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Last Year Was The Worst Year In US History For Drug Overdoses

Posted by Informed Families on August 26, 2018 at 5:31 PM

prescription-drug-USDrug overdose was responsible for the loss of nearly 72,000 Americans in 2017, according to the Center for Disease Control & Prevention. That’s just under 200 people each day for the entire year - and 8,000 more deaths than the previous year, also a record year. At least 2/3 of those deaths were due to opioid abuse. Here are two trends that are contributing to this awful epidemic.

From Pills To Heroin

Patients receiving prescription drugs for pain as a result of an injury or recovering from surgery are often given significantly more than they need. While opioids are effective in managing pain, their addictive properties make them dangerous for long-term use.

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Topics: drug abuse, prescription drugs, prescription drug abuse, opioids, lock your meds

Opioids In Florida: The Latest Stats

Posted by Informed Families on January 3, 2018 at 12:30 PM

How Large Is The Opioid Problem In Florida?

With the opioid epidemic sweeping the nation, Florida is certainly not immune. And apparently, the problem is getting worse. According to a recent report from Florida's medical examiners, there has been a dramatic 22% increase (2,126 more deaths) of in drug-related deaths from the prior year. The report also showed a 35% increase in opioid-related deaths (1,483 over the previous year for a total of 5,725).

Not suprisingly, more deaths were caused by prescription drugs than illicit drugs, accounting for 61% of all drug occurrences in the report. After all, availability and a low perception of harm lead to increased use and abuse.

The drugs that caused the most deaths were cocaine, benzodiazepines, fentanyl, morphine, heroin, alcohol, oxycodone, methadone and methamphetamine.

“Clearly, those are shocking numbers and we have got to do something about it,” said Senate Health Policy Chairwoman Dana Young, R-Tampa to The News Service of Florida.

Here are additional highlights from the report: 

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Topics: drug prevention, drug abuse, opioids, prescription, prescription drug abuse, prescription drugs, lock your meds

President's Message - September 2017

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on September 26, 2017 at 3:20 PM

Normal Day, Let Me Be Aware Of The Treasure You Are

If nothing else, Hurricane Irma helps us to greatly appreciate uneventful times and the normalcy of our regular routines.

We take normal routines for granted; we don’t think about electricity, cable, phones, etc. until they are not functioning.  Then, we get anxious and angry…someone let us down!  Who? FPL, the cable company, the city, surely there is someone to blame for inconveniencing my routine. Unfortunately, Mother Nature doesn’t care about inconvenience to my little routine.

Hurricanes get our attention and force us to reexamine our place in the universe. I love the line, “Do you want to make God laugh? Tell him your plans.”  We witness resilience from people whose house and cars are destroyed. Most say the same thing, “we still have our lives.” 

Normal Day, Let Me Be Aware Of The Treasure You Are for someday I will want to hold you and you will be gone. As our routines return to normal, let’s treasure each routine and normal day.

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Topics: President's Message, drug abuse, drug prevention, lock your meds

President's Message - August 2017

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on August 24, 2017 at 3:32 PM

Let's Hold The Media, Our Systems & Ourselves Accountable By Asking "WHY," Not Just WHAT"

A recent People magazine cover story focused on 135 faces of opioid epidemic victims. We appreciate the magazine’s coverage of this national crisis.

However, have you noticed the news is always reporting WHAT, WHAT, WHAT AND rarely WHY, WHY, WHY?

Why is the opioid crisis happening?

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Topics: President's Message, drug abuse, drug prevention, lock your meds

How Stewart-Marchman-Act Treatment Centers & IF Work Together To Deliver Affordable Prevention

Posted by Informed Families on April 26, 2017 at 12:37 PM

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.

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Topics: ambassadors, campaigns, lock your meds, drug prevention, alcohol

President's Message - February 2017

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on February 24, 2017 at 2:27 PM

5 Ways Parents Are Like The "Instant Pot"

(...That's the cooking pot, not marijuana!)

Have you heard of the latest kitchen craze? There’s a new device that can do it all: the 7-in-one version can steam, sauté, slow cook, pressure cook, cook rice, make yogurt (not sure who has time for that) and warm food. It’s called an Instant Pot!  

