Tag Archives: Talbot Partnership for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention

Choosing the Right College

Like many parents, students, and administrators, you may be doing some research on colleges and universities. You’ve probably looked into academics,  course offerings, athletic facilities,  housing conditions,  and school reputation.

During your research, it’s essential to remember a key issue, one that influences college students’ quality of life every day: the culture of drinking at colleges in the United States.

An “Animal House” environment may seem exciting to students at first, but nothing affects health, safety, and academic performance more than a culture of excessive drinking. Many of the negative consequences associated with college alcohol abuse affect students who themselves are not drinking-and these are serious consequences: sexual assault, violence, vandalism, loss of sleep, and caring for friends and roommates in life-threatening states of alcohol poisoning.

There are a number of ways to investigate whether the schools you’re considering are taking this problem seriously. Be sure that each school has created solid alcohol policies and is enforcing underage drinking laws.

Collegedrinkingprevention.gov has made it easy for you to get this information for hundreds of colleges and universities in the United States.

* Visit our College Alcohol Policies page to find an interactive map of college alcohol policies throughout the United States.
* To see college drinking-related headlines, check out our In the News page.

Statistics provided on this web site and others like UMADD indicated that:
Academic Problems: About 25 percent of students report academic consequences of their drinking including missing class, falling behind, doing poorly on exams or papers, and receiving lower grades overall

• Health Problems/Suicide Attempts: More than 150,000 develop an alcohol-related health problem

Talbot Partnership Honors 2010 Award Recipients

The Talbot Partnership for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention recently hosted its 2010 Annual Awards Reception at Waterview Grille at Easton Club in Easton, MD.  Six awards were presented to recognize both individual and organizational contributions toward raising safe and healthy youth in Talbot County.  Award recipients for 2010 were Talbot County Councilman Corey Pack, Janet Pfeffer, previous executive director of Talbot Partnership, Talbot Family Network, Hill’s Drug Stores, Jennifer Stanley, Oxford Kids Camp; and Sawyer Spurry, Talbot Partnership Youth Coalition. High school graduates Victoria Snell, Nathan Einhorn, Christopher Ritz, and Sawyer Spurry also received Talbot Partnership’s Youth Scholarship Awards.

Talbot County Councilman Corey Pack was recognized for his tireless work to make Talbot County a healthier and safer community. Janet Pfeffer, previous executive director of Talbot Partnership, was honored for founding the organization and for 17 years of commitment and service to drug and alcohol prevention activities. Donna Hacker with Talbot Family Network was recognized for providing prevention and early intervention services to children, youth and families in TalbotCounty. Hill’s Drug Stores received an award for its “drug take back” program to safely dispose of unused medications.Jennifer Stanley founder of Oxford Kids Camp was honored for the Camp’s many years of providing kids programs inOxford. Sawyer Spurry was recognized for being a founding member and leader of the Talbot Partnership Youth Coalition.

Talbot Partnership’s 2009 Youth Scholarship awards were presented to graduates Victoria Snell of Easton High School, Nathan Einhorn of St. Michaels High School, Christopher Ritz of Easton High School, and Sawyer Spurry of St. Michaels High School. These scholarship awards were awarded to graduating seniors who submitted brief essays thoughtfully considering the high rates of underage alcohol and drug abuse in Talbot County.

Flowers & Flea Market Festival to Benefit Talbot Partnership for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention

Members of the Talbot Partnership Youth Coalition will be painting faces at the FLOWER & FLEA MARKET FESTIVAL on Saturday, May 8th from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Talbot Agriculture Center on Hiner’s Lane in Easton.  The Festival is to benefit Talbot Partnership for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention.

The Festival will also feature flea market tables and a paperback book stall; a variety of foods and baked goods; animal and educational exhibits; a silent auction; and live music and entertainment throughout the event.

Talbot Partnership, through its coalition, encourages the community to recognize the problems and implement solutions related to alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse by implementing policies, promoting early intervention programs and building a culture that favors a healthy, safe and drug-free community.

The suggested donation for admission to the Festival is $2 per person and $5 per family.

For more information, to rent a flea market table, or to become a sponsor, call Talbot Partnership at 410-819-8067 or email info@talbotpartnership.org.

Preventing Rx Drug Abuse

Talbot Partnership for Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse Prevention asks parents to think about what prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs you have? Where are they kept? Would you know if some were missing? The good news is that you can take steps immediately to limit access to these drugs and help keep your teen drug-free. Specifically:

1.    Safeguard all drugs at home. Monitor quantities and control access. Take note of how many pills are in a bottle or pill packet, and keep track of refills. This goes for your own medication, as well as for your teen and other members of your household.

