Wednesday, December 26, 2012

EDITORIAL: Fighting the Dangers of Third Hand Smoke

by Elaine Santos

In fighting the dangers of third hand smoke, we must first let residents know exactly what it is and why it’s so important for you, your family and even your pets to avoid it.

The fight begins with advocacy and education.

Usually we ask: When you walk into a room and smell lingering cigarette smoke, do you know what that’s called?

Being around a smoker on the street, outside of a building, or even in your family is at times unavoidable. The other day, our mailman came into the office reeking of smoke! It can’t be helped all of the time, but having the awareness of what can happen if you are around it enough is a start.

Third hand smoke gets on soft surfaces. This means it gets on your hair, skin, clothes and can remain there for months if unwashed. Babies spend time on the floors where smoke residue may have settled, pets may lick their fur and directly consume the toxins, and if enough of these toxins build up in the consumers it can cause dangerous levels of exposure in the body.

If you are a smoker, you should think about quitting. Never smoke in your home, your car, or near a school or office building. Always wash your hands and wash surfaces.  If you are not a smoker, don’t be afraid to tell someone to not smoke in your house or car. It can be uncomfortable or hard to do with friends and family, but be strict about protecting yourself.

Tell your child care providers and/or babysitters that smoking around your child is simply not an option and can result in the termination of their services.

View a Webinar on Third-hand Smoke: Clinical and Policy Implications (You must create a new account)

About the Contributing Blogger
Elaine Santos is the Coalition Coordinator of Putnam County Communities That Care Coalition. The mission of the Putnam County Communities That Care Coalition is to build a safe and healthy family-oriented community, which includes reducing the use of harmful substances by our adolescents. Our coalition includes individuals from all sectors of the community who work together to reduce risk factors and strengthen protective factors through education, enforcement and policy initiatives.

Mt. Sinai to Host Youth Documentary on Alcohol Abuse

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Safety Tips: Stopping Underage Drinking During the Holidays

The holidays are a festive time when families and friends gather together to celebrate the season.  Adults take a few days off from work to spend time and bond with vacationing children thrilled to be away from school.  

During a time often filled with laughter and cheer, it's easy to forget that the holidays is also a time when alcohol can be everywhere and easily accessible to young people.  It is also a time when the consequences of drinking can be devastating:

Hospital emergency department visits involving underage drinking increased more than 250% on New Year’s Day in 2009 compared to other days.

Teens and young adults who drink often do so excessively and are at risk for serious consequences; these include motor vehicle accidents, unplanned and unprotected sexual activity, and even alcohol poisoning.

Here are a few helpful tips to keep your kids safe during the holidays:

Tips for parents during the holiday season:

Be consistent — Send a consistent message to your teen that drinking before the age of 21 is not acceptable.

Ask - Know where your teen is going. Who will be there? Will alcohol or other drugs be present? Will adults be home? Do those adults tolerate drinking in their home? Often, your teen will mumble a response or appear outraged that you do not trust him- but asking shows that you care.

Plan for transportation — Talk to your teen about how dangerous it is to ride with a driver who has been drinking and to NEVER drink and drive. Alarmingly, 24% of high school students in 2011 reported having ridden in a car within the last 30 days with a driver who had been drinking alcohol. Share with your teen that alcohol affects a person as soon as they begin drinking and that someone doesn’t need to be ‘drunk’ to be too impaired to drive. Plan with your teen how they will get home. Offer to drive your teen home, or provide resources for driver services including taxi companies or a car service. Some areas also offer sober driver programs for the well-being of the community. Emphasize that safety is the first priority. Recommend public transportation if it is available and safe in your area.

Practice talking points — Practice with your teen situations where they may be pressured to drink. Review how to call for emergency assistance if a partygoer needs medical attention. Reinforce that safety, not punishment, is of the highest concern.

Be a role model — Drink responsibly. Do not pressure other adults to drink at functions if they decline a drink. Never drive after drinking. Never ride with a driver who has been drinking.

Tips to share with your teens during the holiday season:

Remember, underage drinking is illegal and can be dangerous. Often teens do stupid and risky things when intoxicated.

