MCAP newsletter #1

The first Medfield Cares About Prevention (MCAP) newsletter is attached –

Welcome to the first edition of MCAP’s electronic newsletter. This newsletter is intended to provide you with information about teen substance abuse, trends, educational resources and stories and examples of community prevention efforts that work. We hope you will join us for upcoming focus groups in January. Your feedback will help craft our coalition’s strategic plan for keeping Medfield youth safe! See more details regarding dates/times of focus groups in this issue. Let us know what you think of our first edition! Expect our next quarterly edition in February 2017! Warmly, MCAP Coalition Members Inaugural MCAP Newsletter: Welcome About MCAP Medfield Cares About Prevention (MCAP) Stay in touch! Website: Email: Medfield Cares About Prevention (MCAP) Working together to promote mental health and prevent alcohol, marijuana, and other drug use amongst our youth November 2016 Volume 1, Issue 1 “…Bringing people together to ensure community programs work!” MCAP is comprised of people who care about youth in Medfield. Whether they live or work here in town, their commitment is to grow a culture of safety and health for the community’s youth. Members represent parents, youth, the public schools, law enforcement, mental health organi-zations, local businesses, parks & recreation, town government, substance abuse research, local media healthcare and faith communities. MCAP invites parents, youth and professionals to get involved with the coalition. We need parents whose children represent all grade levels and interested youth to join us. Contact us to learn more! Inside This Issue: Marijuana and Your Teen 2 Legalized Marijuana in Massachusetts: What You Should Know 2 Medfield Day Recap: Hidden in Plain Sight 3 MCAP: Community in Action 4 Upcoming Parent Focus Groups 5 Teen Corner 6 Member Spotlight: Cathleen Farrell 7 Page 2 Medfield Cares About Prevention Marijuana and Your Teen: What You Should Know By Sue Navalta, Ph.D. — MCAP Leadership Team Member* Talk to your kids! They are listening! The adolescent brain is still actively developing, especially in regions that are in-volved in abstract reasoning, decision-making, and even social interactions. The plasticity of ongoing development allows teens to develop their own individual identities, however, the same plasticity can leave them vulnerable to the effects of drugs of abuse. Research has shown that marijuana use during the teenage years is associated with increased impulsivity, lower IQ scores, and changes in social processing. Why? First, we need to appreciate that the marijuana that is available today is – at a minimum – 4-6 times more potent for THC (the active component that provides the “high”) than potency 20 years ago. That means that what we thought we knew about what marijuana’s effects cannot be based on past history. Second, this is not medical marijuana where the medicinal cannabidiol component is sig-nificantly represented. If it was, teens would not be using it. Marijuana effects short-term memory that is needed for learning. Marijuana use impairs motor skills, perception, and reaction times that are needed for driving and playing sports. Taken together, being high decreases our teens’ ability to do well in school and on the field. Finally, research has shown that college entrance and income in adulthood are lower for individuals that regularly used marijuana as a teenager. As teen per-ception that marijuana use is harmless increases, research tell us that use will certainly increase as well. With these facts in mind, don’t our teens deserve something better? Are you informed and ready to make a decision in November about Ballot Question #4 which would legalize adult recreational use and the sale of marijuana? Massachusetts Prevention Alliance (MAPA) has compiled fact sheets that may be of interest to parents and teens regarding the proposed legalization of marijuana in the Commonwealth. Visit or these links for the following key facts (please note that these links will take you away from our newsletter and will not open in a new window): 1) Be informed on MA Ballot Question 4 2) Marijuana Policy Fact Sheet 3) Details of changes in local controls proposed in Ballot Question 4 4) BQ4: Marijuana versus Alcohol 5) Report of the Special Senate Committee on Marijuana March 2016 Legalized Marijuana in Massachusetts: What You Should Know *Sue is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at McLean’s Hospital & Harvard Medical School and researches marijuana and its effect on the teenage brain Volume 1, Issue 1 Page 3 By Dawn Alcott, LICSW — Director, Medfield Youth Outreach & MCAP Leadership Team Member Hidden in Plain Sight: A Program the Community is Talking About! MCAP desires to provide opportunities that support parents and increase their knowledge about protective and risk factors to reduce substance mis-use in Medfield youth. MCAP participated in a display of Hidden in Plain Sight (HIPS) at the Natick Mall last May as part of a regional effort. Hidden in Plain Sight (HIPS) is an ages 21+ exhibit that seeks to build communication between parents and youth. As MCAP gathered the feedback from families who attended that exhibit, it was apparent that parents feel under-resourced when it comes to identifying and preventing teen substance misuse. MCAP created a Hid-den in Plain Sight display of its own and launched it at Beginning Years on Medfield Day. The HIPS exhibit features information about the impact of substance mis-use in teen’s lives alongside a staged room where various items may indi-cate teen substance misuse. Items in the room range from devices used to conceal drugs and alcohol, to subtle suggestions that indicate changes in a teen’s preference in friends, media, and apparel that may indicate substance use. Participants are encouraged to explore each item for themselves. The display is not meant to be scary. It is not meant to have the participant assume that they would find all of the items in a teen’s room, but rather open conversations that lead to deeper dialogues with teens. The exhibit has helped parents recognize the signs of possible sub-stance use so they can act if necessary. The HIPS exhibit is supplemented with educational materials that act as a reminder that teens are going through a process of significant brain devel-opment that continues well into their 20’s. Adolescence is a time where the brain is particularly vulnerable to injury