When we hear of teenage drug abuse who of us is not sure and happy it  is “not my kid”.   Don’t be too sure.

Children are accomplished secret keepers, sometimes for years.

Drug abuse can begin at an age we think our kids are still playing at childhood games.  And  they somehow know this is not something to share with their  parents.

The reasons are many, beginning with “all the cool kids do it”, but often triggered from a need to belong; to have someone notice them, to care.  Sometimes a divorce, with parents who quarrel, which often puts a mindset into a child that they somehow were the cause of the breakup of their life, can cause a search for something to take the place of the what they perceive as the loss of love.  Sometimes it’s “just for fun”.  They try it, they like the feeling it gives them, and who’s going to know?  It doesn’t take as long as you may think to need that feeling.

How do they pay for all this?  I  asked  a number of people this question, and their answers were the same: the drugs are always there.  They take some, sell the rest to friends, buy some more with the profit, and so on.  Unfortunately, as the need becomes fiercer, the price goes up, and the addict gets money any way they can.

Many single mothers do well raising their children, holding down a job and coming home to the jobs of both parents.  My grandmother was such a woman, running a boarding house and raising my mother and her sister.  My two daughters raised my four grandchildren as single mothers, in one case through their entire childhood.  Some mothers simply cannot cope.  The need for a life of their own becomes too great, and their child feels that loss.

The news media sends out messages that makes it harder to raise decent kids.  They face greater challenges and they’re on their own .

We know the consequence of drug use on the user, but what of the family upon realizing that their child is an addict?  The heartbreak, the feeling that surely they must have somehow failed are enormous.  Freequently they learn about the abuse when it is too late to stop it.  A child’s mind and body are still unformed, their brain wiring is still in the process of becoming.

I need to say that drug addiction is not limited to the lower class, indeed, it has spread into all levels of our society, and at a much earlier age.  It affects boys and girls alike, scholars and athletes alike .

Several years ago, we sadly discovered that our precious great-granddaughter has been addicted since she was eleven years old.

She is now a tall, movie star beautiful sixteen year old, who spent most of last year in rehab, depriving both herself and her family of the pleasure of her early teen years.  The pain is indescribale to realize that she will always be a recovering addict.  She is learning that some lives have to struggle a little harder than others, and that the message of rehab  “one step at a time” is true.

The cruel paradox of addiction is that it transforms a source of pleasure into an inescapable insatiable need.

Author: kaytisweetlandrasmussen83

I am a retired fine arts teacher, sculptor/painter, writer, and a native Californian. I love my family,dogs, horses, movies, reading and music, probably in that order. I have been married forever to a very nice man who is nice to old ladies, dogs and children.

7 thoughts on “NOT MY KID!”

  1. ohh myyy true it is..the heartbreak of the child and for the child.The effects lasting their whole the ripples on the lake from a thrown rock.. Yes,” one step”at a time…the only solace..


  2. Mom, It was hard to read your beautiful post, very well said. It has been the deepest pain of my life to watch my beautiful grandaughter’s sad path of addiction. Unfortunately, it is true that an addict really won’t stop until they’re ready or have hit “their bottom”. I try to prepare myself for the worst and wish I could help her climb out of her private Hell and be the beautiful wonderful person that she is. It is very difficult for these young addicts and the programs they have are really just a drying out place. She is going to want the help. I believe in AL Anon for families of addicts and it is a wonderful program that I need to get more involved in. Thanks, Mama, for the post I know it was not easy for you to write.


  3. In hopes each and every addict will somehow connect with that key person in their life that has the proper tool/timing to make a connection with those who’ve lost their way.

    “The only limits on human achievement are self-imposed.”
    Dr. Denis Waitley Overcoming Addiction Quote


  4. Soulful post, Kayti.
    What most addicts (alcohol or drugs) fail to truly recognize is how selfish they are. The heartache, not to mention the energy drained from loving family members, can sometimes take down an extended family.

    Only the strongest of hearts understands when there is nothing more one can “do” to help. The addict must help herself.

    It’s a very gut-wrenching experience to let go.


  5. So true and so very sad indeed.

    I was at a 3 hour memorial service yesterday for a client’s 27 year-old daughter who died from a heart attack while undergoing surgery for mersa that was taking over her entire body. Her immune system was shot from all the heroine use from the majority of her life. They said she wouldn’t have wanted to live with such disfigurement. So much pain for a roomful of people who loved her and her family.

    Their were so many drug users and probably dealers in the room.
    lots of weird hair dyes, piercings and tattoos All of these young people loved K’Lynn. The message I came away with is to try to have more acceptance for all.


    1. Hi Cori,
      I want to make sure I understand your comment. Are you saying that you came away from the memorial service to have more acceptance of all? Are you saying more acceptance of drug dealers? drug users?
      I am confused.
      Should we accept drug use and dealers?


  6. Not easy to live, I reckon. However, I have known young people who did pull through and kept going on with their lives…but they forever need to be be supported and that is where Al Anon and Narcotics Anonymous come in after rehab.
    But they, and only they, can make the decision to get out of drugs and stay out of it despite the moral and physical pain involved.


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