If you’re one of those people who thinks synthetic marijuana is safe, think again. A recent article told the story of a girl who started using it when she was 17 and is now in a drug addiction rehabilitation trying to quit. And it’s a good thing – people using this stuff have done some pretty strange things, and some of them are now dead because of it.
I went to a gathering today where the head of a Boy Scout troop was honorably mentioned because he had arranged for all Boy Scouts and their volunteer leaders to receive a handbook teaching them about drugs. That’s 2.5 million Boy Scouts, and 1 million volunteers. Anyone who’s concerned about their kids using drugs can see the obvious value in that, but it’s even more significant than you might think.
Why? Because 21 is a real turning point: If you can get a kid through their first 21 years without taking drugs, then chances are you’re not going to ever have to deal with an addict.
Specifically, according to Drug War Facts, 28 percent of those who use drugs before age 15 are going to become addicts somewhere along the line, compared to 4.3 percent of those who don’t use drugs before the age of 21, if at all.
Heroin addiction, addiction to any drug, can be overcome. But if you choose the wrong drug addiction treatment center or method, the chances of success are greatly reduced.
An article was published a while back in the newspaper about a father whose 20-year-old daughter died of a heroin overdose. He has now retired from his business, is the president of a drug addiction prevention group, and tells his story in schools and other venues to help prevent the same from happening to others.
Any woman who takes drugs of any sort and who could possibly get pregnant needs to know what could happen to their baby as a result of mom’s drug use. According to Perinatal Quality Collaborative of North Carolina, three out of five babies who were exposed to drugs during mom’s pregnancy are born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), and can expect to go into withdrawal anywhere from within minutes to 72 hours after birth. Here is what the babies will experience.
Many parents – not all – ask themselves whether or not their kid taking drugs is their fault. Even those who put a lot of thought and effort into doing their best start second guessing some of their decisions when they find themselves worrying about what’s happening, or what will happen, to their kids when they’re drinking, taking illegal drugs, using prescription drugs recreationally, and so on. But what does ‘kids taking drugs’ really have to do with parenting?
Family plays a big part in whether or not kids get on drugs and drink alcohol. If parents educate themselves and their kids about drugs, for example, the kids are 50 percent less likely to get involved in drugs than kids who don’t have that advantage. But another aspect of family life that makes a huge difference is whether or not kids eat with their parents. In fact, the more often they do, the lower the chances of them taking drugs, and even being associated with those who do. Let’s look at the research.
There are always news articles and other stories about the dangers of marijuana. And they’re often responded to, online, primarily by supporters. People who say marijuana is not harmful – that no one has DIED from marijuana, as they have from so many other drugs. Okay, it might be true that no one has died, but that doesn’t mean it’s not harmful. A report from Colorado – where recreational marijuana was legalized nevertheless – shows exactly what I’m talking about.
You may be surprised at how many people are completely unaware that they have a prescription drug addiction problem in their family or among their friends. Are you one of those people?
Given that there are about 260 million prescriptions written for highly addictive opioid painkillers every year – enough to keep the entire adult population of the U.S. drugged for a month – you can imagine how many people are using prescription painkillers.
According to a recent article in the Seattle Times, 80 percent of the people in prison, on probation or on parole in the U.S. have addiction problems with drugs or alcohol, “often as a result of overprescribed prescriptions for painkillers.”
That’s a lot of people. As of 2013, there were 1,574,700 in prison, 731,200 in jail, 853,200 on parole, and 3,910,600 on probation. That’s more than 7 million people under the control of the U.S. Corrections system.
You often hear of parents who didn’t know their kid was taking drugs until the call came from the ER at the local hospital, the police, or someone else telling them their kid is in serious trouble. The parents think their kids would never take drugs or, if they did, they would be open and honest about it. They’re shocked to find out that their kids have been taking drugs for a year or two, maybe longer. How can parents be so disconnected from what’s going on in their kids lives?
One of the major reasons is that parents have an image of drug-users that does not include their kids.
They see drug users as kids from horrible homes with horrible problems like parents who take drugs, drink excessively, abuse their kids or neglect them. Or maybe they’re extremely poor and the parents are constantly stressed out trying to keep up with things.