Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Thank you for your support, DFC Grant not received, but youth substance abuse prevention work will continue :)

Dear GeorgetownCARES Sector Members, On behalf of the GeorgetownCARES community coalition, I would like to thank you all for agreeing to participate as an active coalition member in a Drug Free Community (DFC) Sector capacity. DFC Grants are awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), a division of the Department of Health and Human Services. The 2014 awards have been announced, and sadly, GeorgetownCARES was NOT among the (only) three community coalitions across the country offered a grant. Thanks to the caring support of so many in Georgetown, however, the work of the GeorgetownCARES coalition will continue in a similar manner as before, with the twin goals of building protective factors for youth and reducing the risk factors that lead to risky behavior choices. The stated purpose of the grant was to increase community readiness to address youth substance use problems. In fact I want to recognize that already many groups and individuals in our small, caring, family-friendly town step up every day to support our youth in making healthy choices and decisions. We are particularly appreciative of the Georgetown School District for agreeing to administer, analyze, and develop a responsive prevention plan to the 2014 Search Institute’s Attitudes & Behavior Survey for GMHS students this fall. Also, our highly trained and professional Police & Fire Departments do an incredible job keeping our community safe in their responses to the substance-abuse related situations our youth find themselves in. We also thank the Georgetown Record for their practice of printing educational prevention articles for parents. GeorgetownCARES would like to continue partnering with you all to provide parents with information and support on how to keep teens safe from alcohol and other drugs. We will also keep working hand in hand with the Georgetown Wellness Committee, to provide a safe and supportive school environment for all of our youth. If any of you have ideas about how GeorgetownCARES could help promote or be a part of any educational youth activities involving substance abuse prevention, please do contact us. Again, thank you very much for your willingness to participate in this SAMSHA program, and wishing you all success in your endeavors to support Georgetown youth. Very Best Regards, Pam Lundquist, GeorgetownCARES

Friday, April 4, 2014

Website Updates Please feel free to check out our new website pages! Information Fact Sheets now include: The Plan: GeorgetownCARES, Substance Abuse Prevention Awareness Websites, Substance Abuse Prevention Strategies for Communities (2 pages, The 40 Developmental Assets Approach, Seven Myths About Teens, Alcohol & Other Drugs, Social Host Liability: Get the Facts, High School Student Drug Recognition: Get the Facts, Check Yourself: On the path to addiction?, Pathways to Help: Treatment, Alcohol and Underage Drinking: Get the Facts, Bath Salts: Get the Facts, Club Drugs GHB, Ketamine & Rohypnol: Get the Facts, Ecstasy: Get the Facts, Hallucinogens: Get the Facts, Heroin: Get the Facts, K2 & Synthetic Marijuana: Get the Facts, Marijuana: Get the Facts, Prescription Drug Abuse: Get the Facts, Steroids: Get the Facts, Youth and Tobacco Use: Get the Facts,

Georgetown Health & Wellness Fair 4/5/14 8-11am at Penn Brook School

Hope to see everyone at the Penn Brook School for the Georgetown Health & Wellness Fair – Come discover new ways to be healthy & well – exciting activities & interactive stations – perfect for all ages! 8am-11am, FREE, sponsored by the Georgetown Health & Wellness Committee.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Thank you, Chris Herren & GHS SADD!

March 24, 2014 - GeorgetownCARES would like to thank Chris Herren, former Celtics player and a recovering addict, for speaking with all of our Georgetown High School students today, courtesy of our GHS Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) chapter. As Chris delivered his message of both the hope in recovery and his cautionary tale, the audience was riveted in silent awe. Chris’s story is that of a young basketball superstar out of Fall River, MA. For many years, Chris basked in the ever-growing approval of the crowds, the colleges who recruited him, the NBA, his friends and family. That is, until cocaine, opiates and heroin threw him off track from his career and family dreams, like he never imagined. Like he never planned on, when as a high school students, he started at parties with his friends to drink and smoke. Are drinking, cigarettes, pot gateway substances for teens? Never mind the statistics, Herren said. Toward the end of his drugging, he knew many a heroin addict, not one of whom didn’t begin as a teen that way. That’s why Herren likes to talk more about the first days than the last days. Because if he had said no to underage drinking and smoking as a teen, the last days most likely would not have happened. One student asked, what should you do if you have a friend who has done hard drugs before, but promises not to do it again? Herren didn’t hesitate: If you know you friend has tried drugs or alcohol? You tell an adult. That’s what a friend does. That’s what I wish I had done for my friends. 7 out of the 15 kids on my high school basketball team ended up as heroin addicts. If I had told, maybe that wouldn’t have happened. And I wish someone had told an adult on me. Ask yourself, why do you need substances? If you can feel good about being you 24/7, there’d be no need for substances. Again, we thank you, Chris Herren, for telling your story. If only one young student here can make a better choice from hearing you speak, it’s all worth it. Find out more about Chris at: Find Chris’s 2012 memoir, Basketball Junkie, and his DVD, Unguarded, at

