Informed Families Blog
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.
Back to School Transitions Can Lead to Problems
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.
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.
WHY SMART KIDS DO DUMB THINGS
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?
Valerie Hall firmly believes in the power of Red Ribbon Week. Hall, Interim Dean of Students and Criminal Justice Professor at Florida Memorial University (FMU), is passionate about delivering the “Love Yourself. Be Drug Free.” message to FMU’s diverse student population in her classroom and school wide. With the full support of FMU President Dr. Rosalyn Clark-Artis, Hall organized Red Ribbon Week activities for students at the University. No stranger to prevention, Dean Hall has worked with Informed Families for the last seven years to deliver healthy messages to youth in the South Florida Community.