Arlington’s READY Coalition is in transition – here is valuable information that they have posted. This information will be reformatted and posted as separate links in the coming weeks. If you have suggestions or information you would like to see, please let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org
The READY Coalition is a project of the Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families, formerly funded through a Drug Free Communities Grant and a Virginia Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant. Email: Readycoalition@gmail.com Sarah Duke, Coalition Chair
EMPLOYMENT: we have no opportunities at this time
Join the Coalition: Arlington’s READY Coalition to reduce teen alcohol and drug use is always seeking Coalition Members. If you want to be a community representative, let us know!READY Coalition members work with READY staff to develop strategies that will develop a community where expectations of non-use are more prevalent than the idea that all kids do it. Board membership involves regular attendance at a bi-monthly meeting, active participation on a committee or work group, and a commitment to building a healthy community.
Host a Parent Chat: Coordinate with the READY Coalition to host a chat with your friends and neighbors about ways that everyone can create a safer environment for our teens. We’ll bring some materials and ideas, but you all will take the discussion wherever you want it to go.
Bring Your Ideas to the Table:
- Contact READY Coalition email or Facebook Page.
- Attend our bi-monthly Coalition meetings and let us know what you are thinking.
Join a Committee:
The READY Coalition has four committees and two active work groups to address a specific issue. Contact us (information below) to find the best fit for your skills and interests. Committees include:
- Community And Parent Education
- Youth Committee (KISS)
- Budget Committee
- Steering Committee
Current work groups are:
- Marijuana Work Group
- Branding and Messaging Work Group
Sponsor a Speaker
READY offers many program opportunities to share information and ideas with PTAs, Church groups, Civic Associations, community partners, and schools. Contact us to arrange one of the following programs, or work with us to customize one just for you.
- What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Teenager
- Marijuana: What’s the Big Deal?
- Hosting Teen Parties – What Every Parent Should Know
- Life According to Our Kids – Arlington Surveys Shed Some Light
- Talking About Beach Week
- Substances & Sports – What Parents and Coaches Need to Know
- Pranks, Sins, or Crimes – Teens and the Law
- Mission Possible: Staying Involved in Your Child’s Life in Middle School and Beyond
- The Movie HAZE: The Perils of College Drinking
Keep the Conversation Going
Talk to other parents about their important role in encouraging teens to postpone using alcohol and other drugs.
Share any questions, ideas, or suggestions at any time by contacting us:
Arlington’s PROMise is a project of Keep it Sober, Stupid!, our youth subcommittee. Arlington’s PROMise is a campaign to promote healthy life choices; especially around prom and graduation season. The project aims to incorporate all of our community members – Arlington County Schools, families, local businesses and youth serving organizations – to promote a safe and sober prom! Download: Arlington’s PROMise card PROMise card for parents
Thanks to our community sponsors:
Child and Family Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment Services
Arlington Teen Health Services
+1703-2281214 or 703.228.1200 Call to make an appointment or to get more information. If you leave a message, a nurse will return your call within 24 hours. Located on the 2nd floor of the Human Services Center at Sequoia, 2100 Washington Blvd., Arlington, VA 22204 Emergency services for individuals in a mental health crisis: 703.228.5160 (24-Hour Emergency Line is 703.228.4256)
Dating violence and abuse: If you are in a life threatening situation, call 911. If you are not in a life threatening situation but want more information about services available to you or someone you know:
Call 703-237-0881 or 703-228-1550
SAMHSA’s Treatment Info: 1-800-662-HELP
- Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator
- Buprenorphine Physician & Treatment Program Locator
- Opioid Treatment Program Directory
Check out resources on Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
Arlington County Teen Health Services
703.228.1214 or 703.228.1200 Call to make an appointment or to get more information. If you leave a message, a nurse will return your call within 24 hours. Located on the 2nd floor of the Human Services Center at Sequoia, 2100 Washington Blvd., Arlington, VA 22204 Emergency services for individuals experiencing a mental health crisis: 703.228.5160 (24-Hour Emergency Line is 703.228.4256) Second Chance Phoenix House Dominion Arlington Hospital
Teens don’t just drink. They drink to excess. In Arlington, 27% of students will have tried alcohol by the end of 8th grade. The earlier they start drinking, the more likely it is that a young person will become alcohol dependent. Nationally, more than 7 percent of 8th graders, 16 percent of sophomores, and report recent binge drinking (5+ drinks on the same occasion). Read our posts on why it IS a big deal www.dontserveteens.gov/legal.html For further information on the risks of underage alcohol use, visit the Surgeon General’s 2007 Call to Action.
