Happy February!

January was quite a month, with National Mentoring Month and Prevention Awareness Day at the State House. Students from four Franklin County schools attended Prevention Day. SATEC students are pictured below with state representative Kathy Keenan and state senator Dustin Degree, as well as Caring Communities director Beth Crane and intern Michele Bessette.

statehouse 7-2February 17: Adolescent substance abuse prevention
February 18: FCCC board meeting, 3-5 p.m.

Coming in March – Rocking Horse Circle of Support Returns. Click on registration form 2016 to download a referral form.

Visit our facebook page or our calendar to see what else is going on in the coming weeks.

Looking for information on Watershed Mentoring? Visit our page.

If you are looking for information on effective policies that support prevention, please download our document, Addressing Youth and Young Adult Substance Abuse in Franklin County.

Is Vermont really ready for legalized marijuana? Check out this report on the impact of marijuana legalization and commercialization.

Parents, “Safe Homes Parent Network” is a way for you to connect, support one another, and keep kids safe and substance free across Franklin County.   We’re inviting parents to sign on to the fSafe-Homes-Parent-Network-Color-Logoollowing:

  • I will actively supervise all gatherings of youth in our home or on our property, or ask another responsible adult for help to do so.
  • I will not allow the possession of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs by youth in our home or on our property.
  • I will set expectations for my children by knowing where they are going, whom they are with, what they are doing, and when they are to return home.

Are you interested in joining the Safe Home Parent Network? Click here for more information, or contact betsy.fcccp@gmail.com to get on board.

Check out the new ParentUp for tips on recognizing substance use in teens, talking to your kids and teens about underage drinking and aamother drug use, and preparing them for safe, fun, substance free parties and events.

Looking to get more involved in County-wide prevention and positive youth development? Consider becoming a mentor or joining our board. We all benefit when our members take an active role in guiding our coalition’s prevention initiatives.  Contact Beth 527-5049 x 1 or beth@fcccp.org for more information.

Caring Communities is a proud supporter of Front Porch Forum, a web-based community network., which is now available to all towns in Vermont.   Check it out and join the conversation.

Join us in promoting a safe, healthy, caring, and substance-free Franklin County that values all its members.  And, if you’d like to support Caring Communities and Watershed Mentoring financially, you can now donate online! Please click on the button to the right to be taken to a secure donation website.

Thanks for your interest and remember, we are ALL Caring Communities.

Home / Join Together / /BY CELIA VIMONT June 3rd, 2015/ 5 Marijuana joint weed- Join Together News Service from the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids

As marijuana use and potency increases, the demand for treatment for cannabis use disorder is on the rise. Frances Levin, MD, Kennedy Leavy Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center, explains what treatments are available and who is seeking help for the disorder.
For the entire article, click here (this will take you away from the Franklin County Caring Communities site).

How can you improve parenting skills, help families become closer, and guide young people away from drug use and other problem behaviors? With the Families That Care(R) series of programs: Guiding Good Choices(R), Staying Connected with Your Teen(R), and Supporting School Success(R)!

*Guiding Good Choices* is the premier, research-based drug-prevention program for parents of children ages 9-14. This nationally recognized, proven-effective program gives parents the skills they need to help reduce or prevent substance abuse and other problem behaviors in their children — all in just five 2-hour workshops.

For a free online preview including an introductory video and pages from the Workshop Leader’s Guide (in English and Spanish) and Family Guide (in English and Spanish), go to:

Franklin County Caring Communities offers “Guiding Good Choices(R).” Contact us at 527-5049 for more information.

Social and emotional learning (SEL) can help children thrive! A recent report on National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” focuses on how SEL programs in general — and the PATHS(R) program in particular — can benefit young students in early childhood and into the future. According to the report, “[Playing, helping, and sharing] are crucial skills we all need to learn, even in preschool and kindergarten. And common sense — along with a growing body of research — shows that mastering social skills early on can help people stay out of trouble all the way into their adult lives.”

Read and listen to the full story at:

Alcohol use involves drinking beer, wine, or hard liquor.


Alcohol is one of the most widely used drug substances in the world.


Alcohol use is not only an adult problem. Most American high school seniors have had an alcoholic drink within the past month, despite the fact that the legal drinking age is 21 years old in the U.S.

