Tailgating can be fun AND safe!

Tailgating is a great way to get together with friends and other fans before a game to show your team spirit. However, it can also be a challenging environment to monitor alcohol use.

If you are planning on hosting or participating in a tailgating party, don’t forget to use our safe tailgating tips to make sure everyone stays safe, healthy and happy this football season:

  • Never serve alcohol to someone under the legal drinking age. Separate coolers with adult beverages away from those under 21.
  • Plan ahead for a non-drinking designated driver after the game and make sure your friends do the same.  Be prepared by having the number of a taxi service on hand for those who need a ride.
  • Bring lots of water! It can be hot and alcohol can lead to dehydration, so make sure your party is well hydrated. No one wants to leave an enjoyable experience by ambulance.
  • Provide plenty of food to keep your fellow tailgaters from drinking on an empty stomach, but avoid too many salty snacks, which tend to make people thirsty and drink more.
  • Do not push drinks! Drinking at a game is not mandatory for a good time.  Provide non-alcoholic beverages for designated drivers and others who prefer not to drink alcohol.
  • Beer is just as intoxicating as hard liquor. A 12-ounce can of beer, a five-ounce glass of wine, a 12-ounce wine cooler and an ounce and a half of liquor contain the same amount of alcohol.

No matter how you celebrate or who you cheer for, don’t ruin game day by getting a DUI, or much worse. If you’re going to drink alcohol, remember to plan ahead and designate a non-drinking driver to help get everyone home safely after the game.

 

Credit to MADD for this blog: By MADD | October 11, 2013| Drunk Driving (http://www.madd.org/blog/2013/october/safe-tailgating-tips.htm)l

New online role-play tool helps parents talk about underage drinking with children

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)is launching a new mobile app that features a simulated new video game-like tool to help parents practice tough conversations about underage drinking in a risk-free virtual environment. This comes at a crucial time as the rate of youth alcohol use rises during the summer.

This mobile app is the newest component of “Talk. They Hear You,” SAMHSA’s underage drinking prevention campaign that launched May 2013. The campaign equips parents and caregivers with the information, tools, and confidence they need to start talking to youth early — as early as nine years old –about the dangers of alcohol.
As an evidence-based behavioral tool that uses life-like avatars to engage in interactive conversations, each virtual role-play conversation is structured as a 10 to 15-minute interactive, video game-like experience. Users enter a risk-free practice environment, assume a parental role, and engage in a conversation with an intelligent, fully animated, emotionally responsive avatar that models human behavior and adapts its responses and behaviors to the user’s conversation decisions.
“The summer season is a time of year when families spend a lot of time together,” said Frances M. Harding, Director of SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. “Now is the perfect time for parents and caregivers to connect with their children and talk about the dangers of drinking alcohol. Short, frequent discussions can make all the difference. This mobile app provides a safe place to practice these conversations and build confidence.”
Realizing that many parents and caregivers are “on the go,” SAMHSA plans to launch this mobile application in summer 2014.  In addition, SAMHSA will soon redesign the web version of the tool in 3D and allow users to choose from a new selection of diverse avatars.
Thanks to SAMHSA for the information.  For more information about SAMHSA, visit www.samhsa.gov.

Substance use during childhood or adolescence is linked to long-term health risks

The risk of developing drug dependence or abuse is greater for individuals who start using these substances in adolescence or early adolescence than for those who start during adulthood. According to a new report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), people who start using substances at a young age are at greater risk of needing treatment later. In 2011, 74 percent of people ages 18 to 30 who were admitted for substance abuse treatment started using substances at 17 or younger. The report also showed that 10.2 percent of those admitted for treatment started using at age 11 or younger.

 

In addition, those who start using substances at a younger age are more likely to be using more than one substance when they are admitted for treatment. More than 78 percent of those admitted who reported starting to use substances at age 11 or younger also reported abusing two or more substances when they started treatment. In contrast, for those who reported starting to use substances at age 25 to 30, less than half as many—30.4 percent—reported abusing two or more substances.

 

“Early to late adolescence is considered a critical risk period for the beginning of alcohol and drug use,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde. “Knowing the age a person starts the use of a substance can inform treatment facilities so that they can better provide timely and appropriate prevention and treatment programs.”

 

SAMHSA manages several grant programs intended to prevent alcohol and drug use among youth. Among those are the Partnerships for Success grant program, which is designed to address two of the nation’s top substance abuse prevention priorities: underage drinking among persons aged 12 to 20 and prescription drug misuse and abuse among persons aged 12 to 25. In partnership with the Office of National Drug Control Policy, SAMHSA also manages the Drug Free Communities Support Program, which works to reduce substance use among youth.

