The Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act passed the House. Help get it passed in the Senate. Read about the act and the changes it will make for mental health and substance abuse in our country.

A study in 2021 found that people who smoke marijuana are twenty-two percent more likely to visit the emergency rook or be admitted to the hospital than those who don’t smoke. The study also found that, “Marijuana smokers had higher blood and urine levels of several smoke-related toxins.” In another study done in 2021, it was found that teens were two times more likely to report “wheezing or whistling” in their chest after vaping marijuana than from smoking cigarettes or using e-cigarettes. The article, Marijuana use linked to higher risk of emergencies and hospitalizations, can be read on cnn:

Please join me for the Facebook Live Event hosted by Prevention Parents SWFL on July 12

The FDA is banning Juul, the e cigarette that is popular with young people. Read more about it:

Is this legislation moving in the right direction? What do you think?

A warning from a sheriff’s office in Tennessee about fentanyl:

“Setting Time Limits on Opioid Prescriptions Might Reduce Misuse,” is an article in US News. According to the research study, one percent of opioid prescriptions from dentists and surgeons were filled more than thirty days after they were prescribed. To read the entire article, click on the following link:

High-Risk Substance Abuse Among Youth. “Although most youth are in good health, some youth are at an increased risk for behaviors that can lead to poor health outcomes, such as high-risk substance use. The majority of adults who meet the criteria for having a substance use disorder started using substances during their teen and young adult years. Youth with substance use disorders also experience higher rates of physical and mental illnesses, diminished overall health and well-being, and potential progression to addiction.”

I presented at a mental health/addiction conference two weeks ago. I am going to share my slides with you.

Stay informed!! New articles on the New York Times about fentanyl and meth.

The CDC released data on deaths from drug overdoses for 2021. Over 107,000 Americans died, an increase of 15 %. That equals one death every five minutes. Increases began in the 1990s with overdoses from opioid painkillers, followed by opioids like heroin and currently, fentanyl. Read the entire article in the Chicago Tribune:

WPLG TV in South Florida has an exclusive story of how law enforcement is confiscating fentanyl at the border. Read the story at:

If you have subscribed to this site, you should have received the May Newsletter. If you haven’t yet subscribed, please do.

The New York Times published a video that shows the anxiety that adolescents are dealing with. Worried Sick: a journey into the anxious teenage mind, helps parents understand what their child is dealing with. I highly recommend it.

The CDC reports that during the pandemic in 2021, 37 percent of students in high school disclosed poor. mental health due to Covid. Forty-four percent “persistently felt sad or hopeless. “Youth with poor mental health may struggle with school and grades, decision making, and their health. Mental health problems in youth are also often associated with other health and behavioral risks such as increased risk of drug use, experiencing violence, and higher risk sexual behaviors.” More information is available at:,hopeless%20during%20the%20past%20year.

Vaping Alters Inflammatory State of Brain, Heart, Lungs, and Colon is an article published in Neuroscience News. “Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine report that daily use of pod-based e-cigarettes alters the inflammatory state across multiple organ systems including the brain, heart, lungs and colon. Effects also vary depending on the e-cigarette flavor, and can influence how organs respond to infections, such as SARS-COV-2.” Over twelve million adults in the United States vape, with the highest number in the age group of eighteen to twenty-four year olds. Read the entire article at:

I had the honor of speaking at an event last week near my home and sharing my story. “Sober AF Entertainment” is an organization that goes to different music and sports events, providing designated areas that are “sober.” Please visit their website for more information and see when they will be in your area.

The Drug Enforcement Agency /DEA wants parents to be aware of what is going on with their children. Stay informed!!

DEA Fact Sheet

Drug use severity in adolescence affect substance use risk in adulthood. (National Institute on Drug Abuse. 4/1/2022). “Screening adolescents for drug use is extremely important for early intervention and prevention of the development of substance use disorder.” Because the brain isn’t fully developed until a person is in their mid-twenties, adolescence is a time that a person is at high-risk for drug use. The full article can be read at:


Medical marijuana use linked to cannabis disorder, study finds. “Some people with pain, anxiety or depression who obtain medical marijuana cards may overuse marijuana within a short time frame, leading to cannabis use disorder while failing to impirve their symptoms, a new study found.” Read the entire article on CNN:

March is Self-Injury Awareness Month. According to Psychology Today, Self-Injury is “deliberate non-suicidal behavior that inflicts physical harm on one’s body to relieve emotional stress.” Self-harm often starts between the ages of twelve and fourteen, and is most common among adolescents and young adults.Signs and symptoms of the behavior, according to Mayo Clinic, include scars that are sometimes in patterns; new scratches, bruises, cuts, bite marks and other wounds; an area that has been rubbed into looking like a burn; and wearing long sleeves even when it is hot. If you suspect that your child is engaged in self-injury behaviors, consult a therapist.

March Newsletter. If you haven’t subscribed to this website, please so that you will have one in your email.