Monday, October 21, 2013

40 Developmental Assets We Can Give Our Children

A Summary: The 40 Developmental Assets Framework From GeorgetownCARES The 40 Developmental Assets are positive experiences, relationships, opportunities, and personal qualities that young people need to grow up healthy, caring, and responsible. The Framework is grounded in research on child and adolescent development, risk prevention, and resiliency. Assets are easy to build! Asset building is about relationships—anyone can do it. You can make a difference and help a young person succeed! Research shows that the more assets young people have, the less likely they are to engage in risky behaviors. Assets 1) promote academic success, 2) divert youth from risky behaviors and increase civic engagement, 3) give young people the strengths they need to make positive choices in life. Across the United States, in big cities and in small towns, most young people now experience fewer than half of the 40 Developmental Assets. Those youth have an 18-38% chance of illicit drug use. Youth with more than 20 assets have a 1-6% chance of illicit drug use. Assets make a difference! The 40 Developmental Assets for Grades 6-12 EXTERNAL Support: family support, positive family communication, other adult relationships, caring neighborhood, caring school climate, parent involvement in schooling. Empowerment: community values youth, youth have useful roles, service to others, feels safe. Boundaries & Expectations: family boundaries, school boundaries, neighborhood boundaries, adult role models, positive peer influence, high expectations. Constructive Use of Time: creative activities, youth programs, religious community, time at home. INTERNAL Commitment to learning: Achievement motivation, school engagement (active learning), homework (reports doing at least 1 hour per day), bonding to school (cares about school), reading for pleasure. Positive Values: Caring, equality and social justice, integrity (acts on convictions, stands up for beliefs), honesty, responsibility (takes personal), restraint (believes in avoiding risky behavior). Social Competencies: planning and decision making, interpersonal competence (empathy, sensitivity), cultural competence (comfortable with differences), resistance skills (to peer pressure and dangerous situations), peaceful conflict resolution. Positive Identity: personal power, self-esteem, sense of purpose, positive view of personal future. America’s Promise-The Alliance for Youth has identified and promoted these Five Promises we need to make to our children: 1) Caring Adults, 2) Safe Places and Constructive Use of Time, 3) A Healthy Start and Healthy Development, 4) Effective Education for Marketable Skills and Lifelong Learning, 5) Opportunities to Make a Difference through Helping Others. The Five Action Strategies for Transforming Communities and Society Creating a World Where All Young People Are Valued and Thrive 1. Engage Adults – To develop sustained, strength-building relationship with youth. 2. Mobilize Young People – To use their power as asset builders and change-makers. 3. Activate Sectors – To create an asset-building culture, contributing to youth development. 4. Invigorate Programs– Expand/enhance programs to become asset rich & accessible to youth. 5. Influence Civic Decisions–Leverage financial, media, and policy resources to support youth. The Search Institute at Our Mission: To provide leadership, knowledge and resources to promote healthy children, youth, and communities. 615 First Ave. NE, Suite 125, Minneapolis, MN 55413 800-888-7828

