America's Epidemic

People know what I stand for. I want to stop our kids from dying. –Kym Laube


I loved sitting down talking to my friend Kym Laube, who is the Executive Director of HUGS, Human Understanding and Growth Services. She is also president of the Association of Teen Institutes AND she is on Mario Cuomo’s Heroin Task Force. Just a few things going on in her life! Not to mention a husband, 3 kids and 4 dogs. (When do you sleep Kym?)

Check out the podcast and hear her inspiring story of how she got involved in helping kids navigate this life and the dangers of drinking and drugs and what can we do about the epidemic of alcohol and drug abuse in America.

I can’t post this without the caveat that I don’t mean to be a hypocrite because I did allow my kids to drink in our home after they were a certain age. But I grew up that way myselfso to me, that was just part of the culture and what we did. I was being responsible.

Stay safe, have your friends over, give me your keys. I thought I was doing all the right things.

And does it all lead to substance abuse disorders? No, but if I understood that thehuman brain is not fully developed until 25 and those teen years are crucial in the way your brain is hardwired for the rest of your life maybe we would have made different choices. But you don’t know what you don’t know.

The greatest message of this podcast is, start the conversation. It’s sometimes uncomfortable and not fun but to be open and honest with your kids about what they are facing. Remember back to when you were in their position. Did you ever lie to your parents? Not because you were a bad kid, chances are you just didn't want them to see everything you were up to because they wouldn't approve. It was your time to start to be autonomous and you wanted to do some things on your own. Let's change that paradigm and start to treat kids/young adults that sense of I respect you as a human being and I don't expect you to be perfect and I'm going to love you no matter what. Let's talk.


Get in touch with Kym and the HUGS crew at


Follow them on Facebook and on Instagram @hugsinc