Helping Teens Make Healthy Decisions

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Helping Teens Make Healthy Decisions:
                   A Danvers Family Resource Guide

                              “Healthier decisions, healthier lives, healthier futures.”
Helping Teens Make Healthy Decisions:
                        A Danvers Family Resource Guide

               This Guide has been developed by DanversCARES
               through a grant from The Governors Executive Office of
               Public Safety and Security.
Dear Community Members,

On behalf of the DanversCARES prevention coalition, we present you with this family resource guide. The Guide is designed
to assist parents, grandparents, family and community members in understanding health issues facing Danvers youth.
As adults, it’s important to understand the issues that young people face in the 21st century. By gaining knowledge and insight,
we are better equipped to nurture our youth to be independent thinkers, with the ability to make healthy decisions. We hope this
resource provides local insight, resources, and a factual platform on which you can build family dialogue.
DanversCARES seeks to foster a healthy community environment that assists youth and families in making informed healthy decisions.
As advocates of education and public safety, we are proud to lead the DanversCARES initiative and support the broad-based
collaboration necessary to achieve a safe and healthy community.
Happy reading!

Lisa Dana                                  Neil Ouellette
Superintendent of Schools                  Chief of Police

Gary Nihan
DanversCARES Project Director
Table of Contents

                    Section                                                              Page Number

                    Talking with Your Teens: Tips for Parents                                     4

                    Drinking & Drugs                                                              6

                    Your Teen’s Relationships                                                    15

                    Health & Wellness                                                            22

                    Teenage Blues (and More)                                                     26

                    Special Occasions. Extra-Special Precautions                                 28

                    Your Adolescent & the Massachusetts Law                                      30

                    Everyday in Every Way: We can Make Danvers a Great Place for Teens           31

                    North Shore Resources for Youth and Parents                                  32

 Talking with Your Teens: Tips for Parents
                                                       “The Family resource Center and                    • Before starting high school: Research          WHere:
                                                       Behavioral Health Library offers a place             shows a dramatic rise in teen substance        Adolescents hear and respond when the
                                                       for families to come together. The                   use and sexual activity among 9th-12th         “big conversations” are part of normal, fam-
                                                       family programs provide extraordinary                graders*. Nationwide, 38.9% of eighth-         ily routines—not a formal, pre-planned drug
                                                       support by other families who con-                   graders have tried alcohol. By 10th            talk.
                                                       vey, ‘I understand what you are going                grade, this percentage rises to 61.7%.
                                                       through’ and share strategies and                    In the 2008 Youth Risk Behavior Sur-           Here are some everyday events or
                                                       experiences.”                                        vey*, Danvers High School reflects this        occasions that may open up your
                                                                                                            national trend.                                parent-teen conversations:
                                                          Marguerite Roberts, MS, NP                                                                        • a shared activity, such as hiking,
                                                                                                          • Individual changes: Teens who feel “dif-
                                                          Director, Family Resource Center                                                                    cooking together, shopping, planning a
                                                                                                            ferent” are more at risk for unhealthy
                                                          North Shore Children’s Hospital                   behaviors. If your adolescent has re-             family vacation.
                                                                                                            cently undergone some physical chang-           • Films or T.V. programs in which drugs or
                                                                                                            es, or is apt to feel self-conscious about        other issues are dramatized.
 WHo:                                             WHeN:
                                                                                                            a family economic or demographic
 It’s up to you to find ways to start the         Most families are busy. All families are differ-          change, give him a chance to talk about         • advertisements for alcohol or tobacco,
 dialog. Your adolescent is unlikely to start     ent. There’s no one-time-fits-all-families—or             his feelings and fears.                           including billboards that glamorize
 these “big” conversations. As a parent or        even for all kids within your family. You                                                                   substance use.
 guardian, you are the most reliable source       know your child best. Got a night-owl in the                                                              • Car-journeys to
 of consistent and accurate information on        family? Then evening talks may work best               WHaT:                                                and from school or
 drinking, drugs, relationships, school, dating   for that child. Yours is a family-on-the-go?                                                                sporting activities.
 and wellness.                                    Then use those car-rides or vacation trips             Our teens live in a complex world of
                                                  to talk, share and listen. The conversations           multiple and often conflicting messages. De-       • Music, especially
                                                  should start early and happen often.                   liver information that is appropriate for your       songs whose lyrics
                                                                                                         child’s age and in a way that invites on-go-         glamorize violence
 Your child may seem busy and independent,                                                               ing and long-term discussion. Key areas for
                                                  Here are some instances when you need to                                                                    or drug-use.
 but she needs you to listen to her concerns.                                                            discussion include substance abuse, relation-
 By knowing the facts and taking the time,        take time out to sit down and talk:                                                                       • T.V. news or news-
                                                                                                         ships, school, academics, how they are feeling
 you can really influence your teenager’s          • Family transitions: Children coping                                                                      paper reports on
                                                                                                         emotionally and physically. It’s also important
 choices. As a parent, you can provide con-          with divorce, a new school, new home                                                                     sports or popular
                                                                                                         to listen to your child’s hopes and dreams for
 sistent and reliable information on drug-use,       or a parent’s new job are particularly at                                                                culture icons and
                                                                                                         the future.
 relationships, academic, physical and emo-          risk for substance use and other risky                                                                   role models.
 tional wellness.                                    behaviors.

 *We have used multiple national resources and studies to complete this Resource (see page 33).


HoW:                                            “MoM, DaD, DID you eVer uSe DrugS?”                  LoCaL reSourCeS To SuPPorT PareNT-
                                                 • Respond to the question. Honesty is               TeeN CoMMuNICaTIoN                                           FaST FaCTS
• Plan with your spouse how you will start
  and continue the conversations with              best; otherwise, you could lose your              essex County District attorney’s office
                                                   children’s trust.                                                                                  1. In the 2008 Danvers High School
  your child.                                                                                        Provides “Parenting Wisely,” an interactive
                                                                                                                                                         Youth at Risk Survey, 85% of
                                                 • Give short, clear answers. Supply only            program with age-specific modules and
• Open the conversation in a loving, non-                                                                                                                Danvers High students reported
                                                   the information that you feel they need           practical solutions. The Office can loan the
  accusing way.                                                                                                                                          that they have a parent or other
                                                   to know.                                          program to any school, parenting group or
• State your family’s position on underage                                                                                                               adult family member to whom
                                                                                                     library. The D.A.’s office will also provide a
  drinking and other substance use. Make         • Give the answer in terms of negative                                                                  they can talk about things that
                                                                                                     90-minute free introductory workshop to
  sure your child understands that it’s a no-      consequences, e.g., “Yes, I did. But I                                                                are important to them.
                                                                                                     the “Parenting Wisely” program.
  exceptions rule.                                 regret it now. I lost the trust of my par- or 978-745-6610
                                                   ents and friends, and this was one of my                                                           2. They want to talk. Adolescents
• Counter the “but-everyone’s- doing-it”           biggest mistakes.”                                The Family resource Center at North Shore
  argument with researched facts and real                                                                                                                themselves cite an open relation-
                                                                                                     Medical Center provides a resource library,
  trends and local norms in Danvers.             • Ask why your child is asking that                                                                     ship with a trusted adult as a key
                                                                                                     a list of area support groups and work-
                                                   question at this time.                                                                                influence in their lives.
• Avoid preaching or threats.                                                                        shops, including a parents’ daytime support
                                                 • Use this question as an opportunity to open       group.
• Be willing to listen.                            up a larger conversation around drug-use or              3. In nationwide surveys, adoles-
• Remain calm in the face of arguments.            and your family policy.                           978-354-2660.                                       cents who communicate with their
                                                                                                                                                         parents are 50% less likely to begin
• Be as honest as possible. If you don’t                                                             Local office of Parents Helping Parents,
                                                                                                                                                         underage drinking.
  know an answer, admit it. Then, offer to                                                           including the confidential Parental Stress
  research the facts together.                                                                       Line: 1-800-632-8188, 617-926-5008 or
• Use simple, straightforward language
  and phrases.
• Remind your child how much you love her                                    NaTIoNaL reSourCeS For HeaLTHy
  and respect her individuality.                                             PareNT-TeeN CoMMuNICaTIoN:


Drinking & Drugs
Underage Drinking & Your Teen                                                                                                                                           DRINGING & DRUGS

                                      “The Danvers Public Library provides access to                     TeN TIPS For aLCoHoL-Free KIDS
                                      up-to-date health and medical information, as well                 1. Family policy: Be clear and consistent about your family’s policy on underage drink-
                                      as a variety of wellness and safety issues that can                   ing–no exceptions. Talk to your children about drinking early and often. If your fam-
                                      assist parents, teachers and young people to find the                 ily has a history of alcoholism, be honest with them about the inherited and genetic
                                      reliable, accurate information they need.”                            risks.
                                                         Douglas Rendell, Director,                      2. Do as you say: If you often reach for a beer after work or in times of stress, this sends a
                                                         Peabody Institute Library, Danvers                 message. At family gatherings or parties, offer a range of non- and alcoholic drinks. You
                                                                                                            don’t need to drink to have fun.
                                                                                                         3. Know your child’s friends and the friends’ parents–plus their family policies on underage
Less than half of Danvers High School             DaNVerS SCHooLS: your ParTNer
students drink, yet teenage drinking–             IN KeePINg your KIDS aLCoHoL-aND
especially binge drinking*– is an ongo-           Drug-Free                                              4. encourage independence: From an early age, help your children to build confidence
ing and serious problem in Danvers. In the                                                                  and good decision-making skills. Allow them to make simple, age-appropriate choices,
                                                  The Danvers Schools have a clear policy on
2008 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, Danvers                                                                    e.g. what color to paint their rooms, or which after-school activities they join.
                                                  student drinking and substance use, and
High students self-reported binge drinking
                                                  that policy is available to all students via the       5. Build self-esteem: Praise and reward your child. Respect her individuality.
rates above the state average. In Mas-
                                                  Student Handbook.
sachusetts and nationwide, teenage girls                                                                 6. activities: Help kids to find and enroll in after-school activities they enjoy. Sports, arts
are quickly closing the gender gap as their       Policy: The use, possession, and distribution             and volunteer programs also help with teenage stress–a common reason why kids
binge-drinking rate rises faster than that of     or sale of drugs and alcoholic beverages is               drink.
teenage boys.                                     prohibited at all times anywhere on campus
                                                  or at school-sponsored activities on or off            7. Hold kids accountable: Once your adolescent knows and agrees to your family policy,
*For males, binge drinking is five or more
                                                  campus. For students who are found to be                  be consistent in your follow-through and consequences. Many non-drinking teens say
drinks in a row. For females, binge-drink-
                                                  in violation, the School has formal proce-                they abstain because they don’t want to disappoint their parents.
ing is four or more drinks.
                                                  dures. For information or questions about
                                                  Danvers School Substance Abuse policy,                 8. Prepare. Practice. Plan: Role-play with your child to say ‘no thanks’ with ease and confi-
                                                  contact Gary Nihan, Director of School                    dence.
WHere DaNVerS TeeNS geT aLCoHoL
Think that teens buy alcohol at package or        Health.                                                9. always & Never: Remind your child to always leave any uncomfortable situation.
liquor stores who mistakenly or intention-                                                                  Remind her that she should never accept a ride from anyone who has been drinking.
ally sell to minors? Not true. Only 3.4% of                                                                 Always be awake when your child returns from a social event. Never allow parties in
Massachusetts teens report getting alcohol                                                                  your home when you’re not there.
from a store. Instead, teens self-report that
                                                                                                         10. Supervision & Check-ins: Make sure you have a phone number where you can reach your
they get their alcohol by someone else buying
                                                                                                             child. Make sure she has your phone number to call for help or a ride home. Provide adult
it, at parties or from friends. Some teens also
                                                                                                             supervision for all children visiting your home.
get alcohol at home–from their parents or
grandparents’ liquor cabinets.