Remember this is a process, not a one time conversation.
- “Some parents have started talking about Beach Week. What are the kids at school (on your team) saying about it?”
- “You know I went to that panel discussion on Beach Week. They had a lot to say about it . . . what have you heard about it?
- “Have you heard anything about Beach Week? There are lots of stories out there. What things are your friends saying about this?”
- Realize that teens don’t anticipate disasters and are naturally programmed to seek out novel experiences. Beach Week may seem like the first step to heading to college, or the final step of the high school experience.
- Listen for your teen’s concerns. If you miss them the first time, s/he will mention them again. Your graduate still depends on your wisdom.
- Avoid the opportunity to lecture. Reinforce your trust for your teen, but share your concerns about the potential risks associated.
- Some teens aren’t really interested in Beach Week. This makes it easy.
- Repeat as needed.
- “I’m willing to talk about it, but I am not inclined to say yes to this idea.
- “I hear what you are saying, but I don’t think that this trip is the wisest choice right now.”
- “I know that this is disappointing, and there are plenty of other options we can consider. Beach Week just doesn’t make sense for us.”
- “I’m sorry that you are disappointed/mad/never speaking to me again. I can’t find enough reasons in favor of this kind of trip.”
- “Blame me, it is my fault. And it is my responsibility. I/We take that responsibility seriously.”
You learn that you child has been experimenting with alcohol or marijuana. You want to believe that it’s just simple experimentation, a phase. But what if it’s not? There is a wonderful, confidential Parent Helpline available through Drugfree.org. Call 1-855-DRUGFREE (1-855-378-4373), visit Time to Act or read the Intervention eBook to answer questions including
- What is a drug or alcohol intervention?
- How do I know for sure if my teen is using?
- How should I prepare for a talk with my child?
- How do I make sure the talk is productive?
- What if my child needs outside help?
It’s an easy call. Make it and get your questions answered. No judgments. It’s just for you and your family. Go ahead and call or click.
A Stress Vaccination 01 May 2011 There’s lots of talk these days about teens and stress. It’s in the news, it’s in the theaters with the film “Race to Nowhere“. What’s a parent or a teacher or a school to do? Actually there’s a lot that we can do. It’s sometimes easy – sometimes more challenging. The key to reducing stress and increasing happiness, the research tells us, is maintaining strong and enduring relationships. It’s true for all of us, adults, teens, and small children. Kids who feel connected to their families and their community experience less stress.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has joined many others in focusing a light on teen drinking. In the journal Pediatrics, they have reinforced the importance of pediatricians discouraging teens from drinking. Here’s a part of the article quoted in the April12 issue of USA Today.
Haze – The Perils of Binge Drinking
May 16 at Central Library A film for parents and kids going off to college.
Tue, 30 Aug 2011So often when parents send their students off to college they wave goodbye and keep fingers crossed that these newly minted “young adults” will find fun, friendship, success, and happiness on this journey called college. Too often these students are not prepared to face some of the social situations that will confront them, often the first week of school. There are ways that students can be better prepared.
- One of those ways is for them to hear from you what you think about college drinking, and what you expect.
- Another — genuinely ask them to postpone drinking until they have really come to view the lay of the land. Parents who take this tack will suggest that students attend a certain number of parties, or wait a certain amount of time and then discuss with an adult they trust before making decisions that they want to jump into the crazy excesses of college drinking.
