Prevention through Connection
September 2018
We hope "back to school" has been smooth!  We are transitioning after the end of our ten-year federal grant.  We welcome Connie Bruno, parent of a Munsey Park 5th grade daughter, to assist as our part-time Project Director.  This position and programming continue thanks to the commitment of our Manhasset School Board, the SCA, and NYS Senator Elaine Phillips who secured $10,000 in state funding for CASA.  We also thank the Manhasset Community Fund and the Greentree Foundation for 2018 grants, and we rely on donations and annual $20 membership from parents, whose support is more important than ever.

Most of us would say the health of our families is what is most important.  This means today and tomorrow, and also their future.  Are they developing good eating habits? Can they manage their commitments? Will they be compassionate and patient at home and in the workplace? Teens make decisions based on short-term rewards because their frontal lobes have not yet formed. Parents must remind them of the long term consequences of their choices.  We see standards of acceptable behavior in school and the workplace changing and should prepare our children.  Will negative stories from high school haunt their Supreme Court confirmation hearings?

Don't accept binge drinking and drug experimenting as rites of passage.  We know that addiction is 7 times more likely in a person who started drinking or using drugs before age 15. Hear Dr. Stephen Dewey explain this on September 27th.  We know that deadly fentanyl has been found in marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and pressed into counterfeit pills.  72,000 died of overdoses last year in our country, most of these aged 25-34.  We cannot wait for the FDA to regulate vaping - new generations of smokers are becoming addicted now.  Should this happen to your child because they want to look cool in high school?

There is always a "why" when a child starts drinking or using drugs.  Think about your child's "why." MHS Coach and Psychology teacher Chris Keen recently told 12th grade parents his students say they drink "because they've earned it," "to be prepared for college," and "because nobody really cares."  Don't we care?  Keen urged parents to spend more time with their kids on weekends, to plan activities, and to ask more questions about how they feel.  

Our community participated In a survey last Spring (results are at "Looking Ahead" on the new school website.)  There is plenty to celebrate, but also consider that twenty-five percent of students stated they regularly feel sad.  Eighty-five percent of students reported not getting enough sleep. Sixty percent of staff feel parents do not have reasonable expectations for student achievement. Sixty-three percent of students state that students abuse illegal drugs.  Eighty percent of the staff and seventy-two percent of parents believe students abuse illegal substances. 

Talk to your kids about what they see, whether they worry, and how they can ask for help. Don't be perfect - talk about your stress and your healthy coping skills.  A friend recently told me it was too late for her son, but she wished others knew there was help available in the school from guidance counselors and social workers.  Don't be afraid to speak up and tell other parents you want to delay and prevent underage drinking.  Join the growing SAFE Home network and show you are responsible for your child and your home.  See our website for upcoming events. Have a great year!

Jennifer DeSena
Executive Director, Manhasset CASA

Alcohol, Vaping, and the Teen Brain
Dr. Stephen Dewey 

Thursday, September 27th, 7:30pm
Manhasset Secondary School Auditorium 

Back by popular demand, Dr. Stephen Dewey explains and illustrates the effects alcohol, nicotine, and other drugs have on the teen brain. Dopamine changes in the brain increase the chance of developing addiction. Learn how to determine if your child is at risk of addiction and how to prevent it.  Community service is available to students who attend this important presentation! 

RSVP here!
Manhasset High School Students:
Join our Healthy Living Club

Manhasset High School students are invited to join the Healthy Living Club for this school year. The Club aims toward encouraging teens to choose health with positive recreational activities and healthy outlets to reduce stress and substance use and improve overall well-being.   

Some activities this year include yoga, mindfulness and meditation, movie nights, healthy bake sales and more.  If interested, reach out to Ms. Doris Rogers, Club Adviser at:
Coffee & Conversation in the Cafe
Monday, October 22nd
10:30 am

Join us for this new program at the Manhasset Public Library. We will be discussing "Beautiful Boy" by best selling author David Sheff about raising his son and battling addiction.  

The bestseller will be in theaters soon starring Steve Carrell, Timothee Chalomet and Maura Tierney.  

Extra copies are available at the library.  Get yours and sign up here.
Members Make A Coalition
Join or Renew your CASA Annual Membership

Please join or renew your membership for 2018-2019 as we are all responsible to keep Manhasset's children safe and healthy! Use PayPal on our website or 

We greatly appreciate your support and hope you will  Like Us on Facebook  or visit our website at   to learn more about teen and college trends in risk behavior as well as parenting! 

Manhasset Community 
Coalition Against Substance Abuse (CASA), Inc. 
P.O. Box 392
Manhasset, NY 11030
(516) 267-7548

Manhasset CASA exists as a resource to reduce the illegal, underage use of alcohol, tobacco, & other drugs among its youth, before they are in trouble, by connecting parents, schools and the community as partners in the common goal.