Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Honest Answers From Young and Recovering Alcoholics

Some honest answers from young and recovering alcoholics. (via
Posted by Upworthy on Monday, December 28, 2015

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Ugly Sweaters, Gifts and Inspiration

Our December event included guest speaker Kenny Spear, a raucous gift exchange and some of the ugliest Christmas sweaters ever created. 

The event also helped students know they are not the only ones who don't think that drinking and drugs are inevitable parts of the high school experience. Never underestimate the importance and power of encouragement.

Kenny explained how the difference between being liked and being respected helps people make intelligent, mature decisions.  While it's easy to be liked, being respected is more difficult because it demands courage and maturity. Kenny's story was inspiring and by the grace of God he was able to share his addiction with prescription drugs and heroin. He also shared that by the grace of God, Christ has forgiven all of his sins and that he is a redeemed child of God. 

This night was a tremendous blessing.

Yes, this was the Ugly Christmas
Sweater Champion
One dollar buys more than you think.
Unfortunately, it didn't buy Jack a new hat.

The Advent hymn, "Comfort, Comfort, Ye My people" offers the hope we all need.

"Comfort, comfort ye My people,
Speak ye peace," thus saith our God;
"Comfort those who sit in darkness,
Mourning 'neath their sorrows' load. 
Speak ye to Jerusalem 
Of the peace that waits for them;
Tell her that her sins I cover
And her warfare now is over."

Friday, November 27, 2015

Example's Christmas Party

It's the most wonderful time of the year because... Example's Christmas Party will be Saturday, December 12 from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Rummage through Aunt Ethel's Christmas sweaters to find the perfect ensemble. That way the judges will have no other option than to pick you and your Christmas sweater ugliness as the 2015 Ugly Christmas Sweater Champion.
There will also be a Christmas gift exchange.  Bring a wrapped Christmas gift.  It can be clever, creative, odd, slightly used, funny and inexpensive.

Example Alumni: We would love for you to join us and share how Example has helped you in life after LHN.

The cost for the event is $3.00.  Lutheran North students only.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

This is MUST SEE tv.

On Tuesday November 17th, Karen Drew and WDIV will be covering topics of addiction, opiates, Narcan and much more all day long during their newscasts.The topics being covered will be
6 a.m. on Schools,
4 p.m.Legislative and their involvement,
5 p.m.Athletes,
5:30 p.m.on Narcan, 
6 p.m. Dentist,
11 p.m. on Seniors.

WDIV will also be holding a phone bank and web chat from 4 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. with members of FAN , CARE of Southeast Michigan and Brighton Center for Recovery taking calls. Please don't miss this full day of coverage. Thank you Karen Drew and WDIV!!!!

Also, on Monday November 16th, Dr McGeorge will also have an 11 pm story on this topic.

Thank you, Families Against Narcotics for sharing this information.  

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Great Speakers. Great Information. Great Event.

Buckle up, people.  
Example is going to host what might be its best event ever.  That's not hyperbole; it's fact. 
Need proof?  Here's proof:
  • In 2010 more than 12 million people reported using prescription painkillers non-medically.  (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services).
  • Prescription drug abuse is the fastest-growing drug problem facing our Nation today (
  • For the first time in our history, the number of overdoses has surpassed automobile fatalities (
Fact: Prescription drug abuse is a problem.
Fact: Publishing facts about prescription drug abuse isn't an effective way to solve the problem

And that's exactly why on Wednesday, September 23 from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. in Lutheran North's gym,
Dr. Joseph Naughton, Director of Medical Education at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital, and 
Willie Kalousdian, a person in recovery and the Director of Youth in Recovery for Families Against Narcotics, will share information and encouragement about how you can avoid prescription drug abuse.  

The event is free.  The information is free.  The encouragement is free. 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

What do you think you know about prescription drugs?

