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[ Opinion ] [ Personal Narratives ]

A Plea To Parents: Be Real, Be Ugly, Be Just Like Drugs 

Parents, please talk to your kids. Don’t be afraid to scare them. Tell them the ugly truth about drug addiction. Don’t think you can shield or protect them. Use social media as a tool. Show the pictures posted by devastated parents of their kids in hospital beds on ventilators. Show them pictures of all those who thought using drugs was safe. Don’t be their friend, be their parent.

Be ugly, be real, be just like drugs.

School is in session. I’m giving parents their first homework assignment. Talk to your kids about drugs. Don’t think your school is “too good.” In “too good” of a neighborhood or only attended by the “too good” kids. Don’t fool yourselves into thinking your kids are too smart. Drugs are smarter.

Drugs are everywhere. They are in private schools, Catholic schools, Inner city schools, country schools. Drugs visit grade school, high school and colleges. Drugs are everywhere.

Drugs live in locker rooms and dorm rooms. They have lunch in your child’s cafeteria. They are quietly waiting in the library and shouting on the playground. They follow you into the bathroom and sneak up on you when you want to fit in or when you want to disappear.

Drugs don’t care if you’re the most popular kid or the introvert. They don’t care if you’re the star athlete or someone standing on the sidelines. Drugs don’t care if you’re beautiful or a plain Jane. Drugs don’t care if you’re rich or poor. Drugs could care less about the color of your skin. Drugs are after your mind.

Drugs come dressed in costumes. Tricking you into thinking they won’t hurt. Pretty little pills or wrapped in gold. Stamps in beautiful designs all wanting to own your mind.

Drugs don’t care who your parents are. If they teach a class or save a life. Drugs will convince you they are your friend. You will be smart, popular, the life of the party. You will be one of the cool kids. After all, what do your parents really know. They never talked to you about drugs.

Drugs will convince you that there is no problem. They will fool you into thinking you are in control. You can be their friend when it’s convenient. They will fool you into believing that you will never become dependent.

Drugs will convince you to lie and steal. To behave like you’re not you. Drugs will break you and make you into a person you no longer recognize. Drugs will steal your soul.

Drugs will convince you it’s not your problem. It’s your parents and friends, sisters and brothers. Drugs will remake you into thinking people hate you. Drugs will take you to unreachable places.

Your friendship with drugs will turn ugly. They will betray you and turn you inside out. Drugs won’t let you unfriend them once they hook you. Drugs will show their true colors when you leave them behind. Drugs now have your mind.