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ALCOHOL HARMS THE BRAIN IN TEEN YEARS-BEFORE & AFTER THAT TOO

By Claire McCarthy, MD, Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School, January 2021

“During those years of transition between childhood and adulthood, the brain grows and changes in many important ways that are crucial for that transition to be successful. When teens and young adults drink alcohol, it can interfere with that process of brain development in ways that affect the rest of their lives.”

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PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: PRESSED PILLS

By Annemarie Whilton, Heroin Heroine Blog, January 2021

“What is a pressed, or counterfeit pill? They are pharmaceutical imposters made by drug dealers instead of lab technicians. They look exactly like the real thing in color, size, shape and feel. They even mimic the imprint code found on authentic medications.”

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QUINCY POLICE BUST ILLEGAL PILL MANUFACTURING OPERATION, SEIZE FENTANYL

By Frank O’Laughlin, WHDH, January 2021

“QUINCY, MASS. (WHDH) – Police in Quincy busted an illegal pill manufacturing operation and seized a “large quantity” of fentanyl during a raid last week, officials announced Monday.”

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PARENTS GUIDE TO GETTING GOOD CARE

By Child Mind Institute

“When a child is struggling, or his behavior worries you, it can be hard to know whether you need to reach out to a professional. And if you do seek help, what kind of professional, and what kind of treatment, are right for your child? In this guide we take you through the steps to finding the best professional (or team) for your child, and the most appropriate treatment for the disorder or disability. Along the way, we offer things to look for and questions to ask to ensure that you’re getting quality care your child deserves.”

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HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF DURING STRESSFUL TIMES

By Voices of Youth, January 2021

“Here are some tips to take care of yourself, learn to navigate through tough times at home while you spend more time with family, and become problem solvers to overcome the challenges, big and small, that we all face in our lives.”

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21 BEST HEALTHY NEW YEAR ACTIVITIES FOR 2021

By Kaitlyn Pirie, Prevention, December 2020

“You’ve heard the advice: Lose 25 pounds. Improve your relationship with your mother. Give up sugar and wrap your ankle behind your head in yoga class. While these are all laudable goals, they’re pretty ambitious. Reaching too high (especially in a pandemic!) can set you up for disappointment, ensuring that any resolutions will be toast. Let’s not go there. There are lots of small, simple things you can do to make a big impact on your overall health and preserve your peace of mind no matter what 2021 looks like.”

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IF YOU’RE DOING DRY JANUARY, HERE ARE BENEFITS YOU MAY EXPERIENCE, ACCORDING TO DOCTORS

By Samantha Brodsky, POPSUGAR, December 2020

“People cut out alcohol and participate in Dry January specifically for a number of reasons, and the results vary. For instance, one of our former editors who gave it a try concluded that she had more energy, ended up eating better, and saved a good amount of money. Whatever your reason — or reasons — and whatever you expect to gain (or lose) during that time, here are a few health benefits that may result from taking part in Dry January.”

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4 POST PANDEMIC MENTAL HEALTH TRENDS AND PREDICTIONS FOR 2021

By Bryan Robinson, Ph.D., Forbes, December 2020

“In the new year, company leaders cite a number of trends and predictions that will be essential for businesses to survive. Making discussions of mental health a standard practice and de-stigmatizing mental health issues are at the top of the list along with prioritizing self-care and workplace wellness.”

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SUD’S TALE-BEGINNING CONCEPTS OF ADDICTION FOR YOUNG CHILDREN

From Caron Treatment, Written by Sarah Martinez

“For young children, explaining the concept of addiction is challenging. It can be hard for adults to wrap their heads around, so imagine you are a child and your parent can’t stop using. Caron has developed a wonderful video to open up a dialogue with children about addiction and recovery in a way they can understand. SUD is a blue lizard who is smart but a little awkward until he discovers a special bean that turns him into a dragon. Soon SUD finds that he is dependent on the bean. See how SUD discovers the benefits of recovery.”

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DARE TO CARE: ENHANCING EMOTIONAL & PHYSICAL WELL-BEING

Youth Health Connection Newsletter, December 2020 Second Edition

This edition of the Youth Health Connector Newsletter is packed full of tips to help you enhance your well-being, strategies for building virtual classroom relationships, resources for building resilience and more.

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A.A. TO ZOOM, SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT GOES ONLINE

By Matt Richtel, The New York Times, November 2020

“Though online rehab rose as an emergency stopgap measure, people in the field say it is likely to become a permanent part of the way substance abuse is treated. Being able to find a meeting to log into 24/7 has welcome advantages for people who lack transportation, are ill, juggling parenting or work challenges that make an in-person meeting tough on a given day and may help keep them more seamlessly connected to a support network. Online meetings can also be a good steppingstone for people just starting rehab.”

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SUICIDE AMONG TEEN ATHLETES RAISE MENTAL HEALTH CONCERNS

By Roman Stubbs, The Washington Post, December 2020

“For many teens who have been restricted from playing sports, the pandemic not only has stripped away the opportunity for exercise, competition and potential college scholarships but also has deprived those young athletes of the identity and social circles provided by sports. The mental health benefits that athletics can give students have been a driving force for thousands of parents who have protested the shutdown of sports in their communities across the country, with many often fearing the worst if their kids aren’t able to play.”

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MOST TEENS DON’T DRINK OR USE DRUGS. HOW TO HELP YOUR KIDS AVOID IT TOO

By Partnership to End Addiction

“There are many reasons why young people use or try substances. In some cases, it can be as simple as being offered a drink or vape. To encourage healthy decision making, we recommend parents focus on fostering their child’s.”

