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The Substance Illusion

About five years ago, the “importers” of illegal substances realized that the real money was not in the inner city, but in the suburbs. The focus of the dealers moved from downtown, to uptown, offering hard drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin to about every middle school and high school in the USA. Most of us like to believe that “we don’t have a problem here!” In most cases you are mistaken.

One terrible event that verifies this conclusion is the growing number of overdoses and overdose deaths.

Please realize that even though you feel you have a great relationship with your child, when it comes to hard drugs, most kids will tell you that they are not present in their school systems. Why?
Imagine if you, as a high school student, tell your parents that there are drugs, like heroin, at school, at parties, and at functions of all types.

No, it may not be your child involved, but it only takes one person to bring substances into the social scene. Heroin is a major party drug in America. Heroin is not usually injected, it is just sniffed (snorted) yielding a tremendous euphoria.
If a child tells a parent that there was heroin at a recent party, there will be a tidal wave of questions.

“Oh my God, who brought it to the party”
“Are any of your friends taking it?”
“Does anyone that comes into this house have it?
“Who took it?”
” I need to call parents right now!”
” We should call the police!”
“Has this happened before?

This is why there is a secrecy around substances.

This is why we live under some kind of illusion that hard drugs are not present. The University of Michigan conducts an annual study of 8th through 12th grade substance use and abuse. Most recently the study determined that 70 percent of all seniors in high school had experimented with drugs, other than alcohol, and 20 percent were using drugs regularly.
I think it is best for all parents to just accept that drugs are available everywhere. They should always assume that the problem is close at hand. Your kids are more than likely in a land of temptation.

Kent I Phillips MS, MSAC
Master Addiction Specialist

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