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SPECIAL EVENT: Public Health Advisory Council (PHAC) guest speaker, Dr. Jose Montero

Carroll County Public Health Advisory Council (PHAC) Meeting

(Tuesday, May 13th, at Tri-County CAP, Tamworth, 2-4pm).

The purpose of the Public Health Advisory Council (PHAC) is to allow citizens and leadership of Carroll County to participate in the strategy and direction of public health efforts in our local communities. Members of the PHAC can include members of any sector of society; in fact we seek membership from those in education, business, public safety, government, family supports, as well as health/medical. Our last PHAC event took place in December, with more than 45 community members in attendance. This coming meeting in May will be a special event. We will be honored to have two very high profile guest speakers from DHHS Concord:

Dr. José Montero, Director of the Division of Public Health Services (DPHS), New Hampshire. In this role since 2008, he leads the development and implementation of policies that help create the conditions to improve and maintain a healthy population. Dr. Montero is a member of the National Academy for State Health Policy, and sits on the Health System Performance and Public Health steering committee. In addition to his role in leading New Hampshire toward health and wellness, he is Immediate Past-President of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, and he has recently been appointed to the CDC’s Board of Scientific Councilors for the Office of Infectious Diseases. Dr. Montero will talk to PHAC members about the New Hampshire State Health Improvement Plan (NH SHIP, 2013-2020), which outlines the top ten (10) priority areas for health improvement. These ten Priority areas include: Tobacco, Obesity/Diabetes, Heart Disease and Stroke, Healthy Mothers and Babies, Cancer Prevention, Asthma, Injury Prevention, Infectious Disease, Emergency Preparedness, and Misuse of Alcohol and Drugs.

Mr. Joseph Harding is the Director of the Bureau of Drug & Alcohol Services (BDAS) at the NH Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to joining BDAS, Mr. Harding was the Executive Director of Friends of Recovery New Hampshire (FOR NH) since 1999. Mr. Harding serves on the advisory council of the NH Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, the NH Suicide Prevention Council, and is the Executive Director of the Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Prevention and Recovery.
This event will be held at the Tri-County CAP offices, at 448 White Mountain Highway (Route 16) in Tamworth, on Tuesday, May 13, 2014, from 2-4pm. Please RSVP to mrc@c3ph.org or call Terri Hooper at C3PH: (603) 301-1252.

NH Launches Check the Stats NH Campaign

Last week, the Partnership for a Drug Free NH launched a statewide campaign to highlight statistics showing that NH young people are using alcohol, marijuana, and prescription drugs more than parents and the general public realize. The campaign includes media messages for parents that will be aired after 9 pm on Comcast, print materials, and an interactive website that contains information about drug use among young people in NH, tools for parents to give prevention messages to children of any age — even very young children, and resources to become involved in prevention activities locally.

Please visit the website at
“Check the Stats NH “>www.checkthestatsnh.org< and like the Check the Stats NH page on Facebook.

To become a Champion for Check the Stats, sign up on the webpage or contact Jennifer Selfridge, Substance Misuse Prevention Coordinator, at 603-301-1252 or email her at prevention@c3ph.org.

New Futures Action Alert

MARIJUANA SHOULD NOT BE LEGALIZED IN NH!

WHAT: New Hampshire SHOULD NOT legalize marijuana. The full House is voting on HB 492 on Wednesday, January 15th.

ACTION: Call your representatives and ask them to vote “inexpedient to legislate” on HB 492!

WHEN: Not later than the end of Tuesday, January 14th.

BACKGROUND ON HB 492
HB 492 is modeled on the Colorado law that legalizes the cultivation, production, sale, possession, and use of marijuana and would enable the development of for profit commercial marijuana industry (think Big Tobacco and Big Alcohol).

Despite its title, HB 492 contains no effective regulatory provisions.
The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee voted to recommend HB 492 inexpedient to legislate. HB 492 is opposed by all New Hampshire law enforcement agencies, the departments of health and human services, justice, and safety, the New Hampshire Medical Society, and numerous community prevention groups.

TALKING POINTS FOR YOUR REPRESENTATIVES

WHY NOW?
The medical marijuana legislation that New Hampshire just passed in 2013 has not yet been implemented. The full legalization initiatives in Colorado and Washington are in the very early stages of operation. We should wait to take further action on marijuana legislation until we know both how our medical marijuana bill is working and the impact of legalization in Colorado and Washington.

