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Celebrating 30 Years of Providing Substance Abuse Prevention, Education, and Support for Personal Recovery!

What’s New For Schools An informative monthly newsletter for Middlesex County educators Vol.V, No. 1, January 2011

Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Signed Into Law Bullying is defined as abusive behavior by one or more individuals against a victim or victims. It can be a direct attack -- teasing, taunting, threatening, stalking, namecalling, hitting, making threats, coercion, and stealing -- or more subtle through malicious gossiping, spreading rumors, and intentional exclusion. Both result in victims becoming socially rejected and isolated.

We were pleased to read that New Jersey’s Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, which was enacted to counter bullying in New Jersey schools, has been signed into law.

The law will require annual reporting on bullying instances from schools and districts to be provided directly to the Commissioner of Education. It will grade each school on how it handles bullying, harassment and intimidation. It also will extend bullying Boys tend to use physical intimidation or threats, regardless of the gender of their victims. protections to off-school grounds and cover college and university students, as well. Bullying by girls is more often verbal, usually with another girl as the target. Cyber-bullying In striving to create a new culture of by both boys and girls -- in online chat rooms, accountability, the law also includes penalties e-mail, and text-messaging -- is increasing. for education officials who fail to report or respond accordingly to incidents of Bullying is a common experience for many harassment, intimidation or bullying. children and teens. Direct bullying seems to increase through the elementary school It is estimated that roughly 160,000 students years, peak in the middle school/junior nationwide avoid school each day because they high school years, and decline during the fear bullying. According to a U.S. government high school years. Although direct physical assault seems to decrease with age, verbal report, New Jersey’s rate of bullying is actually higher than the national average. abuse appears to remain constant. New Jersey’s Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights includes the following: • Training on harassment, intimidation, and bullying (HIB) are now required for public school teaching staff in suicide prevention. • That by the 2011-2012 school year, all candidates for school administrator or teacher certification will be required to complete a Continued on Page 2


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program on harassment, intimidation, or bullying prevention. The training in this area will be a part of the professional development requirements for these individuals. Training course for safe schools resource officers and public school employees must include training in the protection of students from harassment, intimidation, and bullying. That school districts establish bullying prevention programs or approaches. Designation of a “Week of Respect” each October whereby districts observe the week by providing age-appropriate instruction focusing on preventing harassment, intimidation or bullying. The inclusion of harassment, intimidation, and bullying as part of [the types of] conduct that under current statute may constitute good cause for suspension or expulsion. That a school district’s policy on harassment, intimidation, and bullying must include appropriate responses to such actions that occur off school grounds. The implementation of a detailed procedure that must be included in each district’s policy concerning the investigation of incidents of harassment, intimidation, or bullying. That a written report be filed by a school employee or contracted service provider with the school principal within two days of observing or being made aware of an act of harassment, intimidation, or bullying. That the Department of Education must establish a formal protocol to be used by the office of the executive county superintendent of schools in investigating complaints that school districts are not adhering to the provisions of law governing harassment, intimidation, or bullying in the schools.

we offer a new series of online training courses specifically designed for teachers and other educators. These courses provide participants with the vital information they need in order to maintain a healthy school environment. Four courses are offered including: Bullying, Harassment and Intimidation in Schools; an overview of Child Abuse; Suicide Prevention; and, Adolescents and Substance Abuse All of these courses can be purchased together or singularly by school districts. Additionally, the Bullying, Harassment and Intimidation in Schools course can be purchased directly by educators at a special discounted rate (available through March 31, 2011) of $14.95. Go to www. ncadd-elearning.org now to learn more or to purchase. Through its Jason Surks Memorial Resource Center, NCADD can provide educators with various brochures and videos that deal with the subject of bullying. Finally, NCADD can provide in-person presentations to schools and school organizations. Contact us today at 732-254-3344.

NCADD offers a variety of solutions for educators and school administrations on the topic of bullying. For example, in addition to training provided during faculty in-service sessions, 2


Can Energy Drinks Be a Gateway to Addictions? An article in Food Safety Magazine noted that some research suggests people who start drinking the soft drinks known as "energy" beverages early in life may be more prone to anxiety, depression, and addictive behavior later on.

college students who regularly consume energy drinks are at a greater risk for alcohol dependency. The study, published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research involved interviews with 1,097 fourth-year students at a large public university.

The problem is that the drinks aren’t just packed with sugar and caffeine, but also with additives and herbal ingredients.

