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Carlsbad Teen Offers Unique Perspective on Drug Addiction and Advice for Parents

Wondering if the "scare tactic" works when discussing drug use with your teens? This local teen who has been in numerous teen recovery programs says "no, parents need to be more realistic."

Pernille Kruse reached out to Carlsbad Patch in September to talk about how a drug recovery program helped her deal and better understand her teen-aged son's  [whose name is not being used at her request] issues with drug addiction.

Now, her son who went through 12 drug treatment programs, gives his advice to parents and explains what he thinks leads to use and abuse of drugs.

Carlsbad Patch: What is your perspective on drug addiction?

Most people think it always starts with alcohol or pot, and then escalates to another level. I think that's a bit ignorant to say. To say that implies that the drugs are at fault. They're not. I don't believe that anything is a gateway drug.

If somebody goes out and does heroin or crystal meth, it's because something in their head says that that's a good idea. A longing for a consistent method of escape from a reality that they won't admit is of their own making.

I laugh when people say that drugs are a problem, when it's really people that are the problem. Drugs are just something that can give an outsider a false sense of understanding for what the addict is going through. "Oh, he's a drug addict. That's why he's all messed up in the head." No. He's messed up in the head to begin with, and that's what the problem is. Not the other way around.

Anyway you look at it is unjustifiable, but talking about something as if you've been through it because you've read a certain article or talked to a certain person isn't justifiable either.

I see no problem with drugs if you can handle it, go to work/school everyday, put food on the table, and pay the bills with an honest income. There's just very few people that can do that. Very few. I've never met one, but I've heard of those people. If you can't do that, you probably shouldn't do drugs.

Carlsbad Patch: What is your advice for parents?

Be realistic. If you go at your kid like, "If you smoke a joint, you'll die," you're gonna be screwing yourself over. Everybody knows that stuff like that isn't true. The scare tactic might seem effective to parents, but it's actually the opposite. If somebody came up to you and said "Hey, Bigfoot is behind that door," and you walked in only to find a room full of presents, you would probably do the opposite of whatever that person told you not to do from there on out. Same thing here. If you tell your kids that smoking (marijuana) will kill them, and they find out that it doesn't, why would they believe you when you tell them that heroin will kill them? After all, you lied the first time, right? So don't do that.

Sit them down, be honest, and explain to them why you don't think it's a good idea to use drugs. Don't try to scare them. Saying "don't do that" usually makes kids want to do it twice as much.

Carlsbad Patch: Is there anything you wish your parents did differently?

Just what I said above. Been more realistic. 

Carlsbad Patch: What is next for you?

I have no idea. Whatever comes my way.

Carlsbad Patch: Thank you so much for your honest and raw answers. 

Deanne Goodman (Editor) October 03, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Your insight is great, thank you so much for sharing!

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