Grant Announcement: Anderson, IN

August 30, 2013

Packets may be picked up at the Madison County commissioners’ office in the Madison County Government Center, 16 E. Ninth St., Anderson, IN. Organizations must meet the Coalition’s membership requirements to be eligible for 2014 funding. This information is available in the application packets.

Projects eligible for funding must address recommended actions targeted in the Madison County Comprehensive Community Action Plan (copies of the plan are available at the above location). These actions are to reduce or eliminate the use of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco in Madison County.

The deadline for submission of the requests for funding is Oct. 3.

For more information, call Steve Richardson at 642-3660.


Marijuana Use Particularly Harmful for Teens, Researchers Find

August 30, 2013

From the University of Montreal and New York’s Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, researchers have found that the users of cannabis amongst the teenage population are particularly at risk of developing addictive behaviors and suffering other long-term negative effects.

“Of the illicit drugs, cannabis is most used by teenagers since it is perceived by many to be of little harm. This perception has led to a growing number of states approving its legalization and increased accessibility. Most of the debates and ensuing policies regarding cannabis were done without consideration of its impact on one of the most vulnerable population, namely teens, or without consideration of scientific data,” wrote Professor Didier Jutras-Aswad of the University of Montreal and Yasmin Hurd, MD, PhD, of Mount Sinai. “While it is clear that more systematic scientific studies are needed to understand the long-term impact of adolescent cannabis exposure on brain and behavior, the current evidence suggests that it has a far-reaching influence on adult addictive behaviors particularly for certain subsets of vulnerable individuals.”

Over 120 studies that looked at different aspects of the relationship between cannabis and the adolescent brain, including the biology of the brain, chemical reaction that occurs in the brain when the drug is used, the influence of genetics and environmental factors, in addition to studies into the “gateway drug” phenomenon. “Data from epidemiological studies have repeatedly shown an association between cannabis use and subsequent addiction to heavy drugs and psychosis (i.e. schizophrenia).

“It is now clear from the scientific data that cannabis is not harmless to the adolescent brain, specifically those who are most vulnerable from a genetic or psychological standpoint. Identifying these vulnerable adolescents, including through genetic or psychological screening, may be critical for prevention and early intervention of addiction and psychiatric disorders related to cannabis use. The objective is not to fuel the debate about whether cannabis is good or bad, but instead to identify those individuals who might most suffer from its deleterious effects and provide adequate measures to prevent this risk” Dr. Jutras-Aswad said.


SADD Students Start LifeSkills Training Program

August 29, 2013


The Newell Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) Team which is taught by Whatever It Takes Coalition Director, Sabrina Harmon, will hold its first weekly class on August 29. “Through a Prevention Funding Grant with the State of South Dakota, the WIT Coalition is able to bring the Lifeskills curriculum into the sixth through 11th grade classrooms each week,” said Harmon. The Coalition, which meets monthly, has received Prevention Accreditation Certification from the South Dakota Department of Social Services for an additional two years, through March 31, 2015, by meeting the state’s accreditation requirements.

Read full article here

Smoking Myths and Realities

August 28, 2013

LifeSkills Training lesson, Smoking Myths and Realities, helps to dissipate a lot of the myths surrounding tobacco use by providing actual statistics that reveal that fewer and fewer people are beginning to smoke. These myths expose facts such as how many people smoke, the reasons why people do smoke and the immediate and long-term consequences of smoking.

Myth: Cigarette smoking is not as dangerous as some people say.

Reality: Most health experts agree that cigarette smoking is one of the most serious causes of death and disability in this country.


Myth: It’s easy to quit smoking.

Reality: Most people are unsuccessful at quitting smoking, even though about 50 percent of all smokers have tried to quit at least once.


Myth: Smoking is not something I will have to worry about until I’m old.

Reality: Smoking is something that hurts you now. It hurts you physically by decreasing your ability to perform strenuous activities, elevating carbon monoxide levels and decreasing endurance, staining teeth and fingers, affecting your sense of taste, causing you to smell like smoke, and costing thousands of dollars a year.


Myth: Most people smoke cigarettes.

Reality: Relatively few people smoke cigarettes and even fewer are likely to smoke in the future.


Myth: Smoking is cool and sophisticated.

Reality: Smoking has become socially unacceptable in most places.


Myth: Organic and natural cigarettes are healthier than regular ones.

Reality: There are no healthy cigarettes. “Natural” and organic cigarettes still contain nicotine and produce tar and carbon monoxide. All of these are harmful to the lungs

Podcasts Address Impact and Prevention of Underage Drinking

August 16, 2013

The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s (OJJDP’s) Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center is hosting the podcast series “A National Conversation on Protecting Our Youth” to provide environmental strategies that address underage drinking-related issues in communities, states, and territories and reduce youth access to alcohol. Parents, researchers, law enforcement officials, coalition members, youth groups, advocates, and experts discuss public health and safety issues of youth alcohol use and share successful outcomes and strategies.

Access the podcasts. Learn more about OJJDP’s Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws program and access bulletins from the Underage Drinking series.

Smoking in movies affects adolescents: worrying evidence from 6 countries

August 15, 2013

This longitudinal study examines the relationship between exposure to smoking in movies and young people taking up the habit. Researchers looked at almost 10,000 adolescents in Germany, Iceland, Italy, Poland, the Netherlands and the UK., 71% of whom reported having never smoked. The findings showed that 17% of the sample began smoking between the start of the study and one-year follow-up and the overall risk of initiating smoking increased by 13% for every 1,000 smoking scenes watched. When researchers controlled for other risk factors for smoking such as age, gender, school performance, parents’ smoking and TV time, the relationship between exposure and smoking remained significant in 5 of the 6 countries. The study shows the importance of prevention targeting impressionable adolescent audiences that are still developing their self-image and may want to search for acceptance through following their role models on the screen and taking up the smoking habit. A study we covered previously shows that the important fall in movie smoking scenes has recently reversed in the US.


Designated Drivers Are Often Under the Influence

August 7, 2013

A new study has found that not all “designated drivers” are sober. For the study, researchers interviewed and did breath tests on over 1,000 people who identified themselves as designated drivers as they left bars in a city in Florida.

  • 35% had measurable alcohol in their system
  • 18% of those with alcohol in their system registered a blood alcohol limit (BAL) of 0.05 or higher
  • The average age was 28

The study was conducted by Adam E. Barry, an assistant professor of health education at the University of Florida, and published in the July issue of The Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

The legal BAL in all 50 states and the District of Columbia is 0.08, and although the number of drinks it takes to get this level varies depending on body weight, gender, and time elapsed, there are dangerous consequences. A BAL of 0.05 can cause the following potential problems:

  • Slowed eye movements
  • Changes in what you see and in reaction time
  • Trouble with certain types of steering tasks
  • Difficulty processing information

car80723623Instead of staying sober, the designated driver is often the one who has drunk the least–or who has driven drunk before.

This is not just a teenage and college issue, as many allege: About 40 percent of the drivers involved in the study were not students. This puts the driver, everyone in the car, and everyone else on the road in great danger.

Some states are lobbying for the legal limit to be lowered from 0.08 to 0.05 (the standard in most developed countries) in hopes of decreasing the number of drivers who are drinking.




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