Channel 7's Anu Prakash recently aired a segment that all high school students, high school parents, high school teachers and administrators need to watch.
(WXYZ) - "Not even a year ago, I was living out of my car. Not a penny to my name. I was addicted to heroin," says Brittany Sherfield.
It's an addiction that almost killed the 24-year-old.
Her problems started when she got hooked to prescription pills at age 17. But when that got too expensive, she turned to heroin.
"I overdosed 3 times. One time, I didn't think I was going to pull through," she says.
However, Sherfield did pull through. She realized something had to change.
Going to rehab a few times was part of the process. She's been sober for 9 months now. She says she also got involved with the organization called FAN, or Families Against Narcotics.
"It's hard sharing personal story, but it's so rewarding. I helps keep me sober," she says. "It keeps me going." 
Watch the entire segment below and then plan on attending Example's Prescription Drug Information Night on Wednesday, September 23 from 6:30 - 7:30 in Lutheran North's gym.

Dr. Joe Naughton, Director of Medical Education at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital and Willie Kalousdian, a person in recovery and Director of Youth in Recovery for Families Against Narcotics, are the evening's speakers.

Contact John Brandt,, if you have any questions.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Learn About the Dangers of Prescription Drugs

According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, prescription drug abuse is the fastest-growing drug problem facing our nation today.

What can you do?  Plenty. Start by attending Example's prescription drug presentation. 

On Wednesday, September 23 from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m., Lutheran North’s anti-drug/alcohol group, Example is hosting two speakers from Families Against Narcotics who will share their professional and personal insights about the dangers of prescription drug abuse and what students, athletes and parents can do to prevent it.

 Dr. Joseph Naughton has been a family physician in Macomb County since graduating from Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine (MSUCOM) in 1989.  In 2002, he was appointed as the Director of Medical Education at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital.  Dr. Naughton's main role with FAN is to develop and deliver educational programs for physicians, health care professionals, medical students, high school students and other community organizations.

Willie Kalousdian has been a member of FAN since 2012, and joined as a person in recovery. He is a recent graduate of Eastern Michigan University and works as a field engineer for a local construction company. Willie has been an active speaker for FAN since joining and continues his support now as the Director of Youth in Recovery. 

4 reasons 
why you should attend 
Example's Prescription Drug Presentation

·       More than 12 million people reported using prescription painkillers non-medically in 2010.  (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services)
·       According to a 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), prescription drugs are the number one choice to get high among 12-13 year- olds and one in five high school students report misusing prescription drugs. Furthermore, the study shows that over 70 percent of people who abuse prescription medications get them from friends or relatives.
·       Prescription drug abuse is the fastest-growing drug problem facing our Nation today (
·       For the first time in our history, the number of overdoses has surpassed automobile fatalities (

Monday, August 10, 2015

Drug Disposal Sites in Macomb County

So several years ago you tweaked your hamstring. 


"That's for babies. I've got no time for stretching. Bring it!"

Well, IT was brought and your hamstring and/or clavicle and/or funny bone suffered the consequences. Oh, it wasn't anything too serious and your doctor helped the healing process with a prescription for pain medication.

Now that you have healed, what do you do with the pain medication you no longer need?  Drop it off at one of these stations in Macomb County.

Why?  Watch this video below...

Monday, July 27, 2015

Run, Example, Run

On Saturday Example participated in FAN's Run Drugs Out of Town event.  Current and former Lutheran North students showed up to support families who have been impacted by drug abuse.  Thank you to Lutheran North students, parents and alumni for supporting both Example and Families Against Narcotics.
It was a great day to help run drugs out of town!

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Parents, this post is for you

This article written by Sue Birkenshaw and published on Narconon's Addiction and Recovery blog is something we would rather not have to know about.  However, the more information we know about drug use the better we can help people avoid its tragic consequences. 

