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ALSO

College Prep: Not Just for Seniors

OCTOBER–DECEMBER 2015

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staying organized

BROUGHT TO YOU BY

» Facts About E-Cigarettes » How to Avoid Raising Codependent Kids » Teen Texting vs. Talking


Empowering generations of dreamers and innovators Dow Corning Corporation is proud to support The Legacy Center for Community Success and its mission to connect children, adolescents and families with opportunities to learn, thrive and succeed. Together, we can encourage and support those who will help lead us into the future. For more than 70 years, Dow Corning has helped our customers invent the future and has worked to promote the success of our friends, families, neighbors and employees. We’re harnessing our belief in the power of people and our passion for silicon-based technology to help solve some of the most important challenges facing our world. Learn more at dowcorning.com/community.

Dow Corning is a registered trademark of Dow Corning Corporation. We help you invent the future is a trademark of Dow Corning Corporation. Š2014 Dow Corning Corporation. All rights reserved. AV18912.


OCTOBER–DECEMBER 2015

FEATURES

6 Staying Organized 14 Facts About E-Cigarettes 16 How to Avoid Raising Co-Dependent Kids 20 Teen Texting vs. Talking Prep: It’s for Freshman and 23 College Sophomores, Too IN EVERY ISSUE

2 From the Director 5 The Kitchen Table 10 Faces in the Crowd 11 40 Developmental Assets 12 Assets in Action 18 Q&A and By the Numbers PRINTED BY

PRODUCED IN CONJUNCTION WITH

TO ADVERTISE OR CONTRIBUTE Barb Swierzbin: (989) 496-1425 bswierzbin@tlc4cs.org

COVER PHOTO BY

Wandering Albatross Photography www.tlc4cs.org

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About the legacy center The Legacy Center for Community Success (TLC) was established in 2004 to identify outside-the-classroom barriers to learning and development and to collaborate with other organizations to provide interventions that allow all children, youth and families to flourish and thrive. TLC has five areas of focus: Literacy Services: We provide free and confidential tutoring in reading, spelling, math and English as a Second Language so that people of all ages can reach their full potential. Early Childhood Development: Our Preschool Tool Totes are a cost-effective intervention designed to reduce the readiness gap experienced by many at-risk children when they enter kindergarten. Youth Development: We support initiatives and programs that ensure area youth excel and become productive members of society. TLC has adopted the concept of Developmental Assets, which we believe immunize youth against risk-taking behavior. TLC coordinates the activities of the Community Alliance 4 Youth Success, a group of local community leaders who are focused on preventing teen substance abuse. Healthy Families: Whether it’s developing parenting programs, working with youth-serving organizations to build Developmental Assets or adapting the concept of Developmental Assets for use with the senior population, we continue to focus on positive outcomes. Evaluation Services: Evaluation of program outcomes is one of our core competencies. While many organizations are proficient in assessing their activities, many are requesting assistance in understanding and measuring the benefits for participants in their programs both during and following program activities.

Follow us: The Legacy Center w w w.tlc4cs.org w w w.facebook.com/tlc4cs Community Alliance 4 Youth Success w w w.drugfreemidland.org

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director from the

y now, you’ve probably settled into your fall routine with school, homework, sports practices, music lessons and other activities. It can get a little hectic, so we‘ve got a great article on how to get your family organized. A few days ago, I stopped to buy a bottle of water. As I was waiting to pay, I watched as a young man, who was 18 at jennifer heronema the most, purchased a hookah. When the clerk asked him if he knew how to use it, the young man kept his head low and mumbled inaudibly. He was clearly uncomfortable. As I paid for my water and left the store, I wondered why he was so uncomfortable. Could it be that he was having second thoughts or, perhaps, he was embarrassed? Contrary to popular opinion, most hookah and e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is dangerous and highly addictive for kids of any age. With the increasing popularity of e-cigarettes, it’s important for parents to be informed. The article on how not to raise co-dependent children struck a chord with me. So often we as parents are too eager to rush in and make everything right with our kids’ lives. It’s hard not to do everything for them, but we are doing them a disservice by fixing all their problems. Allowing them to find solutions to their smaller problems builds resiliency for the bigger challenges they’ll face throughout their lives. Another interesting article in this issue is texting versus talking with kids. Recently, I was volunteering at our local soccer tournament. At half time, the referees typically grab a drink, sit down and recap the game. But this time, the referees, who were teenagers, immediately picked up their phones to see what they had missed in the past 30 minutes. This article has some great tips on how to handle teens who are too caught up in social media to communicate face to face. Enjoy this issue of Youth Connections. We’ll see you again in January!

The Legacy center for Community success Jennifer Heronema, President/CEO (989) 496-1425 jheronema@tlc4cs.org 3200 James Savage Rd, Ste 5 Midland, MI 48642


The game of life isn’t all child’s play. It can be cruel. Others can hurt you. They steal your innocence. It makes you ache inside. You hide your heart. You seek out other ways to stop the pain. If your alcohol or drug use is due to trauma in your life, consider calling us for help. We will help you safely come out of hiding, and recover your hopes & dreams. For confidential help, please call 631 - 0241.

Preschool (3 & 4 year-olds, 5 sites) Childcare (0-12) After School Programs & Summer Programs (youth & teens) Summer Food Program (18 & under, through USDA) Dow College Opportunity Program (high school students) Parent Education and Social Services Community Computer Lab with internet access

Find out more at 832-3256 or visit us at wmfc.org 4011 West Isabella Road

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Grace A. Dow Memorial Library Snack & Yak Teen Book Club

November 11, 4:00pm–5:00pm, Grades 6–9. Read the book. Join the conversation. Registration required.

eBooks for Teens

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tM a s egin B un

PC.

Full House: Sundays 5:00-7:00 p.m.

High school hangout time with games, food, and discussions to get away from homework or other life stress.

Thursday Night Live: Thursdays from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Go to our website, click on Overdrive and select titles from the Young Adult Titles list.

Time for middle school students to relax, have fun, eat, and enjoy fellowship by just being who they are.

