Join us for the release of: Report Card to Community on April 18th

In Nevada County, we recognize the need to address and prevent substance use and violence among the teens in our community. Safe Schools/Healthy Students and Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County have focused collaboratively on substance use prevention, violence prevention, and youth development.  It is important for the wider community to understand the progress made, and the issues that still face adolescents in our community. Come. Learn. Participate.

 

Social Norms: Highlighting the Positive

Social norms are the expectations and beliefs we hold around what is acceptable–for youth, families, individuals, and the community as a whole. Our perceptions about youth, their beliefs about each other, and what data and science tell us about youth behaviors are important factors when working to reduce youth substance use and promote overall health and well-being.

Beginning March 2013, the Coalition released a series of new posters with positive messaging that are posted at local high school campuses. Youth were very involved in the development of the messaging through focus groups and feedback participation over several months.

Traditional prevention efforts have often focused on negative behaviors and a just say no approach with a minimum of positive outcomes. The messaging in this series of posters reflects our intentional switch of focusing on the positive behaviors that our youth are engaged in. Science tells us that this switch of highlighting the positive leads to a growth in positive behaviors.

The Truth is… Nevada County teens are a great group of young people who are making mostly good choices in their lives. Recent data tells us that in many areas it appears that youth are reducing their substance use – except for marijuana – and they are experiencing greater connectedness at school and in the community.  So what do we do to help them continue making good choices? We arm them with the truth: Most teens don’t use alcohol or other drugs. 

The Coalition, Sheriff’s, and NEO collaborate to educate students about underage drinking

Local Middle and High School students learn more reasons to say “No Thanks” to alcohol and drugs.

Nevada County Sheriff Brandon Corchero

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.

On March 11th the presentation at Pleasant Valley School in Penn Valley opened with Sargent Sam Brown and Deputy Brandon Corchero sharing a sound-effect filled slide show for the attending 8th graders from Pleasant Valley School in Penn Valley. 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 drivers license.  They also learn that arrests are made for adults purchasing or providing alcohol to a minor and merchants face fines and can lose their license selling alcohol to someone under the age of 21.

Prevention Advocate Melissa Kelley

Lynn Skrukrud, Coalition Youth Outreach Coordinator and founder of NEO joined the presentation and began by showing NEO’s video of drug and alcohol free events and activities. Lynn shared:  “NEO represents a ‘new’ way of thinking around living a healthy lifestyle. We are a new generation of youth that choose not to use drugs. We are committed to providing safe and healthy alternatives such as dances, concerts, movie nights, BMX events. Lynn also told the students about NEO’s goal to open a Teen Center that would include an after school program, weekend events, meeting space, workshops, field trips, job training and more.Wrapping up presentation was the Coalition who engaged students in an interactive Q & A session designed to highlight the positive choices teens make and dispel misperceptions of use. Arming students with the truth: Most Teens Don’t use drugs and alcohol. Students enthusiastically engaged in a pop-quiz question: What percentage of Nevada County teens say they’ve never smoked marijuana? The response from the young audience was energetic as they learned that

The Truth Is…73% of Nevada County teens say they’ve never smoked marijuana. 
The Truth Is
… 98% of Nevada County teens say they respect their friends who choose not to drink.
 

The young audience answered questions and jumped at the chance to have an open discussion about youth substance use as “No Thanks” t-shirts were handed out in addition to mood pencils and bracelets. The hope following these presentations is that youth will be better armed with the truth and have a better sense of the healthy alternatives available to them.

 

Welcome to a New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! We had a great turnout on Wednesday, January 9th our first Steering Committee Meeting of 2013. The Coalition  would  like to thank all those in attendance for their hard work and commitment to youth in our community.  Special thanks to Project HEART who came to share their vision for the future  and talk about the ways for community members in recovery to make an impact through volunteerism and a variety of community service projects that the group has undertaken. Another thanks to NEO for kicking off the new year in full swing and sharing with the Steering Committee some of their community service project – Youth On a Mission, this Friday’s NEO Rock Concert and more upcoming events.

