New Harvard Study links Casual Use of Marijuana by Young Adults to Brain Changes

Published in Journal of Neuroscience : http://www.sfn.org/Press-Room/News-Release-Archives/2014/Brain-Changes-Are-Associated-with-Casual-Marijuana-Use-in-Young-Adults

Washington, DC — The size and shape of two brain regions involved in emotion and motivation may differ in young adults who smoke marijuana at least once a week, according to a study published April 16 in The Journal of Neuroscience. The findings suggest that recreational marijuana use may lead to previously unidentified brain changes, and highlight the importance of research aimed at understanding the long-term effects of low to moderate marijuana use on the brain.

Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States, with an estimated 18.9 million people reporting recent use, according to the most current analysis of the National Survey on Drug Use and Mental Health. Marijuana use is often associated with motivation, attention, learning, and memory impairments. Previous studies exposing animals to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the main psychoactive component of marijuana — show that repeated exposure to the drug causes structural changes in brain regions involved with these functions. However, less is known about how low to moderate marijuana use affects brain structure in people, particularly in teens and young adults.

In the current study, Jodi Gilman, PhD, Anne Blood, PhD, and Hans Breiter, MD, of Northwestern University and Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to compare the brains of 18- to 25-year olds who reported smoking marijuana at least once per week with those with little to no history of marijuana use. Although psychiatric evaluations ruled out the possibility that the marijuana users were dependent on the drug, imaging data revealed they had significant brain differences. The nucleus accumbens — a brain region known to be involved in reward processing — was larger and altered in its shape and structure in the marijuana users compared to non-users.

“This study suggests that even light to moderate recreational marijuana use can cause changes in brain anatomy,” said Carl Lupica, PhD, who studies drug addiction at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and was not involved with this study. “These observations are particularly interesting because previous studies have focused primarily on the brains of heavy marijuana smokers, and have largely ignored the brains of casual users.”

The team of scientists compared the size, shape, and density of the nucleus accumbens and the amygdala — a brain region that plays a central role in emotion — in 20 marijuana users and 20 non-users. Each marijuana user was asked to estimate their drug consumption over a three-month period, including the number of days they smoked and the amount of the drug consumed each day.  The scientists found that the more the marijuana users reported consuming, the greater the abnormalities in the nucleus accumbens and amygdala. The shape and density of both of these regions also differed between marijuana users and non-users.

“This study raises a strong challenge to the idea that casual marijuana use isn’t associated with bad consequences,” Breiter said.

This research was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Counterdrug Technology Assessment Center, and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

The Journal of Neuroscience is published by the Society for Neuroscience, an organization of nearly 40,000 basic scientists and clinicians who study the brain and nervous system. Gilman can be reached at jgilman1@partners.org, Blood at ablood@nmr.mgh.harvard.edu, and Breiter at h-breiter@northwestern.edu. More information on marijuana and addiction can be found on BrainFacts.org.

 

Good News NC shifts perspective at the Silver Springs High School Health Fair

20140523_150839By Melissa Kelley, Prevention Advocate
May 23, 2014
 

As fate would have it, I  probably have one of the coolest jobs on the planet; Arriving here by choice, chance, and a lot of hard work. I am a Prevention Advocate for the Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County and Community Recovery Resources (CoRR) where I am just one of the hundreds of community members promoting successful youth and a promising future for all.

As a local outreach person and prevention worker, I just spent the larger part of my day hanging out with some pretty remarkable teenagers at the Silver Springs High School Health Fair. At first, sharing the Good News required explanation: “The Positive is the spirit of hope and community that we all share in the knowledge that, irrespective of our temporary conditions, we can better ourselves, our cultures and the world.” (Dr. Jeff Linkenbach). As simple as this concept seems, it’s actually a much more complex task to shift an entire culture, to highlight the amazing things people do in, for, and through our community.

Why Good News? There are so many ways that positive news can improve our lives by bringing emotional well-being, inspiration and health. We know that we won’t have to look too far in Nevada County to find Good News about people young and old here in our wonderful community.

