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#13670 - 02/24/03 04:30 PM Curiousity
Dotsie Offline

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
Kids are curious about how drinking and drugging makes them feel because they hear about it in the lunch rooms and hallways at school.

The ones who partake talk about how much fun they have, how messed up someone was, how funny it was when..., feeling no stress, having a felling of who cares, letting their guards down, and freedom.

What they don't talk about is the consequences of the possibility of addiction.

Trying to keep kids clean these days is growing harder and harder.

What I want my kids to realize is that we all know people in their 40's, 50's, 60's.... who still can't face life without a drink in their hands. If kids could wait until 21 they are more likely to have faced some celebratory events, and disheartening events like getting into college, being on a championship team, the death of a grandparent, or a devastating break-up, on their own and in their right minds! They need practice at dealing with the ups and downs so they are ready for the rest that life has to offer.

Any other ideas on what to say when discussing drugs and alcohol with children of all ages?

#13671 - 02/24/03 05:50 PM Re: Curiousity
Kathryn Offline

Registered: 11/20/02
Posts: 317
Loc: Towson
You know, one of the things that teens are all about is control....exercising their autonomy and separating from us psychologically. But control is important to them. So I always try to emphasize the loss of control a person experiences when using drugs and alcohol. They are no longer in control of themselves or their surroundings when impaired. And finally, the loss of control does extend in some cases to lifelong dependence on drugs or alcohol...the ultimate loss of control.

#13672 - 02/26/03 08:11 AM Re: Curiousity
countrygirl51 Offline

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 221
Loc: Clifton, Ks. USA
Years ago, I had a friend who was a great person, but had a drug problem. She smoked marijuana, and took pills, and I don't even know what all else. She knew I didn't approve and didn't do it around me, or in our home.
When my kids were teens, she came to the house to visit after having moved away to Florida. She was really messed up and couldn't talk coherently, her movements were spastic, her thoughts disjointed. All she could talk about was how she was now clean, and hadn't touched any drugs in months. It scared my kids to death. Dennis and I talked about it, and decided perhaps it was good for the kids to have seen her like this, as she did not make a good impression on them at all. They came to me after she left and said, "if that's what drugs do to you, I want no part of them." And they haven't been drug users.
Now alcohol, that's a different story. My kids are all grown now, and they remember growing up with their dad as an alcoholic. They do drink, but in moderation. I think seeing their dad at his worst moments and my friend at hers has made a very vivid impression on them.

#13673 - 08/31/04 12:09 PM Re: Curiousity
stephy Offline

Registered: 08/22/04
Posts: 49
Loc: Los Angeles, California
I still don't get why people don't understand that drugs and drinking not only affect you but everyone around you. My aunt recently had to sell her house to pay for her sons rehab, but even now, he's still addicted. If someone can't stop doing drugs for themselve then at least do it for your family.

#13674 - 04/10/06 08:31 PM Re: Curiousity
chowhuahua Offline

Registered: 04/10/06
Posts: 30
Loc: Dallas
Originally posted by stephy:
I still don't get why people don't understand that drugs and drinking not only affect you but everyone around you. My aunt recently had to sell her house to pay for her sons rehab, but even now, he's still addicted. If someone can't stop doing drugs for themselve then at least do it for your family.

Well because doing it for your family, your friends, your spouse, kids, therapist, whoever NEVER works....It might for a little while, but it doesn't happen unless you do it for yourself

#13675 - 04/10/06 08:45 PM Re: Curiousity
Casey Offline

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 789
Loc: Aptos, California
I wish there was a magic bullet for this conversation. I was married to an alcoholic for 11 years and my younger son took his first drink at 8. I didn't know it at the time. His addiction really began to bloom in junior high and escalated most of his teen years. He was in and out of jail, rehab, etc. He's been clean and sober with one slip for a year now. He's still got legal issues because addiction is difficult.

