JAN
19
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Creative Expression Contest Entrants Invited

Creative Expression Contest Entrants Invited
Middle school students from across Middlesex County are once again invited to participate in a program designed to increase awareness of prescription and over-the-counter abuse.Entries of the Coalition for Healthy Communities’ annual “Be Smart About Medicine” Creative Expression Contest are due by February 8, 2016.Prescription drug abuse has become a national epidemic, with an estimated 2,500 teens trying a prescription drug without a prescription for the first time every day. These drugs are readily available in most homes. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), prescription and over-the-counter drugs are the most commonly abused substances by Americans age 14 and older, after marijuana and alcohol. According to a recent Monitoring the Future Study results, 18.3 percent of 12th graders have taken a prescription drug in their lifetime; 12.9 percent have taken a prescription drug in the past year; and, almost six percent have done so in the past month.To...
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  1933 Hits
1933 Hits
JAN
05
0

Tobacco Trends

Tobacco Trends
During the early 2000’s, New Jersey was on the forefront of tobacco prevention. REBEL (Reaching Everyone By Exposing Lies), NJ’s youth anti-tobacco movement, was represented in every county throughout the state. The youth involved with REBEL helped pass legislation, including the clean indoor air act and changing the age of sale in the state to 19.We began to see the number of youth who began smoking decrease and children no longer had the perception that smoking was “cool”. In fact, most youth thought the opposite. Unfortunately, once the numbers of new smokers decreased, so did the funds allocated to tobacco prevention.With the growing popularity of e-cigarettes and vaporizers, we are now seeing for the first time in years the number of kids using tobacco products including e-cigs on the rise again. The new perception is that e-cigs are not harmful at all. The 2nd graders who get the Footprints for Life...
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  2192 Hits
2192 Hits
APR
18
0

ATOD & Advocacy Recap - Week ending April 18, 2014

On December 1, 2015, the Coalition for Healthy Communities held its 12th annual Young Women’s Conference with ten high schools from across Middlesex County in attendance. A total of 80 young women attended this full day conference, held at the Diocese of Metuchen St. John Neumann Conference & Banquet Center in Piscataway, NJ. The conference, titled “My Journey, My Voice: Empowering Young Women,” provided participants with interactive and educational activities designed to help them gain invaluable knowledge and resources to support them throughout their lifetime.This year, unlike previous years, we started the Conference with a keynote speaker, Lauren Hernandez. Lauren is 15 years old and an International Gymnast on the United States National Gymnastics Team. Lauren spoke about what it has taken to get to the national level team, the hours of practice, overcoming adversity due to some major injuries. She hopes to make it to the 2016 Olympics in Rio...
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  1681 Hits
1681 Hits
DEC
09
0

Social Media and Its Effect on Our Youth – We’re Spreading the Message of Prevention

Social Media and Its Effect on Our Youth – We’re Spreading the Message of Prevention
By Nicki Francis, BA, PreventionistOn Tuesday December 8, Wellspring Center for Prevention presented to 1,300 students at Colonia High School.This program covered topics including: making good choices about social media; which apps that are popular with youth? And, the law and how it currently applies to sexting and Cyberbullying. The program also featured an education component including: how to keep yourself safe on the internet and to realize the importance of how what you post can have lasting effects on your future.Here are the facts:Sexual predators find, stalk, and assault victims through social media.Sexting (texting sexual content) can be a big problem. When teens post sexy photos or comments online, it can lead to criminal charges and child pornography. 88 percent of "private" sexual images posted to social media are stolen and publicly posted on porn sites without the subject's knowledge.Cyber-bullying is commonplace online, causes emotional trauma, and sometimes even leads...
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  4072 Hits
4072 Hits
SEP
27
0

Addiction News & Policy Update for Week Ending September 28, 2018

Addiction News & Policy Update for Week Ending September 28, 2018
By Anita Thomas, Wellspring InternKids nowadays have found a new trendy thing to do. Cigarettes? No, those aren’t cool anymore. In fact, they’re actually looked down upon. So now they turn to electronic cigarettes. E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that generally contain cartridges filled with nicotine, flavor and other chemicals. This mixture of chemicals and nicotine is called “e-liquid” or “e-juice.” The main components of an e-cigarette are the battery, the cartridge with the liquid, the atomizer and the sensor. E-cigarettes work by heating up the e-liquid to its boiling point, via the atomizer, so that the liquid becomes vapor you can inhale. This is why people usually calling smoking an e-cigarette “vaping.”Adolescents think that these new products are a safe alternative to cigarettes and cigars. However, in reality this is not the case at all. Tobacco companies market and sell e-cigarettes to a younger audience and they are readily available online...
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  1763 Hits
1763 Hits
MAY
18
0

