It wasn't too long ago that I didn't even realize what 420 meant. Actually, I would rather I was still living in ignorance. I read about how drugs should be legalized, how the government would be able to control drugs making them safer. I just don't think so. After dealing with a child with drug issues for years, I sure wouldn't want them even more easily available to my children.
Middle school, yes middle school is where my son purchased his first drugs. It was pot and very easily available. This was a nice school in a nice neighborhood. Not a school in the middle of a drug infested neighborhood. According to my son it was also available in the elementary schools.
Honestly, I am not sure how long he had been using before I realized that he had a problem. Dealing with drug issues was very difficult. I talked with the school and they denied that there was a problem. I talked with the parent that sold to my son and he blamed my son. A few years later when his son was caught dealing at school he apologized to me and said that he wished that he had listened to me. I guess that hearing that news from a parent is hard to take and easy to deny.
I quickly realized that this was an issue that no one wanted to hear about. How quickly everyone was to judge me and my parenting abilities. It didn't matter that I had never done any drugs in my life, I didn't even smoke and very rarely drank alcohol. How quickly my church family was to turn a cold shoulder to me. When I needed support the most, everyone turned away from me. I guess everyone thinks that by cutting off from THAT family they are protecting their child. So not true, I knew which kids were using and found that talking to their parents was not helpful in any way so I learned to just worry about my own.
Drug addiction is very hard to break. It affects the entire family. There are no easy answers and it is so isolating. We spent a small fortune in a security system for the house, not to keep burglars out but to keep kids in at night. I became a jail warden. How I loved my son and wanted him to change, to stay away from drugs; I feared for his life and future. I took him to therapists and looked for answers. I found a great program and I drove him 30 miles everyday to attend. Before he was able to complete the program our insurance ran out. How could they not insure for an entire program? How can they think that it is cost effective? He told me later that he did learn to stay away from the harder drugs there. Thankfully, he has never done meth or crack. Funny thing to be thankful for, huh?
Years, yes years we dealt with the issues related to drugs....stealing, lying, dropping out of school. Honestly, I thought I had lost a son. I didn't think that anything would help. We tried tough love and just about anything we could think of. He lived in his car for a period of time, had no ambition to do anything.
Today, life is better. He did get his GED and is working two jobs. He is contemplating going to a trade school. I feel that I was successful because he doesn't have a police record, no children and no addiction to any hard drugs. Years ago I wouldn't have considered those goals to be very big ones, however with this child I am delighted! Does he still use? Yes, he still does pot, but now on a very limited basis. He says that he no longer has time for it because of work.
Why would I write about such a personal issue? Because someone else may be dealing with these same issues. It may even be one of your friends and they may be afraid to say anything. Support them if they do confide in you, they need it. If a parent comes to you, listen. Don't think that your child would not do any such thing.
Drugs are easily available in our schools, even your child's. We sometimes would rather keep our heads in the sand then to look too hard at our children. Educate yourself on the language, what does 420 mean? Look, if your child's eyes are red.....look, if their eating habits change........look, if they smell of cologne to mask other smells.