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Drugs at a Party

JUSTIN, age: 13
My dad picked me up from a classmate’s party last weekend and found out there was marijuana there. I told him I wasn’t smoking it, but now he won’t let me go to any more parties. This one event has ruined my social life.

Justin is only in the 7th grade and he has already been exposed to drug use. This really worries me. I’ve asked him if he’s ever tried smoking marijuana and he says no but I’m not sure if I can trust him where other kids are smoking it. How can I be sure he won’t try anything?

Justin, sounds like your social life isn’t ruined. Chances are you and your dad can come up with some sort of compromise. For many reasons, it’s really not a good idea to be at a party where drugs are being used. Drugs cause people to change their behavior in potentially dangerous and irresponsible ways. It has been known that people could “plant” drugs on others to avoid punishment or arrest. Some people become violent when using drugs and do things to hurt themselves or others. You could also become guilty by association. Basically it is a bad scene and it is smart to avoid. If you are somewhere in the future where drugs are being used, call you dad to come and pick you up immediately.

Jared, Unfortunately 7th grade isn’t surprisingly early for kids to be exposed to drug use. Make sure you speak to Justin about the many dangers of drugs and alcohol. If you don’t, he’ll get his information elsewhere and that could be dangerous. It’s not just one conversation, but rather constantly integrating your values and anti-drug message through your daily communication with your son. There aren’t any guarantees that kids will respond to their parents’ wishes when it comes to difficult choices in adolescence. You must always know his whereabouts and the company he keeps when he’s not with you. Keep open and honest communication with him. Make a clear plan so he can always get in touch with you if he needs to be picked up. Make sure he knows he can always come to you to talk, even if he’s made a mistake.

Louise Hajjar Diamond has been a guidance counselor for twelve years. She is also a freelance writer and mother of two.

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