Term 1 2019 - Parents
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The aim of this e-newsletter is to provide our subscribers with information about new research findings and drug prevention resources, and to share relevant news, conferences and events.

Please help us spread the word by forwarding this newsletter to other parents in your networks, and encourage them to subscribe at www.positivechoices.org.au. 
Welcome back to another school year! In this issue we focus on cannabis and showcase Positive Choices resources, designed to help you get the facts and support young people to stay safe and make informed decisions.

We are also pleased to highlight:
Upcoming Webinar: Promoting Healthy Lifestyles During Adolescence
Wednesday 20th February, 3.30pm AEDT
Presented by: Dr Katrina Champion
This webinar is for teachers, school staff, parents and anyone else seeking information about promoting healthy lifestyles among adolescents. Specifically, this webinar will focus on the Health4Life Initiative, a new school-based digital intervention designed to reduce the risk of chronic disease by modifying key lifestyle habits during adolescence.

Chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancers and mental disorders, are the leading cause of death in Australia. Physical inactivity, unhealthy eating, risky alcohol use, smoking, sedentary recreational screen time and poor sleep are the “Big 6” risk factors associated with chronic disease. Although the majority of young people are free of chronic disease, far fewer are free of these risk factors. Providing education about the Big 6 to adolescents is critical to ensure that these risk behaviours do not become entrenched, and to reduce short-term harms such as obesity and mental health problems among youth. 

What time in my state?
Available on demand

Substance Use and Mental Health Among Rural Youth

Presented by Dr Georgina Luscombe, Dr Hazel Dalton, and Ms Nicole Snowdon
This webinar presents current research findings on rural youth wellbeing, substance use and mental health, and discusses strategies and initiatives to reduce the risk of harm.

If you missed this popular webinar you can view the recording on demand.
Cannabis is the second most commonly used recreational drug in Australia, after alcohol. Cannabis use typically begins in adolescence, which can be particularly risky, as teenage brains are still developing.
It is important to talk to teenagers and educate them about cannabis early. Positive Choices has a range of resources to help keep your teenagers safe and make informed decisions.
You might want to start by brushing up on the facts about alcohol, or making sure your kids are informed. Our Cannabis factsheet is a good place to start.

It's also important to know how cannabis use can affect the developing teenage brain. You can watch a great summary in this 5-minute video.

For your teenagers, videos such as Scott's Story are a great way for them to see how cannabis use can affect their lives and relationships with friends. The video, Mates Help Mates, can be helpful if they are worried about a friend's cannabis use but don't know how to help them.

If you're worried about your child but don't know how to start a conversation with them, the video series, Making the Link: How to Approach Conversations with Teenagers, is a great resource that explores ways of approaching conversations with teenagers, and demonstrates both productive conversations and conversations that may elicit a defensive or unproductive response from your child.

There are many more resources that can help you learn about cannabis yourself or teach your kids about it. Visit Positive Choices to browse the full range of resources.
We've been very busy over the last month reviewing new resources to include on the Positive Choices portal. Take a look at the ones below that have passed our checks for appropriateness and a strong evidence-base.
What to expect when you see a psychologist
This video talks about what parents can expect when they seek professional help from a psychologist for their child.
Energy Drinks
This video is from the ABC's Catalyst program, and explores the dangers of energy drinks.
Your Brain on LSD and Acid
This video explains what happens in the brain when LSD is taken, gives a brief history of its use and research findings.
The Emergency+ app uses GPS to help a Triple Zero (000) caller provide critical location details to emergency services.
Alcohol and Your Brain
This app contains a 7 minute video and quiz about the effects of alcohol on the brain and body.
Drug Facts for Young People
This comic-book style app focuses on the decision-making process involved when confronted with drugs and alcohol.
Health Direct
This app provides trusted health information and advice and is funded by the governments of Australia.
Something you'd like to see on Positive Choices that isn't there? We welcome ideas for new content, so send us an email at info@positivechoices.org.au, and we'll look into it.
Listen to the Positive Choices team present, or catch up with us at our booth, at these upcoming events.
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