Hot days! Graduation celebrations, parties, swimming, biking, sleeping in- all those things young people look forward to during the school year. With school out, there is more unstructured free time and a corresponding correlation to increased risk taking; first time experimentation with alcohol, marijuana, tobacco and/or sexual activity.
Let's look at the stats: the average age for an adolescent to take their first drink is 12, the approximate age of a 7th grade student. During an average SUMMER day, about 3,000 more adolescents will take their first drink of alcohol compared to during the school year. About 1,000 more students will smoke marijuana or cigarettes for the first time than during the school year. As for students who have already begun drinking and smoking, many are known to indulge more often and more heavily during the summer months.
The Safe Homes Network of Orange County encourages parents and caregivers to have a plan in place to enjoy the hot summer months with your teen:
Plan 1. Talk. Listen and talk with your kids about their experiences and your expectations. Be clear. Talk with other parents and guardians and let them know your expectations for supervision and acceptable activities.
Plan 2. Remove temptation. Lock up and keep tabs on any liquor, beer or wine in the house. Part of the maturation process is risk taking, which sometimes means experimentation. It may be with the stuff you’re least likely to look at or touch. This also means old prescriptions and cigarettes.
Plan 3. Stick to advanced planning. Don’t fall victim to the “I’m bored” routine. Teach your teen to make plans in advance and stick with the 24-hour notice rule for activity outside of the home.
Amity Chandler, former executive director of Drug Free Charlotte County, FL HealthDay: Summer is peak time for teens to try drugs, alcohol: Report. July 2012 Narconon: Keeping your teen drug and alcohol free this summer. Stop Teen Drugs: Why a busy summer might be the best thing for your teen. May 2013
"I've had an amazing experience with this program and I am so grateful that this program has given me lifelong skills that I will forever cherish." - Destiny Brooks, OHS 2015
The youth of Orange County play a large part in the work we do at Orange Partnership. In particular, the youth involved with ADAPT are dedicated to our mission and making positive environmental change locally. This year, two of our ADAPT students, Destiny Brooks and Dmetrius Jones, are moving on after years of dedication to our mission. We wanted to share with you a little more about their experiences in ADAPT and their plans for the future.
Destiny Brooks joined ADAPT 3 years ago as a sophomore at Orange High School. She has grown immensely over the years and feels that her leadership and public speaking skills have developed the most. Thanks to her dedication to her work both inside and outside of the classroom, Destiny will be attending North Carolina A&T University to pursue a career in industrial and systems engineering. Her favorite times with ADAPT included spending time with Outreach Coordinator, Shriya Soora, and the various trainings with groups such as TRU (Tobacco Reality Unfiltered). When asked what advice she would share with subsequent ADAPT students, she encouraged them to be “committed and open minded” and to always “stay true to yourself.”
Dmetrius Jones will also be graduating from Orange High School after two years with ADAPT. Coming to us as a leader of TRU, Dmetrius has worked hard to open up lines of communication between the two organizations and encourage collaboration where possible. Dmetrius also feels that he has grown as a leader in ADAPT and gained lots of public speaking experience. He is planning to attend Shaw University this fall with a goal of pursuing his passion for athletic training. His fondest memory of his time with ADAPT was when he and Destiny discovered that Shriya is quite a talented singer! He encourages new ADAPT students to “work together” and be “able to have fun at all the right times.” He is glad he joined ADAPT because he was able to meet lots of new people from different schools, not just in Orange County, but across North Carolina.
All of the staff members of Orange Partnership wish both Destiny and Dmetrius the best of luck as they enter the next chapter of their lives. You have had a huge impact on the prevention community here in Orange County. Keep up the good work and please do stay in touch!
Below is an update on current bills in the N.C. Legislature that were proposed during the most recent session.
Bills moving forward:
House Bill 290 – Prohibit Powdered Alcohol – PASSED IN HOUSE - An act to prohibit the sale, possession, or consumption of powdered alcohol.
House Bill 31/Senate Bill 308 – 0.00 Alcohol Restriction-All DWI – PASSED IN HOUSE - An act to require a 0.00 alcohol concentration(as opposed to less than .04, as measured by an interlock ignition system) restriction on all restoration of licenses revoked for an impaired driving offense.
House Bill 32/Senate Bill 309 – Amend Habitual DWI – PASSED IN HOUSE - An act to amend the offense of habitual impaired driving. A person’s 3rd (as opposed to 4th) DWI conviction within 10 years is a felony.
House Bills, currently in committee, that did not crossover before the deadline and are likely not moving forward at this time:
House Bill 719 – Fortified Flavored Malt Beverages Act – An act to regulate the sale of fortified flavored malt beverages. Alcopops between 9% and 15% Alcohol By Volume (ABV) would be sold only in ABC stores.
House Bill 278 – Increase Small Brewery Limits – An act to increase the small brewery limit from 25,000 barrels to 100,000 barrels before the brewery must use a wholesale distributor to distribute its products.
Original bill did not make cross over, but has since been rolled into House Bill 909.
House Bill 107/Senate Bill 24 – Liquor Sales-Permitted Distilleries – An act to allow distillery permit holders to sell spirituous liquor, distilled on premises, to visitors of the distillery for consumption off the premises.
On March 22nd, Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood hosted a ribbon cutting for two permanent prescription drug drop boxes, to be located in the courthouse and the lobby of the Sheriff’s Office. Installation of the boxes was a collaboration between Orange Partnership and Sheriff Blackwood, who shared that “It completes the circle of [Orange County] law enforcement agencies….now we all have drug drop points at our offices.”
The ceremony was attended by community members, law enforcement representatives and leaders from across the county, including County Commissioners Earl McKee, Renee Price and Bernadette Pelissier , who assisted in cutting the ribbon. During the event, Sheriff Blackwood spoke about the need for safe disposal options for prescriptions drugs.
“In 1965, it wasn’t a big deal to have aspirin in your medicine cabinet. Think about the medications being prescribed and designed today that we have in our medicine cabinets. Think about the ramifications of those medications making it into our schools or our streets or into the hands of people who just don’t need to have it….This is important. It’s critical that we do something to get those drugs away from [youth]."
We are thankful to Freedom House Recovery Center for providing administrative support for our fundraising efforts. When donating online, please be sure that Orange Partnership is selected from the Program section.
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Orange Partnership for Alcohol and Drug Free Youth
c/o Freedom House Recovery Center 104 New Stateside Dr.
Chapel Hill, NC 27516
Tipline calls are anonymous and confidential and may be used to prevent illegal activities before they occur.
The Safe Homes Network is a community of parents and other adults who have pledged NOT to provide alcohol, tobacco or other drugs to youth. They are promising to make reasonable efforts to ensure that youth are not obtaining or using these substances in their home or on their property.
The partnership gives network members a directory of others who have signed the pledge. We will also keep members
up-to date on the issue of youth substance abuse through a bi-annual e-newsletter where you can learn how to encourage others to join our efforts. Click the button below to join the Safe Homes Network. For more information, contact Gayane Chambless at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also check out the conversation on our Facebook page.