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Publix Pharmacy Shares Important New Years Message

Posted by Informed Families on December 13, 2016 at 5:14 PM

When you walk into your local Publix Pharmacy in January, please thank the pharmacist and store manager for helping to prevent prescription drug abuse!

Once again, Publix is partnering with Informed Families to promote an important new years message: Lock Your Meds. The Lock Your Meds campaign, created by the National Family Partnership and sponsored by Informed Families in Florida, educates adults about the importance of securing medication to keep them out of the wrong hands.

Lock Your Meds asks individuals to secure their medication, take regular inventory to ensure nothing is missing, safely dispose of unused or expired medication and share the message with friends and family.

The campaign will be featured in 1,022 Publix Pharmacy stores across Southeastern United States. Each Publix Pharmacy store will have in-store counter signage and printed pharmacy receipts with a Lock Your Meds Message. This is the fifth year in a row that Publix, the fastest growing grocery chain in America, is collaborating with Informed Families to reduce prescription drug abuse in Florida's communities. 

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Topics: prescription drug abuse, lock your meds, prevention, publix, drug prevention

From The Front Lines: The Latest Drug Trends Of 2016

Posted by David Vittoria, MSW, CAP, CPP, ICADC, NCAC II, Assistant Vice President, South Miami Hospital Addiction Treatment & Recovery Center on September 21, 2016 at 11:19 AM

As an Informed Families board member and the Director of South Miami Hospital’s Addiction Treatment & Recovery Center (ATRC), I’m grateful to share my experience and observations about drug trends from the “front lines” at Baptist Health South Florida. Boy, we really do see it all. On a regular basis, I see many people at their lowest point, struggling with the disease of addiction. For many who attend our programs, I get to witness a wonderful transformation back into good health. However, I am dedicated to doing whatever I can to prevent children and families from getting into drugs in the first place.  

Leading up to the start of each school year, we focus our energy on preparing kids for a success, whether by purchasing the necessary school supplies, meeting with new teachers and mapping out our fall schedule. One thing we hope to never worry about is our kids falling into the wrong crowd and adopting new negative and dangerous behaviors, such as using drugs. But, hoping isn’t enough sometimes. As parents, we need to educate ourselves and take action to protect our children. By staying involved with our children, contributing to their self-esteem, setting healthy boundaries, monitoring behavior, getting to know their teachers, knowing their friends, despite any pushback we might get from them, we are truly making a difference and reducing the likelihood that they will get into trouble.  

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Topics: prescription drug abuse, David Vittoria, recovery, heroin, prescription drugs, prevention, opioids, fentanyl

From The Front Lines: Rx for Heroin Addiction

Posted by David Vittoria, MSW, CAP, CPP, ICADC, NCAC II, Assistant Vice President, South Miami Hospital Addiction Treatment & Recovery Center on February 24, 2016 at 2:44 PM

Eric, a teenager, started taking Oxycontin from his uncle’s medicine cabinet and using it at parties with his friends.

Harold, a 45-year-old father and construction worker, suffers from chronic back pain and was prescribed Percocet by a primary care physician lacking training in pain management.

Both are now heroin addicts.

How did this happen?

According to the CDC, between 1999 and 2014, unintentional overdoses on Opioid prescription medications, such as Oxycontin and Percocet, have quadrupled. There are a number of reasons for this:

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Topics: prescription drug abuse, David Vittoria, recovery, heroin, prescription drugs, prevention, oxycontin, opioids

Lock Your Meds Featured In Publix Pharmacy Stores in January 2016

Posted by Informed Families on December 9, 2015 at 5:00 PM

This January, Informed Families is partnering with Publix Pharmacy to deliver the Lock Your Meds® campaign, which aims to reduce prescription drug abuse by making adults aware that they are often the unintended suppliers of abused prescription medications.

Lock Your Meds asks individuals to secure their medication, take regular inventory to ensure nothing is missing, safely dispose of unused or expired medication and share the message with friends and family.

The campaign will be featured in 646 Publix Pharmacy stores across Florida through counter displays and printed pharmacy receipts containing a message about Lock Your Meds. This is the fourth year in a row that Publix, the fastest growing grocery chain in America, is collaborating with Informed Families to reduce prescription drug abuse in Florida's communities. 

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Topics: prescription drug abuse, lock your meds, prevention, publix, drug prevention

From The Front Lines: Summer Is A Peak Time For First Time Drug Use

Posted by David Vittoria, MSW, CAP, CPP, ICADC, NCAC II, Assistant Vice President, South Miami Hospital Addiction Treatment & Recovery Center on July 14, 2015 at 7:44 PM

The first time Sarah* used drugs — at age 13 — the experience was pretty unremarkable, she recalls. Now 18 and newly graduated from high school, Sarah does recall that it happened during the summer at a party. Other kids were drinking beer and smoking marijuana, so she tried them. She continued to smoke marijuana off and on during high school, and she occasionally drank alcohol to excess.

