4/7, 10-5:30: Clear the Vapor Conference. Join this FREE virtual conference for parents, educators, advocates, practitioners, and all who care about protecting kids from the dangers of flavored e-cigarettes, menthol and flavored tobacco products, and the predatory behavior of Big Tobacco. Presented by PAVe with the generous support of CVS Health. Register here for free.
4/20, 8:30-4:30: Street Drugs and Driving, What You Need to Know... A comprehensive review of the latest information and trends around alcohol and drug abuse in the United States. This is a STOP-DWI NY virtual training opportunity presented by Lynn Riemer. The free webinar requires registration here.
5/3, 6:00-7:00: Join WHEN for FREE online naloxone training. Our last two naloxone training sessions have prepared 40+ community members to save the life of an overdose patient. Be a part of this growing community movement to save lives. Register here for free.
Community Survey Results
There were a total of 276 responses to the Webster community survey conducted between January and March 2021. 75% of the respondents indicated that they know someone affected by substance use disorder or misuse. Slightly over 80% believe both alcohol use and nicotine/e-cigs/vaping are either fairly common or widespread among local youth under the age of 21. Watch for a special edition of the newsletter next month, featuring the full findings of our community survey in detail.
WHEN:DFCC to Conduct Youth Focus Groups
Webster Central School District is partnering with WHEN:DFCC to conduct student focus groups in hopes of better understanding youth attitudes about alcohol. High school health students will have the opportunity to share their thoughts anonymously and all sources of information will be kept confidential. Parents will be given the opportunity in advance to opt their child out of the focus group. Student perspectives are required for WHEN to continue receiving grant funding, which supports its important prevention work in the Webster community.
Every 73 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted.
1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of a rape or attempted rape in her lifetime.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. American Addiction Centers defines sexual abuse as sex-based acts or events that cause trauma to the victim. They can cause significant physical and mental harm and some of the victims have difficulty moving on from the abuse. Studies have shown that there is a strong correlation between the history of sexual abuse and the manifestation of addictive behavior.
The relationship between substance misuse and sexual violence goes both ways. People who have experienced sexual violence are more likely to misuse substances. At the same time, people who misuse substances are at a higher risk to become victims of sexual violence. (source: The Link Between Substance Abuse & Sexual Violence)
Victims of sexual abuse are 3x more likely than the average person to suffer from depression, and 6x more likely to suffer from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Some sexual assault victims try to cope with traumatic memories and unwanted anxiety or depression through substance use. In fact, some studies report that sexual abuse victims are 13x more likely to misuse alcohol and 26x more likely to misuse drugs than those who have not been sexually abused. (source: Substance Abuse as a Consequence of Sexual Abuse)
Subsequently, alcohol and drug use have been shown to increase vulnerability to violence through exposure to unsafe situations. Teens with drug problems are 18-21 times more likely to be sexually abused. Approximately ½ of all sexual assault victims report that they were drinking alcohol at the time of their assault. This does not mean that substance use causes sexual violence, but rather suggests that perpetrators target victims who are perceived as vulnerable. (source: The Link Between Substance Abuse & Sexual Violence)
If you or someone you love has experienced sexual assault and is having a difficult time coping, or is coping in unhealthy ways, help is available. Talk to your primary care physician to find specialists that can help rebuild feelings of safety, control and self-worth. Find help, advice, and the resources you need. Call 800.656.4673.
We meet online via Google Meet the second Wednesday of each month at noon (3rd Wednesday this month only!). Many of us join during our lunch break to share feedback on current projects and learn about what’s coming up. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate. In fact, our goal is to have representation from all walks of life, to better meet the needs of the whole community. Our next meeting is Wednesday, April 21st at noon. Simply register here to receive the meeting link, or email Janine Sanger, Executive Director for more information.
Thank you to WHEN member, Jason Teller, for running our virtual Naloxone trainings. We've had great attendance and very positive feedback from trainees who enjoy Jason’s approachable teaching style and feel comfortable asking questions and sharing personal stories. Thank you Jason for the time and expertise you share with our Webster community to make our citizens safer.
Many thanks to WHEN member, Brenda Roof, for inputting our community survey questions into the Survey Monkey platform. We appreciate sharing your time, patience, and expertise.
As kids’ school and extracurricular schedules begin to change, remember that even positive changes can induce stress and anxiety. Be vigilant for signs that extra support is needed and consider proactive measures like instituting healthy sleep patterns, foods, and creative outlets. Be available to talk, and consider professional support, like therapy, when kids are struggling. Therapy is not a judgement on our parenting skills, it’s simply a matter of seeking appropriate health care, just like we do when they have Strep Throat. It’s often helpful to ask a family physician’s office for a list of recommended therapists. Caring for our children’s mental health may help to prevent them from seeking relief through risky or unhealthy means such as self harm or substance use.
Visit Operation Parent’s extensive video resources on topics ranging from cyberbullying to childhood anxiety to body image and sexting for helpful information on many common problems kids and parents face today.
View past issues of this newsletter under the Current News dropdown menu on our website and please share this newsletter with anyone you think may appreciate the resources!