 Underage Drinking & Your Teen (continued)
 HoW Do I KNoW My CHILD                                                                                                                          KeePINg THe CoNVerSaTIoN goINg eVeN
 IS DrINKINg?                                                                                                                                    IF your CHILD BruSHeS you oFF or
 Adolescence is a time of many transitions                                                                                                       DeNIeS Her DrINKINg:
 that can lead to changing behavior and                                                                                                           • Remind her that you love her.
 mood swings. But if you see a number of                                                                                                          • Remember to listen.
 sudden changes, don’t rule out alcohol or
 other drugs. Know the signs. If you sus-                                                                                                         • Even if your teen reacts angrily or with
 pect your child is drinking, act quickly.                                                                                                          silence, stay calm and on task.
                                                                                                                                                  • Explain your worries and concerns–how
                                                                                                                                                    his drinking makes you feel. If you’re
                                                                                                                                                    scared, tell him.
                                                                                                                                                  • State what you will do to help.
                                                                                                                                                  • Remind your child of her gifts and
                                                                                                                                                    talents–talents that become clouded by
 Here are SoMe CoMMoN WarNINg SIgNS
  • Smell alcohol on his breath or clothes                                                                                                       WraPPINg uP THe CoNVerSaTIoN

  • Sudden change in mood or attitude                                                                                                             • Remind him that you still believe in his
                                              I’Ve DISCoVereD THaT My CHILD IS                     geTTINg STarTeD:                                 potential.
  • Missing school or sudden drop in grades   DrINKINg. NoW WHaT?
                                                                                                  • Never talk to your child when he is drunk.    • Make him part of the planned solution
  • Loss of interest in school, sports or                                                                                                           or next steps.
    hobbies                                   geTTINg reaDy:
                                                                                                  • Be kind, simple & direct, e.g., “You have
                                                                                                    a problem and I need to talk to you           • Explain the consequences. “You’ve
  • Discipline problems at school              • Admit your child’s drinking to yourself.           about it.” Or “Do you want to tell me           broken the rules, so here’s what’s going
  • Withdrawal from family or friends          • Take action the very first time you                what’s going on?”                               to happen.”
                                                 discover that your child is drinking.            • Be very specific about the things you         • If you, your spouse or your family phy-
  • Sudden secrecy and unwillingness to say
    where she’s been or with whom              • Plan your approach with your spouse or             have noticed (e.g. found bottles, blood-        sician have decided upon youth alcohol
                                                 partner. Together, list the talking points         shot eyes, different clothing).                 treatment, state your decision and why.
  • New friends and reluctance to introduce
                                                 and your projected goals.                                                                        • Assure your child that this is not the
    them to you
                                               • Make some agreements with yourself                                                                 only or final conversation around his
  • Alcohol disappearing from your family’s                                                                                                         drinking.
                                                 – stay calm, don’t “lose it.”
    refrigerator or liquor cabinet
                                               • Don’t worry if it’s not perfect–no con-
  • Depression
                                                 versation ever is. You are doing the right
                                                 thing for your child & family.

                                                                                                                                                     DRINKING & DRUGS

                                                        • You have not failed as a parent. Instead of focusing on your feelings of
                                                          inadequacy, list possible solutions.                                                         FaST FaCTS
                                                        • Seek professional advice from your child’s school, a coach, a counselor, a      1. Research shows that a commu-
                                                          local prevention agency or a member of your church.                                nity-wide, coordinated effort–in-
                                                        • Single parent? Your child’s drinking is not your fault. You’re doing the best      cluding family, school, and com-
                                                          you can, and now is the time to really talk with your child about recent           munity–is the best way to really
                                                          or past changes in your family. If possible, enlist the support of your ex-        change local norms and kids’
                                                          spouse.                                                                            drinking rates.
                                                                                                                                          2. Are all their friends doing it? When
                                                                                                                                             asked if most kids drink alcohol,
                                                       LoCaL TreaTMeNT reSourCeS For your TeeN, your FaMILy aND you                          91% of Massachusetts high school
                                                       Teenage drinking or other drug use is often part of or symptoms of other              youth responded that yes, most
                                                       emotional issues. Your family doctor or your child’s pediatrician should be           teens drink. However, at Danvers
                                                       your first resource. He or she may suggest or recommend some family ther-             High School, 54% of teens choose
                                                       apy—or you may decide to ask other parents or your school professional for            not to drink. So ... more than half of
                                                       recommendations.                                                                      local teens are abstaining.
                                                       Find a pediatrician in the greater Danvers area:                                   3. Every year, 5,000 young people
                                                       American Academy of Pediatrics –                                                      (under 21) die as a result of under-
                                              or                                                   age drinking; this includes motor
                                                       Find a family therapist in the greater Danvers area:                                  vehicle crashes, homicides, suicides
                                                       The American Association for Marriage and Family                                      and injuries including falls, burns
                                                       Therapy –                                                    and drowning.

                                                       Family Counseling & guidance Center, Danvers –                                     4. Teens who drink before the age
                                                       978-774-6820 –                                                           of 15 are four times more likely
                                                                                                                                             to become problem adult drinkers
                                                                                                                                             (including alcoholism).

aFTer THe TaLK: geTTINg HeLP                                                                                                              5. Adolescent drinkers are more
                                                reSourCeS:                                                                                   likely to engage in other harmful
 • Reach out for help from other parents
                                                                                                                                             behaviors, including using other
   or within your family. You’re not the
                                                alanon & alateen –                                  drugs, having sex with six or more
   first parent to go through this, and there
                                                The young Teen’s Place for Info on alcohol and              partners and getting lower-than-
   are many local resources to help (see
                                                resisting Peer Pressure –                                                average school grades.
   resource list).                                                                        


 Prescription, Over the Counter and Illegal Drugs
 PreSCrIPTIoN DrugS                              addictive, with serious side effects. Teens often
 Recent media reports suggest prescription       believe the myth that these drugs are safer
 drug-abuse—including the non-medical            than street drugs and non-addictive.
 use of powerful pain medications for cancer     In 2008, the highest rate of prescription drug
 and other serious conditions—is on the rise     abuse is with prescribed pain killers, such as
 among young people on the North Shore and       Oxycodone or Vicodin (17%). Students also
 throughout the U.S.                             self-report abusing prescription stimulants
 In Danvers, 16% of 12th graders self-re-        such as Ritalin (16%), tranquilizers such as
 ported getting high via prescription pain       Xanax or Valium (10%) and over-the-coun-
 relievers, while 10% said they had abused       ter medications such as cough syrup (up to
 over-the-counter medications such as cough      12%).
 or cold syrup. While these percentages may      Prescription and over-the-counter medica-
 seem relatively modest, the usage is three-     tions are especially dangerous when com-
 times higher amongst Danvers 12th grad-         bined with other drugs, including alcohol
 ers than 9th graders. When used illegally,      or your child’s other, legitimately prescribed
 prescription drugs can be highly                medications.


               Drug Type                            How it’s used                              risks & effects                             Sources                              Street Names
  Pain Medications                    Prescribed for severe and ongoing pain.       Highly addictive. Dramatic side-        Friends. ‘Pharm parties.’ stolen from   Oxycontin: Oxy’s, 40s, 40-bar, 80,
  Oxycontin, Oxycodone,               For illegal use, often sold in single pills   effects. Often used with other drugs,   parents’, grandparents’ or relatives’   OCs, O’s. Dors and Fourts (combo
  Hydrocodone (Vicodin), Demerol,     ($64-$80 each). Crushed/snorted,              including alcohol. Poisoning and        medicine cabinets. Purchased from       of Tylenol 4 with Doriden (sleep
  Tylenol with codeine.               chewed, injected.                             overdoses—sometimes fatal. Some         friends or acquaintances. Purchased     medication)
                                      Sometimes used at “Pharm parties,” in         young users ‘graduate’ onto heroin.     online from pharmacies which
                                      which users share their pills—often to                                                require no prescription, or advice on
                                      experiment and find out their combined                                                dosages. Use often learned in online
                                      effect.                                                                               blogs.

  Tranquilizers (depressants)         Prescribed to treat anxiety and sleep         Poisoning, overdose, dangerous                                                  Ludes, M & M’s, Lib (Librium),
  Valium, Xanax, Diazepam, sleeping   disorders. Often included in “pharm           drug combinations, seizures,                                                    Downie, Busters.
  medications like Ambien             parties.”                                     respiratory depression.                                                         Zoloft: Z’s, Zoomer, Z-loft

  Stimulants                          Taken as party drugs, or for increased        High body temperature, irregular                                                Kibbles and bits, pineapple
  Dexedrine, Adderall, Ritalin        energy or as study aides. Taken in pill       heart rate, accelerated breathing,
                                      form (at higher doses) or crushed up          dramatic mood changes, including
                                      and snorted.                                  hostility, paranoia.

                                                                                                                                                                 DRINKING & DRUGS

are THere oVer-THe-CouNTer MeDICaTIoNS I SHouLD KNoW aBouT?

         Drug Type                  How it’s used                   risks & effects                      Sources                   Street Names                    FaST FaCTS
Dextromethorphan (DXM)       Generally swallowed,            Can cause hallucinations,        Very easy to purchase     Dex, Robo, Skittles,
NyQuil                       sometimes in large amounts      confusion, dizziness,            and accessible to teens.  Triple-C, Tussin, AC/DC.
                                                                                                                                                        1. Even among parents who have
Coricidin                    or many times per day.          abdominal pain, and              Dextromethorphan (DXM) Dexing, Robotripping
                                                                                                                                                           ’the drug talk,’ many do not spe-
Robitussin                   Often taken with other          numbness.                        sometimes bought over the
                                                                                                                                                           cifically address the dangers of
                             drugs and alcohol. Abusers                                       Internet in pure powder
                             tend to consume 360                                              form. Often taken from
                                                                                                                                                           prescription or OTC drug abuse.
                             milligrams or more.                                              home medicine cabinets.                                   2. Teens and parents believe that
Sleep aides
Unisom                                                                                                                                                     prescribed drugs are ‘safer’ than
antihistamines               Users often take 4-20 times     Sleepiness, confusion,                                                                        street drugs like marijuana or
Benadryl & other cold        the recommended dosage.         dry-mouth, insomnia,                                                                          ecstasy.
remedies. Sleeping aids      Sometimes taken under           hallucinations, seizures.                                                                  3. 60% of teens who try prescrip-
such as Sominex and          the tongue to increase the      Analgesics contained in cold &                                                                tion drugs experiment before
Sleep-Eze D.                 “high.”                         allergy medicines can be toxic                                                                their 15th birthday.
                                                             to the liver in high doses.
anti-Nausea agents           Taken in larger-than-           Hallucinations, confusion,                                                                 4. Most teens (56%) get prescrip-
Gravol or Dramamine          recommended doses               temporary amnesia. Liver                                                                      tion drugs in their homes or
                                                             kidney damage, depression.                                                                    homes of their relatives. There-
                                                                                                                                                           fore, parents are in a unique posi-
                                                                                                                                                           tion to reduce access.
are THere SIgNS THaT My CHILD IS                     • Constricted pupils, slurred speech,               • Suddenly skipping school, especially on      5. Few teens buy prescription drugs
aBuSINg PreSCrIPTIoN or oVer-THe-                      flushed skin, sweating, loss of appetite.           Monday mornings.                                online. But many users visit
CouNTer DrugS?                                                                                                                                             online blogs and Internet sites for
                                                     • Personality changes, mood swings,                 • Missing pills from your medicine cabinet.
Warning signs for prescription or over-the-            excessive energy, sleepiness or forgetful-                                                          advice on dosages and ways of
counter drug abuse vary with the type and                                                                • Unfamiliar pills or empty cough or cold         getting high. Nearly half of teens
                                                       ness. Seems “out of it”.
the amount of the drug taken. But here are                                                                 medicine packages in your child’s room          who abuse prescription painkillers
some general signs to look for. Any one of           • Suddenly acting secretive. Sudden                   among his personal belongings.                  abuse two or more other drugs--
these changes may or may not indicate drug             change in conversations with friends,                                                               including alcohol or marijuana.
                                                                                                         • Running out of his or her prescribed
use. Trust your gut. If you suspect something,         including code-words.
                                                                                                           medication too quickly, losing pills,
get ready for a frank conversation around                                                                                                               6. From 1995 - 2005, treatment
                                                     • Sudden loss of interest in personal                 requesting refills.
prescription or OTC drug abuse.                                                                                                                            admissions for abuse of prescrip-
                                                                                                         • Visits to pro-drug Internet sites that ad-      tion pain relievers grew more
                                                                                                           vise what to use and how to get high.           than 300%.


