Research shows that adolescents have a high propensity for engaging in risk taking activities given the significant changes in neurology, biology, and other developmental issues (e.g., social; cultural; familial) they experience. Specifically related to decision-making, science shows the pre-frontal cortex region of the brain is underdeveloped until a young person is well into their 20’s. With these findings in mind, how should this influence the way we think about key juvenile justice policies and practices like the age of juvenile jurisdiction?
There are so many noteworthy aspects to the “first ever” Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health. For example, it is grounded in the best evidence available to date and it examines issues of neurobiology, prevention, treatment, recovery, and health care systems. It also has educational and promotional materials such as fact sheets and social media ideas and resources. If you have not reviewed it – now is the time. It’s my understanding that additional fact sheets are forthcoming including one on criminal/juvenile justice populations. As such, keep visiting the website for updates and let’s keep talking about this report and its importance to individuals, families, and communities impacted by substance misuse and/or disorders.
We're excited to announce the Faces & Voices of Recovery event, America Honors Recovery, recognizing the impact that individuals can have on recovery.
Faces & Voices of Recovery will honor leaders in the addiction recovery movement, highlighting the extraordinary contributions of the country's most influential recovery community leaders and organizations at America Honors Recovery. The event, sponsored with Caron Treatment Centers, honors the exceptional energy, commitment, dedication and creativity of these individuals and organizations in advocating for the rights of people and their families in or seeking recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs.
WHAT: AMERICA HONORS RECOVERY AWARDS PROGRAM AND RECEPTION
WHERE: Carnegie Institute for Science, 1530 P Street NW, Washington, DC 20005
WHEN: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Today at 1pm Eastern, Native America Calling is discussing culturally-sensitive best practices for prevention efforts. They will have a special focus on substance abuse prevention with Native American populations.
From the show's description:
What is the best way to teach about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse? We all know the famous “Just Say No” campaign of the 1980s. It had mixed reviews and results. Other campaigns used catch phrases like “above the influence,” “I learned it by watching you” and “this is your brain on drugs, any questions?” How effective are these campaigns? What about campaigns directed at Native Americans? How do cultural public service announcements influence the rates of use? Have programs like this worked in your community? Join us for part five of our series on addiction. Guests include: Classical guitarist and youth advocate, Gabriel Ayala (Yaqui).
Gun buyback programs have been hosted for decades from Los Angeles to New Jersey, with goals of reducing the number of illegal guns on the street and offering citizens a chance to turn in weapons without fear of being arrested.
Gun buybacks also provide an opportunity to build relationships with vulnerable young people. St. Clair County Reclaiming Futures, one of 29 Reclaiming Futures communities, is promoting an upcoming event in their area.
The New Life Community Church, with assistance from the St. Clair County State Attorney's Office in Illinois, is sponsoring a gun buyback on Saturday, August 25, 2012.
Participants will be eligible for a $25 grocery gift card in exchange for each gun they turn in. They can also receive consultation and (in some cases immediate) assistance in a variety of areas—from health and education to transportation and housing.
Please pass this along to your colleagues in St. Clair County who are working with teens to break the cycle of drugs, alcohol and crime.
When: August 25, 2012
Time: 12:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Where: 2931 State Street, East St. Louis, Illinois
Has your community offered a gun buyback program? If so, we'd like to hear about the positive results.
Resiliency is a measure of a person’s ability to flexibly adapt their behaviors to fit the surroundings in which they find themselves. Low resiliency during childhood has been linked to later alcohol/drug problems during the teenage years. A new study has examined brain function and connectivity to assess linkages between resiliency and working memory, finding that higher resiliency may be protective against later alcohol/drug use.
Results will be published in the August 2012 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and are currently available at Early View.
“Research in the 1980’s found that lower resiliency in children between three to four years old was related to subsequent adolescent drug usage,” said Barbara J. Weiland, a researcher at The University of Michigan and corresponding author for the study. “We subsequently found that low resiliency measured in preschoolers was associated with onset of alcohol use by age 14 and of drunkenness by age 17.”
This fall, SAMHSA plans to launch "Talk. They Hear You."—its third National Underage Drinking Campaign. With the help of a panel of experts to guide research, objectives, and strategies, SAMHSA has focused the campaign on engaging parents of youth ages 9 to 15 in prevention behaviors and motivating them to talk to their kids before there is a problem. The campaign aims to provide parents with practical advice, information, and tools to support their role as influencers on their child's decision not to drink.
Drinking alcohol under the age of 21 is illegal in the U.S., yet according to SAMHSA's National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), in 2010, approximately 10 million youth ages 12 to 20 reported drinking alcohol in the past month. Underage drinking increases the risk of academic failure, illicit drug use, and tobacco use. And as a leading contributor to death from injuries for people under age 21, underage drinking continues to be a public health concern with serious consequences for youth, their families, and their communities.
