30 Mar 2011

Drug-Free Alliance Newsletter Snippets

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April: Alcohol Awareness Month April is Alcohol Awareness Month, an opportunity to focus on the drug most affecting our youth, adults, families, businesses, and communities. Use Drug Free 24/7 to drive your Alcohol Awareness Month messaging, asking everyone within your community to reconsider the role of alcohol within the community and within their own lives. Between traditional communication mechanisms and innovative application of social networking, you can blanket your community with awareness about alcohol, either with a specific focus (e.g. underage drinking) or a broad array of information. Strategy framework: Determine the focus: Do you want to address all the harms associated with alcohol? Or do you want to focus on a particular area (e.g. young adults) for emphasis? Determine the audience: Are you targeting the messaging to a particular segment of our community (e.g. parents) or to the entire community? Choose the messaging frequency: Do you want the messaging to be carried out daily? Weekly? Choose the mechanism(s): Newspaper ads, Mailers, Posters, Billboard ads, Text messages, or Facebook posts. How do you want to communicate the messaging? Find willing partners to help you by providing the mechanism(s) for your messaging. Choose the messages: Determine which facts, recommendations or other “messages” you want to communicate. Be strategic in your choices: You may want each message to build upon the prior one. Remember to incorporate the Drug Free 24/7 brand to continue linking your April activities with your other social marketing throughout the year. Determine the best application: Choose the Drug Free 24/7 materials that best support your messaging. Implement: Make it happen! An example of an Alcohol Awareness Month Social Marketying Strategy is available at DrugFree24-7.org. Additional Drug Free 24/7 activities and strategies are available at www.DrugFree24-7.org.

Know! Parent Tips are designed to educate and empower parents of middle school students so that they will have sufficient, accurate, and relevant information to have conversations with their child about the risks associated with substance abuse. Visit HelpThemKnow.com to sign up to receive the twice-monthly Parent Tips.

Know! To Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem The power of self-esteem cannot be underestimated. The way a person thinks and feels about himself directly impacts confidence, motivation, attitude, behavioral choices and emotional well-being. When it comes to choices surrounding alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, an adolescent armed with healthy self-esteem is much more likely to be able to resist the negative influences and make good decisions. On the opposite side, youth with low self-esteem are at increased risk of knowingly making poor choices, simply to gain the approval of others. Self-esteem begins to form early in life; established first through signals received from parents, then through interactions with peers, teachers, coaches and others. While parents have limited control over the outside interactions, they can control the way they parent, which can either build-up or tear-down the foundation of their child’s self-esteem. Formula for Low Self-Esteem = Parents who expect perfection, constantly ridicule, harshly criticize, intentionally embarrass, tease or ignore their child. Formula for High Self-Esteem = Parents who choose their words carefully, listen to and value their child’s opinion, are realistic but optimistic about life in general, show affection and appreciation for their child, give positive feedback, praise and encouragement, are respectful of and value themselves and others, foster independence and provide a safe and loving home environment for their child. Visit HelpThemKnow.com for tips to share with your child regarding outside interactions.

Many Youth Get Alcohol from Parent or Home A new study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) indicates that 5.9 percent of adolescents aged 12 to 14 drank alcohol in the past month, and that the vast majority of them (93.4 percent) received their alcohol for free the last time they drank. About 317,000 (44.8 percent) 12 to 14 year olds who drank in the past month received their alcohol for free from their family or at home. This includes 15.7 percent (or an estimated 111,000) who were provided alcohol for free by their parents or guardians. SAMHSA Data Spotlight: Young Alcohol Users Often Get Alcohol from Family or Home is based on the combined data from SAMHSA’s 2006 to 2009 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), and involves responses from more than 44,000 respondents ages 12 to 14. NSDUH is a primary source of information on national use of tobacco, alcohol, illicit drugs (including non-medical use of prescription drugs) and mental health in the United States. The survey is part of the agency’s strategic initiative on behavioral health data, quality and outcomes. A copy of the report is accessible at: http://oas.samhsa.gov/spotlight/Spotlight022YouthAlcohol.pdf. There have been several news stories about whether or not parents should provide alcohol to their children, including an interview, Should Parents Let Their Teens Drink at Home, by Today Show’s Matt Lauer, and Dad, I prefer the Shiraz by the Wall Street Journal. The legality of parents providing alcohol vary by state, and in 19 states it is unlawful for parents to provide alcohol to minors. In addition to the potential legal consequences associated with providing alcohol to minors, brain research suggests that learning and memory functions are affected much more by minors than by adults. Additionally, research indicates that teen drinkers perform poorly more often in school, and have an increased risk for social problems. Additional information about the effects of alcohol on the teen brain are available in the Drug-Free Action Alliance position paper, Keep the Minimum Drinking Age at 21.

New Alcopop Entering the Market: Blast by Colt 45 According to the Wall Street Journal article, Pabst Horse of a Different Color: Colt 45 Enterst Controversial Ring, a new alcopop will be entering the market next month called ‘Blast by Colt 45’. Blast, from Pabst Brewing Company will come in flavors such as strawberry lemonade and raspberry watermelon. To further capitalize on Colt 45’s primary demographic, urban, African-American males, the company has penned an endorsement agreement with Rapper Snoop Dogg, who will serve as the spokesman for the new product. Snoop Dogg will promote the brand during live music concerts, television and other appearances. Drug-Free Action Alliance has written a position paper on alcopops, of which Blast is an example of, and advocates for properly taxing alcopops as mixed beverages in Ohio. Other states are also advocating to reclassify alcopops to classifications which are taxed at higher rates. Research shows a higher tax would reduce youth access to alcohol through price sensitivity. According to Monitoring the Future data analyzied by Jim Mosher, Pacific Institute on Research and Evaluation has found that the percent of drinkers who have used alcopops in the last 30 days steadily declines as drinkers age, with the highest percentage (77%) starting in 8th grade. The Drug-Free Action Alliance position paper, Properly Classifying and Taxing Alcopops is available at DrugFreeActionAlliance.org.

DEA Holding 2nd Nationwide Prescription Drug Take-Back Day The U.S. Department of Justice – Drug Enforcement Administration has announced the 2nd National Prescription Drug Take Back Day will be Saturday, April 30, 2011. For additional information and a list of collection sites in your State please go to: Justice.gov/dea.

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