Teaching Kids About Drugs

Jayce - posted on 05/07/2011 ( 7 moms have responded )




This is inspired by Katherine's post about alcohol. I read this article awhile ago and the alcohol post made me think of it.


Home Parenting “So, did you inhale?”
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“So, did you inhale?” Chris Howe

Wednesday 30 March 2011 11:35am

(194)(23)(482)When was the last time you took a drug? Smoked a bong? Popped a pill? Was it a party on the weekend or was it 15 years ago? If you have kids now or in the future how will you handle the inevitable “so mum/dad did you take drugs?”

This is how writer and dad Chris Howe plans to handle it. He writes:

“Not only do I expect that my children will take drugs in the future, I reckon they’ll enjoy them. To me, that’s a reasonable position, not too far from saying, “While I know that alcohol abuse is rife in Australian society, I believe my child will be able to handle it”.

I’m thirty-six. People know I’m a family guy at work. I’ve got two daughters and two more children on the way. I work in a large, stable corporate office yet I bet that it would only take a few enquiries and I could have the drug of my choice within a week. If I picked speed, cocaine or ecstasy, I bet I could have it brought to my desk by the morning of the next working day.

Drugs are everywhere. In two of my jobs, my direct supervisor has also been a drug dealer. So, no matter what job your child gets, what education they have or where they choose to live – drugs will be available and offered to your children.

Yet of all the talks, the ‘Drug Talk’ is the most problematic.

The ‘Sex Talk’ and the ‘Car Talk’ have been cornerstones of teen parenting for decades, and of course the ‘Internet Talk’ is the new conversation between parents and eight-year-olds. But these talks need to occur because we know that eventually, all our kids will get online, drive a car and have sex.

But the Drug Talk can be avoided. Perhaps your parental approach is zero-tolerance, or you’d rather let the education department handle it. Maybe you believe your child won’t take drugs. Whatever the case, it’s not a popular chat. And, when it comes down to it, few parents would claim to be anything but anti-drug, which in my case will be… ahem… hypocritical.

If I had to sum up my experiences around drug use it would be this: mostly positive, ta very much.

But I’m aware I’ve approached teen and early adult drug use from the best possible position. I’ve only used drugs as a social tool, not as an escape. I was solid middle-class born, Canberra-raised in a high-employment stable community. Neither money nor addiction has ever been an issue.

So I’m also aware that I’ve dodged bullets, when others haven’t. My life has turned out fine while others are ruined. I’ve been able to walk away when others couldn’t. I’m lucky because I’ve had excellent guides and advice, and I tend to think about shit a fair bit too, which led me to walk away from most of it in my late twenties to start a family.

As for these days, all I desire is sleep. I might not have had my last illicit pill, but the idea of staying awake for longer than I absolutely have to currently fills me with dread.

So there you have it. I’m not anti-drugs. Like anything, the ability to handle them varies from person to person and situation to situation. I acknowledge that people will have horror stories. But one of the reasons government ad scare campaigns don’t work is that the scenes they depict simply do not reflect the realities and experiences of tens of thousands of teen and adult drug users each weekend.

So, without future dithering here is my plan for the Drug Talk. I really would like feedback and discussion, especially from anyone who’s given the Drug Talk, or plans to shortly.

The talk will occur when my daughters are around thirteen. I’ve already been told this is probably too late but I think it’s the perfect time between having a pretty decent knowledge of drugs but prior to having taken them.

The guidelines I’ll suggest to my daughters:

- When people offer you drugs, talk to them about it. What’s cool about it? What’s not? How does it make you feel? How is the comedown? What happens the next day? People love being the ‘experts’ – so they’ll answer most questions honestly

- If it doesn’t sound like it will be fun, it probably won’t be

- Don’t try the addictive stuff. It’ll fuck you up

- No needles. You can’t spew up your veins

- Start small. Try a quarter pill

- The hospital is your friend. Hospitals won’t call your parents or the cops they’ll just help

- Plan ahead and manage the after-effects. Suicide Tuesday is easier to handle if you know it is called Suicide Tuesday

- Call me if you are fucked up and need help. I’ll come get you. No judging, no talking until you are sorted

So. It’s going to be a fine cussing line between education and condoning. And that’s the essential difference between the Car, ‘Net and Sex talks. We, generally, condone car driving, think the internet can be bloody useful and approve of sex between consenting adults. Drugs… not so much. A tough one, indeed.

However: I’m their parent, not their friend. It’s my job to guide them, so the talk has to happen. The government can’t do it. The education department would get destroyed in the press should they ever attempt to educate on harm minimisation. It’s up to me.

So, bring on the questions. Can you raise a never-going-to-try-drugs-ever kid? Would you want to? Is there any problem with recreational drug use? Is education condoning? Am I a complete naïve fool? Or simply an over-analysing middle-class wanker?”

Over to you…

So, what do you think?


