Prevention through Connection
October 2016
2016 Red Ribbon Week: Education & Action
If not now, when?

Thomas Ventura was not a bad kid.  His friends said he had a great heart.  He was a star athlete at Kings Park High School who dreamed of playing lacrosse in college. He died March 14, 2012 of a heroin overdose.  He was only 21.

When we hear substance abuse statistics, it's easy to rationalize that the unthinkable could never ever happen to us, our children or our families.  It's only human to think this. But the statistics are a horrible reality - especially for the family members who have lost their loved ones.

On Wednesday, October 26th at 7:30 p.m. at Manhasset High School, Thomas' mom, Linda Ventura, will share her touching story about his struggle with sobriety and his subsequent death from a heroin overdose. The   Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (LICADD) will also discuss Long Island's Opioid Epidemic, drugs that are popularly being used and provide Naloxone Training.  Naloxone is the antidote to prevent an opioid overdose. The program will also provide Chinese translation ( Click here for our flyer translated in Mandarin). Registration is required and you must be 18 to receive a naloxone kit. Click here to register on our signup genius link.

Thomas was every parent's kid. Linda Ventura is every child's mom. Addiction makes no discrimination when it comes to age, sex, race, or even socio-economic background.  

Red Ribbon Week will be celebrated in Manhasset from Saturday, October 22nd to Sunday, October 30th.  It marks our nation's oldest and largest drug prevention and awareness campaign.Throughout Manhasset, elementary school families will display red ribbons outside their homes to support the campaign. 

Manhasset CASA, the Manhasset SCA, Manhasset Public Schools and the Manhasset Clergy continue to work collaboratively to deliver important prevention education throughout the year.  However, it is up to each one of us to take action in our homes and the community to support the wellness of our youth in order to help prevent teen substance abuse.  

Please join us this Red Ribbon Week for Drug Trends & Young People as well as our Keys to Effective Parenting program to learn more about youth substance use, parenting and how we can work together as a community to help our t(w)eens make healthy choices. 

Red Ribbon Week is about everyone's children and our hope they can grow up to be the best that they can be with long healthy lives.  

Whether you attend our programs,  support our membership or spend time with your child explaining the dangers of substance use, please take action now. Our kids are depending upon us.

Manhasset CASA Executive Board
Health on the Plate
Serving Up a School-Home Connection!
Manhasset CASA is excited to provide a school-home connection for Manhasset Secondary School's 8th & 10th Grade Health Curriculum in collaboration with Jasmine Ostrom (Grade 8 Health) and Lauren Sadeh (Grade 10 Health).   The feature will provide parent resources to encourage dialogue on pertinent health topics discussed in your child's class. Whether we talk with our t(w)eens at the dinner table or driving to team practice, pa rental engagement is key to encouraging healthy choices in children and teens. 

8th Grade Health:  Mindfulness Training by LICADD
On October 20th and 21st, students will be instructed by the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (LICADD) of the value of   Mindfulness   techniques and skills to help them feel calmer and more in control during stressful situations.  The hands-on training will be provided by Reisa Berg, LMSW Professional Development & Education Specialist and is part of LICADD's Student Assistance Program to promote wellness and teach healthy coping skills to our teens.    Click here for more information about mindfulness from the American Pediatric Association and learn more about its role in reducing stress ... for all of us!

10th Grade Health:  Mental Health & Eating Disorders
During October, students are discussing how stress affects mental health with a focus on eating disorders.  While the majority of the population diagnosed with eating disorders are still shown to be women, many students were surprised to learn that males are also prone to eating disorders.  According to the National Institute on Mental Health , eating disorders are serious and often fatal illnesses that cause severe disturbances to a person's eating behaviors. Obsessions with food, body weight, shape and exercise may also signal an eating disorder. Common eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder and affect both males and females. Classroom discussion will also focus on the story of college lacrosse athlete Patrick Bergstrom, who began eating less and working out more in an effort to excel at college lacrosse. After graduation, he was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa.

Click here to learn more about Patrick's eating disorder, our misconceptions about the disorder and its red flag behaviors
Best Wishes to Brittany Becker
Spearheaded Mindfulness in Manhasset High School

Special thanks to Brittany Becker, MS, LMHC, as LICADD's Community Education and Prevention Specialist. During her tenure at LICADD , Brittany was instrumental in facilitating Mindfulness after-school programs at Manhasset High School and our annual 8th grade Health classroom push-in lesson.

