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2019 Red Ribbon Certified Schools Recognized

Posted by Informed Families on October 15, 2019 at 12:00 PM

Informed Families newly-designated 2019 Red Ribbon Certified Schools include: Brownsville, Citrus Grove and Homestead Middle Schools in Miami-Dade County, FL; West Orange and Cypress Creek High Schools in Orange County, FL; and North Atlanta High School in Fulton County, GA.

The Red Ribbon Certified Schools in both Miami-Dade and Orange Counties received special recognition during the October School Board meetings in their respective counties.

 

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Topics: red ribbon, high school, orlando, middle school, red ribbon certified schools, drug prevention, christine stilwell, recognition, miami, orange county

DEA National Red Ribbon Rally

Posted by Informed Families on October 14, 2019 at 12:30 PM

On October 7th, Informed Families' President & CEO Peggy Sapp had the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. to attend the DEA’s Red Ribbon Rally. The rally served to drive messaging around Red Ribbon Week, our nation-wide campaign dedicated to encouraging Americans to live healthy and drug-free.

The event recognized the accomplishments of several young people who have excelled in calling attention to the benefits of a drug-free lifestyle through their artwork. The DEA’s Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon was in attendance, as was the First Lady who delivered remarks about the dangers of vaping and the need to eliminate drug use among our youth.  

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Topics: red ribbon, red ribbon week, dea, drug prevention, nancy reagan, Kiki Camarena

President's Message - October 2019

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on October 1, 2019 at 7:00 AM

Celebrating Red Ribbon Week   

I’m excited to head to the DEA's headquarters for this year's National Red Ribbon Rally. I invite everyone to watch the live webcast of this kickoff event at www.dea.gov on Oct. 7th at 11 a.m.

During Red Ribbon Week (Oct 23 – 31), youth in schools and communities across the nation pledge to live drug-free by wearing red ribbons and participating in anti-drug events.

This year’s Red Ribbon theme “Send A Message. Stay Drug Free™” really resonates with today’s youth. With the rise of smart phones and social media, sending messages has become a favorite past time for many.  But what kinds of messages are we sending? Are they empowering? Do they encourage those around us?  This year’s Red Ribbon theme certainly fits the bill.  It is a call to action to speak out in support of healthy choices. The theme is also a reminder that by staying drug free, you are sending a message to yourself and others about how much you value yourself, your overall health, your community and your future.

Help us amplify this message. Enter the National Red Ribbon Photo Contest. Encourage others to take the Red Ribbon pledge. Spread the Red Ribbon message on social media by using the hashtags #SendAMessageStayDrugFree, #RedRibbonWeek2019 and #RedRibbonWeek.

We can all play a role in encouraging youth to remain safe, healthy and drug-free.

Peggy 

 

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Topics: President's Message, red ribbon, red ribbon week, drug free, dea, photo contest, drug prevention

Miami-Dade Students Present on Drug Prevention Efforts in Their Schools and Communities

Posted by Informed Families on May 27, 2019 at 12:16 PM

“I learned how to handle peer pressure and say no to drugs.”

“I didn’t know people could die from alcohol poisoning.”

“I didn’t know how much of a problem prescription drug abuse was.”

“Many of our peers are dealing with drug issues themselves or have a family member with a problem.”

Student ambassadors in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools Creating Community Change: Youth Engagement Program (CCC:YEP) program shared these messages and much more during their end of the year presentations at the Betty T. Ferguson Center in Miami Gardens on May 22, 23 and 24. 

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Topics: red ribbon week, ambassadors, prescription drug abuse, lock your meds, safe homes smart parties, middle school, peer pressure, drug free, drug prevention, parent peer group, miami gardens, miami

Prevention Awareness Key in Fight Against Opioids

Posted by Informed Families on April 26, 2019 at 9:15 AM

Informed Families President & CEO Peggy Sapp was invited to participate in a round table discussion about the opioid epidemic on Saturday, April 20. Organized by Congresswoman Donna Shalala, the panel was moderated by Rodrigo Lozano, LCSW, from the National Association of Social Workers and included John W. Newcomer, M.D., president and CEO of South Florida Behavioral Health Network in Miami, FL, Judge Victoria Sigler and Howard Rosen, Esq., head of narcotics in the State Attorney’s Office.