If you are at a party where alcohol is present, make your own non-alcohol drinks and do not leave your drink unattended. An untracked drink could be tampered with; alcohol or other drugs, including so-called “date rape drugs,” may be mixed into your drink without your knowledge.

Don’t participate in drinking games or contests. Dangerous amounts of alcohol are often ingested in connection with these competitions;

Use a buddy system. If you are going to a party, bring friends with you. Also, make sure all of your friends leave with you. Individuals who remain alone at a party are vulnerable to increased drinking, blackouts, and sexual assault.

Never drive after drinking. Impaired driving begins when drinking begins. It is illegal to drive with a 0.08% blood alcohol concentration. However, many states have also enacted “Zero Tolerance Laws,” where it is illegal for minors to drive with even a trace amount of alcohol in their bloodstream. Even if you do not crash, you could get pulled over, arrested and have your license revoked.

Never get into a car with a driver who has been drinking. Apply this rule to your friends too - try not to let your friends drive if they have been drinking or get into a car with someone who has been drinking.

Plan ahead about your transportation home. Appoint a designated driver who will not drink. Or chip in with friends to share the cost of a taxi or car service home. Consider public transportation if it is available and safe in your neighborhood.

If a friend is in trouble, do not hesitate to get help. If a person is unconscious and not breathing normally, call an ambulance immediately. Roll an unconscious person onto their side to minimize choking on vomit. Do not try to “sober them up” with a cold shower, slapping, or coffee. Know that ‘waiting it out’ could be dangerous as well. These methods will not work and may only delay lifesaving medical treatment.

Remember that the holiday season should be a time to enjoy your family and friends. But do it safely!

Source: Health Alliance on Alcohol

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

EDITORIAL: Making Parents Responsible for Giving Liquor to Kids is a Good Thing

by Elaine Santos
After the formation of the Putnam County Communities That Care Coalition and the Putnam County Drug and Alcohol Task Force, the Putnam County Social Host Liability Law was the first of its kind to pass  in New York State because it was adopted by every town in our County. This had not been done before.
The consequences for adults for not complying with the law could be: one year in jail, a 3,000 fine, and reimbursement for law enforcement services.
One problem related to the law that the Coalition has worked extensively to rectify is that many parents simply do not know it is a law. And while common sense states that providing alcohol or drugs to minors is strictly prohibited by not only law, but by ethical and moral standards, some partying parents who want to be "cool" still break the law.
In order to spread the word on the law, the Coalition has created innumerable environmental strategies such as public service announcements, movie theater PSA’s, written op-eds, put up billboards, and given presentations to parents at prom time to let them know serving alcohol or drugs to a child that is not theirs is not something the community approves. For our many presentations for parents, our local and County judges, our District Attorney, and law enforcement are on hand to answer any questions parents AND teens have about the law.
We definitely support the passage of a New York State Social Host Liability Law. In Putnam County, we have had six arrests since the law’s inception. It is embarrassing for the parent. It is all over the paper.  And it’s an expensive legal fine.

Imagine how many lives could be saved if this was done Statewide?

About the Contributing Blogger
Elaine Santos is the Coalition Coordinator of Putnam County Communities That Care Coalition. The mission of the Putnam County Communities That Care Coalition is to build a safe and healthy family-oriented community, which includes reducing the use of harmful substances by our adolescents. Our coalition includes individuals from all sectors of the community who work together to reduce risk factors and strengthen protective factors through education, enforcement and policy initiatives.

Monday, December 17, 2012

WHAT YOU THOUGHT: Should NY Legalize Pot

A recently conducted poll of our readers asked the question, "Should Non-Medical Marijuana Be Legalized?"  Participants were split at 46 percent on whether recreational marijuana should be legal here in NYC.   8 percent were still undecided on the issue.

Here a snapshot of the results:


Check out our next poll - "Do you agree with Gov. Cuomo's decision NOT to raise the alcohol tax?"

New Yorkers Support Marijuana Legalization

A new poll released last week shows that the majority of New Yorkers would support the legalization of non-medical marijuana throughout the state.

The  Quinnipiac University poll finds that 51 percent of New Yorkers support the legalization of marijuana, while only 44 percent oppose it. 

