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.

Letter

Letter from an Expert: Parents Should Begin Frank Discussions About Substance Abuse EARLY

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To the editor:

I applaud the work of The Community Fund of Darien’s Thriving Youth Task Force as it launches its campaign “Our Darien” which is aimed at addressing teen binge drinking. The Thriving Youth Task Force is helping to increase our understanding of teens’ and parents’ beliefs and behavior regarding alcohol use and binge drinking. At the Child Guidance Center of Southern Connecticut, where we provide mental health services to more than 3,000 children and teens every year, we are all too aware of the harmful effects of teen drinking.  

The good news for parents is that research shows they are the strongest influence on their children’s decisions about drinking. Our Darien’s use of social media to disseminate scientific information about teen drinking issues brings it squarely into our daily lives.

Letter

Letter: New Initiatives in Darien Give People, Families Support to Counter Substance Abuse

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To the editor:

As someone who grew up in Darien (DHS ’93) and works for a national addiction nonprofit, I commend The Community Fund of Darien’s Thriving Youth Task Force and their “Our Darien” campaign. I think it is important that parents start the conversations with their children about drugs and alcohol much sooner than one might think (middle school is just too late) and be armed with information on how addiction is a brain disease. There are three factors to one becoming addicted; genetic, environmental and developmental. Addiction can develop at any age, but research shows that the earlier in a life a person tries drugs and/or alcohol, the more likely that person is to develop addiction. Our brains are not finished developing until our mid-20s, thus introducing drugs to the brain before this time of growth and change can cause serious, long-lasting damage.

Op Ed: Community Fund of Darien’s Teen Binge Drinking Campaign Gets National Recognition

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This opinion piece/announcement is by Carrie Bernier, executive director of the Community Fund of Darien:

The Community Fund’s Thriving Youth Task Force has set its sights on reducing teenage binge drinking in Darien. When they launched the “Our Darien 06820” campaign last winter, they hoped to hit a nerve locally with parents and teens. They didn’t suspect that it would strike a chord nationally, too. Emily Larkin, The Community Fund of Darien’s Thriving Youth director, recently returned from California after presenting Darien’s innovative “06820” campaign to a national audience of substance abuse professionals.  

Darien’s binge drinking prevention campaign is the product of a collaboration between The Community Fund of Darien, the Thriving Youth Task Force and the creative team at Colangelo Synergy Marketing.

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.