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wundayatta's avatar

Do (or did) your children tell you about the drinking and drugging habits of their teenage classmates?

Asked by wundayatta (58367 points ) November 5th, 2012

Tonight, my daughter was telling us about a classmate who spent all summer getting high each day, and who also smokes cigarettes. The classmate was called to the office, and she asked my daughter to hold her cigarettes for her. Not sure why. I don’t know if cigarettes are illegal in her school. Of course, if they weren’t cigarettes, then it would be perfectly understandable.

Anyway, my daughter said she made a face, and the classmate asked someone else to do the “cigarette” holding. I guess she was probably a bit cleverer than I am about what was really going on.

The reason why the classmate went to the office was to answer questions about a fellow she was known to be partying with over the weekend. This fellow had been missing since then. The classmate said he was probably too wasted to know where he was.

Wow. I don’t know what to say. I am concerned about the boy. I hope he’s ok. I’m glad my daughter didn’t hold the cigs. I’m glad she feels she can talk to us about this, but I’m damned if I know what to say.

I knew I a lot of people in college who were druggies in high school, and were doing just fine in college. They were mostly bored in high school because there were no challenges and nothing for them to do. I feel bad about our high schools and I know a lot of people have permissive attitudes about drugs. Schools are different, but I think most of that is for show. I don’t think anyone is really serious about a) figuring out what the real problem with drugs is and b) doing something about it.

What kinds of experiences have you had with teenagers and drugs in high school?

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11 Answers

augustlan's avatar

Yes, my girls have told me about people they know who drink and/or smoke cigarettes or pot. If anyone is doing anything harder than pot, I’m not aware of it. My oldest even told both her father and I when she had her first drinking experience this year (she is underage, and away at college.) I’m really glad they are so open with us about it. It helps keep the lines of communication open…lots of opportunities for ‘teachable moments’.

zenvelo's avatar

My kids have brought it up, especially when a kid gets busted. My kids are the children of two recovering alcoholics, so they are both conscious of the fact they might have inherited a similar issue. We talk about it at the dinner table.

I think my kids are a bit protective of any friends who use, but then they don’t hang out with them.

bolwerk's avatar

Schools are rife with drugs, legal or otherwise, for the same reasons streets are: prohibition coupled with economic demand leads to profits for dealers and pleasure/thrills for the consumers. The utter lack of parental guidance (it’s illegal, of course) in these matters no doubt exacerbates the matter further.

Not sure I’d get too outraged about it. Actually, prig outrage is why it’s not dealt with effectively. There isn’t substantive difference between smoking cigarettes at 15 or 18. It’s bad for you either way. Likewise, over-indulgence of other drugs.

YARNLADY's avatar

No, my sons were home schooled or went to a private school during high school, and my grandsons lived with their mother during part of the time, and went to a public Charter home school the rest of the time.

geeky_mama's avatar

When I was in High School (and we’re talking over 25 years ago) just before my Sophomore year I missed attending a party that ended up devolving into a group orgy on the front lawn of a student’s home (because I got called last minute to babysit and I wanted the cash more than to go to the party). Don’t know about drugs but I do know all my fellow 14–16yr. old buddies were drunk when the cops showed up. I sure didn’t tell my folks about that.. Nor did I tell ‘em where I was going when I was using my college ID as a 16 year old student to get into the bars on campus to go dancing. (Oddly, I didn’t really drink or do drugs..but I sure ran with a crew where it was available had I wanted it..)

Now I have a high school sophomore as a daughter. She doesn’t tell me what’s going on with other kids at school—but we keep very close tabs on her, we tend to be the house where she and her friends prefer to hang out AND her crowd is sort of the smart kids..so they seem to be all pretty straight-laced. We feel like we know what she’s up to for the most part..and no worries about drugs or alcohol so far. (Actually, when she was in Germany this past summer we encouraged her to drink responsibly when culturally appropriate. She said she didn’t like the taste but politely accepted beer or wine and pretended to sip it.)

I have a dear friend who was our nanny when the kids were younger and her husband is a 20+ year police veteran who is currently on the Juvenile squad and when their son (who is just 2 years older than our daughter) was a freshman (at the same high school our daughter attends) they found weed and Jack Daniels stashed in his closet. So, if a good kid with a cop for a dad can be drinking (during school) and doing drugs.. I figure just about any of the kids at that school could be…

So, what can you do but keep involved with your kids and know who they’re with and what they’re up to.. And, we’ve also repeatedly told our daughter so long as she’s getting good grades (straight As in her honor classes for the most part) we’ll give her a lot of freedom. As long as she acts with maturity, we’ll reward her for it, y’know?

Cupcake's avatar

My teenage son tells me who smokes pot and/or drinks and how often.

He’s pretty open… but I also ask.

wildpotato's avatar

I presented stories about friends who did various hard drugs to my mom a few times while I was in college, mostly to make her think I was comfortable telling her stuff like that and also to gauge her reactions. Hopefully most people have a less cynical and manipulative parent-child relationship than that, but for me, “confiding” such things was more calculated risk assessment and deflection regarding my own drug habits than anything else.

In high school in the Philly suburbs, drug culture ran rampant and presumably still does. Mostly pills (especially adderall), weed, and alcohol, though; not so much of a coke thing. I’m talking about really good schools – public and private – and straight 4.0 kids, by the way.

Shippy's avatar

I’d say that conversation was a pretty regular one between a parent and child regards school. What to say? Say what you think, that you think she’s smart for not holding the cigarettes, and also confirm that people do go missing when they get wasted.

augustlan's avatar

@wildpotato Ack! Now you’ve got me worrying…

wildpotato's avatar

@augustlan Sorry! But your owlet seems to have it pretty together :)

wundayatta's avatar

I learned a lot about my daughter’s high school from a graduate assistant of mine who attended that same school. I learned where the druggies hung out. I learned that my assistant had hung out there and gotten into trouble for drugs in high school.

Now, from my daughter, I learn that not only do they still hang out in the same place, but there is an official high school club devoted to that place. Which means it has a teacher who sponsors it. This is pretty much the same as have a club for marijuana.

Now, personally, I don’t mind. I think the war against marijuana is hypocritical and wrong. I am perfectly happy, as well, that my daughter doesn’t appear to be interested in drugs or booze. Although I would not mind her doing such things very occasionally. In moderation. If it was her choice and not peer pressure. But I don’t do these things any more. I almost never drink any more. I don’t like the after effects. And my kids seem to be opposed to drink and drugs, as well.

I just don’t want them to hide it if they decide to indulge. But I fear they wouldn’t want to say, no matter how much I tried to tell them I wouldn’t get angry at them for it.

I knew a lot of people in college who were potheads in high school. Mostly, they were very smart people. My feeling about drugs in high school is that high school can be deadly boring and a horrible social situation, and therefore it can be quite painful. I suspect that’s what motivates a lot of people to do drugs.

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