Informed Families Catalyst

Richard Dimarco Barea

Richard is a passionate writer, foodie and digital marketing expert who focuses on education, non-profits, technology and business enhancement.
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Recent Posts

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

3 Reasons to Volunteer in Florida

Posted by Richard Dimarco Barea on February 18, 2015 at 2:45 PM

Volunteering is a great way to make a difference and connect with others! Informed Families has developed a tight-knit community of hundreds of Prevention Ambassadors in Florida who have served and received the benefits of volunteerism for over 30 years. While everyone volunteers for different reasons, there are three motivations that drive us to lend our time:

  1. Personal Growth
  2. Familial Development
  3. Community Involvement

Your volunteering choices should be based on your desire to impact others, but can also help you grow, improve your connections with family and members of the community.

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Topics: volunteer, volunteer in florida

7 Important Facts About Prescription Drug Abuse

Posted by Richard Dimarco Barea on January 30, 2015 at 3:20 PM

While the news headlines are dominated by illicit drugs like Cocaine, Meth and Heroin, the sleeping giant of prescription drug abuse has cased more overdose deaths than all of these combined.

Here are 7 important facts about Prescription Drug Abuse:

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Topics: prescription drug abuse, lock your meds, prescription drugs

What is Prescription Drug Abuse?

Posted by Richard Dimarco Barea on January 27, 2015 at 12:00 PM

What is Prescription Drug Abuse?

While most people think that pills inside of little orange bottles are safer when compared to street drugs like cocaine and heroin, it is still illegal and highly risky to use unprescribed drugs. In many cases the effects of prescription drug abuse can result in more addictive characteristics. The availability of prescription drugs tends to make these more easily abused in households with children in middle and high school. However, abuse can happen at any age and you may have experienced borderline abuses yourself if you have engaged in any of the following behaviors:

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

How to Use the Home Medicine Inventory Card

Posted by Richard Dimarco Barea on January 26, 2015 at 1:00 PM

Most youth prescription drug abuse starts at the home, with children accessing their parents' medicine. In some cases, adults have unknowingly developed addictions to prescription medication like Xanax and Valium because of improper management.

Keeping track of your prescription medicine with the Home Medicine Inventory Card, or HMIC, is a fast and easy way to prevent these occurences. It helps you stay on track, monitors your intake behavior and makes your home safe from accidental consumption or theft in 5 easy steps.

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4 Ways to Have Safe Family Parties

Posted by Richard Dimarco Barea on January 9, 2015 at 11:32 PM

Parties are a great time to unite families and friends in celebration. When hosting parties, it is important to take the festivities and your family's safety seriously. But being the a wonderful host is also serious business and we want to make sure you create an event that lives up to your expectations! Learn how you can have safe family parties that impress your guests with this list of 4 tips:
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5 Tools To Start The New Year Off Right

Posted by Richard Dimarco Barea on December 29, 2014 at 8:00 AM

A new year...a new you. While you are considering your New Years resolutions, consider this: Prescription drug abuse is one of the biggest epidemics in the 21st century. Home medicine cabinets are filling up faster than ever, putting young children and teenagers in harm's way. Start the new year off right and resolve to make a difference in your home or community by starting the new year off right with these five tools.

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Topics: ambassadors, prescription drug abuse, lock your meds, prescription drugs, prevention

4 Ways to Prevent Prescription Drug Abuse

Posted by Richard Dimarco Barea on December 19, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Did you know that more teens and young adults are abusing prescription drugs than street drugs like cocaine and heroine?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have classified prescription drug abuse as an epidemic. While there has been a marked decrease in the use of some illegal drugs like cocaine, data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) show that nearly one-third of people aged 12 and over who used drugs for the first time in 2009 began by using a prescription drug non-medically. (
The important thing to realize is that you can do your part to prevent prescription drug abuse among your children and their friends by becoming an Ambassador and doing 4 simple things---educating, monitoring, disposal and enforcement.


There is a plethora of resources regarding this epidemic online and you can find this information by searching, reading and even subscribing to e-mail lists from organizations such as, and Subscribe to the Informed Families prevention newsletter on the sidebar or read our 11 Tips for Talking to our Kids about Drug Abuse.


Paying attention to how many prescription pills you have in your medicine cabinet is essential. You can do this simply by writing in the number in pen on your bottle or using a home medicine inventory card. The key takeaway here is to be actively engaged and conscious of your own prescription drugs so that it does not create an environment of temptation in your household. A great way to keep your prescribed medicine away from prying hands is by locking it up in a locking mechanism such as this pouch.


If your prescription has expired or you no longer need the medicine, you should immediately dispose of the unused drugs. You can find convenient and environmentally responsible disposal programs in your community here or ask your city if they have take back program. The DEA also organizes a National Take Back Day twice a year.


You may unfortunately come across an individual or situation where prescription drugs are being offered or abused. It is imperative that you provide law enforcement with information about if you find a doctor or an adult that is offering prescription drugs to children without a doctor's approval.

What You Can Do Today

You've already accomplished part of the plan by educating yourself on Prescription Drug abuse but now you have to take action by monitoring your pills, dispose your expired medications and inform the authorities if you find someone reinforcing prescription drug abuse. The easiest way to prevent prescription drug abuse is by taking the Lock Your Meds Pledge today by clicking on the red button below!

Learn More about Lock Your Meds  

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Topics: drug, abuse, prescription

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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