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.

Panelists Binge Drinking 03-08-17

Teens Have Died from Binge Drinking in Darien: Police Officer at Panel Discussion

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After a documentary film about the dangers of binge drinking among teenagers and young adults was shown at Darien Library on Monday night, James Palmieri, recently the school resource officer at Darien High School, told the audience that, just as in the documentary, a Darien teenager had died from the affects of binging on alcohol when his friends had left him. “This isn’t something that happens [only] in other places,” Palmieri, now a detective with Darien police after 4 1/2 years as the department’s school resource officer at the high school. He was speaking as part of a panel discussing binge drinking after the audience of about 150 saw the movie “Haze.” “[I]n some cases, one of which I was directly involved with, the kid ended up dying purely because he drank too much, and his friends didn’t want to deal with him,” Palmieri said. “One of them was thrown in an Uber [driving service car] and sent home, and you know, circumstances unfolded, and he ended up dying.”

Suzanne Denunzio Haze binge drinking 03-06-17

Binge Drinking Hits Close to Home: Some Things Darien Parents and Teens Should Know

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Before the documentary “Haze” was shown to about 150 people, mostly high school students, at a meeting Monday night sponsored by a coalition of groups in town concerned about under-age binge drinking, Suzanne Denunzio, a Darien parent, got up to speak. The documentary is about how a University of Colorado freshman from Greenwich died from alcohol poisoning in his first month at school. He was binge drinking as part of a pledging ordeal to get into a campus fraternity. Denunzio is a friend of the family of the dead student. We thought what she had to say was worth publishing in full and especially worth the time of any parent with teenage children, so we asked her to give us her prepared statement.

Haze movie 03-05-17

‘Haze,’ Documentary on Alcohol Poisoning and Binge Drinking: Monday Night at Darien Library

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Come see the movie “Haze” on Monday night at Darien Library. The movie is about a college student from Fairfield County who died in September 2004 from alcohol poisoning after passing out on a couch in his fraternity house following a hazing initiation at the University of Colorado. A panel discussion with questions from the audience will follow. In 2008, the Gordie Foundation (named after the student, Gordie Bailey) produced Haze, a documentary telling Gordie’s story and discussing the issues surrounding college drinking and hazing. This program is for parents and mature high-school aged students.

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.

Thriiving Youth 15-10-27

$100K Grant Awarded for Darien Youth Substance Abuse/Mental Health Program

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The Community Fund of Darien has received a competitive annual grant of $100,000 for the next five years to implement a strategic prevention plan to reduce substance abuse and improve mental health among Darien’s youth and their parents. ______________

— an announcement (slightly edited) from the Community Fund of Darien


With this grant, the State of Connecticut recognizes The Community Fund’s prevention and asset-development work with the Thriving Youth Initiative and the student asset survey. The Community Fund of Darien will dedicate resources to engage the whole community in a long-term plan to promote positive youth development and mental health. “We are thrilled to be a recipient of this important prevention grant. It allows us to collaborate town-wide with leaders working with youth and to invest on a deeper level in our Thriving Youth Task Force,” said Executive Director Carrie Bernier.