Welcome parents, grandparents, teachers, youth workers, pastors, and those involved in the lives of our youth. This web page is for you. Your young person may or may not have a problem with drugs or alcohol, but since our youth are surrounded by the invasive presence of illicit substances in our society, the impact of drugs cannot be overlooked. In 2011, 63.5% of seniors in high school used alcohol while 42.4% got drunk. Marijuana use increased to 36.4% of seniors using marijuana (a 4% rise in six years). The illicit use of prescription drugs, for all those 12 years of age and older has increased 4 fold between 1998 and 2008. Between 2004 and 2008 the number of ER visits due to the abuse of prescription medication more than doubled.
This ominous presence of illicit substances is treacherous, invading the lives of our youth, their peer groups, their schools, and their culture. Studies, however, have shown that youth whose parents talk with them about drugs and alcohol tend to use these substances significantly less than those whose parents fail to hold those crucial conversations. Many adults wish to talk about drugs and alcohol but they feel woefully inadequate to hold an intelligent conversation. This web page and the offered book are designed to educate adults who are involved with youth so that they can understand drug and alcohol use and are thereby able to conduct an intelligent conversation.
As a parent whose family was devastated by the invasion of drugs in the life of my offspring, I avoided those drug talks. I didn’t know enough to feel comfortable in intelligently talking with my offspring. I also didn’t know the warning signs that drug use was present so I made excuses, ignored behaviors, and minimized the significance of the behaviors I was witnessing. In other words, due to my denial and lack of information, my offspring’s drug use only worsened.
Your young person needs informed adults in his or her life. Surrounded by a world of drug and alcohol abuse, they are vulnerable – but informed, open-minded adults can make the crucial difference between eventually using or not using drugs. For those youth who have entered into the world of substance abuse, parents can stop substance abuse’s progressive march toward annihilation - but only if they become informed and accessible.