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Informed Families Blog

President's Message - March 2017

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on March 31, 2017 at 9:29 AM

Two Things I've Learned About Prom & Graduation Season

It’s Party Time! Prom, Spring Break, Graduation... We want our kids to have fun and create memories – but we want them to be safe. Both can be achieved by serving the best thing parents can serve their children: common sense. Kids who start drinking before age 15 are 6 times more likely to develop alcohol problems as adults. And with 4,300 children dying each year due to underage drinking-related causes, we all need to help our kids celebrate safely.

The two things I’ve learned about Prom & Graduation Season are:

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Topics: President's Message, safe parties, safe homes smart parties, alcohol, parents

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, prescription drug abuse, lock your meds, prescription drugs, parents

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, prescription drug abuse, lock your meds, prescription drugs, parents

President's Message - December 2016

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on December 23, 2016 at 2:10 PM

The Best Gift You Can Give Your Kids Is Not A Hatchimal

Every year, the toy craze du jour sends parents frantically using their FBI skills to track down the “perfect” gift for their child. The coveted gift is likely no longer in stores and can only be purchased on ebay for three times its original price. These parents dedicate a great deal of time trying to give kids want they want. “Oh, won’t they be so happy,” the parents say. “My child is so special to me and I just want to make him/her happy.”

This year’s top toy, the Hatchimal, is very impressive! It’s a plush robot inside of an egg that hatches when you take care of it and once hatched, responds to commands. Boy have we come a long way from the cabbage patch doll!

Those of us who haven’t found lasting happiness through material goods can agree that having the coolest toy doesn’t always make us happy. Meaningful relationships can be the gifts that truly keep on giving. It may not seem like it, but your kids will likely agree.

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Topics: President's Message, holidays, children, parents

President's Message - November 2016

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on November 8, 2016 at 3:26 PM

Read This: Gratitude...improves your health and your quality of life!

It’s November - the perfect time to feel and express gratitude. Sometimes we are so busy grumbling about what didn’t go our way that we forget to be grateful for small things, nice weather, a smile or a cup of coffee.

Life is not perfect. Where did we get the idea that it was supposed to be perfect? The shiny magazines and media telling us to do more, be more, buy more? Have you noticed that even those who appear to "have it all" don’t have perfect lives? Life is messy. Be grateful for life’s imperfections. It makes it more interesting.

I am saddened that our country is so divided. Yet, I am grateful that we live in a democracy and have the freedom to choose.

I am overwhelmed by 24/365 technology. Yet, I am grateful to text with my grandkids and send a birthday gift certificate with the touch of a button.

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Topics: President's Message, children, gratitude, thanksgiving, parents

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 - September 2016

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on September 22, 2016 at 10:42 AM

Do You Eat Dinner With Your Children?

Eating dinner together sounds so simple and yet, it is not today’s norm. Why? The answer has something to do with hectic schedules, after school activities and other outside influences that interfere with dinnertime. This reality is most unfortunate because research has shown that the more children eat dinner with their families, the less likely they are to smoke, drink or use illegal drugs.

So welcome to Informed Families’ first drug prevention tool of the school year: Family Day.  Family Day is a national effort, developed by the Center for Addiction & Substance Abuse at Columbia University, to encourage family dinners as an effective way to reduce youth substance abuse and other risky behaviors.  Join us on Family Day, September 26th and learn how to have fun through simple exercises.

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Topics: Family Day, President's Message, children, parents, family dinner

President's Message - August 2016

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on August 20, 2016 at 2:11 PM

Building A Drug Prevention Network Across Florida

Today, there is a Heroin Epidemic sweeping across America. All of our plans, dreams, and hopes for educating children can be swept away by this Epidemic. How do we face and fight this heroin Epidemic to assure the future of Florida’s children?

No one wants their child to become a drug addict, yet we are all overwhelmed with many demands and problems. There is little time to work on one of our most important goals: Defeating the drug problem.

We must join TOGETHER, creating CRITICAL MASS and a NETWORK to deliver consistent messages across Florida and across America to turn the tide of this epidemic.

Joining together sounds easy but it is not easy. Working together can be complicated and time consuming, thus we frequently avoid it.

Since working together is essential; Informed Families/The Florida Family Partnership is making it simple to join together and deliver effective messages to our children.

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Topics: President's Message, red ribbon, ambassadors, campaigns, children, teacher tools, drug prevention, parents, ambassador

President's Message - July 2016

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on July 18, 2016 at 4:00 PM

Please Don't Eat The Cactus

This article is an old favorite, originally printed in 2006.

Do you ever feel life is moving too fast to tell your children how to to survive in today's world?

Let me assure you that this dilemma does not end with your children!  Just when you think you have completed your life’s work, you get grandchildren, whose role it is to teach us the lessons our children never taught us. We, of course, believe we are teaching them.

Let me illustrate this. Recently, my daughter Kerrie, broke her leg in a horseback riding accident, never mind that we have pleaded with her not to participate in horse jumping events until her 4 young children are at least in college. Subsequently, she was in bed for a week and was advised to remain on crutches for 12 weeks. Of course it was her right leg, so driving was out of the question.

I immediately flew to California to manage the household, which consists of her husband, Jeff, four children (ages 6-12), three very large dogs - a mastiff, an aging lab and a runaway-every-chance-it-gets German Shepherd, along with two horses. I felt badly having to take more time off from Informed Families, but I am now convinced that Informed Families should consider these visits field work and provide me hazardous duty pay.

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Topics: President's Message, parenting, children, parent peer group, parents, grandparents, grandchildren

President's Message - June 2016

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on June 17, 2016 at 1:05 PM

Summertime & The Livin' Is Easy...Or is it?

Stress, anxiety, anger, violence and road rage are words that describe the current vibe.  How do we deal with the overwhelming negative environments that confront us daily, either on the news or in our own neighborhoods?

It makes us sad and depressed to see the senseless loss of lives in Orlando (bless those families) and in shootings in neighborhoods across Florida.  Has the world gone crazy?  Maybe.  It is time that we each ask ourselves, “how am I contributing to this craziness?”  Is this catching? The answer is yes.

So how do we raise safe, healthy and drug-free kids in the current environment?  We increase the PROTECTIVE FACTORS and we decrease the RISK FACTORS in our children’s lives.

Our children are listening and watching us to see how they should act and react to all this distressing news. Here are some tips for how to help our kids through tough times.

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Topics: President's Message, orlando, children, violence, news, shooting, media, Florida School Boards Association

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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