 Prescription, Over the Counter and Illegal Drugs (continued)
 WHaT you CaN Do:                                LoCaL reSourCeS:
 Get educated about prescription and OTC         Information:
 drug abuse, and be ready to share this infor-   “Prescription Drug abuse: What Parents Need to Know”: Available from the Essex
 mation with your child.                         County District Attorney’s Office – 978-745-6610 –
 Talk to your child early and often. Remem-      Danvers Public Library: Reserve books or ask a reference librarian for advice and
 ber to specifically discuss prescription and    information at – 978-774-0554 –
 OTC drug abuse and your family‘s rules.
 Parent disapproval is a powerful way to keep    Massachusetts Inhalant abuse Task Force –
 teens from experimenting.                       Local office of Parents Helping Parents, including the confidential Parental Stress Line –
 Monitor your medicine cabinet. Discard          1-800-632-8188, 617-926-5008 –
 old medicines. Track usage and mark the         Northeast Center for Healthy Communities: Includes up-to-date resource library,
 amounts of your own prescribed medications.     including digital and print media – 978-688-2323 –
 Know your child’s friends. Know where she       Beverly Hospital offers a list of public forums and group lectures on wellness topics – 978-236-1650 –
 is and with whom. If necessary, make tele-
 phone calls to confirm her story.               The Family resource Center at North Shore Medical Center provides a resource library, a list of area support groups
                                                 and workshops, including a parents’ daytime support group – 978-354-2660– –
 Set an example by using over-the-counter
 medications only when necessary and for the
 intended conditions.                            LoCaL TreaTMeNT reSourCeS For you aND your TeeN:
                                                 Find a pediatrician in the greater Danvers area: American Academy of Pediatrics – or
                                                 Find a family therapist in the greater Danvers area: The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy –
                                                 Family Counseling & guidance Center, Danvers – 978-774-6820 –
                                                                                                                  CaB Health & recovery Services, Inc. outpatient Services, Salem –
                        reSourCeS:                                                                                1-800-334-5512 –
                       “Prescription for Danger” available from                      Center for Family Development of Health & education Services, Inc. –
                                                    the Office of National Drug Control Policy:                   978-921-1190 –
                                                                                                                  Massachusetts Bureau of Substance abuse Services:
                      “Teen Prescription Drug Abuse: An Emerging Threat”
                                                                                                                  Confidential Helpline and Referrals (for treatment referrals) –
                          available from

                                                                                                                                                                                DRINKING & DRUGS

ILLegaL DrugS aND your TeeNager
These drugs are listed in order of their usage by Danvers High School Teens
                   Drug                                        *Lifetime Usage                                           Risks                                                   Signs
 Marijuana (pot)                             (39% of Danvers students). Lower than state            Affects memory, motivation, and respiratory      Difficulty concentrating. Paraphernalia, including pipes,
 (weed, blunts, reefer, herb, dope,          average.                                               problems. Often regarded as a gateway            bongs, rolling papers, plastic bags, and roach clips. Frequent
 ganja, Mary Jane, chronic                                                                          drug. Use with alcohol can lead to alcohol       use of incense or other device to cover the drug’s scent.
                                                                                                    poisoning.                                       Bloodshot eyes or eye-drops to cover bloodshot eyes.
                                                                                                                                                     “Munchies” or sudden appetite.

 ecstasy                                     (8% of Danvers students) White or colorful             Affects memory. Causes depression, jaw           Use of Vicks inhalers or rubs. Pacifiers or lollipops to
 X, E, Adam, beans, rolls,                   tablets that can be crushed or snorted. Some           clenching, sometimes muscle cramping.            protect from jaw clenching and teeth grinding. Sudden
 lover’s speed, XTC, clarity                 tablets have trendy designs. Mostly used at            Sleeplessness, anxiety, paranoia, dehydration.   insomnia. Sudden appearance of unexplained pills.
                                             house or dance parties, sometimes with vapor
                                             rubs or glow sticks.
 Cocaine                                     (7% of Danvers students) Snorted or lace               Convulsions, breathing problems, paranoia,       Dilated pupils. Talkative; rapid speech. Persistent runny
 Crack, coke, dust, C, snow, flake,          marijuana cigarettes. Speed-balling with heroin.       violence. Highly addictive.                      nose. Paraphernalia, including aluminum foil, plastic bags,
 rock, candy, lady.                          Freebase cocaine is smokeable.                                                                          razor blades, straws, mirrors.

 Inhalants                                   (6% of Danvers students) Found at home, in             Nausea, nosebleeds, fatigue, lack of             Paraphernalia, including paper and plastic bags, balloons,
 Whippets, poppers,                          garages and cleaning closets. Aerosols, glue,          concentration and appetite. Irregular heart      rags, whipped cream canisters. Aggression, slurred
 laughing gas, nitrous oxide, rush           nail polish remover, hair spray, cleaning fluids,      rhythms, sometimes leads to heart failure.       speech, seems lethargic.
                                             gasoline, whipped cream chargers.

 Methamphetamines                            (4% of Danvers High students) reported usage.          Highly addictive. Mood disturbances, violence, Poor appetite. Weight loss. Sleeplessness followed by
 Crank, ice, stove top, chalk, chicken       Mirrors the national average. Injected, snorted,       anxiety, insomnia, paranoia.                   long catch-up sleep. Manic. Jumpy, shaky hands.
 feed                                        smoked.

 Heroin                                      (3% of Danvers High students). Smoked,                 Very quickly addictive, sometimes after one or Constricted pupils, slowed speech, constipation, blurred
 Big H, Black Tar, Brown Sugar, Dope,        injected, mixed in marijuana joint or cigarette,       two uses. Some teenage users of Oxycontin       vision. Persistent runny nose (snorting),
 H, Horse, Junk, Mud, Skag, Smack            inhaled through a straw, snorted.                      and other pain prescriptions ‘upgrade’ to using needle marks, razor blades, burned spoons.
                                                                                                    heroin. High risk of overdose -- often fatal.

 Steroids (anabolic steroids)                (3% of Danvers students). Usually used by              Aggression, mood swings, fatigue, loss           Irritability, acne, body changes over time.
                                             males, though sometimes females. Used to               of appetite. Interrupts natural growth
                                             build muscle, reduce body fat, improve sport           development, can lead to impotence.
                                             performance. Taken as tablets, injected or as a        Withdrawal effects include depression,
                                             cream or gel.                                          sometimes suicide.

*Note: Lifetime usage = the percentage of Danvers students who have ever tried a particular drug.


 Prescription, Over the Counter and Illegal Drugs (continued)
                                               TeeNagerS aND ToBaCCo                                   Help reduce access: Join the state and
               FaST FaCTS                                                                              nationwide drive to restrict tobacco sales to
                                               Nowadays, most of us know the facts and
                                               consequences of smoking cigarettes and                  youth under 18. If you know of a store that
   1. The risk: Cigarettes contain 43          other tobacco products. Here are some ad-               sells cigarettes or other products to youth,
      known cancer-causing chemicals and       ditional facts that may help you talk to your           call the “Sales to Minors” hotline at the
      products. Approximately 1/3 of all       child about smoking.                                    Massachusetts Tobacco Control Program at
      youth smokers will die prematurely                                                               1-800-992-1895.
      from smoking-related illnesses.
                                               WHaT you CaN Do                                         your teen is already smoking? He may be
   2. The reality: In Danvers, the rate of                                                             already addicted. Together, discuss a smok-
                                               If your teen hasn’t started smoking before
      teen smoking is dropping. In the                                                                 ing-cessation program with your doctor. It’s
                                               he graduates, chances are he never will. This
      2008 survey, 19% of respondents                                                                  worth the time and money.
                                               means that now is the time to influence his
      said they are currently smoking
                                               lifelong choices and health.
      cigarettes, which is lower than 2006
      and lower than the Massachusetts         Talk to your teen about smoking cigarettes                                    reSourCeS oN ToBaCCo PreVeNTIoN aND TeeNS
      state average.                           and other tobacco products. Talk early and
                                                                                                                             american Cancer Society – 1-800-ACS-2345 –
                                               often. Make sure he hears the facts from you.
   3. School age is the crucial age: Smokers   Include all tobacco products—including the                                    Center for Disease Control’s office on Smoking and Health –
      who start before age 21 show higher      ‘light’ or slim nicotine cigarettes (often aimed                    
      signs of addiction and have a tougher    at teenage girls) and chewing tobacco.                                        National Cancer Institute – 1-800-4-CANCER –
      time quitting.
                                               offer real-life motivations. If he smokes a                                   Tobacco Free Kids –
   4. Cigarettes are a gateway drug.           pack a day, that’s $2,000 per year. That’s
      Nationwide, 95% of high school                                                                                         An online “quit wizard” to create your individualized quit
                                               eight MP3 players, five cell phones or 2,000                                  smoking plan –
      seniors who smoke tried illicit drugs,   music downloads.
      while only 27% of non-smokers
      tried illicit drugs.                     Build self-esteem, self-confidence and                   LoCaL reSourCeS
                                               resilience. Teens start smoking to gain ac-
   5. adolescents get addicted to tobacco                                                               Beverly Hospital Lifestyle Management Institute, Maple Street, Danvers –
                                               ceptance, to model someone they admire, to
      very quickly—sometimes within days                                                                978-304-8400 –
                                               lose weight or to overcome stress. You can
      of starting.                             offset all of these risks by helping your teen           For kids who want to be part of Massachusetts’ anti-smoking campaign –
   6. The stay-thin myth: Among smok-          to develop friendships, shape a healthy body             american Lung association of Massachusetts, –
      ers who try quitting, 1/3 lose           image and deal with stress in a healthy way.
                                                                                                        “Try to Stop”– Online help for Massachusetts smokers or free helpline – 1-800-879-8678.
      weight; 1/3 maintain their weight,       Set an example: Keep your home smoke free.               For Spanish, call 1-800-8-DÉJALO 1-800-833-5256 –
      and 1/3 gain weight.                     If you smoke, do so away from your children.             “Quit and Quit for good” – Program at North Shore Medical Center – 978-741-4151
                                               Don’t make tobacco products easily acces-                –
                                               sible to them at home. Or best of all, consider
                                               quitting.                                                Free training for retailers, their employees and the general public on how
                                                                                                        to reduce tobacco sales to minors –