 

The report did show that treatment admissions involving substance use at age 25 to 30 had the largest proportions of primary use of heroin (35.3 percent) and prescription pain relievers (33.2 percent) of any group assessed.

 

The report entitled, Age of Substance Use Initiation among Treatment Admissions Aged 18 to 30, is based on data from SAMHSA’s 2011’s Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) – a national data system of annual admissions to substance abuse treatment facilities. The report also adds to the literature on this issue pertaining to substance use initiation.

 

The complete report findings are available on the following SAMHSA website:

http://www.samhsa.gov/data/2K14/TEDS142/sr142-initiation-age-2014.htm

 

For more information about SAMHSA visit our website:

http://www.samhsa.gov/


Credit to SAMHSA for this information: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.

Parents, need help with your teen’s alcohol or drug use?

We’re Here to Help. Call Us Today: 1-855-DRUGFREE (1-855-378-4373)

English and Spanish

Are you feeling overwhelmed, stressed or have a specific question about your child’s drug or alcohol use?  Our Parents Toll-Free Helpline is a nationwide support service that offers assistance to parents and other primary caregivers of children who want to talk to someone about their child’s drug use and drinking. Our trained and caring parent specialists will:

  • Listen to your concerns, challenges, setbacks and emotional turmoil that you have experienced with your child’s substance abuse or addiction
  • Help you outline a course of effective action –  whether it’s prevention, intervention, seeking treatment or supporting recovery – grounded in science-based resources
  • Inform you of different resources available to you nationally

Our Helpline is open Monday through Friday, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm ET.  We are closed on weekends and holidays. The Helpline is not a crisis line. If you do not connect with a parent specialist, please leave a message and we will make every effort to get back to you by the next business day. If you are in need of immediate or emergency services please call 911 or a 24 hour crisis hotline.

Our parent specialists speak English and Spanish and are professionally trained parent support specialists and psychologists with years of experience helping individuals and their families prevent and overcome substance abuse problems.

 We’re Here to Help – Call Us Parents Toll-Free Helpline 1-855-DRUGFREE (1-855-378-4373) Monday to Friday, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm ET (In English and Spanish)

- See more at: http://pcpfy.areavoices.com/page/3/#sthash.wB9NqMYV.dpuf

You can help teen drivers be safe!

In 2012, the number of teens killed in traffic crashes increased nearly 20% during June and July.  Young drivers have high fatal crash rates because of limited driving experience and immaturity that can often result in high-risk behavior behind the wheel.

Remind him or her:

  • “No drinking alcohol.”
  • “Buckle up.”
  • “Slow down and respect the speed limit.”
  • “No phone calls or text messaging.”
  • “Here’s how to recognize danger on the road…”

For more information, go to: http://www.safercar.gov/parents/spellrules-4.htm

Be safe on the 4th of July

Have a Happy – and Safe – 4th of July

 

Wisconsin law allows the sale, possession and use, without a permit, of sparklers not exceeding 36 inches in length, stationary cones and fountains, toy snakes, smoke bombs, caps, noisemakers, confetti poppers with less than ¼ grain of explosive mixture, and novelty devices that spin or move on the ground.  The sale and use of these items without either a permit or age restriction does not mean they are safe.  Sparklers, for example, burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees.  That is hot enough to melt some metals.

 

To help keep youth safe when these readily available fireworks are in use, we suggest the following:

 

  • Always have a responsible adult supervise all use of fireworks.

 

  • Do not let young children light fireworks. They should be lit by a supervising adult or older child and that should be done on a flat surface away from burnable materials.  The person lighting fireworks should wear protective eyewear and be sure all others are a safe distance away before igniting any fireworks.

 

  • Do not re-light or pick up fireworks that don’t properly ignite (duds).

 

  • Use fireworks outdoors only.

 

  • Never point or throw fireworks at any person or animal.

 

  • Keep water handy.  Fireworks should be disposed of by properly soaking them in water and disposing of them in a trashcan.

 

Lastly, check to make sure fireworks are legal in the area you are in.  Some municipalities have laws that are more restrictive than Wisconsin law.

Your Child and Internet Safety

As like every month of the year National Awareness Campaigns are recognized. For the month of June we’d like to take a moment to focus on Student Safety, specifically focusing on internet safety. The main reason for this focus is due to recent unfortunate events that occurred in south eastern Wisconsin that stemmed from a character on an internet website. Click here for specifics of the event.

