever remember learning about how to handle loss until I lost my son 40 years ago.Which made me think about those we care for and educate every day. Our youth.When I look at these most important residents, I sometimes see a lot of pain, and I don’t think they know what to do with it. I worry they don’t have the time to even try to figure...
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AUG
07
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New School Year Coming and Youth Will Need Their Sleep!

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Leading up to the start of the new school year next month, I am sure you will recall that there have been some media coverage of reports on the sleep needs of our youth. I doubt that these report tells us much we all didn’t already know: getting teens out of bed is almost impossible. At least we now know it isn’t because they are just being difficult. We are asking them to do the exact opposite of what their bodies are designed to do at this stage of their development.What I find lacking is that there has been little discussion on how this lack of sleep can influence mental health and substance use.Chronic lack of sleep can affect mood in significant ways. We can all attest to the grumpiness and lack of patience we feel when we have been up too late or need to get up too early. Our...
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JUL
03
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Summer Fun Should Not Involve Booz for Kids

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The lazy days of summer are here. Unfortunately, this is also a dangerous time for our youth.Other than the few hotspots during the school year, such as Halloween, Homecoming, New Year’s Eve, Prom, and Graduation, summer sees more initiation of substance use than any time of the year. One of the top reasons youth cite for experimenting with alcohol and other drugs is, “There’s nothing else to do.”Why do youth turn to alcohol and other drugs when they are bored?Probably because that is what we have taught them to do when they want to have fun. I’m not saying we tell kids to drink; I mean we show them. What’s the opposite of sitting home bored? How about having a party? And what’s at the top of the shopping list for a party? Why, alcohol, of course.I was reminded of this recently when I bought a bottle of wine to bring...
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MAR
08
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Pathways Youth Take a Trip to Count Basie Theatre

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By Lisa Lussier, Clinician I -PathwaysThrough a grant from the State of New Jersey Juvenile Justice System, staff at the Pathways School Based Youth Services Program, took twenty middle school students to the Count Basie Theatre, in Red Bank New Jersey.Staff and students had the pleasure of watching a performance of the Mayhem Poets. This diverse three-man show combines elements of hip hop, theatre, improv and stand up comedy, to deliver powerful and positive messages.For some of our students, this was their first theatre experience and they shared how enjoyable it was to see a live performance. A few of the students shared that they now see poetry in a whole new light, as a great way to express their feelings. One student said that he now thinks of poetry as “cool and not just a boring subject he is forced to learn about in school.”The attendances were especially excited when...
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