Marijuana and Driving

Parents—tell your teen not to drive after using marijuana or other drugs, and don’t get in a car with a driver who has used marijuana or other drugs!

FACT: More teens are driving after smoking marijuana than after heavy drinking. A national study showed that from 2009-2011, the percentage of high school seniors who drove after using marijuana was almost three times as high as those who drove after drinking heavily. (American Journal of Public Health 103:2027-2034)

Remember: Marijuana and many medications act on parts of the brain that can impair driving ability. Many prescription drugs have warning labels against the operation of machinery and driving motor vehicles, for a certain period of time after use. You are more likely to be injured or in an accident while driving while under the influence of marijuana or prescription drugs.

How can prescription drug misuse be prevented?

From the National Institute on Drug Abuse:

Patients. Patients can take steps to ensure that they use prescription medications appropriately by:

  • following the directions as explained on the label or by the pharmacist
  • being aware of potential interactions with other drugs as well as alcohol
  • never stopping or changing a dosing regimen without first discussing it with the doctor
  • never using another person’s prescription, and never giving their prescription medications to others
  • storing prescription stimulants, sedatives, and opioids safely

Additionally, patients should properly discard unused or expired medications by following U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines or visiting U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration collection sites.57 In addition to describing their medical problem, patients should always inform their health care professionals about all the prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines, and dietary and herbal supplements they are taking before they obtain any other medications.

Read full article here

Five Ways to Help Teens Think Beyond Themselves

The Greater Good Science Center states these five research-based ways to inspire teens to connect with something larger than themselves:

1) Support teens’ beyond-the-self interests
2) Discuss values and character strengths
3) Facilitate activities that enhance empathy/perspective-taking
4) Expose teens to diverse perspectives
5) Model empathy and prosocial behavior as an adult

Read the full article here.

Youth Vaping Awareness

47 Community members joined MSAD 51, Casco Bay CAN, the Cumberland Police Department and a representative from the Tobacco Prevention Project to learn about vaping. Highlighted were concerns of vaping and our youth, school policies and Maine laws. Several vaping devices were available so parents could become familiar with the “thumb drive” looking devices.



Life of a Student Athlete: Tip of the Week

Tip: Athletes who sleep at least 8 hours per night are 68% less likely to sustain an injury compared to those who get less sleep.

Lack of sleep impacts reaction times and performance and causes fatigue. Aim to sleep at least 8 hours per night to maximize muscle growth, repair and recovery. This will also help improve cognitive skills and concentration. All of these factors together can contribute to a lower rate of athletic injuries.

Super Bowl Sunday Safety Tips

Adapted from Representative Sue Austin’s newsletter:

On Super Bowl Sunday, Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Impaired

When Super Bowl LII kicks off, will you be prepared for party victory?  Whether you are the home team or a visitor, every Super Bowl LII party game plan must start with a shutdown defense that prevents impaired driving. Driving impaired is driving with reduced ability.

Drunk driving kills.  In 2016, there were 10,497 fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes involving drunk drivers.  You know that many Super Bowl parties will involve alcohol, so play it smart by having a winning game plan in place to not drink and drive.

We will all win on Super Bowl Sunday if we follow these keys to the game:

Know the Rules:  It is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.  When it comes to drinking and driving, law enforcement does not throw a yellow flag — they throw the book at you.  You will get pulled over, arrested, and prosecuted.  Your wallet takes a big hit too, as the average DUI court case costs approximately $10,000.

Play It Safe:  Defenses win championships.  Your best defense is to plan a safe ride.  From buses and trains to car services and designated drivers, connect with the option that will get you home safely.  The NHTSA even has an app for that—SaferRide—which is available for Apple and Android devices and can connect you to a local cab company or with a friend who can come pick you up.

Be a Party MVP:  Volunteer to be a designated driver.  Let your squad know that you will be there for them when the party is over with a safe, sober ride home.  [You can even tweet their names to @NHTSAgov to make them part of the NHTSA’s Wall of Fame.  Use the hashtag #designateddriver.]

If You’ve Been Drinking or using Marijuana, You’re Benched:  Buzzed driving is drunk driving.  There is no place on the road for anyone who has been drinking.  If someone tries to drive after drinking, tell them to ride the bench until you help them find a sober ride home.  If you are hosting the party, you are the head coach.  Make the right call by taking their keys before they drink and drive. It’s unsafe to drive when using marijuana. Marijuana compromises judgment, alertness, concentration, coordination and reaction time (National Institute of Drug Abuse).

We are all on the same team when it comes to preventing impaired driving.  However you or your guests travel on Super Bowl Sunday, always buckle up.  Your seat belt is your best defense in any vehicle crash.

Remember:  Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Impaired.

Healty Habits Quiz

Healthy Habits Quiz from AnxietyBC, a leader in developing online, self-help, and evidence-based resources on anxiety and anxiety disorders.

Click here to take the short quiz!

NIDA Drug Facts Week

It’s the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) National Drug Facts Week! Parents, visit this page for prevention and treatment resources, and to brush up on your drug facts!

Life of a Student Athlete: Tip of the Week

Tip: Just one night of binge drinking will erase 2 weeks of practice.

Binge drinking can be defined as consuming five drinks for males and four drinks for females in about two hours. You may show up to practice but you will not see any gains for two weeks. It will also take 96 hours to re-balance hormones and you will see an 11% decrease in your performance.