A further breakdown of the polls indicates that male support is stronger than females, 56 percent versus 47 percent.  The largest age group in support of legalization is 18-29 year olds.  Support begins to decrease with each subsequent age group.

Colorado and Washington voted last month to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

Source: MSNBC, Quinnipiac University

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Is Your Website Boring & Uninteresting?

Is Your Agency Website Stuck in the 1990's?

We've all had the misfortune of visiting those sites that seem to be stuck in the past. Often, they are characterized with the same horrible traits...tons of text, few pictures, minimal information, and haven't been updated in months or even years!

However, with today's fast moving pace of streaming information, social media, and the need to stay connected on the go, many organizations don't know how to bring their website into the present or where to start.

If this sounds like your site....LISTEN UP! Join the NYC Prevention Resource Center on January 17th for "Is it Time to Rethink Your Website".

This free 3-hour workshop will provide hands-on instruction about:
  •  Understanding of what has changed - and what hasn't - in what people want from your website and how you can deliver it.
  • Criteria to evaluate how much of a redesign you need, and how much you can handle. Is a little refresh enough? Do you need a complete redesign? Should you leave things alone?
  • Ideas for how to keep your site current and interactive.
This is your chance to learn the tools to put your website on the cutting edge.
We ask that you register by January 12th.
About the Facilitator
We are pleased to announce that this workshop will be conducted by Farra Trompeter, Vice President of Big Duck.
Big Duck works exclusively with nonprofits to help raise money and increase visibility. We combine nonprofit expertise, strategic thinking, and creative solutions to address your biggest communications challenges.
Light Breakfast and Lunch will be served.

Monday, December 10, 2012

FUNDING ALERT: Small Community Grants Available

The Citizens Committee for New York City has made small community grants available for local neighborhood resident-led groups to work on community and school improvement projects addressing issues that they identify as important to them. 

These $500 - $3,000 grants have funded a variety of initiatives from
community gardening, theater and fine arts, nutrition awareness, composting, beautification, tenant organizing, youth education, physical fitness, public safety, and more.
DEADLINE: The application deadline is January 31, 2013.   
Additionally, The Citizens Committee has scheduled a series of information sessions to learn more about the grants.  They will be held:
Monday, December 10, 2012 - 6:00-8:00
JFK Corporate Square
93-43 Sutphin Boulevard
J/Z/E to Sutphin Boulevard

Wednesday, December 12, 2012 - 6:00-8:00
Bronx Library Center
310 East Kingsbridge Road, Room C22
B/D/F to Fordham Road

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 - 6:00-8:00
Office of the Manhattan Borough President
1 Centre Street, 19th Floor Conference Room

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 - 6:00-8:00
Queens Central Library
89-11 Merrick Blvd, C-Level Area B
F to 169th Street

Wednesday, January 9, 2013 - 6:00-8:00
Dial in using a phone line or Internet connection

Wednesday, January 16, 2013 - 6:00-8:00
Bronx Library Center
310 East Kingsbridge Road, Room C22   
B/D/F to Fordham Road 
For more information or to register for an information session, contact Wilfredo at or 212-822-9568.

EDITORIAL: Communities Must Advocate to Stop Marijuana Legalization

by Elaine Santos
"Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world...would do this, it would change the earth."
― William Faulkner

Advocacy for drug and alcohol prevention is always an uphill battle. In 2013, prevention efforts in New York State will be essential and have significant impact in 2013. With the recent news from the Daily News that a Colorado-based marijuana company has hired influential lobbying firm Patricia Lynch Associates to push for marijuana legalization in New York State, the time is now for prevention advocates to work even harder. Those who support marijuana legalization have a ton of lobbying muscle, and we must do the same.

In Putnam County, we wrote a position paper on the legalization of medical marijuana and the overall message we intend to make is this: Medicine is always approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and marijuana should be no different. The fact is, marijuana will not be approved by the FDA because nothing smoked will ever pass red tape. Have people forgotten that smoking- and it doesn’t matter what you’re smoking- causes a variety of deathly and sometimes incurable diseases?