where would you find drugs in this room
If you’ve ever suspected one of your children of using drugs, you may have tried going through their pockets and their backpacks for pills, weed or other drugs. The sad truth is that any teen who wants to hide drugs has the ability to hide them so well that even a thorough search by a concerned parent won’t find them.
How do they figure out where to put them? If they have the ability to access the internet for research or to buy a book, they have access to detailed instructions on how to hide drugs (or anything else) in places parents are unlikely to ever check.
A quick search of the resources available will give any parent a sinking feeling when they consider trying to confiscate drugs from a child who really wants to keep them hidden. Online forums dedicated to the use of drugs are a fertile place to start looking at the instructions available. Here’s just a few of the hiding places suggested by these sites:
1. Inside a dried-out marker or highlighter. Just cut out the foam and replace with drugs.
2. Behind a plate covering a light switch or electrical outlet.
3. Inside a disposable lighter. Just pull off the plastic cover on the bottom.
4. Above the ceiling, accessed through a bathroom vent.
5. Inside air conditioner ducts.
6. Buried in the back yard.
7. Inside old VHS or cassette cases.
8. Inside electronic devices like computer cases, speakers, game devices.
9. Inside a stick deodorant case, lip balm case or other similar item.
10. Hollow out an old iPod and fill it up.

Specially Purchased Items Enable Easy Concealment

There’s even specially made underwear with a zipper pocket for concealing anything from drugs to cash. One person advised others trying to smuggle drugs into drug-free music festivals that this underwear was his usual solution. Pre-hollowed lighters for drug storage (that will still light a cigarette or joint) can be purchased on, along with hollowed pens, hairbrushes, car cigarette lighters and even brand name water bottles that allow you to hide drugs under the section covered by the label. Just go to and type in “diversion.” You’ll find more than a thousand results for concealment. Some may be specifically designed to hide cash or firearms, but any of them can be used to conceal drugs, often in plain sight.
Something as innocent looking as a metal travel mug could provide a hollow container for concealing enough drugs to get through the day. If this mug is carried into work, no one will even give it a second glance. Fake sprinkler heads could be buried in the yard and never create suspicion, but allow someone to hide a small stash outside the home.
Perhaps the most distressing resource on hiding drugs is a series of videos on YouTube created by a former police officer. These videos provide instruction on how to hide your drugs in your car. This officer spent several years busting people for possession of drugs before deciding to make these videos. He even offers a video on hiding the heat emissions from illegal indoor marijuana grows so a building will never get raided.

So What Are Your Options?

You have a few choices. The first is to become just as adept as your child at hiding drugs. Especially if you have already found your child using or hiding drugs, you may not really have a choice. Do the same research your child may have done, make a list of possible hiding places and then look for the same items in your home, your child’s room or on her person. Try going to any search engine and typing in “where can I hide drugs from my parents.”
This Akron, Ohio newspaper reports on a display offered by a local children’s hospital that teaches professionals in the area to identify hiding places in a child’s room: The educational display recreates a typical teenager’s bedroom and then invites parents and professionals to find the concealed items. This educational opportunity is often offered by anti-drug coalitions and law enforcement groups around the country. Watch your local newspaper for any such displays in your area.
If you have the means, you can consider hiring a company to screen your home with a drug-sniffing dog from time to time. You can learn more about this activity in this article from National Public Radio:
A better choice is to help your son or daughter leave drugs behind. This may have to be a gradual process but is the best possible solution. If your child is over 18 years old, Narconon can help. There are Narconon drug rehab centers in several parts of the US and others in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and South America. For those who are under 18, find a reputable teen program with recommendations from several parents who have sent a child there.
If you have a young teen, start now to teach them how dangerous drugs can be. Be truthful and don’t exaggerate the dangers. If you need some guidance on how to start this conversation, this guide can help and is free to read online:
The Narconon Parent Center has many other resources to help you prevent drug abuse by your children. You can find those resources here:
We understand that keeping children drug-free until they are adults is more challenging today than it ever was in the past. We offer our these resources for your success.

About Sue Birkenshaw

Sue Birkenshaw has worked with Narconon in the drug prevention and rehabilitation field for nearly three decades and has extensive experience in drug education programs with both school based programs as well as broad public outreach.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Today's To-Do List

Today's to-do list: 

Attend FAN's presentation, Operation Rx: Solution to the Silent Epidemic 
at 7:00 pm at the Clinton Macomb Library, North Branch.

Families Against Narcotics has been a great resource for Example.   FAN has addressed our student body and parents numerous times.  This is a presentation you do not want to miss.