- Before they head off for college, watch the film HAZE and then have a conversation. This film graphically depicts how binge drinking can result in the tragic death of new college student, not from drinking and driving, but from alcohol poisoning. (click here for a longer on-line version)
- Check out these ideas for hard questions your future college student should be thinking about. deanofstudents.illinoisstate.edu/downloads/talking-about-alcohol.pdf
Last spring we gathered a panel of experts to participate with families of prospective college students to watch HAZE. Some suggestions from our panel included:
- Don’t turn a blind eye to your suspicions that your child may already be engaging in high school alcohol or drug use. Talk about why this is risky behavior for a high school or college student.
- What are your lessons learned about college drinking? Why do you think your teen should approach it differently (or the same)?
- Pay attention to how your college student is talking about the early experiences he or she is facing. Ask follow-up questions.
- Realize that boys and girls sometimes drink for different reasons. Help girls understand that using alcohol and particularly drinking excessively opens them up to all sorts of risks. Boys should understand that using alcohol to “hook-up” puts them at legal risk whether they remember the events or not.
- Remind them that it is still illegal for them to drink, no matter what they witness in the college social world. There are reasons why these laws have been in effect for over 30 years. The risks are not worth it.
- Find out about the university’s policy around underage drinking. On college tours ask about activities that don’t include alcohol. (You can do this quietly, if you worry about your student’s embarrassment levels.)
You can find statistics about the impact of college drinking and other tips when you click here. *Our panel included
- Officers Taphorn and Toumey from Arlington County Police Department
- Molly Newton, Deputy/Assistant Virginia Commonwealth Attorney
- Chris Parayno, Junior at the Catholic University of America
- Melissa Sporn, Family Communications Expert/Family Therapist
- Meredith Wadman, Medical Journalist & MD who lost her brother to a drunk driving accident when he was 17
Thanks to Deputy Chief of Police, Michael Dunne, for starting the evening off perfectly\
This week – January 28 – February 2, 2013 – is National Drug Facts Week
April is Alcohol Awareness Month Fri, 01 Apr 2016 This April during Alcohol Awareness Month, the Ready Coalition encourages you to take this time to educate yourself and your loved ones about the dangers of drinking too much. In Virginia alone, there were 214 deaths due to drunk driving accidents in 2014*. To spread the word and prevent alcohol abuse, Ready Coalition is joining other organizations across the country to honor Alcohol Awareness Month and prevent alcohol abuse in our community. Using alcohol and drugs before the brain has fully developed increases risk for future addiction to alcohol and drugs dramatically. Young people who start drinking alcohol before age 15 are 5 times more likely to develop alcohol abuse or dependence than people who first used alcohol at age 21 or older. Research for drug use and drug addiction have found similar results. If you drink too much, you can improve your health by cutting back or quitting. Here are some strategies to help you cut back or stop drinking:
- For those over 21, limit your drinking to no more than 1 drink a day for women and no more than 2 drinks a day for men.
- Don’t drink when you are upset.
- Avoid places where people drink too much.
- Make a list of reasons not to drink.
If you are concerned about someone else’s drinking, offer to help. Contact Arlington County Substance Abuse Services – 703-228-4900 for adults, or Family Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services at 703-228-1560 for youth.
- Observe Alcohol-Free Weekend: April 5-7, 2013
- Visit NCADD’s website for a Self-Test for Teenagers
- Facts About Underage Drinking
- “I Wasn’t Having Fun Anymore”
- Ten Tips for Prevention
R U Ready? It’s time to change our thinking about teenage alcohol and drug use. For more information, visit ReadyCoalition.org *http://www.madd.org/drunk-driving/state-stats/Virginia.html
Staying Involved in Your Child’s Life in Middle School and Beyond
When: Thurs, May 2, 2013 7:00 p.m.