Our Putnam Coalition is pleased to see that both President Barack Obama and Governor Andrew Cuomo exercise caution and skepticism when it comes to legalization of marijuana both on the federal and state levels. The argument of it closing budget gaps may come at the cost of increased societal harms that will come from the legalization of any "medicine" not approved by the FDA (long term side effects, driving while ability impaired, increase in necessary treatment for those addicted to marijuana, etc).

Not only is the "natural" form of marijuana possibly going to be available to the public for "medical" purposes, but synthetic cannabinoids are another obstacle preventionists are having to face now and in the forseeable future. In March 2012, the New York State Health Department issued an Order for Summary Action banning the sale and distribution of synthetic cannabinoids. Violators of the new law can face civil penalties, but we need more teeth in this law. Luckily, it is also federally banned. We support and are pleased to see the New York State order, but the enforcement of the ban and ensuring the sale has completed stopped remains an issue. When a small packet of a synthetic item, such as Ocean Blue or Dragon Spice, gets the retailer an easy, quick, $20.00, enforcement is imperative.

In Putnam County, our youth and our residents who have gone through the criminal justice system were the ones that told us that many gas stations in Putnam were selling the synthetics. They were proved right when we did our own informal scans of the stations and convenience stores and found these packets right near the cashiers area, in colorful fun packaging, within reach of any child. Again, enforcement is key. And as we mentioned earlier, advocacy has proved to be the most important tool.

Without a collaborative effort from Coalitions, providers, media, community organizations, law enforcement and our government officials, synthetics would still be the growing issue it was in early 2012.

About the Contributing Blogger
Elaine Santos is the Coalition Coordinator of Putnam County Communities That Care Coalition
The mission of the Putnam County Communities That Care Coalition is to build a safe and healthy family-oriented community, which includes reducing the use of harmful substances by our adolescents. Our coalition includes individuals from all sectors of the community who work together to reduce risk factors and strengthen protective factors through education, enforcement and policy initiatives.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Cuomo Says No to Alcohol Tax Increase

This week, Governor Andrew Cuomo reportedly rejected a proposal made by the New York State Public Health and Planning Council that would have increased taxes and regulations on alcohol. Under this plan, along with the tax increase, the number of new bars and liquor stores would have been reduced and advertisements that do not “glamourize” alcohol consumption would have been mandated.

In October, Cuomo stated, ““New York’s vibrant beer, wine, cider and spirits industry supports thousands of jobs across the state,” he said, promising to “work as an entrepreneurial government to partner with the private sector to help key industries thrive and prosper.”

However, Cuomo did issue tough new rules late last month to keep drivers with a history of repeated alcohol- or drug-related convictions off the road.

Under the rules, the state Department of Motor Vehicles can permanently revoke the licenses of some repeat offenders, and require an interlock system for those who have had their licenses revoked.


Throwing Mud at the Wall

By Dan Stinson

Before we started implementing the Strategic Prevention Framework, the only strategy used at our coalition was to throw a lot of mud at the wall to see what would stick and what wouldn’t. It was hardly scientific and involved shooting in the dark, no data, no plan, just an interest in keeping our members coming back to the table month to month. 

A previous, broader effort in our community called the Community Enrichment Council, failed to hold interest and folded due to lack of action, so foremost in my mind was the need to do something…, anything! We had an amazing group of people around this newest table with a keen interest in the cause of doing something about drug and alcohol prevention, and I didn’t want to lose them. 

Thankfully, years later, we still retain that same group and have added to our numbers, with many taking on tasks and implementing strategies to the point that these initiatives take on a life of their own.

It’s exciting to see what a community can accomplish when they come together with a passion for serving its young population.
About the Contributing Blogger
Dan Stinson is the Chairman of One Island, One Team, One Dream, to be Drug free. Located in the town of Grand Island, part of Buffalo, NY, the mission of the coalition is to establish a healthy, drug free school and community. Our immediate goals are to see a marked reduction of alcohol and drug use among students within a two year period and to increase awareness of the problems and their solutions.

Learn more about One Island, One Team, One Dream, to be Drug free

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Check out "The Truth About..."

It's Data Made Easy...