Myths and Facts about addition: Myth:”Addiction only happens to certain kinds of people.” Fact: “Addiction can happen to anyone, no matter their race, upbringing, personality type, or grade point average.” Myth: “Addiction is a choice! Kids should just say no.” Fact: No one, whether they’re a teen or an adult, chooses how their brain will react to substances.” Myth: “People with addiction are all criminals.” Fact: Most of the time, the only person directly harmed by an addiction is the person who’s addicted.” Myth: People with addiction need tough love. Helping them just enable drug use.” Fact: Showing love and support are never bad things.” Myth: “Addiction medications are just replacing one addiction with another.” Fact: Medications for addiction treatment (MAT), especially for opioid use disorder, have been proven to save lives and substantially improve recovery rates.” Myth: “People with addiction are hopeless.” Fact: “People can and do recover from addiction every single day.” For more information, visit:

More and more stories are coming out about young children overdosing on fentanyl. The CDC reports that between 2019 and 2020, overdose deaths among preteens and teenagers (ten to fourteen years old) tripled. Part of the rise is do to being able to buy drugs from dealers through social media. The numbers have also risen during the pandemic. Parents need to stay informed of what is happening on social media and closely supervise their children’s us of the internet. Read the article and watch the video

The DEA/U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, provided information about counterfeit drugs, “One Pill Can Kill.” Educate yourself about what is out there and share the dangers with your children.

A father in Broward County (Florida) warns parents of the counterfeit pills on the streets that look like the prescription pills. His daughter, a high school student, died on an accidental overdose of fentanyl in September 2021. Her father thinks that his daughter thought she was taking a xanax. Read the full article at :

Broward County records highest number of fentanyl-related deaths in Florida, report says. An article appearing in the Sun-Sentinel on February 8th, stated that fentanyl caused 5,302 deaths in Florida in 2020, which was 63 percent higher than in 2019. Fentanyl was the second highest cause of death in the state behind alcohol. According to the State Medical Examiner, the highest number of deaths from fentanyl was in Broward County (which is where I live). The pills are made to look like adderall, oxycontin, xanax and vicodin. 95 percent of the deaths were reported as “accidental.” A law passed in Florida in 2017 states that if the dealers are caught who have contributed to someone’s death, they will b e charged with first degree murder. You can read the entire article on the Sun-Sentinel:

In my book, Words from a mother in mourning. How to protect your child from drugs, I talk about parenting. One of the most valuable lessons for parents is that they need to be consistent with rules, communication, and discipline from the time that the child is very young. Parents must grow with their children. As they change, the rules, means of communication, and type of discipline has to change. But again, regardless of the child’s age, consistency is key for effective parenting. Parenting classes are available for parents in most states and many are free. It is a good way to learn what appropriate discipline is.


“About 100 bags of fentanyl found in bedroom of 13-year-old who died from presumed drug exposure at school.” So many questions came to my mind when read the story: “How did he get it?” “Why didn’t anyone know?” “How can we stop this from happening to our children?” The first step in prevention is to be aware of what is going on. The article is on CNN and provides information for parents so that they can be aware:

Kratom is produced from a tropical tree that originated in Southeast Asia. It is a psychoactive (mind-altering) opioid. The leaves are dried and then chewed, mixed with food or brewed. It also comes in small packets as a green powder with a label stating, “Not for human consumption.” It is often laced into other drugs. Signs that indicate someone may be using kratom include: itching, sensitivity to sunburns, perspiring, constipation, frequent urination and loss of appetite. It is sold in vape shops and gas stations. For more information, read:

Inhalants are the most common substance used by young children and teenagers because they are found around the house. Inhalants consist of solvents, aerosol sprays, gases and nitrites. They are found in the form of spray paint, markers, glue, cleaning fluids. More information can be read at:

One in ten marijuana users become addicted, according to information provided by the CDC (Center for Disease Control). Signs of addiction are: the inability to quit smoking; isolation; and continued use while aware of the risks. Regular use marijuana has been linked to attention problems, memory loss, and learning issues. Marijuana use is linked to anxiety, depression, and an increase in suicide in teenagers.According to an article published by Amy Morin, LCSW on November 9, 2019 (verywell mind), 53% of people eighteen and over who reported using marijuana for many years, said that they first used between the ages of twelve and seventeen. Marijuana is addictive, the most common drug used by teenagers, five times more teens are faced with depression if they smoke marijuana.

Crystal Meth is a stimulant that effects the central nervous system. Because it produces a quick high, it becomes highly addictive as a a tolerance for the drug is quickly built. The drug is smoked in a glass pipe, snorted, swallowed, or taken intravenously by needle. The drug is extremely harmful physically and psychologically.

5 Warning Signs Your Teenager May Be Doing Drugs. Written by Sean Grover, LCSW (Printed in Psychology Today, May, 24, 2018 1) Behavioral changes; 2) Emotional Changes; 3) Health and Hygiene; 4) Changes; 5; Other Risk Factors, i.e. family history, surroundings, and age. This is the link to the entire article.

“Opioids are a class of drugs naturally found in the opium poppy plant. Some prescription opioids are made from the plant directly, and others are made by scientists in labs using the same chemical structure. Opioids are often used as medicines because they contain chemicals that relax the body and can relieve pain. Prescription opioids are used mostly to treat moderate to severe pain, though some opioids can be used to treat coughing and diarrhea. Opioids can also make people feel very relaxed and “high” – which is why they are sometimes used for non-medical reasons. This can be dangerous because opioids can be highly addictive, and overdoses and death are common. Heroin is one of the world’s most dangerous opioids, and is never used as a medicine in the United States.” (National Institute on Drug Abuse, June 2019).

I just went through Sara’s papers and other items that I had taken out of her room two weeks ago and put in the trunk of my car. There were things like books, a few pieces of jewelry, a ton of make-up bags, etc. There was also an NA book I had bought for her and worksheets that she did while in the rehab. And papers–cards of encouragement I had sent to her, medical records, and dozens of other papers. Some of them brought me to tears and others made me smile. But in looking at the NA materials, I found the Serenity Prayer and want to post it here: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”–Reinhold Niebuhr. 1932-1933

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