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Rise Above It takes Washington D.C.!

Representatives from Rise Above It: Lexington Two Community Coalition (RAI) and LRADAC are in the Washington, D.C., area with approximately 3,000 other substance abuse prevention specialists and advocates from around the country for CADCA’s (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America’s) 28th Annual National Leadership Forum.

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“We are excited to take part in the learning, networking and information sharing opportunities afforded through our participation in CADCA’s 28th National Leadership Forum and SAMHSA’s 14th Prevention Day,” said Shauna Cooper, LRADAC Director of Community Services. “We are getting first-hand information from implementers of innovative and effective programming to address substance use prevention that we are looking forward to taking back to our community and putting into practice.”

CADCA’s Forum will cover a wide range of topics – everything from how to prevent prescription drug abuse and the abuse of synthetic drugs and marijuana to how to create tobacco-free environments and develop policies to reduce underage drinking.

The coalition representatives will hear from several leaders including Acting Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy Richard Baum and Dr. Bertha Madras, Harvard Medical School, who will both bring their expertise and insights to share. RAI and LRADAC representatives will also meet with U.S. representatives and senators at the Forum’s Capitol Hill Day event on Wednesday, Feb. 7.

CADCA’s National Leadership Forum, the nation’s largest training event for community prevention leaders, treatment professionals and researchers, will take place at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center Feb. 5-8. Visit the Forum website for details about training sessions, speakers, and special events at cadca.org/events/forum2018.

 

Be SMART

pexels-photo-450301New Year’s Eve is two days away and we have two tips for you!

It’s safe to say that many of us have a laundry list of self-improvement mantras tucked away and waiting for January 1, 2018 but chances are that we will abandon them in a few weeks. It happens every year. This year can be different though if you use Tip 3: Make a SMART resolution. A SMART resolution is one that will be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-framed.

If your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, go to the gym and eat healthy, those are positive goals but they will lead you to failure. Focus on one thing and don’t load yourself down with too many goals. Let’s say you narrow it down to working out more. You’re getting there, but this isn’t going to be a successful resolution either because it’s not specific or measurable and there isn’t a time-frame for you to do it in.

A good example of a SMART resolution is, “I will lift weights at the gym 3 times per week on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday between 6pm-7pm until March.” This resolution is specific, it is measurable (meaning you can track your progress and see how you are doing each week), and it’s definitely achievable and realistic. Also, by saying you are going to do this until March, you are giving yourself a time-frame to achieve the resolution in.

Don’t plan your resolution for the entire year. Break it up in increments so you can evaluate yourself. This way if your resolution is not working, you can adjust it so that you can be successful. Who knows, maybe come March you will want to add more time or days at the gym!

You have a couple of days to think of a good resolution, just make sure that it is SMART. Another thing we should all be thinking about over the next couple days is how we can be safe on New Year’s Eve. Many of us will be ringing in the New Year with family and friends but how will you be getting home when the party is over?

Tip 4: Plan a sober ride in advance. You may not plan to drink on New Years Eve, but it might happen and in case it does make sure that you have a sober ride home. Talk with a family member or a friend ahead of time. This way someone will know to stay awake and check on you to see if you need a safe ride home. There are also options like Uber or Lyft if you don’t want to get a traditional taxi.

If you are with a group of friends, plan for someone to be the designated driver so that on New Year’s Eve night there is no confusion as to who will be driving everyone home. For those of you who are underage, if someone is pressuring you to drink, just say no or call a parent to come get you. Don’t be afraid to call your parents and ask them to pick you up. Remember that drinking and diving is never the answer.

Be smart about your decisions and your resolutions!

Have a happy, healthy and safe New Year!

 

 

Kick Back and Relax

Now that you have survived the bulk of the holidays, you may be wondering what to do next. The answer is, Tip 2: Relax! It’s quite normal to feel like you have taken on too many responsibilities this time of year with all the shopping, familial obligations, and events to attend on top your regular routine of work or school. Luckily, many of you have some extra free time right now which is the perfect time to take care of yourself and avoid holiday burnout. Here are some ideas to help you get through the last stretch of the holiday season.