Your Teen’s Relationships
                                          “Parents should know that the Police Department              get to know the friends’ parents: It will          3. Stop to think: Kids often make snap
                                          is here to assist them in keeping their children             give you and your child a network of like-            judgements based on impulse. When
                                          safe. The Police Department stays on top of the              minded, fun people whom you can trust to              talking with your child about choices,
                                          trends involving kids. We closely monitor the                supervise your child.                                 emphasize and repeat why he should
                                          activities in town and we’re happy to share that                                                                   stop and think before he acts.
                                          information with parents.”
                                                                                                                                                          4. role play: Long before your teen is
                                                                                                                                                             faced with negative peer pressure,
                                                          Sergeant Robert Bettencourt,                                                                       discuss the situation in advance. Ask
                                                          Community Liaison Officer,                                                                         what he potentially would say. Offer to
                                                          Town of Danvers Police Department                                                                  role-play. Together, list how he can say
                                                                                                                                                             ‘no’ and keep his sense of self.
                                                                                                                                                          5. Set a code words for safety: As a back-
                                                                                                                                                             up plan, select a code-word between
HeLPINg THeM To CHooSe                         Be a good friend: Be a good listener. Give
                                                                                                                                                             you and your teen for those dangerous
FrIeNDS WISeLy                                 him your full attention and really listen to his
                                                                                                                                                             or high-risk situations. When she calls
Research shows that who your child hangs       concerns. Even if you work full-time, make
                                                                                                                                                             you with that word, you know to go
out with can be a strong influence on his      the time to spend with your child. Find some
                                                                                                                                                             and get her.
decision to drink or use drugs—or not.         shared interests. Take an interest in his hob-          FIVe BaSIC STePS To “THaNKS BuT No
                                               bies–even if they’re not yours.                         THaNKS:” reSISTINg Peer PreSSure
You cannot choose your child’s friends for
him, but you can help him to make smart        Discuss what matters most: Ask your child,              Like many other things, resisting negative
choices—including finding friends who do       “What to you think makes a good friend?’                peer pressure is a learned skill. It‘s important
not drink alcohol, use tobacco or other sub-                                                           to prepare and practice before she’s being
                                               Be available: Encourage your child to
stances. Peer influence is not always a bad                                                            put on the spot.
                                               invite a new friend over to the house. Offer
thing. Start the conversation about choosing   to pick the friend up. This will allow you to           1. Build lifelong decision-making skills:
friends in middle school, when peer influ-     meet and get to know new friends, and help                 Encourage your child to make indepen-
ence grows and teens try to balance their      your child to share interests and activities               dent decisions before middle school.
own sense of self with “fitting in.”           with peers.                                                Allow your child the independence to
Self-esteem: Confident children make bet-                                                                 choose her own after-school sports,
                                               Look beyond appearances: Looks can
ter choices. Remember to praise him for                                                                   decorate her room or choose an outfit.
                                               be deceiving. Regardless of hairstyle or
a job well done. If he does not succeed,                                                                  This gives practice in thinking decisions
                                               dress, take the time to get to know your
encourage him to try again. Adolescents                                                                   through.
                                               child’s friends and find out what they like
with a strong sense of their own individual-   to do. Premature criticism can make your                2. Trust his own feelings and instincts: Ex-
ity and talents are less likely to depend on   child defensive or distrustful of your own                 plain to your child that if he feels uneasy
peer approval.                                 judgments.                                                 about doing something-especially just
                                                                                                          because other kids are doing it – STOP!


  Your Teen’s Relationships (continued)
                                                                                                                                                           CyBer-BuLLyINg: WHaT you
                                                     “Perhaps our best antidote to bullying is            BuLLyINg: WHeN THey DoN’T TeLL.
                                                                                                                                                           SHouLD KNoW
                                                     to involve our kids in activities which build        Victimized children often remain silent and
                                                     leadership and self-esteem. This helps               sad. Here are some possible signs to watch       Cyber-bullying is the use of electronic
                                                     them to understand how to communicate                for:                                             information and communication
                                                     with someone who is not on their side. It’s                                                           technologies to repeatedly, willfully
                                                     also important that we teach our children             • Loses belongings often                        and intentionally embarrass, intimidate,
                                                                                                           • Frequent injuries or damage to clothes        humiliate, threaten, or harass others.
                                                     how to handle bullying—not just in the
                                                                                                             or property                                   Unlike school bullying where there may
                                                     schoolyard, but internally, so that they
                                                                                                                                                           be witnesses or specific time limits, cyber-
                                                     never shut down emotionally.”                         • Mainly hangs out with younger-grade           bullying can take place 24 hours-per-
                                                                                                             students                                      day, anonymously, and often with more
                                                                    Anthony Pasquale,
                                                                                                           • Avoids recess before, during and/or           damaging consequences. When teens
                                                                    United Martial Arts Center,
                                                                                                             after school                                  or adults post online threats—even as a
                                                                                                                                                           joke—it is illegal and can result in school
                                                                                                           • Gets to school late or just at the
                                                                                                                                                           disciplinary procedures or even police arrest.
  WHeN FrIeNDSHIP goeS WroNg:                        PreVeNTIoN: WHaT you CaN Do aT HoMe                     starting bell
  BuLLyINg aT SCHooL aND oNLINe                       • Do not allow the use of labels in your             • Seems to be alone most of the time at
  Last year, almost 30% of American youth               home, including ethnic, racial, religious,           school                                                         FaST FaCTS
  were involved in bullying incidences, either          gender or sexual orientation slurs.                • Sleeps a lot or too little
  as a bully or as a victim. In its formal policy     • Explain why specific words are cruel and                                                             1. Approximately 40-70% of bullying
                                                                                                           • Complains of somatic-type illness, such
  (included in the student handbook), the               why they’re not acceptable.                                                                             takes place during school breaks.
                                                                                                             as headaches or stomach aches
  Danvers schools define bullying as “a stu-
  dent being exposed, repeatedly and over             • Be clear about what’s acceptable and                                                                 2. Bullies tend to be confident with
                                                        not acceptable behavior. If she’s a victim        My CHILD SayS He’S BeINg BuLLIeD aT
  time, to intentional injury or discomfort                                                                                                                     high self-esteem.
                                                        of bullying, make sure your child knows           SCHooL. NoW WHaT?
  inflicted by one or more other students.
  This may include physical contact, verbal             how to keep herself safe.                          • First, listen; gauge the seriousness of the     3. Bullies tend to come from families and
  assault, making obscene gestures or facial          • Teach your child that being different is             incident and whether there is a history            homes where parents provide little
  expressions, or being intentionally excluded.         not an excuse for cruelty or taunts.                 of such bullying.                                  emotional support for their children, fail
  Bullying implies an imbalance in power or                                                                                                                     to monitor their activities, or have little
                                                      • Take the time to ask your child about              • Tempted to confront the bully’s parents
  strength in which one child is victimized by                                                                                                                  involvement in their lives.
                                                        his day at school. As well as schoolwork,            or even the bully? Don’t. It seldom pays
  others.”                                                                                                   and commonly makes matters worse.
                                                        ask about lunchtime, or the school bus.                                                              4. Parents’ disciplining styles is a factor.
  Generally, boys are more likely to engage in          Opening the conversation can be as                   When bullying occurs at school, work               Extremely permissive or extremely harsh
  direct bullying such as hitting, kicking, mak-        simple as asking, “I’m worried about                 through your teacher and principal.                parenting can produce young bullies.
  ing insults, offensive or sneering comments           you. Are there any kids at school who              • When help is needed, call on the school.
  or threats. Girls are often involved in indirect      may be picking on you or bullying                    The Danvers schools have a clear policy         5. Bullying rates are higher among
  bullying that usually involves gossip, speak-         you?” OR “Are there any kids at school               on bullying. We can help. The best way             middle school than among high
  ing ill of someone or excluding someone               who leave you out or exclude you on                  to address bullying is through parent-             school students.
  from a group of friends.                              purpose?”                                            educator collaboration.


                                              CyBerBuLLyINg: TeN TIPS For                                                                       BuLLyINg: LoCaL reSourCeS
              FaST FaCTS
                                              PareNTS                                                                                           essex County District attorney’s office
                                              Many teens are particularly sen-                                                                  has hosted conferences on school safety and
1. Kids can intimidate, harass, threaten
                                              sitive about their online privacy,                                                                cyber-bullying. Contact for future events or
   or stalk someone via e-mail, Web
   sites, blogs, text messages, cell          but parents have a moral and                                                                      information – 978-745-6610 – www.mass.
   phone calls, IMs (instant messages),       legal obligation to make sure                                                                     gov/essexda
   chat rooms, discussion boards or           their children are staying safe                                                                   Danvers Police Department –
   social networking sites.                   and responsible.                                                                                  978-774-1213 –
2. Almost half of all U.S. teens report       1. Keep the computer in a                                                                         The anti-Defamation League, New England
   some form of online bullying or               public place in the house.                                                                     –
                                              2. Tell your child that you will                                                                  Danvers Schools Website (parents page)
3. Most incidents occur while logged on          periodically investigate com-                                                                  provides a list of useful resources on cyber
   at home.                                      puter files, buddy lists and                                                                   safety –
4. Cyber-bullying can sometimes be in re-        online activities. Vehement resistance to your review is a clue that she is posting items
   action to or as a follow-up to in-person      that are unsuitable, dangerous or unkind.
   incidences at school.
                                              3. Get to know your child’s user names and her online communities and public postings.
5. Many youth perceive damaging online
   communications as “just a game”.           4. Teach your child to distinguish between information that is safe for sharing (non-inti-
                                                 mate info about interests or activities) and personal information that is unsuitable and
6. Many teens take higher risks and re-          dangerous to share with online acquaintances or strangers.
   veal more personal information online
   than at school or in-person.               5. Watch for sudden secrecy, sudden switches of computer screens, or empty history files
7. Teens tend to be more secretive about         on the computer.
   what’s happening to them online.           6. Filtering software often provides a false sense of security. Kids can still harass, bully or
                                                 make threats—plus access undesirable material.                                                           oTHer reSourCeS:
8. Bullying can be relationship-oriented
   (dating break-ups or romantic rival-                                                                                                          
                                              7. Find a balance between trusting your teen and monitoring his online activities.
   ries) or hate/bias related.                                                                                                                   
9. The effects of cyber-bullying are of-      8. Be clear about the consequences of inappropriate or unsafe online behavior—including            
   ten more extensive and longer lasting         the possibility of installing monitoring software.                                              
   than in-person incidences.                 9. Tell your child that you trust her, but if a dangerous or upsetting situation arises online,    
10.Teens sometimes impersonate some-             you are here to help.                                                                           
   one else or solicit personal informa-                                                                                                         
                                              10. If your child is a victim of cyber-bullying or threats, save all e-mail, text messages, and    
   tion from each other to use as fodder
   for “outing” the target of their bully-        records of chat or IM sessions. Next, engage a professional to help. Resources include
   ing behaviors.                                 the school, your Internet service provider, the police or an attorney.


  Your Teen’s Relationships (continued)
  TeeNS aND DaTINg                              TaLKINg WITH KIDS aBouT reLaTIoNSHIPS,                spend more and more time online, they are        State your values: As with other teenage
  You may be uncomfortable thinking about       SeXuaLITy aND SeX                                     a mouse-click away from inappropriate,           issues, clearly state your family’s values,
  your child as a sexual being. Yet, you are    Teaching children about relationships, hu-            violent and pornographic Web sites.              beliefs and what you will and will not accept.
  your child’s first and most reliable source   man development and sex is a process,                 get some support: Very uncomfortable talk-       Also, your body language and facial expres-
  of information and advice. Sexuality is a     which should start as early as possible and in        ing about sex and sexuality? Or you dread        sions will convey almost as much as what
  basic part of our physical, mental, emo-      an age-appropriate way.                               having “the talk” with a step-child or a child   you say.
  tional, and spiritual lives.                                                                        of the opposite gender? Enlist someone you       Learn and listen: Take the time to learn
                                                goals: The purpose of talking with your
                                                child is usually to answer questions, elimi-          can trust and whom your child trusts and         some of the sexual myths that prevail among
                                                nate fears, share your values, and build the          can talk to. Also, there are many parent         today’s teens, e.g. ‘you can’t get pregnant
                                                child’s self-confidence and self-competence.          resources (see below) and books to help you      the first time you do it.’ Be ready to answer
                                                                                                      and give you the opening lines to broach this    their questions and listen to their concerns.
                                                It’s up to you: If a child doesn’t learn about        subject.                                         Don’t know? Be honest, and offer to re-
                                                sexuality issues from a parent, the child                                                              search information together.
                                                will learn about sexuality elsewhere-from             Information keeps them smart and safe:
                                                friends, magazines, television, the Internet          Informed teens have lower rates of sexually      Build self-esteem: Encourage them to know
                                                and other sources. This information can be            transmitted diseases (STDs) or infections        and trust their own gut feelings or instincts—
                                                incorrect, confusing, and may not agree with          (including AIDS), pregnancy, sexual exploita-    and to know how to resist pressure.
                                                your own values or beliefs. Also, as teens            tion, and abuse.

