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October is Substance Abuse Prevention Month
Amber Jones
Health Educator   
This October marks the annual National Substance Abuse Prevention Month - an observance to highlight the vital role of substance abuse prevention in both individual and community health and to remember those who have lost their lives to alcohol and drugs.

Millions of Americans suffer from substance abuse, which includes underage drinking, alcohol dependency, non-medical use of prescription drugs, abuse of over-the-counter medications, and illicit drug use. This abuse touches all aspects of our communities and contributes to an estimated $193 billion in crime, health, and lost productivity costs according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Prevention strategies targeting the root of the problem are essential to curb drug use and help people lead healthier lives.  Early intervention helps prevent substance abuse and reduce the negative consequences of addiction before they occur.  Through community-based efforts involving youth, parents, educators, and government officers, we can strengthen the support systems that deter young people from drug consumption and improve both academic performance and workforce readiness. According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), each dollar invested in an evidence-based prevention program can reduce costs related to substance use disorders by an average of $18.

Recognizing the power of prevention, Teen Health Connection observes the role that substance abuse prevention plays in promoting safe and healthy communities. Our team launched the Youth Drug Free Coalition, aimed at preventing and reducing youth substance use in Mecklenburg County. If you are interested in joining our prevention efforts please visit our website or contact Amber Jones at
Parenting Teens with Love and Logic 

Parenting Teens with Love and Logic Instructor, Kathy O'Reilly is working with parents at Christ Lutheran Church. 

Enroll today in one of our Parenting Teens with Love and Logic class, based on a curriculum developed by Jim Fay, Charles Fay Ph.D., and Foster W. Cline M.D., designed to give participants practical skills that can be used immediately with adolescents. If you are affiliated with a school or faith-based organization and interested in hosting one of our free parenting classes please visit our website for more information.

The 2015 Stand Up and Get Down for Teens event was Saturday evening, September 19th at The Fillmore. We started the evening with dinner and a comedy performance from Last Comic Standing Finalist, Rocky LaPorte, followed by a ceremony honoring the recipient of the Dr. John G. Johnston Award, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent, Ann Clark. Our team is so thankful for the support of our sponsors.

Thank you to our In-Kind Donors and Silent Auction Donors. You can view a list of these donors here.

Individual Donors
Brian & Glenda Bernhardt 
Dr. Harrison Campbell & Terry Albanese
Dr. David DuPuy & Sandy DuPuy
David & Marni Eisner
Chris & Audrey Hood
Sonny & Scotty Jackson
Dr. John G. Johnston & Laurie Johnston
Dr. Deb Kaclik
Jayme Levine
Kevin & Rett Liles
Drs. Jay & Preeti Matkins
Denise Moseman
Bobby & Beth Pesakoff
Michael & Kristen Piscitelli
Jason & Leslie Riggs
Eric & Allison Runge
Marty & Libby Safrit
Jonathan & Patricia Strater
Jean Sullivan
Dr. Mary Tayal
Jay & Paige Thomas
Kathryn Thomas
Ralph E. & Orpha Towers Foundation
David & Kristin Washam
Brad & Liz Winer
David Zittrouer
Welcome Pediatric Resident
The Department of Pediatrics at Carolinas Medical Center and Levine Children's Hospital offers a fully accredited 3 year pediatric medical resident training program.  Teen Health Connection is fortunate to serve as the adolescent-specific medical rotation for the residents.  This month, we are pleased to welcome Dr. Christopher Rogers. Dr. Rogers received his medical degree from Mercer University in Georgia.
Please forward our e-newsletter to your friends, sign up for our text messaging campaign, like us on  Facebook and visit our website to read about what we are doing each month. You can also follow us on Instagram at Teen Health Connection or on Twitter. Teen Health Connection appreciates our community partners and families.  We believe that together we can make a difference for adolescents in our community.  

It is through the support of our individual, community and corporate partners that Teen Health Connection empowers every adolescent to be healthy, safe and successful.

Youth Drug Free Coalition

The Teen Health Connection Youth Drug Free Coalition is fortunate to receive one of the Drug-Free Communities grants from the Office of National Drug Control Policy. This grant will allow our team to continue the important work of preventing and reducing youth substance use. You can read more about the Youth Drug Free Coalition here.  
Dr. John G. Johnston Award  
Congratulations to Ann Clark, Superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and the 2015 recipient of the Dr. John G. Johnston Award for Excellence in Adolescent Medicine and Health Recipient.
Pinnacle Award Honoree 

Carolinas HealthCare System Pinnacle Award Honoree, our Executive Director, Libby Safrit. We could not be more proud to have such an engaged, passionate, and committed leader. She is truly deserving.
Girls Educated & Motivated for Success 

Our GEMS role-playing and practicing assertive communication through one-on-ones and group skits. Self confidence is a predictor of success for high school girls - and these girls have it!
Visit our website to learn more.
Youth Scholarship 
Joseph Obeid, 2015 Johnston Ziegler Youth Scholarship Recipient
The Johnston Ziegler Youth Leadership Award is a merit-based scholarship that recognizes a local high-school senior who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, advocacy or service for adolescents. The selected youth will receive a $1,000 educational scholarship to the college or university of his or her choice. High School Seniors Apply Today.
The Big Picture  
The Big Picture 2016 
April 18-21 at The McGlohon Theater  
The Big Picture is a dynamic health education and community outreach initiative that is solely written and performed by and for adolescent youth.  Based on data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Youth Risk Behavior Survey, this youth initiative addresses the current trends and health related issues facing teenagers today, with a focus on positive behavioral and health choices. Learn more here.  
Teen Health Connection would like to thank the many volunteers, funders and community partners who dedicate their time and talent to this organization.  Because of the commitment from so many valued partners and friends, the team at Teen Health Connection can continue to empower every adolescent to be healthy, safe and successful.