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DECEMBER 2021 Newsletter

How to Cope with Holiday Triggers This Winter

The holiday season can be full of triggers, in fact, 38% of people reported an increase in stress levels during the holidays. This can be a particularly difficult time for people in recover. Learn more about some of the reasons that this can be such a stressful time, and specific strategies for managing stress.

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Parenting to Prevent Childhood Alcohol Use

Although the minimum legal drinking age in the U.S. is 21, alcohol misuse continues to be a problem amongst youth.

Early alcohol use in children and adolescents can interfere with brain development and puts people at higher risk of addiction. Underage drinking can also lead to other serious complications, including death and injuries. Having an open and honest conversation about alcohol with your kids can help in delaying early first use. Parents play an important role in helping their children develop healthy attitudes toward drinking while minimizing risk.

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As Omicron Arrives in Oregon, Here’s Where to Get a Booster.

The Oregon Health Authority announced on December 13th that three cases of the the Omicron varient of the COVID-19 virus were confirmed in Oregon. Early studies suggest the COVID-19 booster shot provides significant protection against Omicron. Health officials continue to emphasize the importance of getting that third vaccine dose. Click on the Visit wweek below read more on where to get booster shots.

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Gifts like lottery tickets and online gaming could have unexpected consequences for children

Many young people say their first gambling experience occurred between ages 9 to 11 years old. Gambling in childhood is frequently some kind of lottery product, given through lack of awareness by a well-meaning adults. Avoid giving the gift of scratch off tickets or other lottery products the holiday to youth, as an early introduction to gambling puts them at a higher risk of developing problematic gambling habits in the future.

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Cannabis use could cause harmful drug interactions

It is important to be careful when using cannabis with other prescription drugs. Using cannabis alongside other drugs may come with a significant risk of harmful drug-drug interactions, new research by scientists at Washington State University suggests. Research suggests that either prescription drugs' positive effects might decrease or their negative effects might increase, causing unintended side effects such as toxicity or overdose.

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Invitation for 7th-12th Graders to Join Virtual Upstanders CircleI

Do you know a 7th-12 grader who is passionate about social justice, interrupting harmful behavior, and creating a culture of helping? Consider inviting them to join our Upstander Circle. This is a virtual youth leadership group that will help youth gain leadership skills, use their voice for positive change, learn bystander intervention techniques, work with VOA staff to develop materials and co-facilitate bystander intervention workshops, and more. Participants will receive generous incentives. Contact Anna Bledsoe at abledsoe@voaor.org to learn more.

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For more information, questions, or comments, please email Program Director Anna Bledsoe at abledsoe@voaor.org or call (503) 560-4373