Where: Kenmore Black Box Theater Who Should Attend:
- Parents of Middle School Students
- Anyone who loves Middle & High School Students
Counselors will talk with you about what to look for in your teen’s bedroom A Parent Educator will discuss information on how to talk with your teens High School students will be available to answer your questions and talk with you about the transition from middle to high school.National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day
April 30, 2016 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is coordinating its efforts with local law enforcement throughout Virginia for this sixth annual event. It is important for prescription drugs to be disposed of properly to help reduce the risk of prescription drug diversion and abuse. In Arlington, collection takes place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the following sites: FIRE STATIONS #1 (500 S. Glebe Rd.) #8 (4845 Lee Hwy.) #9 (1900 S. Walter Reed Dr.). Other Locations DEA – HEADQUARTERS PARKING LOT (ARMY/NAVY DR) BETWEEN FERN ST & EADS ST 551 ARMY NAVY DR. Arlington, VA 22202 Army/National Guard READINESS CENTER ARLINGTON HALL STATION/NATIONAL GUARD BUREAU MILITARY SITE 111 SOUTH GEORGE MASON DR Arlington, VA 22204 For more information, visit National Prescription Drug Take Back Day]]> 1034 2016-04-09 16:44:10 2016-04-09
Speak Up: The Silent Epidemic of Addiction Among Teens & Young Adults Fri, 11 Oct 2013
Christopher Kennedy Lawford, author of New York Times best selling memoir, Symptoms of Withdrawal, will be presenting on Sunday, October 27th. Mr. Lawford, along with teens, will share how they have been impacted by addiction. Mr. Lawford will speak about his newest book, Recover to Live: Kick Any Habit, Manage Any Addiction, and the evening program will also provide insight to parents on what teens are currently exposed to & the medical aspects of addiction. Don’t Be Silent – Speak Up and Join the Conversation! This program is geared to parents of teens and young adults. Please RSVP for planning purposes. Invite your friends to attend. The evening includes the program, desserts & light refreshments. Don’t Be An Ostrich …
- Do you know what your kids know? What is molly, spice, k2, bath salts, skittles (not the candy), eightball, robotripping?
- Do you know that prescription drugs are the fastest growing cause of addiction among our kids?
- Would you know where to turn if you suspected someone you know was an addict?
- Do you know that addicts come from “good” families and “good” parents?
- Do you know how addiction will affect your family even if you do not have a child that is an addict?
Don’t Be Afraid … This program explains the medical aspects of addiction, such as:
- Addiction is a brain disease, not a moral failing
- Do you know that brains of users, abusers and addicts actually change?
- Do you know that it takes a significant amount of time for the brain to recover?
This program was hosted by the Temple Rodef Shalom. Date: Sunday, October 27, 2013
Arlington’s READY Coalition Presents:
A Town Hall event to address the dangers and misconceptions of underage drinking and drug use among Arlington Teens during important transition times.
Did you know the percentage of Arlington students who report that they have ever drank alcohol more than doubles from 8th grade to 10th grade? Unfortunately this trend continues throughout high school.
As a parent of an Arlington teen the READY Coalition wants to ensure that you are equipped with the tools and are aware of the trends so you can confidently talk with your teen about underage drinking and drug use. Police Lieutenant, Ron Files, and Substance Abuse Counselor, Siobhan Bowler, will provide insight into the daily lives of Arlington teens and what is really going on.
When: Thursday, November 14 Where: Wakefield High School Address: 4901 S Chesterfield Rd, Arlington 22206 Time: 7:00 – 8:30pm
Light refreshments will be served. Spanish translation will be provided. Additional Questions? Please contact READY Coordinator at email@example.com 2014-03-11
Understanding Teenage Behaviors-presentation Very soon, your sweet, smiling, happy child could become a preteen middle-schooler whose behavior you barely recognize Join us to learn more about What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Teenager First of all – relax! That child is still there. But there are some changes going on. We’ll share what is going on in early adolescence and how you can help yourself and support your child during these exciting but challenging times. The READY Coalition is a community-led initiative to Reduce or, Eliminate Alcohol and Drug use by Youth. Questions on this presentation? Contact Michael Swisher firstname.lastname@example.org 703-228-1671.