"The Truth About..." is our new offering designed to simplify recent alcohol, tobacco, and drug related statistics.  Covering both local NYC and national surveys, "The Truth About..." puts useful and current information at your fingertips.  More coming soon!

(click on pic to download)

FUNDING ALERT: Youth Mental Health Grants

The Viola W. Bernard Foundation is seeking applicants for a series of Youth Mental Health Grants.   
The Viola W. Bernard Foundation was established to provide seed money for innovative mental health programs with an emphasis on families and children. The purpose of this program is to support innovative programs that address the interplay between social conditions and the psychological health of children and families.   

Eligibility: Eligible applicants include projects or programs for youth that involve a mental health component and preference is given to New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania.

Amount: Award amounts vary (Examples of past recipients)

Contact: Please contact the Viola W. Bernard Foundation for more information and to apply for this funding

Deadline: 1/31/13 

Grass Roots and Growing

by Dan Stinson

Prior to six years ago, there was no real drug and alcohol prevention initiative in the community of Grand Island, New York. The new High School Principal, in an attempt to ascertain the needs of the school, sent home a survey to parents asking them what they considered the main issues. The answer came back load and clear; “You have a drug problem at the school and nothing is being done about it”.

That’s when One Island,One Team, One Dream, to be Drug free, was born. Starting off as a very grass roots group, we have grown to include members from almost all walks of the community including, the School Superintendent, high school and middle school Principals, the Ministerium, health care providers, counselors, law enforcement, Town Justice, Town Board, ECCPASA, Kids Escaping Drugs, Horizons Health Services, Youth Board, PTA, and concerned students and parents.

One Island’s reach now encompasses the entire community and takes on other issues related to prevention such as domestic violence, graffiti and bullying. Even though we have gained a great reputation and won organization of the year last year, having recently implemented the Strategic Prevention Framework, we are only just beginning to realize our impact.

About the Contributing Blogger
Dan Stinson is the Chairman of One Island, One Team, One Dream, to be Drug free.  Located in the town of Grand Island, part of Buffalo, NY, the mission of the coalition is to establish a healthy, drug free school and community. Our immediate goals are to see a marked reduction of alcohol and drug use among students within a two year period and to increase awareness of the problems and their solutions. 

Learn more about One Island, One Team, One Dream, to be Drug free

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Transformation - The Floyd Taylor Story (Part 3)

This is a 3 part series detailing the story of Floyd Taylor, a youth member of the
Forward South Bronx Coalition.
By Cedric McClester
In brand new situations, some people are like fish out of water, while others are to the manner born.  Floyd proved to be the latter, rather than the former.  You would have thought that Floyd was a graduate of the Dale Carnegie course, “How To Win Friends and Influence People”.  At the CADCA training Floyd was exposed to people from all over the country and Puerto Rico.  More importantly, people became exposed to him.  He became the Forward South Bronx Coalition’s goodwill ambassador.

Floyd found the workshops beneficial and informative and brought back tons of literature and business cards of the people he met.  Perhaps, the greatest lesson of all he learned during those five days in Nashville was people are basically the same, no matter who they are or where they come from.  To put it in his words, I’ve learned that no matter where they come from, or whatever their race or religion is, people are basically the same.  I no longer see color when I look at people.”  Indeed, sometimes coming together can be transformative.
About the Contributing Blogger
Cedric McClester is the Director of Community Relations for SFI (formerly Sports Foundation, Inc.). Sports Foundation Inc. is a social service organization that provides free counseling, sports, health and education programs and activities for today's youth. He is also the coordinator of the Forward South Bronx Coalition. The vision of the Forward South Bronx Coalition (FSBC) is to create a culture within the South Bronx that promotes healthy living, hopefulness, and connectedness within the community to instill a sense of present and future possibilities.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Monday, December 3, 2012

Upcoming Webinars Tackle Underage Drinking

The Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center released its monthly Resource Alert Summary and included dates for a few upcoming webinars that explore the topic and consequences of underage drinking from several unique perspectives.  See below for more information:

Maximizing Today’s Technology to Reduce Underage Drinking

Date: Thursday, December 20, 2012 

Time: 3:00-4:15 p.m. ET

Speakers:  Officer John Schutt, Las Vegas Police Department, NV;  Jared Olson, Traffic Safety Prosecutor, Boise, ID

Everywhere we look, technology is being leveraged to make our lives move faster and more efficiently.  Officer John Schutt will provide an overview of how geographic information systems (GIS) mapping helped the Las Vegas PD focus their EUDL enforcement efforts, resulting in improved alcohol retailer compliance. Traffic Safety Prosecutor Jared Olson will add to the discussion sharing how social networking platforms can be used to develop local intelligence regarding underage drinking events and serve as a foundation for preventative action.  Registrants will learn how using today’s technology can be tools to strategically deploy resources.

Motivational Interviewing: How to Communicate with Defendants and Respondents to Motivate Them to Succeed

Date: Thursday, January 10, 2013     

Time: 3:00-4:15 p.m. ET

Speaker: Roxanne Bailin, Chief Judge, Boulder, Colorado

Motivational Interviewing is a collaborative, goal-oriented method of communication with particular attention to the language of change. Motivational Interviewing has been shown to markedly improve outcomes for defendants, parents, and juveniles in terms of reducing substance use; changing antisocial attitudes, values, and beliefs; reducing negative peer associates; promoting identification with pro-social role models; increasing self-regulation skills, and increasing relapse prevention skills. Registrants will learn more about this method in this enlightening webinar.                      

Register on line at:  


Alcohol and the Adolescent Brain

Date: Thursday, January 17, 2013     

Time: 3:00-4:15 p.m. ET

Speaker:  Aaron White, PhD. (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and Abuse, MD

Dr. White will share the most recent and compelling research on the effect of alcohol on the developing brain. He brings together a developmental understanding of the adolescent and the structural changes that the brain undergoes which affects behavioral choices. Registrants will learn how early alcohol use can be damaging to the critical developmental process occurring in the brain and the necessity to deter underage drinking.

Multiculturalism is Easier Said Than Done

(A/K/A Having bilingual  brochures is not enough)
How have you connected to your neighbors?
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will be sponsoring its 2nd Annual National Prevention Week from May 12-18, 2013.  This week-long event was created to spotlight community events that inform and educate the public about the dangers and consequences associated with unhealthy behaviors including underage drinking, substance abuse, obesity and nutrition, and problem gambling; and promote mental, emotional, and behavioral well-being

In preparation for NPW, SAMHSA is looking to expand its outreach to involve different ethnicities and cultural groups and has requested the assistance of local community organizations to provide ideas on reaching people where they "work, live, and play." 

Since reaching a balanced approach to cultural diversity tends to be an issue that most community based organizations and groups have to confront on a regular basis, this would be a excellent opportunity to hear from you about ways your agency or group has been able to reach other ethnic, cultural, or religious groups in the neighborhood.
Post your comments below on how you've connected to other ethnicities in your neighborhood....

·         What tactics have worked for your organization, to reach multicultural audiences? 
·         Is it important to translate materials?
·         What media is most important to your communities when looking for news? 
o   Radio?  If so, what networks?
o   English-language news sites?  If so, what sites?
o   Multicultural news sites?  If so, what sites?
·         What national multicultural organizations do you trust, or have worked with successfully in the past?

Friday, November 30, 2012

Drugs & Alcohol Tied to Strokes in Young Adults

A new study reported that young adults that suffered strokes were often smokers or had abused drugs and alcohol in their lifetime.

Conducted in Ohio and Kentucky, the findings indicated that long term damage to the heart, blood, and arteries resulted from heavy drug use or drinking and put substance abusers at a higher than average risk earlier in life.

"According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, close to 800,000 people in the United States have a stroke every year, and strokes are the most common cause of serious long-term disability. One study of 2007 data found that almost five percent of people who had a stroke that year were between ages 18 and 44."
The current study included people from Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky who'd had a stroke before they hit 55.

Dr. Brett Kissela from the University of Cincinnati and his colleagues reviewed medical charts for blood or urine test results or other records of substance abuse for close to 1,200 stroke patients.