Merry - posted on 05/08/2011




Well, I may be the small minority, but I've never taken any illegal drug of any kind. And neither has my husband. We both have never had a single puff of a cigarette, and neither drank a drop of alcohol until legally allowed. (21 for my husband and 19 for me as we were married and our law at the time said a spouse of age could give an underage spouse alcohol) law has since changed, but still....
So no, I don't think my kids will inevitably take drugs, hubby and I were both home schooled and firmly involved in our faith at church and I know most of my friends also haven't tried anything like that.
Our kids will similarly be home schooled and involved at church and I do believe it's possible to raise a kid who never tries any drugs.
We also have my father in law ready and willing to share his story about how he fell into every drug and serious alcohol addiction at a young age, how he went through rehab, and has since been clean and sober for 24 years and counting.
I think the mix of his story, and ours will be quite successful in helping our kids avoid all types of drugs and alcohol and smoking.

[deleted account]

My son has seen first hand what drugs - legally prescribed can do to a person. He's seen me turn into a zombie, have hallucinations, been up all night or sleep for days, been unable to drive (which means he can't go anywhere), throw up and know that I've had a seizure.

So when we talk about drugs, it's pretty much, "This is what happens when you take stuff. We're lucky that a doctor is monitoring me but when you take illegal drugs, no one will be able to make sure you're ok."

I think you make a point but I'm not sure what else I can personally do. I know he was FURIOUS and ended a friendship when he discovered a boy he knew was smoking cigarettes. So I figure I might be on to something.

ETA: I never in my life tried illegal drugs or took someone else's RX. It just wasn't something I wanted to do.

[deleted account]

Its actually very sad.A few mths back.We had to show our daughter age 5 at the time,a picture of a needle as a young toddler age 3.They had moved into our estate , the boy was playing in the garden and walked into his mom in the kitchen.She nearly dropped dead when she turned and saw him holding 3 needles, one was still full with drugs(heroin the police said).:-(

We had to teach her as we did before to not pick up anything off the ground etc but we had to make sure she knew if she saw these needles to stay back and tell us,teachers etc.To tell her friends to not pick it up.Thankfully it has not happened were she saw any.

The estate was shocked to find out when the house was empty for about 6 months prior to the family moving in, drug users were using the garden late at night.Her son was so lucky.He didn't prick himself and she called an ambulance and police straight away.

I hate drugs and i will never understand why anyone would want to take them and destroy there body&mind.:-(

Yes you can raise a never going to try drugs kid.My parents raised me..i have never taken any drugs, or smoked cigarettes.I drank occasionally from 18.I tend on doing the same with my girls.I was respected by my peers for standing up and saying no to drugs, under age drinking etc.They were there around me,& offered many a time, as girls in my class did them.I went and did all the things young teens etc do, my parents never locked me up.lol..I was never a follower.My parents thought me well.For that i am thankful for.

JuLeah - posted on 05/07/2011




That is how I will handle it. Now though, while still young, we talk about self respect. I ask her to think about the foods she puts into her body. I ask her to make choices when offered 'food like substances' from others .... I have spoken to her about what the dyes, sugar, chemicals actually do to her body. They tastes good and are fun to eat, and ... make a choice. Be good to your body, it is the only one you get. We talk about self respect around teeth brusing, hand washing, showering, warm clothes in cold weather, seal belts, sun screen ..... it is my hope that this self care will be part of her idendity by the time pot comes into her world.

[deleted account]

I think the guy sounds like an idiot.

Of course, I AM anti-drug and not hypocritical. I don't even like to take Tylenol/ibuprofen unless I REALLY need it. I've never even considered having even the slightest desire to try any illegal drug.

Do I realize that my kids might not be like me? Yep, but we'll cross that bridge if/when we ever get to it.


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Lady Heather - posted on 05/07/2011




13 is way too late, in my opinion. Don't know much about where this guy grew up, but where I live a lot of kids have tried pot at 11 and 12 years old. My husband was 10 (!!!!). So the talks will be happening around here a lot early than 13.

I'll be honest with my kids about what I did. It wasn't much. Just a bit of pot in high school and college. Not even close to a regular thing. I didn't think it was worth it. I just got really hungry and lazy. If I'd done it all the time I probably would have got really fat. HA. My husband on the other hand can't have pot. He's one of those people who just gets crazy on it. He goes all paranoid. It's scary. So we will share that with them too.

I don't want my kids trying anything else. I just don't. I don't want them taking pills because the source of those pills will always be suspect. Pot is pretty easily obtained around here from a friend's parent's yard so I feel better about that (slightly). I'd make sure they knew how dangerous it can be to try and obtain things from an unknown source. I just hope to hell my kids turn out like me and their father. We tried the stuff in a relatively safe manner (pretty easy when everyone grows it) and didn't care for it and that was that. I hope this is genetic. Ha.

Katherine - posted on 05/07/2011




So, bring on the questions. Can you raise a never-going-to-try-drugs-ever kid? Would you want to? Is there any problem with recreational drug use? Is education condoning? Am I a complete naïve fool? Or simply an over-analysing middle-class wanker?

I think you can raise a kid who is never going to try drugs if you lock them up.

I think recreational drug use is ok as long as it's just pot, but only for me.

Education can possibly be condoning...sometimes drugs are glorified.

No your not an over-analyzing middle-class wanker lol!!

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