Informed Families Blog

President's Message - June/July 2019

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on June 28, 2019 at 11:00 AM

Let's End the Stigma Associated With Drugs   

The Surgeon General’s recent call to end the stigma associated with addiction is long overdue. The stigma surrounding alcohol and drug use and addiction often prevents us from talking openly about these issues with friends, family and most importantly our kids.

It’s much easier to avoid talking about tough topics, especially when we think “that could never happen to one of my loved ones.”  No one wants to believe their child is sneaking pills from the medicine cabinet or drinking while out with friends. No one wants to believe their child is experimenting with or using drugs.

The sad truth is that children as young as nine years old already start viewing alcohol in a more positive way, and approximately 3,300 kids, as young as 12 years old, try marijuana each day. Additionally, about five in 10 kids, as young as age 12, obtain prescription pain relievers for non-medical purposes.  Furthermore, the research shows that children who first smoke marijuana under the age of 14 are more than five times as likely to abuse drugs as adults than those who first use marijuana at age 18 (NIDA).

It is never too early to talk to your children about the risks of using alcohol and drugs. It may not always seem like it, but kids really do hear their parents say; talk they listen.



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Topics: President's Message, addiction, drug trends, marijuana, prescription drug abuse, teens, drug use, parents, alcohol use

Results from the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use & Health

Posted by Informed Families on September 8, 2017 at 11:33 AM

Kids these days...

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Topics: drug trends, marijuana, opioids

Youth Drug Abuse Facts You Should Know in 2015

Posted by Informed Families on July 7, 2015 at 12:28 AM

"Adolescence is a crucial period both of susceptibility to the rewards of drugs and of vulnerability to the long-term effects of drug exposure...Adolescents are prone to risky behaviors and impulsive actions that provide instant gratification instead of eventual rewards." - Dr. Nora Volkow
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Topics: addiction, drug trends, parent involvement, positive parenting, prescription drug abuse, synthetic drugs, flakka

Parent Alert: New Synthetic Drug Flakka Hits Streets

Posted by Informed Families on April 22, 2015 at 6:16 PM

The newest synthetic drug on the scene, Flakka, is creating quite a stir throughout the State of Florida, as users’ bizarre and often violent behavior attracts police and media attention.

Flakka, or alpha-PVP, is a foul-smelling crystal that can be eaten, snorted, injected or vaporized in an e-cigarette or similar device, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Users who utilize a vaporizer are more likely to overdose due to the speed in which the drug is delivered to the bloodstream. The drug can cause what NIDA refers to as “excited delirium,” which includes hyperstimulation, paranoia and hallucinations that can cause violence and self-injury.  

NBC reports that Flakka, which also sold under the name “gravel,” is stronger and more addictive than other drugs synthetic drugs. Affordable at just five dollars a dose, Flakka has been linked to kidney damage and failure, suicide and death by heart attack. The drug, which is produced in China, is frequently purchased online and resold by low-level drug dealers.

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Topics: drug trends, club drugs, synthetic drugs, flakka

Molly: Not Your Child's Friend

Posted by Informed Families on February 24, 2015 at 9:15 AM

Parents, when you hear the word "Molly," pay attention. What sounds like a cute name of one of your child's friends may actual be a very dangerous drug that causes long term damage. Learn more as we cover one of the latest drug trends.

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Topics: drug trends, prescription drug abuse, MDMA, club drugs, molly

President's Message - November 2014

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on November 23, 2014 at 9:10 PM


Every day, our society becomes more perplexing to me. I question many of the values being promoted and espoused in America in 2015; however, I think there is one thing we can all agree on: the importance of family.

Family is something we hold dear. That hasn’t changed. We need the support system it provides. Even individuals from dysfunctional families appreciate the beauty of building a new paradigm of family for their own children.

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Topics: President's Message, parenting, addiction, drug trends, red ribbon week

Among Florida Youth, "Most Don't" Drink, Smoke or Do Drugs

Posted by Informed Families on November 23, 2014 at 7:54 PM

The 2014 Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey reveals that 85% of middle school students and nearly 63% of high school students are not current users of alcohol, tobacco, or illicit substances including marijuana, inhalants, club drugs, as well as the non-medical use of over-the-counter or prescription pharmaceuticals. Thus, 3 out of 4 Florida students in grades 6-12 don’t drink alcohol nor use drugs.

The best news is that the 2014 results continue a 10-year trend of alcohol and drug-free youth rising 12.5 percentage points for middle schoolers and 10.7 percentage points among high school students since 2004. Alcohol use declined 4.1 percentage points and cigarette smoking decreased 1.7 points between 2012 and 2014. Use of marijuana and all other drugs stabilized with no statistically significant increases across the same two years.

The Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey was administered in February 2014 with a sample size of 65,917 sixth through twelfth grade students from all 67 Florida counties. The margin of error is less than 1 percentage point for middle and high school prevalence rates.

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Topics: drug trends

The Medical Marijuana Ruse

Posted by Grady Judd, Sheriff on October 15, 2014 at 1:51 PM

As Election Day draws near, “medical marijuana” has become a hot topic, and many have asked me about my position concerning constitutional Amendment 2. That’s simple:  I am personally against the amendment because I know it is a ruse that will create defacto-legalization of marijuana in Florida. The amendment supporters are counting on those of us who are compassionate and who want to help the very sick, to ignore the very real negative consequences of legalization. 

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Topics: marijuana legalization, addiction, drug trends, marijuana

President's Message - October 2014

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on October 14, 2014 at 3:36 PM


Society is overwhelmed with information, so we just hit “agreed” and proceed. Who has time to read all the legalese?

That is the situation Floridians are facing November 4, 2014, when voting on Amendment 2 (Medical Marijuana). We are tired of the drug war and want to stop hearing about it! So it is tempting to just hit “agreed” and move on. But, this time it is critical to read the legalese and accept that Amendment 2 is no panacea for fixing society’s drug problem.

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Topics: President's Message, parenting, addiction, drug trends, marijuana

President's Message - September 2014

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on September 16, 2014 at 8:23 PM

Family Day Recognition and Celebration is September 22, 2014!

Looking Inside and Outside the Family

It seems we must create events to remind ourselves of what is really important: Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and now Family Day. Family Day was created by CASAColumbia in 2001, to promote family dinners as an effective way to reduce substance abuse among children and teens. Family Day is next Monday, September 22, 2014.

The Family is the Original Social Network. How is your social networking with the members of your family? We often take the family network for granted and just try to get through each day without a major problem. By focusing on Family Day as an event, we take the time to think about our interactions, and what we hope for ourselves and our children. Eating dinner together is still one of the best opportunities for getting to know each other, while sharing our beliefs and values. Informed Families has lots of tools and topics for conversation but you must implement the tools and lead the conversation.

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Topics: Family Day, President's Message, parenting, drug trends, marijuana

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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