Youth Services 837-3466 www.cityofmidlandmi.gov/library

High School Fall Weekend Retreat with Young Life: Nov. 13-15 at Young Life’s Timber Wolf Lake Camp

The Youth Gathering: Sundays from 10:45-11:30 a.m.

Middle and high school students gather for worship, prayer, teaching, and small groups that help them grow in Jesus Christ.

1310 Ashman Street • Midland, Michigan • 989-835-6759 • mempres.org

猀欀椀氀氀攀搀 琀爀愀搀攀猀 琀爀愀椀渀椀渀最 䈀唀䤀䰀䐀䤀一䜀  琀栀攀 最爀攀愀琀 氀愀欀攀猀 戀愀礀 爀攀最椀漀渀

最洀挀愀⸀攀搀甀

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confessions from The kitchen table

o get a perspective from both sides of the ball, we asked a parent and a referee for their reflections on sportsmanship and role models for kids. From a parent: I have always prided myself on being a very supportive parent of my two kids. After six years of competitive cheerleading, high school cheer, choir concerts, plays, preschool T-ball, middle school volleyball and basketball, and softball, I can count on one hand the number of games or performances I missed. I traveled to and around five states to watch them compete and perform and spent an undetermined amount of time on the road and in hotel rooms. I feel I should get an award. However, in those countless hours of support, there were times I conducted myself in ways that were less than stellar. In my defense, I did see some other parents who were worse. At one JV football game where my daughter was cheering, there was one parent from the opposing team who was running down the field screaming at the referee. She was so loud that all the parents on our side of the field could hear her. All I could think was, “She must have a lot of money on this game.” While I was not that bad, there was one time at a middle school basketball game

when I was ‘cheering’ for the girls and yelling what I thought were encouraging statements like, “Help her out,” “Defense,” and at one point, “Put your hands up!” I wasn’t intentionally yelling at the players, but it definitely came out that way. The girl kind of stopped and looked at me probably thinking, “Should I listen to this crazy woman!?” It occurred to me that in my quest to be supportive, I was actually crossing the line and being obnoxious. Yikes. I would like to think that I was being the kind of parent I hope my kids will be some day, but do I really want them copying everything they see me do? Probably not. We as parents need to keep in mind that our behavior has the potential of not only embarrassing our kids but, worse, being replicated at some time. From a referee: Forty years later, I can replay the scene with remarkable clarity. I was 15, and umpiring a 12-year-olds’ baseball game­—my first time behind the plate. I was a catcher, so I thought I knew it all about calling balls and strikes. Throughout the entire game, a grandmotherly woman was strongly (!) questioning almost every call I made. I heard every word. And I was getting mad, but didn’t say anything. Afterward she followed me to my dad’s car, chewing my rear the whole way.

I spun around and delivered a line that would have made a sailor blush. Not one of my better moments in life, but that experience didn’t stop me from wanting to umpire and officiate. I also coached my children extensively and have loved helping with youth sports. I remember other times as an adult when I was refereeing youth basketball games. Yep, I missed a few calls and blew the whistle when I should have let them play. As an official, I try not to listen to the fans, but I can’t turn it off. I know when I’ve blown a call. I’ve been yelled at by grandmas, moms, dads and kids. But contrary to coach, player, or fan opinion, I didn’t favor one team or player over another. I went out of my way to be impartial. When I umpired that baseball game 40 years ago, I made $5 and got a Coke; when I refereed the basketball game four decades later I made $10. Why do I do it? Why should I be verbally abused by parents, coaches, grandparents, and even the players? Why should I care what they say? Well, I’m human and words can hurt. I always want to get better­­—if I didn’t, I sure wouldn’t step between the lines for some free abuse. Kids need support, and they need to learn character lessons. Yeah, I heard you yell at me from the stands. Just remember, when I hear what you’re saying, so do your kids. ■

You can submit your story at: jheronema@tlc4cs.org For many of us the kitchen table represents the typical family experience. We have laughed while having family game night. We have cried over our children’s choices. We have blown out the candles on many cakes. We have argued our way out of doing the dishes. We have struggled through those “three more bites.” We have learned hard lessons and celebrated many deserved successes. One thing is for sure though – if our kitchen tables could talk, there would be plenty of stories! So often it is in relating to others’ stories that we realize there isn’t always one answer, or even a right answer. Parenting is hard work! If you have a story of lessons learned, we invite you to share it with our readers. Sometimes, knowing we aren’t the only ones struggling to find the answer is all the help we need.

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staying

organ

And making ‘busy’ work for your family

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nized By carolynn bright

To use the term “herding cats” to describe the chaos that back-to-school brings for families with multiple active, engaged children may be cliché, but it’s pretty accurate at times, according to Molly Severtson of Helena, Montana. olly, and her husband, Eric, are the proud parents of a 14-year-old daughter and 13-year-old twin daughters. Molly is employed full time in donor relations for a nonprofit, and Eric works full time in the information technology industry. “Right now we have three teenagers and our lives are intense with ‘teenage’ things,” Molly said, adding that she knows all too well that her girls will be grown up and living their own lives all too soon. “We try to mitigate the frustrations and enjoy the good times.” In addition to attending middle school, the Severtson girls partake in activities including violin lessons, Youth Orchestra, Fiddle Club, swimming, Clarinet Choir, dance lessons, student council, basketball, volleyball, soccer, and babysitting at their church. How do they keep all of those activities straight? “We use Google calendar,” Molly said, adding that each family member has a designated color on the calendar. “It’s the only way we can do it, and we still miss things once in a while.” Having a centralized calendar that all members of the family can access appears to be crucial to success when it comes to keeping a myriad of appointments and activities in order. This merged family schedule can be as simple as a dry erase calendar posted on the refrigerator, to one of numerous smart phone apps — free or paid — that are available to help. In addition to Google Calendar, the Cozi Family Organizer shows up on numerous continued on page 9

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THE LEGACY CENTER

Gone Too Soon By PAMELA SINGER

Our young people have many their lives. Research shows that increasing Developmental resistance skills and restraint, -taking pages 12-13).

