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President's Message - October 2016

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on October 18, 2016 at 1:46 PM

Did You Get The Red Ribbon Message?

Did You Pass It On Correctly?

During Red Ribbon Week®, the red ribbon is used to symbolize the importance of a healthy, drug free lifestyle. This year’s theme, YOLO. Be Drug Free.® was created by two sixth graders in Claysburg, Pennsylvania. It reminds us to take care of our minds and our bodies.

Years ago I directed an after-school program. No matter how hard I tried to educate and set my students on a path to success, if their parents or caregivers weren’t delivering the same message at home, the work was exponentially harder. Furthermore, when our overall environment is sending conflicting, unhealthy messages, we are stressed and challenged. I do believe that one person can make a difference in a child’s life, but by partnering with parents and improving community messaging, the likelihood of raising safe, healthy, drug free kids is vastly improved.

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Topics: President's Message, marijuana legalization, marijuana, red ribbon week, red ribbon photo contest, red ribbon theme, children, parents

President's Message - April 2016

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on April 19, 2016 at 8:09 PM

Common Myths Masquerading As Common Sense

“Underage drinking is a harmless rite of passage.”

Really? Is that so?

“Teaching my child to drink will lead to moderation in the future.”

Ever heard one of these?

“I drank and smoked pot in my youth and lived to tell the tale. My child will too.”

Ever believed it?

“If it’s prescribed by a doctor, it’s harmless.”

Are common myths masquerading themselves as common sense? If enough people around you are saying the same thing, whether it’s true or false, do you start to question your own judgment, knowledge?

“If my child 'parties' and still gets good grades, he/she doesn’t have a problem.”

Our Safe Homes Smart Parties campaign aims to inform and empower parents of underage youth to set guidelines around springtime parties to ensure that drugs and alcohol are not present or tolerated. We know that underage drinking is responsible for 4,300 deaths and 189,000 emergency room visits each year. This isn’t make believe.

“Marijuana is a plant so it’s not harmful or addictive. It’s natural.”

According to extensive research (22 studies) published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, “parental provision was generally associated with increased adolescent alcohol use and, in some instances, increased heavy episodic drinking as well as higher rates of alcohol-related problems.”

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Topics: President's Message, marijuana, prevention, underage drinking, myths

Latest National Survey Shows Alcohol and Teen Rx Drug Use Declines; Marijuana Use Steady, Increase In Depression 

Posted by Informed Families on September 17, 2015 at 12:08 PM

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) report shows progress in reducing some forms of substance use – especially among adolescents. Substance use levels in many areas, however have remained relatively constant. Mental illness levels have also remained constant over time, but adolescents are experiencing higher levels of depression than in past years.

SAMHSA issued its 2014 NSDUH report on mental and substance use disorders as part of the kick off for the 26th annual observance of National Recovery Month. Recovery Month broadens public awareness to the fact that behavioral health is essential to health, prevention works, treatment for substance use and mental disorders is effective, and people can and do recover from these disorders.

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Topics: marijuana, prescription drugs, study

New Research Shows Marijuana Use Impairs Driving

Posted by Informed Families on July 22, 2015 at 1:01 PM

Effects of marijuana – with and without alcohol – on driving performance

Using the most sophisticated driving simulator of its kind to mirror real-life situations, new research shows that marijuana use impairs one measure of driving performance. People driving with blood concentrations of 13.1 µg/L THC – the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana – showed increased weaving within the lane, similar to those with 0.08 breath alcohol, the threshold for impaired driving in many states. Drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana had an additive effect, so that drivers using both substances weaved within lanes even if their blood THC and alcohol concentrations were below the impairment thresholds for each substance alone. Alcohol, but not marijuana, increased the number of times the car actually left the lane and the speed of weaving. The National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Office on National Drug Control Policy, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration funded the study.

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Topics: marijuana, study, driving

The City Mouse & The Country Mouse

Posted by David Altshuler, M.S. on March 11, 2015 at 1:30 PM

Running with half a dozen buddies in the early morning on New Year's Day, I asked a friend what she and her teen-aged children had done the night before. "Just stayed home and played Parcheesi," Danielle said. "Then the kids and I started to watch a movie, but I fell asleep on the couch in the living room."

"My kids and I stayed home too," I replied. "We played Dominoes and then they baked something that was almost edible. But I'm leaving out the word 'just.' I'm happy to hang out with my wife and children. The kids will be grown and gone soon enough."

As we trotted over tree roots on our way down toward Matheson Hammock, another running buddy joined the conversation: "You supercilious prig," Lynn began. "Not only are you living in a cave, you are harming your kids by not letting them go out from the damp, dark confines in the side of a cliff."

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Topics: David Altshuler, parenting, marijuana legalization, marijuana, communication, brain development, family bonding

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

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU VOTE FOR!!!

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

Bad Trip

Posted by David Altshuler, M.S. on September 16, 2014 at 9:42 PM

Last night I dreamt I was trapped at a dinner party where a woman whom I didn't know, apropos of nothing, addressed me as follows:

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Topics: David Altshuler, parenting, marijuana legalization, addiction, 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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