How to Help Teenagers Say “No” to Drugs & Alcohol
IN A CULTURE OF SELF-GRATIFICATION
Station KYW/TV in Philadelphia recently aired a program called “How Honest Are Kids Today?” I served as one of several panel members who were asked to comment on issues such as why kids lie and whether that’s a bigger problem than it used to be. When the discussion turned to drugs, the host took phone calls from the viewing audience. The first caller was a girl, and the dialogue went like this:
Girl: I’m a teenager, and I do drugs.
Host: How old are you?
Host: Why do you do drugs?
Girl: I like them. I like the way I feel when I take them.
Host: What drugs do you take?
Girl: Cocaine. Pot. Speed.
Host: Uh…do your parents know you take these drugs?
Girl: No. If they ever knew, they’d say, “You’re outs here!” I wouldn’t want that.
Host: Where do you get the drugs? How do you pay for them?
Girl: I don’t. My friends give them to me. Sometimes I get them from my boyfriend.
Host: Wouldn’t you like to stop doing drugs?
Host: Don’t you consider yourself an addict?
Girl: I’m not addicted. I haven’t done cocaine in two weeks. Right now I’m just smoking pot and drinking.
I reported this dialogue to a class of my undergraduate education students, only two years out of high school themselves. “I’m not shocked by that,” one of my students said. “I knew a lot of kids in high school who did drugs all the time, and their parents didn’t have a clue.”
Others explained that it’s easy to hide marijuana and alcohol use with perfume and breath fresheners, and that a lot of kids just go to their rooms and don’t see their parents very much anyway. I asked what percentage of their friends in high school did drugs on a regular basis — at least once a week. About half, they said. How many were into drinking on a weekly basis? More than 75 percent. When did the drinking start? Eighth grade. How about the drugs? Ninth grade.
Enjoyed reading this?
READ MORE! REGISTER TODAYSUBSCRIBE
You May Also Enjoy
John Allen insists that while the Dutch tolerate vice, they don't necessarily approve of it.
Atlas Shrugged. By Ayn Rand.
Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand’s magnum opus, might be the most perplexing…
Msgr. Mannion's mother isn't afraid to offend people, so why is he?