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PREVENTING RISKY DRINKING BY COLLEGE STUDENTS THE FOCUS OF NEW PENN STATE STUDY

By Penn State news, December 2020

“Underage alcohol consumption has consistently been linked to more frequent consequences across students’ college years, including blackouts, drinking more often and more heavily, and a greater likelihood of driving under the influence or riding with an impaired driver. These outcomes can negatively affect students’ grades, their physical and emotional well-being, and can put them at greater risk of assault or legal problems.”

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TEEN DRIVING

By National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

“NHTSA’s Teen Driving site contains information on States’ driver licensing requirements for teens as well as ideas and resources to help you—the parents—lay down the ground rules with your aspiring driver before you hand over the car keys. Here you will find in-depth information on some of the most common safety problems novice teen drivers should avoid. Educate yourself about the consequences of illegal alcohol use by minors, the benefits of seat belt use, the growing epidemic of distracted driving, and much more.”

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HOW TO TALK TO LOVED ONES ABOUT THEIR MENTAL HEALTH

By Allyson Chiu, The Washington Post, December 2020

“The year 2020 has exacted a psychological toll on Americans. Levels of anxiety and depression have skyrocketed alongside increases in drug overdoses and alcohol consumption. Meanwhile, a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention contained an alarming statistic: When young adults were asked if they had seriously considered suicide in the past 30 days, about 25 percent said they had.”

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INSURANCE PROGRAMS THAT HELP TEEN DRIVERS

By Ashley Chorpenning & Jason Metz, Forbes, November 2020

“A quarter of teen drivers surveyed between 2014 and 2017 reported being involved in one or more car accidents, according to the most recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Young Driver Survey. The survey also found that these accidents resulted from bad judgements  such as driving late at night, reading text messages while driving, speeding and drinking alcohol.”

“While the only way for a young driver to gain experience on the road is to keep driving, some auto insurance companies have developed programs to help teens curb bad driving behaviors and improve driving skills.”

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AN ANGEL ON THE SHOULDER OF YOUR TEENAGE DRIVER (OR AT LEAST A SNITCH)

By Paul Stenquist, The New York Times, November 2020

“Technological advances have made cars safer in many ways. There are systems that brake if a collision is imminent; warn the driver and take control if the car leaves the lane, and issue alerts when pedestrians are about to step into the road. To those, add systems that will warn parents if their teenager is misbehaving behind the wheel.”

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UNDERAGE DRINKING

By National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism (NIAAA)

“Alcohol is the most widely used substance of abuse among America’s youth, and drinking by young people poses enormous health and safety risks.”

“Research shows that young people’s brains keep developing well into their 20s. Alcohol can alter this development, potentially affecting both brain structure and function. This may cause cognitive or learning problems and/or make the brain more prone to alcohol dependence. This is especially a risk when people start drinking young and drink heavily.”

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SCREENAGERS: LAUNCHING “CHAPTER CLUBS” FOR SCREEN SOLUTIONS

By Delaney Ruston, M.D., Screenagers, November 2020

“Picking one area around screen time that particularly impacts your circle of your kid’s friends/ parents is a way to open doors and get parents working together, rather than in silos. Perhaps your child is playing video games a lot these days, you could invite the other families with whom he is playing games to discuss the Video Game chapter.”

MEETING DATES:

  1. Social Media – Weds, December 2nd at 6 pm, PST
  2. Video Games – Weds, January 6th at 6 pm, PST
  3. Mental Health – Weds, February 3rd at 6 pm, PST

Please CLICK HERE to continue and for meeting information…


TEENS SPENDING MORE TIME IN EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES AND LESS TIME IN FRONT OF SCREENS HAVE BETTER MENTAL HEALTH, STUDY FINDS

By Leah Asmelash, CNN, November 2020

“If you’re worried about your kids’ mental health, particularly because of the Covid-19 pandemic and social distancing mandates, less screen time and more extracurricular activities will help, says a new study.”

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YOUNG PEOPLE ARE EXPOSED TO MORE HATE ONLINE DURING COVID

By Joanne Orlando, The Conversation, November 2020

“People can be exposed to hate speech directly, or witness it between others. And one study, which analyzed millions of websites, popular teen chat sites and gaming sites, found children were exposed to much higher levels of online hate during the pandemic than before it.”

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MUST SEE MOVIE-THE SOCIAL DILEMMA

Docudrama by Netflix, Directed by Jeff Orlowski, 2020, PG-13

“The film explores the rise of social media and the damage it has caused to society, focusing on its exploitation of its users for financial gain through surveillance capitalism and data mining, how its design is meant to nurture an addiction, its use in politics, its effect on mental health (including the mental health of adolescents and rising teen suicide rates), and its role in spreading conspiracy theories. The film features interviews with many individuals who give first-hand experiences of working in and around the tech industry.” -Wikipedia

Please CLICK HERE to learn more and watch the official movie trailer.


FROM THE GROUND UP: SILE FOSTERS MAINSTAY WITH COHASSET’S YOUTH AMBASSADORS

By Quinn Kelly, Wicked Local Cohasset, November 2020

“The volunteerism that Sile has helped to inspire looks to be something that will extend past the now senior’s time at Cohasset High. Sile has constructed a program that is built to last, and knows she’s ready to pass the torch to another motivated student after her graduation this spring.”

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COHASSET: SAFE HARBOR COALITION HOSTS SOCIAL MEDIA FORUM

By WATD 95.9 News & Talk Radio, South Shore Massachusetts, November 2020

“Program Director Nicole Balaschi says 16% of students at the high school reported that social media was a significant form of stress. Guest speakers Katie Tyler and Brittany Badgett from Health Imperatives spoke about the importance talking to children about social media.”

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