Go here for more information

Find out how you can help reduce prescription drug abuse.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Where do you store prescription drugs?

Your unused medication doesn't always go unused. Remember to always store your prescriptions securely and dispose of them properly when they are no longer needed.  
Awareness is key...

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Athletes Abusing Stimulants Warned of Summer Overheating Dangers

Parents, coaches and athletes:

Are you aware of the risk that stimulants like Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta and Vyvanse "may have the dangerous effect of clouding one’s perception of heat stress. In other words, a person may be suffering from increased stress from a hot day combined with their own exertion and not even be aware of it"?

"Parents who learn about this risk need to talk to their kids about the effects of abusing these stimulants and the increased heat injury risk that accompanies their use. This is especially true of someone who is engaged in athletics over the summertime."

Read more about this risk and what you can do as a parent, coach and athlete.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Help Example Run Drugs Out of Town

Lace up your running shoes or tighten the walking shoes and be a part of this great event.   Families Against Narcotics is hosting its annual Run Drugs Out of Town event.  Sign up with Team Lutheran North Example and meet us at Fraser High School on Saturday, July 25.
Compete in the 5k or 10k race.
Enjoy the comforts of a 5k walk.
Choose any three options for a win/win/win.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Kicking and Screaming Their Way to a Championship

Kudos to team Kicking and Screaming as members of this eclectic band of kickballers kicked and screamed their way to the 2015 Example Kickball Championship.
On a beautiful May afternoon Example hosted its last event of the school year. Their were laughs, outs, errors, laughs, pizza, disputes, dispute resolutions, pizza, laughs and plenty of encouragement to have fun without the pressure and potentially tragic decisions of using drugs and alcohol.

Seniors, thank you for being a part of Example.  Your leadership and desire to make a difference helps make Example successful. God's continued blessings and protection as you move into the next phase of life.  Remember, you are always welcome to any event.  Check this blog, Facebook or Twitter to see the schedule of events.  For those of you attending college, we would love to invite you back to Lutheran North and share your experiences about the importance of living a drug and alcohol free life on campus.

Have a fun and safe summer.  We will see you in the fall.


Saturday, April 25, 2015

More Example Encouragement for Prom

Hello, everyone. 
My name is Tyler and I would like to tell you why I will not be just another silent voice in the crowd. 
I invite you to join me in not drinking before, during, or after prom. It may seem that all anyone can talk about at this time of the year is where the good parties are and where the best place is to get “totally smashed.” But the truth is, a lot of people actually make the decision NOT to drink at prom, even if drinking seems to be the only way to be cool, fit in, keep up your street cred, or whatever. 
Honestly, why would you want to just blend in and be like everyone else Where’s the fun in that? If drinking at prom seems to be the thing that everybody’s doing, I encourage you to be yourself…because everyone else is already taken. 
The choice that you make on prom night is your own – not anyone else’s – so that means that you must deal with the consequences. 
Thank you and have a great prom.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Vocal Majority is Getting Larger and Louder

Hi everyone,
I’m Kayla and I will not be drinking before, during, or after prom this year.

“People of character do the right thing even if no one else does, not because they think it will change the world but because they refuse to be changed by the world.”  As Christians, we are constantly told not to conform to the patterns of this world.  For those of you who are already planning on staying sober on prom night, I affirm you for taking such a bold step.  Contrary to former belief, those of you who made this decision are in fact a part of the majority, so don’t be discouraged just because the biggest parties are always the stories that sell.  On the very first day of Prom week, nearly forty students made the decision not to drink after prom, and therefore signed the PROMise contracts that Mr. Brandt has been advertising.  Not only does it make us accountable for our actions, but it also encourages others to follow the Example that is set simply by our signatures.  What a great way for us to witness to our classmates!  Whether you sign a contract or not, I hope you make a decision that will be pleasing in the eyes of your parents, teachers, and God on Prom night.
 Seniors, you’ve finally made it to your last LHN dance, and one of your final milestones in high school. Congratulations!

