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Marijuana: What Parents Need to Know

Posted by Informed Families on May 8, 2020 at 8:30 AM

 

With marijuana being legalized in more and more states, many teens now believe it's safe for them to use. But evidence shows it's not. Make sure you and your kids can separate fact from fiction when it comes to marijuana.

MYTH: It’s safer than alcohol

FACT: Alcohol and marijuana are both associated with serious problems, especially if used by teens and young adults under age 21 – when the brain and body are still rapidly developing.  

MYTH: It’s okay to drive while high

FACT: After alcohol, marijuana is the drug most often found in the blood of driver’s involved in crashes.

 

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Topics: marijuana legalization, marijuana, communication, teenagers, teens, drugs, drug use, myths

Family Day is Every Day During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Posted by Informed Families on April 10, 2020 at 8:30 AM

With parents working remotely, kids learning virtually and extracurricular activities outside the home postponed, Family Day is every day during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most families have not had this much time together uninterrupted in some time. 

Some families are using this time to reconnect. We love to see the cool things you have been doing - picnics in the backyard, themed dinners, bake-a-thons, game night, movie night and more. Use the #FLFamilyDays hashtag in your social media posts so we can continue to promote strengthening family relationships.

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Topics: parenting, tips, positive parenting, advice, children, teens, drug use, parents, alcohol use, healthy kids, Covid-19

Fun Family Prevention Activities

Posted by Informed Families on March 31, 2020 at 8:56 PM

It’s National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week, a week focused on connecting teens with science-based facts about drugs and alcohol.

Here are some more fun ways your family can participate in National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week:

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Topics: parenting, education, positive parenting, teenagers, family bonding, teens, nida, drug use, parents, alcohol use, juul, vaping

National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week 2020

Posted by Informed Families on March 23, 2020 at 8:00 AM

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.

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Topics: drug, alcohol, teens, nida, drug prevention, drugs, drug use, alcohol use, vaping

A Life Changing Event

Posted by Informed Families on February 29, 2020 at 9:00 AM

A small girl at Redland Middle School waited patiently for the other students surrounding filmmaker Erahm Christopher to leave so she could ask one question: What is the time of tonight’s screening?  I really want my Mom to come and see the film.

Informed Families partnered with Mr. Christopher to host a screening of his film LISTEN at Redland Middle School on February 6, 2020.  Themes covered in the film include bullying, cyber bullying, racism, gang violence and suicide.  Following the screening, students had a chance ask Mr. Christopher questions and voice their thoughts and feelings about the issues featured in the film. The response was overwhelming.

According to Soraya Herran, a guidance counselor at Redland Middle School, the next day “the students couldn’t stop talking about the film and discussion they had participated in.”

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Topics: communication, teenagers, middle school, teens, Peggy Sapp, drugs, drug use, mental health, suicide, Erahm Christopher

President's Message - February 2020

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on February 3, 2020 at 9:54 AM

People Participate in What They Help to Plan  

The 2020 Red Ribbon theme is “Be Happy. Be Brave. Be Drug Free.” So many of our youth are fascinated by superhero culture from Superman and Wonder Woman to Captain Marvel and Spiderman. It’s only fitting that this year we encourage them to be “Be Happy. Be Brave. Be Drug Free.” To be an everyday hero.

People sometimes ask why the Red Ribbon theme changes each year.  Understanding the history of Red Ribbon is key to understanding this important feature of the campaign. Red Ribbon has always been a grassroots movement.  After DEA agent Kiki Camarena was murdered in 1985, communities across America began displaying Red Ribbons as a symbol of intolerance towards the use of drugs. People united and took a visible stand against drugs.

We change the theme each year to give the individuals that help spread the Red Ribbon message an opportunity to shape the campaign in a way that is relevant to our communities. Our mission to present a unified and visible commitment towards the creation of a drug free America remains the same, but we must deliver it in a way that resonates with the youth and culture of 2020 if we want to be heard.

I love to see students “Sock it to Drugs” in wacky socks or wear sunglasses because their future is too bright for drugs during Red Ribbon Week. I encourage you to incorporate the official 2020 Red Ribbon theme “Be Happy. Be Brave. Be Drug Free.” into your spirit week activities as well. Together we can honor the history of Red Ribbon and present a unified message in support of keeping kids safe, healthy and drug free.  

Peggy

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Topics: President's Message, red ribbon, red ribbon week, red ribbon theme, drug free, drug use, Kiki Camarena

President's Message - January 2020

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on January 2, 2020 at 9:00 AM

A New Year and A New Start    

Welcome, 2020! Cheers to the start of a new year and a new decade.

We are encouraged by the recent findings from the annual Monitoring the Future survey.  In the past year, the use of illicit drugs (other than marijuana) among 12th graders remains low. The misuse of prescription medicines and the use of alcohol and tobacco cigarettes continues to decline as well. However the number of youth vaping marijuana and nicotine is rising.

In the 1980s, we were fighting to keep our kids safe from cocaine, big tobacco and underage drinking. Today we are battling against opioids, vaping and binge drinking. The drug trends may change, but education and simple, clear communication remain key in keeping our youth healthy and drug free.

Informed Families has been fortunate to have such terrific partners help us spread our prevention messages. We are once again partnering with Publix to promote our Lock Your Meds campaign and messaging in all of their pharmacies this month. We are also working with the Florida Blue Foundation to increase awareness of the opioid epidemic and promote good mental health over the next three years.  

Informed Families will continue to deliver on our mission to educate, enable and empower students, parents and communities to work together to keep children healthy in 2020. We are off to a great start!

Peggy

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Topics: President's Message, drug trends, underage drinking, binge drinking, publix, drug free, drug prevention, nicotine, tobacco, drug use, opioids, alcohol use, mental health, vaping

President's Message - August 2019

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on August 1, 2019 at 8:30 AM

Back to School Transitions Can Lead to Problems   

Hi friend,

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.

Peggy

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Topics: President's Message, college students, prevention, underage drinking, family rules, teens, peer pressure, drug use, parents, alcohol use, back to school

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.

Peggy 

 

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

President's Message - May 2019

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on May 28, 2019 at 9:00 AM

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.

Peggy

 

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Topics: President's Message, parenting, college students, teens, peer pressure, e-cigarettes, drug use, parents, alcohol use, summer, healthy kids, juul

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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