Governor's Council on Alcohol and Drug Addiction Launches New Website.
GCADA is pleased to announce the launch of its new website, an effort that we found inspiring and in keeping with
spring, the season of renewal and growth. The Council's goal was to create a user experience that was both visually appealing and easy to navigate.
Work on the new website was a team effort, and we are very proud of the result. The Council would like to give special recognition to the the team at the New Jersey Office of Information Technology for lending their talent and expertise to help make the website a success.
With a teen-influenced design offering easier access,
the new site features
access to teen drug abuse information from anywhere through your tablet or mobile device; new science-based information on emerging drugs, such as bath salts and K2/Spice; and sections for parents and educators to quickly find information most helpful to them
Best of all, teens and educators themselves helped to design the site by giving feedback at every stage of the process.
911 Lifeline Legislation Amendment: Call for Help and Save a Friend
In March of 2012, the Ridgewood Village Council amended Ordinance #3065 prohibiting underage drinking on private property to include the Lifeline Exemption, “911: Lifeline Legislation.” This amendment grants immunity to a minor who contacts 9-1-1 to report an alcohol-related medical emergency. The minor must be the first one to report the incident, provide his/her name, and he/she must stay at the scene and cooperate with the police and the medical emergency team when they arrive. The law allows up to four people; the minor who is ill, the person who calls 9-1-1, and up to two others assisting him/her; to receive immunity.
The amendment says the following:
"An underage person and one or two other persons shall be immune from prosecution under this ordinance if:
one of the underage persons called 9-1-1 and reported that another underage person was in need of medical assistance due to alcohol consumption;
the underage person who called 9-1-1 and, if applicable, one or two other persons acting in concert with the underage person who called 9-1-1 provided each of their names to the 9-1-1 operator;
The underage person was the first to make the 9-1-1 report; and
The underage person and, if applicable one or two other persons acting in concert with the underage person who made the 9-1-1 call remained on the scene with the person under the legal age in need of medical assistance until assistance arrived and cooperated with medical assistance and law enforcement personnel on the scene.
The underage person who received medical assistance also shall be immune from prosecution under this ordinance."
The “911: Lifeline Legislation” was signed into law by Governor Jon Corzine in 2009. The bill is similar to legislation enacted in Colorado in 2005. The purpose of the law is to reduce the possibility of teen deaths resulting from binge drinking and alcohol poisoning
This is not a “get out of jail free card”, but a way to encourage teens to recognize the signs of alcohol poisoning and to take action to save a life. Under state law underage drinking or possession of alcohol on public property is a disorderly persons offense and carries a sentence of up to 6 months in jail, a fine of $1000 or both. In Ridgewood and in over 200 other NJ communities, it is a disorderly persons offense for underage persons to possess and/or drink alcohol on private property.* Violators will be fined and may have their driver’s license suspended and may require the minor to perform community service. Knowing the law, teens might fear calling for help for a friend when a medical emergency presents itself due to alcohol consumption. It is important that teens know about this recently passed amendment.
*Note: minors are exempt from the prohibition of alcohol possession and/or consumption on private property if done in connection with a religious ceremony, in the presence of and with permission of a parent or guardian, or in the course of employment for a person or entity who is licensed under New Jersey law.
"Parenting and Family Guide” for Programs in Bergen County
The Ridgewood Municipal Alliance invites parents with children in middle school and high school to join the Safe Homes Parents Network. In October of 2011, 230 parents gathered in the Campus Center at Ridgewood High School to discuss solutions to curbing underage drinking. One suggestion made was to establish a
Safe Homes Network. Safe Homes is a national effort that encourages parents in a community to build networks. Parents who join are committed to addressing the issue of underage drinking in their community and pledge the following:
I will not serve nor will I knowingly allow anyone under the legal drinking age to consume alcohol in my home or on my property.
I will not knowingly allow parties or gatherings for teens in my home without proper, responsible adult supervision.
I will communicate with other parents, and I welcome calls or emails to “check up” when youth may be visiting my home.