One thing was evident from my adventure today, high school has changed an awful lot in the last 20 years. As the day went on, I had increasingly more participants who shared their life stories with me…stories of impact from returning home after living in foster care, getting six months clean, qualifying for the Navy, and surviving traumatic experiences like gun shot wounds. What a remarkable group of adolescents: In school and participating in a Health Fair instead of running around on the streets and getting into trouble as the media would have us believe teens are doing at increasing rates. Pay attention adults…this is the future. Our future rests in the hands of these incredible youth who have overcome such adversity that I left the campus feeling motivated, inspired, and blissful at having had the opportunity to bask in the glow of their youthful spirits. My new friends hung out long after the event ended and we talked…future plans, past experiences, the wonder of what tomorrow could possibly bring.

We are constantly immersed in tragic stories—from television news to films, novels and TV programs. Good News NC seeks to shift the tragedy, not ignore reality, but embrace another reality by highlighting what’s RIGHT with our youth and our community as a whole. The inspiring real-life stories we will tell here are stories of faith, hope and love, stories of challenges overcome as well as small unexpected moments of grace.

More importantly, our inspiring true stories are about you and me and by people like us. People who have discovered how to live their lives with more hope and joy and, through their stories and experiences, have helped others to do the same.

This is an opportunity for you to share a piece of your story with others. You can ask for your name to be left out for anonymity and share your story in a general way. Either way… please share. Your light may provide strength and encouragement for someone else in their time of need. The caves you’ve traveled into and come out of with grace and dignity may be just the right words for someone on the verge of losing hope. Continue to recognize the beauty that is all around us in our community and TELL people about it! If you see a teenager picking up trash, thank them. Good News spreads like wildfire if we let it. Let us encourage, uplift, and inspire our community to take action and promote the positive. Good News NC offers change for the better for Nevada County. Let us nurture the seeds of the future so that our children’s children will know that they, too, have the opportunity to shine. After all…nothing grows without sunshine!

Share your Good News story at www.GoodNewsNC.us

Contact: Melissa Kelley, Prevention Advocate
Email: mkelley@corr.us
Phone: 530-273-9541 ext. 226

Summer’s Coming! Tips & Tricks for Parents of Children and Teens

Kids collage

Here it is – the way to keep boredom at bay this summer! See the list of 2014 Summer Activities for Children and Teens produced for our community, compliments of the Community Support Network of Nevada County. Feel free to pass this on to friends, family and whoever needs help planning an awesome summer. It’s organized by date. Be sure to check back often for updates to this list. Now go out and have fun in our beautiful Nevada County this summer!

Summertime can be a risky time for teens

Teens tend to have more free time in the summer and there is a strong correlation between free time and risk-taking among teens. This could mean rock and bridge jumping in rivers or lakes, extreme watersports, or off-road activities out at Greenhorn. It could also mean the temptation to experiment with alcohol, marijuana or sexual activity. Short of locking them up, there is no silver bullet to prevent any of the above. Parents of teens know that the chances of something going awry are pretty good. It does not however, have to be as a result of a lack of planning.

If you are a parent or have teens in your life consider this reducing risks plan for summer:

1Plan 1 – Do a home inventory:  With school out for summer, it’s likely that your home could turn into a hang out spot for your teen and their friends. Inventory what you have around the house that could potentially pose a risk or be a temptation for experimentation. It could be alcohol, tobacco, prescription medications, or even medical marijuana. Now is a good time to think about how you can limit access to these substances. It may be time to consider a locking cabinet, or another secure location that you can monitor. Also, did you know that you can safely dispose of expired or unwanted prescription medications for free?  Visit DrugFreeNevadaCounty.org for safe disposal locations.

2Plan 2 – Prepare for boredom:  With the routine of daily school activities suspended for the summer months, before you know it you your likely to get a call on the phone while you’re at work asking to go to place A, with friend B, whom you’ve actually never met, but is a friend of friend C, whom you know quite well. And oh by the way, they’ll be home before you get home, and they’ll keep their cell phone on. Most teens are inherently honest and able to resist potential negative influences of peers and wild ideas— However, they can still sense weakness and, if they can get their otherwise logical parent who normally would insist on all facts and details with 24-hour notice to budge in this one moment, the door is open for compromise. Work with your teen to make plans in advance and stick with the 24-hour notice rule for activity outside of the home. If friend B is really that important to your teen, they’ll make plans within your guidelines. While most Nevada County teens say they don’t need alcohol or drugs to have fun, peer influence, boredom, hot summer days, and hormones can be a recipe for mischief.