HB 492 WILL INCREASE ACCESS TO AND USE/ABUSE/DEPENDENCE OF MARIJUANA
Legalizing marijuana will decrease the cost of marijuana, increase access to and use of the substance, resulting in higher levels of abuse and dependence. Research confirms
that marijuana is a harmful substance particularly to youth, because of its impact on brain development and function. One in every six adolescents that uses marijuana will become dependent. By conveying the message to youth that marijuana is “safe” and expanding access to the product, HB 492 presents a significant risk to the health and well being of our youth and young adults.

NEW HAMPSHIRE IS NOT COLORADO.
HB 492 is based on the Colorado statute – is this what we want for our State?

COMMERCIAL MARIJUANA ENTERPRISE
HB 492 will give rise to a for profit commercial network of growers, manufacturers, distributors and retail establishments with the incentive to increase consumption by marketing and the development of new products (marijuana infused Jolly Rancher candies) in order to create new users and support heavy users. Large business and investment entities are actively exploring what has been described as an enormous business opportunity.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:
• Find out who your Legislators are here.
• Call them before Tuesday, January 14th and ask them to kill HB 492.
DON’T WAIT TO CALL YOUR VOICE MATTERS!
Questions?
PLEASE CONTACT:
Tricia Lucas
Advocacy Director
225-9540 EXT. 110
770-8620
tlucas@new-futures.org

Read our Op-ed

“Legalizing Marijuana Poses Serious Risk to Public Health”

Interesting Article to read: ‘Protecting Americans from Infectious Disease’

http://www.rwjf.org/content/dam/farm/reports/reports/2013/rwjf409564

Underage Drinking Snowballs During December

https://www.stopalcoholabuse.gov/

On an average December day, nearly 11,500 young people between the ages of
12 and 17 years old start drinking alcohol, according to a new holiday-themed infographic posted in the Resources pages of the StopAlcoholAbuse.gov web portal maintained on behalf of the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Prevention of Underage Drinking. The statistic was included in a July 2012 report issued by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), based on an analysis of data from SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, that found that initiation of alcohol use among those younger than 18 occurred at the highest levels in December, June, and July.

Underage Drinking: Role-Playing Game Making Impact

Washington, D.C. — The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) introduces Start the Talk, its new videogame-like tool that helps parents practice tough conversations about underage drinking in a risk-free virtual environment. Start the Talk comes at a crucial time as the rate of youth using alcohol for the first time doubles in the month of December and remains high into January.

Start the Talk is the newest component of Talk. They Hear You., SAMHSA’s underage drinking prevention campaign that launched last May. The campaign equips parents and caregivers with the information, tools, and confidence they need to start talking to youth early—as early as 9 years old—about the dangers of alcohol.

Start the Talk is an evidence-based behavioral tool that uses life-like avatars to engage in interactive conversations. The simulation is based on research in social cognition, learning theory, and neuroscience. Each virtual role-play conversation is structured as a 10- to 15-minute interactive, videogame-like experience. Users enter a risk-free practice environment, assume a parental role, and engage in a conversation with an intelligent, fully animated, emotionally responsive avatar that models human behavior and adapts its responses and behaviors to the user’s conversation decisions.

“The holiday season is a time of year when families come together,” said Frances M. Harding, Director of SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. “Now is the perfect time for parents and caregivers to connect with their children and talk about the dangers of drinking alcohol. Short, frequent discussions can make all the difference. Start the Talk provides a safe place to practice these conversations and build confidence.”

“Ongoing, open, and calm conversations between children and their parents and caregivers are important to preventing underage alcohol use,” added Harding. “Even when children seem like they aren’t listening, they really do hear us.”

Studies have shown that parents have a significant influence on young people’s decisions about alcohol consumption, especially when they create supportive and nurturing environments in which their children can make their own decisions. This is why talking to children early and often can have a significant impact on how a child thinks about alcohol. Equipping parents with a tool such as Start the Talk can foster these discussions.

Realizing that many parents and caregivers are “on the go,” SAMHSA plans to launch a mobile application version of Start the Talk in spring 2014. In addition, SAMHSA will soon redesign Start the Talk in 3D and allow users to choose from a new selection of diverse avatars.

Parents and caregivers are asked to try Start the Talk and share it with friends and family. SAMHSA also urges the prevention community to share Start the Talk and the Talk. They Hear You. campaign resources on their websites, through social media channels, and in newsletters.

Talk. They Hear You. is SAMHSA’s national public service announcement campaign that empowers parents to talk to young children as early as 9 years old about the dangers of underage drinking.

Visit www.underagedrinking.samhsa.gov to try Start the Talk and for more tips and information.

For more information about SAMHSA, visit www.samhsa.gov.

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