May/June 2018 Parenting & Prevention Newsletter

Chemical Health

Trend Corner:


Common Hiding Spots for Teenagers to hide Drugs and Drug Paraphernalia.

Allen County Health


Click on the YouTube link below to watch Fort Wayne Police Department’s Cpt. Kevin Hunter with the Vice and Narcotics

Division share tips on common hiding spots for drugs and drug paraphernalia.


Fake weed in Illinois leaves

 2 dead, dozens with

‘severe bleeding’

By Jennifer Earl


This photo provided Friday, Aug. 7, 2015 by New York Police Department shows packets of synthetic marijuana seized after a search warrant was served at a newsstand in Brooklyn, N.Y.  (AP Photo/New York Police Department)


Emergency rooms in Illinois are noticing a spike in synthetic pot users suffering from “severe bleeding,” and state health officials are warning the public to remain vigilant.


The Illinois Department of Health (IDPH) issued a statement on last week announcing that at least six people in northeastern Illinois had been hospitalized after using the man-made substance — also known as “fake weed,” “K2” or “spice.” On Monday, the number of cases climbed to 56, including two deaths, the health department reported.


“All cases have required hospitalization for symptoms such as coughing up blood, blood in the urine, severe bloody nose, and/or bleeding gums,” the IDPH said. “Nine of these cases have tested positive for brodifacoum, a lethal anticoagulant often used as a rodenticide, or rat poison.”


There are now cases in at least nine Chicago-area communities including Cook County, Dupage County, Kane County, Kankakee County, McLean County, Peoria County, Tazewell County and Will County. But officials believe that number will grow, as it’s possible contaminated products have been sold across the state.


“Despite the perception that synthetic cannabinoids are safe and a legal alternative to marijuana, many are illegal and can cause severe illness,” IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah said in a statement last week. “The recent cases of severe bleeding are evidence of the harm synthetic cannabinoids can cause.”


Synthetic pot is made up of hundreds of different chemicals — and their effect on the human body is unpredictable.


Read the full article here


Tap Into Your Emotions:

Why EQ Could Be More Important Than IQ

By Suzanne Lucas


Having a high IQ can be very helpful to a successful career, but it might not be the most helpful thing. A good EQ could be even better.


We all know it’s important to be smart.


But being smart doesn’t have to mean a super high IQ, of course, it can mean being a normal human with a lot of knowledge about your particular area of expertise.


Having a high IQ can be very helpful to a successful career, but it might not be the most helpful thing. Enter: EQ.


A good EQ might actually be even better for your career trajectory. Here’s why.


What is EQ?

Emotional Quotient, or as it’s sometimes referred to, Emotional Intelligence (EI), is the ability to recognize and understand feelings, your own feelings and other people’s feelings.


This is not to say that the most important aspect of business is the ability to give out hugs. (Blech, although admittedly, I may not be the best at the emotional side of things. They don’t call me Evil HR Lady for nothing.)


It’s not about touchy-feely, it’s about understanding. And that? I’m good at. (Also, humble.)


Why Is EQ Important in Your Business?

Well, think of Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory. He’s super smart, but he has no idea what us normal humans think and feel about things.


Coming up with a product or service that can appeal to the masses is beyond his capability. He doesn’t get what other people see as necessary or even desired.


He can’t switch his behavior to accommodate someone else’s needs. It’s his spot on the couch, the fact that someone is sleeping there is irrelevant. He’s sick, so everyone needs to cater to him. Et cetera. That’s someone with low EQ.


Contrast that with the people at Apple who came up with the iPhone. It was something entirely new, and definitely required a great deal of IQ to create, but it appealed to everyone, from toddlers to teens to grandma.


They got what people wanted, even though people didn’t know why they wanted it until the product was actually available.


That’s EQ. Understanding people and their wants and desires.


If you can come up with the next iPhone, you’re set for life, but EQ can do more than that. It can make the difference between a successful business and a failed one.