Joining the Safe Homes Parents Network provides parents with an opportunity to come together and communicate with one another. Being part of the Network can help alleviate the feeling that you are alone in the belief that students in middle school and high school should not drink alcohol. When parents sign the Safe Homes pledge, they let their children and other parents know that underage drinking is not allowed in their home.
Signing up to join the Safe Homes Network is simple. Click on the Safe Homes tab at
right. Take the Pledge and complete the registration by providing your child’s last name, first initial, school and grade. Parents’ names and email addresses are requested so they can be notified when the Safe Homes Parents Network directory is available. No telephone numbers
or email addresses will be shared online or in the directory. Parents will simply use their children’s school directories for the contact information of other parents who have signed on to be part of the Safe Homes Parents Network.
Tragic health, social, and economic problems result from the use of alcohol by youth. Underage drinking is a causal factor in a host of serious problems, including homicide, suicide, traumatic injury, drowning, burns, violent and property crime, high risk sex, fetal alcohol syndrome, alcohol poisoning, and need for treatment for alcohol abuse and dependence.
Learn more about the costs associated with underage drinking.
Proms and Alcohol Don't Mix
Watch this 2011 winning video from the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, Division of Alcohilic Beverage Control's Annual "Proms and Alcohol Don't Mix" contest. The
winning entry came from Pascack Valley High School in Hillsdale, Bergen County.
Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults
Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable and premature death, killing an estimated 443,000 Americans each year. Cigarette smoking costs the nation $96 billion in direct medical costs and $97 billion in lost productivity annually. In addition to the billions in medical costs and lost productivity, tobacco is enacting a heavy toll on young people.
Facebook Provides First-of-a-Kind Service To Help Prevent Suicides
SAMHSA and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline are collaborating with Facebook to help those in crisis. In partnership with the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, Facebook is announcing a new service that harnesses the power of social networking and crisis support to help prevent suicides across the Nation and Canada. The new service enables Facebook users to report a suicidal comment they see posted by a friend to Facebook using either the Report Suicidal Content link or the report links found throughout the site. The person who posted the suicidal comment will then immediately receive an email from Facebook encouraging them to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or to click on a link to begin a confidential chat session with a crisis worker.
National Cancer Institute Launches Smoking Cessation Support for Teens
A new effort to help teens quit smoking will use one of today’s teen's most constant companions—the mobile phone. Developed by smoking cessation experts, SmokefreeTXT is a free text message cessation service that provides 24/7 encouragement, advice, and tips to teens trying to quit smoking. The initiative is led by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health.
Once they sign up, teens receive text messages timed according to their selected quit date. Following their quit date, they will continue receiving texts for up to six weeks—a critical piece of the SmokefreeTXT service, as research shows that cessation support continues to be important beyond the first few weeks of quitting. Teens can sign up online here or text QUIT to iQUIT (47848).
Nearly 20 percent of teens are current smokers, and most will continue smoking into adulthood unless efforts are made to help them quit now. Many teens want to quit, but few use evidence-based cessation resources to support their quit attempts. By connecting with teen smokers on their mobile phones, NCI hopes to more effectively engage young people in quitting with proven cessation tools and strategies.
SmokefreeTXT is a key component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' efforts to develop mobile health programs and is one of the core features of the new Smokefree Teen initiative, an extension of NCI’s smoking cessation website. Along with SmokefreeTXT, Smokefree Teen offers several social media pages to connect teens with cessation tools. In January 2012, Smokefree Teen will launch a free smartphone application, QuitSTART — an interactive quit guide for teens that delivers cessation and mood management tips, tracks cravings, and monitors quit attempts.
"With 75 percent of youths between the ages of 12 and 17 owning a cell phone, there is immense potential for mobile technologies to affect health awareness and behavior change among teens," said Erik Augustson, Ph.D., a behavioral scientist in NCI’s Tobacco Control Research Branch.
and support have been made available to the Ridgewood Community Task Force/Municipal Alliance through the Bergen County Municipal Alliance to Prevent Substance Abuse via a grant from the Governor's Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.