"Each year we bring our fifth graders to experience the Adventure Learning Center's alpine tower, giant swing, and team building exercises. They always come back energized, proud, and united! I believe it is one of the best field trips for kids! The staff is always positive, encouraging and totally dedicated to the kids. "

— 5th Grade Counselor, New Hanover County Schools

Author Archives: Tammy Brunelle

SAMHSA's 13th Annual Prevention Day

SAMHSA’s 13th Annual Prevention Day – February 6th

SAMHSA’s Prevention Day

Monday,  February  6, 2017

9 am – 4:45  pm

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The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services  Administration (SAMHSA) will convene its 13th Annual Prevention Day on Monday, February 6, 2017, in conjunction with the CADCA’s National Leadership  Forum.

SAMHSA’s Prevention Day highlights  “Power of Prevention: Strengthening Community Voices.” This exciting one-day event features dynamic speakers and informative training sessions for prevention practitioners, community leaders, researchers, and consumers in the behavioral health field sharing SAMHSA’s prevention priorities for the coming year and providing participants with the necessary training, technical assistance, and resources to successfully address prevention issues.

Share your experiences and information with other SAMHSA grantees and partners, and build your program skills across a variety of prevention topics. Also, learn how to leverage your community’s efforts, tell your prevention story, and showcase the impact of your prevention programming on community health by getting involved in SAMHSA’s 2017 National Prevention Week. This annual health observance is dedicated to increasing public awareness of, and action around, substance use and misuse as well as mental health issues.

Participants can check out the CyberCafe to find the wealth of SAMHSA’s multimedia prevention resources addressing topics such as underage drinking, suicide prevention, prescription drug misuse and abuse, and youth marijuana use.

Click here to register!

SAMHSA Prevention Day Opening Plenary

8:45 AM – 10:30 AM, Potomac Ballroom

The theme of SAMHSA’s Prevention Day 2017 is “Strengthening Community Voices.”  As part of the opening plenary, SAMHSA will host an interactive Community Forum to listen and discuss with the field emerging issues impacting communities working in substance use and misuse prevention with a goal of sharing knowledge and ideas.

Moderated by Washington, DC’s NBC4 news anchor Pat Lawson Muse, the Community Forum will feature a panel of prevention community leaders and experts representing communities from around the country with expertise in underage drinking, prescription and opioid drug misuse, marijuana and prevention work that engages diverse populations and regions.  Confirmed Community Forum panelists include:

  • Virgil Boysaw, Jr., Cecil County Drug Free Coordinator, Cecil County Health Department, Elkton, MD
  • Lynne Goodwin, MPA, Program Director, California Friday Night Live Partnership, Visalia, CA
  • Kelly J. Kelleher, MD, Director, Center for Innovation in Pediatric Practice, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, OH
  • Aaron Payment, Chairman, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, MI

During this important conversation, panelists will discuss with Prevention Day attendees the challenges and evidenced-based prevention solutions that are working in their communities. We encourage participants to come ready with questions for the panelist.

SAMHSA Closing Plenary

4:10 PM – 4:45 PM, Potomac Ballroom

Led by Washington, DC area youth, the Prevention Day closing plenary will be a lively conclusion to SAMHSA’s 13th Prevention Day and kick-off planning and participation in SAMHSA’s National Prevention Week 2017 to take place May 14 – 20, 2017.  Hosted by students from The George Washington University’s Students for Recovery, the closing plenary will feature live improv performances by FoolProof, an improvisational theatre troupe made up of drug-free, alcohol-free and tobacco-free youth from Carroll County, MD, and highlight the new resources, activities and interactive challenge available for planning your community National Prevention Week activities.  Also, the closing plenary will feature remarks from SAMHSA and CADCA.  This session will be live webcast.

