Category Archives: Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE)

Tigard Turns the Tide works together to prevent teenage substance use disorder

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We all understand how important teenage alcohol and substance use prevention education programs and resources are to any parent challenged with an addicted child or knows someone with a substance abuse disorder. But did you know that nine out of 10 adults with substance use disorders started using before age 18?

In surveys, Tigard High School (THS) 11th graders have self-reported substance use from 2012-17.  The data shows significant teenage substance use with significant increases over that five-year period. The most current study in 2017 revealed the following substance use percentages: 25% used alcohol; 22.8% used marijuana (these numbers are rising quickly since use of recreation marijuana for adults has been legalized); 15.1% used electronic cigarettes/vaping  (these numbers are rapidly increasing among teens); 9.7% used prescription drugs (without a prescription), and 7.6% used tobacco

Tigard’s population has an estimated 1.4% growth rate over the next few years and these numbers will no doubt increase without continued substance abuse prevention education and family resource(s) support.

At THS, Tigard Turns the Tide (TTT) has been instrumental in working with our youth to prevent substance use disorder since 1994. This was the year the organization was incorporated by Connie Ramaekers (a lifelong Tigard resident and teenage substance abuse advocate and educator).

Through THS, the Stop Tigard Underage Drinking and Drug Use (STUDD) club, many of our youth can remain alcohol and drug free in a positive environment.

Why should we all care about reversing the current trends? 

Because our children are our future. And just like good stewards of land, water and air, we need to nurture our children. It is they who will take care of our grandchildren and environment when we no longer can.

In my opinion, there is no other organization throughout Washington County that works harder to prevent teenage substance use disorder than TTT in partnership with our schools.

Lilian and Jack sum up a future of hope for a teen free substance abuse society through partnered prevention programs “where one person can make a difference in changing hearts, minds and lives of the many” and they do!

My freshman year I decided to join a club called STUDD. We had a school assembly with Chris Herren, a former NBA Basketball star. It was eye opening to see and hear someone who had everything and lost it all because of substance use disorder. Hearing Chris’s story told me there was hope. That is why TTT and STUDD are so important. They offer hope for the future and a platform to help and talk to my peers. Lilian, 11th grade

STUDD is more than a club It is a support system and a safe place for students to be actively involved and the opportunity to make a difference. STUDD provides positive peer pressure and peer pressure is huge at this time in our lives. Jack, 12th grade.

How do I identify the common signs of at-risk teenage substance abuse? 

If theres a family history of substance use disorder; a mental or behavioral health condition, such as depression, anxiety or attention-deficit, hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); impulsive or risk-taking behavior; a history of adverse childhood events, such as bullying, a history of abuse, low self-esteem or feelings of social rejection, please talk to your primary care provider about your concerns. Your child’s mental health is as important as their physical health.

How can I help my child to be drug and alcohol-free?

You can learn more at the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids  https://drugfree.org/article/prevention-tips-for-every-age/.  If you have concerns that your child might be using alcohol or drugs, a good place to start is your child’s primary care physician.  Your child’s mental health is as important as their physical health. 

Learn how to help prevent unhealthy substance use disorders and other behaviors. And you can learn more about volunteer opportunities at: www.tigardturnsthetide.org

Good health to you and your family!

 Marc Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET., is a Fit Healthy Lifestyle Consultant with MirrorAthlete Corp., and former Tigard City Councilor. A strong proponent of City involvement in expanding recreational opportunities for everyone. 2020 copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., To learn more about MirrorAthlete and free monthly newsletter, visit: www.mirrorathlete.org

Committee Forms to Expand Recreation Opportunities in Tigard

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Above: Tigard Community Recreation Committee (TCRC) [L to R]: Marland Henderson, Connie Ramaekers, Neal Brown, Patti Atkins, Marc Woodard and Gabi Miller comprise the TCRC committee.

Updated: 1/11/2020 by Marc Woodard

Tigard Community Recreation Committee (TCRC) is a not for profit committee of citizens with a goal of expanding city recreation opportunities for everyone. The committee is working on a plan to raise enough money to construct a community recreation facility in Tigard — run by the YMCA.

Why the YMCA? The YMCA has a 175-year history of operating more than 2,700 facilities, serving 45 million people worldwide, and there is no other community recreation builder that competes with cost and excellence of services, programs, activities and community engagement and outreach. Everyone regardless of age, economics and/or lifestyle orientation is welcome.

There are many reasons Tigard needs to expand community recreation opportunities for everyone.

Recreation saves lives just like police officers but in different ways. It is true, when youth are provided safe and organized after-school activities of interest juvenile theft, vandalism, drug use and other mischief decrease, while purposeful and productive lifestyles flourish. This can be validated through year-after-year police incident analysis, community health surveys and city recreation polls.

