ANOTHER DRUG DEATH

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My greatest fear as a parent is that my children will decide to dabble with drugs. Although there is more than ample drug education for kids these days, the message doesn’t seem to be getting through. Teenagers are more interesting in the calorie content in food than the chemicals used in making synthetic drugs that have the potential to kill them.

This morning I was devastated to hear of the death of a nineteen-year-old girl, Georgina Bartter, from an ecstasy overdose. She was at a music festival (just like the ones my teenage daughters like to attend) and although she is an intelligent university student, she took the gamble to have drugs and now unfortunately she is lying dead in a morgue.

These music festivals are rife with drugs, even though there is screening at the entry. The problem with drugs is that if they are consumed prior to entry there is little evidence. I’ve heard of girls putting pills into balloons and then inserting them inside themselves to smuggle them into the festival so they can consume them in the portable toilets. I even know some teenagers who flaunt their drug use by using pill emoticons when posting photos on social media.

The drug culture has always been taboo and something that teenagers will not openly disclose to their parents. I know some teenagers think that rebellion is a rite of passage, but this behaviour is risky and yet they seem to have little fear of the possible consequences.

I was exposed to drugs as a teenager but I always took the view that I had high enough self-esteem to say no and not bend to peer pressure. The funny thing is that the kids who were the ‘popular’ ones doing drugs and pushing boundaries ended up as the least successful adults and the kids that were more conservative in their behaviour have turned out to have the most balanced lives.

My heart goes out to the Bartter family as they grieve the loss of their beautiful daughter, whose life should have been just starting – not ending! Unfortunately I don’t have much advice on how to stop your kids using drugs except to say have conversations with your kids about the dangers of drug use, try to ensure they have good self esteem and won’t bend to peer pressure, keep an eye on your kid’s friends social media and monitor your kid’s behaviour for any signs of drug use.

Friendships and fun times are what make life exciting – not taking drugs! I just hope this message sinks in for my kids and they have the good sense to say no to drugs.

(Photo courtesy of amenic181, freedigitalphotos.net)

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