National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week January 23-29

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In the Port City the top three drugs youth are using are alcohol, marijuana and prescription drugs. New Hanover and Brunswick County are both in the top ten for prescription drug overdoses in NC and Wilmington is one of the top counties for heroin overdoses. Since eight out of ten heroin users started out with prescription drugs it is important to start educating our youth of these dangers when they are younger. National Drug & Alcohol Facts WeekSM  (NDAFW) is an excellent time to begin the conversation and NIDA can help with that.

National Drug & Alcohol Facts WeekSM started in 2010 by scientists as a way to educate youth on the science of drug use and addiction. However, you do not have to be a scientist to talk to youth and SHATTER THE MYTHS. Here are several of NIDA free publications you can either order or download as a PDF, Marijuana: Facts Parents Need to Know(available in both English and Spanish), and Family Checkup: Positive Parenting Prevents Drug Abuse. Also, our most popular NDAFW publication, Drugs: SHATTER THE MYTHS, is now available in Spanish.

Feel pretty confident on your knowledge about drugs and alcohol. During National Drug & Alcohol Facts WeekSM and year round, teens and adults can test their knowledge about drugs, alcohol, and drug abuse by taking the interactive National Drug & Alcohol IQ Challenge quiz. A new challenge is posted annually during NDAFW.

 

DRUGS & ALCOHOL CHAT DAY January 26th

Chat Day logo

Join the tenth annual Drugs & Alcohol Chat Day on January 26th as part of  National Drug & Alcohol Facts WeekSM. National Drugs & Alcohol Chat Day is an annual live online chat held between high school students through out the country and NIDA scientists. During National Drugs & Alcohol Chat Day students are able to ask scientists questions about drugs, drug abuse, including drug effects, addiction, and how to get help for themselves, family, or friends. Register for Chat Day!

 

National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month.

Last year nearly one third of all traffic fatalities were alcohol related and motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for youth 16-25 years old. Take the time now to learn how to identify, educate and prevent youth drugged driving. Click here to see the ONDCP toolkit for youth drugged driving. Click here to see the President’s National Impaired Driving Prevention Month proclamation.

 

National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

According to ONDCP, “In the last year, preventable alcohol-impaired driving crashes accounted for nearly one-third of all traffic fatalities. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among youths and young adults aged 16–25 years in the United States.”

Click here to identify, educate and prevent youth drugged driving.

World AIDS DAY

WHAT IS WORLD AIDS DAY?

Originally posted on worldaidsday.org.

World AIDS Day is held on the 1st December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day, held for the first time in 1988.

WHY IS WORLD AIDS DAY IMPORTANT?

Over 100,000 people are living with HIV in the UK. Globally there are an estimated 34 million people who have the virus. Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.

Today, scientific advances have been made in HIV treatment, there are laws to protect people living with HIV and we understand so much more about the condition. Despite this, each year in the UK around 6,000 people are diagnosed with HIV, people do not know the facts about how to protect themselves and others, and stigma and discrimination remain a reality for many people living with the condition.

World AIDS Day is important because it reminds the public and Government that HIV has not gone away – there is still a vital need to raise money, increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education.

Click here to finish reading about World AIDS Day.

Presidential Proclamation -- National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, 2016

NATIONAL IMPAIRED DRIVING PREVENTION MONTH, 2016
– – – – – – –
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION

Driving drunk, drugged, or distracted poses a significant threat to drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and all who share our roads. During the holiday season, incidents of impaired driving occur more frequently, and every December, we observe National Impaired Driving Prevention Month to highlight steps we can take to improve safety on our streets and raise awareness of these preventable dangers.

Recently, the number of traffic crash fatalities caused by impaired driving has unfortunately increased — last year, preventable alcohol-related driving fatalities accounted for nearly one-third of all traffic fatalities. Consumption of alcohol by drivers, even those who are of legal drinking age, is highly dangerous, and drug use, including prescription drug use, can also harm judgment, perception, and the motor skills used when driving. Distracted driving — including eating, tending to passengers, and using a cell phone — can also be dangerous and is equally preventable.

