Tag Archives: drugfreeaz.org


Herold Joins DrugFreeAz.org Board

Rick Herold, partner in the Phoenix law office of Snell & Wilmer, has been elected to serve on the Board of Directors of DrugFreeAz.org. As a member of the board of directors Herold will provide financial and fundraising strategies that will help guide and sustain the organization. DrugFreeAz.org’s mission is to prevent and reduce the use of drugs and alcohol by youth throughout Arizona.

“We are delighted to welcome Rick to our board of directors,” said Leslie Bloom, CEO of DrugFreeAz.org. “His background, education and knowledge will be a valuable asset to our team, and will help us reach our mission of reducing youth drug and alcohol use throughout our community.”

Herold earned his bachelor’s degree from Emory University and law degree from the George Washington University School of Law. He also serves on the Ethics Committee of the State Bar of Arizona and has served as a Judge Pro Tempore on the Maricopa County Superior Court and is active with the Volunteer Lawyers’ Program, the Valley of the Sun United Way’s Resource Management Committee, the Urban Land Institute and the Economic Club of Phoenix.

DrugFreeAZ.org offers a Military Family Tool Kit.

DrugFreeAZ.org's Online Tools For Military Families: Military Family Tool Kit

This Veteran’s Day, I would like to recognize and thank all of those who have served our great nation. For many of you, there have been deployments, extended times away from your families and the real risks of injury and/or illness. You and your families have sacrificed so much for our country.

The lives of service member families are stressful ones, and that stress can negatively impact their children. Whether that is dealing with being the new kid in school, missing friends or assuming more responsibilities at home, children of military families may have an even tougher time than their teenage counterparts.

Studies show that adolescents who haven’t used drugs or alcohol are more likely to start using drugs during times of transitions to cope with stress. It is important for all parents to keep the lines of communication open with your kids, and chief among the topics must be how they are dealing with stress. The single most important thing we can do as parents is stay involved. These transitions are tough on kids, and simply being there and having an open dialogue can make the difference.

Parents play such an important role in teaching our children about the importance of prevention and the dangers associated with these behaviors. We know that kids who learn about the dangers of drugs from their parents are 50 percent less likely to use.

Here’s a checklist to help parents and teens:

  • Set aside one-on-one bonding time.
  • Monitor your children’s activities.
  • Talk often about what’s happening in your children’s lives. Create trust so your kids can come to you about anything.
  • Discuss the risks of using drugs and drinking.

For many parents, the challenge is HOW to talk with your teen about drugs and alcohol.  DrugFreeAZ.org has created new, online tools for military families that provide great information on how to do just that. The Video Learning Center on the website features two videos on preventing underage drinking and drug use and also how to access resources if your child is using drugs or drinking. In addition to the Video Learning Center, there is a Military Family Tool Kit.

The Military Family Tool Kit includes the following:

  • How to say it! – Ways to start the conversation with your child at any age
  • How to answer the question “Did you ever use drugs?”
  • How to teach kids to turn down drugs
  • Friends, Family and Beyond: How others can help

While kids in all families deal with stress, it’s even more prevalent among service member families. As adults, we sometimes forget how hard it may be to move to a new city or state, make new friends and say goodbye to a parent with hopes that they return. DrugFreeAZ.org is here for you at every step of the way for support and guidance in your journey to raise a healthy family.

For more information about DrugFreeAZ.org and its Military Family Tool Kit, visit drugfreeaz.org.

Preventing Addiction

You, Me, Everyone: Addiction Impacts More People Than You Know

“I can’t believe my child is using drugs! What do I do?” This is the statement that can be heard from parents all across Arizona today. A mom, dad, brother or sister calling in panic as they see their loved one going from an “A” student, star football player or loving brother to a different person. For the parents who have found the drugs in a child’s bedroom or smelled the alcohol on their child’s breath, they go through a range of emotions from disappointment to fear. The first thing to do as a parent is to take a deep breath and get a plan together. With organizations like DrugFreeAZ.org, parents can get assistance and put a plan in place to get their child the help that they need.

Why is this so important? Ninety percent of adults seriously addicted today started as teenagers. The earlier we can intervene and get help for the child, the better off they will be in the long run.

There are approximately 11 million kids and young adults in our country today are addicted to drugs or alcohol, and only 1 out of 10 get the help they need. Parents who find themselves in this situation, need to take action. If you’re concerned about a loved one’s substance use, then it’s time to intervene.

Here are some ways to take action, to prevent addiction:

Start Conversations

If you suspect a loved one is abusing drugs or alcohol, the best thing to do is start a conversation. While the initial talk may be awkward, taking the first steps to become more involved can help protect the individual from potential danger and further dependence on the substance. DrugFreeAZ.org offers suggestions on ways to start conversation as well as tips to help detect early abuse.

Time to Act

When all signs and symptoms point to substance dependence, then it’s time for an intervention. Keep in mind that helping the person addicted may take time and multiple interventions. According to DrugFreeAZ.org’s intervention guide, it is important to go into an intervention with a plan. While an informal intervention can be effective, in more severe situations, it may require a more formal method of intervention, like that of a counselor, therapist or doctor.


After an intervention, it is essential to follow up and set expectations. Just setting rules isn’t enough to help the person change their ways. Keep a close eye on your loved one, monitor their activities and their whereabouts. By staying involved, you can help them avoid risky situations and certain influences, like friends and social connections, which may lead them back into substance abuse.

Be Supportive

The decision for treatment and recovery ultimately has to come from the person addicted, but having a support system is an important part of maintaining sobriety. Building a support network with friends, family and individuals who are positive can help through the recovery process.

Know That You Are Not Alone

You Are Not Alone is dedicated to helping the families of the 11 million American teens and young adults who need treatment for drug or alcohol abuse — that’s 1 in 7 teens and young adults! With your help, we can lower the barriers families face in getting young people the treatment and recovery support they need.

While there is no guarantee the process will be easy, it’s an important part of helping your child or loved before it’s too late. Stay connected with your child or loved one. Taking the first step is always the hardest, but a life free from substance dependence can inspire hope and provide a healthier lifestyle and future for them.

For more information about addiction and additional resources, visit drugfreeaz.org.