Category: MADD

New Year’s Planning

 Originally posted in – December 29, 2014

A lot goes in to planning the perfect New Year’s Eve celebration, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving wants to help you with your checklist:

√ Reservations for two at that fancy restaurant you’ve always wanted to try – check.

√ The perfect outfit for that night on the town – check.

√ Your favorite bottle of bubbly for that midnight toast – check.

• A designated non-drinking driver – check?

After the ball drops and rings in the New Year, sadly it also rings in the deadliest day on the roads due to drunk driving. In 2013, 70 people died on New Year’s Day alone.

To keep everyone safe on the roads, MADD is joining forces with Lyft and UBER. Together, we urge all adults that if your plans include alcohol then plan ahead and designate a non-drinking driver before the celebrations begin.

Both services will be donating to MADD’s mission – Every ride can save a life.

UBER: Enter promo code MADDNYE from 6:00 p.m. local time New Year’s Eve to 6:00 a.m. local time New Year’s Day and UBER will donate $1 to MADD for every ride nationwide. Lyft: Starting 6:00 a.m. local time December 29 through 6:00 a.m. local time New Year’s Day, pledge to get home safe at and $1 per pledge nationwide will benefit MADD.


Don’t start the New Year in tragedy. Make a resolution to designate a non-drinking driver 100% of the time to make sure you, your loved ones and everyone on the roads gets home safely.

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December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

originally posted in By

The month of December is one of the busiest on the nation’s roadways, and also one of the most dangerous. With the holidays coming up, there will be an increase in social events that involve alcohol, and data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that this results in an increase in DUIs and fatal drunk-driving crashes around the holidays.

During December 2012, 830 people lost their lives in crashes involving a drunk driver.

That’s why December has been designated National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, a time to raise awareness about the consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. In issuing his proclamation, President Obama urges every American to “dedicate ourselves to driving safely and responsibly, and to promoting these behaviors among our family and friends.” Click here to read the proclamation.

No one thinks that their holiday celebration will end in tragedy. But for those who include alcohol in their celebrations and then get behind the wheel, this is too often the case.

MADD has these tips to help ensure everyone’s safety this holiday season:

  • Make sure to always plan ahead for a safe way home, especially if your plans involve alcohol. Even one too many drinks increases the risk of a crash—it’s just not worth it. If you’ve been drinking use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member or use public transportation.
  • If someone you know is drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel. Your actions may save someone’s life. Click here to review our tips on how to prevent someone from driving drunk.
  • Just because you made the right decision to drive sober, others on the road may not have. Always buckle up, drive with caution, and don’t hesitate to call 911 to report a suspected drunk driver. It is your business. Getting drunk drivers off the roads saves lives.

And don’t forget… you can also do your part to remind others to designate a non-drinking driver by displaying one of our Tie One on for Safety ribbons. Contact your local office to find out how to get a red ribbon for your car.

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Black Wednesday

In the bar industry and law enforcement, tonight is know as  “Black Wednesday . The Wednesday night or Thanksgiving Eve has emerged as one of the biggest alcohol drinking nights of the year, second only to New Year’s Eve.

Please take some time to talk to your with your kids and young adults about alcohol. As always remember to plan ahead for a safe way home before you start drinking.




Dealing with Grief during the Holidays

originally posted in on November 28, 2012

Holiday-GriefFor many people, this is a season of celebrations.  However, the holidays are often a difficult time for those of us who are bereaved and coping with loss.  Many bereaved and injured people face this season with apprehension often in fear of their emotional reactions to what are supposed to be happy, memorable events.

A common question asked by those mourning a loved one or struggling to make sense of other losses is, “How can I get through the holidays?”  There is no single answer of what we should or should not do, but it is important that we consider what activities are comfortable for us to participate in during the holidays.

Here are some suggestions for people experiencing bereavement and/or injury for coping during the holidays:

  • Plan ahead for the approaching holidays.  Accept that this might be a difficult time for you.  The additional stress this season brings may impact you emotionally, physically and spiritually.  These are normal reactions.  Be prepared for rushes of emotions that may occur.

  • Recognize that the holidays might not be the same as they were in the past.  Expecting everything to seem the same might lead to disappointment.  Modify or make new traditions if it feels right. Just remember to include others who are grieving, especially children, in decisions.

  • Don’t overwhelm or over commit yourself. Give yourself a reprieve. Take time for yourself and take care of yourself. Take it slow and easy, one step at a time.

  • Be careful not to isolate yourself. It is all right to take time for yourself, but try not to cut yourself off from the support of family and friends.

  • The holidays may affect other family members. Talk to others as you make plans and share your feelings. Respect other’s choices and needs, and compromise if necessary.