The Instant Pot has been around for a few years, but recently hit a tipping point and became Amazon’s top selling kitchen device. The device’s developers spent no money on advertising, choosing to strategically send a free Instant Pot to hundreds of cooking bloggers, which led to word of mouth and hitting an all-time high at the end of 2016.  (Remember, this is how behavior changes and why we need you to tell your friends about Informed Families’ Four Campaigns.)

People love The Instant Pot because it saves so much time! A dish that cooks in a slow cooker for 8 hours only takes 25-30 minutes. You can even cook frozen meat – and do it quickly. Talk about a blessing for busy parents. In today’s 24/7/365 technology-crazed life, any opportunity to simplify and reduce time and effort is key to our sanity! (Our prevention tips will also SAVE YOU LOTS OF TIME in the future.)

Parents are a lot like the “Instant Pot” because:

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Topics: President's Message, parents, prescription drugs, prescription drug abuse, lock your meds

President's Message - January 2017

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on January 27, 2017 at 1:30 PM

Ready (But Actually Not), Heroin Is Here

As the government cracks down on “doctor shopping,” or going to multiple doctors to obtain pain medication which by the way is illegal in Florida, and America becomes increasingly aware of the dangers of opioid abuse, people already addicted to opioids looking to satisfy their need/illness are turning to a cheaper and more easily accessible alternative: good ole heroin. 

Like the 1980’s anti-drug commercial says, “no one ever says, ‘I want to be a junkie when I grow up.’” The same is true over 30 years later. People don’t seek out addiction.

Two important predictors of drug use are: availability and a low perception of harm. So what helps create an opioid epidemic? People perceive them to be safe because they are legal – and they are widely prescribed and easy to obtain. In fact, the source of the opioids is typically from friends and family. 67% of all abused pain meds come from someone you know, not a stranger, drug dealer or the internet.  

And people who abuse opioids are 40 times more likely to abuse heroin. Not very good odds, if you ask me.

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Topics: President's Message, parents, prescription drugs, prescription drug abuse, lock your meds

Teen Drug Statistics: What Could Amendment 2 Mean for You?

Posted by Informed Families on January 27, 2017 at 8:00 AM

On Election Day last November, the presidential race wasn’t the only result to make news in Florida. Voters in our state approved Amendment 2, which expanded the sale and distribution of medical marijuana. The measure, which is now part of the Florida constitution, required a 60 percent vote to pass and received a 71 percent tally—nearly three-quarters of ballots cast. The amendment went into effect Jan. 3, although state health officials are still in the process of cementing rules regulating the cannabis industry.

Confusion remains about what Amendment 2 entails and what it will mean for Florida. Other states have medical marijuana laws, ranging from strict to lenient on how cannabis is prescribed and obtained. One thing is clear from the other states’ leads: Medicinal marijuana, though arguably a benefit to sick patients, negatively impacts teen drug statistics. Although Amendment 2 overwhelmingly passed, how the law will affect Florida families is currently uncertain.

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Topics: lock your meds, drugs, marijuana

National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week: Teacher Tools

Posted by Informed Families on January 23, 2017 at 10:30 AM

Here’s a disconcerting fact about teenage substance abuse: About 77 percent of adolescents do not perceive any risk from smoking marijuana once a month. And here’s a more positive fact: Teens who think their parents would disapprove of drug use are less likely to use.

Plenty of information pertaining to teen drug, alcohol and tobacco use is available, but unfortunately, many teachers, parents and kids themselves are unaware of these facts. Furthermore, myths persist, such as the idea that underage drinking and marijuana use in teens isn’t dangerous. National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week, sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), aims to not just raise awareness, but also provide teachers, students, families and communities with the information they need to keep teens safe.

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Topics: drugs, lock your meds

Adderall Abuse in Florida High Schools

Posted by Informed Families on December 15, 2016 at 6:00 AM

Adderall abuse continues to be a problem with young people. The drug, usually prescribed to counter ADHD in children, is often used by non-ADHD patients to help them study better. And though it is usually associated with college students, Adderall is becoming more of a concern with teenagers, including kids in Florida high schools. According to a 2015 survey, 7.5 percent of 12th-graders reported misusing the drug in the previous year. Of all prescription drugs, Adderall trailed only general amphetamines at 7.7 percent in the survey and came in higher than Vicodin, OxyContin, Ritalin and steroids.

Unfortunately, many parents aren’t aware of what a serious problem Adderall can be if abused or how prevalent it is in Florida high schools. Here is more information on Adderall abuse:

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Topics: lock your meds, drugs

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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