Just drink it. Inhale it. Take it. Inject it. It’s easy. It’s fun. It’s cool. Escape problems. Increase pleasure. Reduce pain. Get stronger. It’s the perfect storm. The teen brain loves the euphoria of “now” and doesn’t have much thought of “ever after.” Teen addiction is born.

This young man wrote about how his “friend” introduced him to a drug. He wrote about how the drug made him feel “fuzzy and warm,” like he could “weather any storm.” Then there was a dramatic shift from pleasure to misery when he spoke of his drug as a female superhero.

“An evil genius, she knows how to twist my thoughts and Addiction is real. manipulate my weakness.” “It In June, a young man’s poem took years”… “Every day was an about his struggle with addiction unrelenting fight.” was shared in a crowded room. This young man’s fight was over. “I’d like to talk about something, His young life ended far too some people call it dope, soon. and it took from me everything If only a different series of events including my sense of hope.” happened, if only a behavior “So why did I do it? would have been different, if Please allow me to explain. only there wasn’t access to It started when I was hurting, drugs, then things would have I used it to ease my pain.” been different for him.

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Midland is fortunate to have a number of early intervention, treatment and recovery options available. Make sure young people in your life know they can come to you for help – no questions asked—and get access to the services they need. Pamela Singer is The Legacy Center’s subject matter expert on Developmental Assets. She can be contacted at psinger@tlc4cs.org. Jackie Warner Youth Intervention Specialist Community Mental Health/ Recovering Youth Futures (989) 832-6855 Andrea Plouff Intake Professional Family & Children’s Services (989) 631-5390 x 3333 Community Mental Health Access Line (989) 631-2320 Beth Ureche Recovery Center Coordinator Ten16 Recovery Network 989-631-0241

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continued from page 7

Parents shouldn’t be afraid to ask their children to pitch in to help the family accomplish everything it needs to do.

parent-oriented blogs as being an effective organizing tool, along with Skedj. At this point, Molly and Eric make sure the calendar is up to date and that their girls get to where they need to go. However, Molly says she will soon share the calendar with her children and expect them to take a more active role in the coordination of activities. “Our eldest will be driving soon, too, which should help,” she said. How do the Severtsons get their kids to and fro? Molly and Eric don’t have any family members living in their community, so until they hand the car keys over to one of their children, some finely orchestrated arrangements need to be made. In some cases, carpools are the answer. “We do set up a few carpools, but sometimes they don’t help much because we often combine trips, picking up multiple kids at a time, so they don’t always save us that much driving,” Molly said. In an effort to create a smoother flow for members of the household, the Severtsons have coordinated their work schedules to allow one parent to be home to handle “getting to school” activities, and the other to be finished with work to manage “after school” efforts. “We’re lucky to both have employers who understand the value of family time and the obligations we’re under,” Molly said. “We both work hard at our jobs and are able to flex our time so that we can take great care of our kids, too.” Molly said the ability for parents to work as a team when schedules get hectic is important as well. For example, Molly stays home in the evening to make dinner, ensure the girls are ready for their activities, do the dishes, and perform other necessary tasks. Eric handles all of the driving. “We had both been trying to drive and/or cook every evening, and that was too chaotic for me,” she said. “I’m happier when I’m focused.” How do they get it all done? Molly says parents shouldn’t be afraid to ask their children to pitch in to help the family accomplish everything it needs to do. The Severtsons rely upon their daughters to make their own lunches and organize their school books and projects for the

following day. Completing their homework to the best of their ability falls within the category of organizing themselves for the next day, as well. “Our kids are really responsible and we don’t have to oversee (homework) very much,” Molly said. “We’ve taught them a few organization and prioritization techniques, but they’ve figured it out on their own, mostly, and they do a great job.” It’s well known in the Severtson household that school always comes first. However, Molly added, these types of conflicts between activities provide an opportunity to talk about commitment and priorities. “We try to impress upon our kids the importance of following through when they’ve made a commitment to a team or activity,” she said. “It’s not always an easy balance.” How do they balance family time with other activities? While many families schedule “family time” into their calendars, the Severtsons are a little less regimented about that—they find their schedules naturally provide for family opportunities. Whether family time entails camping, going out to eat, traveling to visit family, Molly says they make the most of it. In addition, Molly and Eric encourage their children to support each other in their activities. “We spend that time together, driving to other towns to perform or compete and to cheer each other on,” she said. What happens when it doesn’t all work out? Of course, the Severtsons acknowledge that managing multiple schedules doesn’t always come together perfectly. Communication is key in those instances. Recently, Molly had to go out of town for work; one child had a soccer tournament out of town; and another had a dance recital at home. They made arrangements for another family to take over the soccer excursion while Eric stayed local for the recital. “We are almost always both able to attend our kids’ events, games, performances,” Molly said. “However, if only one of us (or occasionally, neither of us) can be at an event, the kids understand that our professional work is important too. That’s how we pay for the activities.”

Take a break now and then As busy as Molly and Eric get with nurturing their children’s passion for school and activities, the two of them always make time for themselves as a couple and as individuals. That may mean going for a bike ride, taking a walk, or going on a date night. “We recognize the importance of making sure we stay connected as a couple, as well, so that when the kids leave, our relationship is still strong,” Molly said. “We’ll be sad when they leave, but we’re also looking forward to some freedom to do things together that we’ve always dreamed of.” Molly advises parents not to get wrapped up in what other families are doing. Every family needs to find its own comfort level. “Ever since our kids were babies, we’ve tried not to be too kid-centered, or too parentcentered, but to be family-centered,” she said. “It’s only good if it works well for all five of us.” Stay on top of things Even if your family doesn’t go in as many directions as this one, staying organized will help reduce the stress and chaos of getting ready for back to school. Since iPhones and Androids are pretty common these days, many families use the automatic syncing system to update family calendars. Smartphones take the work out of ensuring that all calendars are up-to-date. Once you’ve set up a shared family calendar, all phones and computers that are networked to the calendar will automatically refresh whenever you or your family members update the schedule. If you don’t have the benefit of every family member having a phone, a calendar on the refrigerator with a dry erase marker can do the trick as well. To reduce the chances of throwing a wrench in the schedule, touch base with each child every night to see if anything new has come up that you need to be aware of, such as treats for practice or an upcoming project that is due. To keep your child’s classroom or teams organized, set up a Facebook page. Practices or assignments can be added and checked at a moment’s notice. It makes communication so much easier with all parties involved. A little bit of organizing at the beginning of the year can make for a smoother transition from back to school throughout the year. ■ www.tlc4cs.org

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Check out who’s standing out in our community. IS THERE SOMEONE YOU’D LIKE TO NOMINATE? Please visit our website http://tlc4cs.org/faces-in-the-crowd/ and tell us why this individual has stood out in your crowd.

