Get the Facts on the Effects & Risks of Marijuana
Youth Services Panel Discussion on March 23
Today, there are 25 states, including New Jersey, that have legalized medical marijuana. Many teens now view it as a safe recreational drug, but what are the facts? What effect does marijuana have on the developing teenage brain?
The county Office of Youth Services will host the panel discussion on Thursday, March 23, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Somerville Middle School, located at 51 West Cliff St. To register, visit http://tinyurl.com/theblunttruthpanel. Walk-ins welcome.
Topics will include the effects of marijuana on the teenage brain, law enforcement’s assessment of the local situation, consequences and recovery. Participating in the panel discussion will be Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Professional Addiction Counselor Paul Lavella Jr., Somerville High School Psychologist Danielle Zurawiecki and Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies Program Coordinator Ricki Arvesen.
This program is sponsored by the Somerset County Youth Services Commission, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, EmPoWER Somerset, the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse and the Safe Communities Coalition of Hunterdon and Somerset.
Drug Trends: Weeding Out the Hype
Workshop for Professionals
Friday, Feb. 26
SOMERVILLE – Somerset County Freeholder Brian D. Levine invites parents, guardians and professionals who work with children and families to a workshop to learn about the latest drug abuse trends facing our youth today.
The program will be held Friday, Feb. 26, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. in the first floor conference room at the Somerset County Human Services Building, located at 27 Warren Street. Parking is available in the adjacent parking deck. Registration and a light breakfast will be offered at
Keynote speaker Michael Litterer will review the latest substance abuse trends and provide information about popular alternative drugs, including synthetic marijuana, Flakka, Molly and vaporization. Attendees also will learn about the damaging effects of these drugs, methods for identifying them and the impact our culture has on trends.
Michael Litterer is the Deputy Director of Prevention Links, a nonprofit organization that implements federal, state and local grants to provide prevention programs and recovery support services. He has 15 years of experience in the field of prevention and early intervention and is a national presenter on the topic.
This program is cosponsored by the Somerset County Youth Services Commission, Safe Communities Coalition of Hunterdon and Somerset New Jersey, EmPoWER Somerset, the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse and the Friends of Somerset County Youth.
For more information or to register for the workshop, contact Andrea Clegg, Somerset County Youth Services, at (908) 704-6352 or su.jn.tesremos.oc@ggelc.
EmPoWER Somerset is pleased to support Somerset County Providers Advisory Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse in inviting the public to view “The Anonymous People” as part of the county’s proclamation of September as Recovery Month.
Tuesday, Sept. 29th
11:30 am to 2 pm
Somerset County/Bridgewater Library
corner of North Bridge Street and Vogt Drive
Light refreshments and networking will begin at 11:30 am and the film will be shown at noon. A panel discussion and question and answer session will be held immediately after the film. Pre-registration is encouraged.
Saving Lives: Somerset County’s Multi-Agency Response to
Those Fighting Heroin Addiction
Friday February 27, 2015
27 Warren Street, Somerville NJ 08876
First Floor Conference room
Join us for an informative panel discussion on Narcan and Heroin featuring panelists:
Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano
Chief of Detectives Timothy Fitzgerald
Detective Sergeant David Whipple
Assistant Prosecutor John Ascione
Somerset Treatment Services’ Executive Director, Barbara Schlichting LCSW, LCADC, CPS
This workshop is sponsored in Partnership by Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, Somerset County Youth Services Commission, Somerset Treatment Services, EmPoWER Somerset and Safe Communities Coalition of Somerset County.
Cost is $20 payable to Friends of Somerset County Youth
To register contact Andrea Clegg at su.jn.tesremos.oc@ggelc
Includes light breakfast and 3 professional development credits
Black Family Unity Night
March 3, 2015 – April 14, 2015
Tuesday Evenings from 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Franklin Middle School
415 Francis Street, Somerset, NJ 08873
Join EmPoWER Somerset, Middle Earth, and the Student Assistance Program at Franklin Township Public Schools as they provide the state’s first Black Family Unity Night (B-FUN) program! B-FUN, also known as Strong African-American Families, is a 7-week, evidence-based program, designed to strengthen parent/youth communication skills and increase academic success in youth. The program helps to strengthen parents’/caregivers’ ability to find a balance between firm parenting and showing love and helps youth to develop healthy goals for the future. This program is exclusively for youth aged 10-14 and their parents and/or caregivers. B-FUN is open to all Somerset County families. Register for this fun, free, and enriching family program to get the tools, skills, and strategies to build stronger African-American families!
FREE REGISTRATION FOR ALL FAMILIES. FREE MEALS FOR ALL FAMILIES. FREE CHILD CARE FOR YOUNGER CHILDREN.
