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Informed Families Blog

President's Message - May 2018

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on May 23, 2018 at 3:23 PM

BUILDING MENTAL HEALTH IN A SICKLY SOCIETY

I opened my morning paper and read the headline: “100 men, on road to better futures, are sent back to prison by budget cuts.” The story about Turning Point Bridge, one of 33 Florida program providers to help prevent recidivism, losing its funding and having to send all of these men from their jobs and transitional support back to prison makes me ill. Don’t forget to pack a suitcase full of Naltrexone or Narcan, so if they overdose, they won’t die.  The State Budget included 1.4 million dollars per year for 5 years to buy those products.

The public demands quick fix answers and our elected officials try to please the public.  The public and many of our elected leaders lack the knowledge to connect the dots. Taking away funding from programs like Turning Point Bridge and other substance abuse prevention and treatment programs to pay for more police and metal detectors in schools isn’t going to solve school safety problems.

As Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivor Kai Koerber put so eloquently in a Miami Herald op-ed, “We have to engage in a national shift in consciousness in order to pick ourselves back up from the depths of inequity and madness; because the circumstances under which we find ourselves, today, are so dire that the only option we have to stop gun violence, and the birthing of domestic terrorists, is to look within, and provide the mind of every child, in every school, with mental health training that will carry them, peacefully, into adulthood.”

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Topics: President's Message, children, mental health

33rd Annual Dinner At Joe's A Huge Success

Posted by Informed Families on May 16, 2018 at 12:00 AM

Dedicated Event Chair Joe Natoli & Sponsors Took Annual Event To New Heights

Miami’s finest gathered for Informed Families/The Florida Family Partnership’s 33rd Annual Dinner At Joe’s, showing their support for preventing drug problems before they start.

The illustrious event, held on Monday, May 14, was chaired by Joe Natoli of Baptist Health South Florida. Close to $250,000 was raised to support Informed Families’ statewide prevention programs and initiatives designed to help kids grow up safe, healthy and drug free.

400 guests attended the dinner, which was complete with local celebrity sightings, a pre-dinner Street Party and of course Joe’s signature stone crabs, coleslaw, hash browns, key lime pie and legendary service. Several attendees who haven’t missed a Joe’s dinner were recognized with a special pin to commemorate their commitment to Informed Families and helping kids grow up safe, healthy and drug free.

Some notable event attendees include: Betty Chapman and Dale Chapman Webb, Alfred & Pam Giganti Bunge, Penny Shaffer, Nancy & Jon Batchelor, Dorothy & Aaron Podhurst, Susan & Jim Carr, Judge Norma & Eugene Lindsey, Ginger Mead, Susan & Robin Shelley, Al Cardenas, State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle, Senator Anitere Flores and State Representative Nick Duran.

Check out the photos here.

“Informed Families focuses on addressing and preventing addiction and mental health issues among children and families by reducing risk factors and increase protective factors affecting our children,” said President & CEO Peggy Sapp. “We are so grateful to our community of Joe’s event supporters who inspire us with their outpouring of generosity and serve to remind us of the power of community involvement, which in itself is a protective factor.”

The event's success is the result of the dedication and generosity of the following sponsors:

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

President's Message - April 2018

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on April 10, 2018 at 5:16 PM

WHAT IS AMERICA'S ALCOHOL AWARENESS?

April is Alcohol Awareness Month, so let’s talk about alcohol.

Parents are still the number one reason kids give for not using alcohol and drugs.

Parenting is a hard job. You rarely get thanked and pushing back against unhealthy behaviors is hard. We know you want the best for your kids – and when you know better, you do better.