2.    Set clear rules for teens about all drug use, including not sharing medicine and always following the medical provider’s advice and dosages. Make sure your teen uses prescription drugs only as directed by a medical provider and follows instructions for OTC products carefully.

3.    Be a good role model by following these same rules with your own medicines. Examine your own behavior to ensure you set a good example. If you misuse your prescription drugs, such as share them with your kids, or abuse them, your teen will take notice. Avoid sharing your drugs and always follow your medical provider’s instructions.

4.    Properly conceal and dispose of old or unused medicines in the trash. In Talbot County, Hill’s Drug Store has responded to the strong need for the proper disposal of unwanted and expired medications. Hill’s has announced it is now offering a new “drug take back” program to safely dispose of unused medications. This program is intended to reduce the risk of improper use as well as disposing of medicines that can damage our environment and present safety issues if not disposed of properly.

5.    Ask friends and family to safeguard their prescription drugs as well. Make sure your friends and relatives, especially grandparents, know about the risks, too, and encourage them to regularly monitor their own medicine cabinets

Talk to your teen about the dangers of abusing prescription and over-the-counter drugs. These are powerful drugs that, when abused, can be just as dangerous as street drugs. Tell your teen the risks far outweigh any “benefits.” For further information on the prescription drug problem in our community, please call Talbot Partnership at 410-819-8067. For information on the “Drug Take Back” program, call Hill’s Drug Store at 410-819-6541.

A New Year’s Resolution for Every Parent: Talk With Your Kids about Drugs and Alcohol

Resolving to talk more often with your child about healthy decisions and choices is a great idea for the New Year, according to Talbot Partnership for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention. It’s never too early to start the dialogue about the dangers of of underage drinking or other drug use, according to Talbot Partnership’s Executive Director, Gary Pearce.

TimeToTalk.org celebrates the positive influence of parents and can help you start the New Year with  “10 Resolutions That Show Your Kids You Care.”

10 Resolutions That Show Your Kids You Care:
1. Teach your children to trust you by seeing you as a role model.
2. Be patient, not just tolerant. Apologize when you make a mistake or do something you regret.
3. Ask teens what they need from you – and do whatever you can to meet those needs.
4. Listen to your teens, a lot. Avoid interrupting.
5. Teach your children about ethics, values and principles they can apply in choices and decision making.
6. Help them discover the feeling of gratitude, not just to say thank you.
7. Keep the promises you make. If you do not keep your word, acknowledge that. Help your teen understand the circumstances or choices that precipitated the change in your plans.
8. Answer your teen’s questions and be consistent. When you notice behavioral changes in them, make yourself available and encourage them to talk about what is going on in their life.
9. Be understanding when they have a difficult time and let them know you will love them no matter what.
10. Be diligent. Have ongoing conversations with your kids about the risks of drugs and alcohol.
For additional information on what parents can do to help their children avoid the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, contact Talbot Partnership at 410-819-8067 or visit their website at www.talbotpartnership.org.

Talbot Partnership Supplies Handheld Black Lights for Checking ID’s

Talbot Partnership for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention has recently purchased a quantity of handheld black lights for use by local businesses to check the validity of personal ID cards.  The intention of the black lights is to help businesses identify fake ID’s in an effort to reduce the underage purchase of alcohol.

Talbot Partnership Calls for Increased Investment in Prevention

The 2009 Monitoring the Future Survey, released Monday by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the University of Michigan, showed that while there were slight decreases in the use of cocaine and methamphetamine among youth, marijuana and prescription drug abuse showed no signs of slowing down. In fact, marijuana use among adolescents increased gradually over the past two years after years of declining use; and past year rates of Vicodin and OxyContin abuse increased during the last 5 years among 10th graders and remained unchanged among 8th and 12th graders.

Several drugs showed signs of increasing with attitudes softening for drugs such as marijuana, ecstasy, inhalants and LSD. For example, the percentage of 8th graders who view occasional marijuana use as potentially harmful dropped to 44 percent, compared to 48 percent last year. In addition, the perception of “great risk” associated with marijuana use declined among 8th and 10th graders.

