Blog

Informed Families Blog

Orlando School Wins National Red Ribbon Photo Contest

Posted by Informed Families on December 6, 2018 at 2:45 PM

On December 3, the National Family Partnership (NFP) announced 20 winners of its 8th Annual National Red Ribbon Week Photo Contest. One Florida school, Orlando Science Charter School was named the Region 2 school entry winner for receiving the most votes in the Southeastern United States in support of its photo. 

To participate in the contest, families and schools across the country decorated either their homes or school campuses with this year’s Red Ribbon theme: “Life is Your Journey. Travel Drug Free.” A total of $20,000 will be awarded to K-12 schools, which includes 10 winners who received the most votes in their region and 10 winners who were selected for Judges Awards. The families and individuals who entered on behalf of the schools will also receive an ipad.

Read More

Topics: red ribbon week, red ribbon, red ribbon photo contest, drug prevention

2018 Red Ribbon Week Highlights

Posted by Informed Families on November 18, 2018 at 11:43 AM

It's been 30 years since the first ever National Red Ribbon Week, which was organized by the National Family Partnership. This year's National Red Ribbon theme was  "Life Is Your Journey. Travel Drug Free" - and to Red Ribbon's founders, building, sustaining and growing the campaign has been a true journey!

It all started after the tragic kidnapping, torture and murder of DEA Special Agent Kiki Camarena in 1985. His friends and family started wearing Red Ribbons as a symbol in support of drug free lifestyles. Thanks to the Parents Movement and the various organizations, such as Informed Families, around the country who felt the same way, Red Ribbon picked up steam and became a national event in 1988. 

Each year, students across America come up with ideas for Red Ribbon Week themes. This year's theme, "Life Is Your Journey. Travel Drug Free," came from a student in Solon, Ohio. Informed Families delivered the theme and Red Ribbon activities and materials through our partnership with volunteer Ambassadors, agencies, organizations and businesses, leveraging resources and reaching more children and families with prevention messages.

Here are some highlights from 2018 Red Ribbon Week:

Read More

Topics: red ribbon week, red ribbon, red ribbon photo contest, drug prevention

President's Message - November 2018

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on November 16, 2018 at 5:23 PM

THANKSGIVING OR EXCESS?

Thanksgiving used to be a time to gather with family and reflect on all of our blessings. We appreciated things, like a roof over our head, food on the table, clothes on our back and a country not at war.

Then, Thanksgiving became a time to eat and drink too much, drive ourselves crazy trying to please our guests or get along with our hosts and prepare for the shopper’s high we get from Black Friday

Families of origin aren’t always healthy or easy to spent time with! I saw a comic recently featuring a “Convention of Adult Children of Normal Parents.” There were three people attending. Ha! Many of us have at least one trauma from childhood and complicated relationships with a sibling or another family member. 

Read More

Topics: President's Message, children, thanksgiving, gratitude, family bonding

Family Focus: The Strunck Family

Posted by Informed Families on November 16, 2018 at 10:51 AM

Written by: Nikki Strunck, mother

The sixth overdose was fatal. My only child Brendan died at the age of 24.

He and some friends started messing around with pot when he was 13. By the age of 14, he got oxycodone pills from a friend, and by 16, he was addicted to heroin.

I grieved for my son for years before he died. As difficult as talking about this is, if I can help one person not die, this is worth it.

I think when Brendan was small, I thought he would try drinking and smoking pot. I was not prepared for opioid abuse.

Read More

Topics: drug use, drug prevention, opioids, parents

Family Focus: The Mendell Family

Posted by Informed Families on October 27, 2018 at 5:02 PM

Brian Mendell was a child who loved the outdoors and had an infectious smile.  In elementary school, Brian started to experience difficulties and was diagnosed with ADD. He was also later diagnosed with anxiety, depression and traits of Asperger's.  

Brian started smoking marijuana at the age of 13 with some of his friends. He, unlike some of his friends, became addicted to marijuana and ultimately became addicted to opioids. He went through numerous treatment programs, struggled immensely, relapsed frequently and ultimately took his own life after a long battle with addiction in the fall of 2011.  

Read More

Topics: suicide, drug use, drug prevention, opioids

Paragon Residential Detox Center Celebrates Red Ribbon Week With I-95 Billboard

Posted by Informed Families on October 27, 2018 at 3:42 PM

 

Read More

Topics: red ribbon, drug prevention, palm beach

President's Message - October 2018

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on October 26, 2018 at 10:24 PM

OH THE PLACES RED RIBBON GOES!