3Plan 3 – Have A Plan for FUN and Down Time – Endless surveys of teens show that they are often more worried, more stressed and more over-extended than any other teen generation that has come before them. Sleeping a few days away is not going to be the end of your bright-eyed sassy teenager. Spending time with an approved list of friends hanging aimlessly at the river or lakes may be just what they need to decompress and refocus. Plan in advance for ways that you and your teenager can do just that – relax. Don’t forget to keep them informed of appropriate behavioral expectations before turning them loose by having a conversation with them before they go out with friends and check in to see how their day went. Teens want their voices to be heard and it’s a nice reminder to them that you care what they’re doing and who they’re associating with by asking them if they had fun and what they did.

Have a safe, well-planned summer.

See the list of 2014 Summer Activities for Children and Teens produced for our community, compliments of the Community Support Network of Nevada County.

Adolescent alcohol use: Risky behavior and addiction

Preventing underage drinking can be especially tricky because alcohol is an easily accessible, highly available, socially acceptable drug; making it seem somehow less dangerous. And yet research proves otherwise.

 

  • Like drinking and driving, or choosing to get in the car with someone who has been drinking: Nearly 40% of all traffic deaths among 16 to 20-year-olds are alcohol-related.
  • Kids who drink are more likely to become sexually active (putting them at greater risk of HIV infection and other sexually transmitted diseases).
  • Teen girls who binge drink are 63% more likely to get pregnant in their teen years.
  • Students who use alcohol are five times more likely to drop out of school or to believe that earning good grades is not important.

The earlier the onset of drinking begins, the greater the risk of becoming addicted later in life.bigstock-Depressed-Teenage-Girl-38236219

  • 40% of children who start drinking before the age of 15 will become alcoholics at some point in their lives.
  • If the onset of drinking is delayed by five years, a child’s risk of serious alcohol problems is cut in half.

Alcohol is extremely hazardous to the health and safety of our youth, carrying dangerous and even deadly consequences. Underage drinking is also illegal, and by law, carries specific consequences.

Is it a problem? Take a self-assessment quiz and Get Help.

April is Alcohol Awareness Month. To learn more about keeping our young people safe and healthy, check out our website www.drugfreenevadacounty.org or Click HERE to visit our Underage Drinking page.

To submit your opinion in our Community Voices section:
1.       Submit up to 250 words
2.      Please include your name, email address, and phone number for follow up contact
3.      Email submissions to mkelley@corr.us

Coalition and partners, NCSO and NEO collaborate to prevent underage drinking

The Coalition, the Sheriff’s Department, and NEO are collaborating in a series of interactive school presentations about underage drinking consequences, reasons to choose a drug and alcohol free lifestyle and local fun events and activities. With the help of ABC funding, the Sheriff’s Department is focusing on education, prevention and compliance enforcement to reduce youth access to alcohol and underage drinking. The funding also allows them a unique opportunity to collaborate with the Coalition in outreach and education presentations for local students.

NEO Youth, Hayley Pritchard displays her musical talents for the audience
NEO Youth, Hayley Pritchard displays her musical talents for the audience

The April 4th presentation at Seven Hills Middle School, opened with a powerful song performed by local NEO musical artist and Youth Coordinator, Hayley Pritchard. Hayley’s remarkable vocal talent has been on display to support NEO and the plans for a youth center for the last three years since she first discovered the powerful duo, Lynn Skrukrud and Halli Ellis, who founded NEO. Hayley and Lynn shared the plans for a youth center in Grass Valley and their hope of promoting a location where youth feel safe, engaged, supported, and essential to community development.

From Left: Corporal Brandon Corchero and Deputy Micah Arbaugh
From Left: Corporal Brandon Corchero and Deputy Micah Arbaugh

Hayley introduced Nevada County Sheriff Corporal Brandon Corchero and Deputy Micah Arbaugh for an informative presentation about the risks of alcohol use among youth and the potentially very serious consequences for adults purchasing or furnishing alcohol to anyone under 21 years old. With t-shirts as incentive to ask and answer questions, the 5th through 8th graders remained hands in the air and eager to participate.

