from Communities of Concern around the country
AND Tips for Parents
ONE MILLION STRONG! We have received over a million
hits on our web site & e-Learning course since
its launch last year AND
there are 1,060,000 copies of our booklet
in parents' hands in 28 states. www.thecommunityofconcern.org
Washington, DC Metropolitan
Area: The Greater Washington DC COC
held a Peer Leadership Symposium this spring.
250 parents, students, and educators attended.
The event was held at The Holton-Arms School hosted
by Diana Coulton Beebe, Head of School, and Tom
of The Bullis School and Co-Chairs of the Washington
Community of Concern Head of School
A neuroscientist spoke about "Healthy Brains"
to parents from Georgetown Prep, St. Albans and
National Cathedral School in February./***/
Parents AND students were required to attend
a COC presentation about alcohol/drugs BEFORE
students were able to purchase prom tickets.
Greater Houston Area:
The Houston COC grew both broader
and deeper this year, adding another school and
hosting the 3rd annual Leadership Symposium. The
Steering Committee has been meeting for 2 years
on a monthly basis planning events and hosting
speakers to educate the parents, students, and
educators. Special thanks to David Weekley for
conceiving the idea for the e-Learning course
and for making it a reality.
public school districts and one independent school
joined together and celebrated their partnership
this spring. On March 23, 2005 a neuroscientist
from Harvard Medical School/McLean Hospital joined
Prevention Specialist Beth Kane Davidson and Mimi
Fleury as keynote speakers at the Inaugural Celebration
in Duxbury, MA. Principal John Porter summed it
up, "We ARE the Community of Concern- working
together. Without parental support our efforts
will fail. We are in this for the long haul. We
hope you are too."
DRINKING PREVENTION- A COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY
Mimi Fleury, President of the Community
of Concern, was named to the NIH/NIAAA
Steering Committee on Underage Drinking Research
and Prevention. This committee is comprised
of leaders with broad and varied expertise in
child and adolescent development, neuroscience,
genetics, prevention research, prevention policy,
communications and alcohol research.
"Underage drinking is a complex and serious
public health challenge," said NIAAA Director
Ting-Kai Li, M.D. "The collective capabilities
of these distinguished members of the steering
committee will help take our thinking to new levels
as we continue to work towards science-based strategies
in prevention and treatment to safeguard the health
of young people."
For more details about the Steering Committee
and NIAAA research on underage drinking, visit
STATE OF MARYLAND SENDS
" TO ALL PARENTS
OF JUNIORS AND SENIORS IN THE ENTIRE STATE
The Office of the State of Maryland's First Lady
Kendel Ehrlich and Dr. Nancy Grasmick, Superintendent
of the Maryland State Department of Education,
provided copies of the Community of Concern booklet,
"A Parent's Guide
Maryland Edition, to high school parents
in all 24 counties of the state. Maryland is the
first state to provide such statewide educational
support to parents through the Community
PROCLAIMS "COMMUNITY OF CONCERN" DAY
Mayor of the City of Houston, Bill White, recognized
and honored the Greater Houston Area Community
of Concern schools as they gathered for their
3rd annual Leadership Symposium by proclaiming
March 9, 2005 as "Community of Concern Day"
in Houston Texas. A flag was also flown over the
State House in Austin on this day.
HELP YOUR TEENS PARTY RIGHT AT GRADUATION
The National Institutes of Health/National Institute
of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIH/NIAAA) has
partnered with the Community of Concern
in the creation and distribution of a high school
graduation flyer "Parents: Help Your
Teens Party Right at Graduation."
The fact sheet combines science-based information
about alcohol poisoning and other risks with practical
tips to help parents help their graduates stay
safe. Locally and nationally, schools are sending
the flyer to parents of the Class of 2005 to encourage
parents to talk about alcohol with their graduates
NOW in order to prevent serious problems later.
The Caron Foundation's Selection Committee has
awarded the Community of Concern
their Award for Educational Excellence
and will honor the Community of Concern
at a Community Awards Ceremony in June 2005.
Why should we be concerned about underage
- Alcohol is the #1 drug of choice for children
and adolescents. 40% of those who begin to drink
at 15 will become alcohol dependent at some
point in their lives. (NIH/NIAAA)
Europeans introduce their children to alcohol.
They don't have problems, do they?
- Research shows that learning to drink at home
in a culture that discourages drunkenness does
not offer notable protection against the excessive
use of alcohol by adolescents. For example,
in France, most youth are first exposed to alcohol
at meals or celebrations within a family setting,
although by the time they are 16-17 years old
more of their drinking is with friends than
family (Institut de Recherches Scientifiques
sur Les Boissons [IREB] survey, 2001). Despite
the initiation of alcohol use within a family
setting, 9% of 13-14 year olds and 66% of late
teens report having been drunk one or more times,
and this drunkenness typically occurs when they
are out drinking with friends. Thus, in this
culture, initiation of alcohol use within a
family setting does not appear to protect against
excessive drinking by youth when they are out
with their peers.. (Linda Platia Spear, PhD,
Distinguished Professor, Department of Psychology
and Center for Developmental Psychobiology,
Why should we be concerned about marijuana
use by teens?
- Kids are using marijuana at an earlier age.
In 2003, 69% of new users were younger than
- Regular use of marijuana has been shown to
be associated with poor academic performance.
- Marijuana has serious harmful effects on the
skills needed to drive safely: alertness, the
ability to concentrate and to react quickly.
These effects can last several hours after smoking.
(Office of National Drug Control Policy/NIDA)
We're parents, not
pals. When your teens are making plans to go out
with their friends, don't forget to ask the important
- Who will they be with? Where are they going?
When will the get-together end?
- Who will be the supervising parents-have you
spoken with them/offered to help? Do you feel
assured there will be no alcohol or drugs?
- Have you selected your code phrase (e.g. "I
have a headache
I lost my contact lens")
that your child can use as a cue for you to
come and pick them up anytime, no questions.
- Will you be available in case your teen needs
to be picked up early?
[For more suggestions, visit www.theantidrug.com
What should I do if I suspect a problem?
- The key step in dealing with a substance abuse
problem is finding a trusted, professional counselor
or physician. This may involve the person asking
your child some questions or it may involve
a drug-screening test. Although it may be difficult
to make the call, the earlier that you seek
help for your child the better. If you have
questions about the Signs and Symptoms of alcohol
or drug use, refer to "A Parent's
" for information and
resources. (Beth Kane Davidson, MEd, CAC,
Director, Addiction Treatment Center, Suburban
of the 6 sections takes only 10 minutes to complete.
Whether you're a parent, educator, or student,
you'll find helpful tips about:
Early Concerns**Signs & Symptoms**Negative
Effects on the Brain**Communication**Social Scene