  • Take a walk. Exercise can reduce anxiety and improve mood.
  • Get some sleep. Make sure you are getting enough sleep each night because inadequate sleep can cause stress.
  • Slow down. It’s ok if you miss a couple events. But do spend some time with the people who make you happy.
  • Remember the things you enjoy. Maybe it’s reading a book. Maybe it’s painting. Whatever it may be, set a little time aside for your favorite hobbies.
  • Make sure you are eating well. The holidays are filled with tons of tasty treats but don’t forget to treat yourself to a piece of fruit or a few fresh veggies.
  • Don’t overstretch yourself. When you spread yourself thin you are more likely to be stressed and depressed so block some time out in your planner for yourself.

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It’s hard to believe that 2018 is right around the corner. So kick your shoes off, relax and enjoy the rest of 2017. You deserve it!

Don’t text and drive!

Tis the season for holiday fun! As we get closer to the New Year, we want to make sure that you, your family and friends stay safe! We will be posting tips to prevent impaired driving and promote a healthy holiday season for everyone. Let’s start with a pledge to drive sober and to avoid distractions while driving. Which brings us to our first tip…

Tip 1: Put down that cell phone! You may be taking the pledge to avoiding drinking and driving, but that doesn’t mean the personUsing phone while driving in the car next to you is. Be alert and pay attention to the road because you never know who had too much eggnog during that ugly Christmas sweater party. It just takes a split second for someone to swerve into your lane and if you’re looking at your phone or not paying attention you could get hurt. If you have to answer that text, just pull over. No text is worth your life.

Dealing with Holiday Stress

As the holidays are winding down be mindful of how you are dealing with stress. Relatives coming into town, spending time away from friends while school is out, even preparing for the return to school, can cause a lot of stress for teens.

Holiday stress is normal. Stress is a feeling that is created when we react to particular events. It’s the body’s way of preparing us for an approaching situation.

Some ways to relieve holiday stress:

  • Practice random acts of kindness. They will not only help you but those around you.
  • Exercise and stretching can help calm the mind and body.
  • Watch a few classic holiday specials.
  • Being present by taking a couple of minutes to focus on only one behavior. Notice how the air feels on your face when walking or paying attention to the texture in a bite of food.
  • Reaching out to others can help reduce stress by venting frustrations. Social media is your friend. Share what’s going on with others on a “safe teen website.”

Aside from normal holiday stress, some teens can feel stressed by peer pressure during the holiday break. Winter break is a common time for teens to experiment with or use drugs and alcohol. If someone is pressuring you to do anything that’s not right or healthy for you, you have the right to resist. Be confident and be prepared with these refusal skills:

  • Say no and let them know you mean it by standing up straight, making eye contact, saying how you feel, not making excuses, and sticking up for yourself.
  • If you find yourself at a party and need an out, call a parent and tell them to come get you. Your parents want to help and will appreciate you making the right choice.
  • Never go somewhere alone and always have an escape plan.

Set the stress aside and have a safe and happy New Years!

New Drug Fads and Trends Training

November 15, 2016

Rise Above It: Lexington Two Community Coalition and LRADAC Prevention Specialists host a New Fads & Drug Trends training on November 15, 2016 from 4 to 5 p.m. at the West Columbia City Hall, located at 200 N. 12th Street, West Columbia, SC 29169.

For the first time, daily marijuana use exceeds daily tobacco cigarette use among high school seniors in America, and 90 percent of adolescents who drink, do so while binge drinking (NIH). After marijuana, prescription and over-the-counter medications account for most of the top drugs abused by adolescents in the past year.

With the rise in opioid use and the decrease in perception of harm, Rise Above It invites adults to come learn more about what is locally and nationally trending when it comes to substance use, and how to identify signs and symptoms of youth use.

Rise Above It: Lexington Two Community Coalition is a Drug Free Community grant-funded organization housed at LRADAC serving the Lexington Two School District community. To read more about Rise Above It, visit riseaboveitlexington.org.