A major book. A leading authority on abuse talks frankly to parents: "10 Myths That Die Hard"; "10 Most Commonly Asked Questions With Answers"; "10 Things You Can Do to Promote Drug-Free Lifestyles in Your Family"; "10 Things You Can Do to Promote Community Involvement." The author connects with both adults and young people as a writer, professor, speaker, and world class magician (which he uses to demonstrate his subject). Attractive, authoritative, and easy to read.
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Read an Excerpt
It is tempting to believe that drugs have made a desert of our world. Not only does the problem of abuse grow ever larger, we non-users are inclined to surrender to what seems inevitable: the problem is bigger than we are. Furthermore, we are intimidated by our own lack of expertise in knowing how to work at prevention or treatment.
A wasteland does surround us. But I have come firmly to believe that it does not need to overtake us. In my circuit of speaking to gatherings of young people I encounter wistful, yet well couched calls for help. These are from materially secure youth who have some troubling unanswered questions and often a barely identified bothersome vacancy within. My proposals for parents and other interested adults grow out of those insightful, often disturbing, conversations with pre-teens, teenagers, and young adults.
These are bite-sized ideas, but I believe they can help us begin foisting off this burdensome, even violent, emptiness that ends in drug abuse:
1. Get accurate answers to our questions (Chapter 1).
2. Debunk the myths (Chapter 2).
3. Do some solid groundwork at home (Chapter 3).
4. Make specific efforts in our own communities (Chapter 4).
We are not in a war against drugs. Drugs are drugs with no life of their own. They are immobile substances, promoted, perpetuated, sold and used by human beings, from young children to aging adults.
Our real war is against meaninglessness and against poverty of the soul. It is a war for the allegiance of our children. It is a war against the behavior of a society that glorifies rugged individualism and creates an unprecedented sense of isolation and loneliness for our young adults. We are doing battle to save our children from becoming "spoiled" and empty of meaning.
We are effective only to the extent that we have found meaning in our own lives. Furthermore, to help our children discover their own spiritual dimensions we must give them deliberate, focused attention over time.
Recent research about recovery from alcohol and drug dependence, as well as studies related to drug/alcohol prevention, points to the need for persons to possess spiritual awareness in order to build a solid base for not using alcohol and other drugs or to have complete recovery from their use. The spiritual nature of human beings cannot be ignored if we are to nurture whole and complete human development.
There are, however, no guarantees. Even as we do everything in our power to provide nurturing, proactive, freeing, disciplined settings for our children, some young people will make disappointing decisions. In fact, all children will make unwise choices, choices that disappoint their parents. Parents need to understand that they are not responsible for all of their childrens' poor decisions. Parents are often blamed or blame themselves for the woes of their children, creating untold guilt and shame.
This book is about avoiding panic when your children make a decision regarding alcohol and other drugs, that is different from what you taught them. This book is especially about doing the best you can and relaxing along the way.
Dr. Jep Hostetler
Faculty of Preventive Medicine
Ohio State University
10 Most Asked Questions About Drugs
Our sixth grade daughter told us that two of her best friends are smoking marijuana and drinking beer. What should we do?
This is a situation with multiple layers! Your first fear is likely that your daughter will be influenced to try the same drugs the others are using. It is true that adolescents who associate with drug-using peers are more likely to try drugs. So your first impulse is to find a way to stop your daughter from associating with the other girls. The second part of your concern has to do with how you might help the two girls change their behavior before they become attached to alcohol or marijuana.
Yes, there are things you can and should do. First of all, don't be rash. It would do little good to instantly forbid your daughter to see these friends.
You may be angry to know that there are drugs in your community and you may be disappointed that your daughter hangs out with girls who use drugs. Consider the fact that your daughter told you about the situation. She could have kept it a secret. The fact that she told you indicates that she does not approve of the behavior, and that she probably expects you to do something about it. Commend your daughter for her honesty and concern.
One of the easiest things at this point is to do nothing further with the information your daughter has given you, quietly hoping it goes away. On the other hand, you could call the girls' parents and express your concern that alcohol and marijuana are present in the school, noting that your daughter has become aware of it as well. You may ask them if their daughters have talked about it at all. This plants a seed in the parents' minds that their daughters may have seen or heard about the drugs at school, but stops short of accusing their daughters of drug use.
You may want to contact the school and inquire about what they have learned about children using drugs. Unfortunately, the school may not be too helpful. Some school administrators are quite protective of their schools, finding it difficult to admit that there are drugs in their schools. However, your phone call will have alerted them to the situation. It is a rare school that does not have some form of drug problem.
Table of ContentsTable of Contents
10 Most Asked Questions About Drugs
10 Myths About Drugs
10 Things You Can Do in Your Home
10 Things You Can Do in Your Community