Madden Brady

FACES IN THE CROWD

NORTHEAST MIDDLE SCHOOL, 8th grade

Madden’s involvement in our community extends in several directions. You may find him preparing, serving, or cleaning as a part of the Food of Faith program. Or you might find him involved in the Michigan Society for Children of the American Revolution (MSCAR), which provides students opportunities to enhance their knowledge of American history. As a part of MSCAR, Madden helped serve Vietnam veterans with a special recognition luncheon. He also is involved in Midland Center for the Arts, Bay City Players, and Dow High School Productions. On less busy days, he can be found reading, cooking, playing football, practicing his saxophone, or even playing a video game or two.

Mackenna Greene

HH DOW HIGH SCHOOL, 12th grade

Mackenna is an active member of Dow High’s concert, symphonic, marching, and jazz bands, as well as chamber singer’s choir. She also leads the Dow High Saxophone Ensemble (Sax to the Max), and plays with the Resonators percussion group. She is an accomplished pianist and teaches piano. In her free time, Mackenna enjoys volunteering. She loves animals, and she created a youth group called SOAR (Students Organizing for Animal Rescue), which helps raise money for Great Lakes Bay Animal Society. When she is not volunteering, Mackenna enjoys teaching at the Children’s School of Music. She plans to attend college next year to pursue a degree in music education.

Cameron Lippoldt

LAUREL SPRINGS SCHOOL, 2015 GRADUATE

Midland’s Cameron Lippoldt has a passion for golf, and he’s using that passion to help those in need. Last year, he organized a golf outing to help repair homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy. This year, he wanted the fundraiser to make an impact a little closer to home at the East Side Soup Kitchen in Saginaw. Cameron recruited volunteers from his church, Memorial Presbyterian, to help with the effort. He also recruited players, including the golf teams of Northwood University, and found sponsorships for the scramble at Sandy Ridge Golf Course. The effort raised more than $2,000 for the soup kitchen. Cameron is attending Northwood University this fall on a golf scholarship.

Pat Riepma

HEAD FOOTBALL COACH AND ATHLETIC DIRECTOR, NORTHWOOD UNIVERSITY

A few months ago, our community lost one of the pillars of Northwood University when Coach Pat Riepma passed away after a long battle with cancer. He served Northwood for 22 years as head football coach and athletic director. Riepma was a man who truly lived by his team’s motto of Go MAD – Go Make a Difference. He was an inspirational leader of utmost integrity, who made a positive impact in the community, the university, among student-athletes, and anyone who had the pleasure of knowing him. Riepma frequently talked about making an impact on young people’s lives, but he did more than that. He made a positive impact on everyone he knew.

GREATER MICHIGAN CONSTRUCTION ACADEMY

GMCA, in collaboration with Midland County ESA, has developed a Career & Technical Education (CTE) program in the construction trades. Juniors and seniors from Bullock Creek, Meridian, and Coleman have been attending GMCA daily as part of their school day. The students have completed the Core curriculum, which consists of basic safety and construction information, as well as Level One training in carpentry, electrical, HVAC, or welding. Joining the CTE program as a junior would provide a graduating senior a nationally recognized second-year certification. Students would then be able to find employment with a local construction company and complete the remainder of their training through traditional GMCA classes. Thank you, GMCA, for providing such an excellent opportunity for these students!

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Nature at Night

Fri & Sat, Oct 23 & 24, 2015 6-8:30 pm • FREE

2015 Exploration Days Fall: Nov 26-29 Winter: Dec 19-Jan 3 FREE Indoor Activities! • 15 miles of trails open dawn-to-dark every day • FREE Admission | FREE Wi-fi • Visitor Center open 7 days/wk

Winter Solstice Celebration

40 developmental assets

Upcoming Events

40 Developmental Assets are essential qualities of life that help young people thrive, do well in school, and avoid risky behavior. We utilize the 40 Developmental Assets Framework to guide the work we do in promoting positive youth development. The 40 Assets model was developed by the Minneapolis-based Search Institute based on extensive research. Just as we are coached to diversify our financial assets so that all our eggs are not in one basket, the strength that the 40 Assets model can build in our youth comes through diversity. In a nutshell, the more of the 40 Assets youth possess, the more likely they are to exhibit positive behaviors and attitudes (such as good health and school success) and the less likely they are to exhibit risky behaviors (such as drug use and promiscuity). It’s that simple: if we want to empower and protect our children, building the 40 Assets in our youth is a great way to start. Look over the list of Assets on the following page and think about what Assets may be lacking in our community and what Assets you can help build in our young people. Do what you can do with the knowledge that even through helping build one asset in one child, you are increasing the chances that child will grow up safe and successful. Through our combined efforts, our community will continue to be a place where Great Kids Make Great Communities.

Dec 19, 2015 • 6-8 pm FREE!

Make a beeswax candle, evergreen wreath www.chippewanaturecenter.org & yule log

/cncmidland

400 S. Badour Rd., Midland | 989.631.0830

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assets in action

40 DEVELOPMENTAL ASSETS

8 Support

1. Family support: Family life provides high levels of love and support. 2. Positive family communication: Young person and her or his parent(s) communicate positively, and young person is willing to seek advice and counsel from parent(s). 3. Other adult relationships: Young person receives support from three or more nonparent adults. 4. Caring neighborhood: Young person experiences caring neighbors. 5. Caring school climate: School provides a caring, encouraging environment. 6. Parent involvement in school: Parent(s) are actively involved in helping young person succeed in school.