                                                WHeN THey’Ve BeeN DuMPeD: 6 WayS To HeLP your CHILD THrougH a PaINFuL BreaK-uP
                                                1. Give them space, but let them know you’re there. Also, know that this is a time when they
                                                   –especially girls—may need to talk with friends—either in person, on the phone, or online.
                                                2. Remind her it’s not “something she did.” Now is a good time to remind your child about
                                                   their talents, worth and individuality.
                                                3. Healthy living: A broken heart can be very stressful. Ensure that your child gets lots of sleep,
                                                   eats healthy foods, maintains regular routines—including school!—and gets lots of exercise.
                                                4. Don’t be afraid to let her cry – either alone or on your shoulder.
                                                5. Remind her of the things she used to enjoy. Doing something fun can take her mind off the
                                                   heartache for a while. Now might be a good time to suggest a new hobby or redecorating
                                                   her room.
                                                6. How long is too long? Each child will react differently to a break-up. However, if she is in-
                                                   tensely sad or the heartbreak lasts too long or looks more like depression, consider talking to
                                                   your doctor who can recommend a family therapist or a therapist who specializes in teen issues.
                                                   Also, now is a time to watch for other at-risk behaviors, including drug or alcohol use.


                                                                    reSourCeS For you aND your KIDS
         FaST FaCTS                                                 american Pediatric association –
                                                                    Planned Parenthood Federation of america
1. Fewer teens are having sex today
                                                                    – extensive, teen-focused info on human de-
   than 10 or 15 years ago. Among
                                                                    velopment –
   Danvers high-schoolers (9th-12th
   grade), fewer than half (42%) of                                 Teen growth –
   the students reported having had
   sexual intercourse in their lifetime.
   Nationwide, the number of teens                                  american Social Health association –
   having sex has decreased.                              
2. Too much parental or school in-                        
   formation does not lead to early                       
   sexual activity. Instead, research
   shows that informed teens often                                  Child Trends – a national resource
   delay their first sexual encounter.                              center that studies children at every age
                                                                    of development –
3. 6% of Danvers high-schoolers had
   sex before their 13th birthday.                                  Kids Health –

4. Nationwide, 60% of currently
   sexually active teens wish they had
   waited longer.

5. Girls are as or more sexually active
   than boys.

6. There is a real link between alcohol,        LoCaL reSourCeS:
   drugs and sexual activity.
                                                Health Quarters – 800-892-0234 –
7. Most teens (63%) in Danvers                  girls, Inc., Lynn – includes an online page, “Tips for Talking
   used a condom during their last              with Girls,” –
   sexual encounter.
                                                Danvers Public Library – Book titles to help you
                                                get informed and get the conversation going –


  Your Teen’s Relationships (continued)
                                            WHeN DaTINg IS uNSaFe: DaTINg
              FaST FaCTS                    VIoLeNCe
                                                                                                  • Your child has lost interest in other
                                            Dating violence can take many forms, includ-            friends, school or once-loved activities.
   1. 62% percent of 11- to 14-year-        ing mental/emotional, physical and sexual
      olds know friends who have been       abuse.                                                • Sudden change in appearance, way of
      verbally abused by a boyfriend or                                                             dressing, obsession with weight-control.
      girlfriend.                           Violence in teenage dating relationships is
                                            real. Nationwide, over 33% of teens say               • Sudden mood or personality changes.
   2. In Danvers, 12% of girls and 5%       they know someone who has been physi-                   Seems anxious or depressed; sudden
      of boys experienced violence in       cally or sexually abused by her romantic                crying or hysteria.
      a dating relationship. 8% of girls    partner—usually a girl by her boyfriend. One
      and 3% of boys experienced                                                                  • Suddenly drinking or using drugs.
                                            in five girls has been abused by her roman-
      sexual violence.                      tic partner. Dating violence (or relationship
   3. Dating violence occurs in gay         abuse) is a pattern of over-controlling be-
      as well as heterosexual dating        havior that someone uses against a girlfriend        TeeN DaTINg VIoLeNCe: TeN TIPS For PareNTS
      relationships.                        or boyfriend.                                        1. First, know that she will be reluctant and unlikely to start the conversation. But watch for
                                                                                                    signs that she wants to talk to you, such as volunteering to accompany you on a car trip,
   4. Teenagers are particularly secre-     Dating violence occurs across socio-econom-
                                                                                                    or a sudden fake-illness (without symptoms) or hanging around where you’re working.
      tive about partner abuse. They        ic, ethnic, racial and religious groups.
      are ashamed, fear losing the                                                               2. If your teen wants to talk, drop everything. Make the time.
      relationship, or fear that parents
                                            are THere WarNINg SIgNS?                             3. Invite her to talk away from the house, in a comfy location, where you are unlikely to be
      will forbid them to go on dating
                                             • Bruises, scratches, or injuries –                    interrupted, and where she will feel she can trust your confidentiality.
      their partner. Very few abused
      teens say that they would or have        often with lame excuses or                        3. Listen, listen, listen – without judgment.
      talked to police. Nationwide,            implausible reasons.
                                                                                                 4. As difficult as this might be, don’t forbid her to see her boyfriend. You will lose her trust
      66% of teens remain silent about       • Your child’s boyfriend constantly
      the abuse.                                                                                    and make her secretive.
                                               text-messages, calls her, checks
   5. Drugs and alcohol are often a            where she is and with whom.                       5. Assure her of your support. Ask, “What can we do to help?”
      factor.                                                                                    6. Let her maintain control—but with your support and needed help.
                                             • He seems extremely jealous and
   6. Violent relationships in ado-            possessive, especially when she’s with            7. Suggest resources, including a therapist experienced in teenage issues or teenage
      lescence can have very serious           other males.                                         violence. Also discuss whether she wants to report the crime to the police.
      consequences, including contin-
                                             • You have overheard him be verbally                8. Look honestly at your own household relationships—particularly if your son is the
      ued abuse in adult relationships,
                                               insulting or demeaning.                              abuser in his relationship. Have you offered a healthy relationship model?
      substance abuse, eating disorders,
      risky sexual behavior, and suicide.    • Your child justifies or jokes about the           9. If you know or suspect that your son is an abuser, talk with him immediately. Be clear
                                               abusive behavior.                                    about the fact that his behavior must change.
                                                                                                 10. Tell your child – whatever the situation is—that you love him or her.


reSourCeS For SaFe DaTINg:                                                               your gay, BI-SeXuaL or TraNS-geNDer TeeN
HoTLINeS                                                                                 Studies show that being gay—whether real or perceived by peers—often puts adolescents at
National Domestic Violence Hotline –                                                     risk for homophobic bullying. The increased risks are not because they are gay, but because
1-800-799-SAFE                                                                           gay and lesbian people are more likely to be misunderstood, socially isolated, or mistreated
                                                                                         because of their sexual orientation.
North Shore rape Crisis Center –
1-800-922-8772 (HOTLINE)
Spanish: Llámanos – 1-800-233-5001                                                       My CHILD IS gay: FIVe THINgS you CaN Do For your CHILD aND yourSeLF
Safe Link Domestic Violence Hotline –                                                    1. Get educated about sexual-orientation and gender issues. It’s important to learn the
1-877-785-2020                                                                              facts—not the myths—about different sexual orientations.
                                                                                         2. Listen to your child. If she has come out (“Mom, I’m gay.”) to you, this took a lot of                                                                           courage and trust. Build on that trust.                                                                        3. Be extra vigilant about her safety, self-image and wellness.
Liz Claiborne, Inc. –                                             4. Reach out to other parents of GLBT teens. You are not alone, and other parents are
National association of Students against                                                    struggling with many of the same issues.
Violence everywhere (SaVe) –                                                             5. Help them to find accurate information about safe and violence-free dating.
National Coalition against Domestic                                                      reSourCeS For gay, LeSBIaN aND TraNSeXuaL youTH
Violence –                                                                 Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and gays (PFLag) –,
                                                                                         gay, Lesbian & Straight education Network (gLSeN) – (212) 727-0135 –
LoCaL reSourCeS
                                                                                         The National youth advocacy Coalition (NyaC) – (800) 541-6922 –
H.a.W.C.’s (Help for abused Women and
their Children) Youth Outreach Program                                                   Sexual Minority youth assistance League (SMyaL) – (202) 546-5940 –
offers a school-based youth violence                                                     National gay and Lesbian Task Force – (617) 492-6393 –
prevention program—available to middle
                                                                                         CoLage (Children of Lesbians and gays everywhere) – (415) 861-5437 –
and high schools. The program also offers
short-term counseling to teenage girls who have been victims of dating violence –
(978) 744-8552 – The H.A.W.C. 24-hour hotline –                 LoCaL reSourCeS
1-800-547-1649.                                                                          North Shore alliance of gay and Lesbian youth (NagLy) – 781-913-3747 –
Massachusetts Coalition against Sexual Violence and Domestic Violence –                  PFLag Boston – The “Safe Schools and Communities” Project provides free training for
617-248-0922 –                                                           schools, PTO, youth, community and church groups – 617-547-2440 –
Bureau of Family and Community Health, Mass. Department of Public Health –
(617) 624-5463