Brittany will be missed and we wish her all the best in her new position at Intercare, New York, N.Y.!

Keys to Effective Parenting 
For Parents of K-6 Children 

Drug Trends & Young People 
For Parents, Residents & Students (Grades 7-12)

Prevention & Personality Traits
New Model Predicts Addiction through a Child's Temperament  

A recent article in the New York Times highlights an innovative prevention model called Preventure which takes an alternative route to reducing youth substance abuse. Patricia Conrod, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Montreal, developed the program that indicates how a child's temperament better assesses whether they are at risk for future drug use.

The program, tested in Europe, Australia and Canada, shows that personality testing can identify 90 percent of the highest risk children and target risky traits before they cause problems. It focuses on four risky traits: sensation-seeking, impulsiveness, anxiety sensitivity and hopelessness. Once these risk factors are identified, the Preventure program trains faculty in schools to run workshops for these high risk students by teaching them cognitive behavioral techniques to manage specific emotional and behavioral problems to reduce the risk of problems in the future.

To learn more about how temperament can be a future predictor of youth substance use, click here for the New York Times article which highlights this innovative approach to prevention. 
Town of North Hempstead's S.T.O.P. Event
Safe Medicine Practices for Life 
Every Day Counts

At one point or another, we've all used prescription drugs or over-the-counter (OTC) medicines to alleviate an illness - whether it's to relieve pain or curb a cough. Unfortunately, many young people and adults are abusing these drugs to get high or have become addicted after misusing pain prescription medications.  Our  Drug Trends & Young People program on Wednesday, October 26th at 7:30 p.m. at Manhasset High School will discuss the recent drug trends and how teens increasingly turn to prescription (Rx) or over-the-counter (OTC) medicines.  

According to surveys from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 20 percent of teens say they have taken a prescription drug without having a prescription for it themselves, and 5 percent report abusing OTC cough medicine to get high. In Manhasset, 5.2% of 12 grade students self report abusing prescription drugs in the past 30 days. In addition, 52 million people over the age 12 have abused prescription drugs.  Prescription drug misuse affects all of us.

As part of Manhasset CASA's grant initiative with the
Cardinal Health Foundation , we are providing parents and residents with a SAFE Medicine Practices for Life Fact Card in our efforts to prevent medicine abuse in the Manhasset community.  Key Fact Card messages include
  • Only use prescription medications as directed by a health professional
  • Never share your prescription medications with others or use someone else's prescription medications
  • Be a good example to those around you by modeling these safe medication-taking practices and discussing the dangers of misusing prescription drugs with your family, friends, colleagues, students, or patients
  • Always store your medications securely to prevent others from taking them, and properly dispose of medications that you no longer need

In addition to safely disposing of medications at local take back events, residents can also

  • DISPOSE of unwanted medications at any Nassau County Police Department Precinct or the Police Center located at 100 Community Drive, Manhasset. The disposal bin is located in the lobby. 

In the coming weeks, Manhasset CASA will work with local pharmacies to promote the new fact card which also highlights how to dispose of unwanted medications at any police precinct across Nassau County.   


We hope you will join us by taking action at home to fight the prescription drug abuse epidemic.


CLICK HERE to see our new fact card! 


October is Bullying Awareness Month
Character & Kindness Goes a Long Way in Prevention!

October marks the 10th anniversary of National Bullying Awareness Month. 

Parents are encouraged to communicate with their children about the importance of kindness and respect towards others. Studies show that whether a child is a bully, victim or bystander, they are negatively affected by bullying. 

According to the Center for Disease Control, 
  • Students who experience bullying are at increased risk for poor school adjustment, sleep difficulties, anxiety, and depression and
  • Students who engage in bullying behavior are at increased risk for academic problems, substance use, and violent behavior later in adolescence and adulthood. (Center for Disease Control, 2015)

Bullying also affects the bystander as witnesses are more likely to use tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs; have increased mental health problems; and miss or skip school ( 

JOIN US at the Manhasset Public Library!

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.