We can all do our part to keep our roads safe and prevent these tragedies. As passengers, we can reduce our interactions with drivers and lessen distractions. As friends and family members, we can look out for loved ones who may be drinking and help them get home safely. And as citizens, we can always call 911 to report any dangerous driving we observe.

My Administration has worked to help Americans who struggle with substance use disorders and substance misuse, which can lead to incidents of drunk or drugged driving. We are also striving to give law enforcement officers the resources and support they need to combat impaired driving, and we must encourage the development of technologies like ignition interlock devices, which can prevent impaired individuals from getting behind the wheel. Through the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, States and communities across our country are working to increase road patrols and sobriety checkpoints, in addition to raising awareness and improving education on the dangers of impaired driving. You can learn more about what we are doing to prevent impaired driving by visiting www.WhiteHouse.gov/ONDCP/DruggedDriving, www.NHTSA.gov/DriveSober, and www.Distraction.gov.

Whether encouraging parents to set a good example for their teen drivers or educating every driver on the dangers of unsafe driving, we must recommit to doing everything we can to prevent driving-related injuries and fatalities. This month, let us continue empowering drivers to make responsible decisions and educating the American people on ways they can help keep our roads safe and our futures bright.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim December 2016 as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. I urge all Americans to make responsible decisions and take appropriate measures to prevent impaired driving.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-first.

 

BARACK OBAMA

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Get Ready...Set...Quit! by the CDC

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The American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout is the perfect starting point.

If you’re a smoker, setting a date to quit can be an important step in protecting your health and the health of your loved ones. The American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout encourages smokers to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking on a specific day. This year, the 41st annual Great American Smokeout will be held on November 17 and will encourage the 36.5 million adults in the U.S. who smoke cigarettes to quit.

Many loved ones have probably urged you to quit smoking already, and you’ve probably wanted or tried to quit. We know that quitting can be hard, but don’t give up. Just as every successful goal starts with planning and preparation, so too does quitting. When you plan to quit smoking during the Great American Smokeout, you are celebrating this day with millions of other smokers across the nation who also want to quit. Join in by participating in social media conversations, chatting live with a counselor or calling a quitline, or teaming up with friends, family, or co-workers for encouragement. Smokers who have support are more likely to quit for good!

 Sign that read Finish Line Ahead and Hang in ThereSetting a quit date puts you one step closer to your goal of quitting smoking.

Five Ways to Get Ready to Quit Smoking

You’re taking an important step toward feeling better and creating a healthier life when you set out to quit smoking cigarettes. A good plan can help you get past symptoms of withdrawal. Take these five steps to improve your success:

  1. Set a quit date. Choose the Great American Smokeout or another quit day within the next 2 weeks.
  2. Tell your family and friends about your quit plan. Share your quit date with the important people in your life and ask for support. A daily phone call, e-mail, or text message can help you stay on course and provide moral support.
  3. Be prepared for challenges. The urge to smoke is short—usually only 3 to 5 minutes, but those moments can feel intense. Even one puff can feed a craving and make it stronger. Before your quit day, write down healthy ways to cope.
    • Drink water.
    • Exercise.
    • Listen to a favorite song or play a game.
    • Call or text a friend.
    • Get social support by joining @CDCTobaccoFree on Facebook and Twitter.
    • Sign up for SmokefreeTEXT for 24/7 help on your mobile phone.
  4. Remove cigarettes and other tobacco from your home, car, and workplace. Throw away your cigarettes, matches, lighters, and ashtrays. Clean and freshen your car, home, and workplace. Old cigarette odors can cause cravings.
  5. Talk to your pharmacist, doctor, or quitline coach about quit options. Nicotine patches, gum, or other approved quit medication can help with cravings.

In Focus: Smoking and Mental Health

You may already know that smoking causes immediate damage to your body and that it threatens your future with increased risks for cancer, heart attack, lung disease, and early death. But did you know that one group of people especially vulnerable to high rates of smoking are adults with mental distress* disorders and people with mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression? More than 3 in every 10 cigarettes smoked by adults in the United States are smoked by persons with mental health conditions.