Can Stress Influence Your Child’s Risk-Taking Ability?

Where does our stress response come from, and what actually happens to the brain when it’s under stress?

Watch this extended footage from our film BREAKING POINTS, featuring George Slavich, PhD, Director of the UCLA Laboratory for Stress Assessment and Research, discussing the effects of stress on the brain and why some students turn to risky coping mechanisms — like abusing prescription stimulants — to alleviate it.

Successful Gray-New Gloucester High School Project Sticker Shock

Thank you to Gray-New Gloucester High School students, Joe Schnupp, Community Policing Officer for the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, Michelle Murley, Gray-New Gloucester High School Social Worker and our local businesses- Hannaford and Rite Aid in Gray for a successful Project Sticker Shock.

Sticker Shock is a project that brings community members, youth, law enforcement and local businesses together to raise awareness about the risks of providing alcohol to minors. The students place bright orange stickers on alcohol containers which emphasize the state law for providing alcohol to minors. The goal is to keep youth safe by reaching adults and reminding them they play a vital role by not purchasing alcohol for minors.

Life of a Student Athlete: Tip of the Week

Tip: It is difficult to reach peak performance and learn new information if under the influence of marijuana.

The effects of marijuana can remain in the body for up to several days and may negatively impact attention, motivation, memory and learning. It can also compromise judgment and affect many other skills necessary to be successful in sports.

Many Teens Who Use Juul Devices Don’t Know They Contain Nicotine

The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids writes that almost two-thirds of teens and young adults who use Juul e-cigarettes don’t know they contain nicotine, according to a new study.

Juul cartridges, which look like a USB flash drive, have nicotine levels equal to a pack of cigarettes, researchers from the non-profit health organization Truth Initiative report in the journal Tobacco Control.

To read the full article click here.

Self-Compassion for Parents

Parents: How to Practice Self-Compassion

Self-compassion entails three components:

1) “First, it requires self-kindness, that we be gentle and understanding with ourselves rather than harshly critical and judgmental.”
2) “Second, it requires recognition of our common humanity, feeling connected with others in the experience of life rather than feeling isolated and alienated by our suffering.”
3) “Third, it requires mindfulness—that we hold our experience in balanced awareness, rather than ignoring our pain or exaggerating it.”

To read the full article from Greater Good Magazine, Science-Based Insight For a Meaningful Life click here

Your Comprehensive Guide to the Opioid Epidemic — and What You Can Do About It

Fueled by drugs like heroin, fentanyl and the misuse of prescription pain pills, the opioid epidemic in our country has impacted countless families.

To help address this, we created a new eBookHeroin, Fentanyl & Other Opioids: A Comprehensive Resource for Families with a Teen or Young Adult Struggling with Opioid Use. Parents and families need to be prepared with the knowledge and skills to identify opioids, spot early use and take action effectively.

If your son or daughter is actively using opioids, you’re probably experiencing many negative emotions and concerns. You’re not alone in this struggle. We hope that the information and resources in this guide will move you and your child in the direction of greater well-being and health.

There’s a lot of information provided in this eBook and we realize it might be overwhelming. Here are seven key takeaways to get you started:

  1. Have on-going conversations with your teen or young adult about the risks of substance use, especially opioids (i.e., prescription pain medications like Percocet® and Vicodin®, as well as heroin). (page 14 in the guide)
  2. Seek non-opioid alternatives to manage your child’s pain from any injuries, dental work or other situations requiring pain management. (page 17 in the guide)
  3. Monitor, secure and properly dispose of any prescription pain medications in your home. While it may be tempting to keep pain medications “just in case you might need them,” the safer course of action is to dispose of all expired or unused medication since family and friends are the primary source of prescription pain pills. (page 19 in the guide)
  4. Know the signs of opioid misuse such as pinpoint pupils, fatigue, weight loss, drug paraphernalia, wearing long sleeves, etc. (page 19 in the guide)
  5. Get an evaluation to determine your treatment options if your child is misusing opioids including medications. Comprehensive, evidence-based treatment works — the earlier you intervene and take action, the better. (page 21 in the guide)
  6. Get and know how to use Naloxone (Narcan®) as a precautionary measure against overdose. (page 35 in the guide)
  7. Practice self-care, which may include your own counseling and attending a support group. You are your child’s best advocate and your resiliency matters. (page 39 in the guide)

Help & Hope By Text

Get Opioid Resources and Personal Support Sent Straight to Your Phone Via Text

The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids would like to introduce you to Help & Hope by Text, a way to get customized, mobile messages on your cell phone that provide you with personalized, ongoing support and relevant resources for families struggling with heroin and other opioids.

How It Works

It’s a simple process to sign up:

  • Enter your mobile phone number or text JOIN to 55753.
  • Answer a quick series of questions about your child and his or her substance use in order to help customize the messages you’ll receive.
  • Receive messages with information, support and hope specific to your family’s needs.
  • Text CHAT at any time to speak directly with a Parent Helpline Specialist.

Successful Senior Prescription Drug Safety Presentation in Pownal

Thank you to Sheriff Kevin Joyce from the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office for presenting with Beth Blakeman-Pohl of Casco Bay CAN to 42 senior citizens last week. They presented at the First Parish Church in Pownal to inform seniors with prescription drug safety tips.

Clinical Skills in the Era of Legal Cannabis

Thank you to Scott Gagnon, MPP, PS-C, for providing Casco Bay CAN Coalition members an informative presentation on, “Clinical Skills in the Era of Legal Cannabis”