“It wasn’t like I needed something to make me feel happy,” she said. “I didn’t personally go seek it out. It was around.” Seated in a loose circle, Sarah is talking with other teenagers, who in one moment are sharing serious insights and life experiences, then joking and teasing in the next. These teens, ages 16 to 18, are participating in a group therapy session for adolescents at South Miami Hospital’s Addiction Treatment & Recovery Center.

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Topics: addiction, prescription drug abuse, David Vittoria, recovery, prevention

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

Drug Overdose Leads Injury-Related Deaths Nationwide

Posted by Informed Families on June 1, 2015 at 4:50 PM

According to a recent report from the Trust for America's Health Drug overdoses are the leading cause of injury deaths in the United States, at nearly 44,000 per year. Overdose deaths, half of which are related to prescription drugs, have more than doubled in the past 14 years.  Overdose deaths now exceed motor vehicle-related deaths in 36 states and Washington, D.C. And, in the past four years, drug overdose death rates have significantly increased in 26 states and Washington, D.C. and decreased in six.

Related: How To Tell If Someone You Know Is Hooked On Prescription Drugs

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Topics: addiction, prescription drug abuse, drug abuse, overdose

Instagram Study Sheds Light On Drug Use At Summer Music Festivals

Posted by Informed Families on May 1, 2015 at 11:59 AM

An analysis of Instagram posts in March shed light on anticipated drug use at this year's Summer Music Festivals. DrugAbuse.com reviewed over 3.6 million Instagram posts mentioning 14 different Music Festivals to determine the percentage of posts that contain language about alcohol and drugs, including 61 popular terms associated with those substances.

The study shows that alcohol is  the most prevalence drug at concerts and festivals, followed by "Molly," Marijuana and Cocaine. 

Related: How To Tell If Someone You Know Is Hooked On Prescription Drugs

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Topics: addiction, prescription drug abuse, drug abuse, overdose

From The Front Lines: Hiding In Plain Sight

Posted by David Vittoria, MSW, CAP, CPP, ICADC, NCAC II, Assistant Vice President, South Miami Hospital Addiction Treatment & Recovery Center on April 16, 2015 at 1:54 PM

Did you know that, according to last year’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, nearly a third of people who use drugs for the first time begin by using a prescription drug non-medically? Did you know that the data suggests that one in 15 people who take non-medical prescription pain relievers will try heroin within 10 years?

Being fortunate to work with other engaged community leaders on both the Addiction Services Board as well as the Miami-Dade Criminal Justice Council, we often discuss whether/how policymakers are coming to terms with the prescription drug and heroin epidemic, which does not discriminate based on age, race or wealth. I wonder sometimes…do they know that addiction has crept into the halls of our elementary, middle and high schools? Do they know that it’s hidden on the internet? Do they know that it’s in our living rooms?

Do you?

I have been doing this a little while now and I can tell you something unequivocally…America cannot simply arrest its way out of our current drug crisis. Solutions require a broad, multi-pronged approach of education and prevention tools, as well as expanded treatment options.

Parents, children, teachers, students, employers, lawmakers and the public must open lines of communication.

According to the National Institute for Drug Abuse, teenagers are 50 percent less likely to abuse prescription drugs when they learn the risks from their parents. Proactive education about prescription drug misuse, heroin use, suicide and overdose is necessary. These are dangerous drugs with real consequences, and communities cannot be blinded by prejudice.

Additionally, addiction and overdosing can be prevented by cautious prescribing of painkillers. Prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMP) provide good tools to curb doctor-shopping by individuals with an addiction and identify improper prescribing practices. In fact, after one year of using a PDMP, New York and Tennessee saw respective 75 and 36 percent drops in patients who saw multiple prescribers to obtain the same drugs. I hope we can realize some of these same kinds of gains here in Florida someday.

Addiction needs to be recognized as a disease that can be prevented and treated and from which individuals recover. Only one in 10 people with addictions receive treatment — we can do better. Individuals with substance use disorders need access to safe, effective pain treatment and need to know how to use the resources available to them through the Affordable Care Act. In addition, primary care providers need to be aware of the signs of abuse and work with behavioral health caregivers when help is required.

Only access to education, prevention, treatment and recovery support will be able to put an end to this epidemic’s devastating consequences.

Don’t know where to start? There are lots of opportunities right here in Florida. One way you can support education and prevention is by reaching out to students and families with healthy messages through the Informed Families Ambassador Program.

If you would like to support local treatment and prevention efforts or find out more about volunteer opportunities to support your community, contact the South Miami Hospital Addiction Treatment & Recovery Center at 800-YES-HOPE.

Join Our Ambassador Program

 

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Topics: addiction, painkillers, prescription drug abuse, David Vittoria, recovery, prevention

How to Tell if Someone You Know is Hooked on Prescription Drugs

Posted by Richard Dimarco Barea on February 25, 2015 at 12:35 PM

We live in a country where the availability of prescription drugs has increased dramatically in our neighborhoods, schools and even in our homes. Both adults and children are susceptible to improperly using prescription drugs, which can be a problem because of the discreet side effects and behaviors that these individuals can hide for months or years, if not seen with a trained eye.

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Topics: prescription drug abuse, lock your meds, prescription 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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