Students learned that law enforcement officers often go undercover at places where alcohol is sold. They also learn that if they have an incident with alcohol as a minor they jeopardize something very important to them; their ability to have a driver license.  The middle schoolers learned about arrests being made for adults purchasing or providing alcohol to a minor and that merchants face fines and can lose their liquor license for selling alcohol to someone under the age of 21.

Shasta Spencer, Youth Prevention Intern
Shasta Spencer, Youth Prevention Intern demonstrates “Balloon Juggle”

Shasta Spencer, Youth Prevention Intern for the Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County engaged the youthful audience by selecting one male and one female attendee to participate in a “Balloon Juggle” activity. The concept, Shasta explained, is that we have responsibilities in many areas of our lives. We have to balance school, chores, friends, family, hobbies, sports, and other interests into 24-hour days. These responsibilities, even for young children can add up quickly leading to a very involved schedule that may seem stressful and unreasonable to the person experiencing all of these tasks.

Shasta demonstrated this experience using balloons. At first, the two balloons full of tasks and day-to-day commitments appeared manageable for the two participants. Once the balloon, identified as alcohol and drug use was added to the equation, the students realized that they could no longer juggle the tasks they needed to perform and responsibilities while keeping the alcohol and drugs balloon in the air.

The assembly concluded with an interactive Q & A session designed to highlight the positive choices teens make and dispel misperceptions of use. Arming students with the truth: Most youth don’t use drugs and alcohol and sharing the Good News: 94% of 7th graders say the DO NOT drink alcohol and 96% report they DO NOT smoke marijuana.

The hope following these presentations delivered at the middle school level is that youth will be better armed with the truth during these critical years where peer influence and disproportionate reporting can influence their decisions and lead them to think that alcohol and drug use is much more acceptable and prevalent than it is. This collaborative partnership between ABC, Nevada County Sheriff’s and the Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County is reaching out to provide education, awareness, and a better sense of the healthy alternatives available to the youth of our community so that the next generation of adults can be positive role models and share the message of a healthier community…today, tomorrow, forever.

Is it a problem? Take a self-assessment quiz and Get Help.

April is Alcohol Awareness Month. To learn more about keeping our young people safe and healthy, check out our website www.drugfreenevadacounty.org or Click HERE to visit our Underage Drinking page.

To submit your opinion in our Community Voices section:
1.       Submit up to 250 words
2.      Please include your name, email address, and phone number for follow up contact
3.      Email submissions to mkelley@corr.us

 

 

Our Young People are Fantastic!

An excellent read: letter to the editor by Ned Russel with the Good News about young people:

http://www.theunion.com/opinion/10157904-113/generation-parents-voices-knowledge

“The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.”

This may have been said by Socrates, who lived 2,400 years ago, or maybe not, but similar words have been said about the younger generation over and over.

Most recently, an Other Voices column in the Feb. 8 edition of The Union displayed a similar sentiment, saying that today’s children are out of control and that the situation could be changed if teachers and parents would spank and hit the kids with sticks more often. I strongly disagree.

The current generation, those under 25 years old, will turn out to be the next “greatest generation” (this in no way diminishes the contributions of the Other Voices writer’s generation any more than Hank Aaron’s baseball feats diminish Babe Ruth’s). Perhaps the Other Voices writer has personal knowledge of a few youth and families that match his complaints, but I urge all to view a wider picture.

Attend a NEO event with a few hundred kids. The music is too loud and some of them dress in ways that may seem odd, but watch how they interact with each other — and with you — if you speak to them. Visit the after-school Hangout. Consider how students at Nevada Union have elected a homecoming king and queen for reasons other than being a top student or athlete. Look at what they do for senior projects and personal campaigns to reduce hunger and poverty around the world. Outside of Nevada County, sports teams have allowed opposing players who have little chance to be regular stars to be stars for a moment.

Current youth will surpass all other generations precisely because many parents, and others, have learned that there are better ways to discipline their children than by hitting and yelling. The Friendship Club and Big Brothers Big Sisters use these ways with exceptional success — with absolutely no spanking by mentors. Nonviolent discipline is completely supported by research. (See this story online for a summary of study of 7,000 U.S. families, 32 countries; and a study of 967 middle school youth on yelling from University of Pittsburgh).

