I’ve just read through a dozen interviews from Narconon graduates in which they describe how and why they started using drugs. These interviews make so very clear that it’s incredibly easy for a young person to decide to just go along with what everyone else is doing – drinking, smoking pot, even using much stronger and more deadly drugs.
If a child does not understand clearly and with conviction why using drugs is dangerous and has not made a firm decision to remain drug-free, then anything can happen.
How Kids Can Begin Using Drugs
Let me share a few of these quotes with you.
“In high school, I started smoking marijuana with my friends. They told me there was nothing wrong with it, that it was kind of normal and everybody was doing it. So I just kind of joined in and started smoking marijuana.”
“How I started using marijuana, I was in middle school, around 12 years old, didn’t really know who I was as a person. I looked around to see what I wanted to be like, what I wanted to strive to be. I wanted to fit in, I wanted to be a social person. And that’s one of the reasons I started using marijuana.”
“So I started using marijuana, I was a freshman in high school. I was out partying and drinking and somebody had weed there. So I smoked it. My decisions weren’t the best, I was a little drunk. And then a couple of days later my buddy was like, ‘Hey, you want to smoke again?’ I was like, ‘Sure, I guess.’ I’d done it before.”
But that’s not as far as it usually goes. What should really concern a parent is how easy it was to transition to harder, more addictive and deadlier drugs. Here’s how our graduates described this progression to using heroin, cocaine or methamphetamine.
“As far as the transition from smoking pot every day to using harder drugs, I had run into somebody who said, ‘Hey, I’ve got some opium,’ and I’m thinking, ‘Opium, that’s cool, it’s like pot times ten.’ And before I knew it, we were sitting in my car smoking heroin. And then he’s like, ‘So man, we just did heroin.’ And I was like, ‘What?’ You know what I mean, because I had no idea. But it felt incredible, and I was like, ‘Oh, cool.’”
“I started smoking pot to fit in with everybody. And it looked like everybody was having a good time. And they told me, ‘Nobody’s died from smoking pot.’ So I did it and it progressed into cocaine and heroin and my life was just downhill.”
“From then on, it just kind of snowballed. I became okay with using other things, this that and the other. It’s not like I set out to be a heroin addict, I don’t think anyone does but it ended up that way. Before I knew it I was too deep to pull myself out.”
“My thing with starting with methamphetamine – my best friend started. Her sister started using it, they started hanging out a lot and I felt like I was losing my best friend so my curiosity grew really strong. I was pretty much determined to use it at that point so I could see what they were doing that seemed like so much fun. Yeah, so it was pretty easy to use it after I had used all the other stuff.”
Talking About Substance Abuse in the Home
I know it’s not the easiest thing to talk to your kids about drugs. But these stories show what can happen if you don’t.
The first thing you need to do is to learn about the drugs that are out there right now, drugs that your kids might be offered. And take the time to explain the effects and dangers associated with each drug.
To help you, we have created quick guides to understanding prescription drug abuse…
… and marijuana.
You can find complete guides to different drugs and how to talk to your children about them below:
Stimulants like methamphetamine or Ritalin: http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/stimulants/
Synthetic drugs like Spice or “bath salts”: http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/synthetics/