Here are some dates to mark your calendar with this season…

January:

  • Friday, January 18th  at 7:00pm; Miners Foundry Nevada City  – NEO Concert at the Foundry
  • Tuesday, January 22nd at 2:00pm; The Campus – Town Hall Planning Meeting: Outreach Committee (Call us if you would like to help 530.273.7956)
  • Saturday, January 26th at 1:00pm; Union Hill School – Youth On a Mission

February:

March:

  • Saturday, March 2nd – Kenny Steel Songwriter Showcase
  • Wednesday, March 13th at 3:00pm;The Campus – Steering Committee Meeting
  • Saturday, March 16th ; Coffee Roasters – NEO Concert

April:

  • Thursday, April 18th at 3:00pm; Holiday Inn Express – Town Hall Report Card to Community Presentation
  • Friday, April 19th ; Miners Foundry, Nevada City  – NEO Fashion Show

May:

June:

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Arm Them With the Truth

There’s a battle going on, in our world, for our teenagers futures… so we arm them with the truth: MOST of them don’t use drugs and alcohol. The numbers overwhelmingly support this truth.

THE STATS TELL US:
. . . that more than 60% of Nevada County teens report NOT smoking marijuana in the past 30 days – that’s awesome!

. . . that MOST teens say they RESPECT their friends who choose not to drink alcohol or use drugs.

. . . that when MOST teens say they don’t need alcohol to have a good time, they aren’t kidding. Most teens choose NOT to drink.

In this new year the Coalition  for a Drug Free Nevada County  is committed to changing our students’ perceptions about their peers drug/alcohol use… we want them to see that the truth is… NOT everyone’s doing it. Many students tell us their friends don’t pressure them to drink or use… but just in case they find themselves thinking… “Hey, what’s the big deal? Everyone’s does it” … we want them to know the truth and be free to be drug-free… running head-on into bright and promising futures.

The Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County would also like to recognize the amazing volunteer work of community members who are generously giving their time to youth safe havens such as the Hangout and Overtime which provide a safe and positive environment for youth. The youth safe havens are collaborative partnerships between the Coalition and faith-based community members from Grace Lutheran Church (the Hangout) and New Covenant Baptist Church (Overtime). While the Coalition has provided equipment and supplies, the key to the success of these programs is in the volunteers who host, organize, and mobilize community members to operate and promote the safe havens.

The Hangout: An afternoon hotspot for high school students to spend time with friends, meet new people, do homework, and participate in activities like pool, air hockey, ping pong, foosball, etc. Serving about 50 students each school day, the Hangout provides snacks, beverages, and a supportive environment for high school students. Grace Lutheran Church: 1979 Ridge Road, Grass Valley (right next to Nevada Union High School)

For more information on volunteering and/or making a donation contact Pat or Gary Novak at 530.273.0932

Overtime:  A Friday night favorite for local youth from 6th grade through high school. This “open gym” environment provides the youth with a variety of action packed activities to kick off the weekend with volleyball, ping pong, basketball, dancing, music, age-appropriate interactive game consoles, and much more.  Park Avenue Center – 140 Park Avenue, Grass Valley, CA 95945

For more information on volunteering and/or making a donation contact Randy Fields at 530.277.7166

To see this post and others like it…Please connect with us on our Facebook page.

Coalition Heads to Washington, D.C. for CADCA Conference

We are excited that, once again, through our Drug-Free Communities Grant, we are able to bring a key Coalition partner  Lacy Arrowsmith, Health Education Coordinator for Nevada County Public Health, as well as two local high school students to participate in the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) National Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C. February 4th – 7th.

More than a “conference,” the Annual National Leadership Forum is considered a “movement” and the Coalition for a Drug-Free Nevada County is excited to be a part of that movement bringing together 2700 substance abuse prevention and treatment advocates from all over the United States. Each year, nearly 300 students participate in CADCA’s signature National Youth Leadership Initiative and Youth Summit, empowering youth to be change agents in their own communities. Many of these youth accompany their adult counterparts to more than 200 CADCA-scheduled individual meetings on Capitol Hill.

For this year’s events, we will return to the Gaylord National Harbor on February 4-7, 2013! Here’s a recap of our attendance at the 2012 annual Forum:

  • NEO representatives Lynn Skrukrud and Halli Ellis presented a workshop for the Youth Track portion of the Forum educating and informing attendees on how to implement change in their own communities through event planning and youth-focused positive alternatives.