While safety is important, it is usually not the main reason someone moves to a city. Today we (parks and recreation] are everything from drowning prevention to after-school care for children, to the only social interaction a senior citizen might experience [South University, 2019]. For many that use recreation facilities these places provide not only social interaction, but a real sense of belonging to community through connections that bond people – in ways that’s good for developing cities.

Regular engagement in physical activity is an essential component of healthy well-being aging. Physical activity improves physical function and provides social and mental health benefits that all contribute to improved quality of life for older adults [NRPA, 2019]. Recreation programs provide places for health and well-being that are accessible by persons of all ages and abilities, especially to those with disabilities. [NRPA, 2010].

For the sake of health and wellness justice affordable health literacy education and recreational activity should be made available to everyone, not just the affluent.

Throughout the nation young people are facing an obesity crisis. Today we are seeing too many diseases that were, not too long ago, rarely linked to young people (e.g., high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.) [Stanford, 2015]. Cities that fill recreation youth-gap activities K-12 schools no longer provide are more attractive to parents, active seniors and business looking to live active and productive lifestyles in safe places.

“To learn more about TCRC, visit our booth co-located with Tigard Turns the Tide (TTT) at the Tigard Street Fair September 7th, or our website at ymcacw.io/tigard.

Good health to you and your family.

Marc Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET., is a Fit Healthy Lifestyle Consultant with MirrorAthlete Corp., and former Tigard City Councilor. A strong proponent of City involvement in providing recreational opportunities for its residents. 2019 copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., “To learn more about MirrorAthlete and free monthly newsletter, visit: www.mirrorathlete.org.

Resilient Children Build Strong Families and Communities

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On May 17, 2019 I attended a workshop at the City of Tigard, OR public works building, Creating Strong Families and Communities, presented by Dr. Amy Stoeber. She covered Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) known to cause life stress and trauma (e.g., divorce, parental arrest, emotional neglect and abuse, bulling, peer pressure etc.). Children who experience ACE and have no positive, or little adult interaction are at greater risk of depression, drug addiction, obesity, detachment and learning and behavioral disorder(s), etc., with associated ill-health risk.

Ageless MirrorAthlete also covers City Parks and Recreation amenity investments. Learn how Childhood Development has improved through these investments and build sustainable aging in place communities. The book can be purchased through Amazon, B&N, iUniverse and ~1800 other online book stores.

Humans have a long history of fascination with stories about people overcoming great adversity. Through trauma-informed prevention parents learn how to connect emotionally with their children, help them make better choices and become more resilient to environmental toxic stress during the developmental years. Multiple labels have been proposed to identify emotionally hardy kids, such as stress-resistant, successful high-risk kids, and invulnerable. Resilient is the term that stuck. https://positivepsychology.com/resilience-in-children/

Through resilience training, adults learn how to connect emotionally with children to help them normalize behavior, make better choices and achieve social and academic success by setting high expectations. And in some cases these connections are being credited with saving young lives.

How can you help your child cope with daily stress and trauma? 

You can work with a child to help resolve an unhealthy situation before it gets out of control and creates a serious consequence. Make it your parental mission to communicate more with your child and don’t ignore irregular or bad behavior. Behavior is one way children communicate. Also do what you say and say as you do. Young people live up or down to expectations we set for them. They need adults who believe in them unconditionally and hold them to the high expectations of being compassionate, generous, and creative.

Through this communicative process you can also support a child in achieving Ginsberg’s 7 Cs, “The Essential Building Blocks of Childhood Resilience.” Which was also covered in this public training session. They are:

When kids do the right things they feel Competent. 2) Confidence helps kids navigate complex environments in/outside of home turf. 3) A strong connection within a circle of support with other people, schools and communities offer young people security that allows them to stand on their own. 4) A clear sense of right and wrong develops character integrity. 5) Contributions to the well-being of others and community at large feels good. And when in need have learned to ask and accept help from others shame. 6) Those who’ve learned how to use stress coping strategies are less likely to use a quick feel good fix. 7) Control is gained by young people who understand privileges and respect are earned through demonstrated responsibility. http://fosteringresilience.com/7cs.php

Adverse Childhood Education is helping our kids achieve the essential building blocks of resilience. I support the continuation of these types of publically informed prevention education programs because they lead to healthier and productive lifestyles, strong family bonds and safe communities for generations to follow.

Learn more about Ageless MirrorAthlete “Overweight and Unfit No More” book and free Newsletter at www.mirrorathlete.org

Marc Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET., is a former member of the Tigard City Council. He is a strong proponent of City involvement in expanding recreational opportunities for all ages. 2019 Copy right. All rights reserved, MirrorAthlete Inc.