“The 2009 Monitoring the Future survey is a wake-up call to all of us. It shows that our teens still don’t understand the dangers of abusing prescription drugs, such as Vicodin and OxyContin; and they don’t realize the harm that marijuana use can cause,” said Gary Pearce, Executive Director of Talbot Partnership. “Beliefs and attitudes about these drugs are going in the wrong direction.  The decreases of perception of harm around marijuana and inhalants are especially concerning, as that often leads to an increase in use.

“Talbot Partnership for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention plays a critical role in addressing drug abuse in Talbot County and in implementing strategies to change attitudes and availability. But we need to increase our investment in substance abuse prevention in order to make a dent in these problems.  More young people need to get the message that these drugs are harmful if we are to reverse these trends, but our coalition can’t do it alone. We need the help of everyone in the community.”

More information on the 2009 Monitoring the Future Survey is available at www.monitoringthefuture.org or contact Talbot Partnership at 410-819-8067.

Tell the Kids the Truth

Moms and dads who grew up in the 60s, 70s and 80s have long struggled with a fundamental question of parenting: what do say when your children ask you about your own drug use? In the past, parents have often been advised to dodge the subject, and to provide answers such as Just Say No or Do-As-I-Say (not-as-I-did—no details about the not-so-spotless past!)

Talbot Partnership for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse reports that the latest research from the Hazelden Foundation, however, comes down firmly on the side of truthfulness when it comes to discussing drugs with kids. “With 54 percent of students admitting to using drugs by the time they leave high school and 50 percent using alcohol by eighth grade, it’s vital that all generations break through the stigma and speak openly about addiction and the benefits of treatment and recovery,” says Hazelden CEO Mark Mishek.

Hazelden’s survey finds that about 50 percent of parents admit that they got drunk or high as teens, and 25 percent of teens say they have seen their parents get drunk or high. Nonetheless, more than 90 percent of both parents and teens see parents as role models on drug-use issues, whether or not the adolescents were aware of their parents own drug use. Moreover, 63 percent of teens believe that hearing the stories about their parents’ past use of alcohol and other drugs would help make them more responsible, in turn. In fact, half of the teens surveyed said that they would be less likely to use drugs if parents shared their past drug experiences.

Talbot Partnership Youth Advisory Committee Meets December 3

The Youth Advisory Committee of the Talbot Partnership Youth Coalition for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention is meeting on Thursday, December 3 at 6:00 p.m. in the Talbot Partnership conference room located at 8 Goldsborough Street, Suite 203 (on the 2nd floor of the Bank of America Building on Washington Street) in Easton.  Refreshments will be provided.  Anyone interested in joining the Youth Coalition should contact Gary Pearce at Talbot Partnership at 410-819-8067.

European Norms on Alcohol Are Not the Answer

How often do we hear “In Europe kids start drinking at an early age and they don’t have the problems with alcohol abuse that we have?” WRONG. This is one of the major misconceptions that Americans have regarding underage alcohol consumption.

Authorities in Europe are concerned that alcohol use by young people is becoming increasingly harmful. More than 55,000 people aged 15-29 across Europe die each year as a result of alcohol-related road accidents, poisoning, suicide and murders, according to the World Health Organization.

Of particular concern in Europe, like the USA, is the increase in binge drinking. In the past, drinking by youth tended to follow overall patterns in particular countries. For example, in Northern European countries where the overall percentage of drinkers is lower than in the south, drinking was less frequent among young people, but drinking to intoxication was more common. On the other hand, in Southern Europe, a greater percentage of adults and youth drank but tended not to drink to intoxication. While this pattern still holds, the trend toward binge drinking and intoxication is even being seen in Southern European countries where the cultures have historically frowned on drinking in that way.

A variety of policy measures are being introduced across Europe to deal with this trend, like increasing alcohol taxes, raising the legal purchase age, regulating the marketing of alcoholic beverages and regulating drinking establishments away from environments that encourage violence. In France, Austria, and Belgium there is a TV ban on alcohol advertising. In Italy, there’s no alcohol advertising on TV between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. Scotland is looking to impose minimum prices on alcohol. Germany, Russia and Ireland have all had to change their policies regarding alcohol.

The romantic notion of French or Italian children sitting down with their families over a bottle of wine at dinner has been replaced by the harsh reality  of high alcohol induced death rates, high alcohol related in-patient diagnoses, binge drinking and violence. The facts tell us that European norms and policies regarding alcohol have resulted in equal, if not greater problems than we have in this country.

Alcohol remains the most heavily abused substance by America’s youth, according to Talbot Partnership for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention. The problem is not that we are too lax with our regulations as many would say pointing to Europe, but rather that we need to tighten regulations and enforcement.