Incentives are available for families who complete the program.
To register, contact Abena Dakwahene at 908-722-4900 or moc.tesremosrewopme@aneba
EmPoWER Somerset is partnering with Safe Communities Coalition of Somerset County, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, Hillsborough Township Police Department, Hillsborough Township Public Schools, Hillsborough Municipal Alliance, and Hillsborough Youth Services Commission to hold a Town Hall Meeting titled “The Cycle of Pills to Heroin: Drug Trends in Our Community” on Wednesday, October 22nd at 7:00 pm in the multi-purpose room of the Hillsborough Municipal Building located at 379 South Branch Road in Hillsborough.
The Town Hall Meeting will feature a showing of the original documentary, From Pills to Heroin: The Domino Effect, produced by the Safe Communities Coalition, with interviews and true life stories from local residents who have been affected by prescription drug and heroin addiction. The documentary screening will be followed by an interactive discussion and question and answer session with a panel of experts, law enforcement, community members, and film participants. This free event is open to all. Parents and students in middle school and above are especially encouraged to attend to learn about local statistics and what they can do to prevent drug and alcohol abuse in the community. Registration is encouraged but walk ins are welcomed. Registration can be completed on line at www.tinyurl.com/HillsboroughTHM or by calling EmPoWER Somerset at 908-722-4900.
October is National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month and this town hall meeting will also kick off Red Ribbon Week (October 23rd to 31st) awareness campaign for drug abuse prevention. Several community organizations will be on hand at the town hall meeting to provide resources and information on local treatment and prevention services. Light refreshments and free door prize drawings will be provided. Students attending will receive a certificate for community service hours for participating in this important community dialogue. For more information about this event, contact EmPoWER Somerset at 908-722-4900.
According to the 2014 report recently released by the Task Force on Heroin and Other Opiate Use Among New Jersey’s Youth and Young Adults, the abuse of heroin and other opiates is the biggest health care crisis currently facing our state. The number of treatment admissions for prescription drug abuse has increased by more than 200% over the past five years, and nearly 700% over the past decade. The leading cause of accidental death in the United States, previously motor vehicle accidents, is now attributed to drug overdoses.
The “From Pills to Heroin” documentary (available on line at www.safecoalition.org) was created in response to the growing problem, in an effort to raise awareness, educate the community and call to action for the safe disposal of unused/expired prescription drugs. According to Hillsborough Police Chief Paul Kaminsky “One message that we cannot emphasize enough is how important it is for residents to clean out their medicine cabinets as a preventative measure. Unused or expired medications can be disposed of safely in the prescription drop box located within Hillsborough Police Department 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, no questions asked.” The Police Department is located in the same building where the Town Hall Meeting is taking place, so attendees can actually bring their medications to the event and have the opportunity to safely dispose of them right then and there.
The Safe Communities Coalition of Somerset County meets every third Tuesday from 9:30 to 11:00 am at Raritan Valley Community College. Anyone interested in helping to reduce and prevent substance abuse in Somerset County is welcomed to attend. The goal of the Safe Communities Coalition is to foster a safe and healthy community by eliminating drug use, underage drinking and prescription drug abuse. Through wide-spread community collaboration, environmental change, and community education in Hunterdon and Somerset counties, the Safe Communities Coalition will address areas of concern including, but not limited to, reducing Rx drug abuse across the lifespan, underage drinking, tobacco, marijuana, heroin, and other drug use. For more information on the Coalition, visit their website at www.safecoaliton.org.
Check out the many exciting events happening at the EmPoWER Family Success Center this September!
Monday Evenings 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm
October 6th through November 17th
Middle Earth, 520 North Bridge Street, Bridgewater NJ 08807
All of us are concerned about the health and safety of our children, especially as they approach their teenage years. These are the years in which they become more independent and begin to make decisions for themselves. These decisions can affect their health, safety, and success as young adults. The Strong African-American Families (SAAF) Program, founded at the University of Georgia, is a seven-session, family-centered program designed to enhance the well-being of African-American families. The program hopes to strengthen parents’/caregivers’ ability to find a balance between firm parenting and showing love, help youth to develop healthy goals for the future and resist peer pressure related to risky behaviors, and support families in enhancing communication and support. Caregivers and youth who participate in SAAF will enjoy a fun, family-centered program. There is only room for 10 families to sign up and benefit from this wonderful experience. Join EmPoWER Somerset and Middle Earth as they partner up to offer the state’s first SAAF program!
For more information or to register, contact Abena Dakwahene at 908-722-4900 or moc.tesremosrewopme@aneba