In 2006, Congress passed the Sober Truth on Preventing (STOP) Underage Drinking Act that requires the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish and enhance the efforts of the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Prevention of Underage Drinking. It is through the STOP Underage Drinking Act that SAMHSA's Underage Drinking Prevention National Media Campaign is mandated.
Over the last 20 years, numerous studies have confirmed that children who experience maltreatment are more likely to be referred/arrested for delinquent offenses. Maltreated children have also been found to more likely become involved in the adult criminal justice system. In fact, a 2004 National Institute of Justice study found maltreated children to be 11 times more likely than a matched control group to be arrested, and 2.7 times more likely to be arrested as an adult.
In 2011, the California Senate Office of Research released findings about the foster care experiences of California prison inmates who were scheduled to be paroled within eight months of June 2008. This research found that of the 2,549 polled inmates, 316 men and 40 women (14%) had been in foster care sometime during their youth and half of this percentage had been placed in group homes.
As a result of these studies, several child protective service (CPS) agencies, including the Department of Children and Family Services in Los Angeles County (LA), have joined forces with their counterparts in the juvenile justice system to collaboratively service youth who were concurrently involved in both of these systems. These youth are commonly referred to as “crossover” youth. While LA was observing some initial positive outcomes from these teaming efforts, two leaders  involved in the effort wondered if it was possible through research to identify which of the maltreated children were the most likely to become delinquent. If this was possible, then perhaps new practices could be adopted to prevent these youth from becoming delinquent, thereby increasing the likelihood that these most at-risk youth would become productive adults versus adult criminals.
I’m so very proud of the new Miss America, Laura Kaeppeler. First, because she is from my hometown of Kenosha, Wis., and second, because she’s used her own experience to help a lot of hurting kids. If you don’t know Ms. Kaeppeler’s story, it begins when her father, Jeff, was arrested when she was a 14-year-old high-schooler. He went to trial and was sent to serve 18 months in federal prison for mail fraud when she was at Carthage College studying music.
This impacted Laura’s life, much like the other estimated 10 million children who will experience having a parent imprisoned. She started a mentoring nonprofit called Circles of Support to assist children living with a parent behind bars.
According to the United States Bureau of Justice Statistics, more than 3 percent of Americans live either behind bars, under parole supervision or on probation. This means that more than 7.2 million adults in 2009 lived under the shadow of a court sentence. An additional 86,927 juveniles were living in juvenile correctional facilities.
That’s a LOT of kids being impacted. And since most people who are serving time in a prison have a sentence from 3-15 years, it can take a huge chunk out of a childhood spent with a parent. How do we help children with such massive holes in their lives to keep them from following their parents into the juvenile justice or prison systems?
A new study from the University of Virgina found that teens who are comfortable expressing their opinions at home are better able to resist peer pressure to use drugs or alcohol.
As Science Newsline explains:
The researchers looked at more than 150 teens and their parents, a group that was racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse. The teens were studied at ages 13, 15, and 16 to gather information on substance use, interactions with moms, social skills, and close friendships. Researchers used not just the youths' own reports, but information from parents and peers. They also observed teens' social interactions with family members and peers.
They found that teens who hold their own in family discussions were better at standing up to peer influences to use drugs or alcohol. Among the best protected were teens who had learned to argue well with their moms about such topics as grades, money, household rules, and friends. Arguing well was defined as trying to persuade their mothers with reasoned arguments, rather than with pressure, whining, or insults.
Reclaiming Futures is hosting a free webinar on December 14, 2011, at 11 am PT (2 pm ET) on the "Above the Influence" campaign to help teens stand up to negative pressures and influences.
The webinar will focus on the updated “Above the Influence” campaign toolkit, provide instructions on how to implement the two new youth activities featured in the toolkit and lessons learned from Houston. It will be followed by a Q&A session.
Featured presenters include:
- Mark Krawczyk (Office of National Drug Control Policy)
- Sandy Olson (Coalition of Behavioral Health Services Houston)
- Kay Crockett (Coalition of Behavioral Health Services Houston)
Space is limited! Register now.
In Ohio, Reclaiming Futures fellow Carol Martin was featured in the Logan Daily News Reporter for her work to combat drug abuse by providing educational materials to local educators and agencies.
After learning about local teen drug abuse, Carol ordered booklets from the Foundation for a Drug-Free World (which you can request here) and began bringing them to schools. The booklets detail each kind of drug, its nicknames, and short and long term effects on the human body and mind. It also includes information on what happens when teens combine drugs and other substances.
From the article:
Carol Martin, a member of Reclaiming Futures, a community coalition designed to mentor and assist youth in the community, says she believes the materials will be useful to both educators and parents. “I thought it would be great for the schools, and it’s a different way than just sitting and talking about drugs,” she said.
After using the booklets in North Carolina, that state saw a 40% decrease in the number of deaths or accidental poisonings, and Carol is hopeful that they will have a similar effect in Ohio.
Great job, Carol! Keep up the good work and please keep us updated on your progress.