Will this generation be perfect? Of course not. Most people agree that human behavior is one of the most complex phenomenon that exists, but anyone can become a developer of behavior in a child without knowledge of how or training.

It’s difficult for parents and others to put aside what they learned from their parents when they were 10 or from their limited experience as parents of a few children, but the more we learn about what children need and how to give it to them, and the more people accept new knowledge, the better each generation will be.

Ned Russell lives in Grass Valley and volunteers for Got40?

Yes, It’s Still a Big Deal If Your Teen Smokes Pot. And, here’s Why…

Recent Article Published in Time Magazine Writes:   With each passing day, it seems, smoking pot becomes less and less stigmatized in our society.

In a much-buzzed-about piece in The New Yorker this week, President Obama suggested making pot legal in large part to correct the vast inequities that minorities face in terms of cannabis-related arrests and imprisonment. Besides, said the president, who was known to smoke his fair share of weed back in the day, “I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol” for the individual user.

Even the straight-laced Bill Gates recently announced his support of legalization. And this year’s Super Bowl has been dubbed the “Super Doobie Bowl,” a reference to the fact that the teams vying for the NFL championship, the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks, hail from the two states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Mainstream websites are circulating marijuana-laced game-day snack recipes. It won’t be long before Martha Stewart comes up with her own pot-brownie concoction.

With all of this hanging in the air, it’s obvious we parents should be talking to our kids about smoking dope. But what are we supposed to tell them when it’s clear that “just say no,” isn’t going to cut it?

After consulting with two researchers from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, I now know what I’m going to tell my own 16-year-old: Not so fast, buddy. Your brain simply isn’t ready for you to start using pot.

“Adolescence is a sensitive time for brain development,” says Matthew J. Smith, a research assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. “If a teen introduces the abuse of marijuana at that point in their life, it could have consequences for their ability to problem solve, for their memory and for critical thinking in general.”

Unfortunately, this crucial message is getting lost in the pro-legalization fervor. Use of pot among adolescents, which had declined from the late 1990s through the mid-to-late 2000s, is again on the rise, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. One likely reason: “The percentage of high-schoolers who see great risk from being regular marijuana users has dropped,” over time the agency points out.

That perception, however, is all wrong. In a study published last month, Smith and his colleagues found that teens who smoked a lot of pot had abnormal changes in their brain structures related to working memory—a predictor of weak academic performance and impaired everyday functioning—and that they did poorly on memory-related tasks.

While the study focused on heavy marijuana users—specifically, those who indulged daily for about three years—one of its most crucial findings related not to the amount of pot an adolescent smoked, but when he or she started: The earlier the drug was taken up, the worse the effects on the brain.

“Marijuana is the ideal compound to screw up everything for a kid,” says Hans Breiter, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, and a senior author of the study. “If you’re an athlete, a chess player, a debater or an artist, you need working memory, and marijuana hurts the brain circuitry.”

Breiter, who himself has four children 11 to 21, adds: “The more I study marijuana, the more I wonder if we should have legislation banning the use of it for everyone under 30.”

The study, which appeared in the journal Schizophrenia Bulletin, sought to distinguish the effects of daily marijuana use on the adolescent brain from the effects of schizophrenia on the deep regions of the brain that are necessary for working memory.

Although the researchers were not equating pot smokers with those suffering from schizophrenia—a chronic, disabling brain disorder—they did find parallels in one respect. “Schizophrenia is a very disruptive illness on working memory, and using marijuana produced many similar effects to schizophrenia,” Breiter says.

The scientists noted that these effects were still apparent two years after their subjects had stopped using marijuana, but more research will be needed to determine whether the neurological abnormalities in heavy teen pot smokers are permanent.

In the end, you can’t blame kids if they’ve come to believe that smoking pot is not that big a deal. The cultural cues are very strong. President Obama said he tries to fight against this by telling his own two teenage daughters: “It’s a bad idea, a waste of time, not very healthy.”

