Prevention Works in Seattle
Prevention Works in Seattle Newsletter
Northeast Seattle Coalition
May 2009
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We can hardly believe the school year is coming to a close, but there's no denying the 70-degree weather. It's been a productive year and we hope you now know more about underage drinking and prevention strategies than you did a few months ago.
 
We hope you stay tuned as we'll continue to send monthly updates throughout the summer. Thank you for your interest in Prevention Works in Seattle!

Cherylynne Crowther
Media Advocacy Workgroup Co-Chair


How You Can Help
  • Join a coalition workgroup:
    - media advocacy
    - funding and sustainability
    - parenting
    - drug-free homes parent pledge

  • Talk to others about creating a healthy and safe
    community and
    visit our new website.
  • Prevent underage drinking with concrete ideas such as "Love as a parent, not as friend" and "Never buy alcohol for kids because you think it's safer." These tips and much more from the Face Project are incredibly helpful. View this worksheet for the full list.
The Problem with Park Parties

keg pumpIn our last newsletter, we touched on the "keggers" that take place at public parks in our community. These parties can draw up to 300 teenagers who gather around kegs and drink the night away.

According to our recent survey, 96% of parents in our community agree/strongly agree that police should break up teen parties that occur in outdoor locations, such as parks, when youth are drinking alcohol.

But Seattle Police Department (SPD) Officer and Prevention Works in Seattle member, Kipp Strong, says putting a stop to these popular events isn't as easy as it sounds. More >>
Our Youth Are Healthy Overall, But Drug Use Still a Concern

The Healthy Youth Survey (HYS) is a collaborative effort of the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Department of Health, the Department of Social and Health Service's Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse, Community Trade and Economic Development, the Family Policy Council and the Liquor Control Board.

It provides important information about adolescents in Washington, from eating habits and physical activity, to smoking and drug use. Given in the fall every two years to students in grades 6, 8, 10 and 12, the information is helpful in identifying trends in behavior over time. The following are key findings from this survey for Eckstein Middle School, Nathan Hale High School and Roosevelt High School:

According to the results from the 2008 Healthy Youth Survey, in general students in northeast Seattle:

    smoke tobacco at rates lower than the state average;
    drink soda or other sugary drinks at rates lower than the state average;
    eat breakfast at rates higher than the state average;
    walk to school at rates higher than the state average;
    are able to visit doctors and dentists at rates higher than the state average;
    wear bike helmets and seat belts at rates higher than the state average;
    report depression at rates lower than the state average;
    believe that adults in our community do not think it is okay for students their
     age to drink alcohol, smoke tobacco, or use marijuana and other drugs.

Students also report that they feel safe at school and report bullying and violence at rates lower than the state average.

Unfortunately, rates of alcohol and marijuana use jump as our children get older. The Healthy Youth Survey continues to show that alcohol and marijuana use rates go from below the state average in middle school, to around the state average in 10th grade, to above the state average in 12th grade.

For more information on HYS results, visit the Department of Health website.

R.A.D.D.
By Aaron Konsker, student, Nathan Hale high school

The issue of illegal use of alcohol and drugs by teenagers is constantly a problem in high school. To combat the problem, Nathan Hale has created an alcohol and drug prevention group; we are known as Raiders Against Destructive Decisions (R.A.D.D.).

As a group we try do what we can to prevent teens form making uneducated choices involving harmful substances. To further our education of the subject, we found ourselves in Washington D.C. with the Community of Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA). Along side of exploring the fantastic area, which is our nation's capital, we learned an amazing amount of information to help us do the task we have set out for. With the assistance of the CADCA professionals, we learned about the human brain, and the reason teenagers want to do alcohol and drugs. We found that because of the desire for short-term satisfaction, people are more willing to do drugs. The CADCA professionals were very clear on telling us what steps to take to show the damage that can be done by drugs. Most importantly they helped us create the Nathan Hale Student Mentorship Program.

The goal of the mentor program is to pair a freshman with an upperclassman and do fun sober activities. This includes bowling, camping, watching professional sports games, and much more. The trip really pointed the group in a good direction. Our job is to prevent as much as possible. With the mentor program, we hope to stop the possibility of drug use in the younger students before it starts. What the city itself tough us, was anything is possible. Going to Washington D.C. after one of the most memorable elections in the nation's history really proved that our fight is worth fighting.