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View Full Version : Crowd learns hard facts about drugs

04-08-2004, 07:17 PM
“By high school graduation, between 80 and 90 percent of teens will have tried alcohol, marijuana or other drugs,” said Kieran Ayre, a licensed clinical social worker and lecturer who operates a substance abuse rehabilitation facility in Lafayette.

A standing room only crowd of parents attended the presentation, which also featured a frank talk by Dan, a 20-year-old recovering addict who identified himself by first name only.

Dan said he was from an affluent, upper middle class community near Mendham and attended an elite private high school. He comes from a loving family, with a dad who is an executive and a mother who works as a psychologist. Nevertheless, Dan said he started using drugs as a freshman and by his sophomore year, he was “tripping every day.”

Interim Principal Bob Grady, who introduced the Municipal Alliance-sponsored presentation, said drugs are a problem in every community and every school, public or private.

Many parents take the attitude that “it’s not my child,” but in truth, “it can happen to any one of us,” Grady said.

Ayre said that when he was a student at Randolph High School, there were usually 10 to 20 students who were well known for their drug involvement, and they could typically be recognized by the way they dressed.

“That profile has dramatically changed,” Ayre said. “It’s no longer a small subgroup. Drug and alcohol use is pervasive through all the groups at school. We’re seeing more prom queens, valedictorians and football heroes on a regular basis.”

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Clinicians are seeing several troubling trends in teen drug use, Ayre said. First is that drug use is starting at earlier ages, and so the methods of intervening and the way parents and teachers talk to users must be adjusted to a younger person.

Second, Ayre said, “We’re also seeing more serious and more complex drugs being used, such as GSB (a so-called date rape drug), designer drugs, prescription and over-the-counter medicines such as Coricidin and Robitussin, Ketamine (an animal tranquilizer) and ecstasy.”

Ayre said clinicians are also seeing a rise in the incidence of heroine abuse, and the profile of a heroine user has changed over the past few years. Today’s heroine is inexpensive and of such high purity that it doesn’t need to be injected, he said.

Instead, it can be sniffed, like cocaine, and young users may mistakenly believe they’re not hooked just because they’re not using needles.

A sense of parental permissiveness is also contributing to today’s teen drug abuse problems, Ayere said.

“Today’s parents feel a strong need to be friends with their kids,” he said. “They have a hard time saying no. It’s almost intolerable for them to see their child upset.”

Ayre cautioned that young people may have many friends, but they only have one set of parents, and those parents need to know how to say “no.”

Ayre said some parents also have the mistaken attitude that alcohol and marijuana are relatively innocuous.

He offered several answers to parents who wanted to know what they could do to keep their teens safe from drug and alcohol abuse. First and most important, Ayre said, is that parents should maintain an open dialogue with their children, so they are more aware of what’s going on in their teens’ lives.

He offered a three-question test to help parents assess whether there is open communication in their families:

1. Do you know the first and last names of three of your child’s friends?

2. Do you know where your child was last Saturday night?

3. Do you know whether your child has ever tried alcohol, tobacco or drugs?

Ayre urged parents to keep their eyes open and said they shouldn’t be afraid to enter their child’s room and be alert to obvious signs like empty liquor bottles displayed as trophies or posters promoting marijuana use.

He cautioned that while sleepovers are a normal way for 11- and 12-year-olds to socialize, at the age of 17 or 18 teens often use sleepovers as a ruse to mask activity they don’t want parents to know about.

Ayre said parents should seek out resources, such as the school Student Assistance Counselor (SAC) or guidance counselors.

“Don’t be afraid your child will be penalized at school,” he said. “No punitive action will be taken unless a child is endangering others with his or her behavior.”

Ayre said parents need to be role models for healthy choices. If they have weekend parties where heavy drinking goes on or if they abuse drugs or medicines, their children will pick up on it.

“Kids have excellent radar for hypocrisy,” he said.

Dan said he vowed he would never use drugs when he was in eighth grade, but during freshman year a classmate invited him to smoke marijuana. After saying no a few times, Dan said he finally tried it without realizing the significance of his choice.

“During sophomore year I made a lot of drug buddies, and pretty soon an upperclassman offered me mushrooms,” Dan said. “I did it and I loved it, way too much.”

Soon he was using drugs daily and experimenting with a variety of other substances.

He dragged his feet on getting into college and finally attended an “immediate decision” day at Ramapo College, where college applicants could find out the same day whether they were accepted.

“My GPA (grade point average) wasn’t even half what was needed to get in, but I had high SAT scores, and somehow I got accepted,” Dan said.

That summer after high school graduation, he promised himself he would quit, and attended an Outward Bound outdoor adventure program. He came home “clean,” but the same group of friends was waiting for him at home. Dan said he started going to college every day, but he didn’t attend a single class.

Soon he found himself staying up all night and sleeping every day. By Christmas break, he said he hadn’t seen daylight in three months and was in the depths of a major depression. Sitting in the bathroom smoking a “bong” one day, he said he had a breakdown.

“I ran downstairs and found my parents sitting at the kitchen table,” he recalled. “They put me in a car and took me to Pennsylvania and we started looking at military schools.”

A series of treatment programs and relapses followed. At one point, Dan said, he was stealing Ketamine, known as “special K,” from the veterinary office where he was working part time. One night he broke into a vet’s office, triggering the burglar alarm.

“The police came running in with guns drawn,” he said.

Dan said he was arrested on five separate occasions and attempted suicide several times. A girl he was dating and another friend both died of overdoses.

The happy ending is that Dan finally got involved with a 12-step program and has been able to stay clean for three straight years now. He is back in college, and maintaining a 3.8 grade point average.

“If there’s one thing I’d like you to take home with you tonight, it’s to get rid of the misconception that drugs are only in the urban areas,” Dan said. “There’s money here. In high school, kids selling drugs from the inner city would hang out at my school because we had money.”

Ayre said it doesn’t take a lot of money to support a drug habit, especially at first. Lunch money is enough to buy drugs for the day, he said.
Story Here: http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=...id=506868&rfi=6 (http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=11266320&BRD=1918&PAG=461&dept_id=506868&rfi=6)

04-08-2004, 11:36 PM
...be alert to obvious signs like empty liquor bottles displayed as trophies or posters promoting marijuana use.
rofl if the kid is dumb enough to leave that around, he/she needs to be busted

04-09-2004, 03:54 AM
he mis-spelled heroin every time and i have no idear what "GSB THE DATE RAPE DRUG" is. GG journalistic integrity.


04-09-2004, 12:09 PM

04-09-2004, 09:33 PM

06-23-2004, 11:21 PM
I hate to bring up past posts but I had to say this:

I actully talked to the guy who runs that lafeyette rehab. Its called The sunshine house or sunrise house or something. Anyway, I had to talk to him as a drug evaluation for school and he was the only "interviewer" availible. In the end I tricked him into thinking i didn't use drugs and i have no problem with them. I just thought this was a bit ironic.