More bills that the Washington Association for Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention is following:

HB 1004 would provide for social and emotional learning in public schools. Among the bill's sponsors are Representatives Kenney and Frockt from northeast Seattle.

HB 1100 concerning the medical use of cannabis.

HB 1244 modifying liquor permits and licensing provisions.

HB 1246 and SB 5380 would restrict the sale of flavored tobacco products and dissolvable tobacco products. It would require tobacco products to be stored in a location that is inaccessible to youth. Northeast Seattle's Senator White and Representative Kenney is among the bill's sponsors.

HB 1270 includes mental health and suicide prevention education in the essential academic learning requirements in health and fitness. Rep. Kenney is among the bill's sponsors.

HB 1285 would regulate synthetic cannabinoids.

HB 1465 would modify liquor license provisions by: (1) requiring licenses to post conditions and restrictions imposed by the liquor control board; (2) revising the definition of "nightclub" by removing the occupancy load requirement; and (3) requiring the liquor control board to determine the requirements for complete meals for purposes of the definition of "restaurant".

HB 1550 would provide for regulating the production, distribution, and sale of cannabis (legalization). Rep. Kenney and Rep. Pedersen, who represents part of northeast Seattle, are among the bill's sponsors.

SB 5219 regarding penalties for retail liquor licensees when alcohol is sold to a person under 21 years of age.

SB 5285 would change the distance requirements for issuing a liquor license to businesses located near schools.
Other bills are listed in blog posts from January 14 and January 18.

View "Kati with an i" at Seattle Children's

The Division of Adolescent Medicine at Seattle Children's invites you to join us for pizza and a movie, Kati with an i, on February 10, 6:30 p.m. in Wright Auditorium.

This is an intimate documentary portrait of Kati, a teenage girl in Alabama, about to graduate from high school. The film captures her moment-by-moment emotional transformation over the course of three tumultuous days that leave her future in doubt. With microscopic focus through the searching lens of cinematographer Sean Price Williams, the movie explores the period in one’s life when the only constant is motion. As Kati says, “What happened... happened.”

RSVP by February 7.

Alcohol tax and price policies decrease alcohol-related morbidity and mortality outcomes

After reviewing fifty articles, spanning four decades, that provided data on the impact alcohol tax and price levels have on alcohol-related morbidity and mortality, researchers concluded that taxes on alcohol can prevent many alcohol-related problems.

According to CADCA's Research Into Action for January-February 2011: . . . alcohol taxes and prices have a significant and negative relationship to every outcome group evaluated including: alcohol-related violence, traffic crash fatalities and drunk driving, rates of STDs and risky sexual behavior, other drug use, and crime. Suicide was the only category that did not demonstrate a similar negative relationship in that increases in alcohol taxes and prices were not related to decreases in suicides.

February 8: parenting forum at Eckstein

Free parenting forum at Eckstein Middle School . . .

Healthy Adolescent Development & the Role Parents Play

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

6-7:30 p.m.

Speaker: Yolanda Evans, MD,
Division of Adolescent Medicine, Seattle Children's Hospital

Refreshments and pizza will be served.

Programming for school-aged children will be provided.

Brought to you by the Eckstein Community Learning Center, the University Family YMCA, Seattle Parks and Recreation, and Prevention WINS.

Decline in teen exposure to anti-drug messages

The latest national Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey found a huge falloff in teens' recalled exposure to drug abuse prevention messages over the past seven years. The new data from the MTF study have been released at a time when teens themselves report finding the drug-prevention messages to be effective.

Comparing 2003, the year in which kids and teens' recalled exposure to national drug prevention messages peaked, to today, the proportion of 8th graders that reported daily/or more often exposure dropped from 54 percent to 18 percent, a dramatic decrease of two-thirds among the youngest group surveyed. Similar declines occurred among 10th graders (50 percent in 2003 to 17 percent in 2010) and 12th graders (32 percent to 10 percent).

"If they don't get those messages, teens will come to view drug use as less dangerous than their predecessors did and that misconception will leave them vulnerable to having their own epidemics of drug abuse. In fact, we are already seeing these signs beginning to happen now for teen use of drugs like marijuana, Ecstasy and LSD," said Lloyd Johnston, the principal investigator of the study.
Note: Ad appearing above, along with other anti-drug ads, are available at the Above the Influence website.

