"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

Gran Día de No Fumar

El tercer jueves de noviembre de cada año, los fumadores de toda la nación participan  en el evento Gran Día de No Fumar (Great American Smokeout) de la Sociedad Americana Contra El Cáncer. Los fumadores pueden utilizar esta fecha para hacer un plan dirigido a dejar de fumar o planear con anticipación y luego dejar de fumar ese día. El evento Gran Día de No Fumar les brinda una oportunidad a las personas a renunciar al uso del tabaco y ayuda a las personas a conocer los muchos recursos que pueden utilizar para ayudarles a dejar de fumar y mantenersen libre del tabaco.

Más de 40 millones de personas en los Estados Unidos todavía fuman. El riesgo de padecer del cáncer de pulmón ocurre  aproximadamente 23 veces más en los hombres fumadores y 13 veces más en las mujeres fumadoras, en comparación con las personas que no han fumado durante sus vidas. El tabaco es la causa principal de cáncer y de muerte prematura por cáncer.

Afortunadamente, en las últimas décadas se han visto grandes avances en el cambio de las actitudes en relación con el hábito de fumar, en los conocimientos sobre la adicción a la nicotina y sobre cómo ayudar a las personas a dejar el hábito.

Dejar de fumar tiene beneficios inmediatos igual que a largo plazo. Es difícil dejar de fumar, pero con apoyo puede tener éxito.  Los estudios han mostrado que los fumadores tienen más éxito en renunciar al hábito cuando cuentan con apoyo, como grupos, líneas telefónicas, y con medicamentos.

Great American Smokeout

GASO Banner 2016According to the American Cancer Society, every year, on the third Thursday of November, smokers across the nation take part in the American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout event. Encourage someone you know to use the date to make a plan to quit, or plan in advance and then quit smoking that day. By quitting – even for 1 day – smokers will be taking an important step toward a healthier life and reducing their cancer risk.

About 40 million Americans still smoke cigarettes, and tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the world. While cigarette smoking rates have dropped (from 42% in 1965 to 17% in 2014), cigar, pipe, and hookah – other dangerous and addictive ways to smoke tobacco – are very much on the rise. Smoking kills people – there’s no “safe” way to smoke tobacco.

Quitting smoking has immediate and long-term benefits at any age. Quitting is hard, but you can increase your chances of success with help. Getting help through counseling or medications can double or triple the chances of quitting successfully.

For more information please go to the American Cancer Society’s website.

Know! To Recognize & Respond to Bullying

NC Parent Resource Center brings you Know!

Talking regularly with kids about the dangers of alcohol,
tobacco and other drugs reduces their risk of using.

Click here to read original post

Know! To Recognize & Respond to Bullying

October is National Bullying Prevention Month; an opportunity to bring awareness to an issue that is negatively impacting children and families nationwide.

Bullying touches the lives of at least one out of every four children in the U.S. In this year alone, approximately 13 million youth from preschool to high school will experience it. Yet, many parents do not even know their child is a victim. One study revealed that as many as 64% of youth who were bullied did not tell a parent, teacher or any other adult about it. Will your child be one of them? Would you recognize it and know how to respond?

Bullying can take various forms. While the schoolyard bully who pushes around smaller children or steals their lunch money still exists, the term “bullying” includes several other negative behaviors. Bullying can be physical, verbal, sexual, emotional, cyberbullying or combinations of the five. In any case, according to Pacer Center’s Teens Against Bullying, it’s considered bullying if:

  • The person is being hurt, harmed or humiliated with words or behavior.
  • It can be behavior that is repeated, or it can be a single incident.
  • It is being done intentionally.
  • The person being hurt has a hard time defending him/herself from the behavior.
  • Those who are doing it have more power, meaning, they are older, physically stronger, have a higher social status, or if multiple youth “gang up” on another child.

Click here to read the whole article.

Red Ribbon Week 2016


Take the National Red Ribbon Campaign Pledge now and be a part of the creation of a drug free America.


  1. As parents and citizens, we will talk to our children and the children in our lives about the dangers of drug abuse.
  2. We will set clear rules for our children about not using drugs.
  3. We will set a good example for our children by not using illegal drugs or medicine without a prescription.
  4. We will monitor our children’s behavior and enforce appropriate consequences, so that our rules are respected.
  5. We will encourage family and friends to follow the same guidelines to keep children safe from substance abuse.


October is National Bullying Prevention Month

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Every October, schools and organizations across the country join STOMP Out Bullying™ in observing National Bullying Prevention Month. The goal: encourage communities to work together to stop bullying and cyberbullying by increasing awareness of the prevalence and impact of bullying on all children of all ages.

To read the whole article or for more information click here.

Family Day - 2016


Family Day – Monday, September 26th 2016

Family Day is a national movement established in 2001 to promote simple acts of parental engagement.

So many of us are wearing multiple hats in both our professional lives and our personal ones.It may be hard to find time to do everything we and our children want to do. But according to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA), even small everyday activities such as tucking your child in at night or driving them to soccer practice can have lasting effect on children by providing them an opportunity to communicate. Opening the lines of communication while they are young and keeping them open as they grow older will not only have a positive impact on your child’s life, but will also set a good example for when they get older. It is up to us to start the chain reaction.

“America’s drug problem is not going to be solved in courtrooms or legislative hearing rooms by judges and politicians. It will be solved in living rooms and dining rooms and across kitchen tables – by parents and families.” Joseph A. Califano, Jr., The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse Founder and Chairman Emeritus

Become a Family Day STAR!

