Coalition Blog

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Ongoing News and Information from the Wellspring Center for Prevention Coalition
APR
19
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6th Annual "Be Smart About Medicine" Winners Announced

6th Annual "Be Smart About Medicine" Winners Announced
The Coalition for Healthy Communities announced the winners of the sixth annual "Be Smart About Medicine" Creative Expression Contest at a special awards dinner held on April 13, 2016 at the Clinical Academic Building of Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. The program aims to promote awareness about prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse among middle school students and encourage them to "Be Smart" about prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Students in grades six through eight from across Middlesex County were invited to submit an entry to the sixth annual "Be Smart About Medicine" Creative Expression Contest. From nearly 100 entries, nine were selected as winners. All finalists and their families attended the awards dinner, in addition to some of the schools’ representatives. This was the first time that every school that participated had at least one winner. Prizes were awarded for first, second, and third place winners in each grade (6-8), with a...
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  1609 Hits
1609 Hits
MAR
22
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Dunellen Municipal Alliance to Host Special Town Hall Meeting On Underage Drinking

Dunellen Municipal Alliance to Host Special Town Hall Meeting On Underage Drinking
Underage drinking is a risky behavior that is attractive to many teenagers. When young people try alcohol, they often don’t realize the harmful effects drinking can have on their own lives, their families, and their communities. The event is scheduled for Monday, April 11th at 6:00 pm. The Town Hall meeting will be held at the Dunellen Cinema Café. Fact: In Middlesex County, 11.6% of 8th graders, 19.5% of sophomores, & 33.4% seniors reported drinking in the past 30 days! The town of Dunellen will host a special Town Hall meeting, open to community members in Dunellen and surrounding towns, to discuss the many different issues and problems related to underage drinking. Parents, teachers, local officials, youth and other community members will be educated about the impact that underage drinking has on their community, with the goal of developing a plan to begin to address this issue. Titled “Underage Drinking: What’s...
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  1770 Hits
1770 Hits
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...
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  1586 Hits
1586 Hits
JAN
13
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Join Us for the Human Trafficking Community Forum Part III

Join Us for the Human Trafficking Community Forum Part III
Human Trafficking Community Forum Part III: Let’s Make This the END of the ROAD WHEN: Jan 27, 2016 04:30pm - 08:45pm WHERE: Middlesex County Fire Academy CLICK HERE TO REGISTER  
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  1544 Hits
1544 Hits
JAN
06
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Linda Surks Celebrates 25 Years at NCADD/Wellspring

Linda Surks Celebrates 25 Years at NCADD/Wellspring
By Steve Liga, former CEO & Executive Director Twenty-five years ago, Linda Surks joined the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence through a temp agency as an office manager. When her contract was up, NCADD made one of its wisest investments and hired her outright. Before long, all around the office you could hear, “Linda, Linda, Linda!” Everyone needed her, because she managed the database, coordinated events, edited and laid out the newsletters (on paper!), and - once there was one - she managed the entire computer network. After the tragic death of her son, Linda could have walked away from NCADD and no one would have blamed her. Instead she recommitted herself to the agency like never before and became a nationally recognized speaker on the insidious nature of prescription drug abuse and the need for teens to look out for one another. She founded and then coordinated the...
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  1731 Hits
1731 Hits
NOV
24
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Blackout Wednesday

Blackout Wednesday
Over the past number of years, the night before Thanksgiving has slowly been turning into a huge binge drinking night for the young adult population. This is so much so that the night has even been nicknamed things like “Blackout Wednesday” or “Drinksgiving.” It’s traditionally a night that college kids are back home for the holiday, get together with old friends, and hit the drinking scene hard. It’s also a time when most people get out of work early that Wednesday and then have off the next day for Thanksgiving. With usual festivities not starting until later in the day, it allows time to recover from the partying the night before. Both of these variables make for a very dangerous combination that often leads to a night filled with poor choices. The night before Thanksgiving is really the unofficial start to the heavy drinking and DUI season that usually goes until...
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  1862 Hits
1862 Hits
NOV
17
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Family Bond and Communication

Family Bond and Communication
By Chynelle Menezes During adolescence, a strong familial bond and good communication can prevent teens from making risky health choices. We compiled a list of tips to help you have easier conversations with your teen about drugs (especially marijuana). Be Prepared . Start in a comfortable setting, preferably a relaxed time during a walk instead of family dinner. Make sure your body language is not closed off with crossed arms. If your teen is sitting, join him/her. Stay on the same level to acknowledge your teen’s maturity. Talking about drugs with an experimenting teen may result in things you don’t want to hear, but that’s ok. You want an honest discussion that establishes a bond of trust and security. Know your Goals . What are you hoping to understand through this conversation? Are you looking deeper at the reasons behind the drug use? Try to prompt deep thinking from your teen....
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  1815 Hits
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1815 Hits
NOV
11
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Take the American Medicine Chest Challenge

Take the American Medicine Chest Challenge
The 6th Annual American Medicine Chest Challenge National Day of Awareness of Prescription Drug Abuse and Safe Disposal will be held on this Saturday, November 14th . The Coalition for Healthy Communities urges families to take the 5-Step Challenge. In New Jersey, we have come long way and so much has been achieved – hundreds of permanent disposal sites have been installed and thousands of tons of prescription drugs have been collected. Yet, we are still in the midst of an epidemic of opiate abuse and the need has continued to expand ever since New Jersey held the first statewide day of disposal in the nation. When we began addressing this issue back in 2009, the answer seemed simple, dispose of the unused medicine in your home and prevent it from being diverted and abused by the young people in your life. Safe disposal opportunities have expanded in New Jersey, and...
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  1714 Hits
1714 Hits
NOV
02
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Coalition to Hold 12th Annual Young Women's Conference

Coalition to Hold 12th Annual Young Women's Conference
On December 1, 2015, the Coalition for Healthy Communities will hold its 12th annual Young Women’s Conference. The annual event draws participation from high schools throughout Middlesex County. Over 140 young women attend this full day conference, held at The Diocese of Metuchen, The St. John Neumann Conference & Banquet Center in Piscataway, NJ. The conference, titled “My Journey, My Voice: Empowering Young Women,” provides attendees with interactive and educational activities designed to help them gain invaluable knowledge and resources to support them throughout their lifetime. The primary purpose of the Young Women’s Conference is to provide attendees with information and tools they can then bring back to their schools and implement in a variety of ways. A couple of years back, one school’s students presented their campaign “You Are Beautiful” during the conference. “You are Beautiful” is a week-long event to build self-esteem and self-awareness in teen girls at their...
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  1664 Hits
1664 Hits
OCT
28
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Learn More About Human Trafficking

Learn More About Human Trafficking
Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery involving the illegal trade of people for exploitation or commercial gain. Every year, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked in countries around the world, including the United States. Human trafficking is a hidden crime as victims rarely come forward to seek help because of language barriers, fear of the traffickers, and/or fear of law enforcement. Traffickers look for people who are vulnerable for a variety of reasons. Runaway and homeless youth, victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, war or conflict, or social discrimination are frequently targeted by traffickers. Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital urges you to attend a community forum on this unthinkable issue. Education, outreach and advocacy are key! November 20th, 2015, 8:30a - 2:45p - Human Trafficking Community Forum Part III Middlesex County Fire Academy 1001 Fire Academy Drive, Sayreville, NJ The third in the series, the Human Trafficking...
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  1616 Hits
1616 Hits

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