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Informed Families Blog

President's Message - August 2019

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on August 1, 2019 at 8:30 AM

Back to School Transitions Can Lead to Problems   

Hi friend,

Summer vacation is coming to an end, and your children will be returning to school soon. Some are preparing to transition into middle or high school; while others are heading off to college.  These transitions will introduce new environments, new friends and new found freedoms. Research shows that dealing with transitions is often a time when kids get into trouble. If you haven’t done so already, now is a good time to have another talk with your kids about your family rules and boundaries regarding underage drinking and substance abuse

You want to encourage your children’s growing independence, but set appropriate limits. Set clear rules, and then enforce the rules you set. Make sure your children understand what the consequences will be for breaking rules.  But equally important, don’t forget to acknowledge the moments when your kids choose healthy behaviors over underage drinking or experimenting with drugs.

According to a recent report, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy’s (ONDCP) Drug-Free Communities (DFC) programs continue to yield consistently reduced youth substances use rates. There has been a decline in prescription drugs, marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol use among youth. So we know prevention programs and initiatives, like the ones Informed Families offer, work.  We all must continue to play a role in creating communities that care about helping kids grow up safe, healthy and drug free.

Peggy

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Topics: President's Message, college students, prevention, underage drinking, family rules, teens, peer pressure, drug use, parents, alcohol use, back to school

President's Message - June/July 2019

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on June 28, 2019 at 11:00 AM

Let's End the Stigma Associated With Drugs   

The Surgeon General’s recent call to end the stigma associated with addiction is long overdue. The stigma surrounding alcohol and drug use and addiction often prevents us from talking openly about these issues with friends, family and most importantly our kids.

It’s much easier to avoid talking about tough topics, especially when we think “that could never happen to one of my loved ones.”  No one wants to believe their child is sneaking pills from the medicine cabinet or drinking while out with friends. No one wants to believe their child is experimenting with or using drugs.

The sad truth is that children as young as nine years old already start viewing alcohol in a more positive way, and approximately 3,300 kids, as young as 12 years old, try marijuana each day. Additionally, about five in 10 kids, as young as age 12, obtain prescription pain relievers for non-medical purposes.  Furthermore, the research shows that children who first smoke marijuana under the age of 14 are more than five times as likely to abuse drugs as adults than those who first use marijuana at age 18 (NIDA).

It is never too early to talk to your children about the risks of using alcohol and drugs. It may not always seem like it, but kids really do hear their parents say; talk they listen.

Peggy 

 

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Topics: President's Message, addiction, drug trends, marijuana, prescription drug abuse, teens, drug use, parents, alcohol use

President's Message - May 2019

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on May 28, 2019 at 9:00 AM

Summer Is A Good Time to Refocus On Prevention  

Another busy school year is coming to a close and we are all looking forward to having some down time and reconnecting with family. The start of summer is a critical time to talk with your kids about risky behaviors. Teens and college students most often use substances for the first time during June or July, according to SAMHSA's National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) data on adolescents – 2012  and NSDUH data on full-time college students – 2015.

Unfortunately it’s not as easy for parents to recognize that their child might be experimenting with alcohol or drugs. JUUL e-cigarettes that look like USB flash drives, flasks disguised as lotion containers, sunscreen or smart phone cases, and CBD gummies can be hidden in plain sight. These items can all be purchased online. Talk to your kids about the dangers of using drugs or alcohol and arm them with the knowledge they need to make healthy choices. If you need some talking points take a look at these 11 Tips For Talking To Your Kids About Drugs & Alcohol

It might be hard to acknowledge if your child has a substance abuse problem. It’s also difficult to find help. Many parents often ask - what should I do if my child is dealing with an addiction or mental health issue? The good news is a newly proposed Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency (CARE) Act 2019 would help provide the infrastructure and community building that is are critical to getting them the care they need.

Peggy

 

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Topics: President's Message, parenting, college students, teens, peer pressure, e-cigarettes, drug use, parents, alcohol use, summer, healthy kids, juul

Miami-Dade Students Present on Drug Prevention Efforts in Their Schools and Communities

Posted by Informed Families on May 27, 2019 at 12:16 PM

“I learned how to handle peer pressure and say no to drugs.”

“I didn’t know people could die from alcohol poisoning.”

“I didn’t know how much of a problem prescription drug abuse was.”

“Many of our peers are dealing with drug issues themselves or have a family member with a problem.”

Student ambassadors in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools Creating Community Change: Youth Engagement Program (CCC:YEP) program shared these messages and much more during their end of the year presentations at the Betty T. Ferguson Center in Miami Gardens on May 22, 23 and 24. 