I commit to:

SSpend time with my kids

TTalk to them about their friends, interests and the dangers of nicotine, alcohol, and other drugs

AAnswer their questions and listen to what they say

RRecognize that I have the power to help keep my kids substance free!

Take the pledge here.

Live Facebook Chat-Partnership For Drug-Free Kids

Partnership for Drug-Free Kids

You’re Invited! LIVE FACEBOOK CHAT on Rx Stimulant Abuse Among Students
Meet the Parents Hour- Alan Schwarz- ADHD Nation- PartnershiJoin us next Tuesday, September 20 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. EDT for a live Facebook chat with Alan Schwarz, former national correspondent for The New York Times and author of the new book A.D.H.D. Nation.

Alan will discuss the prevalence and normalization of teens abusing Rx medications used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) without a prescription. He will also answer your questions and address teen misperceptions about the safety of Rx stimulants taken without a prescription and discuss what should be done to address this dangerous behavior.

“Because the drugs are readily available, they’re coming out of backpacks into the other students’ hands.”

We invite you to submit questions in advance and Alan will do his best to answer them during the chat. Click here to submit your questions to webmail@drugfree.org.

To participate in the chat, please “Like” and visit our Facebook Page at 12:00 p.m. EDT on September 20. The chat will take place right under the announcement image of Alan Schwarz in the comment thread. Please make sure to refresh your browser throughout the chat to view all of the comments in real time and follow the live conversation.

To learn more about what the Partnership is doing around Rx stimulant abuse, take a look at our new documentary, BREAKING POINTS.

International Overdose Awareness Day


International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event to raise awareness to overdoses, break the stigma, and spread the message that they are preventable.

What is our community doing to prevent overdoses:

Through youth, parent and family education the Brunswick County Coalition, Cape Fear Coalition and Coastal Horizon’s Prevention Department are working to prevent the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs. According to NIDA, 8 out of 10 heroin users started with prescription drugs and New Hanover and Brunswick County are both in the top ten for prescription drug overdoses in North Carolina. By partnering with other organizations we  also address proper storage, use and misuse. Click here to find a medication drop box near you.

North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition (NCHRC) provides harm reduction resources such as Naloxone, syringe exchange, and the Good Samaritan Law.

DEA National Take-Back Initative

Brunswick and New Hanover Counties are in the top ten for prescription drug overdoses in North Carolina. According to the National Institute on Drugs (NIDA), in 2014, 54% of prescription drugs were obtained free from a friend or relative.

“About 165 kids — or roughly four school busloads of children — are seen in emergency rooms for medication-related treatment every day in the U.S.,” said Kate Carr, President and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide. “Every one of those trips was preventable. We can and must do better.”

In 2010, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) hosted the first ever national prescription drug take-back event. All 50 states participated with a total of more than 4,000 events and over 242,000 pounds of prescription drugs were turned in. Six years later during the May 2016 event, at over 5,400 sites the DEA collected  893,498 pounds of unwanted medicines—about 447 tons.

Last fall in New Hanover County we also broke our record. The team of community partners lead by New Hanover Regional Medical Center collected over 900 pounds of pills.

Let’s continue to take the necessary steps to protect our youth and clean out our medicine cabinets. The next event in New Hanover County will be Saturday, September 17th from 9am to noon at the Medical Mall on 17th Street. Follow the Cape Fear Coalition on Facebook for more information about the New Hanover event.  Follow the Brunswick Coalition on Facebook for more information about the upcoming Brunswick County event.

Can’t make an event or need to get your medication out of your home right away, drop them off at one of the permanent medication drop boxes in your area. Click here for Brunswick County’s locations and here for New Hanover County’s location. If you live out of these two counties, click here to choose your county and find the one closest to you.

Recovery Month 2016

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National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) is an annual observance celebrated every September since 1989. In September, and throughout the year, Recovery Month spreads the message that

  • Behavioral Health is essential to health.
  • Prevention works
  • Treatment is effective
  • People recover

Refer to the Recovery Month website, www.recoverymonth.gov, for additional information on the initiative.

Recovery Month is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. SAMHSA collaborates withapproximately 200 Recovery Month Planning Partners who represent local, state, and national organizations dedicated to prevention, treatment, and recovery.

This year’s theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Our Families, Our Stories, Our Recovery!” highlights the value of peer support by educating, mentoring and helping others. It invites individuals in recovery and their support systems to be active change agents in communities, and in civic and advocacy engagements.

Every September and throughout the year hundreds of events occur to celebrate Recovery Month.These events, ranging from recovery walks and rallies to online web chats and group barbecues, encourage the following audiences to address the continued need for prevention, treatment, and recovery support services. Follow the Cape Fear Recovery Month on Facebook for local information and events.

Many treatment options exist. SAMHSA’s Behavioral Health Treatments and Services webpage, www.samhsa.gov/treatment, helps people find mental and/or substance use disorder treatment facilities and programs across the country. SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or 1-800-487-4889 (TDD), provides 24-hour, free, and confidential information about mental and/or substance use disorders, and prevention, treatment, and recovery referrals in English and Spanish. Additionally, the “Treatment and
Recovery Support Services” section in this toolkit provides an overview of support options.

Refer to the “Mental and/or Substance Use Disorders: Fast Facts” section in this toolkit for up-to-date statistics on the prevalence of mental and/or substance use disorders in the United States.