Young man helps family members expand their home

Empowerment

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7. Community values youth: Young person perceives that adults in the community value youth. 8. Youth as resources: Young people are given useful roles in the community. 9. Service to others: Young person serves in the community one hour or more per week. 10. Safety: Young person feels safe at home, at school, and in the neighborhood.

Boundaries & Expectations Counselor teaches archery skills at Camp Neyati Members of New Life Vineyard Church host neighborhood carnival

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11. Family boundaries: Family has clear rules and consequences and monitors the young person’s whereabouts. 12. School boundaries: School provides clear rules and consequences. 13. Neighborhood boundaries: Neighbors take responsibility for monitoring young people’s behavior. 14. Adult role models: Parent(s) and other adults model positive, responsible behavior. 15. Positive peer influence: Young person’s best friends model responsible behavior. 16. High expectations: Both parent(s) and teachers encourage the young person to do well.

Constructive Use of Time

Local youth gather at Plymouth Pool for a swim

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17. Creative activities: Young person spends three or more hours per week in lessons or practice in music, theater, or other arts. 18. Youth programs: Young person spends three or more hours per week in sports, clubs, or organizations at school and/or in the community. 19. Religious community: Young person spends one or more hours per week in activities in a religious institution. 20. Time at home: Young person is out with friends “with nothing special to do” two or fewer nights per week.


If you or your child would like to submit a picture that represents one of the 40 Developmental Assets, please submit the information through http://tlc4cs.org/assets-in-action/ with a picture and the number of the asset the picture represents.

Not all pictures are guaranteed publication.

21 Commitment to Learning

21. Achievement motivation: Young person is motivated to do well in school. 22. School engagement: Young person is actively engaged in learning. 23. Homework: Young person reports doing at least one hour of homework every school day. 24. Bonding to school: Young person cares about her or his school. 25. Reading for pleasure: Young person reads for pleasure three or more hours per week.

Bigs and Littles mine ore (chocolate chips)

Positive Values

26. Caring: Young person places high value on helping other people. 27. Equality and social justice: Young person places high value on promoting equality and reducing hunger and poverty. 28. Integrity: Young person acts on convictions and stands up for her or his beliefs. 29. Honesty: Young person “tells the truth even when it is not easy.” 30. Responsibility: Young person accepts and takes personal responsibility. 31. Restraint: Young person believes it is important not to be sexually active or to use alcohol or other drugs.

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The Jackson Girls learn how to support their community

High school students work to prevent youth substance use

Social Competencies

32. Planning and decision making: Young person knows how to plan ahead and make choices. 33. Interpersonal competence: Young person has empathy, sensitivity, and friendship skills. 34. Cultural competence: Young person has knowledge of and comfort with people of different cultural/racial/ethnic backgrounds. 35. Resistance skills: Young person can resist negative peer pressure and dangerous situations. 36. Peaceful conflict resolution: Young person seeks to resolve conflict nonviolently.

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Positive Identity

37. Personal power: Young person feels he or she has control over “things that happen to me.” 38. Self-esteem: Young person reports having a high self-esteem. 39. Sense of purpose: Young person reports that “my life has a purpose.” 40. Positive view of personal future: Young person is optimistic about her or his personal future.

Hamming it up at Girl Talk!

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facts about

e-cigarettes By Jennifer Heronema, President & CEO, The Legacy Center for Community Success

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An electronic cigarette can contain as much nicotine as a regular cigarette, or more—amounts vary by cartridge.

The Survey Says According to the 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS), the percentage of middle and high school students reporting current use of cigarettes (defined as smoking at least once in past 30 days) decreased from 15.8 percent to 9.2 percent between 2011 and 2014. During the same period, hookah use among high school students doubled and e-cigarette use increased even more dramatically. NYTS, a school-based, self-administered questionnaire given annually to middle and high school students in both public and private schools, was given to 22,000 students in 2014. The nationally representative survey is conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Key findings of the 2014 survey include:

for Tobacco Products, said that the study confirms the tobacco product landscape has changed dramatically: “Middle and high school kids are using novel products like e-cigarettes and hookahs in unprecedented numbers, and many are using more than one kind of tobacco product.” An electronic cigarette can contain as much nicotine as a regular cigarette, or more—amounts vary according by the cartridge. Some contain no nicotine and only have a liquid, so users can have the experience of smoking with no harmful effects. But, the FDA has said that consumers have no way of knowing if other potentially harmful chemicals are being inhaled during use. Nicotine is dangerous and highly addictive for kids of any age, whether it comes from an e-cigarette, hookah, cigarette or cigar. Because the brain is still developing, adolescence appears to be a particularly vulnerable time. Research has clearly demonstrated that exposure to nicotine at a young age increases the chance that kids will become addicted. In addition to nicotine exposure, tobacco use can be harmful due to the numerous other chemicals present in tobacco products that can cause disease. Today, FDA has regulatory authority over cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco and smokeless tobacco. The agency is in the process of finalizing the rule that would extend its authority to regulate additional products that meet the legal definition of a tobacco product, such as e-cigarettes, cigars and hookahs. The FDA also is proposing a minimum age of 18 for buying tobacco. The public comment period ended in June, and it is uncertain when the final rule will be published.

» Current e-cigarette use among high school students increased from approximately 660,000 in 2013 to 2 million students in 2014.

What you can do: » Be clear with your kids that smoking of any kind is off limits.

» Among middle school students, current e-cigarette use more than tripled from 120,000 in 2013 to 450,000 students in 2014.

» Educate your kids that e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is a highly addictive substance, as well as a stimulant, and overall dangerous drug. They should know that cancer-causing chemicals are found in e-cigarette cartridges.

