The vaping crisis continues to plague our communities and our country. As of today, 8 people (1 in Illinois) have died from severe respiratory complications associated with vaping. At least 380 cases have been reported across the United States.
As the CDC is working hard to understand what exactly is causing these lung issues, researchers admit that they don't know much about vaping and the long-term impact on youth. Unfortunately, the preliminary numbers from the National Youth Tobacco Survey show a continued rise in youth e-cigarette use, especially through the use of non-tobacco flavors that appeal to kids. In particular, the data show that more than a quarter of high school students were current (past 30 day) e-cigarette users in 2019 and the overwhelming majority of youth e-cigarette users cited the use of popular fruit and menthol or mint flavors.
Talk to your teen today--even if you think that s/he isn't impacted. Here are a few facts to share with your teen:
To learn more about vaping and teens and the current crisis, attend our next Stand Strong Coalition meeting, on Thursday, October 10th, 11:00 AM at Lincolnshire Village Hall, One Olde Half Day Road, Lincolnshire.
Download the new Stand Strong Coalition Homecoming Party PARENT TOOLKIT today, just in time for Homecoming!
The toolkit is an excellent resource filled with great information and tips for parents hosting post-parties and parents whose teens may be attending those parties. Simply click on the image below for the free download!
Children, adolescents, and teens are establishing patterns of behavior that affect both their current and future health. A key protective factor includes, among other things, parent engagement, and more importantly, staying relevant to the issues our students are facing today.
On Thursday, September 12, 2019, upon the requests several parents in our community, Stand Strong Coalition will once again hold the popular parent education Not My Kid?! event. Not My Kid?! focuses on discussing hot topics relevant to your teen's exposure to alcohol, marijuana, vaping, and more. Everyday, parents are confronted with a never-ending deluge of hazards and dangers facing our students. While dangers and hazards have always been a part of parenting, it's safe to say that the types of dangers continue to become more pervasive. As parents and community members, staying engaged and informed is key and also makes it more likely that children, adolescents, and teens will avoid unhealthy behaviors, such as tobacco, alcohol, other drug use and more.
To register for this FREE parent education event scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 12 event please RSVP via the following link => http://bit.ly/2NgBdrJ
Catalyst Students Voice Concerns Over Marijuana Legalization and Impact on Youth to Buffalo Grove Village Board
On Monday, May 20th at 7:30 p.m., Catalyst students will be in Buffalo Grove advocating to the Village Board about how the legalization of marijuana could impact their generation. Please join them in support at Village of Buffalo Grove, Village Hall, 50 Raupp Road. Show your support and let's use our collective voice.
Letter to Lawmakers
As you may have heard, the bill that would permit a for-profit marijuana industry in Illinois was released on May 4th in Springfield. Dr. Aaron Weiner, Director of Addiction Services at Linden Oaks Behavioral Health recently submitted a Letter to the Editor of the Chicago Tribune outlining his concerns about this change in policy. Please consider Opposing the Legalization and Commercialization of Marijuana in Illinois by completing this brief online form which can be edited at your preference. Our youth are depending on you. Your support and voice are critical to sending a strong message to lawmakers.
One of the nation’s leading organizations in the fight against teen drug and alcohol use has given its highest honor to a Stevenson student for the second straight year. Victor Shi, a leader in the school’s Catalyst club, received the 2019 Youth Advocate of the Year award from the Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America on Wednesday. Click here to watch his acceptance remarks. Ananya Pati (Class of 2018) earned the award last February.
The award recognizes prevention leaders who forge relationships with and educate local elected officials about key substance abuse-related issues. Victor was honored at CADCA’s 29th annual National Leadership Forum in National Harbor, Md. The forum is a training event for community-based substance abuse prevention professionals, coalition leaders, and prevention and addiction researchers.
Victor, a junior from Buffalo Grove, was honored for his advocacy work as an intern for U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider, and for his efforts with Catalyst and the Stand Strong Coalition. In particular, the group cited his leadership against marijuana legalization in Illinois. He also has been involved in the Political Action Club and in Youth and Government at Stevenson.
Victor was joined at the forum by Vrushali Thakkar, a junior from Vernon Hills. They were chosen last summer to be youth trainers at the forum, which included about 500 young people from around the country. This video includes Victor and Vrushali addressing those in attendance. Victor speaks at the 1:34 mark, while Vrushali begins at 7:54.