Alcohol regulation 101

A package of short briefs about alcohol regulation that arise during state legislative sessions or community meetings is available from the Campaign for a Healthy Alcohol Marketplace. It is designed for policy makers and others that need a short, straightforward explanation of regulatory issues.

Some of the titles are:

-- Why can’t alcohol be sold in a completely free market scenario?

-- What happened in countries that experimented with selling alcohol in a deregulated market?

-- Alcohol is a legal product, so why can’t it be sold like orange juice or any other legal product?

-- What does a good alcohol regulatory system look like?

-- Why are beer, wine and spirits regulated differently?

-- What is the problem with allowing more stores to sell alcohol?

A link to the briefs may be found under Issues Briefs on the Campaign's main web page.

Liquor Control Board seeks comments on proposed rule about alcohol energy drinks

The Washington State Liquor Control Board is seeking input regarding a proposed rule on the prohbition of alcohol energy drinks in the state of Washington.

On November 10, 2010, the WSLCB adopted an emergency rule prohibiting the sale, importation, and distribution of alcohol energy drinks. This emergency rule expires on March 10, 2011. The proposed rules are to make the prohibition on the sale, importation, and distribution of alcohol energy drinks permanent. Comments may be forwarded to the WSLCB by February 23, 2011.

Community members come together to prevent youth substance abuse

The Prevention WINS coalition's first general meeting with DFC funds was held yesterday at Seattle Children's Hospital.

After some networking, six people who work in northeast Seattle schools and in the community talked about what they see going on in terms of youth substance abuse. One comment that kept being made was that many youth, from middle school through high school, have expressed that they think marijuana is medicine (some seem to think it cures cancer) and is not harmful.

After hearing about youth substance abuse-related problems in northeast Seattle, coalition members signed up for workgroups. They are:

Social Norms/Parenting Workgroup: to develop and implement a parent education and social norms marketing campaign focusing on families.

Reward & Reminder/Retail Outreach Workgroup: to reduce the sales of alcohol to minors.

Advocacy Workgroup: to work with community leaders and decision makers to promote the consistent enforcement of youth-related drug and alcohol laws and policies.

Youth Engagement Committee: to increase youth participation in substance abuse prevention activities.

Community Relations Committee: to communicate with the community and media about coalition activities, prevention strategies, and other topics related to youth substance abuse.

Evaluation Committee: to collect and analyze local data related to youth substance abuse and evaluate coalition activities.

For more information about the coalition, workgroups and committees, please contact the coalition coordinator.

More about the medicine return bills

From the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County, following is more detailed information about the two medicine take-back bills recently introduced in the state legislature.

SB 5234 and HB 1370 will protect our kids, our families, and our environment by creating a statewide system for secure return and environmentally sound disposal of leftover prescription and over-the-counter medicines from our homes.

· Help stop the epidemic of abuse and poisonings, and protect our water quality.

· Requires no state funds; budget-neutral to the state. Primarily financed by all drug producers selling medicines in Washington, as part of doing business. Removes financial burden from Sheriffs, police, and local governments.

· Not a government-run program. Establishes the non-profit WA Medicine Return Association that will be managed and financed by drug producers.

· Total annual costs of the program to drug producers collectively cannot exceed $2.5 million – or about 1 penny for every $16 in sales of medicines annually in Washington.

· Federal law has been changed to facilitate take-back of narcotics and controlled substances.

· Sheriffs, police, local govt’s, and pharmacies in ~12 counties are operating take-back programs but are struggling for funding.

More bills to watch

SB 5016 would prohibit smoking in motor vehicles containing children.

SB 5039 concerning insurance coverage of tobacco cessation treatment in the preventive benefit required under federal law.

SB 5073 concerning the medical use of cannabis.

SB 5111 would privatize the sale of liquor.

SB 5234 would create a statewide program for the collection, transportation, and disposal of unwanted medicines.

HB 1202 would create a pilot project to allow spirits sampling in state liquor stores and contract stores.

