Letter

Letter: How Darien Teens Are Helping to Get Information Out About Binge Drinking

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To the editor:

We, the presidents of the Youth Asset Team, are writing to address and provide a teen perspective on the Thriving Youth Task Force’s “Our Darien” campaign. For those who are unaware with the Youth Asset Team, we are the student branch of the Thriving Youth Task Force, an initiative of The Community Fund of Darien which represents over fifty local organizations that strive to promote positive assets in young people in order to reduce risky behaviors. We are currently collaborating on this nationally recognized “Our Darien” social marketing campaign, which educates parents and students about the detrimental effects of binge drinking. Some of our ongoing activities include: panel participation in presentations for parents of younger students, planning, promoting and executing prevention-related speakers and events, participating in community service, and mentoring to the newly created middle school branch of the Youth Asset Team. All of us originally joined the Youth Asset Team because we wanted to make a difference locally by providing a teen perspective on issues affecting our age group.

Letter: Dangerous Myths About Teen Drinking Need To Be Cleared Up

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To the editor:

We are writing to support the “Our Darien” Campaign, launched by the Thriving Youth Task Force of The Community Fund of Darien. This Campaign focuses on underage drinking and, in particular, how certain attitudes that surround it can be contributing factors. The people who work at Silver Hill Hospital are passionate about educating the community and engaging in prevention efforts in surrounding towns like Darien. _____

“For instance, the earlier kids start drinking, the more likely they are to experience alcohol-related injury and alcohol dependence later in life.” _____

We are proud members of the Thriving Youth Task Force and also provide programs on substance use and mental health in conjunction with the Darien Depot, the Darien YWCA Parent Awareness Program, the Darien Library, and the Darien Health Department.

Police

Police: Parents Should Keep Their Legal Obligations in Mind When Their Teens Host Parties

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At this time of year, the Darien Police Department typically sees an increase in the number of calls for gatherings where minors are possessing and/or consuming alcohol. This increase can be attributed to prom season, the end of the school year, and the return of college students to town. The Darien Police Department is taking this opportunity to remind parents and homeowners about the criminal and civil consequences of allowing or permitting the possession/consumption of alcohol by minors at their homes. ______________

— This announcement from the Darien Police Department was prepared by Youth Division Detective/Public Information Officer James Palmieri, who was, until recently, the school resource officer at Darien High School. ______________

Various social-host and underage-possession charges can be brought against any parent or homeowner who either actively participates in allowing minors to possess or procure alcohol or even passively allows the possession or consumption to take place.

Police

Two Charged After Teen Party with Booze on Mansfield Ave

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A party with numerous teenagers at 130 Mansfield Ave. on Saturday night, March 25 and into Sunday morning was stopped when an officer on patrol saw two teenagers in a dispute outside the house, police said. Darien police described the incident with this account (including accusations not proven in court):

At 12:39 a.m., the officer saw the two teenage men, both 18, in a dispute in the driveway. Numerous teenagers were at the house. Police later found that both men live at the house.

Jamie Roach-Murray New Canaan event 03-16-17

Commentary: Think Europe Has the Right Approach to Teen Drinking? Here’s Evidence They Don’t

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The Thriving Youth Task Force and The Community Fund of Darien must be commended for providing reliable information about the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption. ____________

Editor’s note: This commentary by Dr. Jamie Roach-Murray of Darien, who has been a practicing pediatrician in Darien and now concentrates on public health and health policy. It was submitted as a letter to the editor by the Thriving Youth Task Force, of which she is a member. Darienite.com is treating this as an op-ed, adding subheadings, weblinks and images. At the bottom, we’ve added a video of a recent panel discussion in New Canaan where Roach-Murray spoke.

Police

Police Stop Under-Age Drinking Party, Charge Host, Age 16

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Darien Police said they stopped a party Monday night, Feb. 20 on Richmond Drive where under-age youths were drinking, and charges were brought against the 16-year-old host. Police described what happened with this account, including accusations not proven in court:

At 10:25 p.m., a tip through the Police Department’s anonymous tip line resulted in police visiting 23 Richmond Dr., where they saw many youths on the property (no number or estimate was given in the report). Almost all of the partygoers ran off when officers approached. Police saw a 30-pack of Keystone Light beer on the front lawn, and through a large front window saw many beer cans and red solo cups on a table.

Mark Cappelli Bryan Wallman 02-21-17

What Happens When Darien Police Visit an Under-Age Party with Alcohol

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When police are alerted to a teenage drinking party in Darien, most of what they do revolves around the safety of the under-age drinkers there and the safety of other people who might be on the road when intoxicated drivers from the party go home. That was one of the themes brought up by two Darien police officers involved with youths in town when the officers spoke recently at a meeting for parents at Darien High School. Detective Mark Cappelli, who works on cases involving youths in town, and Officer Bryan Wallman, who had just been named (two days before the meeting) as school resource officer for Darien High School, replacing James Palmieri, who had just been named a detective. Cappelli, who grew up in town and lives here with his wife and daughter, has been on the Darien police force for 21 years, and on the Youth Bureau for the past nine years. Wallman has been a police officer in town for the past decade and previously was school resource officer at Hindley School.

