Rotarian Action Group Addiction Prevention
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Newsletter March 2019


News from the Board

Dear friend,

It is time for an update on how RAG AP is quickly evolving after the visit to Mumbai in January  by Johan Maertens and Kathleen Van Rysseghem. 
We were happy to witness the great success of the programs that originated in District 1620 at De Sleutel and that now are the cornerstones for prevention and social & life-skills trainings at the School of Human Ecology in Mumbai. 
Prof. Rajani Konantambigi, 
Dean of the School, explains: ‘Thanks to Rotary’s Global Grant we now can research, apply and support the life-skills modules that we have developed for children and adolescents in difficult and disadvantaged settings. We will implement the programs  in Mumbai and in Navi Mumbai (New Bombay)’.
We are also pleased to report that Mr. Kalyan Banerjee, past president of Rotary International, has agreed to serve as the International President of the RAG AP. He will be inaugurated at the General Assembly of RAG AP on 4thof June during the Hamburg Convention. During his term with RAG AP Mr. Kalyan Banerjee will combine literacy and skills-based training.

Chair PDG Kathleen Van Rysseghem
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New study published this week

Cannabis use is associated with increased risk of later psychotic disorder but whether it affects incidence of the disorder remains unclear. We aimed to identify patterns of cannabis use with the strongest effect on odds of psychotic disorder across Europe and explore whether differences in such patterns contribute to variations in the incidence rates of psychotic disorder.

Differences in frequency of daily cannabis use and in use of high-potency cannabis contributed to the striking variation in the incidence of psychotic disorder across the 11 studied sites. Given the increasing availability of high-potency cannabis, this has important implications for public health.

read the full article here

Rotary Toolkit for engaging clubs and their local communities in addiction prevention

The Rotarian Action Group Addiction Prevention is pleased to announce that we are working with Edventi. Edventi has produced an Addiction Prevention Engage the Community Toolkit for Rotary. The Toolkit contains the turnkey recipe for a community conversation that will convene local stakeholders to learn about the impact of drugs and alcohol, the brain chemistry of addiction, and the driving forces fueling our current crisis, and then work to address the local problem collaboratively with leading public health experts.

The toolkit empowers any club, district, committee or individual Rotarian to bring together community stakeholders to learn about the driving forces of addiction and how best to address it at the local level. The model relies on strong collaboration between Rotary Clubs and local public health and prevention leadership who are knowledgeable about primary prevention, evidence-based prevention programming and operate on the public health model of the Strategic Prevention Framework.                           
Communities with significantly lower addiction rates share the following variables:
  1. They are well-educated about prevention principles and social norms that prevent youth use.

  2. They utilize the Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) to operationalize their prevention activities.

  3. They understand that perception of harm and accessibility to addictive drugs directly influences youth drug use and ultimately addiction.

  4. They have all sectors of the community engaged and working together to address addiction.

Through this program, as Rotary Clubs engage their communities in learning what drives addiction and what works to prevent it, they will be better equipped to support their communities on primary prevention measures that work to reduce rates of drug use and ultimately addiction.  

 To learn more, or to order a Rotary Toolkit, click here

Global Grant Training treatment and prevention global grant 1748107

PDG Kathleen Van Rysseghem, Chair RAG AP,  member RC Gent-Noord; Host partner Yogesh Zaveri, regional coordinator RAG AP, member Rc Ghatkopar; and International Partner Johan Maertens, managing director RAG AP, member of  RC Maldegem visited the training programs of Global Grant 1748107 in Mumbai. The grant was aimed at training of health care professionals. In this case the successful training was organized for family physicians.
The Global Grant program involved two universities. The visit at the Tata Institute for Social Sciences (TISS) opened new perspectives for further cooperation in combining addiction prevention with the mental health help line that TISS developed all over the country.
The delegation also visited  the SNDT Women's university, a partner in this global grant that develop the evidence based training programs,  established the evaluation methodology and evaluated the outcome of the training programs. Kathleen, Yogesh and Johan were invited to speak at a conference for the faculties of Philosophy and Psychology with the special title "The Kaleidoscope of Happiness"

District Governors: district newsletter and information for your Club Presidents

April Maternal and Child Health Month


Maternal addiction and substance abuse impacts the health of an un-born child. Addiction prevention for pregnant woman requires a special approach.