 Health & Wellness
                                                                                                        reSourCeS For FINDINg a PHySICIaN
                                      “research shows that 70 percent of chronic disease
                                                                                                           Northeast Health System – www.nhs-healthlink
                                      is preventable through healthy lifestyle habits. at
                                      the Beverly Hospital Lifestyle Management Institute,                 Partners HealthCare –
                                      located at Beverly Hospital at Danvers, we offer a                   Lahey Clinic –
                                      comprehensive, family-centered weight management
                                      program for students and their families.”                            The Society for adolescent Medicine’s Provider List –
                                                         Dyan DalPozzo, Manager,
                                                         Health Management Services,                       North Shore Pediatrics, Danvers –
                                                         Lifestyle Management Institute,                   (978) 406-4234 –
                                                         Beverly Hospital at Danvers
                                                                                                        STreSS, PHySICaL aCTIVITy aND                    Let them choose: It doesn’t really matter
                                                                                                        SaFe CHoICeS                                     what they choose to do, but just how regu-
                                                                                                                                                         larly they do it. Give them a sense of control
                                                                                                        A 2008 study by the Partnership for a Drug-      in choosing an activity or sport.
 THe DoCTor’S IN!                                                                                       Free America reported the number one rea-
                                                                                                        son teens use drugs is to deal with pressures    Support your teen’s choices: If needed, pro-
 Building an open relationship with a general      3. If you have specific concerns about your          and stress of school. In previous years, teens   vide equipment, transportation and compan-
 practitioner or pediatrician is a key step in        child’s check-up or health, you should            had reported using drugs to “feel cool.”         ionship. Peers can play an influential role in
 your teen’s health. A trusted doctor provides        call your child’s physician either before                                                          teens’ lives, so create opportunities for them
 a reliable source of information and guid-           or after the visit. Also, if a physician          In addition to developing good-nutrition         to be active with their friends.
 ance.                                                believes that your child may be at risk,          and physical activity for improved physi-
                                                                                                        cal-health, helping your child to find a sport   Schedule: Teens are busy. Offer or suggest
 WHaT you SHouLD KNoW
                                                      he or she will always involve parents
                                                                                                        or other aerobic activity is a key antidote to   as many choices as possible, including gym
 1. At a minimum, your teenager should have                                                             offsetting stress and, ultimately, preventing    memberships, a home exercise DVD or team
    an annual physical. For that visit, make       4. Ask if your doctor has a referral network         substance use. An hour’s physical activity       sports. If it’s easier to fit into their day, they
    sure your doctor schedules enough time            of other practitioners with expertise such        a day also improves self-esteem, academic        are more likely to stick to a routine.
    for all the important questions.                  as gynecology, substance abuse, mental            performance and emotional outlook. It also       overweight teen? Teens who are
                                                      health or sports medicine.                        gives your child the chance to find like-
 2. If they are guaranteed confidentiality,                                                                                                              overweight or very sedentary may need to
    teens are far more likely to discuss cru-      5. Research and know the vaccines your               minded friends.                                  start slowly. Talk with your doctor to devise a
    cial issues, including sexual activity, peer      child should be getting between age 11            geT your TeeN MoVINg!                            suitable fitness plan.
    pressure, drugs and alcohol, contracep-           and 19. Ask your pediatrician.
                                                                                                        Media vs. Motion: Many teens spend more          Physical disabilities or other problems?
    tion and sexually transmitted diseases.        6. Friends, other parents, neighbors or              than 6 hours a day on various media, includ-     A teen with a chronic health condition or
    Tell your doctor (in front of your child)         family members are often the best way             ing watching TV, listening to music, surfing     disability should not be excluded from fit-
    that you’re willing to leave the room             of finding a good physician. Most im-             online, and playing video games. Work with       ness activities. Some activities may need to
    while he or she asks your child about             portant is that your teen likes and trusts        your teen to find time and                       be modified or adapted, and some may be
    these aspects of her life and youth               this physician.                                   motivation for exercise.                         too risky. Consult your doctor about which
    development.                                                                                                                                         activities are safe.

                                                                                                                                                                     HEALTH & WELLNESS

                                                                                                            • Turn off the TV at dinner time.              • Make losing weight and improving
                                                     “our students make life-long friends,                                                                   nutrition a shared responsibility—your
                                                                                                            • Sugary drinks are one of the main culprits
                                                                                                                                                             child’s and yours.
                                                     become physically fit, and enjoy the                     behind the childhood obesity epidemic.
                                                     positive experience of being part of a team.             Lemonades, sweetened iced teas, sports       • Talk about weight-loss in terms of over-
                                                     Participation in school sports also builds               drinks, and coffee drinks are loaded with      all health, not losing weight.
                                                     discipline, commitment and helps our                     sweeteners and offer little nutritional
                                                     adolescents to learn who they are.”                      value. Healthier alternatives include wa-
                                                                                                              ter, fat-free milk, 1% milk or 100% fruit
                                                                           John Sullivan, Director,           juice (1 serving per day).
Fit families: Be a positive role model by ex-                              Danvers High School
ercising regularly, too. Find fitness activities                           Athletic Department             TreaTINg oBeSITy
you can enjoy together, including bike rides,                                                               • Don’t withhold food from your child
hitting a tennis ball around, going to a local                                                                or make it a household struggle. Begin
swimming pool, or even playing games like            5-2-1-aLMoST NoNe reCoMMeNDaTIoNS:                       by educating him about nutrition and
touch football. As well as the fitness payoff,                                                                provide lots of healthy snacks.
this is a great opportunity to build parent-          • Eat 5 or more servings of fruits and
                                                        vegetables daily                                    • Make an appointment with your doc-
child trust and conversations.
                                                                                                              tor to assess your child’s weight and
Team sports or not? While team sports build           • Limit screen (T.V.) time to 2 hours (or
                                                                                                              develop a plan.
valuable skills and fitness, not every kid imme-        less) a day
                                                                                                            • Start with small, achievable steps, such
diately enjoys being on a sports team. Some           • Get 1 or more hours of physical activity
                                                                                                              as reducing soda to a specific daily
may feel intimidated by the team environ-               every day
                                                                                                              quantity. Success is a great motivator.
ment. Other kids may feel self-conscious or
                                                      • Drink almost no sugary beverages
do not have the aerobic stamina. There are
plenty of small-group or individual activities for                                                            reSourCeS:
                                                     Here are SoMe FurTHer TIPS For gooD
your child to enjoy, including swimming, yoga,
                                                     TeeN NuTrITIoN aND FITNeSS:                              Town of Danvers recreation Program – Includes sports, fitness and
gymnastics or martial arts.
                                                      • Breakfast really matters!                             after-school programs – 978-777-0001 –
“THe 5-2-1-aLMoST NoNe” FaMILy                        • Have fruits and vegetables in kids’ view              Danvers yMCa – Swimming, gymnastics, weight-room, exercise programs –
FITNeSS ForMuLa                                         on the counter or in the fridge; pre-cut              978-774-2055 –
Nemours Health and Prevention Services                  them to make it easier to grab and go.
(NHPS), a nonprofit organization has                    Offer fruit or vegetables at every meal.              The FuNdamental Family Fitness Program – Lifestyle Management Institute, Beverly
developed a simple and usable formula                                                                         Hospital, Danvers – 978-774-4400 –
                                                      • Instead of screen time, offer healthier
for parents and kids to maintain a healthy              alternatives such as walking, gardening,              North Shore Counseling Center – Beverly and Topsfield (Treats obesity via
lifestyle. The guidelines in the 5-2-1-Almost           or turning on some dance music. Give                  clinical hypnosis and other therapies and integrated treatment programs) –
None formula have helped people to prevent              your kids a screen time allowance. Help               978-922-2280 –
obesity, maintain a healthy weight, and                 them choose and budget that time.
improve their overall well-being.

                                                                                                                             eaTINg DISorDerS

 Health & Wellness (continued)
 eaTINg DISorDerS                                                                                       • Depression, lethargy (lacking in               geTTINg HeLP
                                                                                                          energy); often feels cold.                     get help early: The earlier you intervene, the
                FaST FaCTS
                                                                                                        • Wears very baggy clothes or multiple           more successful the treatment. But you must
   1. An eating disorder is a serious medi-                                                               layers to stay warm or hide weight loss.       address your concerns early.
      cal condition which causes dramatic                                                                                                                Find good medical help: Eating disorders
      weight fluctuation, interferes with                                                               • Becomes moody, irritable, has trouble
                                                                                                          concentrating.                                 require professional medical help. You cannot
      normal daily life, and damages vital                                                                                                               diagnose or ‘cure’ your child, but you must
      body functions. It requires medical and                                                           • Participates in online, pro-anorexia           broach the subject and get her to agree to see
      therapeutic treatment.                                                                              (“Pro-ana”) websites that support              a doctor for an individual care-plan. Gener-
                                                                                                          anorexia as a lifestyle choice, not a          ally, eating disorders are addressed through
   2. The most common teenage eating
                                                                                                          disorder. Pro-ana sites provide anorexic       psychotherapy, clinical care, nutrition counsel-
      disorders are bulimia (binge eat-
                                                                                                          children with an online community &            ing and family support.
      ing and throwing up) and anorexia
                                                                                                          weight-loss tips.
      nervosa (eating too little and a very                                                                                                              approach the topic in a loving, non-threat-
      distorted self-image and sense of their                                                          BuLIMIa (BINge eaTINg aND PurgINg)                ening way: People with eating disorders are
      own weight).                                                                                      • Very unhappy with body size, shape,            often highly defensive and deny the prob-
   3. 70% of Danvers high-school students       WHaT are THe SIgNS?                                       and weight                                     lem—even to themselves. They often grow
      report having tried to lose weight.       aNoreXIa (uNDer eaTINg aND                                                                               angry when you intervene. Choose a relaxed
                                                                                                        • Goes to the bathroom immediately after
                                                                                                                                                         time with no interruptions.
                                                oBSeSSIVe eXerCISe)                                       meals
   4. Girls are more likely to develop eating
                                                 • Dramatic weight loss (weighs 85% or                                                                   In the beginning, “I” talk is best: Avoid
      disorders than boys. But boys—espe-                                                               • Calluses across the hand-joints from
                                                   less of normal weight for height)                                                                     accusations and express your concerns in
      cially those involved in weight-con-                                                                self-induced vomiting
                                                                                                                                                         terms of what you specifically observe (rapid
      scious sports—are also at risk.            • Weighs herself repeatedly; Checks her                • Swollen salivary glands from self-in-          weight loss, obsessive calorie-counting) and
   5. Most kids with eating disorders be-          image in the mirror often                              duced vomiting                                 how that makes you feel concerned.
      gan their disordered eating between        • Counts or portions food carefully                    • Eats only diet or low-fat foods (except        Still no cooperation? If your child totally
      11 and 13.                                                                                          during binges)                                 resists your help, consult a doctor or mental
                                                 • Skips meals or has an excuse (not feeling
   6. Low self-esteem, other anxiety               well, ate with a friend) for not eating              • Often buys laxatives, diuretics, or en-        health professional to get further input on
      disorders and big family changes or                                                                 emas                                           how to get your child treatment.
                                                 • Only eats certain foods, usually with
      transitions are risk factors. Often,         low-caloric counts, e.g., lettuce, toma-
      eating disorders are a teen’s need to                                                             • Spends most of his time working out or
                                                   toes, sprouts.                                         trying to work off calories
      gain control over an otherwise out-
      of-control life or family situation.       • Exercises too much and compulsively                  • Withdraws from social activities, especially
                                                 • Feels fat and constantly complains, “I’m               meals and celebrations involving food
   7. Teens with eating disorders often have
      other risk factors, including prescrip-      so fat.”                                             • Participation in online, pro-bulimia
      tion drug abuse, drinking, cutting or      • Withdraws from social activities, especially           (“pro-mia”) Web groups, where bulimic
      other self-harming behaviors.                meals and celebrations involving food.                 children find an online community &
                                                                                                          purging tips.

                                                                                                                                                 HEALTH & WELLNESS

                                                                                      CHILDreN WITH DISaBILITIeS                     Be your teen’s best advocate—with teach-
                                                                                      Tips for Parents                               ers, youth group leaders and caregivers.
                                                                                      Teens with disabilities are still teens—go-    Ensure your teen is being treated fairly.
                                                                                      ing through typical physical, emotional and    Give her the tools to advocate for herself
                                                                                      sexual development changes.                    and how she gets treated.
                                                                                      Talk with your teen and ask how much help      Watch for signs that your teen is “trying too
                                                                                      or support he expects from you.                hard” with friends, to fit in with peers or
                                                                                      Build on his strengths and talents. Help him   signs of depression or substance abuse.
                                                                                      excel. Help with self-esteem, self-image and   Ensure that your other children (without
                                                                                      the possibility of teasing.                    disabilities) feel included and enjoy some
                                                                                                                                     one-on-one time with you.

