“First introduced as a benign cessation aid, e-cigarettes have now been linked to a myriad of health concerns and are becoming more popular than ever before. Watch as prevention specialist Jeffrey Meyers and Dr. Thomas Gross of the American Lung Association discuss the rapid rise of e-cigarette use. Find out the health risks, marketing trends, and concerning youth appeal.”
Prom Safety Guide – For Parents
By: Mica Moeller
A rite of passage, a ceremonial occasion, a nerve-wracking night for teenagers that’s filled with dresses, dancing, decorations and drama. You know what I’m talking about – prom!
It might be a distant memory to you and some aspects of prom have changed throughout the years but honestly it’s basically the same now as it was then. Now it’s your turn to have the talk to your children about prom. The talk that has made parents and their kids wince about for generations. Luckily for you, I am here to break down the steps on when and what to talk about to make this night run a little more smoothly and save you both some headache.
Weeks leading up to prom:
So much planning goes on during the weeks leading up to prom night. Finding the perfect dress or tuxedo, making reservations, and booking that limo might all be on your to-do list. Well I have a couple more topics to add in.
- Educate yourself – Know the latest youth drug trends in your area. Be aware of the signs of youth under the influence and find other parents in your area to talk to about these issues and to lean on for support.
- Medical emergencies – Teach your child about alcohol poisoning, drug overdose, and teen dating violence. Let them know they should never ignore a medical emergency and always call for help if they see signs of one.
- Safety concerns – Signs of someone under the influence of a substance, never ride in a car with someone who you think is impaired, never engage in sexual relations with somebody who might be under the influence, and protecting yourself from sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy.
- Pressures – Just like when you were a student, the pressures of 2019 are very similar. Let them know that not everyone is actually participating in substance use and sexual intercourse. Only 4 out of 10 teens have sexual intercourse before the age of 18 (CDC, 2016). Only 2 out of 10 Iowa teens in 11th grade have had a drink of alcohol in the past 30 days (Iowa Youth Survey, 2018). 1 out 10 Iowa teens in 11th grade have used marijuana in the past 30 days (Iowa Youth Survey, 2018).
One week out:
The anticipation is building. It’s the week of prom! All last minute plans and preparation is being done. Now is the time to have the meaningful conversations with your child.
- How you feel – Tell them how much you love them, accept them, and how you’re always there for them. Let them know that you are always one call or text away. They can always contact you if they need something – no questions asked.
- How they feel – Ask them if they have any concerns about health, safety, or pressures for the night.
- Share your thoughts and experiences with them. Give them advice on how to handle situations.
- Discuss final plans and expectations that you have for them. What time they need to be home, when to update you throughout the night, and how they are doing are some examples of expectations.
Night of prom
Tonight is the night. All of the anticipation comes to a peak and here you are letting your child go off for the night. You’re hoping they have fun and stay safe. It’s the last chance you’ll get to have a quick chat before they leave.
- Tell them how great they look and how lucky you are to have them! You care for them immensely and hope they have a great time tonight!
- Discuss how they can be responsible tonight while still enjoying themselves.
- Ask if they have any last minute questions or concerns tonight.
- Remind them you are here for them at anytime and not to hesitate if they need help. Also remind them of your expectations that night.
The night is over and life is settling back in. There a few things left to talk about before the next event comes up.
- Listen about the night’s events.
- Ask if there were any situations that they wish would have gone different.
- Remind them how proud you are of them and how much you love them.
The Very Real Dangers of Binge Drinking:
Holidays like St. Patrick’s Day Highlight Risks of Excess Consumption
When picturing St. Patrick’s Day festivities, it’s likely you’ll think of alcohol, and perhaps lots of it. This is for good reason, as this Holiday commemorating the patron saint of Ireland is regarded as one of the biggest drinking days of the year. While adult consumption of alcohol can be done safely and responsibly, reasonable drinking guidelines are often overlooked in favor of excessive drinking, known as binge drinking.
But what is binge drinking? Generally speaking, this means drinking 5 or more drinks within a two hour period for men, or 4 or more drinks for women. Binge drinking does not necessarily mean a person is alcohol dependent, or would have a diagnosable substance use disorder, but rather indicates an irresponsible drinking pattern that could harm yourself or potentially others.
Binge drinking may be more common than you think. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention find that 1 in 6 Americans engages in binge drinking an average of four times a month. The age group most prone to binge drinking are those aged 18-24 at 26.1%, though even middle aged persons report a rate just short of 16%. Statistics show binge drinking being particularly high on St. Patrick’s day, with more than 2/3 of drivers involved in fatal accidents on this day alone having a BAC above the legal limit. Crashes on St. Patrick’s day occur at a rate of once every 46 minutes.