In 2005, the most recent year covered, just over half of younger adults who suffered a stroke were smokers at the time, and one in five used illicit drugs, including marijuana and cocaine. Thirteen percent of people had used drugs or alcohol within 24 hours of their stroke, according to findings published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke.

"The rate of substance abuse, particularly illicit drug abuse, is almost certainly an underestimate because toxicology screens were not obtained on all patients," said Dr. Steven Kittner, a professor of neurology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore who also wasn't part of the research team.

"It's certainly underreported," he told Reuters Health.

The rate of smoking, drug use and alcohol abuse - defined as three or more drinks per day - seemed to increase among stroke patients between the mid-1990s and the mid-2000s.

But Kissela and his team said they can't be sure whether more people were actually using those substances or doctors were just getting better at testing for and recording drug abuse.

The study also can't prove that patients' drug or alcohol use directly contributed to their strokes. It's possible, for example, that people who abuse drugs also see their doctors less often or engage in other risky behaviors that increase their chance of stroke, Josephson explained.

He said the study emphasizes the importance of learning and quickly recognizing the signs of a stroke - such as weakness on one side of the body and dizziness - even for young people. Some treatments can only be used during a short "window of opportunity" after the stroke.

"We see patients all the time who have symptoms that are classic for a stroke and those symptoms are not recognized as being stroke symptoms because of the idea that, รข€˜Well, that's something that happens only to older people,'" he said.
Source: The Chicago Tribune

UDETC Offers Free Training Courses


The Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center is offering FREE distance traning opportunities that provide local neighorhoods with useful information on best practices to address the serious problem of underage drinking.  Current courses include:

  • Conducting Compliance Check OperationsThis four-hour online training provides basic guidelines and operational information on reducing sales of alcohol to underage purchasers through compliance investigations of alcohol retailers. The course presents rationales for carrying out these investigations and emphasizes the importance of reducing youth access to alcohol thereby reducing youth related crime in the community and improving the quality of life. 

  • Environmental StrategiesThis two-hour online training is designed to increase the participant's skill level and understanding of environmental prevention practices and share effective strategies for States, Territories, and/or communities to address alcohol and other drug (AOD) problems from an environmental standpoint.

  • Party Prevention and Controlled Party Dispersal - New!This 6-hour training discusses the role of enforcement and community agencies in preventing underage drinking parties and safely dispersing them when they do occur. It describes the problem of underage drinking in general and youth drinking parties in particular. This course recognizes that to be successful, any underage drinking strategy must be supported by law enforcement, the judiciary and the community. Consequently, this course examines not only the mechanics of successful controlled party dispersal operations, but also how controlled party dispersal is part of a larger effort to focus investigations, change community perceptions and promote joint law enforcement and community efforts. This course includes information on conducting controlled party dispersal operations, legal strategies, marketing and media and police – community roles and relationships.

  • The UDETC offers a wide array of information, resources, and funding opportunities to assist local communities address the issues and consequences associated with underage alcohol sure to check it out.

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

    Branding + Fundraising = SUCCESS!!

    Our friends at Big Duck are hosting an upcoming "Bagels at Big Duck" workshop entitled, "Brandraise to Fundraise". 

    This topic discusses how communities can use their brand identity to help improve fundraising campaigns.

    When: Thursday, December 6, 2012
    Time: 9:00am - 11:00am
    Where: Big Duck, 20 Jay Street, Brooklyn 11201

    Cost: $40.00


    Overview: Campaigns are always an opportunity to emotionally connect with your community, and your brand should be the foundation of any fundraising effort.

    Ready to explore how branding and fundraising go hand in hand, but not sure where to begin? 

    Explore how to speak with a single voice across all channels of communication, learn how your brand will strengthen future fundraising campaigns, and enjoy some bagels and coffee.

    REMINDER:  Big Duck will also be presenting our upcoming workshop, "Is It Time to Rethink Your Website?"  

    When:Thursday, January 17th, 2013.
    Time: 10:00am - 1:00pm

    Cost: FREE

    This presentation offers a a guide to understanding how websites have changed over time; discuss the benefits and drawbacks of redesigning your site; and learn about the features necessary to make your website useful and relevant to your target audience.