Ellen Dunn Darien High School Teen Drinking Substance Abuse 02-12-17

DHS Principal Ellen Dunn on Drugs, Drinking, Disciplining Students and What Parents Can Do

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Even when Darien High School administrators are dropping the proverbial hammer down on your child in high school, the hammer is only proverbial, Principal Ellen Dunn told parents at a recent meeting — administrators are trying to help, and discipline can be a turning point for your kid. Or, as she put it: “The lucky ones get caught.” That was among the observations and advice Dunn had for parents at the “Truth and Consequences” panel presentation last Tuesday night in Darien High School Auditorium. Dunn, in fact, had so much to say from a perspective that few people in town have, that Darienite.com is publishing a near transcript of what she said. Among the points she made:

“We do not report disciplinary actions to schools.”

Teen Drinking Teenage Drinking Darien Thriving Youth Initiative 02-07-17

Commentary: Parents Need to Make Clear to Teens That Drinking Is Unacceptable

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The team of psychologists, therapists, and educators at the Southfield Center applaud the public health campaign initiated by the Thriving Youth Task Force of The Community Fund of Darien. ________

— Dr. Frank Bartolomeo, Ph.D is director of behavioral health services at Southfield Center for Development in Darien and a member of the Thriving Youth Task Force. All images and links on this page were added by Darienite.com. A presentation for teenagers and parents on the consequences of teen drinking is scheduled for 7 p.m., Tuesday at Darien High School Auditorium. 

________

By any measure, binge drinking during adolescence is a serious public health concern with both immediate and serious consequences for teenagers and their families and with long-term costs to our society. Neuroscientific research over the last 10 years has conclusively demonstrated that alcohol not only affects the developing adolescent brain differently from an adult brain, but can interfere with normal brain functioning.

Truth or Consequences event graphic 02-05-17

‘Truth & Consequences’ Panel Discussion on Teen Drinking at DHS Auditorium

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A panel of five area experts will speak at Darien High School on Tuesday night, Feb. 7, about teen drinking from the perspectives of the law and law enforcement, how it impairs teenage brains and athletic abilities and how Darien High School deals with drinking. The meeting is for both parents and students. The panel discussion takes place in Darien High School auditorium from 7 to 8:30 p.m. (or 9 p.m., according to the Community Fund of Darien website). These panel members will be participating in the discussion:

Darien EMS-Post 53 Director Nancy Herling will discuss how Darien ambulance crews respond to intoxicated teens.

Carrie Bernier 01-30-17

DRINKING IN DARIEN: Worse than Elsewhere for Both Teens and Adults — and the Problem is Growing

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Darien teens drink more than their peers in similar towns, across Fairfield County, across Connecticut and across the United States. Their parents are drinking more than adults in other places, too. And drinking has become more prevalent among middle school and high school kids between 2011 to 2014, especially among high school juniors and seniors. Those are the results of surveys taken for or cited by the Thriving Youth Task Force, a coalition of Darien youth-related groups and professionals in the substance abuse and mental health fields serving Darienites. Later this week, the task force is expected to announce a campaign to turn that around in town.

Police

Teenage Party with Beer Broken Up: One Teen Charged

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Police, alerted to a party with at least 20 to 30 teenagers on Dickenson Road, found cases of beer and charged the host, who had turned 18 that day, with failure to halt possession of alcohol by a minor. Darien police described the incident with this account (including accusations not proven in court):

A resident of the street called police at 9:17 p.m. to complain of a large party with teenagers. The party at first had appeared to have broken up but later a group returned, and the party got much larger, police were told. When police arrived, they found 20 to 30 youths standing on the property, some holding cardboard boxes that looked a lot like beer cases. When they saw police arriving, the youths scattered.

Police

Police: Teenage Party with Five 30-Packs of Cold Beer at Brookside Road Home

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Acting on an anonymous online tip, Darien police say that on on Saturday they found a few teenagers, ages 16 and 17, and five 30-packs of cold beer at a party on Brookside Road. ______________

Correction: Darien police say only a few youths were found at the house where the party took place. They did not see 20 to 30 there, as initially reported in this article. The initial, anonymous report to police, unconfirmed, was that 20 to 30 teenagers were at the party. The article headline and text are now changed.

Police

Mansfield Ave House Damaged During Large Teen Party with Lots of Alcohol

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Darien police say that when they arrived after getting a number of reports of a large party of teenagers at a house at 480 Mansfield Ave., they found 25 to 30 youths in the driveway, another 50 to 75 in the back yard and another 10 or so in the house. That totals 85 to 115 or so partygoers — the largest police count for a teenage party with alcohol in recent years. Police described the incident with this account (including accusations not proven in court);

Some damage was done to the house, with a hole in the sheetrock ceiling of the living room. Police found hundreds red plastic cups, beer containers and liquor in the driveway, in the back yard, in the basement, in the kitchen and living room and in other rooms in the house, including bedrooms.

The house smelled of alcohol. In the basement, table was set up to play beer pong.

Police

Darien Boy, 15, Taken to Hospital After Drinking Party on Bishop’s Gate Road

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A 15-year-old boy, found lying on the ground on Bishop’s Gate Road late Saturday night, appears to have been at a teenage drinking party on that street and was taken to a hospital, where he was treated and released, police said. Darien police gave this account of the incident, which did not result in any arrests:

At about 11:30 p.m., police received a report that youths were loitering in the area, but when officers arrived, they saw nobody and left. A short time later, an officer went back to the scene and saw the teenager lying on the ground. Attempts to talk with the boy were unsuccessful, and Darien EMS-Post 53 was called. An ambulance took the boy to a hospital for treatment.