What You Need to Know to Support Your Teen Mon, 18 Apr 2016 Tues, Apr 19, 2016: 7-9 pm Arlington Special Education Advisory Committee (ASEAC) Annual Spring Forum: Impulsivity and Risky Behaviors: What You Need to Know to Support Your Teen Arlington Public Schools Education Center, 1426 N Quincy Street, Room 101, Arlington, VA 22207 Families and staff are encouraged to attend ASEAC’s annual forum to learn more about the risk students with ADHD face in navigating the teenage years. This session is designed to provide valuable information on:
- the neurobiology of the ADHD brain and why it is more prone to risky behaviors
- what to be on the lookout for in your pre-teen and teen
- how schools can support students and parents
- tips and strategies for parents and teens
This expert panel includes Dr. Catherine McCarthy, MD, a nationally-renowned psychiatrist in private practice; Siobhan Bowler, APS Substance Abuse Counselor; and Nadine Asef-Sargent, former Chair of ASEAC and Board Member of CHADD of NOVA/DC. Ample time will be set aside for questions and answers. Please note that among the topics will be a frank discussion of alcohol and drug use, self harm, and sexual behavior. Questions ahead of time, please contact: ASEAC.email@example.com View English language flyer View Spanish language flyer Thu, 30 Aug 2012
Middle and high school students want to party. In fact, many times when we ask them why they drink they report that there is nothing else to do, or they want to relax. Teen parties can be fun for teens, and still meet your considerations about being safe and sober.
There a some useful websites to consider when planning Teen parties. Check these out, and share them with your teens if you think that the kids are open to some suggestions.
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Association has put together a very nice website with ideas to help teens plan safe and sober parties. Check it out, navigate through all four parts and then pass it on to your teens so they can start making their own plans.
- How to Do Things.com Suggestions for throwing your teen a great party.
- Virginia ABC Virginia Alcohol Laws and Parental Responsibility. This brochure provides guidance on hosting parties and explains Virginia Law regarding parents’ legal risks if alcohol is involved.
Remember none of this guarantees that nothing illegal will be happening during the party. But, it goes a long way toward acting responsibly and encouraging your children to do the same.
Principle #1: Tune Into Your Teen Principle #2: Guide Your Teen Principle #3: Respect Your Teen Principle #4: Be A Good Role Model Check out Navigating the Teen Years: A Parent’s Handbook for Raising Healthy Teens. Get great ideas about staying connected with and respected by your teenager following these principles. Look for the ‘Quick Self Checks’ and a ‘Busy Parent’s Checklist’ for daily and weekly “to do lists”. Online quizzes and tips at http://www.theantidrug.com/advice/teens-today/ supplement the pdf. You can even download it to your smartphone or iPad to take along with you.]]> 51 2012-05-22 1 Tue, 13 Mar 2012
We have lots of research that introducing teens to alcohol is a bad idea. We know that their developing brains lack the experience to be able to make good judgments about substance use. We have data that tell us that teens in Europe binge drink at higher rates (sometimes much higher) than teens in the US do. We know that alcohol-related illnesses and injuries for adults are not lower than they are in the US, and in some cases are higher. Nothing suggests that letting teens drink is a good idea.
Cherish the good posted Wed, 25 May 2011
Lots of our work is about stopping high risk behavior. But the data are encouraging. Most teens in Arlington, and the country, don’t drink, or smoke marijuana, or engage in sexual activity. They don’t engage in really risky behavior. And when we assume that they do, they sometimes feel like they might as well. We want to cherish the good stuff, and remember to look for it. Check out this nice article from the Washington Post about staying connected to the teens you care about. Thu, 17 Nov 2011
Our Town Hall event brought together Arlington adults and teens to think and talk about the culture of marijuana, alcohol and other substances in our community. More than 150 people packed the Central Library Auditorium for a standing-room-only audience to hear a guest panel talk about the impact that teen use and abuse has on a family as well as on the individual. The evening continued with teens and adults talking together about what the community can do to better support teens making healthy choices with regard to alcohol and drugs.