When you are pregnant, you are not just "eating for two", you also breathe and drink for two. If you smoke, use alcohol or take illegal drugs, so does your unborn baby.

To protect your baby, you should avoid:

  • Tobacco. Smoking during pregnancy passes nicotine, carbon monoxide, and other harmful chemicals to your baby. This could cause many problems for your unborn baby's development. It raises the risk of your baby being born too small, too early, or with birth defects. Smoking can also affect babies after they are born. Your baby would be more likely to develop diseases such as asthma and obesity. There is also a higher risk of dying from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). 
  • Drinking alcohol. There is no known amount of alcohol that is safe for a woman to drink during pregnancy. If you drink alcohol when you are pregnant, your child could be born with lifelong fetal alcohol syndrome disorders (FASD). Children with FASD can have a mix of physical, behavioral, and learning problems.
  • Illegal drugs. Using illegal drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine may cause underweight babies, birth defects, or withdrawal symptoms after birth.
  • Misusing prescription drugs. If you are taking prescription medicines, carefully follow your health care provider's instructions. It can be dangerous to take more medicines than you are supposed to, use them to get high, or take someone else's medicines. For example, misusing opioids can cause birth defects, drug withdrawal in the baby, or even loss of the baby.

    Substance Abuse Prevention and Other Pregnancy Risk Studies

Tobacco companies are targeting children in India, study says

(CNN) Tobacco companies are advertising products around educational institutions and intentionally targeting children in India, a recent study found. 

Monitoring advertising across 20 cities, the researchers detail the methods through which the tobacco industry has been flouting rules, particularly by selling to vulnerable children and youngsters. 
Companies have been advertising tobacco products through posters and selling products at shops near schools, increasing accessibility to children through low prices and the sale of single cigarettes.

read the article

TheRiseandFall of Tobacco Control Media Campaigns, 1967–2006 

Extensive research has demonstrated that public education through media campaigns is an effective means to reduce smoking prevalence and tobacco consumption. Aggressive media campaigns that confront the tobacco industry’s deceptive practices are most effective and are therefore a prime target for attack. The tobacco industry has attacked public tobacco control media campaigns since 1967, when the first public tobacco control media advertisements ran.

Through studying tobacco control media campaigns in Arizona, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Oregon, and of the American Legacy Foundation, we identified industry strategies to prevent a campaign’s creation, limit the target audience and the content of the messages, limit or eliminate the campaign’s funding, and pursue litigation against the campaigns.

Tobacco control advocates must learn from the past and continue to confront the tobacco industry and its third-party allies to defend antitobacco media campaigns or, despite evidence of their effectiveness, they will be eliminated. (Am J Public Health. 2007;97:1383–1396. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2006.097006)

You can read the article by clicking

Rotary clubs harness international connections to tackle U.S. opioid crisis
Ryan Hyland

New York Rotary members used support from international partners to help them fight a major U.S. problem: opioid addiction. 
After attending a wrenching funeral for a young man who died from an opioid overdose, Lana K. Rouff, a member of the Rotary Club of Binghamton, New York, USA, knew she had to do something. 
“It was awful,” says Rouff. “I was so shaken by the shock and sadness at the funeral. The experience really stuck with me but also sparked me to do something.”
Rouff immediately talked with her fellow members, as well as other local clubs, about how they could alleviate the crisis in their communities in central and southern New York. 

Read the full story here

 Discussion Group

The Rotarian Action Group Addiction Prevention coordinates a Rotary International discussion group Addiction Prevention. You can join the group via , My Rotary, exchange ideas, discussion group.
The Rotarian Action Group Addiction Prevention operates in accordance with Rotary International policy, but is not an agency, or controlled, by Rotary International.
Copyright © 2019 Rotarian Action Group Addiction Prevention, All rights reserved.

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