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Most parents have experienced the back-to-school frenzy that starts at the beginning of August. From buying new backpacks, getting the “right “clothes, to making sure they have pens and pencils – parents do their best to help prepare their children for the new school year. But, the start of the school year isn’t only about equipping your children with school supplies to stock their lockers. It also means helping ease the stress kids can experience transitioning from summer vacation to going back to school.

Transition periods – like back to school, starting at a new school, divorce, and even financial trouble at home – can impact a child’s vulnerability to risky behaviors, including drugs and alcohol. A 2007 Partnership study of 6,500 teens indicated that the number one reason teens use drugs is to cope with school stress, and according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the key risk periods for adolescent drug abuse are during major transition times in their lives.

To make transition times easier and healthier for your family, the National Association of School Nurses recommends allowing your child time to adjust. Whether taking time to get comfortable within a new classroom or adapting to a different group of friends, supporting your child through these life changes can help them along the way.

As a registered nurse and a mom, I know back-to-school time can be overwhelming, but with our support, we can help keep our children healthy and happy to ensure a bright future.

Have a wonderful school year!

Sincerely,
Amy Garcia, RN, MSN
National Association of School Nurses Executive Director
Mother of 3 children 

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By JUSTIN JUOZAPAVICIUS
Article appeared at: Associated Press

TULSA, Okla. – This is the new formula for methamphetamine: a two-liter soda bottle, a few handfuls of cold pills and some noxious chemicals. Shake the bottle and the volatile reaction produces one of the world’s most addictive drugs.

Only a few years ago, making meth required an elaborate lab — with filthy containers simmering over open flames, cans of flammable liquids and hundreds of pills. The process gave off foul odors, sometimes sparked explosions and was so hard to conceal that dealers often “cooked” their drugs in rural areas.

But now drug users are making their own meth in small batches using a faster, cheaper and much simpler method with ingredients that can be carried in a knapsack and mixed on the run. The “shake-and-bake” approach has become popular because it requires a relatively small number of pills of the decongestant pseudoephedrine — an amount easily obtained under even the toughest anti-meth laws that have been adopted across the nation to restrict large purchases of some cold medication.

“Somebody somewhere said ‘Wait this requires a lot less pseudoephedrine, and I can fly under the radar,'” said Mark Woodward, spokesman for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control.

(more…)

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(Washington, D.C.)  Today, R. Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, awarded $60 million in Drug Free Communities (DFC) Continuation Grants to 565 Drug Free Communities coalitions and five DFC Mentor Continuation coalitions.  These grants will assist local community coalitions as they work to prevent and reduce youth substance use.

“We fully understand the important role local leaders play in preventing and reducing youth substance use within communities,” said Director Kerlikowske.  “Substance abuse issues are best prevented and reduced at the local level, and that is why the Drug-Free Communities Support Program is so vital.  It leverages the strengths of local communities by increasing neighborhood participation, encouraging dialogue and focusing attention on saving children’s lives.”

The Drug Free Communities program is directed by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) in partnership with the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).  The DFC program provides coalition matching grants of up to $625,000 over five years to community organizations that facilitate civic participation in local drug prevention efforts. Coalitions are comprised of community leaders, parents, youth, teachers, religious and fraternal organizations, health care and business professionals, law enforcement, and the media.  As DFC continuation grantees, today’s awardees are within a five-year cycle, and successfully met the statutory eligibility, programmatic and fiscal requirements necessary to receive continuation funding. 

“The Drug Free Communities program reaches about 27 percent of America’s youth,” said SAMHSA Acting Administrator Eric Broderick, D.D.S, M.P.H. “These new grants will expand the power of prevention to additional communities working to reduce drug abuse and promote healthy, productive lives.”

The DFC program was created by the Drug Free Communities Act of 1997, and was reauthorized by Congress in 2001 and 2006.  Since 1998, ONDCP has awarded approximately 1,500 Drug-Free Communities grants to local communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, Palau and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy will be announcing the awarding of the new Drug Free Communities grantees in late August.  For more information on the DFC Program, please visit: http://www.ondcp.gov/dfc

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Most wanted to get high, have a good time with friends, researchers say
By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

Pain relief isn’t the main reason why one in 10 high school seniors have tried opioid drugs, a new U.S. study finds.

The most common reasons included relaxation, feeling good or getting high, experimentation and then pain relief. Students used drugs such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, meperidine, morphine and codeine without a prescription, researchers say.

“The results of this study provide compelling evidence that adolescents have a wide range of motives for using prescription opioids non-medically, and these motives should be carefully considered in efforts to reduce this behavior,” said study author Sean Esteban McCabe, a research associate professor at the Substance Abuse Research Center of the University of Michigan.