I hope you all have an amazing time at Prom tomorrow, and truly make the night a safe and memorable experience for all the right reasons.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Meet Some of the Vocal Majority

Example is doing everything it can to encourage other students not to drink or use drugs during prom this weekend.  Each day before chapel, several students face the entire student body and explain why they have decided to avoid drugs and alcohol during Prom weekend. The goal is to encourage students and help them realize that the majority does not drink or use just to have a good time.
These students are using their courage and their voices to create a vocal majority.

On Monday, Lauren shared these words with LHN: 

Hi, everyone.  My name is Lauren and I'm choosing not to drink at Prom.

I want to encourage you all to remember the love from God that we are shown daily.  In response to this love, we need to love others and follow His commands.  We can love others by looking out for our friends on Prom night and by not putting any of them in dangerous situations involving alcohol.

We can follow God's commands by not engaging in underage drinking that is harmful to our bodies, and to those around us.  We are blessed to be surrounded by teachers and peers that care about us and want us to succeed.  In order to succeed, we need to make God-pleasing decisions and encourage others to do the same.
So have fun at Prom and if you are put into a difficult situation, remember the love God has for you, trust that He knows what's best for you and make your decision based on His will.

On Tuesday, Nicole addressed the student body: 

My name is Nicole Ignasiak and I will not be drinking before, at or after prom this year.  I’m not going to stand up here and tell you guys why you shouldn’t drink.  Instead, I’m just going to tell you a few reasons why I’m not going to drink at prom.  As a senior, this is one of my last big events at North before graduation and I want to remember every part of it.  I don’t want to think of it as a great night just because I was drinking or just because others told me it was a good night. I really want to remember it.  I also don’t want to risk getting in trouble on such an important night. 

Trust me, cops know it’s prom season.  They’re not dumb. My track coach is a cop and he tells the team every year how busy he is this time of the year and all the different ways he can pull someone over if he suspects drinking. 

I also don’t want to risk harming myself or others. I don’t want to harm this body that God has entrusted me with.  I don’t want to purposely poison and damage it. I truly believe that I am a unique child of God full of potential washed in the blood of Christ and I don’t need to compromise that by drinking at prom.

Thank you

Monday, April 20, 2015

Example PROMise: 2015

Nearly forty students signed the Example PROMise
on the first day of Prom week.
A great way to encourage students not to drink or use drugs during Prom week is the Example PROMise.  Students going to prom sign the Example PROMise and they are placed in North's main hallway.
It's important students know they are not the only ones staying away from drugs and alcohol. A lot of students don't drink or use drugs. Example wants to make the quiet majority a vocal majority and this is one way to accomplish that goal. It also offers encouragement to students because they see that they are not the only ones holding these values.

Students signing the Example PROMise, promise to...

  • Not drink or use other drugs during this Prom weekend
  • Encourage friends to make the same God-pleasing decisions
  • Realize the life-saving decisions to not drink or use drugs goes beyond Prom weekend
  • Cherish all the blessings they have through Christ and respond to the unconditional and eternal love of their Savior by being an "Example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity."
Students can stop by Mr. Brandt's room all week to sign an Example PROMise and receive a free Example wristband.

Prom Week: Day 1

Each year during Prom week Example offers a lot of encouragement, examples and reasons why drinking and drugs do not need to be a part of Prom.
This morning, Lauren spoke to the entire student body and explained how she was going to have a great time at Prom without drugs or alcohol.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Former Boston Celtic and recovering addict shares his experiences and offers hope

"The reason those who stay home might feel like they’re missing out, he said, is because the ones who are making poor choices are more open to publicizing their behavior. The kids who are watching a movie with their parents on Friday night aren’t taking as many selfies documenting the experience, according to Herren.
'"Everybody else doesn’t do it,” he said of drug and alcohol use, “It’s just the kids that do blast it out and make people feel like they’re missing out."'

Read the rest of the article about Chris Herren's visit to Dana Hall School and the advice he offered. 

Prom is around the corner.  Help Example help others realize they can have a lot of fun at prom without alcohol and drugs.
Help make this year's prom, one that students can remember. Literally.