or disruption. Substances used during these years can adversely affect brain development. The part of the brain responsible for higher order thinking, impulse control, and anticipat-ing consequences is the last part of the brain to develop. Teens need their parents to set and continually communicate clear and consistent rules and expectations around substance use. The educational materials also highlight the risk teens face from medica-tion misuse. Opioid medications are frequently prescribed to athletes fol-lowing an injury or to teens following wisdom teeth extraction. Through ac-tively partnering with teens and their healthcare providers, parents can be Hidden in Plain Sight is a “staged room” It is NOT intended to SCARE you or make you assume that you would find all of these items within one teens room. The intention IS to PROVIDE you with knowledge and support you in parenting a connected family. Hidden in Plain Sight: A “Staged Room” Page 4 Medfield Cares About Prevention a crucial part in the management process through administering only the medication necessary for acute pain and helping a teen to transition quickly to non-addictive pain control. On Medfield Day, in just four hours, MCAP was pleased to guide 85 individu-als representing parents, grandparents, educators, clergy, business owners, and other concerned community members through the HIPS exhibit at Begin-ning Years. During that time, many residents expressed interest and commu-nicated that they did not have the time to fully view the exhibit Medfield Day. Hidden in Plain Sight will be featured again in connection to various educa-tional opportunities for parents in the upcoming months. MCAP is also ex-ploring other settings for the exhibit, perhaps even parent coffee evenings where one set of parents invite a circle of parents to come together to view the exhibit and discuss the prevention of teen substance misuse following the viewing. HIPS was sponsored by a generous donation from Needham Bank. MCAP has also enjoyed support from Jack Conway Realtors who sold ‘02052’ baseball caps to raise funds for MCAP! MCAP: Community in Action — Medfield Day HIPS Exhibit MCAP is a coalition of dedicated volunteers working together to promote mental health and prevent alcohol, marijuana, and other drug use amongst our youth. It takes a village to keep our kids safe and HIPS is just one of the ways the coalition and the community came together for this purpose. MCAP would like to thank the following supporters that made the HIPS exhib-it possible: Beginning Years Child Development Center — location Department of Public Works — use of printer for posters Evan Weisenfeld—web master Liz Sandeman—logistical support Melissa Zilinski—marketing design Medfield Foundation—financial management Medfield Public Schools — lamination and publicity Medfield Youth Outreach and Sue Navalta — educational materials Needham Bank — general donation to support our efforts Parent and community volunteers: Kathy Thompson, Jeff Marsden, Cathleen Farrell, Bob Meaney, Carryl Navalta, Ali Cronin, Osler Peterson, Susan Cowell, David Traub, Annette Anderson, Dawn Alcott, Chelsea Goldstein-Walsh Page 5 Medfield Cares About Prevention Parent Focus Groups: Coming Soon! Interested? Our next two focus groups will be offered on Wednesday, January 25, 2017 11AM - 1PM (light lunch provided) or 7PM - 9PM (dessert, coffee and tea provided) Registration required. Please contact Dawn or Chelsea at or 508-359-7121 This focus group is sponsored by the Medfield Cares About Prevention (MCAP) coalition Your feedback will help craft our coalition’s strategic plan for keeping Medfield youth safe! Medfield Cares About Prevention Volume 1, Issue 1 Page 6 Medfield youth, we’d love to hear from you! We were so thankful to hear from many of you during focus groups in the Spring of 2016 and we want to keep the conversation going. We are still seeking teens to participate in upcoming youth focus groups in an ongoing effort to hear your voice! Stay tuned for more information in our next newsletter regarding focus groups for Spring 2017. If you have questions or ideas you want to share, please contact us at Do you want to meet other teens from the region and share ideas about how to address substance misuse in our communities? In our next issue, we will have more information on the upcoming Spring 2017 Metrowest Youth Summit. In the meantime, be sure and check out our website for lots of great resources geared towards teens: Overcoming the Shame and Stigma: Mental Health and Today’s Youth Walpole Library Community Room Monday, November 7 at 7PM or Wednesday, November 9 at 10AM Upcoming Event Teen Corner Our next MCAP newsletter will focus on opioid abuse. Do you have a ques-tion you might want answered in the upcoming issue? Please feel free to submit any questions, specific area(s) of interest or feedback to us at We look forward to hearing from you! Next Issue Cathleen Farrell is the mother of three children, two of whom are currently in the Medfield school system. The other child attended Medfield through 9th grade and then attended private school for three years (and is now a freshman in college). Cathleen has lived in Medfield for 14 years. Cathleen has an Associate’s Degree from Lasell College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and Child Life from Wheelock College. She also has a Certificate in Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Cathleen has owned Beginning Years Child Development Center in Medfield for 12 years and recently opened Beginning Years at Medfield High School. Prior to owning Beginning Years, her career was spent working with children and families through a variety of state and federal grants for Partners Health Care and Children's Hospi-tal. Cathleen was also the state wide Inclusion Coordinator for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care. Within the Medfield community, Cathleen is the representative of MEMO on Medfield Cares About Prevention (MCAP) and is also a member of the Medfield Cares About Prevention (MCAP) Leadership Team. Finally, she also serves on the Parent Advisory Committee for Lasell College. Cathleen Farrell Medfield Cares About Prevention Coalition Member Spotlight: Cathleen Farrell Stay in touch! Website: Email: MCAP, 201620161107-newsletter_page_220161107-newsletter_page_320161107-newsletter_page_420161107-newsletter_page_520161107-newsletter_page_620161107-newsletter_page_7

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