2017 – Drinking and Drugs in High School – I’m Gobsmacked

Peggy (Mom): I should be proud of “Q”….I’ve taught her since a young age to be an independent thinker and not to succumb to peer pressure.  We’ve talked about addictive personalities and how I really felt that it was in her best interest not to even take that first drink since I am a food addict and there are some alcoholic tendencies on both sides of our family.  I expected there to be some pushback and experimentation but now at almost 15 years old, she is facing a huge issue because she does not drink nor does drugs.

In my day, back in the 80’s, there were drugs in school and kids went out on the weekend to unsupervised parties where they could drink beer from a keg.  The “popular” group definitely imbibed and there were select groups that also passed around a joint or bong for those that were interested to share.  For the most part, if anyone talked about drinking or doing drugs it was on a “hush hush” basis.  On occasion, I knew people who did cocaine and maybe once or twice I knew of situations where someone had acid.  This is my take on four years of high school and four years of college.   Q’s situation is worse on a DAILY basis and I’m not sure how to handle it.

She’s telling me about kids that bring out a bong from their backpack in chemistry class.  She doesn’t even know the person’s full name but does know it is a TEACHER’s daughter.  The person starts talking about their drug use freely in front of the entire chemistry table as if there is no shame nor reason to hide it.  Kids are taking prescription medication like hydrocodone for a “high”.  I told her that it should just make them sleepy and I wouldn’t expect them to feel a “high” but then she told me they are taking 4 pills at a time!  They take these prescription medications WITH alcohol!  There are parties where kids bring prescription drugs and dump the bottles into a giant bowl at the entrance.  Each kid then can grab a handful of pills to take…without even knowing what they are!   Q also told me about a boy that was talking about his Adderall prescription and several students who were standing nearby jumped into the conversation to see if they could have some.  What has this world come to?  Why do they feel so comfortable talking about drugs and doing them?  We live in an upper middle class area in the Southern US…….the richer city near us has drugs and the poorer ones do too.  There’s no place to escape!

The big dilemma is that I know some of these kids and I’ve considered calling their parents to at least make them aware of what is going on.  The problem is this….the parents appear to be alcoholics themselves.  One such family just recently let their daughter take a cruise with another family (both with at least one alcoholic parent).  Both girls are fifteen years old and returned to school with stories of how wasted they got every night on the cruise and how they were never carded.  I’m heartbroken.  I feel so powerless.

Poor Q doesn’t know what to do.  Her group of friends is heavily into drinking now….and she really is struggling to find a group that is not doing drugs or drinking.  We talked about her getting with a religious group that likely doesn’t imbibe but too often these groups are so conservative, my pansexual child just wouldn’t find anyone with similar interests.   I’m so torn to have to see Q suffer through this experimental stage of her friends.  I’m proud of her but this isn’t easy………for either of us.

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