Americans are more into using alcohol – and less into understanding alcohol’s negative effects, considering that:

  •  Alcohol is a carcinogen and is linked to cancer. In fact, alcohol is responsible for an estimated 15 percent of US breast cancer cases (35,000/year) and deaths (6,600/year).
  • Underage drinking causes 4,300 deaths and 189,000 emergency room visit per year and  
  • Alcohol damages our stem cells.
  • People who consume more than one drink a day are more likely to die earlier and have greater health problems.
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Topics: President's Message, safe parties, safe homes smart parties

President's Message - March 2018

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on March 22, 2018 at 12:00 AM

SAFE HOMES SMART PARENTS

Last week, we had an amazing conference call with one of our absolutely favorite Ambassadors, Tracy Bowen, of Collier County Public Schools. Tracy said that our Safe Homes Smart Parties campaign should be renamed the Safe Homes Smart Parents campaign because Safe Parties Require Smart Parents. Parents are the key to safe children.

She hit the nail on the head and we are taking her advice very seriously and determining what that change means for our campaign. The best ideas come from boots on the ground and Tracy is a wonderful example of someone using her knowledge, experience and passion to help the children in her community grow up safe, healthy and drug free.

It’s been 36 years since we founded Informed Families and I’m still simultaneously confident that our prevention programs will help students make good choices this Spring Break and fearful that some parents are misinformed about the dangers of underage drinking, thus choosing to host parties and expose children to potentially frightening consequences. Social norms about alcohol are overwhelming to a parent’s better judgment. How can we help each and every parent take a stand for Safe Parties?

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Topics: President's Message, safe parties, safe homes smart parties

Joe's Pre-Party At Miami Cancer Institute

Posted by Informed Families on March 14, 2018 at 12:00 AM

Informed Families kicked off preparations for its 33rd Annual Dinner at Joe’s Stone Crab Restaurant at an exclusive Pre-Party held at the Miami Cancer Institute (MCI) at Baptist Health South Florida (BHSF).

President & CEO Peggy Sapp and Joe’s Event Chair Joe Natoli welcomed guests who shared their favorite stories from past dinners and enjoyed live music from the Greater Miami Youth Symphony. Guests received tours of the new Proton Therapy Center at MCI. BHSF’s Care & Counseling team presented on the Opioid epidemic, which led to a thoughtful conversation on how we can tackle the crisis.

Check out photos from the Pre-Party!

The Annual Informed Families Dinner at Joe’s, to be held on Monday, May 14, supports programs that further the organization’s mission of helping kids grow up safe, healthy and drug free.

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Topics: Joe's Stone Crab, healthy kids

President's Message - February 2018

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on February 26, 2018 at 3:09 PM

Have We All Lost Our Minds?

It certainly seems like it from the news!

School Safety is the topic du jour for good reason: the loss of 17 innocent lives.  We don’t educate our children for 16 years just to have them senselessly gunned down on school property and this is the 25th fatal, active school shooting at an elementary or high school since Columbine.

Have we learned anything?  I don’t think so when I listen to the news. The script is the same with people suggesting half-baked answers (it is like whack-a-mole) rather than holistic answer which recognize the complexities underlying the problem.  Is this because we allow media to set the agenda with blaring headlines, tight deadlines and sound bites? Problems can’t be solved on TV before the close of the show; it requires hard work, time and HONESTY about who we are as a people. What are our beliefs and values? Our true beliefs and values define our Behaviors.

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Topics: President's Message, holidays

Introducing The 2018 Red Ribbon Theme: Life Is Your Journey. Travel Drug Free.™

Posted by Informed Families on February 16, 2018 at 12:57 PM

Drum roll, please! After receiving thousands of Red Ribbon Week theme ideas from students, parents, educators, law enforcement and community members across the U.S., the National Family Partnership proudly announced this year's winning theme: "Life Is Your Journey. Travel Drug Free™." 

Taeya Moore, a student at Solon Middle School in Solon, Ohio created the theme for 2018 Red Ribbon Week, which takes place October 23-31, and will receive $500 of prevention materials for her school.

The annual National Red Ribbon Theme Contest, sponsored by the National Family Partnership, offers students and other prevention supporters the opportunity to be a part of history. The winning slogan will be used throughout 2018 in thousands of schools and communities across America.


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Topics: red ribbon, red ribbon week, red ribbon theme, 2015 red ribbon theme

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

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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