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Helping Children Understand the Truth About Advertising

Helping Children Understand the Truth About Advertising

 The Superbowl is approaching, and along with the hype of the anticipated game, comes the excitement associated with the Superbowl commercials that will be aired during the broadcast. Companies will use creative means to present their products and services in the hopes that consumers will buy and utilize them. Many children and teenagers will view these commercials and therefore, it is important for parents to be aware of the mixed messages being portrayed to youth by companies who are advertising their products.

One of the lesson topics in the Protecting You, Protecting Me (PYPM) alcohol use prevention program that I facilitate for grades K-5, explains the purpose of commercials and advertisements to children. While these ads and commercials provide information about products that companies sell, children learn that they do not disclose everything that consumers need to know. The reason for this includes that commercials and advertisements are very expensive to make, so they tell the viewer only what will make him or her buy the product. Children learn that some ads and commercials try to make products sound better than they are, in the hope that the potential consumer of the product will find it that much more appealing and buy it. In the PYPM lesson (for grade 3 students) entitled, “Getting the Word Out: What Commercials Don’t Tell Us”, children become aware that commercials about beer and other drinks with alcohol in them do not warn of the dangers of alcohol for people under 21 years of age. They create their own ads that tell young people what ads for beer and drinks with alcohol in them omit.

My Warning Label

Many children and teenagers will view commercials during the Superbowl where alcohol beverages are presented. For information about the strategies alcohol companies use to entice youth during Superbowl commercials, please visit:

https://teens.drugabuse.gov/blog/post/truth-advertising-super-bowl-alcohol-commercials

 

Information regarding the ways parents can help their children understand the principles of advertising and discuss with them about advertising, please visit: 

http://www.asrcreviews.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/A-Parents-Guide-to-Advertising.pdf

 

 

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40-years-strong

Mercer Council is celebrating its 40th Anniversary!

Please join us on Tuesday, September 25th, 2018 from 11:30am to 1:30pm at Leonardo's Restaurant in Lawrence Township and help us celebrate 40 years of service directed at building a healthier, safer and more responsible community! Our event will include a delicious full lunch and an opportunity to participate in our silent auction, which is a great opportunity to win a variety of amazing prize baskets and items.  If you would like to support our agency, mission and vision for the community, please purchase a ticket to this celebration!  Ticket purchases will help us to continue providing prevention education programs to individuals of all ages, as well as provide scholarships for individuals looking to get into the field of substance prevention, counseling, etc.  To purchase a ticket, please contact Lisa at (609) 3965874 x. 201.  If you can't make it to our event, but would like to donate, you may make a donation on our website here.  We appreciate your support and look forward to celebrating with you!

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Prevention Coalition of Mercer County and The Mercer Council Awarded Drug-Free Communities Continuation Grant

The Prevention Coalition of Mercer County has just received a Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program continuation grant to prevent youth substance use, including prescription drugs, marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol.  The DFC program, created by the DFC Act of 1997 is the Nation’s leading effort to mobilize communities to prevent youth substance use and is directed by the Office of the National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Grants are provided to community coalitions to strengthen the infrastructure among local partners to create and sustain a reduction in local youth substance use.

“Since our first grant awards were made in 1998, the DFC Program has continued to expand its reach in communities across the country.  It is a testament to the great work DFC coalitions are doing, together with community partner that include parent groups, schools, healthcare professionals, law enforcement, businesses, and others to prevent drug use and improve the health of communities,” said ONDCP Deputy Director James W. Carroll. “Our local DFC coalitions are a key part of this effort because they are relentless in their work to prevent youth from initiating drug use and ultimately, saving more lives.”

“For the past six years, our Coalition has been working hard to reduce youth substance use in communities throughout Mercer County. With the continuation of DFC support program funding, we will be able to continue this important work and keep our youth healthy and drug-free” said Barbara Sprechman, Assistant Executive Director of Mercer Council and Coordinator of the Prevention Coalition of Mercer County. 