The CADCA Advocate of the Year award is given to two individuals. Joining Victor as a recipient was Lisa Roberts, a nurse and anti-drug community coalition leader in Ohio.
Source: Adlai E. Stevenson High School Daily Digest - February 9, 2019
Marijuana Community Forum-January 30th at Stevenson High School
As the new administration takes office in Springfield, the topic of the commercialization of marijuana will become more heated. Learn more about what this could mean for our youth.
National experts will be on hand to discuss lessons learned from states that have legalized marijuana and will educate us on the difference between legalization, decriminalization and commercialization, as well as the impact the proposed policy would have on our community. Experts include:
Date: Wednesday, January 30
Time: 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Location: Adlai E. Stevenson High School,
1 Stevenson Dr., Lincolnshire - West Auditorium
* Please park in Lot B or E and enter via Point Entrance
For more information on this event and/or to register, please click here.
If you have any further questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact Jamie Epstein at firstname.lastname@example.org.
January 11, 2019
[Podcast] Listen as Positive Alternatives interviews Adlai E. Stevenson High School Catalyst Club members Vrushai Thakkar, Carson Ezell, and Victor Shi. The students were interviewed by Doug Petit and featured on his local podcast named "Positive Alternatives" regarding the push to legalize marijuana in our state.
Positive Alternatives is "a podcast for parents and teens intended to inform, share real life stories, and initiate conversations in the family regarding underage drinking and drug use. The podcast is hosted by Doug Petit who has spoken to well over 100,000 parents and teens about the perils of poor choices when it comes to alcohol and drugs."
"Catalyst teens are associated with Stand Strong Coalition, a DFC Coalition out of the Lincolnshire, Il. area. Sit back, listen, and enjoy the conversation."
Listen here => http://posalt.libsyn.com/positive-alternatives-32
To learn more about the Positive Alternatives organization, visit their website.
Stand Strong Coalition's Thursday, November 8 meeting will host guest speaker and SSC Board Member, Dr. Susan Sirota, MD, FAAP. This community event is from 7 - 8:30 p.m. at the Village of Lincolnshire, One Olde Half Day Road. The event is free and parents and community members are encouraged to attend.
Topic: Filtering Facts from Myths on Vaping, Juuling, and e-Cigarettes
Teens know about vaping from their peers and social media. As parents, we need to educate ourselves on the health hazards, consequences, risks associated with this new trend. Dr. Sirota will clear the air on vaping, Juuling, and the link to cannabis.
Dr. Sirota will share her expertise about:
Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) - PRESCRIPTION DRUG TAKE BACK PROGRAM
The Drug Enforcement Agency's (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back program is scheduled for Saturday, October 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Catalyst Middle and Junior High School students are proud to partner with the Village of Buffalo Grove Police Department, Long Grove Fire Department, and Village of Lake Zurich Police Department in the national ‘Drug Take Back’ program.
Please help make our communities safer by helping prevent substance abuse and theft by ridding your homes of potentially dangerous, expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. The service is free and anonymous and offered at the following three locations:
• Buffalo Grove Police Department, 46 Raupp Blvd., Buffalo Grove
• Long Grove Fire Protection District, 1165 Old McHenry Road, Long Grove
• Lake Zurich Police Department, 1350 IL-22, Lake Zurich
Lake County Illinois Sheriff Mark Curran reminds the public, “Unused prescription drugs in home medicine cabinets are highly susceptible to abuse. The DEA Drug Take Back is an opportunity to get rid of unused and expired medicine in an environmentally friendly manner."
"Last year, Lake County’s law enforcement agencies collected over 13,000 pounds of unwanted, unused and expired prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines, a whopping 21% increase over the 2016 total."
To find a prescription drug disposal box close to you visit our Prescription Drug Drop-off map.
Join Catalyst students in a statewide student-led youth summit campaign to advocate against the legalization of marijuana in Illinois.
Additionally, the event will focus on engagement between schools, making this a great way for your students to collaborate with other like-minded students in our area. Finally, dinner will be provided!
Please RSVP with the number of students you are planning to bring via the following link => https://goo.gl/pTruyi. We hope to see you there!