The risks of binge drinking are hard to overstate. The impairment effects of alcohol can increase your risk for injuries from accidents, and has been linked to an increased rate of violence, including sexual assault. Binge drinking also is associated with cognitive problems including memory and learning impairment, which may be permanent. Binge drinkers also face elevated cancer risks in addition to a whole host of other chronic diseases including liver and heart disease.
How do we avoid binge drinking? For some, abstinence may be the best choice. This is especially true for those that have had alcohol dependence, those that are underage, persons taking certain medications, and those with medical conditions that may become exacerbated with any alcohol use. Others may wish to follow-risk drinking guidelines. Low-risk alcohol consumption is generally considered to consist of no more than 3 drinks on any given day, totaling no more than 14 drinks in a week. A “drink” would be 12oz of beer with 5% alcohol content, or 1 oz. for most forms of liquor. Above all, be aware of how your drinking may be affecting, you. Low risk is not the same as no risk, so taking precautions like safe transportation while consuming any alcohol is always a good idea.
Contact Person: Jeffrey Meyers
Telephone: 319-390-1884 Ext. 205
Relaxation, travel, sleep, and free time — these are words come to mind when thinking of spring break while you’re a college student. No matter how you choose to spend your break, there are some risks to remember during this joyous time.
We have heard the stories of consuming too much alcohol and the decisions and behaviors that follow suit. We haven’t heard the association between spring break and marijuana use as often. With more and more states legalizing recreational use, there has been a decline in the perception of harm. In fact, the University of Michigan found that less than 20% of high school seniors perceived risk of harm regarding marijuana use (2013). Some risks to be aware of, whether you are spring breaking in a legalized state or not, are behavioral, legality, and safety.
Some typical behaviors associated with marijuana use are distorted perceptions, impaired coordination, and difficulty in thinking and problem solving. These behaviors could be a contributing factor in avoidable accidents such as automobile or personal injury.
Knowing your federal, state, and local marijuana and traveling laws are important to avoid legal trouble. Marijuana use is still illegal on a federal level. This means that you can receive federal charges for transporting marijuana across state lines, smoking marijuana in public or on federal land. State laws and local community laws vary so it is important that you are aware of both when traveling. Diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal under their state law to other states could put you at risk for arrest and punishment also.
Much like binge drinking, binge smoking happens when someone who doesn’t smoke marijuana on a normal basis decides to smoke heavily for a period of time. Binge marijuana use paired with a party atmosphere and other substances, such as alcohol, can contribute to unsafe situations. To avoid these situations, you should stay in groups and keep track of your friends. Also using small doses of any legal substance instead of binging could lower the risk of being caught in an unsafe situation.
It is important to have breaks and enjoy yourself. Knowing possible behaviors, laws, and safety precautions is equally important during your spring break. Be safe. Be smart. Have fun!
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) —An Eastern Iowa bar wants to give people the option to add medical cannabis called Cannabidiol, or CBD, to their drinks. Uptown Live in Cedar Rapids planned to start selling those drinks tomorrow, but that plan is now on hold.The owner, Gerald Seals wanted to be the first in the state to offer CBD infused drinks. CBD is a supplement from cannabis plants but has little to no THC in it. THC is the chemical in marijuana that gets people high, but as we started making calls today, we asked the state whether selling CBD infused drinks is legal. That question now has triggered a state investigation.Seals says he wants to add the product because it’s becoming popular, but he also cites health studies that it helps cope with anxiety, pain or nausea.“It actually will have an effect to balance you out,” he says. “It’s really just something that will take the edge off. It’s not just a product that’s gonna get you high.”There is confusion over whether selling CBD at all is legal in Iowa, let alone in drinks.Regardless, members of the Area Substance Abuse Council say alcohol is not the way to go about getting the benefits CBD oil.“If it’s going to be used for medicinal purposes, the best to obtain that is as you would in traditional medicine,” said Jeff Meyers with the Area Substance Abuse Council. “Going to a doctor, going through the FDA process.”Meyers is also worried about research showing that CBD slows down the absorption of alcohol “If it is advertised as taking away the impairment effects, you might have a user that feels that they can drink more than they otherwise would, and that’s our concern,” he said. “It’s similar to when people combine alcohol with something like caffeine.”Seals says people should read up on the oil, and give it a chance. “A lot of this goes back to when you don’t actually understand something, or take the time to research it, then form an opinion based on the research.” He said.The Iowa Alcohol Beverages Division told TV-9 it is working with Seals to see if it is legal to sell C-B-D in drinks. Here’s how confusing that question is, the Linn County Attorney and Cedar Rapids police both told me they believe it is legal under state law, but the Department of Public Health told me it’s not. Seals tells TV-9 he just hopes the investigation goes quickly.By Phil Reed |Posted: Fri 6:08 PM, Mar 01, 2019 | Updated: Fri 6:54 PM, Mar 01, 2019
Check out our Director of Prevention, Erin Foster, by clicking the link below!
