September 2015 Newsletter


September 2015 E-News



Youth Leadership Council Members Learn Creative Ways
to Engage Peers During CADCA Mid-Year Training

Youth Leadership Council (YLC) members Anthony (A.J.) Cortez, of El Paso, TX, and Nathaniel Fomby, of Anthony, TX, were part of a group of 200 youth from around the country who attended the National Youth Leadership Initiative (NYLI) in Indianapolis, IN, August 2-6. The NYLI is the youth portion of the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) Mid-Year Training Institute.
The NYLI is a youth-led, adult-guided training experience designed to teach youth coalition members and their adult advisors how to tackle and work through community problems as a team. The interactive workshops and presentations are designed to train the youth to be proficient in community assessment, problem analysis and comprehensive interventions.

YLC members Anthony (A.J.) Cortez and Nathaniel Fomby during  CADCA's mid-year training. </center
YLC members Anthony (A.J.) Cortez and Nathaniel Fomby during CADCA's mid-year training.

According to Fomby, his most memorable experience was an activity called the cultural competency circle. "It proved that not all leaders are born perfect, and we are not all that different after all," he said.

Cortez plans to use what he learned in the workshops to create underage alcohol prevention trainings this fall while attending Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio. He is also eager to share what he learned with his fellow YLC members who could not attend the conference. "Working together I feel we can create new ideas with the information I brought back and implement them in our individual communities," Cortez said.



National Prescription
Drug Take Back Day

Saturday, September 26,
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Prescription drug abuse refers to the   non-prescribed use of medications, including narcotics, tranquilizers, sedatives, and/or amphetamines, for the feelings or experience they cause rather than their intended medical purposes.

Most prescription drug abusers say they get medications from the home medicine cabinets of friends or family members.  As a result, Texans Standing Tall is encouraging individual households to safely dispose of their unneeded and unwanted medications at one of the many statewide take back locations during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on September 26. The events are free and open to everyone. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)  has published a comprehensive list of all take back events and locations. To find a location near you, go to the DEA's website by clicking here.

As a means to help combat prescription drug abuse, Texans Standing Tall has developed a toolkit to aid communities
in holding effective take back events.
Download a Texans Standing Tall Prescription Drug Take Back Toolkit or email to request your copy.



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create a healthier, safer Texas


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There were plenty of smiling faces at this year's Summit where the theme The Urgency of NOW took center stage as experts in the field of prevention presented recent trends in alcohol and tobacco products and information on the impact of prevention strategies on public health.
There were plenty of smiling faces at this year's Summit where the theme The Urgency of NOW took center stage as experts in the field of prevention presented recent trends in alcohol and tobacco products and information on the impact of prevention strategies on public health.

Statewide Summit Focuses on
Coalition Successes, Youth Leaders,
and the Urgency of NOW

During Texans Standing Tall's two-day Summit, held September 2-3, individuals, prevention specialists, healthcare professionals, traffic safety professionals, grassroots coalitions, and TST's Youth Leadership Council (YLC), among others came together under the theme "The Urgency of NOW" to collaborate for substance use prevention and statewide community change and to applaud recent successes.

Nicole Holt, TST's executive director, opened the summit thanking participants for their continued support, hard work and dedication to making a difference in the lives of Texas youth. Addressing this year's participants, Holt encouraged them to act with urgency when implementing prevention strategies. "The time is now to stop underage substance use in Texas and to act swiftly to achieve positive, long-term changes for a healthier and safer Texas," she said. "Our youth deserve better."

During his presentation on a recap of the 84th Legislative Session, Cam Scott, Sr. Director of Texas Government Relations for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, shared two recent success stories regarding tobacco and e-cigarette use. Two Texas cities, Waco and DeSoto, recently passed comprehensive smoke-free ordinances in their communities. According to Scott, the fight to maintain tobacco prevention funding during the 84th Legislative Session was won but it will be crucial during the next Session to have community tobacco prevention success stories to share with the decision makers.

Darlene Dotson, a coalition program manager with the East Texas Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, in Longview, was impressed with the data TST provided during the 84th Legislative Session recap. "My level of concern rose when I saw the statistics on what passed and what didn't," Dotson said. "I found the data very interesting and useful and hope to use the information to galvanize our prevention efforts."

Keynote speaker, Megan Diaz, MA, PhD candidate, educated attendees on the evidence-based strategy of increasing excise taxes on alcoholic beverages in order to prevent underage drinking in her presentation, "Change on a Dime." The last time the state of Texas increased the tax was 1984.

YLC members Nathaniel Fomby, Chase Thomas, and Taryn Quinn played an active role in the Summit. The trio, under the guidance of TST's Youth Leadership Council Coordinator, Georgia Marks, led three presentations, introduced speakers, participated on panels, and gave a unique perspective on a topic that is not typically discussed among teens. "Underage alcohol use is not seen as a big problem because it is so common in the media so it seems normal. The fact is underage drinking is dangerous and must be prevented," said Fomby.

Laurie Born, coalition director, of LifeSteps Council on Alcohol and Drugs in Round Rock, TX, said she was looking forward to taking back ideas on social hosting that were discussed during the Wednesday evening session with Dylan Ellerbee, a Summit keynote speaker and research associate employed with the Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, NC.

"Meeting with Dylan Ellerbee to brainstorm about social hosting will help us focus our coalition's efforts," Born said. "We especially appreciate the technical assistance on social hosting strategies available through Texans Standing Tall."



TST's Annual Report Card Highlights Youth Substance Use Rates, Trends, and Prevention Strategies

Texans Standing Tall's 2014 annual Report Card titled, "Youth Substance Abuse Issues: Research and Legislation," is an excellent tool for coalitions, legislators, advocates, campuses and prevention organizations to utilize when working on strategies to advance
community prevention initiatives.

This year's Report Card marks the ninth year that TST has published the report, which includes statewide data on youth substance use from a variety of sources, including the 2014 Texas School Survey of Substance Use Among Students. The Report Card highlights trends in alcohol, tobacco, e-cigarette and marijuana use, and prescription drug abuse that can be cited when preparing presentations and promotional materials for stakeholder meetings and events in your communities. Also discussed are prevention strategies to address these issues, regulation changes that impact prevention, an overview of the 2014 Texas Legislative Interim Session, and a guide to understanding the Texas legislative process.

Click here to go to our website to download a copy of the 2014 Report Card. For additional information call 512-442-7501.



TST in the News

TST Takes Stand on Alcohol Sales in UT's Royal-Memorial Stadium during TV Interview

Last month's featured article in this newsletter discussed public health and safety issues regarding the University of Texas (UT) selling alcoholic beverages in the football stadium this fall. On Friday, September 11, before the Longhorns' season opener on Saturday, TST's Executive Director, Nicole Holt, was interviewed on Fox News Austin regarding the university's decision to extend the sale of alcoholic beverages beyond the stadium's private suites and club areas to general seat holders. Watch the full interview here.


TST Coordinator Warns of Dangers of Powdered Alcohol

TST's Statewide Coalition Coordinator Grace Barnett was quoted in the September issue of The National Law Review regarding health and safety concerns, and the sale and use of powdered alcohol. Barnett was quoted as saying, "With packets small enough to fit into a child's pocket, it will be harder for schools and parents to identify and confiscate this substance from our youth." Read the full article here.



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