National Prevention Week May 18-22, 2015

National Prevention Week May 18-22, 2015
National Prevention Week is an annual health observance promoted by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) and is dedicated to increasing public awareness of, and action around, substance abuse and mental health issues.This year National Prevention Week takes place May 17-23, 2015.National Prevention Week is held each year during the third week of May, near the start of summer. Summer is a season filled with celebrations and recreational activities where substance use and abuse can happen, such as graduation parties, proms, weddings, sporting events, and outdoor activities. National Prevention Week is timed to allow schools to take part in a prevention-themed event before the school year ends, raising awareness in students of all ages. The percentages of marijuana, cigarette, and alcohol initiates among youth increase between spring (April and May) and summer (June and July)1, and the timing of National Prevention Week helps to educate young people and their...
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  2273 Hits
2273 Hits
NOV
03
0

Task Force Calls for Better Enforcement of Mental Health and Addiction Parity Law

Every April is Alcohol Awareness Month, it is a time when prevention organizations all over the country bring programs to communities to increase awareness on alcoholism and alcohol related issues.This year NCADD’s theme is “For the Health of It: Early Education on Alcoholism and Addiction,” the month of April will be filled with local, state and national events aimed at educating people about the treatment and prevention of alcoholism, particularly among our youth, and the benefits of providing early education to give kids a better understanding of the impact that alcohol can have on their lives.NCADD National and NCADD of Middlesex County, Inc. want people to know that alcohol use by young people is extremely dangerous, both to themselves and to society, and is directly associated with traffic fatalities, violence, suicide, educational failure, alcohol overdose, unsafe sex and other problem behaviors, even for those who may never develop a dependence or...
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  1743 Hits
1743 Hits
DEC
11
0

Alcoholics Anonymous: Science vs. Sensationalism

Certainly, forms of cannabis (marijuana) extract have be around for many years, however there is a new form called “dabbing”, that has become popular among adolescents. This form of ingesting marijuana uses highly concentrated forms cannabis extract known as “dabs” or THC oil (marijuana’s active ingredient). Dabs are also called wax, shatter, and “errl”, the slang term for “oil”. The key elements in the process are butane blow torchers, THC oil, and a water pipe (bong) or vaporizer pen. Highly flammable butane is used to preheat the heating surface which is referred to as a “nail”. The nail can be titanium or glass. The oil that comes from the cannabis is then cooked which then turns it into a wax-like substance. After the nail is heated, the concentrate is “dabbed” on the surface. The butane is then used a second time to heat up the wax and turn it into vapor...
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  1831 Hits
1831 Hits
DEC
02
0

Best Ways to Chill Out

By Mara Carlin, Preventionist 1The Coalition for Healthy Communities is in the midst of conducting the 2014-2015PRIDE Student Survey for middle and high school students in Middlesex County. In the past the coalition surveyed 6-12th graders in selected schools throughout the county. This year we choose to only survey 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students so we would be better able to compare our results with national results collected for those grades. We are hoping to increase our survey participants from the 3000 students surveyed in 2012.  While helping assist school personal proctor the surveys, my colleagues and I could not help but eavesdrop on conversations the youth were having about the surveys. The 8th grade students giggled over some of the terms, and for the most part were somewhat naive when it came to a lot of the terminology used in the survey. One of the rules while conducting the...
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  1536 Hits
1536 Hits
OCT
18
0

Curbing Addiction Is Everybody’s Business

We knew that it would happen – gambling in New Jersey is on the rise. It is no coincidence that the problem has increased, particularly among adolescents, in a state that has vigorously promoted various forms of gambling from lottery tickets, horse racing, casino gambling and now to on-line wagering.It is a trend on the rise among teens lately, making gambling in schools a hot issue. According to the International Center for Youth Gambling Problems and High Risk Behaviors, approximately 4 to 6% of high school students are addicted to gambling and another 6 to 8% are at high risk of becoming addicted. When most people hear the term addiction, gambling is not one of the first things that comes to mind.Teens who start gambling at a very young age are at far greater risk of serious lifelong gambling problems than young people who wait slightly longer before first gambling. A...
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  1591 Hits
1591 Hits

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