                                                                                       Disability Law Center, Inc. – 617-732-8455 –
                                                                                       Institute for Community Inclusion, u-Mass – 617-287-4300 –
                                                                                       New england aDa Center – 800-949-4232 –
american academy of Child and                 National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities – 800-695-0285 –
adolescent Psychiatry –                                                      

LoCaL reSourCeS:

The eating Disorders Program at the Center for Family Development –
978-921-1190 –
North Shore Counseling Center, Beverly and Topsfield – 978-922-2280 –
Cambridge eating Disorder Center – 781-547-2255 –
Family resource Center at North Shore Medical Center, resource library –
978-354-2660 –
North Shore Children’s Hospital – – 978-354-2710


  Teenage Blues (and More)
                                                                                                          • Finds it hard to concentrate                   Get some support for yourself. Join a family
                                        “The School Counseling Department is a resource for                                                                network organization or talk to other parents
                                                                                                          • Suddenly eats a lot, or very little
                                                                                                                                                           who are dealing with this (see resources).
                                        students to gain support in either individual or small
                                                                                                          • Sleeps too much or has trouble sleeping        NAMI will also help you with referrals.
                                        group counseling to learn coping strategies related
                                        to transition issues, ongoing feelings of anxiety and             • Sometimes talks about suicide or other         Watch for depression-related risk factors,
                                        depression, eating disorders, and any kind of loss or               self-destructive behaviors                     such as drug use, drinking or promiscuity.
                                        trauma.”                                                                                                           Although this may be a frightening and busy
                                                                                                         WHaT you CaN Do
                                                                    Stephanie Beilin,                                                                      time in your life, keep the communication
                                                                                                         Keep a notebook of what you have been             channels open between you, your teen, her
                                                                    Danvers School Counselor
                                                                                                         noticing—the times, triggers and duration of      teachers and the school guidance office.
                                                                                                         when she seems sad or irritable.
                                                                                                         Get accurate and updated information on
                                                                                                         depression. Sources include your local library,                  FaST FaCTS
                                                                                                         Web sites and local mental-health centers
  TeeNage BLueS (aND More)                            SIgNS To WaTCH For:                                (see “Resources”).                                    1. Depression is a listed mental
  It’s not uncommon for teens to sometimes             • Sudden loss of interest in previously           Ask your doctor for a referral to a qualified            disorder, usually marked by
  feel overwhelmed, isolated (“everyone’s                favorite activities or hobbies                  mental health professional who has experi-               changed moods, behaviors and
  against me”) or confused. Also, there are                                                              ence in diagnosing and treating teenage                  reduced pleasure in life.
                                                       • Often says she’s bored; has little
  certain times of year (back to school blues)                                                           depression. Treatment often includes both             2. Adolescent depression is fully
  or incidences with friends, school or family                                                           individual and family therapy.                           treatable.
  which can leave your child feeling “down in          • Isolates herself a lot; doesn’t
                                                                                                         Be prepared and make the time to be part
  the dumps.”                                            communicate                                                                                           3. Teenagers often lack the
                                                                                                         of your child’s treatment plan, which may
                                                                                                                                                                  communication skills to say how
  Helping her to stay active, connected and            • Suddenly neglects personal appearance           include counseling, ongoing evaluation and,              they feel. So watch for the signs.
  aware of her own talents and attributes                or hygiene                                      in some cases, medication.
  can help during these periods of temporary           • Low self-esteem and guilt                                                                             4. Depression is sometimes—but
                                                                                                         Encourage your teen to get daily exercise
  sadness.                                                                                                                                                        not always–triggered by a
                                                       • Sudden and increased bursts of anger or         and, when possible, to stay in touch with
                                                                                                                                                                  stressful event or disappointment.
  WHeN IS IT TeeNage DePreSSIoN?                         hostility                                       friends and activities.
                                                                                                                                                               5. As a parent, it’s not your fault.
  Every child is different. But if your teen’s sad-    • Boys: aggression with parents, teachers,        Don’t go it alone. In Danvers, there are
  ness interferes with his daily functioning or          friends. girls: Increase promiscuity or         many resources available to help you and              6. Intervene early for best results.
  the ability to do normal things, then it’s time        substance use                                   your teen. Also, the local chapter of the
                                                                                                         National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)            7. Don’t go it alone. Find someone
  to seek professional help. The good news is
                                                       • Often complains of physical illnesses           provides a “Parent-to-Parent” training                   to talk to or a local support
  that depression is a very treatable illness. The
                                                         such as headaches and stomach aches             program—plus many other supports (see                    group.
  sooner you intervene, the better for your
  child and family.                                    • Starts missing school or grades start           resources).
                                                         to drop

                                                                                                                                                                       TEENAGE BLUES

SuICIDe PreVeNTIoN                             SIgNS
                                               Mental health conditions (including depres-
               FaST FaCTS                      sion, bipolar disorder, anxiety and schizo-           reSourCeS:
                                               phrenia and disruptive behavior disorders)            National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 800-273-TALK
 1. In the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 12%
                                               and alcohol and drug use accompany sui-
    of Danvers high-school teens reported                                                            american academy of Child & adolescent Psychiatry –
                                               cidal behavior. Therefore, many of the warn-
    attempting suicide in the 12 months                                                    
                                               ing signs are similar to those for depression.
    before the survey. This rate is signifi-
                                               However, there are specific signs to watch            National Mental Health Information Center –
    cantly higher than the Massachusetts                                                   
                                               for and act upon for teenagers planning or
    state rate (8%).
                                               contemplating suicide:                                National alliance on Mental Illness (NaMI) – –
 2. Nationwide, suicide is the third-leading                                                         NaMI Info helpline – 1-800-950-NAMI
    cause of death among young people           • Extreme personality changes
    (15 – 24 years old).                        • Extreme anxiety or panic                           american association of Suicidology – 202-237-2280 –
 3. In the past 10 years, teen suicide rates    • Drug or alcohol use or abuse                       american Foundation for Suicide Prevention – 888-333-AFSP (2377) –
    have been declining—possibly due to                                                              SaVe (Suicide awareness Voices of education) – 952-946-7998 –
                                                • Aggressive, destructive, or defiant
    recognition, awareness and treatment.
                                                  behavior                                           SPaN-uSa (Suicide Prevention advocacy Network) – 202-449-3600 –
 4. Depression or other mental illnesses
    are fully treatable. Yet, only 15% of       • Hallucinations or unusual beliefs
    suicide victims were in treatment at        • Putting one’s affairs in order, such as
    the time of death.                            giving or throwing away favorite be-
 5. Adolescents are particularly vulner-          longings
    able to self-destructive emotions,          • Visiting online groups or chat-rooms               LoCaL reSourCeS:
    and temporary situations often seem           with information on suicide methods
    permanent or unfixable.                                                                          Children’s Friend, Salem – 978-744-7905 – Includes child
                                                • A previous unsuccessful suicide attempt.
 6. The majority of suicidal teens have a                                                            and family counseling services. Also offers the “Parent to Parent” program to support
                                                  Approximately one-third of teens who
    mental or substance-abuse disorder,                                                              parents of children who are receiving mental health services
                                                  die by suicide have tried it before
    making it extra difficult to deal with                                                           Family Counseling and guidance Center, Catholic Charities – Danvers,
    stressors.                                  • Common triggers: Major disappoint-
                                                  ments or failures; breaking up with a              Outpatient counseling for teens and their families. Open to all individuals. –
 7. 80% of those who commit suicide               girlfriend or boyfriend; witnessing family         978-774-6820 –
    have given warnings or mentioned              turmoil. These are triggers, not causes.           North Shore Counseling Center, Beverly – 978-922-2280
    their feelings to a friend or family
    member. So any talk or signs of suicide    One of these signs does not necessarily               Children’s Hospital, Boston – 617-355-6000 –
    need to be taken seriously and need        mean your child is suicidal, but trust your
                                               gut. If the behavior is new or out-of-char-           Counseling Department, Danvers High School – 978-777-8925
    immediate action.
                                               acter, ask and intervene—even if it means             Mass. Suicide Prevention Coalition –
 8. Trust your gut. If you suspect some-       breaking a confidence.
    thing, get help.


 Special Occasions. Extra-Special Precautions
                                                   Transportation: If you are using a limousine,          SCHooL-SPoNSoreD eVeNTS (SPorTS,
                                                   hire a reputable company and ask about its             DaNCeS, oTHer SCHooL FuNCTIoNS):
                                                   policy on alcohol in the vehicle. Also, tell           The Danvers Public School System has a
                                                   your child never to get in a car with a friend         clear policy on substance use during on-
                                                   who has been drinking. And finally, know               and off-campus dances, athletic events and
                                                   how many teens are traveling together. Too             other school-related functions. The complete
                                                   many passengers in a teen-driven car –even             policy is in the Student Handbook.
                                                   if all sober—often results in distraction and
                                                   accidents.                                             Substance policy: “Use/distribution or
                                                                                                          possession of alcoholic beverages and ille-
                                                   The law: Although you may believe that                 gal substances is prohibited. A suspension
                                                   “they’re safer in my own home,” it is illegal          will result.”
                                                   to serve alcohol to anybody under age 21
                                                   who is not your own child. Also, the Mas-
 ProM NIgHT aND graDuaTIoN
                                                   sachusetts Social Host Law holds you liable
 Prepare: Before prom night, know where            for any minor drinking on your property—
 your teen is going and with whom. Dis-            this includes backyards and other outdoor
 cuss her travel plans there and back. Be          locations. Make sure your teen knows that
 clear about your family curfew and your           all uninvited guests will be asked to leave.
 policy on alcohol and drug use. If her plans      Stay awake and visible during your teen’s
 change, she must let you know. Pre-plan           house party.
 and role-play what your child will say when
 faced with unsafe situations, including           Motel rooms: Even if he’s not drinking, there
 being offered alcohol, drugs, or unwanted         are other risks. These include risks to person-
 sexual advances.                                  al injury (overcrowded balconies), property
                                                   damage or date rape. If the reservation has            Students who arrive at a school event in a
 Contact: Make sure she carries a cell phone       been made using your credit card, you are              vehicle in which there are alcoholic bever-
 that has been charged and ready-to-use.           liable for all motel damages.                          ages or illegal substances are considered
 Tell her to call you if anything gets unsafe or
                                                   The party’s at another house: Call and                 in possession of substances. Also, Dan-
                                                   introduce yourself to your teen’s friend’s             vers Schools use breathalyzers at dances
 available: Plan to be available in case you       parents. Ask about that family’s policies,             and other school functions. Students who
 are needed for a safe and sober ride home.        rules and precautions to prevent teenage               do not pass the breathalyzer test are not
 Plan to be up and awake when he returns           drinking and other dangerous practices.                allowed to participate. Instead, parents
 from the party.                                                                                          are called and the student is sent home.
 Work with the school: Every year, Danvers                                                                At school-sponsored events, supervisors
 High School hosts “Project Graduation,”                                                                  reserve the right to search personal belong-
 a successful sober graduation event. Contact                                                             ings for prohibited items.
 Collette Henessy, 978-777-8932 at the
 office to learn more.

                                                                                                                                                                  SPECIAL OCCASIONS

WHeN THey’re aWay FroM HoMe:                       Independent decision-making: Informed
Whether they’re away at camp, on a                 and self-confident teens make better deci-
sleepover or at a friend’s family’s vacation       sions. Long before it’s time to vacation
home, there will be times when your teen-          away from you, give your teen the freedom
ager is away from your supervision. Some           and confidence to make his own decisions.
pre-planning and open communication can            Stress other summer or vacation safety is-
help him make good and safe decisions.             sues, including water safety, sun-protection
your home-policy still applies: Before the         and date rape precautions. Make sure your
departure date, remind your child of your          vacationing teen has your own telephone
family policy around drinking and drug             number at all times.                                 2. In addition to your scheduled campus           List and ask specific questions, including
use. Be very clear about your zero-toler-                                                                  tour, take the time to walk around the         how this college works with students
                                                   THe CoLLege SearCH: IS THIS a ParTy
ance policy. Be equally clear about the                                                                    surrounding neighborhood. Watch for            who encounter emotional, mental-
consequences of breaking the rules—even                                                                    bars which offer drinks specials or other      health, substance-abuse or other non-
                                                   Your junior-high or senior-level child may              ‘perks’ to lure drinking students.             academic issues.
away from home.
                                                   be working hard to make the best college
Who, where, and what are the relevant              choice. Based on media and other reports,            3. Survey the campus bulletin boards for       5. For non-drinkers, other students’ drink-
phone number(s)? If he’s at summer camp,           she may believe that college is one big                 student events which are sponsored by          ing often affects their sleep, study and
communicate ahead with the camp profes-            party. But research shows that over half of             or have a strong emphasis on alcohol.          dating safety. Ask your prospective col-
sionals. Make sure that host families or           all American college students do not drink.                                                            lege about the availability of substance-
                                                                                                        4. In addition to your designated tour-
camp professionals know of any health is-                                                                                                                 free dorms. Also ask about student
                                                   Among those who do drink alcohol, binge                 guide, ask to speak to other profession-
sues and what medications your teen is on.                                                                                                                escorts and campus nighttime safety
                                                   drinking on college campuses has some very              als, including Campus Security, Student
Practice saying ‘no’: Discuss and role-play with   serious—sometimes fatal—consequences. So                Counseling and the Health Department.
your teen how he will resist peer pressure.        when it comes to college-selection, be savvy.
                                                   Think safety.
                                                   Five tips for college-bound parents

                                                   1. Read the college marketing material for               reSourCeS:
                                                      its substance-use policies and enforce-     
                                                      ment procedures. When visiting the col-
                                                      lege campus, ask about that policy and                Higher education Center for alcohol and other Drug abuse and Violence Prevention
                                                      how consistently it is enforced. Also, ask            at the education Development Center –
                                                      how the college deals with disruptive or
                                                                                                            Project Graduation, Danvers High School – 978-777-8932
                                                      drunk students.


