Drug use and the working parent

Avatar for cl_annieb67
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Drug use and the working parent
86
Thu, 07-10-2003 - 2:32pm
I've been working on a project for our center, and the theme of the project is "Prevention through Parenting." For those who don't know, I work in a Substance Abuse Clinic.

The theme that is stressed to us over and over again, and not nearly enough, is that a majority of 'users' start in their teen years. Once recovered, they unanimously agree that their parents could have caught on early, with relative ease.

As part of my research, I found this link:

http://www.nida.nih.gov/MeetSum/CODA/WGFamily2.html

I also found the last paragraph particularly interesting.

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I chuckled at the term 'affluent neglect'. I think a lot of people, myself included associate neglect with a lower SES.

Having said that, I think the way this paragraph was poorly written. Assuming of course, that dual working parents automatically equates "affluency". (If it does, I didn't get the memo :O)

I also see it as a catch 22 in terms of working status. I think the SAHM figures SHE is home a lot, and can pick up on any warning sign. The affluent just assume their kids have better 'breeding' than to get sucked into drugs.

Do you have any thoughts on the subject?

"There in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I close my eyes, feel their beauty and follow where they lead."

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 07-10-2003 - 2:35pm
Oh yeah. Several posters (including cl-sus) have posted at length about how only the rich kids have the money to buy the drugs and therefore their high SES has put them at risk.

Of course it's a parenting issue, much more complex than whether the parents are dual WOHs or they are affluent or not. Clueless parents are clueless parents.

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Avatar for cl_annieb67
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 07-10-2003 - 2:41pm
Pardon? Was there anything in my post that called for the little display of temper? It reminds me of my 13 year old rolling her eyes.

I'm not sure what cl-sus has or hasn't posted.

And for the record, you don't necessarily need money to buy drugs. A blow job will get you a pill, and the whole sex act goes for around 35.00, which is *two* pills.

And I've seen some "clueless" parents on both sides of the SES stature, which I don't, nor have I ever denied.

But thanks for your 2 cents. Where should I send the change?

"There in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I close my eyes, feel their beauty and follow where they lead."

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 07-10-2003 - 2:45pm
One of my friends in high school did drugs. She would come home from high school and light up a joint with her mother. Neglect and oversight (not my son!) can happen with any parent. I really do not think that the work status or the affluence of the parents make a difference in drug use of teenagers.

There are no magic answers to drug abuse. It would be lovely to know if you did step A, step B and step C then your child would never use drugs. It is not that simple.

K

"I do not want to be a princess! I want to be myself"

Mallory (age 3)

      &nbs

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 07-10-2003 - 2:49pm
What? That wasn't a fit of temper, and it wasn't directed at you. It was a reference to an earlier thread, in which several posters threw out the "rich kids have more access/access to better drugs" as support that higher SES isn't always better.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 07-10-2003 - 3:25pm
Nope.

I have never said that ONLY the rich kids do anything. I have said that people in a higher SES are not sheltered from the behaviors that others INSIST they do not participate in based on SES. I have even posted research on the topic showing that, yep upper middle class kids do drugs. But I never, anywhere, ever, once said ONLY.

Nice try.

SUS

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2003
Thu, 07-10-2003 - 3:58pm
No, I don't think work status has much to do with it. If a kid is going to use drugs, he/she will find a way, regardless of whether the parents are "home" or not.

I've been around the drug culture quite a bit, probably more than the average person. Most of the kids that got into drugs were the kids without something "else" and by that I don't mean a meaningful relationship with the parents because from what I've seen the parental relationship has very little to do with it. What I mean by the "else" is something else other than drugs that provides a "rush" - like sports, a passion, etc. The majority of the people I knew that got into the drug culture did so out of a need to "live on the edge." to prove that they could face death/danger and still live to tell about it. In fact the telling about it was a major part. As in "I was so messed up, I did XYZ"

There are no guarantees that your kids will or will not do drugs. Hammering into them that they shouldn't because they are bad, wrong, dangerous, whatever, will do little to help. (I actually think that has the opposite effect.) The best thing that you can do is to try to foster a healthy self-image early on and help your children get involved in something (anything) that he or she loves. If a kid has a passion he isn't going to want to screw it up with drugs. And make sure your kids know that you will be open to conversation without judging.

Anyway, that's my two cents. I'm not an expert or anything and my kids are still pretty young so I don't know if my theories are true, but from the life I led pre-children, that's my take on the subject for what it's worth.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-2003
Thu, 07-10-2003 - 3:58pm
I'm not sure what your point is. Are you saying that working parents aren't catching on to drug use or are you saying that affluent families are clueless?

FYI, I used recreational drugs quite a bit in my youth, and my parents were clueless because I was a straight A student, never got into trouble and don't have an addictive personality, but then again they never tested my urine or anything. Plus they were kind of hippies themselves, who smoked pot but didn't think WE knew. Maybe they knew about us too but didn't want to be hypocrites. We were definitely not neglected and as far as I know, neither were my friends.

In fact, I don't really know anyone who didn't use drugs when in high school or college, just as I never knew anyone who didn't occasionally drink (of course back then, the drinking age was 18, so at least that much was legal). I'm also for the decriminalization of marijuana, so you probably don't want to know what I think.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-2003
Thu, 07-10-2003 - 4:03pm
Of course upper middle class kids do drugs, and rich kids, and poor kids, is this news? The only difference might be the types of drugs they do, but not that they do them, and I don't know of anyone who thinks "breeding" has anything to do with it.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 07-10-2003 - 4:20pm
I don't know if I can buy this one.

I have two brothers. One of them became addicted to cocaine somewhere along in high school... dropped out, and up until around age 23, he was in and out of rehab constantly. At 26 now, he still has to fight with himself with things like money, he literally depends on my parents to hold onto his savings so he does not access to it. My other brother is a 4.0 college student, highly religious, who volunteers reading religious passages to the elderly in his spare time. He is the straightest kid I have ever known. I am probably the most typical of us, I did a little moderate experimenting in my late teens/early twenties, but that was it.

Same parents, same SES, same schools, same upbringing.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 07-10-2003 - 4:49pm
I don't think that work status has much to do with it but some parents truely are clueless even with signs.

I teenager of the 70's (when I think teen age drug use was at its highest). I had a cousin, same age as I, who was very much into drugs. She (or one of her friends) wrote on her bedroom wall "Suzie's stash in here" with an arrow to her closet. I still find it hard to believe that her parents:

A: Allowed obvious drug references displayed on her wall.

B: Did not see that as a sign that maybe they should find out what was going on.

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