Inhalants seem to move in and out of popularity among young people. Although the most popular age group for “huffing” is middle schoolers, we’re seeing an increase in use of air conditioner Freon by older teens and adults as well. There are lots of reasons that kids don’t believe there is any harm in inhalants. 1- They are easily available in homes and schools, they must be safe, Right? 2- They see others sniff markers or glue and they don’t see any harm come to the friends. 3- Many have seen kids and adults play with and inhale helium to change their voices. It’s just like that isn’t it? It’s important for adults to talk to kids to let them know that inhalants are dangerous. The National Inhalant Prevention Coalition estimates between 100 and 125 deaths per year come from inhalant use. But there’s more. Kids who use inhalants can develop a dependence on them and can lose focus as they seek out their next high. Chronic inhalant abuse can damage the brain, heart, lungs, kidney, liver, and peripheral nerves. Inhalant use can also introduce younger children to the concept of getting high, and since there is a pleasure component to it, they sometimes begin to pursue other highs as well. It’s important not to leave these discussions to someone else. Schools should be talking to students, but most importantly these conversations need to be happening at home. Kids whose parents give clear and unambiguous messages about risky behavior are much less likely to experiment with substances. Find a chance to talk to the young people in your life. Let them know that you want the best for them and that you want them to choose healthy ways to have fun. For more information about inhalants, c
Visit our Facebook page and like us if you haven’t already: Ready Coalition!
9 Wants You To Know: Health Effects of Binge Drinking READY Coalition member Debby Taylor explains what the risks are what the difference is between drinking now and in the 70’s and 80’s. Really important for parents to understand. Caring adults need to know this stuff.
Won’t talking about these things give kids ideas? Here’s the truth: Kids are getting ideas every day from everyone else. Don’t you want them to get them from you? Our kids hear things in the hallways of their schools. They see things on Facebook. They get tweets on their smartphones. They watch TV and see ads and comedies about drinking and using drugs. Kids think they’ve heard it all when we start to talk. It doesn’t matter. They need to hear from us amidst all the other messages they are receiving. So, how do you start those conversations? Here are some conversation starters:
- I read this article about . . . What do you think?
- What’s the attitude at your school about . . .?
- What do kids do if they don’t want to (drink? have sex? sneak out?)
- We’re so proud of you for . . . We love you . . .
- Remember the rules, no smoking, no drinking, no drugs, no riding with drinking drivers because . . .
- If you ever need a ride, no matter what, call me.
- I know you’ve heard this from others, but I want you to hear it from me . . .