Middle, High School Students Find E-Cigarette Flavors Appealing E-cigarette sales in the United States could reach an estimated $3.2 billion this year, compared to just $416 million five years ago. This growth is driven in large part by the growing popularity of e-cigarettes among young people. E-cigarettes are cigarette-shaped devices containing a nicotine-based liquid that is vaporized and inhaled. Hookahs are water pipes that are made to smoke specially made tobacco. It’s not surprising. E-cigarette manufacturers continue to use marketing tactics perfected by Big Tobacco for promoting regular cigarettes to kids. Their tactics include glossy magazine ads, concert sponsorships and auto races, celebrity endorsements and sweet, colorful flavors like apple, mint, bubble gum, grape and blueberry.

» This is the first time since the survey started tracking e-cigarette use in 2011 that it surpassed current use of every other tobacco product, including cigarettes. » Hookah smoking roughly doubled for middle and high school students, while cigarette use declined among high school students and remained unchanged for middle school students. » Among high school students, hookah use increased from 770,000 in 2013 to approximately 1.3 million students in 2014. » Among middle school students, current hookah use increased from 120,000 in 2013 to 280,000 students in 2014. Why should you care? In a statement in the June 2015 FDA Consumer Update, Benjamin J. Apelberg, Ph.D., branch chief of epidemiology at FDA’s Center

» It can be difficult to know if your kid is using e-cigarettes, but e-cigarettes have been associated with dry cough, as well as mouth and throat irritation. So if these types of symptoms are persistent in your child, and have no other known cause, you might want to investigate if there has been e-cigarette use. » Look up e-cigarettes on Google Images so you are clear about what they look like, as well as the cartridges that go with them, and can identify them, if needed. Adolescence is a critical time for brain development. Nicotine exposure at a young age may cause lasting harm to brain development, promote addiction and lead to sustained tobacco use. The only way to prevent these problems is to avoid nicotine altogether. ■

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How to Avoid Raising

codependent kids By mark merrill

It may not seem like a big deal today, but shielding kids from consequences can have long-term consequences for parents. The following true story connects the dots on how we literally can’t afford to raise codependent kids or be enabling parents.

he quarter in which the Florida housing market crashed was also the quarter my friend’s brother Bill closed on a house he clearly couldn’t afford. He financed 110% of the purchase price, spent the extra cash on cosmetic upgrades, immediately put the house back on the market, and waited for his big payday. Bill’s salary wouldn’t nearly cover the mortgage, so his parents bailed him out. Within a year, the house tanked 40% of its value – long story short – Bill lost both the house and $50,000 of his parents’ money. Bill is 45 years old, and he’s gone through a lot of his parents’ savings over the past 25 years; but there’s little chance he’ll change until they’re as broke as he is. Why? Because they’ve been codependent since the enabling started in the first grade. It started small, such as Mom doing his chores so Bill wouldn’t get in trouble with Dad. Quickly, it moved to homework cover-ups and “science project by parent.” Then it graduated to Mom covering when he skipped school; Dad lying to the police when he wrecked a car he didn’t have permission to drive; and increasingly large financial defaults. By the time Mom and Dad let Bill move back home after failing college (no questions asked), he felt entitled to every bailout that came his way. The bailouts just kept getting bigger.

Naturally, we’re all concerned about keeping our kids safe and happy. But we raise our children to fly, not flop around the nest. One day, we’re going to have to let go and, when we do, it’s a good idea to make sure they’re equipped and ready. Or they’ll end up like Bill: pushing 50 years of age and still suffering from failure to thrive. Expect more of them We all tend to rise to the level of expectation. A two-year-old can learn to pick up toys. A three-year-old can help to set the table. A four-year-old can take dirty clothes to the laundry room and learn how to operate the machine. The more, and the earlier, we train children to contribute, the more self-reliance will become a part of their DNA. Allow (managed) natural consequences Typically, there is no better learning tool than to experience the consequence of behavior. A five-year-old refuses to clean up the toys in the middle of the floor? The toys visit the attic for a prescribed amount of time. A ten-year-old curses? Get a dictionary, then handwrite five acceptable words that mean the same thing, plus their complete definitions. Establish a direct line between behavior and a real world result.

Be consistent Mom and Dad need to be on the same page because learning thrives where children know what to expect. When children understand that what they do or do not do makes a consistent and measurable difference in the quality of their life, they will become more likely to accept responsibility for themselves and work to impact the outcome more favorably. Be clear Leave no doubt as to the outcome when encouraging children to accept responsibility. Then having made ourselves clear, we need to follow through. This is why it’s important not to threaten beyond our willingness to enforce. If we say, for example, “If you do that again, I will take away your phone for a month,” but then only take it away for one day, we have created a problem. Trust them Having made ourselves clear, we must demonstrate trust by getting out of the way. We can’t expect a child to grow if we treat them as if they are incapable of doing what we ask. When they succeed, we congratulate. If they fail, we follow through on consequences because we believe they could have done better. ■

© 2015, Mark Merrill. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.MarkMerrill.com

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The more, and the earlier, we train children to contribute, the more self-reliance will become a part of their DNA.

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BY THE

NUMBERS

Q. What should I do if a child discloses that he

76

or she is being (or has been) sexually abused?

A.

Sexual abuse affects many families. It is estimated that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before age 18. Therefore if we have children in our lives, it’s possible that they may disclose their own experience of sexual abuse to us. It is important for adults to understand that disclosure can be a scary and difficult process for children. Some children who have been sexually abused may take weeks, months, or even years to fully reveal what was done to them. Many children never tell anyone about the abuse. In general:

» » »

Girls are more likely to disclose than boys. School-aged children tend to tell a caregiver. Adolescents are more likely to tell friends.

Very young children tend to accidentally reveal abuse, because they don’t have as much understanding of what occurred or the words to explain it. Children are often reluctant to tell about being sexually abused. Some reasons for this reluctance may include:

» » » » »

Fear that the abuser may hurt them or their families. Fear that they will not be believed or will be blamed and get in trouble. Worry that their parents will be upset or angry. Fear that disclosing will disrupt the family, especially if the perpetrator is a family member or friend. Fear that if they tell they will be taken away and separated from their family.

