As a middle school English teacher, it never ceased to amaze me how quickly kids grow up, especially now. From sexting on smartphones in class to passing drugs in the restroom, kids seem to be growing up faster and faster.
Kids are curious. Most of the time, that curiosity leads to learning and retaining new information. But we all know it can lead our kids astray, especially when peer pressure enters the picture. The April issue of Boys’ Life magazine is meeting the controversy head-on, making it perfectly clear that the best way to avoid drug abuse is to never even get started.
The article recounts the tragic story of some Wisconsin teens. What started out as experimenting with a grandmother’s prescription painkillers ended in death for one and a five-year prison sentence for another. As parents, we know that there’s no such thing as “playing” with illegal drugs. Convincing our children of that message, however, is a daunting task at best.
But the magazine is doing some heavy lifting for readers’ parents by listing six consequences of drug use in a manner teens and preteens can understand.
1. Your grades will take a nosedive.
2. You increase your chance of being arrested.
3. You risk hurting yourself or someone else while under the influence.
4. You risk having “unplanned and unprotected sex.”
5. You risk lifelong and lasting brain damage.
6. You put yourself at a greater risk of depression and even suicide.
Is the list exhaustive? Certainly not. But overall, the message remains clear: Don’t do drugs. Not now. Not ever.
Have you talked to your kids about drugs? How did you start the conversation?