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NOV
13
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Coalition Community Survey Now Available Online

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The Middlesex County Coalition for Healthy Communities is seeking feedback with its on-going community survey about substance misuse. Mara Carlin, Coalition Coordinator, said the survey has been conducted for the past eleven years. “We survey anybody in Middlesex County who is 18 or older,” she said. “Then we compile the data and give feedback back to the Coalition members on what we found and that helps us shape what kind of issues we want to try to address in the community through our awareness and education programs.” Some of the programming will focus on things like social norms campaigns. Carlin gave the example of how previous surveys may have responses where the perception is that much of the youth drink or smoke. “Even though people perceive that’s what happening, that’s not the case,” Carlin said. “The Coalition is also able to take the community survey data and compare it to...
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105 Hits
SEP
14
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Piscataway High School Back-to-School Night

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By Melisa Damcevska, Preventionist I The end of summer, the drop of the temperatures, and the start of a new school year also means schools are hosting annual Back-to-School Nights. These are annual events where parents and guardians are given an opportunity to experience the daily steps their children take while at school. Wellspring Center for Prevention hosted a table at Piscataway High School’s Back-to-School Night earlier this month. The staff came armed with information about substance use prevention and mental health promotion. Parents were able to collect valuable information and community resources right at the school. For many parents and youth, high school is a time of transition, growth and self-discovery, as well as a time where the susceptibility to substance use may skyrocket as youth begin to figure out who they are. Having these tools and information is critical to keeping students and parents informed and ultimately, healthy....
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229 Hits
AUG
09
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Wellspring Helps Celebrate National Night Out 2018

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Melisa Damcevska, Preventionist I For the past 35 years, annual National Nights Out across the country have been held in order to strengthen partnerships between police and the community, raise neighborhood morale and comradery, and create safer, more active communities. In Middlesex County, New Jersey, the vision is no different. National Nights Out events were held several communities throughout the county including Dunellen, Middlesex, Spotswood, Metuchen, South Brunswick, Milltown, South River, Piscataway, as well as Asbury Park in Monmouth County, among many others. Community members were given the opportunity to explore resources their own town has to offer, meet and interact with others, and engage in games, activities, and plenty of food. Wellspring staff was on hand at several of the Night Out events, armed with information about substance use prevention, as well as anti-stigma campaigns for substance abuse, information specifically for youth athletes and opioid use, and free giveaways...
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232 Hits
JUN
29
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Wellspring Staffer Recognized by Old Bridge BOE

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By Melisa Damcevska, Preventionist Caption: Old Bridge Superintend of Schools David Cittadino presents Jenna Bonstein with a Certificate of Appreciation for her work in the community According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 115 people die every day in the United States after overdosing on opioids, from prescription pain relievers to heroin to more powerful synthetic opioids such as fentanyl (NIDA 2018). 115 people every day dying from a cause that is 100% preventable if prevention and education begins early enough. That is where Jenna Bonstein comes in. A Preventionist at Wellspring Center for Prevention and a peer recovery coach at Woodbridge Addiction Recovery Mentorship Program. Jenna, a life-long Old Bridge resident, has seen both ends of the addiction continuum from early prevention all the way into maintaining recovery. Jenna has been an incredible advocate for opioid overdose prevention by sharing her own story of addiction with over 800...
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301 Hits
MAY
14
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Prevention Week at South Brunswick High School

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By Melisa Damcevska. The week of May 14th to May 19th marks SAMHSA’s 6th annual Prevention Week, a week that is solely dedicated to increasing the prevention of substance use and promotion of mental health. This year’s 2018 theme is “Action Today. Healthier Tomorrow” reminding all of us that the choices we make today will have consequences later on in life. Individuals, organizations, coalitions, and communities are encouraged to spread information and raise awareness to the prevention of substance use and the importance of mental health and wellness. Each day of the week focuses on particular topic: promotion of mental health, underage drinking, prescription drug and opioid misuse, youth marijuana and illicit drug use, prevention of suicide and prevention of youth tobacco use. South Brunswick High School is just one of the schools and communities across Middlesex County participating in Prevention Week. Students wrote letters to their future selves titled...
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456 Hits
MAY
09
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Be Smart About Medicine Awards Dinner 2018

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By Melisa Damcevska, Preventionist I Every day, 2,000 teenagers take a prescription drug recreationally for the first time . Whether through self-medication or a lack of awareness of the risks, prescription drug abuse among adolescents is a growing and serious problem. To help raise awareness about prescription drug misuse among adolescents, the Coalition for Healthy Communities of Middlesex County has orchestrated its annual “ Be Smart About Medicine ” poster contest. Middle school students in grades 6-8 throughout Middlesex County are encouraged to submit artwork, whether through a written story or poem or a drawing, to showcase their freedom of expression as well as spreading valuable information to their peers. At the conclusion of the contest, three winners for first, second and third place are chosen for each grade, and these nine students are honored at the Annual Be Smart About Medicine Awards Dinner. This year, The Coalition for Healthy...
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124 Hits
APR
17
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Wellspring Participates in South Brunswick Mental Health and Wellness Fair

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By Melisa Damcevska On April 6, 2018, South Brunswick high school’s 3,000 students were treated to a school-wide Mental Health and Wellness Fair, placing a much-needed emphasis on mental health, substance use, nutrition, and overall wellness. Support services and agencies from all over New Jersey were represented; students were able to participate in trivia games to show their knowledge, ride a bike in order to power a blender to blend their own smoothies, as well as receive information and resources about where to get help if they themselves or someone they know needs it. To entice students to speak directly to vendors and visit tables, students who visited four tables or more were entered in a raffle for a chance to win various prizes. Wellspring Center for Prevention provided a table with information about underage drinking, vaping and e-cigarettes, marijuana and other drugs, as well as providing resources for mental...
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354 Hits
MAR
15
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Hidden in Plain Sight Program Provided In South River

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By Melisa Damcevska, Preventionist I On March 12th, 2018 at 6:30pm, parents gathered in South River High School’s Media Center for a presentation that would forever change how they looked at their children’s bedrooms. Hidden in Plain Sight is a parent program that educates parents on the different methods in which an adolescent experimenting or abusing drugs and alcohol can hide substances, paraphernalia and other items in their own bedrooms, often disguised as something completely innocent. A glass knick-knack on a shelf is really a type of pipe used to smoke, an empty, crushed can of soda can double as a makeshift pipe, and even books can have holes cut into them to act as hiding places. Parents in attendance were shocked at the different, inventive ways youth and companies have found to hide substances and use of them. Many may see the event as a reason to panic and...
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388 Hits

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