Prevention through Connection
June 2018
Mental health was the theme of our May sector meeting, and recent sad news stories have kept us talking.  Addiction and depression are illnesses of the mind that require treatment just like the physical illnesses of cancer and heart disease.  Continued honest discussion should help people seek and find treatment.  Some people use alcohol or drugs to hide their feelings, but depressants and stimulants will not help the underlying problem - what Chris Herren referred to as the "Why."  Why do we let kids take a chance using alcohol for confidence or experimenting with drugs more potent than anything we ever encountered?  Parents should ask their kids WHY, and should ask other parents WHY they enable someone else's child to have that addictive drink while their brains are still forming.  Parents should empower their kids and support them in saying NO - to vaping, alcohol, bullying, and the digital device showing them unrealistic pictures of perfection.

Drinking at an early age makes someone at least four times more likely to develop a substance use disorder, and more likely to take other risks.  Manhasset 10th and 12th graders have reported drinking and binge drinking at levels two and three times those of teens nationwide. In 2016, 64,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses, but 88,000 died from alcohol. How many more suffer in their marriages, careers, and family relationships because of alcohol use disorder? Parents have the ability to give their child a competitive edge in life by delaying exposure to addictive alcohol, nicotine, and other drugs. Nobody will look out for your child more than you.

Help your teen stay mentally and physically healthy this summer! See our website for tips to start difficult conversations. Help yourself and other parents by joining the SAFE Homes network. See this 8 minute interview segment of a MHS graduate whose binge drinking in high school progressed to opiate addiction in college.  
Thank you and have a safe and healthy summer!

Jennifer DeSena
Executive Director
Manhasset CASA

Job Opportunity!!
CASA looking for Part-Time Project Director

As our Drug Free Communities funding comes to an end this September, we are looking for a part time Project Director to coordinate our programming in the school and community.  If you have organizational, administrative, educational, and/or prevention experience, and are motivated to work with community leaders to support our youth, please contact Jen DeSena at to discuss the job opportunity.
Tobacco 21 Legislation
Passes in Nassau County
In May, the Nassau County Legislature unanimously passed Tobacco 21, a law that prohibits the sale of tobacco, e-cigarettes and vaping products in Nassau County to anyone under the age of 21. The Nassau County Health Department will continue its inspections and visits to retailers to mak e sure that the law is enforced.

Cigarette smoking is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States. While the use of cigarettes by teens is declining, 
e-cigarette use among high schoolers has increased nearly 10-fold in the recent years. A recent st udy by the Center for Disease Control estimates that 2.3 million high school students and 620 thousand middle school students are currently using e-cigarettes. 

Prohibiting the sale of tobacco and vaping products to people under the age of 21 is an important step in reducing the use of these dangerous substances. Parents, school officials and community leaders can also support these efforts by having meaningful conversations with students about this new law and the importance of saying NO to all forms of tobacco. Together, we can continue to protect the health and well being of our young people.
College 101 Day:
Prevention Before, During and after Graduation

On Ma y 30, graduating seniors participated in College 101 at Manhasset High School.  The program is the product of many hours of preparation by Dr. Schlanger, Mr. Vercessi, Jim Amen, school staff, the Guidance Department, faculty volunteers, the SCA, CASA, and guest speakers. 

College 101 included the Red Watch Band Alcohol Emergency Response Program taught in small groups by faculty, a Sexual Assault Prevention Program by the Safe Center of Long Island, a recent graduate panel discussing their experience in college, and a personal story from a MHS graduate whose high school binge drinking progressed to opiate addiction in college.

As students move beyond high school - some to college and others to the workforce -  prevention should continue to be paramount for the well being of our young adults.  Seniors will receive additional safety information from a digital information booklet and in the mail.  We hope this information keeps them safe in their next ventures. The worries of parenting do not end with high school. 
Stress Less Week:
Hosted by the Healthy Living Club

Members of the Healthy Living Club created a  Stress Less resource table during the first week of finals, June 14 - 18, to help ease the minds of students taking tests. Students visited the table to pick up pencils, mints, tissues and stress balls, as well as materials that emphasized the importance of sleep, hydration and stress-relieving exercises like yoga.


Join our SAFE Homes Initiative
Support Alcohol Free Environments

The purpose of the SAFE (Support Alcohol Free Environments) Homes network is to create a directory of parents who share core beliefs concerning the prevention of teenage drug and alcohol use. The network encourages communication between parents to increase the safety of our teens.

Participation is voluntary. By signing the pledge, parents agree to do their best to uphold the points of the pledge to help keep our youth safe, supervised, and drug/alcohol free.  Parents who sign the pledge will be entered in CASA's Safe Homes directory which will be accessible on CASA's website. 

When a child asks to go to a friend's home, parents will be able to look for the friend's name and see if the parents have signed the pledge to do their best to keep youth safe while he or she is visiting their home. Please know the pledge is NOT a legally binding document; it is a set of guidelines to help prevent and reduce underage drinking and drug use in our community:
  • The use of tobacco, alcohol, or drugs by underage youth will not be permitted or condoned while in our home or on our property.
  • I agree to provide active supervision at all gatherings of underage youth in my home or on my property. In the event I am unable to supervise a gathering, I will not permit my children to host a gathering at my home.
  • I encourage communication from other parents who observe my child using alcohol or drugs.
To join our SAFE Homes network, click here to fill out our signup form. 

Members Make A Coalition
Join or Renew your CASA Annual Membership

Manhasset CASA is in its 10th year of the Drug Free Communities Support Program Grant. We need your membership to continue our efforts! Please join or renew your 2017-18 membership as we are all responsible to keep Manhasset's children safe and healthy! 

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.  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).  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.