    NEO Presentation by Youth Coordinators, Lynn Skrukrud & Halli Ellis, 2012
  • SAMHSA’s 8th annual Prevention Day offered inspiring speakers and training on prevention and treatment of substance abuse and mental health disorders. Attendees can view presentations here.
  • More than 72 percent of registrants attended CADCA-sponsored State & Territory Meetings.
  • More than 80 educational workshops were presented.
  • Nearly 1000 people attended the Members’ and First-Timers’ Breakfast.
  • The National Leadership Plenary featured CADCA’s Chairman and CEO Gen. Arthur Dean; Benjamin Tucker, J.D., Deputy Director of State, Local, and Tribal Affairs, ONDCP; Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime; and an inspiring keynote speaker, James Fowler, Ph.D. Watch it here.
  • Federal Partner Power Sessions were added in 2012 and included presentations from federal leaders representing NIDA, DEA, NHTSA, SAMSHA, ONDCP and NIAAA. See their presentations here.
  • 32 coalitions participated in the Ideas Fair as part of the Networking Reception.
  • Capitol Hill Day Plenary featured Gen. Arthur T. Dean, CADCA Chairman and CEO, U.S. Army, Retired; Sue Thau, CADCA Public Policy Consultant; Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA); Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA); Debbie Jessup from Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA)’s office; Hilarie Chambers from Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI)’s office; and CADCA Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, Lloyd Johnston, Ph.D., University of Michigan.
  • Congressional Reception featured record-breaking attendance and speeches from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL), and Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-IL).
  • CADCA’s National Coalition Academy saw 150 coalitions graduate from the year-long training program.
  • 350 people got to have a breakfast conversation with the SAMHSA Administrator.
  • More than 1550 attended the closing National Leadership Awards Luncheon.
  • Also at the luncheon, CADCA’s first group of VetCorps recruits took the AmeriCorps Pledge as they enlist in a new program that matches military veterans and coalitions in 100 communities.

Join us for the American Medicine Chest Challenge

The Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County would like YOU to join us by taking the American Medicine Chest Challenge.  The Drug Enforcement Administration’s newly proposed regulations for the implementation of the “Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010” is just another piece of the efforts to reduce prescription drug abuse throughout the nation. Click HERE to view the regulations and comments. We are so pleased that the DEA continues to recognize to importance of the partnership between community organizations and law enforcement for successful take-back and disposal events – as evidenced by all of your hard work and dedication to the prevention of prescription drug abuse is your communities.

Join us in the commitment to safe and healthy communities throughout the year by using these 5 simple steps, a resource to help all of us promote this important public health prevention message and the work you do in your community.

Here are our Safe Disposal Convenient Locations:

  • Grass Valley Police Department 129 S. Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA (24-hour Safe Disposal site for prescription drugs)
  • Kmart Pharmacy 111 W. McKnight Way, Grass Valley, CA 8am – 10pm Monday – Sunday (Prescription drug & Over-the-Counter & Sharps)
  • Save Mart Pharmacy 12054 Nevada City Hwy, Grass Valley, CA ( Prescription drugs Only)
  • Rite Aid Pharmacy 720 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, CA (Prescription drugs & Sharps)

Next National Prescription Drug Take Back Day: April 27th, 2013

Thank you again for all of your efforts and for joining us as we represent the communities we serve. If you have any questions or want to know how to get involved in the Coalition’s efforts to reduce youth access and substance abuse, contact us at 530.273.7956

 

Prevention Efforts Show Success: Decline in Young Adult Nonmedical Prescription Drug Use

Photo of a mother and daughter.The number of people ages 18 to 25 who used prescription drugs for nonmedical purposes in the past month declined from 2.0 million in 2010 to 1.7 million in 2011 (14.3 percent decrease), according to SAMHSA’s 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health Exit Disclaimer (NSDUH).

“These findings show that national efforts to address the problem of prescription drug misuse may be beginning to bear fruit, and we must continue to apply this pressure to drive down this and other forms of substance use,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D.

As the primary source of statistical information on the use of illicit drugs, alcohol, and tobacco in the United States, NSDUH provides unique insights into current trends in the behavioral health issues that affect communities nationwide. The survey, released by SAMHSA in conjunction with the 23nd annual National Recovery Month Exit Disclaimer observance, also showed that the rates of past-month drinking, binge drinking, and heavy drinking among people under age 21 continued to decline from 2002, as did the rate of past-month tobacco use among youth ages 12 to 17 and among young adults ages 18 to 25.