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Ecstasy: Get the Facts

Ecstasy: Get the Facts Knowledge is Power: The #1 deterrent of substance abuse in teens is PARENTS! From GeorgetownCARES – What is Ecstasy? Ecstasy, chemically known as MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine), is a (psychoactive) stimulant hallucinogenic drug. It is usually sold in pill form ($40/per pill), but is also available in powder form. Because Ecstasy is illegal and, therefore, unregulated, it is impossible for the average user to know what is contained in a “dose.” Pills may contain varying levels of stimulants such as MDA (an amphetamine-speed) or caffeine, or anesthetics such as Ketamine or dextromethorphan. Ecstasy is produced synthetically in (mostly European) labs and smuggled to the US. There is no recognized medical use; it is a federally classified Schedule I drug. What does Ecstasy look like? Tablets resemble to Smarties candies, coming in many colors, most imprinted with logos/headstamps of crowns, stars, birds, blue dolphins, dragons. Butterflies & Tinkerbells are international symbols for Ecstasy. Users wear T-shirts with the symbol onE, meaning “on Ecstasy.” Ecstasy also sometimes comes in geltabs. Short term effects: The effects of Ecstasy are felt within 30-45 minutes, peaking after 60-90, and lasting 4-6 hours. The drug produces a massive serotonin (and dopamine) release, resulting in strong feelings of well-being, connectedness to others, and mild dreamy hallucinations. Increased heart rate and blood pressure can lead to seizures. The stimulant effects of the drug enable users to dance for extended periods, which often leads to severely dehydration. Users can experience hyperthermia or dramatic increases in body temperature. This further leads to muscle breakdown and kidney, liver and cardiovascular failure (death). Cardiovascular failure has been reported in some of the Ecstasy-related fatalities. After/hangover effects include sleep-problems, depression, anxiety, dullness and lethargy lasting 2 or more days. Tolerance builds after 10 uses; users “chase the magic.” Because repeat doses have stimulant but no mood effects, addictiveness level is relatively low. This is because serotonin levels take time to rebuild before they can be released again. Overdose signs include panic, vomiting, loss of consciousness, extreme overheating (can result in death), kidney failure, hyponatremia, intravascular coagulation (DIC). Signs of use: Ecstasy users’ pupils dilate, often making them very sensitive to light. Jaw-clenching and tooth-grinding are also observable effects; users may chew gum or bite on something. Senses are heightened, and Ecstasy users often want to intensify the feeling by dancing, talking, and touching. Users often display overt signs of affection, which explains its nickname, the “hug drug.”. Long term effects: - Repeated use of Ecstasy ultimately may damage the nerve cells that produce serotonin, which has an important role in the regulation of mood, appetite, pain, learning and memory. There already is research suggesting Ecstasy use can disrupt or interfere with memory and long-term cognitive capabilities. Driving accidents are 58% greater than non-drug users. SLANG – “Club Drug” - Because Ecstasy is popular at Rave parties and dance clubs, enabling users to dance for long periods of time, it is called a “club drug.” Other names for Ecstasy include E, X, XTC, Adam, rolls, candy, enhancements, love drug, hug drug, vitamin E. Rates of Use - Ecstasy is most popular among 18 to 25 year olds (used by 5% of that US population). High school/middle school data from Monitoring the Future 2009 National Survey re: Ecstasy use are as follows: 12th grade 10th grade 8th grade % who used in last month 4.2 3.8 1.4 % seeing “great risk” in using once or twice 53 39 25 5 disapproving of using once or twice 86 76 61 % saying “fairly” or “very” easy to get 35 26 14 Sources:,,,

