Following Up

On Wednesday, February 27, 2019, our special guest was clinical neuropsychologist and stand-up comedian, Matt Bellace, PhD.

Below you will find Dr. Bellace’s presentation, as well as links to learn more about the topic.

Click the arrows to see photos from Dr. Bellace’s student assemblies and workshops at both Perkiomen Valley Middle Schools, as well as his community event in the evening.

↓View Dr. Bellace’s Presentation↓

Order A Better High, by Matt Bellace, PhD

A Better High is a powerful tool that can change attitudes about alcohol and drugs. It actually teaches and encourages young people to get high — in safe, positive and natural ways. Author Matt Bellace holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and has been involved in youth drug and alcohol prevention efforts since high school. Most importantly, Matt is a passionate and effective speaker who presents his message with humor and lots of audience interaction.  He captures that passion in the pages of his book. A Better High offers students, teachers and parents a positive way to talk about alcohol and drugs — and many wholesome ways to get high every day.

“Young people need to feel empowered in their schools and communities. It’s not enough to ask them to stay away from drugs and alcohol. We need to show them positive things they can do instead, both for themselves and others!” – Matt Bellace

Order A Better High, by Matt Bellace, PhD

Helpful Information

There is a great deal to understand about this very complicated substance. Below are just a few resources.

Marijuana worse for teen brains than alcohol, study finds.
NBC News, October 3, 2018
View the full article, published by The American Journal of Psychiatry here.

Learn about “Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome”
National Institutes of Health/US National Library of Medicine

Some frequent questions about marijuana, and related responses.
SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana)

More from SAM:

Studies show marijuana users don’t use fewer opioids.

   Check The Facts Here

In fact, marijuana users are 2.7 times more likely to abuse harder drugs.

Marijuana has also been shown to lower users’ pain threshold.

FDA & Marijuana:  Questions & Answers
U.S. Food & Drug Administration

National Adolescent Drug Trends in 2017: Findings Released
University of Michigan Institute for Social Research

Dr. Nora Volkow Discusses Marijuana’s Effects on the Brain, Body & Behavior
NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse)

  • More from NIDA:

On November 15, 2018, Be a Part of the Conversation presented “Weed (it’s complicated)” with Ben Cort, a marijuana policy expert from Colorado.

>> Visit this page to learn more, and to watch a video of Ben’s presentation.


Several questions arose related to vaping, due to the fact that we can’t always be sure what substance(s) are being consumed when using electronic cigarettes or other vaping devices. Below are a few resources.

2 Million US Teens Are Vaping Marijuana
US News & World Report, September 17, 2018

Quick Facts on the Risks of E-cigarettes for Kids, Teens, and Young Adults
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

E-cigarettes & Vape Pens
Stanford Medicine

Vaporizers, E-Cigarettes, and other Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS)
FDA US Food & Drug

“Vaping Can Be Addictive and May Lure Teenagers to Smoking, Science Panel Concludes”
New York Times, January 23, 2018

Drug Facts:  Electronic Cigarettes (e-cigarettes)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

The Teen Vaping Trend – What Parents Need to Know
Partnership for Drug-Free Kids

Concerns Explode Over New Health Risks of Vaping
Science News for Students

Association Between Initial Use of e-Cigarettes and Subsequent Cigarette Smoking Among Adolescents and Young Adults
JAMA Pediatrics (Journal of the American Medical Association)

E-Cigarette use was associated with greater risk for subsequent cigarette smoking initiation and past 30-day cigarette smoking. Strong e-cigarette regulation could potentially curb use among youth and possibly limit the future population-level burden of cigarette smoking.

Big Vape is Copying Big Tobacco’s Playbook
The Verge

Studies into the argument that vaping leads to smoking cessation continue to have mixed findings. Meanwhile, studies on the health risks of vaping have different results based on whether they were funded by tobacco companies, or non-affiliated public researchers.

The Teen Vaping Trend – What Parents Need to Know
Partnership for Drug-Free Kids


Perkiomen Valley School District

Kim Porter, CFRS