Jim Whitehurst, CEO of Red Hat, explains in the new book, “The Open Organization: Igniting Passion and Performance”, he says, “Too often we tout the intellectual capabilities of leaders by focusing on their IQ, when we should really be valuing their emotional intelligence quotient or EQ score.


Being the smartest person in the room is not enough if you don’t have the capacity to work with the people who are in that room with you.


When you work with and through communities of contributors as Red Hat does, where you can’t order anyone to do anything for you, your ability to listen, process, and not take everything personally becomes incredibly valuable.”


How Can You Look for That Skill When You Hire?

Whitehurst says that you should, “Hire people who show they are listening. Leadership is the art of getting work done with other people.


You should strive to build a balanced team that is equipped to handle any challenge they may face. I strongly believe that diversity of personality, perspective, and background leads to a stronger team.


Those differences may cause a team to disagree from time to time, or even argue, but a well-functioning team knows how to listen to each other, hash out even the most difficult of issues, and ultimately deliver better results.


Choosing intellectually curious people with diverse strengths and perspectives will make a strong team.”


Some people panic at the idea of disagreeing. It’s scary to be in a situation where people say, “No, you’re wrong,” but it’s critical that you have people like that on your team.


You need to have the ability to talk with one another and see things from a different point of view. One of the hallmarks of someone with good EQ is that they can listen and ask questions and consider that they might not always be right.


Sometimes people that have too high of an IQ know that they are right, and as a result, stop listening.


However, sometimes, even smart people can be dumb.


Like IQ, some people are born with high EQ and some are born with low EQ. If yours is low, it doesn’t mean you’re forever stuck as a task only person. You can learn and develop your EQ as well.


Read the full article, plus tips to improve your EQ here


How to Keep Teens Alcohol and Drug Free This Summer

By Suzanne Kane



Summertime is here – and so is the season when many teens with time on their hands turn to experimenting with alcohol and drugs. Rather than throw up your hands and say there’s nothing you can do, take a minute to reflect on just how important and influential parents’ roles are to their children.


In fact, you can make a difference. It all starts with having proactive strategies in place to ensure your teens learn to live by the family’s rules and moral values, to appreciate that there are healthier ways to enjoy their summer months, and that responsibility is something that needs to be practiced.


What can you do? What are some of the most important areas to focus on? Here are some suggestions.


Be Involved


Instead of just going off to work and reminding teens to “be good” or “stick around the house” or warning them not to stay out too late, the best way to be in the know about what your children are doing is to be involved in their daily lives.


This doesn’t mean that you have to take time off from work to watch over them like a hawk, but it does mean that you engage in ongoing conversation about their likes, their friends, new activities and interests, what’s bothering them, any peer pressure, struggles with skills or learning ability, and what they want to get out of summer.


The more you interact with your teens, the more natural and comfortable this way of communicating will feel. The overarching impression is that you care about your kids and want to do all that you can to ensure that their teen years are filled with beneficial opportunities to learn and grow, and to build their core sense of values and increase personal responsibility.


Naturally, this will require more effort on your part than you may have thought, especially if you are only now beginning to realize that you can’t just leave kids to grow up on their own. In a vacuum, there are all sorts of dangers and risks for teens. Without firm and loving guidance and a moral compass, teens will likely find themselves on the wrong side of decision-making at a critical time.


While this may be easy to recommend, how do you implement a strategy to be involved in your teens’ lives? You could try the following:

  • Ask about their plans for the summer.
  • Discuss, as a family, things to do together on the weekend or make plans for a family summer vacation.
  • Learn the names and background of all your teen’s friends.
  • Communicate with the parents of your teen’s friends and make sure they know your wishes about not allowing alcohol and drug use.
  • Set clear rules, including rules about alcohol and drug use. Enforce the rules you set.
  • Know where your children are, what they are doing, whom they are with, and whom they are friends with.
  • Research activities together that your teen can participate in – hopefully, pertaining to his or her interests, but also encouraging them to discover new ones.
  • Have family meals together – no eating on the run or skipping meals. Use this time to discuss what everyone did today and what plans are for tomorrow and later on in the week.
  • Keep a family calendar with important dates and activities clearly listed.
  • Check in during the day with your teen using social media, instant message, texting or a quick phone call. Maybe use this time to let your teen know you’ve found out some information regarding an upcoming trip or event, or saw a great outfit or a guitar on sale or something else that will spark your teen’s interest and excitement.
  • Make time for one-on-one talks with your teen about anything that seems to be bothering him or her – or gently try to determine what may be wrong, if you notice a difference in attitude, dress, manner of speech, appearance or disappearance of certain friends, and so on.
  • Create a pledge between yourself and your children that promises they will not drink alcohol and use drugs.


Be a Good Role Model


It goes without saying – but it needs to be repeated – that parents should show teens good behavior by their own actions. This means that parents have to know that their teenage son and daughter will be watching how they behave when others are around at a party where alcohol is served, at a restaurant when the parents order wine or cocktails and then get in the car and drive, even casual comments made about alcohol or drug use shown in movies and on television.


If you don’t want your teens to believe you have a laissez-faire attitude about drinking and drug use, you need to demonstrate that you have the good sense not to drink to excess, to drink and then drive, to drink regularly, to pop pills for every little reason, to combine pills and alcohol, to relax and unwind with a joint, a beer and a pill of some sort.


Beyond not drinking and using drugs – unless the medication is prescribed for you by a doctor and taken only by you for the purposes prescribed – you also need to convey that drinking and drug use does not solve problems. Instead, it creates and exacerbates problems.


Does this mean a radical change in your lifestyle? Maybe, but wouldn’t that be for the better? If you are a concerned parent, paying attention to rampant drug and alcohol use in society and knowing that teens are naturally curious and want to experiment, maybe this is a small price to pay to ensure that your children have an opportunity to grow up safe, secure and able to make sound decisions.


The old way of thinking was that parents could help ensure their teens learned about responsible drinking by making sure the teens drank at home under parental supervision. Today, however, research has shown that this is a false and dangerous strategy. It only shows teens that drinking and drug use is permissible, not that it is dangerous.


Keep in mind that teens do not have a fully developed brain until they are in their 20s. Their ability to make sound decisions isn’t where it needs to be yet and they can and do engage in crazy and destructive behavior when under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Just because they may be drinking in front of you at home doesn’t make this pattern of behavior any safer or better for them.


If you have any doubt about the validity of the recommendation to not allow teens to drink at home, remember any adult or caregiver in your own life that you saw engage in inappropriate behavior while drinking or using drugs. Maybe it was an uncle that consistently got sloshed and stumbled out the door to drive, often winding up in fender-benders, getting arrested for DUI or got involved in fights, trouble with the law, missed work and so on. Maybe it was a parent or older brother that you saw drive while drunk or high. How much did this behavior influence your own beliefs about alcohol and drugs?


You are the most important influence on your growing teens. Consistent study findings have shown that teens consider their parents to be highly or somewhat influential in their lives. In other words, they do tend to listen to what parents tell them. The more often family rules and values are reiterated and adhered to, the more of an influence they tend to have on teens.


Being a positive role model to teens means that parents:


  • Stay away from alcohol in high-risk situations. For example, do not drive a vehicle after drinking.
  • Get help if you believe you (the parent) have an alcohol-related problem.
  • Do not give alcohol or drugs to your children. Convey in a clear and concise manner that alcohol and drugs in your home are off limits to them and their friends at all times.


Be Aware of Risk Factors


Being a responsible and loving parent also means that you take the time to familiarize yourself with risk factors that may propel your teen toward alcohol and drug use, including:


  • Any significant social transition, such as moving from middle school to high school and getting a driver’s license
  • Any family history of alcoholism or drug use
  • Depression and other serious emotional problems
  • A history of social and emotional difficulties
  • Any contact with peers involved in troubling or suspicious activities


According to the latest Monitoring the Future Study from the University of Michigan, underage drinking continues to be a pervasive problem among American