Useful Websites for Parents Thu, 26 Apr 2012
You could use some help… Here are some resources for parents of college-bound students. collegeparents.org facebook.com/CollegeParentsofAmerica collegedrinkingprevention.gov A Call to Action: http://collegedrinkingprevention.gov/media/TaskForceReport.pdf READYCoalition.org facebook.com/ReadyCoalition und.edu/student-affairs/dean-of-students/talking-about-alcohol.cfm APCYF.org DrugFree.org (This is an amazing/extensive resource.) parents.drugfree.org teenbrain.drugfree.org Timetotalk.org(Resource for parents to talk about drugs. Skills transfer to other touchy subjects.) Virginia’s Guide for Parents of First Year College Students: abc.state.va.us/Education/parents/AGuideforParents.html Check out web resources at the colleges your child is considering or has decided to attend. Many have web pages for parents. Find out the policies and opportunities for college students to have healthy, alcohol-free social lives in college
Talking About Touchy Topics Thu, 14 Jun 2012 In February 2012 Sonia Quiñónez from SCAN Northern Virginia interviewed READY Project Coordinator, Kate McCauley, for SCAN’s Clear Channel Parenting Today radio program. They talked about the importance of talking to kids frequently and honestly. This 13 minute audio clip gives tips on
- how to talk
- when to talk
- messages our kids are already receiving
- ways to share your values and messages with them
Parenting Today radio program February 2012 Thu, 12 Jul 2012 19:37:08 +0000
Teenagers are more likely to start smoking marijuana in June or July than in any other month, and first-time alcohol use is most likely in June, July and December, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. SAMHSA’s recent report is a timely reminder about the importance of parents and other youth caregivers discussing with their kids the risks of substance use and establishing rules and consequences. Clearly you want to be having lots of conversations that are about listening as much as talking, and hearing what your teen has to say. There’s a lot of misinformation out there about the risks associated with marijuana or alcohol use. But here’s the bottom line: “It’s illegal, it’s unhealthy, and I don’t want you to do it.” Repeat as needed. Side effects will include rolling of eyes, crossing of arms, and a closer relationship with your child. For more ideas about ways to talk to kids about substance use and other tough topics please visit
Substances & Sports DON’T Mix
- Players who drink are twice as likely to become injured.
- Drinking to intoxication can negate as much as 14 days of training.
- Reaction time can be slowed for up to 12 hours after alcohol is consumed. Source -http://www.lifeofanathlete.us/
- Motor coordination, perceptual accuracy and concentration impairments can last up to 36 hours after marijuana use.
- Marijuana users are more quickly affected by fatigue.
- Long-term marijuana use can lead to chronic respiratory problems and damage the immune system.
Marijuana: What’s the Big Deal? Until recently there had not been a lot of long term research about the effects of marijuana use over time. Recent findings demonstrate that there may be long term unintended consequences that had not been known before. 1- Irreversible loss of cognitive function (IQ) for teenagers. A study by Duke University has found that persistent users of marijuana, who started as teenagers, tend to experience up to an 8 point loss in IQ points that is irreversible, even after the marijuana use stops. This seems to be related to the teenage brain’s plasticity. When adults start using after age 21, even when they persistently use, the cognitive deficits can be reversed when use stops. www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-squeaky-wheel/201208/study-finds-regular-marijuana-use-damages-teenage-brains-0 2- Increased risk of testicular cancer. A recent study from the University of Southern California has found that when participants who had long-term exposure to marijuana as teenagers or who used marijuana once or a week (or more) doubled their risk for testicular cancer as compared to participants who never used marijuana. abcnews.go.com/Health/WellnessNews/cancer-/story?id=6823396#.UFxsVbJlRcR 3- Marijuana’s lingering effects. A study out of Harvard University reports that the effects of marijuana on cognitive/brain function can linger for at least 24 hours. The National Institute on Drug Abuse suggests that effects can linger up to 28 days. Marijuana impairs concentration. This suggests that the memory impairment and reduced focus that using marijuana brings may last long after some weekend use. archives.drugabuse.gov/NIDA_Notes/NNVol11N3/MarijMemory.html 4- Affects motor coordination. Tracking ability and perceptual accuracy are also impaired. Athletes should know marijuana has no proven performance-enhancing effects, and is a banned substance. espn.go.com/special/s/drugsandsports/mari.html So when we say “It’s illegal, it’s unhealthy, and I don’t want you to do it,” we have good reason to believe this. Talk to your kids. It’s the best thing you can do. Side effects may include folded arms, rolling eyes,and a closer relationship with your child.]]> 719 2012-09-10
Why is Teen Drinking Dangerous? Tue, 21 Feb 2012
Underage drinking is linked to injury and risky behavior. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, about 5,000 kids under 21 die every year as a result of underage drinking – from crashes, homicides, and suicides. Teens that drink also are at risk for a long list of other injuries and potential life-long alcohol abuse. Reducing underage drinking can reduce drinking-related harm.
