Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Here's What I Think I'll Tell My (Older) Kids About Doing Drugs

Don't. I mean if you can, just avoid ever going down that road. I'll admit that plenty of people can and will do a little bit of drugs here and there like it's no big thing. I know a couple of people who will very occasionally do coke at a party, for instance (note: not any party I've been invited to). I'm sure there are even casual heroin users. And we know now that lots of people smoke marijuana the same way other people have a beer or two after work. And LOTS of people have a beer or two after work.

Aaaaaaand by the time this even comes up chances are the weed is going to be just as legal as the beer, but anyway.

The problem? Is that until you actually go down the road you can't know if you're one of those take or leave it types or someone who gets hooked like crazy from the first.

Kids, mom and dad are gonna know if you're on the drugs
I don't know if it's biochemical or psychological or situational a combination of all three because I never got the big appeal. I know from experience drugs can fun at parties the same way alcohol is fun at parties. But while I dabbled in the minor league stuff back in the old college days I never did meet a drug I liked more than having full control over my facilities. I'd just rather do other stuff.

Heck, contrary to what an ex who'd gotten just enough psych treatment at that point to think himself an expert said ("Watch out, you have an addictive personality!"), I couldn't even stay addicted to cigarettes after smoking a pack and a half a day once upon a time when that kind of thing was affordable.

Other people? Get the appeal.

At least he was still down with dental hygiene
But some of those people find whatever they've smoked or snorted or shot up so appealing that everything else falls away until all that's left is the appeal and eventually that's not so good anymore. And they didn't know they were going to be that sort until they were already on that road.

But back to dabbling. The way I see it some kids are going to dabble in drugs in high school and college and so if I suspect my kids have not listened to my suggestion to simply stay away, here is the advice I'm going to follow up with:

For the love of all that's good in the world, if you're going to try drugs stick to the ones that grow in the ground or were made by Big Pharma. Do not ever, ever, ever ingest something that was made in some loser's basement using pilfered chem class equipment and a toaster oven. Just because something looks like a pill or like candy does not mean that the person who made it knows how he made it or, worse, didn't decide to throw in a little something extra to make the batch go further.

Not even once.
Seriously, people. I to this day do not understand how anyone can even consider taking homemade drugs. Walter White is not making your meth in a clean room. I dabbled, sure, but taking anything home cooked was the one thing I never, ever did even when presented with the opportunity to dabble on someone else's dime. It always seemed like a ridiculous and easy-to-avoid risk.

My hope is that my kids take after me and so would probably need a very specific set of circumstances to both want to try crazy drugs and then want to keep doing them, but who knows. I know it's something we'll have to talk about soon and then again and again as they get older and have more questions. No one plans for their kids to become addicts and most parents probably do everything they can to prevent it. But it happens. May as well start thinking about it now.

What have you told your kids about drugs? How old are they? What do you plan to tell them when they're older?

8 comments:

  1. Awesome post, Christa. I think it's really important above all to open dialogue with your children. My parents had that rule with me, too, and I really think it made all the difference. They would say things like, "if you're going to drink at a party, for the love of God call us to pick you up. DO NOT get in a car drunk or go home with someone who is." And I learned to be very responsible about my drinking/dabbling. Also say no to homemade drugs, y'all. LOL @ Walter White. God, I miss that show...

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    1. That's the other one! Don't drink but if you're gonna do it CALL ME! Don't get into a car with some drunk nimrod!

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  2. We haven't talked about drugs or drinking; the subject just hasn't been brought up. We've only had sex talks and explaining testosterone. I hope that my son doesn't have any interest in drugs or alcohol so he stays smart!

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    1. I kind of feel like if kids are old enough for sex talks they're old enough for (age appropriate) drug talks. But then again, when I was in school we were gettingthe in-schol drug talks all the time to the point of "UGH another anti-drug assembly!"

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  3. I'm so deeply thankful I am from an area that isn't currently into The Meth. Now I am FAR from a pollyanna and have actually worked professionally with people in recovery... but I caught a documentary on meth by complete chance a couple of years ago and was just utterly *horrified* at the level of escalation it represented.

    Recreational drugs should be approached with caution and cognizance but many of them can be discussed on about the same level as alcohol; meth on the other hand should be discussed on the same level as chugging the bottles under the bathroom sink.

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    1. I don't *think* we have the meth in a big way around here - but where the mister is from, different story. Up where I say there are drugs in the family background... that's the drug :/

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    2. From what I understand it's moving slowly northeast .There's a bit of it in upstate NY.

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  4. I have done the "if you can grow it yourself, it's okay" thing but eventually I grew up a little and worked in mental health. You are right, there is no way to know which drugs will effect which people and how and worse we know that people randomly develop psychosis from some drugs, including marijuana, even if they've used it for years. It's probably just a bad combination of existing issues coming to the surface and interacting, but how can you know?

    I don't have kids (yet, though maybe one of these days soon enough), but I think your tactics are pretty sound, other than I see no reason to put "big pharma" alongside things that grow out of the ground. That stuff is worse than a lot of other stuff and I personally think we've allowed ourselves to be lulled by the white jackets in ads a little bit too much.

    All that being said, you will always have the drug supporters discounting everything you say because they don't want to consider that what they are doing may not be great for everyone else. Just have to raise the kids with the knowledge that you won't destroy them for needing to talk about something, I think, so they always have that go-to when the time arrives.

    I never even saw or came into contact with marijuana until I was 18 or 19 and went to Boston. I am a firm believer that NO child should consume ANY recreational drug until the brain has finished its base formation years. It's a pointless risk. Sometimes there are medical reasons for things and that's different (or it's the same and your kid doesn't need ritalin, but that's another story..)

    But that's just like, my opinion, man.

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