A tragedy in Bergen County involving drugs has brought out a new plea for parents to get involved in their children’s lives. Already in 2014, thirteen deaths have been reported with heroin overdose as the cause. The mother of one, then a first-year college student, wrote a powerful letter touching on many points that seem to slip by parents as they watch their teenagers grow from children to adults.It can happen to anyone. There is no immune family to this type of a tragedy. Teenagers using drugs happens in every type of family, from the abusive and abrasive units to the loving, caring, and supportive units. Any time a person smokes or otherwise takes in drugs, there is a chance it is tainted with something that will kill. The more a person uses, the higher that chance becomes.
- Drug dealers are not always in dark alleys. Teenagers can get the drugs from many different people. Breaking Bad should be a prime example. The people giving teens drugs could be the teacher, their best friends – friends who parents have watched grow up since they were knee-high to the ground – or even the neighbor. It could even be the best friend’s father. They can come from anywhere.
- Teens do not think anything bad will happen to them. Many teens think they are in control of the drug situation and that they are just “partying”. Their parents would not even put them in the same conversation as drugs. The drugs that their parents saw and believe are still out there have changed in so many ways. Where parents thought drug X was crossing the line, teenagers nowadays think is normal. Teens speak about drugs as casually as ever nowadays. It’s a different world now. Parents need to wake up and be a part of what their children are being exposed to, and how.
- The best environment is not the drug repellent. Teens can come from all walks of life and still fall into a drug problem. They could have a happy home, call their parents every day, have a part-time job, have a loving and supportive family, and still they will fall into a drug problem. Family problems are not always the ones with the drug-addicted children. It could happen to any family.
- Schools and family discussions will not always help. Parents can talk to their children about drugs, schools can release a new D.A.R.E. program every six months and it will not always help. Teens can have all the lectures and information, talk to their families every day and swear they won’t do drugs, and they will still fall into the trap. Parents need to learn what to look for if a drug problem is happening. It will not always be right in front of you. The teens that parents hope and dream for can be the very ones who have addiction issues.
- Teenagers are skillful story tellers. There have been stories from parents who trusted their teenagers completely. Their children talked to them every day, told them everything they wanted to hear, even spoke about the other kids doing things that would make them cringe and pray for those other families. The parents had no reason not to trust their child. They let him go off and…be a teenager. Every first year college student goes to parties, right? Guess what? Now those very same innocent, smart, good-decision teenagers are dead from drug overdoses.
- It could happen in your own home. There is a mother who wrote a letter about her teenaged son dying of a drug overdose right in their home. She worked from home all day. Her son called her every day to find out what they were eating. They had a wonderful relationship. It was not until they had to break down the door and found him dead that they realized there was a problem.
It could happen to any parent at any time. The most loving families can be the victims of drug overdose. While it seems like there is no salvation, having an awareness and being involved could save a child’s life. If you suspect a drug problem, or hear about another child with one, open your mouth. Tell their parents. It could be the one thing that saves them.