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BOW Drug/Alcohol Action Committee

605A Orange Center Road, Orange, CT 06477
(203) 215-9780
jnordstrom@orange-ct.gov


Mission Statement
We are a dedicated committee of volunteers, community leaders and concerned citizens from Bethany, Orange, and Woodbridge whose mission is to reduce underage drinking and substance abuse by promoting awareness through educational programs and outreach, working in collaboration with our schools, other community organizations, businesses and local government agencies.

Who We Are
Joni Nordstrom, our part-time, paid coordinator, serves as our voice to the residents of our town, as well as our neighbors in Bethany and Woodbridge, as we strive to bring a "drug-free" message to the entire BOW region. Joni is continuing the long tradition of leadership in the Town of Orange and has been instrumental in changing the committee name to BOWDAAC (Bethany, Orange, Woodbridge Drug/Alcohol Action Committee) to include the towns of Bethany and Woodbridge. We are proud of our grass-roots committee who make a strong and visible presence in our schools and our community through numerous activities that we sponsor and support. ODAAC (now BOWDAAC) was at the forefront of the smoke-free campaign as well as statewide initiatives to combat underage drinking in our community. Much of our funding is made possible through the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, in addition to other grants that our committee actively seeks out. The committee is rounded out by police officers, counselors, parents, teachers and students. We take seriously our oath to serve, and we welcome your input.

Meetings
BOWDAAC meetings are held at 7:30 PM in the Clark Building (Old Library), 605A Orange Center Road. Call Joni Nordstrom, Coordinator, at 215-9780 for more information.

BOWDAAC offers educational series on tobacco, alcohol and other drugs, and serves as a community resource for materials such as videotapes and pamphlets and as a speakers' bureau. Please contact us if you would like assistance in developing or presenting a Prevention program.


Resources and Links

The Connecticut Coalition to Stop Underage Drinking
30 Arbor Street
Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 523-8042
http://www.preventionworksct.org

Connecticut Communities for Drug Free Youth
PO Box 217
New Canaan, CT 06840
(203) 838-3224

Wheeler Prevention and Wellness Center
334 Farmington Avenue
Plainville, CT 06062
(860) 793-2164
http://www.ctclearinghouse.org

Bridges - A Community Support System
605A Orange Center Road
Orange, CT 06477
(203) 795-6698

South Central Connecticut Regional Action Council
230 Ashmun Street
New Haven, CT 06511
(203) 776-1981
http://www.sccrac.org

APT Foundation
One Long Wharf Drive, Suite 10
New Haven, CT 06511
(203) 781-4646

Birmingham Group Health Service
Valley Substance Abuse Action Council
111 New Haven Ave
Derby, CT 06418
(203) 736-8566

Alcoholics Anonymous
(888) 624-6063

Coordinator's Corner
by Joan Kreiger, MS
Drug-Sniffing Dogs

ODAAC supports the development and implementation of a BOE policy designed to outline a scenario for the use of drug-sniffing dogs at the schools.  Having a clear policy in place strengthens the concept of a “drug-free” school, and further enhances the importance of drug prevention, education and deterrence.  Amity has historically shown itself to be a visionary school system with regard to the important message of healthy decision-making.   Amity has already successfully:

      employed a Breathalyzer policy, resulting in 100% incident free dances,     
instituted a full-time SRO who serves as a valuable resource for awareness, teaching and, prevention;
created an Advisory period designed to develop critical relationships and keep kids from “falling through the cracks”
and now, the Board has an opportunity to add another layer of protection to reduce risky behaviors of teenagers, by utilizing the vital resources of a drug-sniffing dog.

  Drug dogs provide a powerful incentive to keep our schools drug-free.  It is a pro-active policy to reinforce our Zero Tolerance principle, and one that ODAAC supports.

View previous articles from "Coordinator's Corner."


Did You Know?
Teenagers who drink are 50 times more likely to use cocaine.
Three out of five teens have had an alcoholic drink in the past month.
Although the majority of parents believe peer pressure to be the primary reason teens drink or use drugs, teens say:
79% - being drunk/high feels good
67% - helps to forget problems
66% - others do it (peer pressure)
47% - nothing else to do
(source: NIAAA/MADD)
2.6 million teenagers did not know you could die from an overdose of alcohol.
56% of students in grades 5 to 12 say that alcohol advertising encourages them to drink.
33% of nearly 200,000 students nationally surveyed said that their parents often do not set clear rules.
Of the 20 million junior and senior high school students in America, half drink once a month.
(source: NIAAA/MADD)

You can have fun, and be part of the crowd by NOT drinking or using other drugs.

Say “No, thanks” when offered a drink, “I have better things to do!”

Don’t let advertisers trick you into thinking smoking will make you “cool.”
Talk to your parents frankly and frequently about alcohol and drug issues.

Myths and Facts about Underage Drinking
Myth: Alcohol affects everyone the same.
Fact: There are many factors that affect reactions to alcohol. Body size, gender, your body chemistry are just a few of the dozens of factors that can alter the way a person metabolizes alcohol. Research tells us that teens are particularly susceptible to alcohol abuse, since their bodies are still growing and changing.

Myth: Black coffee will "sober you up."
Fact: This is one of the biggest myths out there about alcohol use. With coffee, you're introducing a second "drug", caffeine, which simply makes you a "wide-awake drunk." Only time will make a person sober.

Myth: Drinking alcohol, will give you more energy.
Fact: Nothing could be farther from the truth. Alcohol is a depressant, meaning that it actually slows down your ability to perform tasks such as walking, breathing, thinking and moving, correctly. Do yourself a favor: if you want to increase your energy, try exercise, good nutrition, proper rest and healthy living.

How Teens Say "No" to Underage Drinking
A National Youth Movement on Alcohol Issues called "Take it Back" empowers youth to reduce alcohol problems and increase the health and safety of youth. Their goals are to:

  • Increase public awareness of the problems due to alcohol use and misuse by youth
  • Educate on a local and national level the complexity and breadth of the alcohol and youth issue
  • Reduce the number of alcohol-related incidents among youth
  • Change local policies that affect the availability of alcohol to youth
These youth are speaking out, asking:
  • Parents to "Grow up!"
  • Policy Makers to "Wake up!"
  • Enforcement Agencies to "Harden up!'
  • Store Owners to "Listen up!"
  • Schools to "Wise up!"
  • Communities to "Charge up!"
  • Youth to "Stand up!"

Are you UP for the challenge? For more information, go to www.Utakeitback.org


Parent's Corner:

Parents,

Today’s youth experience a different drinking environment than when we were young. Think about the following list of What Has Changed, and use these facts as “jumping off points” to start conversations with your own children. Remember the key is two-fold: frank and frequent discussions will send the message that you’re there for them, and that the discussions are on-going.

What Has Changed in A Generation:

  • what kids today drink (way more potent than the “Boons Farm Ale” of yesterday)
  • how much they drink (binge drinking is a national epidemic, commonly defined as 5 or more drinks in a 2-hour period, or drinking to “get drunk”)
  • frequency of drinking (more than a one-time celebratory occasion)
  • age they begin (national statistics show an alarming rate of 11 year first-time drinkers!)
  • overall availability (most kids report obtaining alcohol from their own homes, or a friend’s house)
  • definition of a drink (sugary wine-coolers and “alternatives" such as “hard lemonade” are marketed toward youth and made to seem “harmless”)
  • parental and adult supervision (many parents are still unaware of the ordinances that now allow police to fine homeowners who “host” parties with underage drinkers)