Informed Families Blog

President's Message - April 2015

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on April 21, 2015 at 12:12 PM


Heroin. Meth. Cocaine. Ecstasy. While dangerous and scary, these are not the most popular drugs among our children. So what drugs are the most widely abused?

Drum roll please…the most widely abused drug is Alcohol, a legal drug.

People don’t change alcohol and drug use behaviors based on scare tactics or logic; they change when they start to see and acknowledge the cultural code that is pushing unhealthy behaviors.

People use drugs based on their perception of harm and the availability of the drug. So certainly alcohol is the most available and surely it won’t harm you; the government has legalized it!

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, data from a national survey of high school students shows that teens who receive a message from their parents that underage drinking is completely unacceptable are more than 80 percent less likely to drink than teens who receive other messages.

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Topics: President's Message, parenting, advice, safe parties, teenagers, safe homes smart parties, underage drinking, alcohol

President's Message - March 2015

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on March 11, 2015 at 8:01 PM


Helen & John Witty’s 16-year-old daughter, Helen Marie, was rollerblading on a bike path when she was struck and instantly killed by a car full of teenagers who were under the influence of alcohol and marijuana. These kids were celebrating graduation at an unsupervised home prior to getting in the car. The driver’s future now included years of jail time and forever living with the knowledge that she killed someone. Think for a moment. You could be the parent of the victim or the parent of the driver of the car! Safe Homes Smart Parties® is not about someone else’s child.

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Topics: President's Message, parenting, advice, safe parties, teenagers, safe homes smart parties, underage drinking

President's Message - February 2015

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on February 26, 2015 at 2:16 PM


11 Wesleyan University students were hospitalized on Sunday after overdosing on Molly, a “pure” form of ecstasy or MDMA, which has increased in popularity among teens in recent years. Two of these students are in critical condition.

"I think that's why it's so shocking because it feels like that could never happen to anyone that you know," Emma Soloman, a Wesleyan freshman, told Connecticut news station WVIT. "It's like no one is going to overdose, you know? Because it's so common, but then when it's in that grand of a scale, it's scarier."

According to the most recent National Survey On Drug Use & Health, about one in eight 18-25 year olds have used MDMA in their lifetime.

When did ecstasy become so “common” on college campuses? How do we protect our children from unhealthy and dangerous norms? Furthermore, how can we equip our kids with tools that will help keep them safe, healthy and drug free when most kids do not believe bad things will happen to them?

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Topics: President's Message, parenting, college students, advice, MDMA, molly, ecstasy

President's Message - January 2015

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on January 21, 2015 at 2:11 PM


From the moment our children are born, we are faced with decisions, both important and mundane. Do we breastfeed or formula-feed? Cloth or disposable diapers?

Perhaps one of the most common and important concerns parents face after we have a child is HOW TO GET THE BABY TO SLEEP! So we turn to family, friends, experts, bloggers, books and even if we aren’t looking for help, people frequently offer unsolicited advice!  And what do these sources tell us? Tons of conflicting advice. Even today’s “latest research” can contradict yesterday’s “latest research.” Here’s an excerpt from a hilarious blog, entitled “I Read All The Baby Sleep Books,” by Ava Neyer.

 “You shouldn’t sleep train at all, before a year, before 6 months, or before 4 months, but if you wait too late, your baby will never be able to sleep without you. College-aged children never need to be nursed, rocked, helped to sleep, so don’t worry about any bad habits. Nursing, rocking, singing, swaddling, etc. to sleep are all bad habits and should be stopped immediately… Naps should only be taken in the bed, never in a swing, carseat, stroller, or when worn. Letting them sleep in the carseat or swing will damage their skulls. If your baby has trouble falling asleep in the bed, put them in a swing, carseat, stroller, or wear them.”

Is that a riot or what? Talk about “Analysis Paralysis.” That decision alone can make any of us crazy if we don’t just listen to our instincts. WHAT DID PARENTS DO LONG AGO when they couldn’t read or access this information? Do parents know more than they think but are afraid to trust their inner knowledge?

As Malcolm Gladwell shares in his book, Blink, experts (and I would add, parents) often make better decisions with snap judgments than they do with a great deal of analysis.

So, does advice do more harm than good? I would argue, “no,” as long as we put it in its proper place instead of letting it overwhelm and confuse us.

As a mother and grandmother, I can tell you that decisions affecting our children (and grandchildren) do not go away and over time as children get older, the issues can become even more complicated. Sure, we can always benefit from hearing different people’s perspectives and sharing our own with others (that’s part of the fun of being in a parent peer group), but ultimately, we have to listen to ourselves. The answers, if we listen closely enough, are usually within.



PS. If you take one piece of advice from me this month, let it be to Lock Your Meds; secure your medication, take regular inventory to be sure nothing is missing, safely dispose of unused meds and spread the word to family and friends. There’s a prescription drug abuse epidemic in our country.


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Topics: President's Message, parenting, stress, intuition, advice, newborn, Malcolm Gladwell, decisions, baby sleep habits

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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