Your reaction to the disclosure will have a big effect on how a child deals with the trauma of sexual abuse. Children whose parents or caregivers are supportive heal more quickly from the abuse. To be supportive, it is important to:

» » »

Stay calm. Hearing that a child has been abused can bring up powerful emotions, but if you become upset, angry, or out of control, this will only make it more difficult for the child to disclose. Believe the child, and let the child know that he or she is not to blame for what happened. Praise the child for being brave and for telling about the sexual abuse. Protect the child by getting him or her away from the abuser (if you are able) and immediately reporting the abuse to local authorities. If you are not sure who to contact, call the ChildHelp® National Child Abuse Hotline at 1.800.4.A.CHILD (1.800.422.4453; www.childhelp.org/get_help) or, for immediate help, call 911.

Have a question?

email: jheronema@tlc4cs.org We cannot guarantee all questions will be published; however, we will do our best to respond to all questions submitted.

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The number of work days (8 hours a day) it would take for the average person to read the Terms and Conditions they agree to in a year. www.funfactz.com/latest

100

Every second, Americans collectively eat 100 pounds of chocolate. www.strangefacts.com/facts3.html

57,285

The amount of fuel a Boeing 747 airliner holds, in gallons. www.strangefacts.com/facts1.html

30

The human heart creates enough pressure to squirt blood 30 feet in the air. woddstuffmagazine.com/50-really-weird-facts-about-your-body.html

5

The average number of pitches that a major league baseball lasts. uselessfacts.net/sport-facts/

2

The number of swimming pools you will fill with the amount of saliva you will produce during your lifetime. woddstuffmagazine.com/50-really-weird-facts-about-your-body.html


SAVE THE DATE for the

2016 World’s Greatest Mardi Gras Feast  

 



Date: Time: Location:

February 9, 2016 6:30—9:00 p.m. Great Hall Banquet & Convention Center

Sample a selection of Mardi Gras-inspired entrees and desserts from the area’s finest chefs as the smooth sounds of jazz soothe your soul! Proceeds benefit

October 26 - 30, 2015 Host sites in Midland County:

H.H. Dow High School Midland High School Bullock Creek High School Meridian High School Coleman High School Academic & Career Education Academy

Visit KnowHow2GoMichigan.org for the steps to college.

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Teen Texting vs. Talking By mark merrill

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ave you ever tried to have a conversation with your child only to be quickly interrupted as they respond to a friend’s text? If so, you’re not alone. In the Merrill home, Susan and I have had more than a few conversations with our children where one of their friends butts in on our conversation with a text. It can be frustrating, can’t it? I’m sure there are many children who have experienced the same thing with their parents. To be fair, our kids have grown up with technology as a part of their everyday existence. It’s almost as if it’s part of their DNA. Yes, it is frustrating when they, or we, get too engrossed in phones and seem unattached and unaware of what’s around us, but we need to understand what’s behind it before we can do something about it. Before you assume the worst about your non-communicative child or grandchild, consider some of these reasons that may be behind their overuse of phones and other technology: Avoiding Awkward Situations and Conversations Children avoid awkwardness as much as they can. They often already feel awkward about themselves, their appearance, their place in the world. They may feel a sense of relief if they can avoid such feelings by being heads down on a chat or in a game. Generational Comfort in Digital Communication People find it so much easier to text than to talk, especially young men. They don’t see it automatically as an alternative to face-to-face communication, but simply one of many ways to communicate. ICYMI (In Case You Missed) ICYMI is an acronym for “In Case You Missed It.” It pervades social media and news media today. It’s used to trigger curiosity about news, marketing messages, and media announcements. But over time, the constant barrage of ICYMI messages creates a bit of anxiety in people, stirring a fear of being out of the loop on what everyone else is talking about and reacting to.

Set Values Discuss as a family what your values and priorities are and how they will that will impact your decisions, guidelines, and limitations. » Do this as a team. Let your family know that the guidelines you’re looking to create are to be developed and shared by everyone in the family, not just the kids. Talk with, not at, your kids and give them some say in the process. » Discuss how your family values working on relationships with family, friends, and people all around you face-to-face, not just through technology. » Develop a statement that expresses your family’s commitment to following your established guidelines in a certain way (e.g. respected, heard, and loved, etc.). Set Guidelines Decide the ways you’ll use and not use technology in your home. » Establish rules regarding the usage of social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other online activities. » Make specific times or areas of your house tech-free zones. Agree on whether or not to have phones in the bedroom, at the dinner table or other areas of the home. For example, phones are allowed at the dinner table during meals and Internet access is not allowed in the bedrooms. » Create a space for isolating smartphones and tablets, etc. Have a basket to hold electronics during tech-free times or when entering tech-free zones. For example, place one by the dining room table during mealtimes. No matter what procedures your family agrees on, remember to do so with patience and grace. ■

FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) In addition to viral “news” dominating the ICYMI trends in social media, Fear of Missing Out, or “FOMO”, creates a similar social anxiety in young people. Their tech is their connection to the outside world. If they fall behind in what’s going on with friends or in those social arenas, they begin to feel like they’re falling out of touch with people, causes and interests. Here are some important steps you can take to improve communication between you and your child or grandchild and get beyond texting to actual talking and relationship building. Set the Scene Sit down with your child and gently help them to understand why this issue is going to be addressed. » Review the reasons listed above, and ask your children which, if any, are true of them. Speak candidly, but kindly, about those struggles. » Be willing to recognize that you may struggle with some of the very same issues. » Discuss together what some of the long-term consequences might be for all of you: poor communication skills, shallow relationships, an inability to function in jobs or community, and fractured family relationships now and in the future.

© 2015, Mark Merrill. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.MarkMerrill.com

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NO PAIN

GREAT GAIN!

Needed: Volunteer Tutors The Legacy Center needs your help! We are looking for volunteers to add to our growing team of tutors for all of our Literacy Programs. If you or anyone you know might be interested, contact Kristi Kline at 989-496-1425 for more information. Our next tutor training session is scheduled for January 18, 20, 25 and 27 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

FLU’S NOT ATTRACTIVE Flu Nasal Mist Available

@ the Midland County Health Department Call (989) 832-6661

You can make a difference! Call us Today! (989) 496-1425 www.tlc4cs.org

RECOVERING YOUTH FUTURES

YOUR

CHILD ON

IS COUNTING

YOU

Since you first held that tiny bundle in your arms, you’ve wanted to protect your child from harm. Why stop now? Misuse of alcohol and controlled substances could harm your child’s health, impair judgment and even lead to criminal charges. The time to intervene is

NOW.

