I don’t often talk about them. They ruined my life before I was born, colored my early childhood and rent my adoptive family like old lace In a room full of angry cats.
In my adult life I have held a hard core No Tolerance policy.: ended romances and killed off friendships with users and active addicts .
I’ve kept my association with drugs purely professional. I’ve enrolled people in programs, found their dead and bloated bodies post overdose, called emergency teams when they didn’t die, budgeted illegal. Drugs into the social security check budgets of homeless and very poor adults, and shook people down for and confiscated their drugs and paraphernalia. I’ve been so coated with drug dust that dogs at LAX ran to me like I was Bacon Bits.
Because my mother was a chronic drug user and I lost family (biological and adopted) to drugs – parenting was especially scary for me when I realized I would be responsible for a person who might want to explore this.
The right choice for me was to explain my lack of tolerance and tell her she could try drugs if she wanted to , but she couldn’t live with me if she did. I wouk f love her but not live with a user and the best way to avoid addiction was to avoid testing them out.
Then I brought her to work with me abd let my drug users tell my 7 year old about their childhood dreams and goals and how drugs replaced those aspirations. She saw dirty needles and open abseses , burnt fingers and missing teeth.
Next, I introduced her to high functioning and employed addicts. She met Danny Bonaducce and knew he was high immediately.
Ultimately she had to make her own choice, but it was a heavily educated choice.
I am always amazed that middle school don’t address the largest reason youth keep using drugs. They may try them out of curiosity or peer pressure, but they keep using them because of how they make the user feel. This is critical since mental health issues such as Depression and Schizophrenia erupt in young teens and there is a worse stigma on mental and emotional disorders than on drug use. Being a User implies and choice. Being mentally ill stinks of powerlessness and being a victim.
When I asked the Arcadia Unified School District what it did to address this, I was informed that students who reported "feeling wierd" are sent to guidance counselors but no further action was taken. This n deans no therapy, medication, or early interventions.
If you want to prevent homelessness and school drop outs – address the issue of WHY kids do drugs as well as how they do it.
Figure out that acid can be in an eyedropper and which household chemicals are huffable. Look up huffing. And talk about this. Talk to each other, your friends and the youth in your life.
First take a moment to consider how drugs have affected your life. Which friends have been hurt by them? Do you know anyone who is happier and more successful because of drug?