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Marijuana: Get the Facts

Marijuana: Get the Facts Knowledge is Power: The #1 deterrent of substance abuse in teens is PARENTS! See and https// From GeorgetownCARES – Marijuana is the illicit drug of choice among teens. 2007 US National YRBS High School Use: 20% of students one or more times in the past 30 days. 2011 US National YRBS High School Use: 23% of students one or more times in the past 30 days. 2007 Mass. YRBS High School Use: 25% of students one or more times in the past 30 days. 2011 Mass. YRBS High School Use: 28% of students one or more times in the past 30 days. Main active ingredient: THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) from the plant, cannabis sativa. THC is a hallucinogen, with analgesic/pain-relieving properties. THC depresses brain activity, producing a dreamy state in which ideas seem disconnected and uncontrollable. In the sixties, the THC content of marijuana was about 3%. Now it ranges from 7-20%. Depending on the source, the marijuana may have added chemicals in it such as pesticides, other drugs or fungus. Hashish is a preparation of cannabis composed of the compressed stalked resin glands called trichomes, same effects. Short term effects: Causes hazy euphoria; alters time, depth, color and sound perception. May relieve tension and provide a sense of well-being. Can cause anxiety, paranoia, distrust, panic, fatigue and depression. Communicative and motor abilities decrease during use. Impairs memory, problem-solving ability, increases distractibility. Stimulates appetite, can reduce nausea. Also causes increased heart rate, restlessness, bloodshot eyes, dry mouth, irritability, sleep disturbance. Marijuana increases heart rate by 20–100 percent shortly after smoking; this effect can last up to 3 hours. In one study, it was estimated that marijuana users have a 4-8 fold increase in the risk of heart attack in the first hour after smoking the drug.7(NIDA) Long term effects: - Increased risk of lung cancer; regular users face a 70% increase in testicular cancer (NECN). - Decreased immunity to colds, flu, bronchitis (lung infections), emphysema. - Respiratory problems may develop, including a persistent cough. Triggers bronchial asthma. - Amotivational syndrome is common among regular marijuana smokers, produced by deteriorating neural connectivity. Symptoms include: increased levels of apathy, depression, difficulty in starting new tasks, not accomplishing or not setting goals, decreased concentration, a tendency toward introversion, suicidal feelings. - In June 2009, a University of Leicester (England) study found carcinogens in marijuana smoke in amounts 50% greater than in cigarette smoke. It was also noted that smoking 3 to 4 joints (marijuana cigarettes) a day is associated with the same degree of damage to bronchial mucus membrane as smoking 20 cigarettes a day. - In a 2008 study at University of Melbourne, the part of the brain believed to regulate emotion and memory, known as the hippocampus, was on average 12 per cent smaller in marijuana users compared to non-marijuana users. The amygdala, which regulates fear and aggression, was on average just more than 7 per cent smaller. - Marijuana-induced Psychosis – Large quantities may produce a toxic psychosis, in which users do not know who they are, where they are, or what time it is. - Increased likelihood of developing schizophrenia associated with related psychosis. - Addiction to Marijuana occurs in 10% of all users; 17% of adolescent users, or 1 out of 6 teen users. Addiction requires specific treatment; long-term recovery eludes many addicts. Adolescent Mental Health (from Weekly or more frequent use of marijuana doubles a teen’s risk of depression and anxiety. Depressed teens are more than twice as likely as their peers to abuse or become dependent on marijuana. Several studies have documented marijuana’s link with symptoms of schizophrenia and report that cannabis is an independent risk factor for schizophrenia; heavy users of marijuana at age 18 increased their risk of schizophrenia later in life by six times; the risk is greater for youth with a family history of schizophrenia. Gateway effect: Prevention’s 2008 Youth Risk Behavior Survey of 11,000 9th through 12th graders indicated that, among teens aged 12 to 17 with no other problem behaviors, those who used marijuana at least once in the past 30 days are 13 times likelier than those teens who have not used marijuana in the past 30 days (33.5 percent vs. 4.4 percent) to use another drug like cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, LSD or Ecstasy, and almost 26 times likelier than those teens who have never used marijuana (33.5 percent vs. 1.3 percent) to use another drug like cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, LSD or Ecstasy. (from ) Addictive Nature: Can be addictive; users may become dependent upon it to feel good, deal with life, or handle stress. Frequent users develop tolerance, needing to smoke more to achieve the same effect. 20% of Drug Treatment admissions are for marijuana addiction. Long-term marijuana abusers trying to quit report irritability, sleeplessness, decreased appetite, anxiety, and drug craving, all of which make it difficult to quit. These withdrawal symptoms begin within about 1 day following abstinence, peak at 2–3 days, and subside within 1 or 2 weeks following drug cessation.5 Physical signs of use: red or bloodshot eyes, pupil dilation, droopy eye lids, tremor in eyelids or hands, slow speech, smell, dry mouth, excessive giggling, hunger (muchies) or thirst, impaired reaction time. Paraphernalia: pipes (mostly homemade now, such as with soda cans), rolling papers, room deodorizers (and Febreze), Visine/eyedrops. Marijuana and Driving: Drivers who consume cannabis within three hours of driving are nearly twice as likely to cause a vehicle collision as those who are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, claims a paper published recently on the British Medical Journal website (2012). Previous studiess have also found that there is also a substantially higher chance of collision if the driver is aged 35 or younger. Medical Marijuana: The medical effects that are considered potentially valuable are appetite stimulation, nausea reduction and pain relief for cancer patients. Also, both evidence from laboratory studies and anecdotal reports suggest that cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive compound of cannabis, could potentially be helpful in controlling epilepsy seizures. The FDA, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Office of National Drug Control Policy all do not support the use of smoked marijuana for medical reasons. There are currently 2 oral forms of cannabis (cannabinoids) available by prescription in the United States for nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy: dronabinol (Marinol) and nabilone (Cesamet). Dronabinol is also approved for the treatment of anorexia associated with AIDS. Where does it come from? Of those who bought marijuana in the past year (2007, SAMHSA), 78% say they bought it from a friend, 16% from someone they just met, 3% from relatives, 3% unspecified source. Most marijuana comes from Mexico, Canada, and the US. The NDTA (National Drug Threat Assessment) reports a sharp increase in indoor cultivation in the U.S.56 The top seven states for marijuana cultivation are California, Hawaii, Kentucky, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia. Sources: • The Merck Manual of Medical Information. • • •