Informed Families Blog
Congratulations to the FIVE WINNERS of the Informed Families Virtual Scavenger Hunt focused on the dangers of underage and binge drinking. They will each receive a $25 Amazon gift card for answering all of the game questions correctly. All winners were randomly selected.
Noelle Taylor – Collier County
Arbens Darius – Hillsborough County
Gio Vanegas – Miami-Dade County
Lelani Delgado – Orange County
Heather Newby – Seminole County
Informed Families would also like to congratulate Janine Mojica from Lake Nona High School in Orange County on winning a $50 Amazon gift card for having the most student participation in the Virtual Scavenger Hunt.
Thank you to everyone who joined in the game. We hope it was informative and fun. Stay tuned for future contests and games!
The correct answer to each question was posted on the Informed Families website at 9 PM the day after the question was sent out. Here are all the questions and answers in case you missed any or weren't able to join in the fun.
Why Do We Turn Everything Into a Reason to Drink?
Social gatherings, bars and dining in restaurants are off limits for Cinco de Mayo this year, but many of us still plan to celebrate in some fashion - probably with a Mexican beer or margarita in hand. Have you ever stopped to think about why we turn everything into an opportunity to drink alcohol? Cinco de Mayo generates beer sales on par with the Super Bowl.
How did Cinco de Mayo (which commemorates the Mexican Army's victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862) turn into a bigger celebration day in the United States than Mexico? It’s all about selling you something of course. Cinco de Mayo really took off when beer companies started sponsoring Cinco de Mayo celebrations to promote and sell beer. Is this really that different from the advertising tactics employed by Big Tobacco?
According to the 2019 Monitoring the Future Survey:
- Marijuana continues to be the most commonly used illicit drug by adolescents.
- One in four 12th graders say they vaped nicotine in the past month, along with 1 in 5 10th graders, and nearly 1 in 10 eighth graders.
- Many teens say they vape for the flavor, to experiment, for social reasons, or to feel good.
- From 2018-2019, the number of 12th graders saying they vape because they are "hooked" more than doubled to 8.1%, up from 3.6%.
Parents and educators can join others across the country to help students make informed decisions by sharing fact-based information about drugs and alcohol.
We’ve all seen the headlines:
“Underage drinking, drugs leads to nearly 1,000 arrests on Gulf Coast beaches”
“Sheriff's Office cracks down on underage drinking in Destin”
“Police being extra vigilant on drunk driving during spring break
"Spring Break 2019 sees drunk students descend on beach to guzzle booze, twerk and pass out in outrageous parties”
If you are the parent of a college-age student preparing to head off to a spring break destination soon, you are likely concerned about whether or not they will engage in underage or binge-drinking and wind up in lots of trouble.
While the Media Was Focused on Opioids Look What Happened
While the media has been focused on the opioid crisis, the number of alcohol-related deaths more than doubled from 35,914 in 1999 to 72,558 in 2017. Women have been impacted the most.
According Dr. George F. Koob, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) Director, “alcohol is a growing women’s health issue. The rapid increase in deaths involving alcohol among women is troubling and parallels the increases in alcohol consumption among women over the past few decades.”
Trends like Mommy wine culture, which normalizes the idea of drinking alcohol as a way to cope with stress, and sipping while shopping have become commonplace. We should always keep in mind that our kids are watching our behaviors. Do we want them to turn to alcohol as a way to escape from everyday stress or as the only way to relax and unwind?
They are bombarded with images promoting alcohol in that way already. A new report from the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs says alcohol ads are leading teens to drink. A study in the Preventive Medicine journal found that social media could be sending out positive messaging about alcohol use as well.
Sign the Safe Homes Smart Parents pledge, and let’s work together to stem the tide of alcohol-related deaths by discouraging underage and binge drinking.
Have you noticed the new trend of major retailers and grocery store chains increasingly allowing, or even encouraging, the consumption of alcohol while patrons shop? A short segment on Good Morning America detailed this new trend as a quirky and fun new way for stores to encourage their customers to spend more, but are we missing a bigger issue altogether?
Stores that encourage customers to drink while they shop are helping to normalize the consumption of alcoholic beverages throughout the day in a very public setting. Are we teaching our kids that it is OK to go about your day with a glass of mimosa on your hand?
Are you thinking about participating in ‘Dry January’ - a month-long break from alcohol? We already know giving up alcohol for a month could leave you richer, slimmer and healthier – but if you’re in need of some more reasons to maintain your break with Pinot, check out some of the unexpected benefits of giving up alcohol:
5 Steps To Creating A Happy & Healthy Family In 2019
Have you seen Informed Families’ Lock Your Meds signs at your local Publix Pharmacy store? Through our amazing partnership with Publix Pharmacy, we are reaching roughly 1.2 million people in 720 stores across Florida and 397 in the Southeastern US with the Lock Your Meds message. Wow!
A happy and healthy family starts when you create a safe and healthy environment for children. This includes securing your medication, taking regular inventory to ensure nothing is missing and safely disposing of unused or expired medication.
Also, keep tabs on your liquor cabinet - and resist unhealthy social norms that make you feel bad for not “teaching your child to drink” at home. The research shows that children who start drinking before age 15 are 5 times more likely to have alcohol problems at adults.
Vicki Kress, this month's Star Ambassador, discovered Informed Families' Ambassador Program one day while searching for Lock Your Meds campaign resources. Familiar with the work of Informed Families, she was delighted to learn that the organization offers free year-round campaign materials provided to schools and organizations across Florida. She wasted no time and signed up right away to bring the four campaigns to Volusia and Flagler Counties.
“Environmental strategies, like the four universal campaigns, are extremely effective, as long as they are consistent, informative, eye catching and the whole community takes them on and makes them a priority,” says Kress. “Informed Families helps to provide the consistency that’s required – and we at Stewart-Marchman-Act Beahvioral Healthcare (SMA) have the capacity and drive to get everyone on the same page in our community.”
Kress serves as the Regional Prevention Director at SMA, which provides behavioral health care services to approximately 25,000 individuals each year, who are living with addiction, mental illness or both in Volusia, Flagler, St. Johns and Putnam Counties. SMA offers residential treatment for substance abuse and mental health in each of those counties. In her role, Kress focuses on the organization’s prevention services to families and schools throughout Volusia and Flagler County.