Red Ribbon Week Whirlwind.

I started in Washington DC at the Pentagon Hall of Heroes. Every year, the Department of Defense presents awards to the outstanding Prevention and Treatment Centers from each branch of the Armed Forces, including the National Guard. What a thrill to hear the story of the Army Garrison Japan and how they affected not just the lives of the members of the military and their families, but the entire base. I was also really moved by the Navy's Drug Education for Youth program in Norfolk, Virginia.  The Military has less than 2% of their population test positive for drugs…We need to learn from the military and duplicate their efforts. 

Then on to discussing HOW the Department of Education’s Safe & Healthy Schools can equip educators across America with the right tools during Red Ribbon Week with Paul Kesner. Informed Families' programs are TIER 1 UNIVERSAL PREVENTION PROGRAMS.

Later, I met with the Drug Czar, James Carroll, at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Director Carroll had been the keynote speaker at the Pentagon and also at DEA Headquaters. He is charged with coordinating drug efforts. What better place to start than discussing the size and scope of Red Ribbon Week. I asked Director Carroll to recognize the work of grassroots efforts as a way to empower a loyal base of Americans opposed to drug use. Since many states are adopting the Lock Your Meds Campaign, it would be nice to have a unified campaign that came from grassroots such as Lock Your Meds to help address the opioid crisis.

Read More

Topics: President's Message, children, red ribbon, red ribbon week, education

Family Focus: The Sundt Family

Posted by Informed Families on September 27, 2018 at 3:04 PM

Sundt brothers

Jon Sundt tragically lost both of his brothers, Steve & Eric, to drug addiction.

“Steve and Eric had dreams,” said Sundt, a businessman and founder of alternative investment company Altegris. “They were athletes, they loved the outdoors and they loved the ocean. They were on a good path, enjoying life. [They] got sidetracked, listened to some friends who turned out to be not very good friends.”

Both became addicted to drugs in high school, thinking that they could just “experiment” and everything would turn out ok.

“They thought drugs were cool and would lead to something they [didn’t] have,” said Sundt. “They tried to fit in and kick it up a notch by doing drugs.”

Read More

Topics: suicide, mental health, healthy kids, drug use, drug prevention

How Many Florida Children & Teens Drink Or Use Drugs?

Posted by Informed Families on September 25, 2018 at 2:17 PM

People make a lot of assumptions about what children and teens do or don't do when it comes to substance abuse. This can be based on the person's own experiences, what he or she sees on social media or in movies or what others may have experienced. Luckily, we don't have to assume, thanks to the Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey (FYSAS) report, which was just released for 2018.

The FYSAS was administered to almost 55,000 Florida students in 686 middle and high schools in February of 2018.

Here are some highlights from the report:

  • Alcohol and cigarette use is declining. Between 2006 and 2018, past-month use of alcohol declined by 16.7 percent (11.7% for middle school students and 20.6% among high school students), binge drinking declined by 10 percent (5.3% for middle school students and 13.4% for high school students) and cigarette use declined by 8.1 percent (4.8% for middle school students and 10.6 percent reduction among high school students).
  • Binge drinking is still an issue. One out of every 10 high school students reported binge drinking in the last 30 days and one out of seven reported blacking out from drinking.
Read More

Topics: drug abuse, teens, children, alcohol use

President's Message - September 2018

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on September 21, 2018 at 10:23 AM

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR CHILDREN'S HEATLH & WELL-BEING? 

For so many issues that we face as a society, and certainly drug addiction, there’s an abundance of denial and blame.

This reminds me of a little riddle about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.

There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.

(For example, creating a healthy environment for our children.)

Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.

(We are all so busy, after all!)

Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job.

(“Don’t put it all on me!”)

Read More

Topics: President's Message, children, drug prevention, family dinner, Family Day, red ribbon, red ribbon week

About Us

We teach people how to say no to drugs and how to make healthy choices. To reduce the demand for drugs, Informed Families has focused its efforts on educating and mobilizing the community, parents and young people in order to change attitudes. In this way we counteract the pressures in society that condone and promote drug and alcohol use and abuse. The organization educates thousands of families annually about how to stay drug and alcohol free through networking and a variety of programs and services .

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all