A new state legislative session - bills to watch

This year's state legislative session started this week and here are a few bills that the Washington Association for Substance Abuse & Violence Prevention (WASAVP) is following.

HB 1116 would require the Liquor Control Board to convert at least 20 state liquor stores to contract liquor stores. It would authorize certain independently owned grocery stores to apply for and receive a contract liquor store appointment.

HB 1126 would provide communities with tools to better protect citizens from gang-related crime.

HB 1163 would create an ongoing work group on school bullying and harassment prevention.

HB 1166 would prohibit a person under 21 from being charged or prosecuted for seeking medical assistance for someone experiencing alcohol poisoning.

HB 1172 and SB 5029 would establish a pilot project to allow beer and wine tastings at farmers markets.

SB 5101 would place certain synthetic cannabinoids into schedule I of the uniform controlled substances act.

Coalition general meeting January 20

Prevention WINS General Coalition Meeting
Thursday, January 20, 2011
8-9:30 a.m.
Seattle Children's Hospital, G-1026

1. Welcome & Networking

2. Telling Our Community's Story

-- What's going on with our kids?
Kelly Kerby, Eckstein Middle School/Seattle Children's
Matt Wiley, Nathan Hale High School/Puget Sound ESD
Annamarie Kirkpatrick, Lakeside Milam

-- What's going on in our community?
Kipp Strong, Seattle Police Department
Danielle Bock-Grande, Partners in Prevention, Center for Human Services
Dan Higgins, King County Juvenile Probation

3. Drug Free Communities Grant: What is it?

4. Prevention Activities: Who is doing what?

All community members who are interested in preventing youth substance abuse in northeast Seattle are welcome!

For more information please contact the coalition coordinator.

Resiliency through optimism and praise

Less depression, health risks for teen optimists

Optimistic thinking appeared to protect against health risks such as emotional problems, substance use, and antisocial behavior according to a group of researchers in Australia.

Dr. Leslie Walker, Chief of Adolescent Medicine at Seattle Children's Hospital, provides parents with 5 tips on how to help children become optimists.

Walker says that above all, parents need to model a positive outlook. "Patterning after their parents is how kids figure out how to live," she says. "If parents are optimistic about what's going in their lives, you can expect the kids to follow."

Sex, booze or money just can't compare with the jolt young people get from a boost to their self-esteem, says a new study of college students that found the desire for praise trumped other desires or needs.

Positive parenting resources

The first Parenting Workgroup meeting under the coalition's new DFC grant was held last week and we spent a good deal of time talking about circulating positive parenting messages throughout our community.

To determine what type of campaigns already exist, I visited Parents: The Anti-Drug and found some good resources for community's working with parents, including this poster:

If you are interested in participating in the Parenting Workgroup, keep an eye on the coalition calendar for a meeting date in February.

Comment on the National Prevention Strategy Framework

The National Prevention Council has released the second iteration of the National Prevention Strategy and is inviting your feedback. This document will be an important framework to guide federal prevention efforts in 2011 and beyond; the public is invited to submit comments as an individual or on behalf or your organization by January 13.

Some of the recommendations being made address the topics of:

-- building community capacity to implement prevention programs,

-- promoting tobacco-free living,

-- reducing drug and alcohol abuse,

-- enhancing positive mental health and well-being.

Forum on youth and police relations

On January 12 at the Garfield Teen Life Center, local youth, in partnership with Seattle Parks and Recreation, Seattle Police Department, Students Against Violence Everywhere, and the Seattle Youth Commission, will host "Building Bridges", a forum to discuss youth and police relations. The event will include a panel of officers, community members and teenagers and breakout sessions to enable all to share and listen to each others' concerns.

More information is available at the SAVE Seattle website.

An extraordinary year for prevention

The manager of the Washington State Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking (RUaD) emailed prevention advocates the following message this morning:

2010: An Extraordinary Year for Prevention

Yes, it has been a remarkable year for public policies that help reduce underage drinking. Collaborative efforts among key state agencies, statewide organizations, local prevention groups, and individual citizens brought a heightened awareness of underage drinking.


The 2010 legislature placed a tax on malt beverages. Research is very clear that the more prices go up, the less young people consume. Legislators heard from the prevention community and they acted.