 Your Adolescent and the Massachusetts Law: What You Should Know
                                                                                                         open container: Neither drivers nor passen-        Seat belts: Drivers and passengers over 13
                                                                                                         gers can have an open container of alcohol.        years old are required to wear a seat belt. The
                                                                                                                                                            un-belted driver can be fined for himself and
                                                                                                         Drinking and driving: If a police officer has
                                                                                                                                                            for each passenger not wearing a belt.
                                                                                                         reasonable grounds to believe a person is
                                                                                                         driving under the influence, a breathalyzer        Bicycle Helmets: Children younger than 16
                                                                                                         test may be given. The driver has the right        are required to wear bicycle helmets.
                                                                                                         to refuse to take the test, but this will result
                                                                                                                                                            ToBaCCo aND ILLegaL DrugS
                                                                                                         in automatic loss of license for a period of
                                                                                                         120 days.                                          Tobacco: It is illegal to sell any tobacco prod-
                                                                                                                                                            ucts to a person under 18 years of age.
                                                                                                         Social Host Law: Under Massachusetts law,
                                                                                                         a host of a party may be held liable for the       Illegal Drugs: Use, production, sale and
                                                                                                         injuries suffered by others if the host has        distribution of all illicit drugs is illegal.
                                                                                                         furnished alcohol to a minor who is not their      reLaTIoNSHIPS
                                                                                                         own child. This applies even if the minor
                                                                                                                                                            Cyber-bullying: Threatening, stalking, bully-
                                                                                                         was already intoxicated when the minor was
                                                                                                                                                            ing or harassing someone online or via other
                                                                                                         served alcohol.
                                                                                                                                                            digital means can result in arrest.
                                                                                                         MoTor VeHICLe aND SaFeTy
                                                                                                                                                            Sexual relations: The age of sexual consent
                                                                                                         graduated Driver License Law: The                  in Massachusetts is 16. Soliciting sex with a
                                                                                                         minimum age for a learner permit is 16.            minor over the Internet is illegal and punish-
                                                                                                         For permit-drivers younger than 18, the            able by Massachusetts law.
                                                                                                         night restriction is midnight to 5 am, unless
                                                                                                         accompanied by a licensed parent or
 aLCoHoL LaWS                                     Identification: A minor may not lie about              guardian. For the first 6 months, a driver
 Drinking age: The legal drinking age in Mas-     his/her age to purchase alcohol, present               may have no passengers younger than 18 in
 sachusetts is 21 years of age.                   false identification, or make arrangements             the car. Passenger restrictions may be lifted
                                                  with someone older to buy alcohol for him              at 17. Nighttime driving restrictions can be
 Purchasing alcohol: A person over 21 years       or her. Transferring, altering or defacing an          lifted at 18.
 of age may not buy alcohol for a minor           identification card is against the law. Anyone
 (under 21), unless their relationship is that    who makes, uses, carries, sells, or distributes
 of parent and child or husband and wife.         a false identification card, or furnishes false
 Parents may not buy alcohol for their child at   information in obtaining such a card, shall be                                   reSourCeS
 a restaurant or tavern. Buying alcohol for a     guilty of a misdemeanor and can be immedi-
 minor can result in a fine of $2,000, impris-                                                                                     essex County District attorney’s office –
                                                  ately arrested.
 onment up to 6 months, or both.                                                                                                   Massachusetts laws –
                                                  Serving minors: Parents or other adults can-
                                                  not serve alcohol to a minor who is not their                                    The general laws of Massachusetts –
                                                  own child.                                                                       Danvers Police Department –

                                                                                        SUPPORT OUR DANVERS TEENS

Everyday in Every Way: We can Make Danvers a Great Place for Teens
                                            When it comes to keeping our adolescents           School professionals: In addition to teaching
                                            safe, healthy and happy, parents (or guard-        your given subject, create a caring and sup-
                                            ians) and schools have a primary role. How-        portive learning environment. Also, schools
                                            ever, research* shows that adolescents also        who set clear rules and follow through on
                                            thrive when they live in a neighborhood that       consequences help adolescents to remain
                                            cares about its teens.                             safe and feel secure.
                                            Whatever your role in the community, here          Neighborhood social service or non-profits:
                                            are some ways in which you can support             Consider creating a youth-volunteer proj-
                                            your local youth:                                  ect or internship. Caring for other people
                                            Business owners: Provide positive role             can really help adolescents to build empa-
                                            models by conducting your business ethi-           thy, the capacity to make new friends and
                                            cally, generously and with a strong sense of       self-esteem. If your non-profit serves youth
                                            the community in which you work. Consid-           populations, solicit adolescents’ input in your
                                            er providing youth mentoring or internship         program planning.
                                            opportunities.                                     Police: Help youth feel safer, more protect-
                                            Neighbors: Got an adolescent on your               ed and part of a supportive neighborhood
                                            street? Take the time to greet him, to ask         by continuing to present a positive presence
                                            him how he is, to engage him in conversa-          in the wider community.
                                            tion about his life, school-work or plans for      Community or municipal leaders: Present
                                            the future. Make eye-contact and conversa-         a positive public presence, which provides a
                                            tion with the adolescent in the grocery-store      good role model for our youth. In your pub-
                                            checkout. If you see a youth in trouble, take      lic discourse, speak to issues which directly
                                            the time to intervene and ensure her safety.       affect youth. Solicit their input.
                                            youth programs: Engage with youth in a             Support other youth-friendly organizations
                                            positive way, making time to include all           in your community.
                                            youth in all activities. Provide positive role     *For further ways in which we can help
                                            models.                                            our neighborhood teens, the Search Insti-
                                            Sports or athletic programs: Learn the             tute has established 40 building blocks of
                                            names of youth participants. In addition to        healthy development to help young people
                                            athletic competition, introduce warm-up            to grow up healthy, safe and responsibly.
                                            or wrap-up activities to build a sense of
                                            friendship, team- and social-skills. For the
                                            athletically-hesitant child, find an activity in
                                            which she can excel and make a difference.
                                            Encourage students to do well and keep a
                                            positive view of their futures.


 North Shore Resources for Youth and Parents
                     american academy of Pediatrics –
                     Beverly Hospital’s Speakers Bureau: Public forums and lectures on wellness topics – 978-236-1650 –
                     CaB Health & recovery Services: Substance abuse information and treatment – 978-968-1700 –
                     Center for Family Development (Health & education Services, Inc.) – 978-921-1190 –
                     Counseling Department, Danvers High School – 978-777-8925
                     essex County District attorney’s office: Provides training and informational programs and conferences for parents,
                     youth workers, community members and schools – 978-745-6610 –
                     essex County youth: A Web portal of social service and other organizations supporting area youth –
                     Family Counseling and guidance Center (Catholic Charities), Sylvan Street, Danvers – 978-774-6820 –
                     Family resource Center, North Shore Medical Center: Resource library, referral to support groups, parents’ daytime support group –
                     978-354-2660 –
                     Health Quarters, Beverly: Sexual and adolescent development information and counseling – 978-927-9824 –
                     Massachusetts Bureau of Substance abuse Services Confidential Hotline – 1-800-327-5050 –
                     NaMI North Shore (National alliance on Mental Illness) – 877-221-6264 –
                     Northeast Center for Healthy Communities: Includes an up-to-date resource library, digital and print media, and a program for
                     youth at risk – 978-688-2323 –
                     North Shore gay and Lesbian youth (NagLy) – 978-913-3747 –
                     North Shore rape Crisis Center – 1-800-922-8772 Spanish – 1-800-233-5001
                     Parental Stress Line (Parents Helping Parents) – 1-800-632-8188

                     DaNVerS TeLePHoNe NuMBerS aND WeBSITeS
                     DanversCareS – 978-777-8932 ext. 2213
                     Danvers Public Library – 978-777-0554 –
                     Danvers Schools – 978-777-4539 –
                     Danvers yMCa – 978-774-2055 –
                     High School – 978-777-8925
                     Middle School – 978-774-8590
                     Police Department – 978-774-1213 –
                     Town of Danvers recreation Department – 978-777-0001 –


Research Cited in This Guide (Listed by Topic)
Drinking and Drugs                          relationships                                      Teenage Blues
“Substance abuse: High School               “Bullying Facts and Statistics”                    “about Teen Suicide”
and youth Drug abuse Trends”                Source: The National Youth Violence                Source: Nemours Foundation. One of the
Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse    Prevention Resource Center                         nation’s largest health systems dedicated                                                    to the health of children
“Parents: you Matter”                       “Background on Sexual education
Source: Time to Talk, a project of the      in the u.S”
Partnership for a Drug Free America         Source: Do Something, a national volunteer-        general                          service advocacy group and website.
                                                                  “The Best of Building assets Together”
“The Toll of underage Drinking”                                                                Source: The Search Institute
Source: Center on Alcohol Marketing         “gay and Lesbian Teens Face More Bullying”
and Youth                                   Source: Medical News Today                                                 “Danvers High School, youth risk Behavior
                                                                                               Survey 2008 Final report”
“Prescription Drug abuse”                                                                      Source: The Massachusetts Department of
Source: Nemours Foundation, one of the      Health and Wellness                                Elementary and Secondary Education — in
nation’s largest health systems dedicated                                                      collaboration with the Centers for Disease
to the health of children.                  “Never Too Late to Start:                          Control and Prevention (CDC) - conducts                          Seven Steps Toward good Health”                    the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) in
                                            Source: Medscape Today                             randomly selected high schools in every odd-
“addicted Teenagers”                                                 numbered year.
Source: Nicotine Victims                                                                       Available from: Danvers High School                     “5-2-1 -almost None: one Formula         
                                            for a Healthy Lifestyle”
“Finding good in ‘Normal’”                  Source: Nemours Foundation, one of the
Source: The National Social                 nation’s largest health systems dedicated
Norms Institute                             to the health of children               


Our thanks to the Community Editorial Committee:

Peg Sallade, Coordinator, DanversCARES Prevention Coalition
Gary Nihan, Director of School Health, Danvers Public Schools
Connie Pawlak, School Committee, Danvers Public Schools
Douglas Rendell, Director, Peabody Institute Library
Debra MacGregor, Community Awareness and Prevention Team,
Office of the Essex County District Attorney

DanversCARES is a community prevention coalition funded by the Office of National Drug Control Drug
Free Communities Support Program and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Underage
Drinking Prevention Grant. DanversCARES is a program of the Town of Danvers, MA managed through
the school department and in conjunction with community partners.

For additional copies of this Resource Guide, visit