Prevention through Connection
June 2016
Summer: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly 
First Time Use of Alcohol Surges for T(w)eens

This May, we held a CASA Coffee led by Regina Barrios of North Shore Family Guidance, where parents gathered in a local home to discuss navigating the teen years. The grass roots gathering focused on understanding why t(w)eens engage in risk behaviors as well as their surge of first time alcohol use over the summer. More than 11,000 youth a day report using alcohol for the first time during the months of June and July [Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Survey on Drug Use & Health (NSDUH) 2012]. 

Why the increased risk during summertime? One possible explanation is unsupervised time.  "As adolescents get older, they spend more and more time alone or with other peers in unsupervised settings, and both age-segregation and lack of adult supervision have been related to higher levels of substance abuse and deviance, including greater alcohol consumption," notes George L. Askew, M.D., chief medical officer for the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). 

Alcohol initiation during the long summer break is not the only concern for adults.  Youthful drinking also contributes to injuries and deaths during other popular summertime activities, such as boating and swimming. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that alcohol use is a factor in up to 70 percent of adult and adolescent deaths associated with water recreation, almost a quarter of emergency department visits for drowning, and about one in five reported boating deaths ( CDC April 2016 ).

Manhasset CASA's  Talk. They Hear You. Campaign continues to emphasize how underage drinking prevention isn't just one conversation. In fact, it's many conversations as well as incorporating several parenting and prevention strategies: limiting their access to alcohol in your home, networking to know your teen's friends, reinforcing and enforcing rules and consequences of underage drinking, monitoring and checking in with other parents about your t(w)een's activities and being prepared in advance for what you will do the FIRST time you discover your child has been drinking. 

While parenting is one aspect of how we can help teens make healthy choices, community support of healthy choices is paramount. Our t(w)eens will push back - this is what adolescents do.  Engaging with fellow parents and neighbors can help diffuse the push back and decrease parental feelings of isolation. As community members, we simply can't enable underage drinking. It's dangerous, unhealthy and against the law.  Our children are depending upon us.

For tips to help prevent underage drinking, click here.  For further insight about why parents should talk early with their t(w)eens about the dangers of alcohol, click here for A Pediatrician-Mom's Perspective from the  American Academy of Pediatrics .  

Manhasset CASA Executive Board
It Takes a Village...of Flower Hill! 
Residents Back Local Prevention Initiative

The Village of Flower Hill and Flower Hill Women's Club recently held a Substance Abuse Prevention Initiative to encourage family dialogue regarding heroin and substance abuse.

We commend Mayor Elaine Phillips, District Clerk Kathy Wade and the Women's Club for their outstanding efforts of this prevention education program in the Manhasset community.   The program featured Detective Pam Stark, Nassau County Police Department, special guest speaker Linda Ventura,  who shared her story of the loss of her son, Anthony Rizutto, LMSW, CASAC Seafield Center, as well as additional parents and youth who spoke about recovery from substance abuse.

From parents to teens to residents, the presenters facilitated engaging discussion about the progression of addiction from the use of prescription opioids to heroin, as well as how underage drinking can also lead to devastating family consequences like addiction.

We hope this program sparks additional collaboration in our community as Manhasset CASA seeks to sustain its prevention education programming.  If you or your village are interested in collaborating for a substance abuse prevention initiative, please contact Manhasset CASA at (516) 267-7548.

In today's world, it does take a village to raise a child. Thank you Flower Hill.
Governor & Legislature Combat Heroin & Opioids 
New Legislative Agreement Reached

Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders recently reached agreement on ways combat heroin and prescription opioid abuse in New York State. The legislation seeks to better monitor prescription drugs, increase access to treatment, and break the cycle of heroin and opioid addiction in New York.

The legislative package limits opioid prescriptions from 30 to 7 Days, requires mandatory prescriber education on pain management, eliminates insurance barriers to treatment, expands support for New Yorkers in recovery, increases treatment beds by 270 and expands program slots for substance use disorders by 2,335 in New York  ( June 14, 2016 NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo Press Office)

To read more about this prevention legislation,   click here.
COLLEGE 101 HUGE Success
Transitional Program Addresses College Survival

As part of Manhasset High School's commitment to the health, safety and education of students as they move beyond high school, many to college campuses where high risk drinking, sexual assault and adjustment issues are so prevalent, MHS held its first College 101 Day for all seniors on June 2, 2016.  

Seniors rotated through three programs: The Red Watch Band Alcohol Emergency Response Program, taught by qualified MHS faculty, a Sexual Assault Prevention Program, run by the Safe Center of Long Island, and an Adjustment/Transition to Freshman Year Program presented by Adelphi University Faculty.  

The SCA and CASA also provided the senior class with lunch.  The district administration, faculty, CASA, and the SCA, made the coordination and implementation of this program possible.