Technology over the past decade has become an integral part of our daily lives, as well as our student’s education. Therefore, it is important for students, parents, and educators to understand that while the internet can be used as a great resource with a wealth of knowledge; it can also pose many hazards and dangers. There are several steps that parents, families, friends, educators, etc. can take to minimize risk posed to children using home or school computers. Here are a few steps individuals/organizations can take:

  • Do not allow your child to have a computer with Internet access in their bedroom or any area that is private. Move it into the family room or someplace where you can easily see the activity.
  • Set time restraints. Do not allow your child to spend hour after hour online.
  • Check history and consider installing tracking software as well as parental controls. If your child is “wiping” the history every time, then you should find out why.
  • Spend time with your child online. This does so many things including giving you quality time with your child. Explore together!
  • Teach your kids that when they come across any material that makes them feel uncomfortable, scared, or confused to immediately tell you or another trusted adult.
  • Teach your kids to never open emails from people they do not know in person.
  • Teach kids to never reveal any personal information and to immediately tell you or a trusted adult if someone ever makes them feel uncomfortable or starts communicating in a sexually explicit manner.
  • On social networks like Facebook, make sure the privacy settings are on to limit contact to only those on your child’s “friends” list and those should be people the child actually knows in person.
  • Make sure your child understands that anything that gets posted online will always be out there and can NEVER be completely deleted. A suggestive picture to a boyfriend could end up anywhere and everywhere. All pictures should be cleared by you before posting.
  • Make sure your child understands that he or she should, under no circumstances, ever
  • meet in person someone they met online without you being present.

Remember to simply talk with your child about safety on the internet and making thoughtful choices when it comes to their online activity. This information has been provided by: Child Rescue Network.

If your teen is giving a party: Suggestions for Parents

  • Help your teenager plan the party.  Make a guest list and invite only a specific number of people.
  • Have your child pass out or send invitations and try to avoid the “open party” situation.
  • Don’t send e-mail invitations.  They can be forwarded to a large number of people quickly and you lose control of who has this information.
  • Put your phone number on the invitation and welcome calls from parents.
  • Set rules ahead of time such as no alcohol, drugs or tobacco.  Set a start and end time for the party.
  • Let attendees know that if they leave, they can’t come back.
  • Have plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Plan some activities such as music, games, movies, etc.
  • Let your neighbors know in advance there will be a party and that you will be there to supervise.
  • Limit the party access to a certain area of the house/property.
  • Have a plan for dealing with vehicles.  Include parking information on your party invitation.
  • Call parents of any teen who arrives in possession of alcohol or under the influence.  If you can’t get in touch with the parents, keep the teen there or call the police if necessary.
  • Secure all forms of alcohol, firearms, prescription drugs and other potentially hazardous items in your home in a safe place
  • Familiarize yourself with you community’s noise ordinances.
  • Invite some other parents to help chaperon if there will be a large number of teenagers.

 

 

When you’re away from home or out of town

 

  • Set and communicate rules and standards to be followed in your absence.
  • Do not allow underage youth to have unsupervised parties or gatherings
  • Remind them of their responsibilities and the consequences of their actions.
  • Have a relative or responsible adult stay at your home during your absence, have your teenager stay with a responsible adult or ask a neighbor to watch the house and stop in while you are gone
  • If you are concerned that your child might have a party anyway, you can call your local police and ask them to drive by at some point over the time you are gone.  Make it a point to tell your child that you have asked the police to do this.

 

If your teen is attending a party

 

  • Know where your child will be.  Call the parent in charge to verify the occasion and location of the party and ensure there will be adult supervision.
  • Ask how many teens are expected at the party and offer to help supervise or provide refreshments.
  • Make certain that the host will not be serving or allowing alcohol.  Ask how they plan to handle the situation if a teen shows up with alcohol or has been drinking.
  • Indicate your expectations to your child and the parent hosting the party that if the teens leave and go somewhere else, you will want to know.
  • Set a curfew for your teen to be home and when they arrive home, have them check in with you
  • Know how your child is getting to and from the party.  Reinforce the message to your teenager that they should never allow someone who has been drinking or using other drugs to drive them anywhere.
  • Assure your child that they can telephone you to be picked up whenever needed.
  • If the activity seems inappropriate, express concern and keep your child home

 

Other ideas

 

  • Get to know your children’s friends and their parents.
  • Find out other families’ policies on alcohol, drug and tobacco use
  • Remember, it is illegal to serve underage youth, other than your own child.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This project is a joint effort of the Wisconsin Alliance for Youth, Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Wisconsin Department of Health Service and the Wisconsin Clearinghouse for Prevention Resources, a department of University Health Services, University of Wisconsin –Madison

 

Legislation to Strengthen Ban on Synthetic Marijuana Signed into Law

Northern lawmakers Senator Bob Jauch (D-Poplar), Representative Janet Bewley (D-Ashland), and Representative Nick Milroy (D- South Range) praised a bi-partisan bill signed into law today that will give law enforcement better tools to fight the plague of synthetic marijuana that is spreading throughout our state. 