  • Expect to experience some feelings of emotional pain. When the feelings come, let them.

  • Accept a few invitations to be with close family or friends. Choose the ones that sound most appealing at the time and decline the ones that feel more like an obligation.

  • Talk about your feelings. Let people know if you are having a tough day.

  • Share your favorite stories with others and make a toast or light a candle in honor and remembrance.

When everyone else appears so happy and cheerful, it is easy to feel alone.  You may feel out of sorts with the holiday season.  Recognizing that the holidays can be painful often helps ease that sense of isolation. If you need any additional assistance, please call 1-877-MADD-HELP (877-623-3435).  MADD is just one call away. 


It’s Red Ribbon Week


redribbonToday, I’m joining teens, parents, teachers, and other citizens across America in celebrating Red Ribbon Week (October 23-31), the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation. #RedRibbonWeek


Encourage your Teens to Lead Drug and Alcohol Free this Red Ribbon Week

Originally postted

Every October during Red Ribbon Week – just in time for homecoming and the holidays – schools and communities across the country encourage young people to live a drug-free life. This year for Red Ribbon Week, MADD is launching new resources to help teens, educators and community members empower teens to take a stand against underage drinking.

One important resource for teens is The 411 on Teen Drinking. This booklet, sponsored by State Farm®, contains useful information to help teens resist peer pressure, influence other teens to not drink before age 21 and never get in the car with someone who’s been drinking.

Every person who downloads our teen booklet, The 411 on Teen Drinking, in the month of October will be entered to win a new Apple Watch in 2015!

Help us reduce the deaths and injuries that come from underage drinking by visiting to download all of our free Red Ribbon Week resources and learn how you can get involved in your community.

madd_teen _handbook


– See more at:


Red Ribbon Week Ideas for Parents

Here are some ideas to make this year’s Red Ribbon Week celebration the best yet!


  • Use Red Ribbon Week as an opportunity to continue talking to your kids about drugs. Let them know that alcohol and drug use will not be tolerated.
  • Work with the PTSA To Plan a School-Wide Red Ribbon Rally.
  • Enter the Red Ribbon Photo Contest for a chance to win an iPad for you and your family – and $1,000 for your child’s school.
  • Encourage your kids and other students to take a stab at creating the 2014 National Red Ribbon Theme. Gain national recognition and $500 of Red Ribbon theme merchandise for your child’s school. This year’s theme was created by a middle school student in Solon, Ohio!
  • Use our social media tips to post Red Ribbon Week messages on your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
  • Watch Natural High’s free celebrity drug prevention videos with your child and use their discussion questions to have a conversation with them about drugs and alcohol.
  • Secure and take inventory of your medicine cabinet to prevent prescription drug abuse.
  • Write an article about the importance of Red Ribbon Week in your school’s Parent Newsletter.
  • Contact a local governmental official about declaring October 23rd-31st Red Ribbon Week in your community.
  • Work with your teachers to plan fun celebration days during Red Ribbon Week, such as Wear Red Day, Put A Cap On Drugs (Hat Day), Put A Sock On Drugs Day, Be On A Drug Free Team Day (Wear Your Favorite Team Gear), Shade Out Drugs Day (Wear Sunglasses), etc. Encourage your friends to participate.
  • Bring Red Ribbons to your place of work.
  • Sign the Red Ribbon Pledge.
  • Organize a Miles of Quarters Campaign to support prevention.
  • Get to know the parents of your children’s friends. Work together to set boundaries and monitor behavior.
  • Insert Your Best Idea Here. Add suggestions to the comment section below. We’ll filter out the best and add them to this list!

images and information from


Win $1,000.00 for your school and an iPad for your Family


According to the National Survey of Drug Use Health’s Summary of National Findings, almost 9% of youth ages 12 -17 in the United States use illegal drugs.  The study further shows that early parent involvement and  a strong disapproval from parents could have the prevented substance abuse by 96%. Wow, those statistics are eye opening. We need to talk to our children about this.

I will be sharing upcoming post about Red Ribbon week, October 23 – 31st, 2014 in support on going efforts within the our families to prevent drug and alcohol use. We must educate ourselves and our children. The first fun thing that I’m sharing is National Family Partnership (NFP)  Annual Red Ribbon Week Photo Contest.

The contest encourages families and schools across the country to participate by decorating your home with this years Red Ribbon Campaign theme –” Love yourself. Be Drug Free”.  The contest promotes a fun and easy way to open up conversation about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. 

Ten families across the country will be selected to entered to win  the grand prize: an iPad and $1,000 donation to a K-12 school of their choose. There will also be one prize awarded for a school decoration. 