To view more pictures as well as program information regarding College 101 Day, click here. 
Congratulations CASA Youth!
Seniors Alyssa Sanders, Jenna Tishler & Julia Ellinghaus Honored

Congratulations to Manhasset High School Seniors Jenna Tishler and Alyssa Sanders as they were awarded Manhasset CASA's Youth Committee Club Award of Excellence at MHS's recent Senior Awards Ceremony.  

Since 2012, Jenna and Alyssa participated on CASA's Youth Committee as well as our Drug Free Communities Support Program Coalition.  Their level of commitment, hours of service and dedication as positive youth role models has made a significant difference in the lives of Manhasset youth!

In addition, congratulations to Julia Ellinghaus for receiving CASA's Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) Senior Award.  Julia was recognized for her sustained and selfless contribution to the school community.  In addition, she worked to advocate for poliices that protect all youth from harassment and bullying not only across sexual orientation but across race, ethnicity and class lines.

Thank you for your outstanding efforts and we wish you continued success in college!
Parents - Talk With Your High School Grad
Celebrate Safely

Graduation is a wonderful time to celebrate.  Before your graduates begin their parties, Manhasset CASA encourages parents to take the time to talk with them about keeping events alcohol-free.

It's About Your Teen: A teenager's brain is still developing, and it is very sensitive to alcohol's effects on judgment and decision-making. Tragedies can-and do-happen, so underage drinking should not be a part of any end-of-year celebration.
The Effects of Alcohol Can Be Deceptive: If you are asked to explain the reasons behind your rules, you can describe the effects of alcohol on the human body: When people drink alcohol, they may temporarily feel elated and happy, but they should not be fooled. As blood alcohol content rises, the effects on the body-and the potential risks-multiply.
  • Inhibitions and memory become affected, so people may say and do things that they will regret later and possibly not remember doing at all.
  • Decision-making skills are affected. When they drink, some people may become restless and aggressive. They may be at greater risk for having an alcohol-related traffic crash, getting into fights, or making unwise decisions about sex.
  • Coordination and physical control are also impacted. When drinking leads to loss of balance, slurred speech, and blurred vision, even normal activities can become more dangerous.
  • Consuming too much alcohol can also lead to death. If people drink too much, they will eventually get sleepy and pass out. Reflexes like gagging and breathing can be suppressed. That means they could vomit and choke, or just stop breathing completely.
Think About It:  Drinking to celebrate graduation can result in vandalism, arrests, and sexual assaults, trips to the emergency room, alcohol-related traffic crashes, and worse. Drinking by teens can put them-and their friends-in real danger.
Talk With Your Graduate: It is critical to talk with your graduate because research shows that parents do make a difference. By serving as positive role models, talking to other parents and your teens, supervising parties to make sure no alcohol is served, and supporting alcohol-free school celebrations, you can help prevent a life-changing mistake.
Remember: Tell your graduate to play it safe and party right-and alcohol-free-at graduation. Because a well-deserved celebration shouldn't end in tragedy.
For more information about talking with your child about the dangers of underage drinking, go to
Text to Prevent
Staying in Touch with Technology 

If your kids are constantly texting, why not join them by texting them as well! 

Texting with teens is a great way to connect and continue communicating about alcohol and its risks. So text-away! You'll be able to stay in touch, let them know you're thinking about them, and remind them to make healthy choices. 

With teens talking in code, learning that code is important.  New York State's Talk2Prevent Campaign notes that most teen text codes comes from dropping vowels or replacing words with numbers for the sake of speed.  To help you navigate texting to prevent underage drinking, they have provided parents with Teen Text Talk 101 to help parents keep in touch with their t(w)eens.  
For more information about how to text with your child to prevent underage drinking, click here.
PATV features CASA Youth
Power of You(th) featured on CASA's Public Access Program

Jenna Tishler, Co-President of Manhasset CASA Youth Committee Club at Manhasset High School, recently interviewed Sarah Haiken, a National Teen Influencer with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), on CASA's Prevention through Connection Public Access Television (PATV) Program.  The local teen prevention program dispells myths about underage drinking and empowers youth with useful tools in navigating healthy choices during adolescence. PATV will cablecast the new teen centered program on Mondays at 6:00 p.m. and Thursdays at 4:00 p.m. beginning June 20th through July on PATV channels: 20 (Optimum) and 37 (Fios) and it will be streamed on The program is also available on Manhasset CASA's website at  or you can click here!


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.  In 2013, CASA was honored to receive its second five year Drug Free Communities Support Grant (DFC) by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).  Our goals are to reduce substance abuse among youth and, over time, among adults; and to establish and strengthen collaboration among communities, private nonprofit agencies, and federal, state, and local governments to support the efforts of our community coalition to prevent and reduce substance abuse among youth.