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Communities That Care Coalition Newsletter: Back To School: Guys, We Can Do This

Tips from Above the Influence

As the summer boils to a close, so begins another school year… and naturally, we’re all a little nervous, but excited!

Aside from the joys of back-to-school shopping, the new school year can be an anxious time. New classes, new teachers, and maybe even a new school – it can all add up to an intimidating first day. But all this change can also be a great opportunity to make new friends and try new things!

Let’s start the year off right! Once you’ve figured out what to wear, a little mental prep work (repeat after us: “There’s life beyond high school. There’s life beyond high school. There’s life…”) and some in-depth analysis of the high school terrain may help calm those first-day jitters.

The Locker Situation

Hopefully by now we’ve all developed a certain level of courtesy when it comes to sharing a cramped hallway (i.e. no dropping books on each other’s heads, things like that). If not, you’ve got your first assignment.

You may have little control over where your locker is, but as for inside of that locker… that’s yours for the next 9 months. Let’s make efficiency the theme this year: lunch, backpack, jacket, books, maybe an instrument or some cleats… the goal is to get in and out, leaving more time for yourself (a minute here, a minute there… let’s take what we can get)!

The Classroom

The teacher, well, we can’t do anything about that. But if we’re lucky, maybe we can choose where to sit.

Will the window be too cold or a welcome distraction? The heater – cozy or nap-inducing? Hard to see from the back, but a little intense up front… maybe we choose the middle. Surround yourself with potential new study buddies- finally the chance to hang out with that kid you’ve had five classes with and still don’t know!

The Lab

One ultimate buddy with which to share a desk and properly manage to set up a Bunsen burner?! If the choice is yours, choose wisely. (Note: An Edward Cullen, who silently throws death-glares your way while resisting the urge to eat you, is probably not the best choice.)

The Cafeteria

Among the many lessons Mean Girls has taught us, navigating the high school cafeteria is perhaps the most important (second only to making fetch happen).

We all know the slight nuances of the layout – the senior corner, freshman side, lots of football jerseys. And we all face that same looming question: who will I sit with? Would that we could have our best bud in the same lunch period, but that’s unlikely, so find aim for a friendly faces and go for it! Everyone is looking for people to eat with – take a chance to explore potential new lunch buddies and maybe make a new friend.

And finally… Extracurriculars!

With a bunch of new clubs and teams starting up, this year is the perfect chance to try something new.

The list of after-school activities seems endless, so uncover a secret talent or passion with a new adventure. Or just meet some new people with neat interests. Either way, it’s worth a shot to see what’s out there, while still making time for the activities you know you love.

Just remember not to overload yourself, if you can help it. Sleep is a good thing, and us teens need lots of it.

For more ways to stay above the influence visit

Almost One-Third Of Teens Using

Marijuana Say They Are Trying To

Alleviate Boredom

A study of why teens use marijuana finds almost one-third say they use the drug to alleviate boredom, HealthDay reports. Teens who use marijuana because they are bored are more likely to also use cocaine, the study found.

The researchers found marijuana use itself was not a risk factor for using other drugs. While people do generally use marijuana before other drugs, it does not mean marijuana is a cause of using those other drugs, according to lead researcher Joseph Palamar of New York University Langone Medical Center.

The findings appear in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse. The new study focused on high school seniors who reported marijuana use in the past year. The study looked at their self-reported use of other illicit drugs, including powder cocaine, crack, heroin, LSD, other psychedelics, amphetamines, tranquilizers and other narcotics.

Teens who said they used marijuana “to experiment” had a lower risk of using any of the eight other drugs, the study found. Lead researcher Joseph Palamar said this indicates teens who say they are trying marijuana just to try it are often at low risk for moving on to other drugs.

“Most teens who use marijuana don’t progress to use of other drugs, and we believe this is evidenced in part by the fact that nearly two-thirds of these marijuana-using teens did not report use of any of the other illicit drugs we examined,” he said in a news release.

Marcia Lee Taylor, President and CEO of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, said it is important to understand what motivates teen drug use in order to prevent it. She added some people are genetically or psychologically predisposed to addictive behavior. “I wouldn’t want a parent or a teen to say, ‘I’m not using for these purposes, so therefore I’m in the clear. I don’t have a risk of getting addicted,’” she said.

For More, Please Read The August 12 Edition Of The Nashville News.

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