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How drugs & alcohol affect the teenage brain image

Research indicates that brain development is still in progress during adolescence, with significant changes continuing into the early 20s. Immature brain regions place teenagers at elevated risk to the effects of drugs and alcohol. The developing brain of the teenage years may help explain why adolescents sometimes make decisions that seem to be quite risky and may lead to safety or health concerns. The juvenile brain is still maturing in the teenage years and reasoning and judgment are developing well into the early to mid-20s. How the brain develops Brain maturation tends to occur from the back of the brain to the front. So the front region of the brain, known as the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for high-level reasoning and ...

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Coalition 101: What coalitions are and how they work image

We find that a lot of people aren’t sure what coalitions are and how they work, and the word can even be intimidating. Because of this issue, we use words like “group of concerned citizens” instead of coalition. So what exactly is a coalition? A coalition focuses on a specific geographic area and is a community-based organization of concerned citizens that are working together for a common goal. In the case of Next Step’s three coalitions, their goal is to prevent underage drinking, marijuana use, and prescription drug abuse. The coalitions are funded by the Texas Department of Health and Human Services. The state decided to slowly step back from funding prevention specialists that work in schools giving presentations on ...

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National Substance Abuse Prevention Month image

Welcome to the Next Step Community Solutions Blog! If you are familiar with our services, or have looked around the website, you know the majority of our work is in substance abuse prevention. We have three coalitions that cover 13 East Texas counties and use evidence-based strategies to prevent underage drinking, marijuana use, and prescription drug abuse. There’s an overwhelming amount of information on substance abuse prevention and this blog will help break down that information and serve as an educational tool. October is  National Substance Abuse Prevention Month. In 2011, President Obama issued the first-ever Presidential Proclamation designating this month as National Substance Abuse Prevention Month to pay tribute to all those working to prevent substance abuse in our ...

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