The WA State Liquor Control Board spent enormous effort reviewing and revising the alcohol advertising regulations but it was critical to hear from the public. Over 500 local citizens and organizations urged the LCB to strengthen the regulations. Many young people and adults testified at hearings. This was the strongest statement from the prevention community they have ever seen.

And on the election front, the citizens of the state turned back an effort to privatize the sale of alcohol. The LCB’s role was to provide accurate information to anyone who asked, but a coalition of interest groups, including strong prevention groups, came together to help the public understand this issue. Again, the prevention voice was heard, this time by the voting public.

And most recently, the LCB banned the sale of alcohol energy drinks. There was an outcry from the general public, researchers, and yes, the prevention community to take this action.

Job Well Done!

2009 drug trend data for King County

If you are looking for data about drug abuse trends in the Seattle/King County area, the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute at the University of Washington has many reports on their website.

The report for trends in 2009 includes the following:

-- Marijuana continues as the most common substance identified by youth entering drug treatment. Among adults, marijuana is now the third most common drug mentioned at treatment admission and the number of admissions has doubled over the past decade.

-- Youth Help Line calls about pharmaceutical opioids increased from 1% to 15% of calls from 2001-2009. The most common type of opioid specifically identified is OxyContin.

-- Marijuana is the reason for one in three adolescent calls to the Help Line, consistent with prior years. Adult calls for marijuana represent a smaller portion, slightly less than one in ten calls, also similar to prior years.

-- A chart regarding calls to the Help Line indicates that 33% of calls from teens are about alcohol, 32% are about marijuana, and 15% are about prescription opioids.

-- Another chart regarding the number of emergency department reports by drug in the Puget Sound area shows that alcohol is the primary drug followed by opioids, cocaine, heroin, and marijuana.

Note: The main reason I focus so much on youth marijuana use and not underage drinking is because I am working to get a handle on how marijuana affects youth in comparison to how it affects adults. As the debate over marijuana policy continues, this type of information can be useful. But, it is also useful to point out that rates of regular alcohol use among teenagers are much higher than marijuana use rates.

For data about youth substance abuse in northeast Seattle, please contact Prevention WINS.

In the news: marijuana legalization

Since drug policy affects youth drug abuse, I have set up regular Google Alerts about "marijuana legalization". No matter what your stance on marijuana policy, it's useful to know what is being reported and debated. Here are a few of the articles that I find interesting.

Portugal's drug policy pays off: US eyes lessons (Seattle Times) -- This article really isn't about legalization since Portugal decriminalized, not legalized, marijuana:

Drugs in Portugal are still illegal. But here's what Portugal did: It changed the law so that users are sent to counseling and sometimes treatment instead of criminal courts and prison. The switch from drugs as a criminal issue to a public health one was aimed at preventing users from going underground.

Other European countries treat drugs as a public health problem, too, but Portugal stands out as the only one that has written that approach into law. The result: More people tried drugs, but fewer ended up addicted.

Time to again moblize against marijuana (Christian Science Monitor) -- This editorial suggests that President Obama should speak out against marijuana legalization:

The culture of pot acceptance must be reversed in America. It was turned back after 1979, and that can happen again. But the drug czar can’t do it alone. We need the man at the top, and all of the relevant administration players, saying the same thing, and saying it often. What’s good for the president’s children is good for the country. He must tell us so.

Afternoon jolt: Pot reform (Publicola) -- This post reports on local initiatives to legalize marijuana in Washington.

Time to answer concerns to advance marijuana policy reform (Seattle Times) -- This opinion piece is written by a former UW professor and he suggests that the following concerns need to be addressed when discussing possible marijuana legalization:

• Protecting adult civil liberties,
• Effectively preventing marijuana's harms to children and adolescents,
• Acknowledging the reality of marijuana dependence and addressing its prevention and treatment,
• Proposing credible prevention of accidents because of driving while stoned, and
• Identifying specific health risks from pot use in vulnerable groups (for example, individuals with cardiovascular disease).

When should I call the cops about my neighbors weed smoking? (Seattle PI) -- A blog entry with interesting comments following it.