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Topics: red ribbon week, ambassadors, prescription drug abuse, lock your meds, safe homes smart parties, middle school, peer pressure, drug free, drug prevention, parent peer group, miami gardens, miami

34th Annual Dinner at Joe's

Posted by Informed Families on May 22, 2019 at 1:26 PM

34th Annual Dinner at Joe’s Stone Crab Raises Funds to Help Kids Grow Up Safe, Healthy & Drug Free

Informed Families/The Florida Family Partnership hosted its’ 34th Annual Dinner at Joe’s on Monday, May 13. The event, chaired by Donna Abood and Michael Fay of Avison Young, raised $250,000 to support Informed Families’ statewide prevention campaigns designed to help kids grow up safe, healthy and drug free.

Close to 400 guests attended the event, including: Alfred & Pam Giganti Bunge, Nancy & Jon Batchelor, Peter & Kerrin Bermont, Al Cardenas, Armando & Maggie Codina, Susan & Jim Carr, Butch & Tammy Davis, Mary & Joel Eaton, The Honorable Norma & Eugene Lindsey, Ginger Mead, Dorothy & Aaron Podhurst,and Scott & Karla C. Richey.

Commissioner Sally Heyman volunteered as the lead maître d' at the dinner, and Kathy Fernandez Rundle drew the raffle ticket for a fabulous dinner for 20 at Joe’s won by Donna & Gordon Fales. Long time attendees Charlie and Marabel Morgan always have the most interesting guests at their table. This year, their guests included Coach Mike Rumph, Jonathan Vilma, Sean Clancy, Dina Cellini, Ross Sawitz, and most importantly, Steve Sawitz, of Joe’s Stone Crab, who has attended as a guest of the Morgan’s every year.

“We are so thankful to the individuals that support Informed Families by attending our Dinner at Joe’s, especially those that have been joining us at Joe’s since the start,” said Peggy Sapp, President & CEO. “Their generosity has allowed us to offer powerful prevention programs and initiatives designed to help kids grow up drug free.”

Visit the Dinner at Joe’s photo gallery for pictures from the event.

Informed Families thanks the following generous event sponsors:

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Topics: Joe's Stone Crab, Peggy Sapp, Florida, fundraiser

President's Message - April 2019

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on April 26, 2019 at 3:00 PM

Communicating Across Generations 

I recently read that some families now have five living generations. Imagine that. Each generation has a totally different world view and processes information in a different way. However simply engaging with others remains the key to communicating effectively.

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Topics: President's Message, parenting, communication, safe homes smart parties, underage drinking, teens, peer pressure, parents, alcohol use, alcohol abuse

Prevention Awareness Key in Fight Against Opioids

Posted by Informed Families on April 26, 2019 at 9:15 AM

Informed Families President & CEO Peggy Sapp was invited to participate in a round table discussion about the opioid epidemic on Saturday, April 20. Organized by Congresswoman Donna Shalala, the panel was moderated by Rodrigo Lozano, LCSW, from the National Association of Social Workers and included John W. Newcomer, M.D., president and CEO of South Florida Behavioral Health Network in Miami, FL, Judge Victoria Sigler and Howard Rosen, Esq., head of narcotics in the State Attorney’s Office.

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Topics: lock your meds, prescription drugs, overdose, Peggy Sapp, drug prevention, drug use, opioids

Orlando Students Present On Drug And Alcohol Prevention

Posted by Informed Families on April 25, 2019 at 2:40 PM

On Tuesday April 16, Informed Families, in partnership with the Orange County Drug Free Coalition, MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), and Florida Department of Health Orange County SWAT (Students Working Against Tobacco) held an End of the School Year Youth Ambassador Drug/Alcohol Prevention Program Wrap Up.

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Topics: orlando, drug free, drug prevention, drug use, health kids

President's Message - March 2019

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on March 19, 2019 at 3:50 PM

It's Time For A Duel With JUUL

As our Safe Homes Smart Parents campaign kicks off, we think about all of the unhealthy trends facing our youth and what parents can do to protect their children. Right now, we are fired up about the 78% increase in e-cigarette use among high school students, as a result of JUUL Labs’ targeting of our youth. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, last year, 3.6 million U.S. youth use e-cigarettes. Talk to any teacher or parent of a teen and they will confirm the schools are overrun by JUUL and kids are showing real signs of addiction.

Some lucky ones will put away their JUULs before they’re addicted.  But many are embarking on a lifelong addiction to nicotine.  Many of those will continue to use JUUL for a considerable amount of time, and we simply do not know what consequences long-term use will have on their health. 

What we do know is that e-cigarettes are not safe.  And we know that nicotine use by children and teens negatively impacts their brain development.  Among other things, it makes them more susceptible to addiction in general. The larger fear is they switch entirely to cigarettes and other tobacco products that are even more dangerous.

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Topics: President's Message, parenting, safe homes smart parties, children, tobacco, parents, juul

Remembering Betty Chapman & Herta Holly

Posted by Informed Families on February 26, 2019 at 4:03 PM

Informed Families lost two cherished friends during the month of February.

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Topics: drug prevention, parents, grandparents

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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