Brain Development and Alcohol Abuse
- Research indicates that the human brain continues to develop into a person’s early 20’s, and that exposure of the developing brain to alcohol may have long-lasting effects on intellectual capabilities and may increase the likelihood of alcohol addiction.
- The age when drinking starts affects future drinking problems. For each year that the start of drinking is delayed, the risk of later alcohol dependence is reduced by 14 percent.
Drinking and Driving
- Car crashes are the leading cause of death among people ages 15 to 20. About 1,900 people under 21 die every year from car crashes involving underage drinking.
- Young people are more susceptible to alcohol-induced impairment of their driving skills. Drinking drivers aged 16 to 20 are twice as likely to be involved in a fatal crash as drinking drivers who are 21 or older.
- Alcohol use interacts with conditions like depression and stress, and contributes to an estimated 300 teen suicides a year.
- High school students who drink are twice as likely to have seriously considered attempting suicide, as compared to nondrinkers. High school students who binge drink are four times as likely to have attempted suicide, as compared to nondrinkers.
- Current teen drinkers are more than twice as likely to have had sexual intercourse within the past three months than teens who don’t drink.
- Higher drinking levels increase the likelihood of sexual activity.
- Adolescents who drink are more likely to engage in risky sexual activities, like having sex with someone they don’t know or failing to use birth control.
- Teens who drink alcohol are more likely than nondrinkers to smoke marijuana, use inhalants, or carry a weapon.
- Binge drinking substantially increases the likelihood of these activities.
- A government study published in 2007 shows a relationship between binge drinking and grades. Approximately two-thirds of students with “mostly A’s” are non-drinkers, while nearly half of the students with “mostly D’s and F’s” report binge drinking. It is not clear, however, whether academic failure leads to drinking, or vice versa.
Teens don’t just drink. They drink to excess.
In Arlington, 28% of students will have tried alcohol by the end of 8th grade. (Youth Survey Results 2012) The earlier they start drinking, the more likely it is that a young person will become alcohol dependent. Nationally, more than 7 percent of 8th graders, 16 percent of sophomores, and 23 percent of seniors report recent binge drinking (5+ drinks on the same occasion). http://www.dontserveteens.gov/legal.html For further information on the risks of underage alcohol use, visit the Surgeon General’s 2007 Call to Action.
Teen marijuana use: it’s illegal, it’s unhealthy, and it has serious consequences. Our recent Town Hall referenced many resources that relate to our mission of preventing and reducing alcohol and drug use among Arlington teens. Here is some further information about these sources – we hope you’ll check them out! Arlington County Child and Family Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment Services 703-228-1560 website Child and Family Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment Services provides services to children, teens and their families to prevent mental health and substance abuse problems from developing or becoming more serious. Alateen of Northern Virginia 703-534-HELP (4357) http://www.alanonva.com/alateen/ Alateen, part of Al-Anon Family Groups, is a fellowship of young people whose lives have been affected by alcoholism in a family member or a close friend. Alateen members help one another by sharing experience, strength and hope. National Institute on Drug Abuse http://www.drugabuse.gov/ NIDA brings a scientific perspective about how to help with drug abuse prevention and treatment efforts, and lobbies to improve policy about drug abuse. The Partnership at DrugFree.org www.drugfree.org The Partnership at Drugfree.org translates the science of teen drug use and addiction. Drugfree.org provides information, tools and opportunities to help prevent and get help for drug and alcohol abuse by teens and young adults. Partnership at Drugfree.org Parent Helpline 1-855-DRUGFREE (1-855-378-4373) The Helpline is staffed by specialists who offer advice to help parents plan a course of action for teens who are struggling with substance abuse.
Our panel included:
- An emergency room M.D.
- A scientist from the National Institute on Drug Abuse
- An Arlington police officer
- A young adult in recovery who will talk about his journey with high school substance abuse