(KWWL) – With a Food and Drug Administration crackdown on the horizon for e-cigarettes, the makers of JUUL are stopping flavored products from being stocked in stores to combat youth vaping.
The FDA is expected to announce restrictions on the selling of e-cigarettes in the coming days after recently calling “juuling” and “vaping” among youth an epidemic.
A JUUL is a form of a discreet e-cigarette that produces no odor and looks like a flash drive. While it is smokeless, one of the JUUL pods holds as much nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes.
The makers said JUUL was created to help adults kick the habit of smoking.
On Thursday, the company announced it would stop social media promotion efforts and stop orders for flavored pods, such as mango and creme brulee, at convenience stores and gas stations.
In a statement, CEO Kevin Burns said, “Our intent was never to have youth use JUUL products. But intent is not enough, the numbers are what matter, and the numbers tell us underage use of e-cigarette products is a problem. We must solve it.”
Despite the move, the Area Substance Abuse Council, out of Cedar Rapids, believes damage has already been done.
“It’s a whole new batch of people that are addicted to nicotine,” ASAC Director Prevention Services Erin Foster said.
Foster said since the start of the new school year, the rise of vaping among Iowa youth has only gotten worse.
“Vaping and any use of electronic smoking devices continue to grow. It’s rare that we go a week without hearing about a school that needs help with prevention,” she said.
In a previous KWWL report, ASAC and area principals reported a growing number of students using the products during school.
Foster said the changes by JUUL will deter some but not all.
“I think it helps in a small way because it does pull things off social media. We know that social media has such an impact on youth and yes, getting some of those flavors out there is a positive thing but it’s almost one of those things where the damage has been done already,” Foster said.
She added that the reports they’ve received from schools and resource officers is that JUUL devices are also now used for other drugs such as marijuana.
Foster said because the product is still out there, young adults will still use it.
“It’s another play that the tobacco company has perfectly played into with youth. Getting something that is trendy, getting something that they like, getting them addicted to the high levels of nicotine,” she said. “Even though pulling the flavors, is one step the fact is that we already have a large new group of people addicted to nicotine is going to be a problem down the road.”
The expected roll out of restrictions by the FDA and the changes by JUUL won’t change anything for ASAC, Foster said.
She said ASAC will continue to work hard through education for youth, parents, and schools about nicotine-use.
JUUL said they will continue to sell the sweeter flavors online. However, the website will soon add a third-party verification process to only allow people that are 21-years-old and up to buy their products.
MONTICELLO, Iowa (KCRG) – “The What You Don’t See Trailer” is at schools in Jones County to train parents to spot drug paraphernalia. It’s a mobile training site simulating a teenager’s bedroom.
The training site was brought from Des Moines to the county by the Jones County Safe and Healthy Youth Coalition.
They chose to bring it to the county this week because some of the schools have parent-teacher conference going on. They were at Monticello Middle School on Monday. The trailer will be at Anamosa Middle School Tuesday, and Midland High School on Thursday.
Some parents say they were shocked to see inside the trailer places kids can hide drugs.
“Different places you hide them,” said Becky Stahlberg, who has a daughter in 8th grade. “Such as the zipper in the belt, the tea cans where the lid unscrews, in what looks like a book, which is an actually a safe.”
Stahlberg had opioids prescribed to her after a surgery. Seeing all the hiding spots made her glad she ditched the pills.
“I took them to the police station to dispose,” she explained. “Don’t need them in my house, don’t need them in my house. Don’t need people breaking in knowing I had a surgery and possibly had painkillers in my house, didn’t want my kids to get their hands on them.”Jennifer Husmann with ASAC has a son in recovery. It took her years to find his hiding spot inside of a book.
“It was really unbelievable to me, like the whole thing,” Husmann said. “I brought that book for him in the fourth grade and he loved that thing at the time, and to find out that you know, here’s that hollow out middle”
Parents also watched a movie and learned about signs, symbols, and clothing that could hint to drug use.
“You trust your kid, and so you don’t think you’ll have to dig deeper for anything, but at least it opened my eyes for other places to look if I do suspect something,” Shelly Aitchison, who has a kid in 8th grade, said.
Kids were not allowed to go inside the trailer. They met with members of the Monticello Police Department to discuss the effects of substance abuse while parents viewed the trailer.