Catalyst Marijuana Legislation Team Member
Adlai E. Stevenson High School
Special Event: Dr. Michael Bradley "Crazy-Stressed: Saving today's overwhelmed teens" - Evening Session
Special Event: Dr. Michael J. Bradley "When things get crazy with your adolescent/teen: The Why, The How, The What to do Now - Morning Event
While the summer season is considered a "break" from studies, Catalyst students are committed to continuing to advocate for teen health by meeting with local, county, and state officials. On Friday, July 13, Catalyst students Vrushali Thakkar, Noelle Kurien, and Alex Zhou met with Lanetta Haynes Turner, Deputy Chief of Staff, Cook County, IL for Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle to discuss why the commercialization of marijuana is detrimental to the health of youth.
While advocating and educating our community is critical to combating teen substance abuse, continuing to educate our coalition and exposing these education opportunities to Catalyst members is just as important. Every year, members of Stand Strong Coalition and Catalyst students travel to CADCA's Mid-year training to learn, share, and connect with coalitions nationwide, and in turn they bring back this knowledge to the rest of the Stand Strong and Catalyst members. This year, nine Catalyst students attended this year's conference held July 15 through 19th in Orlando, Florida.
Stand Strong Coalition and Catalyst is committed to educating and advocating on behalf of teen health in our communities.
CADCA's 28th Annual National Leadership Forum was held in early February at National Harbor, MD. During the conference, Stevenson High School senior and Catalyst Club student founder, Ananya Pati, was presented with the Advocate of the Year award. We're also excited to share that last year's Stand Strong Coalition speaker, Dr. Bertha K. Madras, a professor at Harvard Medical School, received the National Leadership Award for her significant contributions made to the field of substance abuse prevention and her long-standing support to community-based drug prevention.
Ananya's and Dr. Madras' commitment and dedication to raising awareness, educating communities, and making teen health a priority continues to inspire and drive Stand Strong Coalition's and Catalyst Club's momentum and goals forward.
We'd also like to take this opportunity to thank our Executive Director, Jamie Epstein, and Stand Strong Coalition Board Member Claudia Kasten, Chief of Juvenile Division, Lake County, IL State's Attorney's Office for their guidance and leadership.
However, our gratitude does not end there. We are grateful and humbled by Stand Strong Coalition's volunteer Board Members, our volunteers, Stevenson's Catalyst Club students, as well as the middle school/junior high school Catalyst students, participating law enforcement departments, guest speakers, involved parents, our schools, and our communities. Together we are impacting and saving lives.
Join us for Stand Strong Coalition's 4th annual "Making the Transition to Stevenson High School" community event. This popular event offers parents and incoming freshman a great opportunity to learn more about the SOCIAL transition from middle school / junior high school to high school.
Students, find out how to:
Don’t miss this SIMULTANEOUS learning opportunity for your student and yourselves.
Wednesday, March 14th, 2018, 7–8:30 p.m.
Stevenson High School – Recital Hall
One Stevenson Drive, Lincolnshire, IL
Please enter via Lot B Circle Drive Entrance.
Recital Hall is located to the right of the Performing Arts Center (PAC).
In one room:
Incoming Stevenson freshmen will hear from a panel of SHS Catalyst students and have a casual, candid Q&A discussion about social life at school and on weekends for Stevenson students.
In another room:
Parents of incoming Stevenson freshmen will hear from an expert panel including:
For planning purposes, we ask that parents and their students please RSVP via EVENTBRITE. Just click on the button below!
ALL incoming 2018-19 Stevenson freshmen, their parents, and other interested adults are welcome to this community program.
Email Stand Strong Executive Director, Jamie Epstein: email@example.com
by In September 2017, #Catalyst SHS students met with State Senator Julie Morrison to advocate on behalf of all youth. They discussed the risks of e-cigarette use among youth and shared the benefits of Tobacco21 in Illinois.
As a result of their meeting, Stevenson Catalyst Club members Borler Wu, Katherine Yao, Melissa Hauptman, and Ashleigh Machado traveled to Springfield this past Tuesday, January 30 where they participated in a press conference which included Illinois lawmakers Senator Julie Morrison, Senator John G. Mulroe, State Representative Camille Y. Lilly, State Representative Melissa Conyears-Ervin, American Heart Association - Illinois, and other health organizations to propose raising the tobacco purchasing age from 18 to 21 statewide by passing Senate Bill 2332.
