SOUTHINGTON STEPS COALITION NEWSLETTER


January 2018
IN THIS ISSUE:
PREVENTION AWARENESS | MARIJUANA & THE TEEN BRAIN |  
SIGNS OF USE | PREVENTION WITH POLICE | CT SAM | HIPS |
YOUTH COUNCIL | STEPS STAFF |  VOLUNTEERS 
 
PREVENTION AWARENESS
Teen Marijuana Use
Marijuana - illegal or otherwise - is a hot topic. It's more important than ever for parents to protect their kids' health and development by addressing this issue early and often.   
 
During the teen and young adult years, young people are especially susceptible to the negative effects of any drug use, including marijuana. Evidence has shown that marijuana use during the teen years could potentially lower a person's IQ and interfere with other aspects of functioning and well-being. Even the occasional use of pot can cause teens to engage in risk taking behaviors, find themselves in vulnerable situations and make bad choices while under the influence.
 
The drug landscape will continue to change with the times, but the one thing that will remain constant is the need for support and information when raising a child. You're the most important and most powerful  influence in your child's life. We're here to help you along the way.  
 
Need some help talking to your teens about marijuana?  Visit here.  
 
 
Some of the ways STEPS makes teen marijuana prevention a priority in Southington:
  1. Educating Students & Teachers
  2. Educating Parents & Community Members
  3. Working with CT SAM & Coalition Members to Educate Legislation
  4. Youth Council Led Initiatives
MARIJUANA AND THE TEEN BRAIN
There are some reasons to think that adolescents may be uniquely susceptible to lasting damage from marijuana use.  Research has shown that persistent marijuana use was linked to a decline in IQ.  Until the age of 25, the brain is still 'under construction.' During this period of neurodevelopment, the brain is thought to be particularly sensitive to damage from drug exposure. The frontal cortex, the region critical to planning, judgment, decision-making and personality, is one of the last areas to fully develop.  Studies also show that regular marijuana use, once a week or more, actually changes the structure of the teenage brain, specifically in areas dealing with memory and problem solving.  The American Psychological Association and NPR have helpful information if you are interested in learning more.

 
SIGNS OF TEEN MARIJUANA USE  
The most immediate signs of smoking weed are dilation of the blood vessels in the eyes (making them bloodshot), increased heart rate, increased appetite and memory impairment, along with difficulty paying attention or solving problems. But the real reason people abuse the drug is for the euphoria that may last three to six hours.
Physical changes can include:
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Fast heart rate
  • Sleepy, lethargic
  • Lack of coordination
  • Increase cravings for snacks
Changes in actions can include:
  • Confusion and lack of focus
  • Unusually talkative
  • Dropping studies or usual activities
  • Misjudging time
  • Secretiveness
Looking for more information or resources? Click here.  
 

PREVENTION WITH POLICE
The STEPS Coalition is proud to partner with the Southington Police Department. Stay up to date with local news and updates by following SPD on Facebook!

CT SMART APPROACHES TO MARIJUANA 
CAPP is the Connecticut affiliate of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), an alliance of organizations and individuals dedicated to a health-first approach to marijuana policy. The mission of SAM is to educate citizens on the science of marijuana and to promote health-first, smart policies and attitudes that decrease marijuana use and its consequences. Click here to learn more. 
 
 

HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT
Add power to your parenting by being informed and then intervening if you think your child might be using drugs or alcohol. Addressing problem behavior early is important to preventing negative consequences of use including unsafe decision-making, car crashes and dependence.  Power to the Parent's Hidden in Plain Sight room provides parents with an online experience filled with clues from a teen's bedroom to help them determine whether their child might be experimenting with or using drugs or alcohol. Room décor, hidden compartments and items to conceal use are located throughout the room.  Visit the Power to the Parent website to see if you can find all 33 items hidden in this online experience.


The Connecticut Association of Prevention Professionals (CAPP) offers an adult-only presentation where   participants are invited to browse a mock bedroom for 30 minutes followed by a 60 minute presentation on the products, warning signs, and how to bring up these important issues and concerns with youth.    Visit CAPP's website   to learn more about this presentation.


YOUTH COUNCIL 
The STEPS Youth Council Marijuana Prevention Group is working on creating a PSA that compares the dangers of driving under the influence of marijuana to the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol. Their goal is to make the connection that marijuana is just as dangerous as alcohol at impairing your judgement. They have created a script with the help of Dan LeRoy, a production consultant, and will be filming the PSA in the coming months.

 

STILL SCROLLING?  EMAIL MEGAN AT ALBANESEM@SOUTHINGTON.ORG TO BE ENTERED TO WIN SOME STEPS
SWAG!
 
STEP STAFF - MEET OUR NEW INTERN
Megan Fitzsimons is a senior at Southern Connecticut State University. She is majoring in Public Health and minoring in Nutrition. During her time at Southern, Megan has been involved in many activities. She was the Treasurer of the Public Health Society and Hall Council. Megan was also a Tobacco Free Ambassador where she helped enforce the new policy of becoming a tobacco and vape free campus. For fun she enjoys being outside, going hiking, and spending time with friends. 


VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
 
 
Be sure to list volunteer opportunities for students at  Southington Serves.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Southington STEPS | (860) 276-6285  |   southingtonsteps@gmail.com

 



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