Informed Families Blog

Webinar: Strategies To Prevent Underage Drinking

Posted by Informed Families on January 18, 2018 at 11:03 AM

The-Next-Step-College-Students.jpgAlcohol is the most widely used drug by both adults and youth. Underage drinking is associated with academic challenges, health issues, negative social consequences, emergency room visits and roughly 4,300 tragic deaths per year.

Luckily, there are effective ways to keep our kids safe.

Learn about underage drinking in Florida and proven ways to prevent it by joining us at a webinar hosted by the Florida Alcohol & Drug Abuse Association (FADAA) on Wednesday, January 24 from 1pm-3pm (ET).

The webinar will feature Dr. David Jernigan, director of the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) and Associate Professor in the Department of Health, Behavior and Society at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Register Now

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Topics: Webinars, underage drinking, drug prevention

President's Message - January 2018

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on January 9, 2018 at 3:18 PM

2017 Approved Peggy Sapp headshot.jpg

Accountability In 2018

Currently in America, agreement is neither common nor in vogue. Finally, I found the current in vogue agreement… IT AIN’T MY FAULT by The Brothers Osbourne.

Whether you are a fan or Country Music or not, country music tells everyday facts. In their 2017 hit, “It Ain’t My Fault,” The Brothers Osborne tell the common theme prevalent in American Society: the story of a person who is unwilling to accept responsibility for his actions AND THEY HAVE GREAT CLARITY ON WHY IT AIN’T THEIR FAULT.

Here’s an excerpt:


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Topics: President's Message, holidays

Opioids In Florida: The Latest Stats

Posted by Informed Families on January 3, 2018 at 12:30 PM

How Large Is The Opioid Problem In Florida?

With the opioid epidemic sweeping the nation, Florida is certainly not immune. And apparently, the problem is getting worse. According to a recent report from Florida's medical examiners, there has been a dramatic 22% increase (2,126 more deaths) of in drug-related deaths from the prior year. The report also showed a 35% increase in opioid-related deaths (1,483 over the previous year for a total of 5,725).

Not suprisingly, more deaths were caused by prescription drugs than illicit drugs, accounting for 61% of all drug occurrences in the report. After all, availability and a low perception of harm lead to increased use and abuse.

The drugs that caused the most deaths were cocaine, benzodiazepines, fentanyl, morphine, heroin, alcohol, oxycodone, methadone and methamphetamine.

“Clearly, those are shocking numbers and we have got to do something about it,” said Senate Health Policy Chairwoman Dana Young, R-Tampa to The News Service of Florida.

Here are additional highlights from the report: 

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Topics: prescription, prescription drug abuse, lock your meds, prescription drugs, drug abuse, drug prevention, opioids

President's Message - December 2017

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on December 11, 2017 at 2:45 PM

This month, I'm bringing back an oldie but goodie that people seem to really love. It's a great reminder of what's really important this holiday season.

People Are Gifts Sent To Me Wrapped

People Are Gifts Sent To Me Wrapped!
Some are wrapped beautifully;
They are attractive when I first see them.

Some come in very ordinary wrapping paper.
Others have been mishandled in the mail.
Once in a while there is a “Special Delivery.”

Some persons are gifts which come very loosely wrapped;
Others very tightly.

But the wrapping is not the gift!
It is easy to make that mistake…
It is amusing when babies do it.

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Topics: President's Message, holidays

Informed Families Partners With The National Institute On Drug Abuse

Posted by Informed Families on December 8, 2017 at 12:38 PM

National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week To Be Celebrated In Schools Across Florida

Once again, Informed Families is partnering with NIDA to implement National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week in schools and communities across Florida. Specifically, Informed Families will provide science-based prevention materials to hundreds of schools as part of the 2018 Lock Your Meds Campaign.

Additionally, Informed Families will share NIDA's National Drug & Alcohol IQ Challenge quiz (Test Your Knowledge Now) during National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week, which helps teens test their knowledge about drugs, alcohol, and drug abuse with an interactive quiz.

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Topics: drug abuse, nida, drug prevention

Announcing The FL Red Ribbon Photo Contest Winner

Posted by Informed Families on December 1, 2017 at 12:15 PM

East Lake Elementary School & Sims Family Win 2017 National & Florida Red Ribbon Week Photo Contests

$2,500 Earned for Drug Prevention from NFP, Informed Families & DEA

‘Tis the season for giving! East Lake Elementary School and the Sims family are the proud winners of the much-anticipated 2017 National Red Ribbon Week and Informed Families’ Florida Red Ribbon Week Photo Contests. Students, faculty and staff were fearlessly led by Teacher Jean Jupa in decorating the campus with this year’s theme, “Your Future Is Key, So Stay Drug Free®”. At the same time, the Sims family honored the tradition of the nation’s oldest drug prevention campaign by decorating the front of their home to promote their commitment to living a healthy and drug-free lifestyle during Red Ribbon Week ® (Oct. 23-31).

