The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that:
Informed Families Catalyst
Adapting to Change…who likes it? The Answer…no one!
Adapting to the shelter-in-place order forced on us during the COVID-19 crisis is showing some early adapters: the winners are colleges and schools making the switch from sitting in a classroom to having the classroom on your laptop. Hats off to you!
One of my college-age granddaughters sent me a text yesterday, but when I called her back (generational thing) she replied back via text: I’m in class can’t talk right now.
Many schools are requiring the students to show up for their online classes in their school uniforms or in the school’s dress code. Schools are getting on with business, the content is the same, but the delivery is different.
Informed Families was scheduled to be closed for Spring Break this past week, but we canceled it. Why? So we could get our Lock Your Meds curriculum online and ready to use when Miami-Dade County public schools reopened on March 30. Schools, teachers, parents and students rely on Informed Families to provide them the latest information, tips, and resources to keep kids safe, healthy & drug free.
National Survey on Drug Use and Health Findings Announced
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently released the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). The annual survey is the nation’s primary resource for data on mental health and substance use among Americans.
Among the findings:
- The number of Americans misusing pain relievers dropped substantially, and fewer young adults are abusing heroin and other substances.
- Marijuana continues to be the most widely used illicit drug. Frequent marijuana use, in youth (aged 12-17 years) and young adults, appears to be associated with risk for opioid use, heavy alcohol use, and major depressive episodes.
- A majority of people who misuse prescription pain relievers get them from friends & family, or healthcare providers & prescribers.
Let's End the Stigma Associated With Drugs
The Surgeon General’s recent call to end the stigma associated with addiction is long overdue. The stigma surrounding alcohol and drug use and addiction often prevents us from talking openly about these issues with friends, family and most importantly our kids.
It’s much easier to avoid talking about tough topics, especially when we think “that could never happen to one of my loved ones.” No one wants to believe their child is sneaking pills from the medicine cabinet or drinking while out with friends. No one wants to believe their child is experimenting with or using drugs.
The sad truth is that children as young as nine years old already start viewing alcohol in a more positive way, and approximately 3,300 kids, as young as 12 years old, try marijuana each day. Additionally, about five in 10 kids, as young as age 12, obtain prescription pain relievers for non-medical purposes. Furthermore, the research shows that children who first smoke marijuana under the age of 14 are more than five times as likely to abuse drugs as adults than those who first use marijuana at age 18 (NIDA).
It is never too early to talk to your children about the risks of using alcohol and drugs. It may not always seem like it, but kids really do hear their parents say; talk they listen.
“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
Drug overdose was responsible for the loss of nearly 72,000 Americans in 2017, according to the Center for Disease Control & Prevention. That’s just under 200 people each day for the entire year - and 8,000 more deaths than the previous year, also a record year. At least 2/3 of those deaths were due to opioid abuse. Here are two trends that are contributing to this awful epidemic.
From Pills To Heroin
Patients receiving prescription drugs for pain as a result of an injury or recovering from surgery are often given significantly more than they need. While opioids are effective in managing pain, their addictive properties make them dangerous for long-term use.
How Large Is The Opioid Problem In Florida?
With the opioid epidemic sweeping the nation, Florida is certainly not immune. And apparently, the problem is getting worse. According to a recent report from Florida's medical examiners, there has been a dramatic 22% increase (2,126 more deaths) of in drug-related deaths from the prior year. The report also showed a 35% increase in opioid-related deaths (1,483 over the previous year for a total of 5,725).
Not suprisingly, more deaths were caused by prescription drugs than illicit drugs, accounting for 61% of all drug occurrences in the report. After all, availability and a low perception of harm lead to increased use and abuse.
The drugs that caused the most deaths were cocaine, benzodiazepines, fentanyl, morphine, heroin, alcohol, oxycodone, methadone and methamphetamine.
“Clearly, those are shocking numbers and we have got to do something about it,” said Senate Health Policy Chairwoman Dana Young, R-Tampa to The News Service of Florida.
Here are additional highlights from the report:
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:
Another successful Lock Your Meds campaign is coming to a close. This initiative is aimed at providing prescription drugs abuse facts to parents, students and educators, as well as encouraging parents to keep powerful medicine locked up and away from teens who might steal and improperly use the pills.
Yet, the effort to curb prescription drug abuse can’t end simply because our 2017 campaign is ending. Pills remain a big problem in Florida schools and teachers are an important ally in keeping kids safe. Here are several prescription drug abuse facts teachers should know:
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.