Category Archives: Public Policy

Fentanyl: What Parents of Teens Need to Know

If you follow news on the opioid crisis in the United States, then it’s likely you’ve heard about fentanyl. Fentanyl is the drug responsible for driving overdose death rates to an all-time record high. In 2021, over 100,000 people in the U.S. died of drug overdose, with deaths involving fentanyl and other powerful synthetic opioids […]

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Delaying Gender-Affirming Treatments in Teens During Covid: What to Consider

Gender-Affirming Treatment for Transgender Teens When the coronavirus pandemic arrived in the U.S. in March 2020, we all quickly became aware of a variety of new phrases. We couldn’t avoid them. Print, TV, mobile, and online media repeated them daily, over and over, in all our public discourse regarding COVID-19. We learned about: Shelter-in-place orders […]

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Surgeon General’s Advisory: Youth Mental Health in 2021

On Tuesday, December 7th, 2021, the Surgeon General issued an advisory regarding the mental health of children and teens in the U.S. Here’s the short version: Our youth are in trouble – but there are things we can do to help. The rest of this article is the long version. Why a Surgeon General’s Advisory […]

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What Parents Need to Know About the E-Cigarette Named Puff Bar

Vaping Synthetic Nicotine in Disposable Devices When we last wrote an article about e-cigarettes and vaping nicotine, the news was more positive than negative. We published that article – Cigarettes, E-Cigarettes, and Substance Use in Adolescents – shortly after the public outcry around the most popular e-cigarette at the time, called Juul. The widespread animosity […]

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Drugged Driving Rivals Dangers of Drunk Driving

Drugged driving doesn’t get as much national attention as drunk driving, but it’s every bit as dangerous. Like alcohol, marijuana, and prescription drugs impair teens’ ability to drive safely and are part of the reason motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of death among young people. Experts warn that legalization may make the problem […]

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Mental Health Awareness Month 2021: Tools 2 Thrive Phase Two

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. At the beginning of 2020, no one could have predicted where we are now, almost halfway through 2021. We faced the worst public health emergency in a hundred years: the coronavirus pandemic. Physical health and wellbeing were our first priority all year, which was critical for getting the pandemic […]

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National Prevention Week 2021: How to Prevent Teens From Using Drugs

National Prevention Week (NPW) was established by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to encourage schools, communities, and organizations to raise awareness about preventing adolescent substance use and mental health issues. This year, National Prevention Week is May 9-15.  National Prevention Week occurs every May – towards the end of the school […]

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How Do Teachers Feel About Returning to Virtual Teaching?

The Santa Monica Unified School District (SMUSD) will resume classes via distance-learning this year. For Ms. Orah Gidanian, a special-education instructor at the Santa Monica Alternative School House (SMASH), this makes sense. “While I am definitely nervous thinking about how this will impact our students’ academic futures and their families, I didn’t see how we […]

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