The premise of the law is simple: Teens and young adults are likely to quit smoking, or never start, if they have to ask those 21 and older to buy cigarettes for them.
Catalyst member Borler Wu spoke at the press conference and continued to make the case for #Tobacco21 on behalf of Illinois youth everywhere.
Catalyst members then met with local legislatures to continue discussions about the proposed bill, including Senator Morrison, Senator Dan McConchie, State Representative Scott Drury, and State Representative Nick Sauer.
We are incredibly proud of the advocacy work Catalyst students are doing, and we will continue to support them on their goal to have the Tobacco 21 bill passed.
Four Catalyst Students Testify at Hearing with Lawmakers
Democratic State Sen. Heather Steans of Chicago proposed legislation that would legalize the possession of up to 28 grams of marijuana and allow facilities to sell marijuana products.
On Monday, January 22, 2018, four Catalyst students testified at a hearing with lawmakers about the proposed legalization of marijuana in Illinois. Stevenson Catalyst members included Seniors Devin Smith and Ananya Pati, freshman Alexander Zhou and sophomore Vrushali Thakkar. The students argued against legalization, citing evidence showing the negative effects of marijuana on the developing teen brain. They were joined by fellow Catalyst members and current Twin Groves eighth-graders Lexi Gitler and Eden Mondschain.
The group also met with state Sen. Dan McConchie, who represents the 26th District, which includes parts of District 125, including Vernon Hills, Long Grove, Lake Zurich and a portion of Buffalo Grove.
On Tuesday, several Catalyst members will travel to Springfield and participate in a press conference led by the Illinois Coalition Against Tobacco. The group will announce legislation to raise the minimum age of tobacco sales from 18 to 21, and will recognize the 10th anniversary of Illinois’ smoke-free air law. Senior Borler Wu is scheduled to speak on behalf of state youth at the press conference.
Stand Strong Coalition will be hosting a 2 part series on the proposed legalization of recreational marijuana and what the implications can mean to our youth and community.
Join us for Part 1 on Thursday, January 11 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Lincolnshire Village Hall with special guest speaker Dr. Aaron Weiner, Director of Addiction, Linden Oaks Behavioral Health.
Be sure to save the date for Part 2 of this special series scheduled for Thursday, February 8 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Lincolnshire Village Hall. We look forward to learning from Kuei Yuan Tseng, MD, PhD of Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. Dr. Tseng will will share his research on marijuana and the teen brain with attendees.
We specifically scheduled an event during the day and in the evening to make it easier for community members to attend at least one event.
As always, Stand Strong Coalition is committed to continue providing community education so that we can all make informed decisions regarding the future of our communities.
On Thursday, December 14, 2017, Catalyst Middle School students worked to make our communities safer with officers representing Lake County IL Sheriff's, Village of Lincolnshire Police Department, and Vernon Hills Police Department. A sincere thank you for their time and commitment to making our communities safe by participating in the Sticker Shock campaign!
What is Sticker Shock?
A Sticker Shock Campaign is a project where the community, youth, police and alcohol retailers all work together to combat minors obtaining access to alcohol. With these sectors partnering, they create a message, which is then printed onto stickers and placed on products in stores. The messaging is geared towards adults to stop them from purchasing alcohol for minors.
Students received a bundle of tags that said “Don't Buy for Minors.” The students would place as many tags as they could all over multi-packs of alcohol beverages to shock the community and get them to ask questions and discuss the dangers of underage drinking.
The Sticker Shock program is well aligned with the Stand Strong's mission to provide youth the protective factors needed to help make positive decisions for their future. The mission of the growing Catalyst program at both the middle school and high school level is to educate, provide informal counseling, and safety to students and teachers.
Dear Community Members,
As we approach the holidays, we get so caught up in buying the perfect gifts, decorating the house, and entertaining relatives, that we sometimes forget about making sure our teens are safe. However, the holidays can be a time of high risk for teens in terms of alcohol and drug use. It can start with “Blackout Wednesday,” which is the Wednesday before Thanksgiving when college students come home and get together with high school friends. This night is often associated with binge drinking to the point of losing memory or “blacking out.” According to the Sun Times, in the Chicago suburbs, Blackout Wednesday can be a more popular drinking night than New Year’s Eve or St. Patrick’s Day. The holiday break can also be a high-risk time as elementary, middle school, and college students have more free time and celebrations are in full swing. Consider sharing the gift of your undivided time and attention to connect with your teens.
