Too many people think that illegal drug use and drug overdose deaths can only happen to other people’s kids. Or to “losers” who come from a “bad” background.
Informed Families Blog
Topics: safe homes smart parties
While the Media Was Focused on Opioids Look What Happened
While the media has been focused on the opioid crisis, the number of alcohol-related deaths more than doubled from 35,914 in 1999 to 72,558 in 2017. Women have been impacted the most.
According Dr. George F. Koob, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) Director, “alcohol is a growing women’s health issue. The rapid increase in deaths involving alcohol among women is troubling and parallels the increases in alcohol consumption among women over the past few decades.”
Trends like Mommy wine culture, which normalizes the idea of drinking alcohol as a way to cope with stress, and sipping while shopping have become commonplace. We should always keep in mind that our kids are watching our behaviors. Do we want them to turn to alcohol as a way to escape from everyday stress or as the only way to relax and unwind?
They are bombarded with images promoting alcohol in that way already. A new report from the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs says alcohol ads are leading teens to drink. A study in the Preventive Medicine journal found that social media could be sending out positive messaging about alcohol use as well.
Sign the Safe Homes Smart Parents pledge, and let’s work together to stem the tide of alcohol-related deaths by discouraging underage and binge drinking.
“I learned how to handle peer pressure and say no to drugs.”
“I didn’t know people could die from alcohol poisoning.”
“I didn’t know how much of a problem prescription drug abuse was.”
“Many of our peers are dealing with drug issues themselves or have a family member with a problem.”
Student ambassadors in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools Creating Community Change: Youth Engagement Program (CCC:YEP) program shared these messages and much more during their end of the year presentations at the Betty T. Ferguson Center in Miami Gardens on May 22, 23 and 24.
Topics: red ribbon week, ambassadors, prescription drug abuse, lock your meds, safe homes smart parties, middle school, peer pressure, drug free, drug prevention, parent peer group, miami gardens, miami
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.
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.
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.
WHAT IS AMERICA'S ALCOHOL AWARENESS?
April is Alcohol Awareness Month, so let’s talk about alcohol.
Parents are still the number one reason kids give for not using alcohol and drugs.
Parenting is a hard job. You rarely get thanked and pushing back against unhealthy behaviors is hard. We know you want the best for your kids – and when you know better, you do better.
Americans are more into using alcohol – and less into understanding alcohol’s negative effects, considering that:
- Alcohol is a carcinogen and is linked to cancer. In fact, alcohol is responsible for an estimated 15 percent of US breast cancer cases (35,000/year) and deaths (6,600/year).
- Underage drinking causes 4,300 deaths and 189,000 emergency room visit per year and
- Alcohol damages our stem cells.
- People who consume more than one drink a day are more likely to die earlier and have greater health problems.
SAFE HOMES SMART PARENTS
Last week, we had an amazing conference call with one of our absolutely favorite Ambassadors, Tracy Bowen, of Collier County Public Schools. Tracy said that our Safe Homes Smart Parties campaign should be renamed the Safe Homes Smart Parents campaign because Safe Parties Require Smart Parents. Parents are the key to safe children.
She hit the nail on the head and we are taking her advice very seriously and determining what that change means for our campaign. The best ideas come from boots on the ground and Tracy is a wonderful example of someone using her knowledge, experience and passion to help the children in her community grow up safe, healthy and drug free.
It’s been 36 years since we founded Informed Families and I’m still simultaneously confident that our prevention programs will help students make good choices this Spring Break and fearful that some parents are misinformed about the dangers of underage drinking, thus choosing to host parties and expose children to potentially frightening consequences. Social norms about alcohol are overwhelming to a parent’s better judgment. How can we help each and every parent take a stand for Safe Parties?
Thanks to a generous grant from the 2017 State Attorney's Safer & Healthier Communities Fund through the Miami Foundation, Informed Families will be expanding our Safe Homes Smart Parties campaign to address safe driving.
The program will reduce impaired driving by educating over 40,000 teens and families in 30 Miami-Dade high schools about the danger, consequences, illegality and social unacceptability of impaired driving through educational materials, educational activities and a targeted, interactive awareness campaign in schools and online.
Listen Up: Teen Mistakes & Their Unintended, Permanent Consequences4,300 children die each year due to underage drinking-related causes. Springtime is a peak time for celebrations - and that's why parents need to take steps to ensure parties held in their home and in the community are Safe Homes, Smart Parties. Sure, there’s a chance your kids will make it out unscathed, but is it really worth the risk?
US District Court Judge Beth Bloom and her son Jacob Stern, a high school student then attending Ransom Everglades School in Coconut Grove, developed a presentation called "Listen Up: Teen Mistakes & Their Unintended, Permanent Consequences." For a busy parent of a teenager, Jacob's presentation is concise, eye-opening and should be mandatory viewing for both kids and parents! I ask you to please watch our 30-minute video and share it with your friends who are raising teenagers. Get the family together and spend 30 minutes to save yourselves a lot of time, money and hassle. The beauty of online viewing is you can stop and restart at your convenience.