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Topics: lock your meds, prescription drugs, overdose, Peggy Sapp, drug prevention, drug use, opioids

Orlando Students Present On Drug And Alcohol Prevention

Posted by Informed Families on April 25, 2019 at 2:40 PM

On Tuesday April 16, Informed Families, in partnership with the Orange County Drug Free Coalition, MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), and Florida Department of Health Orange County SWAT (Students Working Against Tobacco) held an End of the School Year Youth Ambassador Drug/Alcohol Prevention Program Wrap Up.

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Topics: orlando, drug free, drug prevention, drug use, health kids

Remembering Betty Chapman & Herta Holly

Posted by Informed Families on February 26, 2019 at 4:03 PM

Informed Families lost two cherished friends during the month of February.

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Topics: drug prevention, parents, grandparents

Family Focus: The Polewski Family

Posted by Informed Families on January 23, 2019 at 11:08 AM

“A lot of people look at addicted individuals as people who lie, steal and hurt others,” said Katie Polewski. “This was not the case with my son. He always told me the truth. I knew he was struggling when he avoided me because he couldn’t lie.”

While he started his journey of drug use with marijuana, on the night that he died, Katie’s son Derrek was using heroin. He was ready to get sober and was attempting to wean himself off the drug to reduce withdrawal symptoms. Even though he used a tiny dose that night, the heroin contained fentanyl, which is significantly more potent and often deadly.

Katie Polewski lost her son Derrek on January 16, 2016 after a long battle with addiction.

“I believe that whether or not a child starts using drugs has a lot to do with friends they make, choices they make and not being aware of the dangers,” said Polewski. “I can’t express how important it is for awareness and prevention. All three of my kids were different. They had completely different personalities and they were all raised the same…with unconditional love.”

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Topics: drug prevention, drug use, opioids, parents

Informed Families Welcomes Outstanding New Board Members

Posted by Informed Families on January 22, 2019 at 8:41 PM

Three new trustees represent organizations with a long-standing commitment to prevention.

Jessi Berrin serves as Director of Development for Baptist Health South Florida, the largest not-for-profit healthcare organization in the South Florida region spanning Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties. She is responsible for a comprehensive and robust development program with an emphasis on donor-driven philanthropy to support South Florida’s brand new, state-of-the-art Miami Cancer Institute. Jessi graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Florida in May 2007, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Telecommunications and an outside concentration in Business Administration. Shortly after graduating, Jessi landed a position as an Associate Producer at WPLG, Local 10 News in Miami, Florida where she wrote and produced the morning news program. In 2012, Jessi officially became a “Double Gator” by receiving a Master’s in Business Administration from The University of Florida. Berrin joined the IF Board of Trustees in January.

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Topics: prevention, volunteer, Informed Families, drug prevention

Let's Shatter The Myths About Drug Use

Posted by Informed Families on January 17, 2019 at 6:02 PM

Help youth make choices about their health based on facts, not myths.

Myths about drugs and drug use are pervasive, and for young people, it can be challenging to separate fact from fiction. Popular culture can make smoking appear commonplace. But the reality is that fewer teens than ever before are smoking cigarettes. In general, young adults tend to perceive their peers as exhibiting higher rates of drug use than what is actually occurring. Data from the 2017 Monitoring the Future study tells part of the promising story; past-year misuse of prescription opioids among 12th graders has dropped dramatically in the past 15 years, from nearly 10 percent in 2002 to 2 percent in 2017. And according to data from the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, only 1 in 100 young adults between the ages of 12 and 17 currently misuse prescription opioids.

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Topics: drug prevention, drug use, parents

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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