Remember, it is illegal to host a party for those under 21 years of age regardless of whether you purchased the alcohol or not. Violations not only include your home but property(s) that you rent as well, such as a hotel room, banquet hall, a limousine, etc. If someone is injured or killed as a result of the social hosting, you run the risk of being charged with a Class 4 felony and sentenced to between 1 and 3 years imprisonment and up to $25,000 in fines. You would also face the risk of being sued in civil court. Again, the onus of the social host violation rests on the adult(s). The law assumes that you know the happenings in your home(s)—even if you are away. It is imperative to take all precautions necessary to prevent alcohol from being consumed by minors in your home or property.
Science has proved that the teenage brain continues to develop until the age of 25. What does that statement imply? Simply that this is the last time your child’s brain will grow this extensively, and any alcohol and drug use can harm this process. It is vital for parents and frankly any adult, to keep these young and developing minds safe from the risks and consequences of underage drinking and drug use. Science has given us the power to make new, more informed choices when it comes to how we parent these young brain factories. Here are some important tips to help you keep your teen(s) alcohol and drug-free:
For more information about underage drinking and drug prevention or how to host an alcohol-free party, please subscribe to our site or follow us on Facebook. Wishing everyone a very happy and safe holiday season.
Stand Strong Coalition and Catalyst Club
Join us on Sunday, October 22, 2017 for the 2nd annual SeanB 3on3 Basketball Tournament. This popular community event is designed to raise awareness about youth drug and alcohol prevention and intervention services.
Students and adults are invited to form a basketball team consisting of 3-4 players and register to participate for this tournament which will take place in the Sports Center at Adlai E. Stevenson High Schoo. Registration ends on Monday, October 9.
Participants can register to play in one of the following age divisions*:
100% of the proceeds from this tournament will benefit Live4Lali and the SHS Catalyst Club which will use the funds to educate the community about the risks associated with prescription drug abuse. The tournament was organized to remember 2008 SHS grad Sean Bardos (1990-2015) and to provide drug addition awareness to the community. This is event is sponsored by the SHS CatalystClub in conjunction with Live4Lali and Stand Strong Coalition.
This week, 37 seventh and eighth grade students from Adlai E. Stevenson's consortium schools including Woodlawn Middle School, Twin Groves Middle School, Daniel Wright Junior High School, Aptakisic Junior High School and West Oak Middle School, gathered for 8 hours of training at Stevenson. Students learned about the negative effects of alcohol and drugs, alcohol and drug prevention in our communities, and the importance of not only making wise choices but advocating and sharing this vital information with their peers. These student leaders, called Catalyst, represent the youth sector of Stand Strong Coalition.
They learned about and discussed current local conditions in our community that contribute to underage drinking and drug use, in particular nicotine use via e-cigarettes (aka vaping). Students collaborated and plan to create a year-long campaign to educate youth, parents, and community members about the risks of vaping.
Another key concern discussed was that just saying "no" doesn't always work and that there was a crucial need to provide students with life skills such as how to resist and assert, but also on what to value when confronted with difficult situations. They understand and are determined expand Catalyst club membership at their individual schools to work on, implement, and share ideas to provide youth with more ways to say "no" to any peer pressure; conduct a parent/youth workshop; and take part in compliance checks in the community by visiting tobacco retailers and businesses that sell alcohol.
As parents, we need to teach our children resistance skills, but also teach them the values that support why he or she would take a stand on an issue. Having many conversations with your adolescents and teenager about drug use, safety, and personal boundaries increases the chance he or she will make a safe choice when asked to ride in a car with a person who has been drinking alcohol. So, as you build this asset in your child, focus not only on how to resist and assert, but also on what to value. What to say yes to. What is healthy. What is safe. Then when your child is confronted with a sticky situation, you can feel more confident that he or she will make a good decision and stand firm in what he or she believes.
The group was trained by Cristina Cortesi, Ph.D., Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator at Adlai E. Stevenson High School and Jamie Epstein, Executive Director of Stand Strong Coalition.