About 1 in 5 teens are considered “problem drinkers.” This means that they:

  • Get drunk
  • Have accidents related to alcohol use
  • Get into trouble with the law, family members, friends, school, or dates because of alcohol


Alcoholic drinks have different amounts of alcohol in them:

  • Beer is about 5% alcohol, although some beers can have more.
  • Wine is usually 12 to 15% alcohol.
  • Hard liquor is about 45% alcohol.

Alcohol gets into your bloodstream quickly.

The amount and type of food in your stomach can change how quickly this occurs. For example, high-carbohydrate and high-fat foods can make your body absorb alcohol more slowly.

Certain types of alcoholic drinks get into your bloodstream faster. A carbonated (fizzy) alcoholic drink, such as champagne, will be absorbed faster than a non-carbonated drink.

Alcohol slows your breathing rate, heart rate, and how well your brain functions. These effects may appear within 10 minutes and peak at around 40 to 60 minutes. Alcohol stays in your bloodstream until it is broken down by the liver. The amount of alcohol in your blood is called your “blood alcohol level.” If you drink alcohol faster than the liver can break it down, this level rises.

Your blood alcohol level is used to legally define whether or not you are drunk. The blood alcohol legal limit usually falls between 0.08 and 0.10 in most states. Below is a list of blood alcohol levels and the likely symptoms.

  • 0.05 — reduced inhibitions
  • 0.10 — slurred speech
  • 0.20 — euphoria and motor impairment
  • 0.30 — confusion
  • 0.40 — stupor
  • 0.50 — coma
  • 0.60 — respiratory paralysis and death

You can have symptoms of “being drunk” at blood alcohol levels below the legal definition of being drunk. Also, people who drink alcohol frequently may not have symptoms until a higher blood alcohol level is reached.


Alcohol increases the risk of:

  • Alcoholism or alcohol dependence
  • Falls, drownings, and other accidents
  • Head, neck, stomach, and breast cancers
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Risky sex behaviors, unplanned or unwanted pregnancy, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • Suicide and homicide

Drinking during pregnancy can harm the developing baby. Severe birth defects or fetal alcohol syndrome are possible.


If you drink alcohol, it is best to do so in moderation. Moderation means the drinking is not getting you intoxicated (or drunk) and you are drinking no more than 1 drink per day if you are a woman and no more than 2 if you are a man. A drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1½ ounces of liquor.

Here are some ways to drink responsibly, provided you do not have a drinking problem, are of legal age to drink alcohol, and are not pregnant:

  • Never drink alcohol and drive a car.
  • If you are going to drink, have a designated driver, or plan an alternative way home, such as a taxi or bus.
  • Do not drink on an empty stomach. Snack before and while drinking alcohol.

If you are taking medication, including over-the-counter drugs, check with your doctor before drinking alcohol. Alcohol can make the effects of many medicines stronger. It can also interact with other medicines, making them ineffective or dangerous or make you sick.

Do not drink if you have a history of alcohol abuse or alcoholism.

If alcoholism runs in your family, you may be at increased risk of developing alcoholism yourself, so you may want to avoid drinking alcohol altogether.


  • You are concerned about your personal alcohol use or that of a family member
  • You are interested in more information regarding alcohol use, alcohol abuse, or support groups
  • You are unable to reduce or stop your alcohol consumption, in spite of attempts to stop drinking

Other resources include:

  • Local Alcoholics Anonymous or Al-anon/Alateen groups
  • Local hospitals
  • Public or private mental health agencies
  • School or work counselors
  • Student or employee health centers


National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Alcohol and health. Available at: http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health. Accessed on February 24, 2014.

O’Connor PG. Alcohol abuse and dependence. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman’s Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 32.

Sherin K, Seikel S. Alcohol use disorders. Rakel RE, Rakel DP, eds. Textbook of Family Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 49.

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Screening and behavioral counseling interventions in primary care to reduce alcohol misuse: recommendation statement. Available at: http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf12/alcmisuse/alcmisuserfinalrs.htm. Accessed on February 24, 2014.

Update Date: 2/24/2014

Updated by: Fred K. Berger, MD, Addiction and Forensic Psychiatrist, Scripps Memorial Hospital, La Jolla, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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