Import Tips:

  • Submit photo to between October 1, 2014  – November. 4, 2014.
  •  You must be 18 years or older to upload the photo.
  • Ask your family, friends and classmates to vote for you, beginning on November 5, 2014.
  • Eleven winners will be announced Dec. 5, 2014.

Click here for the contest rules.

Remember to take the Red Ribbon Pledge


  1. As parents and citizens, we will talk to our children and the children in our lives about the dangers of drug abuse.
  2. We will set clear rules for our children about not using drugs.
  3. We will set a good example for our children by not using illegal drugs or medicine without a prescription.
  4. We will monitor our children’s behavior and enforce appropriate consequences, so that our rules are respected.
  5. We will encourage family and friends to follow the same guidelines to keep children safe from substance abuse.

A Rush of Emotions

Birthday’s and Anniversary’s are always hard. Contrary to the popular saying, I know first hand that “Time does NOT heal all wounds”. It’s hard for people who have never lost a son or daughter to understand the tremendous grief that resides within you.
     Time teaches you to walk with your grief. It’s hard for the people around you to understand and my hope is that they would never understand, for that would mean they are suffering the same pain.  
     Today is my handsome Son’s birthday. I remember all the wonderful, funny and silly things he did. The sound of his guitar ringing through the house, his slicked back hair and 501 jeans. I love you and miss you everyday may you play your guitar with the angels, until we meet again my son. 
 Originally posted in, September 11, 2014

As with any tragedy, there comes a time to observe the traumatic event’s anniversary. Many people believe that grief will wane with time. However, feelings of anger, guilt, isolation, loneliness, sadness and despair often occur long after the disaster. 

On the anniversary of the September 11th disaster, many people find themselves once again contemplating the event and its tragic consequences.

Life threatening trauma, including learning that a loved one has been seriously injured or killed, can provoke unsettling emotional or behavioral reactions over a long period of time.

We always say: First there’s the crash, then the lifelong impact.

For many victims the anniversary of a tragic event, no matter how many years have gone by, may make the loss more real and bring out a rush of emotions.  Often the pain increases and becomes more intense following the first anniversary.  This is a normal reaction. Grief is a journey and everyone grieves in their own way.

hands-support-2Here are a few tips to keep in mind for an anniversary of a tragic event:

  • Talk.  Unspeakable trauma becomes more manageable when it’s verbalized. Individuals who were personally affected by a tragedy, but have not talked to anyone should seek support. Those who were not personally affected but are experiencing some hypersensitivity, should also talk to someone who understands trauma.
  • Honor individual differences in trauma reaction. Your way is not the only way. Respect the different ways in which people continue to cope. People cope the best way they can.
  • Reach out and remember those more directly affected. Many people who are grieving feel that friends, family, and their community have “forgotten” about them. This can lead to increased feelings of isolation and loneliness. Reach out and listen to their stories. Although they may say the same things over and over, honor these experiences by listening rather than giving advice or telling them that “time heals all wounds.”
  • Do something to help. Recognize the possible reactions to the anniversary. Remember that those directly affected may not be the only ones to experience anniversary reactions. Emphasize that people can be helped by small deeds.  Plant a tree or perennial plant in memory of a loved one who died or in honor of someone who was injured.
  • Seek professional support.  Recognize that grieving is normal, but encourage people to seek professional support when they need it.

If you are struggling with grief, call 877.MADD.HELP to speak with a victim advocate, day or night.

– See more at:


Tips to Protect Children from Drunk Driving

Children are our greatest resource and our future. That’s why MADD is taking action to help protect the children who are needlessly put in danger every day in this country.

While drunk driving is recognized as a violent crime, driving impaired with child passengers is not commonly acknowledged as a form of child endangerment or child abuse. No one should have to ride with an impaired driver. However, children have little choice when the driver is a parent or an adult caregiver.

kidincarIf you see an adult who is visibly impaired attempting to drive with a child in the car:

  • Calmly suggest alternative transportation, recommend the driver postpone travel or offer to drive the child, if appropriate. Avoid a heated altercation that can put the child in further danger.
  • Call 911 at the time of the incident with as much information as possible (such as name of the driver, vehicle description and/or license plate, and destination). Also be sure to give them your name and contact information for responding officers.
  • Document the situation so that your notes can be used later.
  • Notify another parent or caregiver of the situation.
  • Teach children techniques for keeping themselves safe if they are ever forced to ride with an impaired driver (see below).
  • Report your concerns to state or local child protective agencies.

Here are some tips you can teach your kids or a child you know who might find themselves in a situation where they are riding with a drinking driver:

  • Sit in the back seat.
  • Buckle-up tight and use your booster seat, if needed.
  • Put all of your belongings on the floor.
  • Do not bother the driver and stay quiet.
  • Tell a trusted grown-up immediately about any unsafe ride.

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