Call today to schedule a free, one-on-one evaluation. 989∙832∙6855

A substance use evaluation & treatment program for Midland County youth

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college prep It’s for Freshmen and Sophomores, Too By Carolynn Bright

eniors, seniors, seniors! It seems like when people talk about college preparation, they immediately focus their attention on high school seniors. That makes sense, but freshmen and sophomores can be proactive, too. “Obviously there will always be plenty of work to be done in the junior and senior years in high school,” said Greg Kolwicz, outreach manager for nonprofit Student Assistance Foundation (SAF). “It only makes sense to check as many items off the list as early as possible.” Here are some tips to get students started on planning: Identify a goal Ninth and tenth grade may be too soon for most students to select a career, but it’s a good idea to figure out whether college, trade school, or another path will be part of their future. Many decisions over the next few years will be made based on this goal. Check the map It is hard to reach a goal if one isn’t heading in the right direction. Have your child check with the school counselor regularly to make sure he/ she is taking the right classes and will have all of the credits needed to graduate from high school and meet the requirements for acceptance into the postsecondary program of choice. Explore opportunities Freshman and sophomore years are good times to refine goals by exploring all options available. Use websites like The College

Board’s bigfuture.collegeboard.org to research interests, careers, postsecondary schools, scholarships, and more. This research will help to refine your student’s goals for the future. Help students get organized, manage their time, and learn to study These skills are going to serve them well throughout high school, college and into adulthood. Some suggestions include purchasing a daily planner to write down assignments, or spending time with a teacher or tutor who can help suggest effective study techniques. Have students challenge themselves High school is no time to coast. Encourage them to invest in themselves by taking rigorous core classes like Algebra II. Have them consider taking dual credit and advanced placement classes. Potentially, they could graduate from college sooner and save money on tuition to boot. Get them involved School isn’t all homework and tests! Encourage them to get involved in extra-curricular activities like yearbook, sports, band, or any other club. Not only do extra-curricular activities look good on college applications, they also allow teens to be a part of their high school community. Planning now for the future can make the transition from high school into adulthood smoother and less stressful. ■

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ROCK GROUNDED AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM Let us ROCK your school year!

Enjoy a snack, games, activities, and friends in an intentional and well supervised setting.

We provide a healing environment through peer support to children, teens and their families who are grieving a death

JEFFERSON

Meet in the cafeteria 2:40-5:30pm or Take the bus to The ROCK Underground

NORTHEAST

Meet in the little gym at 2:50-5pm or Take the bus to The ROCK Underground

BULLOCK CREEK

Join us at The ROCK Underground Transportation provided one way

ROCK UNDERGROUND at The Greater Midland Community Center

ROCK BUCKS HOMEWORK PROGRAM Homework help/tutoring with rewards! Students can work independently or gain valuable help from our tutors and earn ROCK bucks that can be spent at The ROCK store, or used for ROCK Unplugged event payments.

www.childrensgriefglbr.org

Parents & teachers communicate homework needs via rockc4ydhomeworkhelp@gmail.com

Meet at GMCC 2:30-6:00pm Daily activities will vary including swimming, rock climbing, basketball, and more.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: 989-835-2542 PO Box 2143, Midland, MI 48641 Offices located at GMCC rockon@therockc4yd.org www.therockc4yd.org

{ { PREVENT YOUTH SUICIDE STAY WITH THAT PERSON LISTEN, REALLY LISTEN

GET THEM TO HELP OR CALL SOMEONE WHO CAN HELP NEVER KEEP A SECRET ABOUT SUICIDE. IT IS BETTER TO LOSE A FRIENDSHIP THAN LOSE A FRIEND.

If you are thinking about suicide, talk to someone or call for help or call a crisis hotline. Locally call: (989) 631-2320 Nationally call: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or go online to www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org When it seems like there’s no hope, there is help!

YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID CLASSES ARE AVAILABLE

CRISIS HOTLINE: 800-317-0708 24

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E-Cigs & Hookahs Do you know what your kids are vaping?

E-Cigarette use among teens tripled in 2014, from 4.5% to 13.4%, and odds are that your teen will be pressured to try them. Studies show that e-cigs may be serving as an entry point to tobacco use for teens who otherwise would not smoke cigarettes. Please join us for a presentation by Joan Herbert, Pharm. D, Director of Oncology Services at MidMichigan Health. Wednesday, October 28, 2015 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. H Hotel—Indigo Ballroom Midland, Mich.

An affiliate of The Legacy Center for Community Success

The event is free, but advance registration is required at www.drugfreemidland.org.


The Legacy Center for Community Success 3200 James Savage Road, Suite 5 Midland, MI 48642

Community Education & Engagement

Prescription Opioid Abuse: A First Step in Heroin Use?

Community Program

Tuesday, November 17 7 p.m. MidMichigan Medical Offices - Midland Towsley Auditorium 4009 Orchard Drive • Midland, Michigan

Although many treatments are available to manage pain – both acute and chronic – the number of prescriptions for opioid pain relievers has increased dramatically in recent years. Prescription opioids can have effects similar to heroin when taken in doses or in ways other than prescribed, and they are currently among the most commonly abused drugs in the United States and in our own community. Research now suggests that abuse of these drugs may open the door to heroin abuse. In three recent studies of young people who inject heroin, nearly half reported abusing prescription opioids before starting to use heroin. Some individuals reported turning to heroin because it’s cheaper and easier to obtain.   Please join us for an informative discussion with William Morrone, D.O., Deputy Chief Medical Examiner for Bay County, about the link between opioids and heroin. Learn what you can do to prevent dependence and addiction, how to recognize it and how to help people access the resources they need.

To register for this FREE program, visit www.midmichigan.org/rxabuse.

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