Specifically, past-month alcohol use among 12- to 20-year-olds declined from 28.8 percent in 2002 to 25.1 percent in 2011, while binge drinking (consuming 5 or more drinks on the same occasion on at least 1 day in the past 30 days) declined from 19.3 percent in 2002 to 15.8 percent in 2011, and heavy drinking (consuming 5 or more drinks on the same occasion on each of 5 or more days in the past 30 days) declined from 6.2 percent in 2002 to 4.4 percent in 2011 In addition, the rate of past-month tobacco use among 12- to 17-year-olds continued to decline from 15.2 percent in 2002 to 10 percent in 2011.

However, the survey also found increases in the use of other substances, specifically marijuana and heroin. Marijuana continues to be the most commonly used illicit drug, and the current rates of marijuana use increased from 6.7 percent in 2007 to 7.9 percent in 2011 among youth ages 12 to 17, from 16.5 percent in 2007 to 19.0 percent in 2011 among young adults ages 18 to 25, and from 3.9 percent in 2007 to 4.8 percent among adults ages 26 or older. In 2011, 22.5 million Americans ages 12 or older were current users of illicit drugs, including 18.1 million marijuana users – up from 14.5 million in 2007. (See Figure 1)

Figure 1: Past Month Illicit Drug Use Among Persons Aged 12 or Older: 2011. Illicit drugs: 22.5, Marijuana: 18.1, Psychotherapeutics: 6.1, Cocaine: 1.4, Hallucinogens: 1.0, Inhalants: 0.6, Heroin: 0.3.  Numbers in Millions.

According to NSDUH, 21.6 million people ages 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol use problem in 2011. Yet only 2.3 million (or 10.8 percent of those who needed treatment) received treatment at a specialty facility—a continuing disparity.

“Behind each of these statistics are individuals, families, and communities suffering from the consequences of abuse and addiction,” Administrator Hyde said. “We must continue to promote robust prevention, treatment, and recovery programs throughout our country.”

To read the full report: 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

Caring Community May Help Reduce Teen Alcohol Use, Study Suggests

By Join Together Staff | January 10, 2013

Teens who live in a caring community may be less likely to abuse alcohol than their peers who report fewer positive experiences in their community, a new study suggests. Spending time with antisocial peers can increase the risk of alcohol abuse, researchers from Penn State report.

The researchers evaluated risk factors for adolescent alcohol abuse, including antisocial attitudes and behaviors, associating with antisocial peers, and family risk, ScienceDaily reports. They also looked at positive factors such as community experiences, school experiences and family strengths. They examined results for more than 200,000 students, to determine how these factors predicted alcohol use.

In the American Journal of Public Health, the researchers reported family and school protective factors had less influence than other factors, when all were considered together.

“We found that when you put all of the major risk and protective factors into the same predictive model, certain risk factors, such as antisocial peer risk, tended to be more highly predictive of alcohol use than other factors like positive school experiences,” researcher Damon Jones said in a news release.

The study concludes positive experiences in the community can help minimize the link between risk factors and underage drinking.

Parental Monitoring Can Help Overcome Teens’ Genetic Predisposition to Drinking

By Join Together Staff | November 9, 2012 |  Alcohol, Parenting, Research & Youth

Parents who closely monitor their teens’ behavior and friends can help counteract their children’s genetic predisposition to an alcohol use disorder, a new study indicates.

In a previous study, lead researcher Robert Miranda, Jr. of Brown University found teens with a single difference in their genes were more predisposed to alcohol use disorders, according to HealthCanal. In the new study, Miranda found this risk was largely overcome in teenagers whose parents closely monitored their behavior, and who spent less time with ‘deviant’ friends.

The study included 104 teens, who were interviewed about their alcohol use, parental monitoring and friends. They also provided a DNA sample for genetic analysis. The researchers report in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research that 30 of the teens had the genetic variant that increased their risk of an alcohol use disorder. “The key finding of this study is that while genetics appear to play a role in the development of alcohol problems among teenagers, environmental factors can considerably reduce this risk,” Miranda said in a news release.

“If you are a parent, pay closer attention to your child’s whereabouts, and with whom your kids are affiliating socially, both of which can pay enormous dividends in reducing problems,” added John F. Kelly, Associate Director of Massachusetts General Hospital-Harvard Center for Addiction Medicine. “Beginning an open and ongoing conversation with your child along these lines, including discussing the nature of alcohol-specific risks, could eradicate a potentially devastating problem.”