Researchers found that students who drank energy drinks 51 or less days out of the year were significantly less likely to have alcohol-related problems than high-frequency students who drank energy drinks 52 or more days per year.

Why is this a problem? Since the human brain does not fully develop until the age of 25, it is more susceptible to being affected by the ingredients in energy drinks (like caffeine) that manipulate the brain's neurotransmitters--the chemicals that send information across a small gap, or synapse, from one nerve cell, or neuron, to another. Caffeine's ability to induce alertness, rapid heart beat and even jitteriness is welldocumented.

The high-frequency students also consumed a greater amount of alcohol. The high-frequency group consumed an average of 6.15 alcoholic drinks per drinking session, compared with the average of 4.64 alcoholic drinks consumed by the low-frequency group. According to the researchers, while there is a strong correlation between daily or weekly energy drink consumption and alcohol dependence, further research is needed to understand the connection.

Interestingly, some of the additives commonly found in energy drinks are used in some antianxiety and antidepressant medications. Energy drinks essentially simulate both a pleasurable and high-stress experience, at the same time. The problem is the brain can build up a tolerance to the ingredients, so it takes ever-more artificial and natural stimulants to get the brain to release the pleasure-reward neurotransmitters. This can lead to addictive behavior. Additionally, children are more affected by caffeine than adults, because they weight less; a 100 pound person is going to be twice as affected by caffeine than a 200 pound person. A survey conducted by Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland found that 3


Staff

News You Should Know and Use

Steven G. Liga, MSW, LSW, LCADC, CPS, CCS CEO & Executive Director Lissette M. Bacharde Administrative Assistant

New results from the annual “Monitoring the Future” study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse shows that marijuana use by teens increased in 2010, reversing a 10-year decline. Some 21 percent of high school seniors said they had smoked marijuana in the last 30 days, while 19.2 percent reported smoking cigarettes – the first time pot use has eclipsed tobacco since 1981. The survey, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, found that binge drinking rates dropped, while misuse of prescription drugs stayed about the same. Additional findings include: • Given all the attention to the dangers of caffeinated alcoholic beverages like Four Loko, the use of flavored alcoholic beverages by high school seniors fell from 53.4 percent in 2009 to 47.9 percent in 2010. • Misuse of prescription painkillers remained stable among teens, with 3.6 percent of 12th graders reporting having used a narcotic other than heroin in the last month. • The percentage of youth who misused their own prescription fell from 40.2 percent in 2007-08 to 32.5 percent in 2009-10. • More high school seniors are current marijuana smokers than cigarette smokers. • Marijuana use rose slightly while cigarette smoking fell among 12th graders in 2010. • Two thirds of teens reported getting prescription painkillers from a source other than a doctor, typically obtaining them for free from a friend or family member.

Lizette Fallon, BS Financial Manager Alexandra Lopez, MA, LCADC, SAC, CPS, DRCC Course Development Specialist

East Brunswick Office Ezra Helfand, BA Program Director Karen Agatep Acts of Prevention Coordinator Al-Karim Campbell, BA Preventionist I Cathy Cardew, MSW, LSW Preventionist I Jaclyn Emslie Office Manager Dara Jarosz, MA, SAC Clinician I Christina Rak-Samson, BA Preventionist I Linda Surks, BS, CPS Preventionist II Christina Vanpala, BS Preventionist I Jason Victor, BA, CPS Preventionist II Heather Ward, MSW, LSW Preventionist I

Carteret Office Lauren Balkan, MSW, LCSW Program Director Karen Boateng Office Manager Anna Kirzner MSW, LCSW Clinician II Lindsay Rich, MSW, LCSW Clinician II

Board of Trustees President

Vice President

Steven S. Polinsky

Bill DeJianne

Rakesh Ganta

Jeff Jannarone

Treasurer

Secretary

Past President

Katherine Fallon

NCADD of Middlesex County, Inc. is a non-profit, community-based health organization serving Middlesex County. Our mission is to promote the health and well-being of individuals and communities of Middlesex County through the reduction or elimination of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use problems.

NCADD of Middlesex County, Inc. 152 Tices Lane, East Brunswick, NJ 08816 Phone: 732-254-3344 www.ncadd-middlesex.org

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Members Sharon Campbell Agim Coma Susan Neshin, M.D. George Rusuloj Marjorie Talbot

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We were pleased to read that New Jersey’s Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, which was enacted to counter bullying in New Jersey schools, has bee...

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