Jean Jupa and the Sims Family will each receive an iPad from NFP, the school will receive $500 from Informed Families for winning the Florida Red Ribbon Photo Contest and a $2,000 prize from National Red Ribbon Photo Contest co-sponsors, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), to be used toward drug prevention.

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

Star Ambassador: Freda Colley of Duval County

Posted by Informed Families on November 29, 2017 at 1:16 PM

Freda Colley may be a relatively new Informed Families Ambassador, but she is no stranger to prevention. Colley, a Certified Prevention Specialist and the Northeast Florida Coordinator for Keep Kids Drug Free (KKDF), has been dedicating her time and talent to preventing youth substance abuse for 18 years.

Colley, an employee of Gateway Community Services, works to help students grow up safe, healthy and drug free through Informed Families’ four campaigns and several other initiatives. She learned about the ambassador program through a colleague, Vicki Kress from SMA Behavioral Health.

In her role with KKDF, she manages evidence-based prevention programs. This year, she incorporated Red Ribbon Week into her efforts for the first time and it was a huge success.

"I had connections in the community for working in prevention for so long," said Colley. "I contacted a local school, Chimney Lakes Elementary, with a strong PTA and parent base. We made sure to do something each day for the whole week, starting with an assembly with the students letting them know what and why we were doing. We focused on creating awareness that if you want to be an athlete, a singer, for example, or have success, drugs cannot be a part of your life. Students got involved and helped us by coming up with some ideas."

One particular success arising from the campaign was Colley's ability to reach parents with the drug prevention message. A total of 200 signed parent pledges were collected by the end of the week. While many children and teens are positively impacted by her programs directly, Colley, much like Informed Families, believes it is just as important to directly each their parents.
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Topics: red ribbon week, ambassadors, campaigns, parents

President's Message - November 2017

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on November 28, 2017 at 10:01 PM

A Time To Give Thanks

November signifies a time of gratitude for all things. As we gather with our families for delicious dinners prepared with the best trimmings, we reflect deeply on what truly means the most to us and express gratitude for those things.

After 35 years of providing families with the tools to help kids make healthy choices, I am extremely thankful for the success of Informed Families. This year, I have plenty to be thankful for.

I am thankful for the hard-working staff of Informed Families for working diligently to ensure that families and children are united to combat the social pressures of underage drinking and illegal drug use.

I am thankful for an active Board of Trustees, who altruistically dedicates their time to supporting our mission and achieving our vision.  

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Topics: Family Day, President's Message, red ribbon, red ribbon week, drug abuse, drug prevention

Informed Families Receives $25K Grant To Expand Safe Homes Smart Parties

Posted by Informed Families on November 22, 2017 at 12:18 PM

Thanks to a generous grant from the 2017 State Attorney's Safer & Healthier Communities Fund through the Miami Foundation, Informed Families will be expanding our Safe Homes Smart Parties campaign to address safe driving.

The program will reduce impaired driving by educating over 40,000 teens and families in 30 Miami-Dade high schools about the danger, consequences, illegality and social unacceptability of impaired driving through educational materials, educational activities and a targeted, interactive awareness campaign in schools and online.

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Topics: safe parties, safe homes smart parties, driving

Red Hot! Schools & Communities Across Florida Celebrate 2017 Red Ribbon Week

Posted by Informed Families on November 3, 2017 at 2:30 PM

In it's 29th year, National Red Ribbon Week® is alive and thriving. The State of Florida, which has always been a leading state in Red Ribbon Week participation, led by Statewide Sponsor Informed Families, is a wonderful example of the power of grassroots to create lasting change. With the current opioid epidemic, Red Ribbon Week is more important than ever.

Families, schools and communities across Florida demonstrated their commitment to a Drug-Free America during 2017 Red Ribbon Week® (October 23-31). Informed Families partnered with volunteer Ambassadors, agencies, organizations and businesses, leveraging resources and reaching more children and families with prevention messages.

Red Ribbon Week, the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation, was created after the death of DEA Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, who was kidnapped, tortured and killed in Mexico in 1985. In 1988, the inaugural National Red Ribbon Week®, sponsored by the National Family Partnership, was created. An estimated 80 million people celebrating each year.

Here are some highlights from 2017 Red Ribbon Week:

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

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 .

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