(more…)

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By Lori Yount
The Wichita Eagle

When students enter middle school, they can get carried away with the freedom that comes with changing classes, Hadley Middle School principal Charles Wakefield said.

But the transition can also be intimidating for students — and parents. Wakefield offered this advice for sixth-graders:

* Attend orientation. Sixth-graders will be the only students in the building on Friday morning. They will receive their schedules and have a chance to find their classrooms and other locations in the school. Parents are also welcome. Orientation is typically over by noon.

* Keep moving during passing periods. Stopping in the halls to talk to friends or sneak in a trip to their lockers often makes new students late to class and clogs up the halls of large middle schools, which have more than 800 students.

Listen and learn from shortcuts pointed out at orientation to avoid being tardy.

* Watch what you eat. Middle school lunches offer a la carte items, such as cookies and crackers. Students must pay for them with cash.

Parents should talk to their students about what they eat at lunch to guide children to healthy choices. Parents are also welcome to sit in at lunchtime.

* Don’t use cell phones or iPods. The use of electronic devices is banned during the school day, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Students can carry cell phones, but they need to have them turned off or they may be confiscated. If a parent needs to reach a student or a student needs to call home, each classroom has a landline phone, and the front office delivers messages to classrooms.

* Make friends with an older student. Knowing a seventh- or eighth-grader can make the upper grades less scary to a new student.

* Lock up valuables. Students must master a combination lock for their hall lockers and make sure to secure their clothes and possessions during gym class.

Showers aren’t required, nor are they possible at schools like Hadley, which has blocked off the area. But make sure gym clothes are taken home on a regular basis for washing.

* Use the provided planner. To keep organized, students should not just record on the calendar what homework is given in each class, but also write down what was done each day in each class.

* Ask how to best reach a teacher. During orientation or open house, parents should ask teachers how to best ask questions about their students. Often e-mail is easiest and fastest.

At enrollment, parents will have the chance to sign up for online gradebooks, which teachers update each week. Parents can log in from any computer to check students’ grades, assignments and attendance records.

* Get involved. “It will help the school seem smaller,” Wakefield said.

Joining an activity or club will also help sixth-graders meet older students.

Sixth-graders aren’t eligible for athletic teams, but there are intramural sports such as basketball, volleyball and soccer open to them.

This article can be found at: The Wichita Eagle

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Register NOW!!!

Please accept this invitation for your school to be involved in the 5th Annual Youth Leadership Summit to prevent underage drinking and other drug abuse for middle and high school students.

 The Leadership Summit will take place on Wednesday September 2, 2009 at: Cleveland Chiropractic College, 10850 Lowell Ave, 2nd Floor, Overland Park, KS 66210

From 9:00 am – 2:15 pm.  Lunch will be provided.

 Highlights:

  •  Grant Baldwin, teen speaker, will motivate students to achieve success in creating a drug-free culture 
  • Breakout sessions featuring proven prevention methods, activity ideas, and local youth leaders
  • Peer Mentoring between high school leaders and feeder middle schools.
  • Each team will develop a 2009-10 Action Plan that can be accomplished.

 School teams that wish to attend the Leadership Summit must complete the online registration form and return it along with a $10 per person fee (including sponsors), by August 25, 2009.

In addition, please download the participant waiver to be signed by the individual’s parent.

Participant Waiver – Must be signed in order to attend.  

Teams should consist of no more than 12 students and at least one adult sponsor.

Click Here to Register

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Campus Police Can Conduct Breath Analysis Tests

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — When school starts in a couple of weeks, high school students in the Shawnee Mission district will notice something different — campus police will now be able to do breath analyzer tests.

 Officers will be able use it on site at the district’s high schools.

 The Shawnee Mission Board of Education voted earlier this year to allow campus police to administer a breath analysis test to any student suspected of drinking alcohol. The test can be conducted on school grounds or at any school-sponsored function.

 The policy states that only a campus police officer can give the test and they must have probable cause to do so. The district said it has not had a serious problem with teen drinking.

“I don’t know that we saw a growing problem,” district spokeswoman Leigh Anne Neal said. “It’s been a topic of discussion for years. This provides us with a way that we can administer the test with a trained campus police officer.”

 “A lot of activities involving drinking occur at functions like basketball games and football games,” said high school parent Cecelia Currin. “If those kids leave, they are endangering their lives as well as others.”

Breath analysis tests will be in all Shawnee Mission high schools starting this fall.

“Parents may not be aware,” said parent Lisa Dujakovich. “It’s just one more way to protect them.”

This article appeared at: KCTV5

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