Blog

Informed Families Blog

President's Message - September 2019

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on August 30, 2019 at 9:00 AM

An Easy Way to Improve Parent-Child Communication  

Do you want to stop school violence and a host of other dangerous behaviors? Eat dinner with your children.

Did you know if you eat dinner together as a family four times a week that your kids are 50% less likely to use drugs and engage in other risky behaviors?

Many people think they don’t have time to eat dinner with their children – well just imagine how much time you will spend sorting out your child’s problem behaviors?  And guess what, some behaviors become chronic and don’t get sorted out so you will be living with them for a life time.

Eating dinner together provides an opportunity for family members to come together, strengthen ties and build better relationships.  Communicating early and often makes it much easier to tackle conversations around tough topics, like substance use, when the time comes. If your kids aren’t used to talking to you about their day when they are 8 or 10 years old, it's much harder to start at age 12-14.

Our Family Day campaign promotes frequent family dinners as a way to prevent risky behavior in kids. On September 23rd, join millions of families across the U.S. to Stand Up for Sitting down to dinner. Enjoy a meal together with your family and talk to each other, electronics-free.

Peggy

 

 

Read More

Topics: Family Day, President's Message, communication, prevention, family bonding, parents, family dinner

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

Read More

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 

 

Read More

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

 

Read More

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

President's Message - April 2019

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on April 26, 2019 at 3:00 PM

Communicating Across Generations 

I recently read that some families now have five living generations. Imagine that. Each generation has a totally different world view and processes information in a different way. However simply engaging with others remains the key to communicating effectively.

Read More

Topics: President's Message, parenting, communication, safe homes smart parties, underage drinking, teens, peer pressure, parents, alcohol use, alcohol abuse

President's Message - March 2019

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on March 19, 2019 at 3:50 PM

It's Time For A Duel With JUUL

As our Safe Homes Smart Parents campaign kicks off, we think about all of the unhealthy trends facing our youth and what parents can do to protect their children. Right now, we are fired up about the 78% increase in e-cigarette use among high school students, as a result of JUUL Labs’ targeting of our youth. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, last year, 3.6 million U.S. youth use e-cigarettes. Talk to any teacher or parent of a teen and they will confirm the schools are overrun by JUUL and kids are showing real signs of addiction.

Some lucky ones will put away their JUULs before they’re addicted.  But many are embarking on a lifelong addiction to nicotine.  Many of those will continue to use JUUL for a considerable amount of time, and we simply do not know what consequences long-term use will have on their health. 

What we do know is that e-cigarettes are not safe.  And we know that nicotine use by children and teens negatively impacts their brain development.  Among other things, it makes them more susceptible to addiction in general. The larger fear is they switch entirely to cigarettes and other tobacco products that are even more dangerous.

Read More

Topics: President's Message, parenting, safe homes smart parties, children, tobacco, parents, juul

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.

Read More

Topics: drug prevention, parents, grandparents

President's Message - February 2019

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on February 26, 2019 at 1:11 PM

How We Pass Down Values To The Next Generation

From the moment our children are born, everything we do, every choice we make and every action we may or may not take communicates our values. Our kids are absorbing our every move, soaking up our interactions with them and with others.

We want them to learn right from wrong, how to be kind to others, how to recognize and manage their emotions and how to be honest, responsible and fair. Not only are our children more pleasant to be around when they learn these things, but they are more likely to be happy, perform well in school and become a productive members of society. 

The loss of our great supporter, friend and philanthropist Betty Chapman this past week is a great reminder that we have the ability to not only pass values down to our children and their children, but we can pass down values in a community. Betty’s dedication to her community will continue to influence others to give back to their communities for decades to come.

Read More

Topics: President's Message, parenting, lock your meds, children, opioids, parents

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.”

Read More

Topics: drug prevention, drug use, opioids, parents

President's Message - January 2019

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on January 23, 2019 at 10:50 AM

5 Steps To Creating A Happy & Healthy Family In 2019

Have you seen Informed Families’ Lock Your Meds signs at your local Publix Pharmacy store? Through our amazing partnership with Publix Pharmacy, we are reaching roughly 1.2 million people in 720 stores across Florida and 397 in the Southeastern US with the Lock Your Meds message. Wow!

A happy and healthy family starts when you create a safe and healthy environment for children.  This includes securing your medication, taking regular inventory to ensure nothing is missing and safely disposing of unused or expired medication.  

Also, keep tabs on your liquor cabinet - and resist unhealthy social norms that make you feel bad for not “teaching your child to drink” at home. The research shows that children who start drinking before age 15 are 5 times more likely to have alcohol problems at adults.

Read More

Topics: President's Message, parenting, marijuana, lock your meds, family bonding, safe homes smart parties, alcohol, parents, family dinner

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 .

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all