But I think that parents have an opportunity—and an obligation—to be even more pointed with our children by saying to them: “If you’re tempted to smoke pot, please hold off as long as you possibly can. Your beautiful brain is still developing.”

As we near the end of 2013, we thought we would reflect on all the ways you have helped to make a difference.

Looking back at a year in prevention…

We’re grateful to you for taking the time to be involved this past year in helping to create a community where young people can thrive and succeed, free from the impacts of substance use. On behalf of the amazing young people in our community, thank you for volunteering. You have emailed, staffed fair booths, collected Rx medications for safe disposal, volunteered at NEO events, provided education and resources, attended meetings and focus groups, webinars and trainings, donated items and shown our young people we care about them and support them in being the best they can be without the use of drugs and alcohol.  Here are some highlights of progress made in 2013:

  • Developed first ever Report Card to Community with local data and trends in youth drug and alcohol use. We were encouraged to report declining alcohol use among teens and other progress in addition to our focus on challenges still at hand. Presented Report Card at Community Town Hall with 157 in attendance. View report HERE
  • Began campaign to grow positive social norms in our community. We already know Nevada County teens are amazing, but did you know that Most Choose Not to Drink Alcohol?  We hung 390 posters that highlight positive student choices  at 3 high schools, 2 middle schools, in theatre ads, and on Facebook, websites and other media.
  • 119 health care providers and educators in Nevada County have been trained in Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) since 2010. SBIRT is an evidenced based prevention model in which providers screen for risky alcohol and other drug use at a teachable moment and helps them become motivated to change. We also helped regional prevention partners in Truckee and Placer provide SBIRT training for providers in their community.
  • This year Nevada County was 3rd largest in state in terms of volume of pounds turned in at the DEA’s Take Back Day. In 2013 alone, Nevada County community members turned in more than 1,910 lbs of expired and unwanted prescription medications for safe disposal. The Grass Valley Police Department makes this possible by servicing Local Safe Disposal Sites at Kmart, Rite Aid, Save Mart and in the lobby of GVPD. Special thanks to the participating pharmacies for being champions in promoting prescription drug safety and helping to keep our kids and our water drug free.
  • The Coalition and NEO partnered with Nevada County Sheriff’s and the state department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) to prevent underage drinking in Nevada County. Together we developed the “No Thanks Campaign”, an interactive student outreach program which we presented at four schools to more than 670 students while passing out hundreds of T Shirts.
  • Helped to enhance local Youth Safe Havens:
    • The HangOut: average of 40 youth participants daily with four adult volunteers daily
    • Overtime: average of 74 youth participants on Fridays with 14 adults
  • Increased our community’s capacity for preventing youth substance use by training more than 200 youth and adults in prevention, youth leadership and youth development.
  • The Coalition and NEO conducted a total of 74 prevention education and awareness presentations in our community and at middle, high school and college campuses.
  • The Coalition and NEO hosted a week long celebration of health, called Wellness Week, at Nevada Union. Partnering with the Youth Opposing Tobacco for Health and Peer Advocates Clubs.  The festive week hosted daily themes and activities including Spirit Day, which featured a lunchtime golf cart parade with live music; Love is Louder Day, where youth were able to express what they love about themselves; R U Ok? Day based on the global movement to create awareness about mental health; Kick (Cigarette) Butts Day in which youth were are to learn important facts about tobacco use and pie the Marlboro Man; and Laugh More Day aimed at reducing stress and encouraging youth to enjoy life.  In addition to the lunch time activities, we brought assembly speaker Jeremy Bates of Revolution Speak to Nevada Union, Park Avenue and Bear River high schools.  During his 3 days here, Jeremy was able to lead four assemblies, and student and teacher workshops speaking to a total of 1400 people with his powerful and inspirational story.

 

~ Recovery Happens at The Campus ~ September 27th, 2013

RECOVERY HAPPENS AT THE CAMPUS

Join the voices of recovery, together on pathways to wellness.

Community Recovery Resources and the Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County join in
observance promoting the message that prevention works, treatment is effective and people can and do recover. Behavioral health is essential to overall health. We honor and celebrate individuals in recovery just as we would those who are managing other health conditions like heart disease or diabetes.