The Prevention Coalition of Mercer County target priorities are underage drinking, prescription drug misuse, illegal use of marijuana and new and emerging drugs.   Past accomplishments of the coalition include helping to establish permanent medicine take-back boxes in every police department in the county, hosting educational forums on current drug-trends, best-practice approaches to combat the current opioid epidemic, as well as advocating for changes in policies and laws.  Prescription drug abuse prevention is one of the core measures of effectiveness for local DFC coalitions and coalitions nationwide have led innovative opioid prevention initiatives.  DFC’s 2017 National Evaluation End-of-Year report found that at least 97% of middle school and 94% of high school report that they have not misused prescription drugs in the past 30-days in DFC communities.

The Prevention Coalition of Mercer County is a group of diverse individuals from the community dedicated to the prevention and treatment of alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse problems.  The mission of the Prevention Coalition of Mercer County is to reduce substance abuse in youth and across the lifespan by collaborating resources and coordinating planning in order to offer opportunities for building a healthy mind, body and spirit for all residents of Mercer County.

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September 17-23, 2018 is National Child Passenger Safety Week!

As the start to the new school year approaches, it is important to ensure all children are buckled up, seated properly in vehicles, and are aware what to do to protect themselves if they ever find themselves riding in a vehicle with an unsafe driver. The image below contains safe riding tips for children. In the event a child finds him or herself riding with an unsafe driver, it is crucial to tell a trusted adult immediately about any unsafe ride.  For more information about Child Passenger Safety, please visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Child Passenger Safety Information

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National Recovery Month

September is National Recovery Month. What does this mean? Well, it means that this is a time each year that gets attention to all those people in and/or supporting someone else in recovery. Addiction affects millions of people; in fact in 2014 alone, 21.5 million American adults (aged 12 and older) battled a substance use disorder (National Survey on Drug Use and Health). It is very easy to only focus all of one's energy and attention to all those afflicted; however, recovery does exist for millions of Americans and millions more worldwide! September is a time dedicated to breaking the stigma of who the addict is and allow for time to embrace and celebrate those who have overcome and fight everyday to maintain their own personal sobriety. Sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles...these are the people we are talking about; people who have come from such destruction to themselves and others around them and have miraculously become healthier, stronger, wiser, and more productive people.

One of the main events during National Recovery Month are the nationwide reocvery walks. 

New Jersey's is Saturday, September 15th @ Liberty State Park in Jersey City beginning at 11 am

Saturday, September 22 Mercer County hosts the Run/Walk to Recovery @ Mercer County Park beginning at 9 am. For more information or to register click here    

Last year I attended the recovery walk in Philadelphia and it was one of the greatest experiences I have ever had as a person in recovery and as a person in general. Over 27,000 people attended. Being around friends and other people in recovery, walking like a sea of hope in the streets was an amazing site to see and experience. Hope needs to exist for recovery to be possible. Unity needs to exist for recovery to continue. 

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International Overdose Awareness Day event to be held on Tuesday, August 28th in Robbinsville

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International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held one day during the last week in August each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or had a permanent injury as a result of drug overdose. This is a beautiful, powerful, meaningful evening and a wonderful way to show your support and love for those affected by addiction.

In coordination with the Mercer County Prosecutor’ s Office and the Mercer County Prevention Coalition, Robbinsville Township will be hosting this special evening of awareness and remembrance. The event will be held at Community Park on Manor Way and Gordon Road.  It will begin at 5:30pm and conclude at 8:00pm.

The evening will include guest speakers, vendor tables, a commemorative shoe display (please feel free to bring a pair of shoes worn by or symbolic of lost loved one) and a memory picture table. The evening will conclude with an interactive candlelight vigil.

Please RSVP to Jodi Stephens (609) 259-3600 Ext. 1102 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like to have a vendor table at this event.

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Mercer Council Celebrates 40th Anniversary at 1st Annual Friends & Family Picnic!

Friends and Family of Mercer Council Staff gathered on 7/22/2018 at Lawrence Village Park, Bergen Street Pavilion to celebrate their history, accomplishments, future and one another.  It turned out to be a beautiful day, despite reports of bad weather.  Staff, family, children and friends enjoyed one another's company over delicious food, refreshing non-alcoholic beverages and a variety of fun, some home made, lawn games!  The event was such a success, that we have decided to hold a yearly picnic as a way to continue celebrating the Mercer Council and those who support us in doing what we do.  We are looking forward to many years of picnics to come... until next time!

 

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