Print event flyer: 3.27.18TeenBrain
The Scituate FACTS Coalition is delighted to welcome Dr. Sion Kim Harris for an annual presentation on adolescent brain development and the effect of substance use. Dr. Harris will review the latest science that every parent and student should know about adolescent brain development. Participants will learn how the brain responds to alcohol and marijuana in particular, as well as habits that promote healthy brain function and development.
Dr. Harris is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and faculty in the Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine and Developmental Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital. She is a senior research scientist at the Center for Adolescent Substance Addiction Research (www.CeASAR.org) at Boston Children’s, an internationally-renowned research center which strives to be a leading source of innovative, effective strategies in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of substance-related problems.
So what’s the big deal about trying substances? “Well thanks to MRIs, we now know that the developing adolescent brain responds to experiences. This can either be bad news or good news,” according to Annmarie Galvin, FACTS Coalition Co-Chair. “One of the biggest risk factors for developing a problem with substances later in life – be it opiates, alcohol, or something else – is the age of first use. Starting early – with anything, even nicotine- increases an individual’s chances of developing a serious problem. Attendees will learn more about this important risk factor by looking at images and reviewing scientific research with Dr. Harris. It’s quite fascinating to learn a new way of looking at addiction from a science perspective. For me, it removes all of the bad choices and morality talk from the addiction conversation. So much of this disease is brain related. Understanding the science of early use is compelling.”
At the March 27 event, local statistics and identified areas of concern will also be presented by Scituate High School students. The coalition remains concerned about high school binge drinking, marijuana use, and the frequency with which our young people ride in a car with someone who had been drinking. Scituate rates are similar to the state and national averages in many categories. However the risky health behavior of heavy episodic drinking – having more than 5 drinks in a row – among local high school students is higher than the state average, and increasing. According to last year’s anonymous survey, 27% Scituate High School students report this risk behavior in the past 30-days, compared to 18% of high school students across the state and the nation (2017, SHS Youth Risk Behavior Survey). In addition to potential long-term impacts, we know that risky decisions may be made anytime someone is under the influence of substances. Our school community would like to take this opportunity before prom and graduation season to empower families with information to celebrate safely.
A special note for Scituate High School Juniors and their Parents and Caregivers:
Please arrive by 6:30pm to hear expectations and logistics for the Junior Prom on May 18. Junior students in attendance will be entered into a free raffle drawing. Students must be present win. Prizes will be raffled off at the end of the program and include prizes such as two prom tickets (raffled separately), hair styling, tux rental, make-up and more. The FACTS Coalition appreciates the generous support of the small business community as we work together to make the prom and graduation season safe and memorable for our young people. Discounted prom tickets ($10 off) will also available for purchase after the program for students who attend the educational forum on March 27th. This ticket discount is made possible by generous donations to our coalition from BeWell Studios Friday night community classes.
All communities are welcome to attend this free program. Content is appropriate for ages 12 and up.
Invite your friends via Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/592962251048023/