Informed Families' Anti-Drug Programs Proven To Work
MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 21, 2000--Informed Families, the organization that educates more than 6,000 families annually on how to raise drug-free kids, has spent the past 18 years teaching the philosophy that parenting and the quality of the parent/chi
A series of programs put into action, including Safe Homes/Safe Parties (in which parents sign a pledge stating that they set guidelines for their children's behavior; promise to be present at all pre-teen and teenage parties held in their home to ensure that no drugs or alcohol are present; and promise to encourage future drug and alcohol free activities) and Parent Peer Groups that demonstrate communication between parents and children in a natural environment, such as nightly dinners together and attendance at religious services increases one's chance of raising drug-free children. Informed Families has set out to educate the public that a parent's influence is quite often the deciding factor of a child to choose not to use drugs, alcohol or cigarettes.
Peggy Sapp, President and Chief Executive Officer of Informed Families will be in Tallahassee on Tuesday, January 25 to present the following findings to Governor Bush's Drug Advisory Council, of which she is a member.
According to research compiled by the National Center on Addiction & Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA/Columbia):
The more often children eat dinner with their families, the less likely they are to smoke, drink or use marijuana. 31% who never smoked pot always eat dinner with their parents, compared to only 14% who smoked pot.
43% of teens that have never used pot cite their parents as having the most influence over their decision to smoke pot. 53% of teens that smoked pot cite their friends as their influence.
``While these statistics are encouraging and validate the work of Informed Families, there is still such a long way to go in convincing parents that their influence and behavior matters most to their children,'' said Sapp. ``It is often the quality of the relationship that determines the decision making process, not only the structure of the family unit. Dads are frequently ''AWOL`` even in a two-parent family.''
According to Sapp, Informed Families works with people to understand how to develop quality relationships in our stress-filled, busy society. ``Relationship building requires that the parent relax, relate, and release,'' added Sapp. ``There is an old saying: parents need to give their child roots and wings. Understanding this dichotomy takes some practice. With mentoring groups all the rage who will mentor mom, who will nurture dad?''
CASA/Columbia's research also shows that 50% of all middle and high school students say that their parents have never discussed the dangers of drugs with them. And of those who have, nearly 2/3 of all teens report that their parents have discussed the dangers of drugs with them less than three times.
One of Sapp's goals is to re-educate the parents and the community on how to develop effective family relationships so that educating the children is possible.
``One of our most successful programs, Principles For Living, offers seminars, classes and workshops that help kids, parents, teachers, doctors, service providers and outreach workers gain insight into how their own thinking and belief systems distract them from developing rewarding relationships and achieving their goals,'' shared Sapp. ``In empowering the self, the family, the community, the anti-drug goal becomes a reality.''
CASA/Columbia research shows that a child who reaches the age of 21 without using drugs, smoking cigarettes, or abusing alcohol is virtually certain to never do so. ``That is the ultimate goal of all of Informed Families' programs,'' offered Sapp.
Other successful community based programs instituted by Informed Families include the nationally recognized Red Ribbon Campaign, The Florida Pilot Program on Tobacco Control, Community Action Team (CAT) and Grandparents Raising Grandchildren.
Informed Families was created in 1982 by Peggy Sapp with six volunteers and has grown the non-profit state outreach organization into a $1 million dollar agency. Informed Families with a mission of ``Helping kids grow up healthy and drug-free'' trains more than 6,000 families annually and is responsible for creating and coordinating Red Ribbon Week in Florida since 1985. Informed Families is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization affiliated with the National Family Partnership (NFP) and is a broad based, grass roots volunteer organization.
0- Note to Editors:
If you would like to interview with Peggy Sapp and/or receive complete descriptions on each of Informed Families' programs, please contact Duree Mellion at 954-584-7878.