 September is National Recovery Month and recovery is happening…here, there, and everywhere! This year’s theme highlights two ideas—that individuals are not alone on the journey toward recovery and that there are many paths to recovery, including medical care and other professional treatment, group support, and self-help.

This event also marks the One-Year Anniversary of The Campus ~ Grass Valley!
A vision made possible through years of hard-work and passion!

 Download Flyer

 Who’s Invited? YOU ARE! Staff and clients – current and alumni –  Family, friends, loved ones, and supporters alike – come out and show support for the recovering community!ž   

CoRR’s Recovery Alumni Association and the Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County invite you to join the voices of recovery on
September 27th from 4pm to 7pm

in celebration of those who are recovering and the people and organizations who make recovery possible. We will have interactive booth stations representing the progress of our programs over the last year including:

  • Impaired vision goggles 
  • Recovery Rocks
  • The Conversation Couch
  • Unity Circle
  • The Ball Pit
  • Water play for the children with our child development staff who have served
    nearly 200 little ones since the Campus opened last year
  • RAA Bake sale with What’s Up Coffee
  • Tours of The Campus (4:30pm & 5:30pm)
  • Musical entertainment

 PLEASE ENCOURAGE YOUR COMMUNITY TO ATTEND.
This event is easy, free, fun, and open to all to stop by anytime between 4:00-7:00. at the Campus,

 180 Sierra College Drive in Grass Valley.

 WANT TO VOLUNTEER? Call us at 530.273.9541

Summertime: A Risky Time for Teens

Teens tend to have more free time in the summer and there is a strong correlation between free time and risk-taking among teens. This could mean rock and bridge jumping in rivers or lakes, extreme watersports, or off-road activities out at Greenhorn. It could also mean the temptation to experiment with alcohol, marijuana or sexual activity. Short of locking them up, there is no silver bullet to prevent any of the above. Parents of teens know that the chances of something going awry are pretty good. It does not however, have to be as a result of a lack of planning.

If you are a parent or have teens in your life consider this reducing risks plan for summer:  

Plan 1Do a home inventory:  With school out for summer, it’s likely that your home could turn into a hang out spot for your teen and their friends. Inventory what you have around the house that could potentially pose a risk or be a temptation for experimentation. It could be alcohol, tobacco, prescription medications, or even medical marijuana. Now is a good time to think about how you can limit access to these substances. It may be time to consider a locking cabinet, or another secure location that you can monitor. Also, did you know that you can safely dispose of expired or unwanted prescription medications for free?  Visit DrugFreeNevadaCounty.org for safe disposal locations.  

Plan 2 – Prepare for boredom:  With the routine of daily school activities suspended for the summer months, before you know it you your likely to get a call on the phone while you’re at work asking to go to place A, with friend B, whom you’ve actually never met, but is a friend of friend C, whom you know quite well. And oh by the way, they’ll be home before you get home, and they’ll keep their cell phone on. Most teens are inherently honest and able to resist potential negative influences of peers and wild ideas— However, they can still sense weakness and, if they can get their otherwise logical parent who normally would insist on all facts and details with 24-hour notice to budge in this one moment, the door is open for compromise. Work with your teen to make plans in advance and stick with the 24-hour notice rule for activity outside of the home. If friend B is really that important to your teen, they’ll make plans within your guidelines. While most Nevada County teens say they don’t need alcohol or drugs to have fun, peer influence, boredom, hot summer days, and hormones can be a recipe for mischief. 

Plan 3 – Have A Plan for FUN and Down Time Endless surveys of teens show that they are often more worried, more stressed and more over-extended than any other teen generation that has come before them. Sleeping a few days away is not going to be the end of your bright-eyed sassy teenager. Spending time with an approved list of friends hanging aimlessly at the river or lakes may be just what they need to decompress and refocus. Plan in advance for ways that you and your teenager can do just that – relax. Don’t forget to keep them informed of appropriate behavioral expectations before turning them loose by having a conversation with them before they go out with friends and check in to see how their day went. Teens want their voices to be heard and it’s a nice reminder to them that you care what they’re doing and who they’re associating with by asking them if they had fun and what they did.

Have a safe, well-planned summer.

Encourage your teen to attend events and spend time with other teens who are having fun! For information on NEO Summer Events…CLICK HERE