If your kids have one or more addictive parent, they are going to be more prone to addiction of some sort or another. They have found the gene, I believe. Teens also think they can conquer everything, as someone mentioned. They haven't quite figured out that they can die.

My son was "different" and he used drugs to hide the pain. I also found out this last year that he had been abused as a little boy by a neighbor. Big pain. Big addiction.

I made it through by always loving him, but always setting boundaries. Frankly, there were times I counted the days until he turned 18. But he always had to face his consequences. I learned not to rescue. So letting your kids know up front what your consequences are if they drug/drink, and yet providing them with lots of love and support for other activities, seems to me to be the best way to go.

Stephy, your aunt didn't have to sell her house. She chose to sell her house. There's a difference. In one case your aunt is the victim. In another she has the power of choice. We all have that power.

Sorry for the long-windedness. It's a hot button! :-))

#13676 - 04/10/06 09:09 PM Re: Curiousity
smilinize Offline

Registered: 11/08/03
Posts: 3512
Loc: outer space
Physiologically speaking, the teen years are when the function of the frontal lobe and many other areas of the brain are developing. Like a muscle, the brain must be exercised to develop properly.

The frontal lobe contains the 'brakes' of our brain. It is the location of our conscience, our inhibitions, and our super ego. It is where our impulses are controlled. It must be used to develop.

It is also one of the areas most affected by drug use. As a result, it may be physiologically impossible for long term drug users to exercise impulse control or gain focus. If they are forced to use that part of their brain repeatedly as in rehab, it is possible to develop a degree of strength. But imagine what would happen if you put a cast on your child's leg before his leg muscles were developed. Or even your own leg for a long period of time. After a while, it might be impossible to regain function of the muscles. Long term drug use especially in a young developing brain can destroy the entire function of parts of the brain to the point where it can never be regained.

That same principle applies to mood altering pharmaceuticals. If the drug eliminates the need for the brain to use its 'muscles' to fight depression and develop focus, it may never become strong enough to handle the sadness of life or to focus on its own.

There is certainly therapeutic need for pharmaceuticals in some cases, but indiscriminate use of drugs that affect brain function, especially prior to adulthood when the brain is developing, scares me.


[ April 10, 2006, 02:24 PM: Message edited by: smilinize ]

#13677 - 04/10/06 09:20 PM Re: Curiousity
chowhuahua Offline

Registered: 04/10/06
Posts: 30
Loc: Dallas
Casey I do feel for your son..."big pain big addiction" is something I understand. I come from that place too...
There's just so many 'reasons' why people start drinking or using drugs. Usually as youngsters or teens it's just to fit in or to have fun. That's how it was with me, but i know that once I discovered alcohol's painkilling effects, that's kind of all she wrote for me.
I do believe you are doing right by your son by making him deal with the consequences of his own actions. So many parents enable their kids to keep on using, simply by handling all the bad things for them...Or trying to ignore what's happening, thinking they're just going through a phase or something.
I have quit drinking/drugging before but it was always because someone in my life thought I needed to & put me in rehab, then I'd always go right back to it as soon as I got out. This time (and it's still really new right now)I'm not doing it for anyone but me. I've not gotten very far yet, but the big thing I have noticed is how different it feels that I want it for myself this time.

#13678 - 04/10/06 10:27 PM Re: Curiousity
GJAX Offline

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 32
Loc: Mass,
Good for you Chowhuahua!! keep up the good work:)

#13679 - 04/10/06 10:33 PM Re: Curiousity
Dreamer Offline

Registered: 09/22/05
Posts: 194
Congratulations, Chowhuahua - it takes a great deal of strength and determination to do what you're doing. I haven't had any experience with drugs, and rarely drink; however, I have a cousin who has never been able to kick the habit. He is now 54 years old, has two ruined marriages, no job, and is living at home with his mother. That sweet lady is in counseling now - he is ruining her life as well as his own. I wish I knew how to tell him to move out and straighten up; but like you said, you have to do it for yourself. I'm proud of you.

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