Youth Safety First

News Blog

Madison-area youth get anti-booze message, by Nick Penzenstadler (March 25, 2010).  Betty Banks is not an alarmist, but she believes there is cause for alarm in the incident of alcohol use among Wisconsin teens.

“We need to get the word out as far and wide as we can,” said Banks, the executive director of the local advocacy group Today Not Tomorrow, at a forum Thursday night at St. Marks Lutheran Church. “We want our young people to be safe, and we want our community to be safe.”

The forum brought about two dozen young people to hear messages from area experts on the negative consequences of underage drinking. It came on the cusp of April’s Alcohol Abuse Awareness Month activities hosted by the Dane County Coalition to Reduce Alcohol Abuse. Click HERE to read more.


Community Members Gather To Hear About Prescription Drug Dangers
Teen's Death Highlights Dangers
(March 4, 2010).  The death of a Rock County 13-year-old last month is prompting new awareness among community members about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.

Alex Aiken, of the Town of Milton, died on Feb. 9 after a friend gave him a common narcotic, OxyContin, that is used for pain relief. At a public meeting on Wednesday night, Aiken's mother said she is hoping to spread a message about prevention.

"I wish I could hear him say, 'I love you, Mom' again," said Jenny Bethel. "I would do anything to have 5 more minutes."  Click HERE to read more.


Public forum in Milton warns of prescription drug danger, by Neil Johnson (March 4, 2010).  A public forum Wednesday at Milton City Hall gave local officials a chance to talk about a growing threat facing area teens. It resides in the home medicine cabinet.

That threat is prescription drugs.

Wednesday's forum was, in part, a response to the Feb. 9 fatal OxyContin
overdose of Alexander Aiken, 13, of Milton township. A 13-year-old friend of the boy also was hospitalized, allegedly suffering a drug overdose.  Click HERE to read more.


Youth Safety First Lock It Up Campaign is launched.  Today Not Tomorrow/Club TNT has announced the kick off of the "Youth Safety First Lock It Up" Campaign. This public awareness campaign serves to actively engage the community in measures to increase the safety of youth as the community learns more about the prevention of youth prescription drug use by cleaning out and locking medicine cabinets; the impact and implications of youth alcohol usage, and the importance of keeping guns locked and away from the reach of children and youth.

The multi-faceted campaign will consist of youth-produced Public Service Announcements, skits and vignettes, peer and cross-age mentoring, youth-developed community display boards, and a community medicine drop. These will help youth develop their voices, for not only this issue, but others that may face, improving their sense of personal identity and the general public's image of youth.

Today Not Tomorrow/Club TNT acknowledges the Dane County Prevention Grant, the Town of Madison, and the SMPC-Hands Across South Madison Grant, for their financial support of the youth oriented facet of this important campaign.  Click HERE to read more.