Informed Families Blog

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

How To Tell If Your Child Is Drinking Alcohol

Posted by Matt Sanders, Triple P Positive Parenting Program on July 22, 2015 at 1:33 PM

Do you suspect your child is drinking alcohol? Here's some signs that your child may have a problem and some tips for what to do about it.
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Topics: parenting, underage drinking, alcohol, signs

8 Ways To Harness Parent Power

Posted by Informed Families on June 16, 2015 at 1:52 PM

Parents have a tremendous amount of power when it comes to raising safe, healthy and drug free children. By leading your children in the right direction, supporting their healthy development and knowing when to draw the line, parents can launch responsible, healthy, productive members of society. 

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Topics: parenting, tips for talking with your kids about drugs, prevention, underage drinking

New Report Shows Steady Decline In Underage Drinking

Posted by Informed Families on June 1, 2015 at 12:28 PM

A new report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration shows a significant decline in the level of past month (current) underage alcohol consumption, as well as a drop in underage binge drinking. Yet, alcohol still remains the most widely used substance of abuse among youths aged 12 to 20.

The report shows that level of current underage drinking among those aged 12 to 20 decreased from 28.8 percent in 2002 to 22.7 percent in 2013.

Likewise, the level of current underage binge drinking also declined from 19.3 percent in 2002 to 14.2 percent in 2013.  Binge drinking is defined as having five or more drinks on the same occasion (i.e., at the same time or within a couple of hours of each other) on at least one day in the past 30 days.

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Topics: underage drinking, study

President's Message - May 2015

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on May 23, 2015 at 8:28 AM


Can I get an A-M-E-N?! No, this isn’t a religious discussion; it is why people love our Joe’s dinner: NO SPEECHES. We just finished our 30th Annual Informed Families Dinner at Joe’s Stone Crab Restaurant – and it was the most successful fundraiser we’ve ever had.

Thanks to our Co-Chairs Extraordinaire Phillis Oeters of Baptist Health South Florida and Anita & Ron Shuffield of Esslinger-Wooten-Maxwell Realty International/Christie's International Real Estate whose combined enthusiasm, dedication and great skills could move mountains, we raised close to $350,000 to support our statewide prevention programs, save lives and help kids grow up safe, healthy and drug free.

If you’ve ever attended our Joe’s dinner, you know that the event is fantastic, complete with local celebrity sightings, a lively pre-dinner social and Joe’s signature stone crabs and legendary service. What you have never witnessed at a Joe’s event is a speech.

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Topics: President's Message, addiction, underage drinking, Events, children, Informed Families, Joe's Stone Crab

Adolescents' Drinking Takes Lasting Toll On Memory

Posted by Informed Families on May 20, 2015 at 10:04 AM

A new Duke University study, recently highlighted in The Wall Street Journal, shows that even when adolescents drink in moderation, intermittently, the impact on the brain is potentially long-term. Researchers examined the role of moderate and regular alcohol use on brain circuitry and found that such exposure led to a decrease in functioning of the hippocampus, leading to poorer memory and slower learning. Read the article now.

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Topics: parenting, underage drinking, alcohol

The Miami Herald: Miami-Dade Among Lowest In FL For Underage Drinking

Posted by Informed Families on April 23, 2015 at 11:00 AM

A recent article in The Miami Herald acknowledged Miami-Dade County for being among the lowest counties in the State of Florida for underage drinking, according to a recent study from the University of Washington. Despite it's reputation as a party destination, Ali Mokdad, the study's lead author told the Miami Herald that "nationwide, counties with a network of support tend to rank lower, despite an active nightlife scene." Informed Families, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Miami Coalition For A Drug Free Community were highlighted as organizations that support Miami-Dade's success in curbing underage drinking. Read the article now.

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Topics: parenting, underage drinking, alcohol

Study: Early Sipping Linked To Underage Drinking

Posted by Informed Families on April 22, 2015 at 7:18 PM

Thinking about giving your child alcohol in moderation to take away the "allure" of underage drinking in the teenage years? According to the latest Brown University study published in the  Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, you may want to think again.

A study on early use of alcohol found that early sipping of alcohol by young students is associated with risky alcohol behaviors when they enter high school. In addition, offering young people just a sip of alcohol may undermine prevention messages about alcohol for youth.

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Topics: parenting, underage drinking, alcohol

President's Message - April 2015

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on April 21, 2015 at 12:12 PM


Heroin. Meth. Cocaine. Ecstasy. While dangerous and scary, these are not the most popular drugs among our children. So what drugs are the most widely abused?

Drum roll please…the most widely abused drug is Alcohol, a legal drug.

People don’t change alcohol and drug use behaviors based on scare tactics or logic; they change when they start to see and acknowledge the cultural code that is pushing unhealthy behaviors.

People use drugs based on their perception of harm and the availability of the drug. So certainly alcohol is the most available and surely it won’t harm you; the government has legalized it!

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, data from a national survey of high school students shows that teens who receive a message from their parents that underage drinking is completely unacceptable are more than 80 percent less likely to drink than teens who receive other messages.

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Topics: President's Message, parenting, advice, safe parties, teenagers, safe homes smart parties, underage drinking, alcohol

President's Message - March 2015

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on March 11, 2015 at 8:01 PM


Helen & John Witty’s 16-year-old daughter, Helen Marie, was rollerblading on a bike path when she was struck and instantly killed by a car full of teenagers who were under the influence of alcohol and marijuana. These kids were celebrating graduation at an unsupervised home prior to getting in the car. The driver’s future now included years of jail time and forever living with the knowledge that she killed someone. Think for a moment. You could be the parent of the victim or the parent of the driver of the car! Safe Homes Smart Parties® is not about someone else’s child.

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Topics: President's Message, parenting, advice, safe parties, teenagers, safe homes smart parties, underage drinking

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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