Informed Families Blog

President's Message - February 2022

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on February 10, 2022 at 5:00 AM

Feelings, Facts, and Fallacies

Don't miss how feelings trump facts in Brené Brown's TED talk!

February is Valentine’s Day and Heart Health Month. The symbol for both is the heart.

Hearts, love, and hugs go together. They are three important ingredients in helping kids live a safe, drug-free life. However, rules and responsibilities are also critical components in making sure kids learn constructive ways to cope with the negative feelings they encounter as they go through life.

As a parent, finding and maintaining the balance between the two is an important key to healthy families. And that’s not always easy.

Parents who will not act as a parent and instead want to be their child’s friend are making a fatal mistake. At the other extreme, being too strict and unbending are also destructive errors. Parents need to balance love with responsibilities to produce the best environment for a child to thrive.

Substance abuse up

COVID-19 has created uncertainly and confusion for all of us. The American Psychological Association (APA) found that 25 percent of Americans increased their alcohol intake to deal with pandemic-related stress, while one survey in Britain found that alcohol-related deaths increased by 20 percent in the first year following the pandemic.

Positive tests for other drugs have also increased, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), an agency of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). These include fentanyl, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine, especially among those who experienced COVID-19-related stress.

Facing our feelings

Alcohol and drugs are coping mechanisms we use to numb our feelings. For years, Informed Families (IF) has been told to stick to the “facts.” Well guess what: Feelings trump facts when it comes to determining our actions, especially harmful actions like drug and alcohol abuse.

As social worker Brené Brown explained in her recent TED talk, “you cannot selectively numb emotion.” When you resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with things you’d rather avoid, you numb all emotions: shame, fear, and grief, but also love, joy, and gratitude.

As a Valentine’s Day present, please do yourself and your family a favor and watch the #4-rated TED talk: Brené Brown on “Vulnerability.” It takes about 20 minutes and will open your eyes to how feelings trump facts.

Then sit down and have a productive talk with your kids. If you need more information on the dangers of misusing alcohol and drugs and how to combat them, visit our website.

-Peggy Sapp, President & CEO

Topics: President's Message

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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