A recovering addict wrote an email message to me. This is part of it: I started drinking at twelve and doing light drugs at thirteen, heavier drugs after that. My school was the perfect place because many parents and teachers didn’t recognize drug use when it was right in front of them. I didn’t make the decision to get myself together until midway through my junior year and it was another student and her mom who helped me through it.
My personal reflection on the passage above offering my thoughts today: Many kids experiment with alcohol and drugs at an early age. Jeff started smoking pot and drinking during his middle school years. Some research documents that at least fifty percent of children under the age of fourteen have tried marijuana at least once. This doesn’t mean they’ll become addicts, but it does mean that young children are experimenting with drugs and alcohol.
There are at least two important messages that seem clear: 1. Education is critical for teachers, parents and children, and 2. When the child, who is using drugs, decides for himself that he wants to ‘get himself together,’ someone needs to stay close. We adults need to recognize the red flags of drug abuse and offer a helping and compassionate hand.
Today’s Promise: Denial comes in many ways, but I can learn to recognize the signs of drug use. I will educate myself and I will be vigilant. More importantly, I’ll talk with my child in an open and honest way.405