While the state had previously enacted a ban on synthetic marijuana, distributors found that they could get around the law by altering the synthetic formula, making it difficult for prosecutors to try the cases. During the past two years the lawmakers worked closely with Attorney General Van Hollen and co-authors Republican lawmakers Senator Sheila Harsdorf (R- River Falls) and Representative Gary Bies (R- Sister Bay) to find a way to strengthen the current ban on synthetic marijuana. “Law enforcement has been hamstrung in their efforts to crack down on the production, distribution and use of this dangerous drug. This bill closes the loopholes that exist in current law and will make it harder for these criminals to avoid prosecution.”

The law provides a vastly more comprehensive list of illegal substances based on what crime labs are seeing.  Chemical substances that are similar in composition to the listed substances are now illegal.  This law puts an end to the loophole, in which a drug’s chemistry is altered to avoid prosecution.  “No matter how hard the manufactures have worked to find loopholes in the law, we have worked just as hard to close those loopholes and give law enforcement the tools to stop the sale of this poison.”

 

The Legislators expressed confidence that the bill will provide tools for law enforcement to prosecute sellers of illegal drugs. “The new law is tough and sends a message to retailers who realize that Wisconsin is serious about removing these drugs from our communities.  However, manufacturers from outside Wisconsin will continue to find a way to peddle this poison.  We will need constant vigilance by citizens to help law enforcement in getting rid of these substances which harm our citizens.”

 

This is good news for the concerned citizens of Northern Wisconsin who have been working with local law enforcement, educators and public health officials to fight the spread of synthetic marijuana.  Groups like the Chequamegon Coalition Against Synthetic Drugs and others can be proud of the work that they’ve done.  This new law will make their work easier.”

 

The synthetic marijuana plague is not just a regional problem but one that is considered “epidemic” across the country. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, the number of calls to poison centers related to synthetic drugs soared from about 3,200 in 2010 to more than 13,000 in 2011 and over 20 deaths related to synthetic drugs were reported last year.  A survey tracking teen drug abuse reported that one in every nine high school seniors have used synthetic marijuana.

 

“In a time where politics in Wisconsin is more divided than ever, lawmakers from each party and from every corner of the state came together to address this issue because we all recognized the problems caused by these drugs and the trouble law enforcement was having prosecuting these criminals. This bill is a good example of how our system can still create good policy when everyone is willing to work together.”

Pierce County Parents Join Together to Stop Illegal Underage Drinking at Springtime Events

Springtime brings lots of opportunities for youth and adults to celebrate the accomplishments of the past school year; blow off pent-up energy from the long Wisconsin winter and generally have fun.  This year, Pierce County can avoid the tragic alcohol related teen deaths that have marred so many past proms and graduations.

 

The Pierce County Partnership for Youth together with the local police/Sherriff departments to remind everyone that Parents Who Host Lose the Most:  Don’t Be a Party to Underage Drinking.  The coalition is working with police and community groups to provide parents with accurate information about the health risks of underage drinking and the legal consequences of providing alcohol to youth.  The campaign encourages parents and other responsible adults to clearly and directly remind family members and close friends that allowing teenage alcohol consumption is illegal and unacceptable.

 

 It is illegal, unsafe, and unhealthy for anyone under age 21 to drink alcohol.   Allowing underage youth to drink alcohol in your home endangers everyone’s children.   Together, as a community, we are all saying hosting or allowing underage drinking is unacceptable in Pierce County. We’ll be cooperating with police efforts to identify and prosecute those who sell and serve alcohol to youth.

 

Underage drinking isn’t a “grey area” of the law.  If it illegal to purchase, pour or provide alcohol for anyone under age 21 who isn’t your child or spouse.  Other parents can’t provide “permission” for you to serve their kids alcohol. 

 

Adults who think taking car keys away when providing alcohol to youth are placing both the youth and their financial future in jeopardy.  Alcohol related drowning, falls and suicides kill hundreds of teens each year.  And most homeowners’ insurance policies don’t extend liability coverage for illegal activities.  If you purchase, pour or provide alcohol for youth; you put your financial future at risk.

 

Parents, grandparents and other adults hosting parties for youth under age 21 should plan family and teenage events carefully to prevent underage alcohol use.   Parents can protect themselves and their teens by following these simple guidelines when hosting parties that include teens:

 

  • Host safe, alcohol-free activities and events for youth during prom and graduation season.
  • Refuse to supply alcohol to children or allow drinking in your home or on your property.
  • Be at home when your teenager has a party.
  • Talk to other parents about alcohol-free youth events. Unity creates a tough, enforceable message.
  • Report underage drinking to authorities promptly. 
  • Make sure your teenager’s friends do not bring alcohol into your home.  If youth bring alcohol into your home, confiscate it immediately.

 

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