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Jul 252011

We work together for a happier, healthier Sullivan County.

Communities United is an umbrella organization made up of businesses, community support organizations, government and law enforcement, and nonprofit organizations. We are united in our commitment to work for a stronger, healthier community. We know alcohol and drug abuse hurts families and drains our communities of valuable resources.

We work together to provide information, strengthen resources, and support healthy behavior. As you explore our website, you’ll learn more about what we do, our community partners, and how you can help your family and community.

Colorado has loosened restrictions on marijuana since 2006, beginning with medical marijuana and now allowing recreational use and sale. They have reaped tax revenue, but at a cost:

  • Traffic fatalities with marijuana-impaired drivers have doubled, even as overall traffic fatalities in the state have decreased.
  • Youth use has increased. Youth use by those 12-18 is now 39% higher than the national average. Use by those 18-25 is 42% higher than the national average. A long-term study showed a 7 to 8-point drop in IQ in adults who smoked pot regularly as teens.  (This effect was not present in adult users.) National research shows that 25-50% of daily marijuana users started using as teens. Our website has more information on the medical dangers of marijuana, especially to teens.
  • Colorado’s rate of children under 5 exposed to marijuana is triple the national average. Emergency room treatment for children exposed to marijuana has been increasing since 2011, including seven children in 2014 who needed intensive care treatment.
  • Physicians are also worried about prenatal ingestion and exposure through breastfeeding. Children exposed to marijuana in the womb are more likely to experience depression, especially in the children of moderate to heavy users, but other long-term effects of young children exposed to marijuana remain unknown.
  • Legalization has also fueled the growth of THC extraction labs, which often use butane to increase the potency of marijuana. Explosions in these home labs have increased dramatically, with 12 reported explosions in 2013 and 26 explosions in just the first six months of 2014.
  • Tax revenue from legal marijuana is expected to be .3% of general fund revenue in fiscal year 2013-2014, and 1.2% in fiscal year 2014-2015.
  • Legalization has not resulted in a drop in crime. The 2013 state crime report from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation showed a 1.8% increase in crime.

The full report from the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area is available online at bit.ly/1lSgXFo.

 

We’ve just updated our webpage with the latest information on “Spice” or “Smacked,” the synthetic drug that made many people in our state sick last month.

Here’s the latest information about this dangerous drug, which has lead to illness and death around the country.

We keep our website updated regularly with the latest information on new drugs and new drug trends, and tips on talking with your kids. Don’t forget to check us out when you have questions!

If you have a teen headed to college this year, you’ve probably thought about college drinking. Studies show that more college students are binge drinking than they did 20 or 30 years ago, and being thought of as ‘cool’ is one of the reasons.

But this heavy drinking is not inevitable. In most colleges, most students – around 60% – don’t binge.

There are things you can do as a parent to support healthy choices. The most important is to talk with your student.

  • Listen to their concerns about college.
  • Set clear expectations. College is a major investment! Emphasize that alcohol can interfere with learning and your student’s future plans.
  • Remind them that it’s illegal to consume alcohol before 21 in all 50 states. Alcohol can lead to problems that can last far beyond college.
  • Encourage them to get involved. Students are drawn to drinking because they think it will lead to social status. Getting involved in a sport, a club, or volunteer work can help boost their social lives in a healthy way.
  • Talk with them about what to do when things go wrong. How do they plan to get out of uncomfortable situations? What will they do if they want to study and a roommate wants to party? Talking through these potential problems can help them be ready for unexpected problems.

These conversations are most effective before the student leaves for their freshman year, but it is never too late to support healthy choices and remind your student they have a caring adult they can talk to.

You can help end sexual assault

The Dangers of Smokeless Tobacco

Dr. Bill Kohn clarifies the facts about smokeless tobacco.

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