Why are so many on drugs today???

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Tiredof33, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    Are there more of our young on drugs today than when I was a youth (59)??? Or am I just noticing it more since it is in my home???

    I went to the gym today and one of my classmates was telling me she was tired because they had the 2 &4 yo grands now, and they may have them permanently. She was telling me she just doesn't have the energy to run her business and care for toddlers, but she doesn't feel as if she has a choice. I knew her son used drugs (small town lol) but I guess the mother does too. I feel too old to raise children, she will be 80 when they turn 20!

    A distance relatives 28 yo was sent to prison for armed robbery (drugs), after 8 years (he was lucky) he violated parole (drugs again) and was sent back to prison for 2 more years. Now he says he can't find a job (not really looking still using) and lives with his mother. His mother works long hours and pays for everything for him including cigarettes. The mother gets very angry when anyone says something to her about 'this is not really helping him'. She is buying him a car!!!!!!!

    Hubby and I were watching a movie this week and the attorney and sherriff were shown smoking pot. Are we so used to seeing drug use that our youth sees it as 'normal' behavior?????

    Before I retired, some of the people I worked with talked about smoking pot with their parents and thought it should be legalized as it was no worse than drinking alcohol. I think if it was legalized it may get some of the crime off the street, maybe not.

    I don't know if I am more aware of it now, but I do think it is much worse than when I was growing up. And easier to find!
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I suspect so. Probably more alcohol in the past....but certainly there has always been drug use. It is amazing how devastating it is to families. i have never understood pot... I HATE the smell..really makes me so totally sick to my stomach to smell it in the air or on clothes. at least alcohol doesn't stink up a house... not that it is better to use it, but I just hate the smell so so much.

    I would have no idea how to get street drugs but if the difficult child's of the world can I assume I could if I wanted to..... I would be the one to be busted the first time though.

    I wish there was a good answer to help this but what???
  3. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    My daughter didn't tell me until many years later that kids smoked pot on the way to and from school. There is no way the bus driver and all of the kids did not smell it.
    The kids are either protecting, or they are afraid of , the kids smoking the dope.
    I always tell mine, 'you know why they call it DOPE'!
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    OH geez, my bus driver SMOKED pot on the way to school. I went crazy... I told my parents, they told the school, and no matter, they didnt' want to invade his privacy unless more than one kid witnessed it.

    That was in the late 70's and now they random drug test so hopefully that woudn't happen.

    Once the driver asked us if we had any papers... I said I do ! I ripped out a notebook page for him... I was TOTALLY CLUELESS. I still feel embarassed at the reaction from my peers...luckily we were all friends and they didn't rip me apart.
  5. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    OMG that is horrrible! I was just as clueless and I really didn't recognize the sysmtoms when my difficult child was drugging. Now I notice it! My difficult child told me that every time they have gone to concerts and certain shows, someone would try to sell them drugs.
    My thoughts are that they can recognize other druggies.
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ok, I am 50 so I am a child of the 70s though at heart I am a flower child. I should have been a 60s kid. I would have fit in so well at Woodstock.

    In the 70's there were drugs. In the area I was in mostly it was pot, a few types of pills, acid and drinking. Cocaine, meth and heroin had not hit my area at all. I was out of the drug use stage by the time that stuff came along. I was well into my sex, drugs and rock'n roll. Loved it all. I am one who thinks pot should be legalized even though I do not like it myself. I think there are enough medical reasons for its use to legalize it and I also believe that with it being illegal we have just made it all the more tempting. Lord knows we spend billions attempting to stop it coming into the country and we fail miserably. Might as well allow it and tax it. Like alcohol. I think alcohol is much more dangerous. I do think the pot of the past was different though so if we had legalized pot, they could keep track of it like they do in the states that have the stores so they get pot without additives.
  7. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    The almighty dollar, that's why.
  8. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    When I was in high school, some of the kids would deal right in the classroom. Now, some of them smoke pot with their kids and the kids' friends. I was shocked when my difficult child told me he has smoked pot with a parent of friends. Turned out he was one of those from my high school. One parent wound up getting arrested for supplying & dealing drugs to the kids about a year ago.
    So, I believe there is more drug use because many from my generation thought there wasn't anything wrong with it. Then, when they had kids, they saw/see nothing wrong with it and let their kids use and then the friends get involved with it too. It snowballs.
  9. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Re: Kids smoking pot on the way to school....
    I use to run groups for teen substance abuse
    and I was shocked to find out how many teens did/do this.
    After talking with them I discovered that many teens today have problems at home and at school. Eventually, this leads to deep depression and anixiety. Boredom at school is very common.
    And it seems boredom is the kiss of death for a teen.
    There were many reasons for it all...including good old fashioned peer pressure, but self medication was a HUGE factor.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I am 58 and came from a rather liberal and well off suburb of Chicago. I recall the babyboomers as HUGE druggies. In fact, it was hard for me to find any friends who didn't do drugs, even the dorks. I didn't like either drinking or drugs so I often felt isolated.
    I really think the babyboomers started it and many of the parents are waaaaaaaaaay too tolerant of pot, which is a Gateway Drug. Some of my daughter's friends and their babyboomer parents smoke with their kids. Some still do coke once in a while. And I am no longer living in a rich or liberal neighborhood anymore.
  11. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    I think the drugs are stronger and more dangerous now than when I was young (I am 55). However I am not sure that more kids are using drugs than when I was young. It seemed when I was in hs and college everyone at least tried pot... it was pretty darned common. I think the % of kids who smoked pot was higher or similar. I do think nowadays in our area drink more than smoke pot... it seems like drinking is a real problem with the teens here, and the kids who are pot heads are a bit more on the fringes.... although I think a lot of kids do both. However I do think there are a number of kids who don't do either... my easy child being one of them. And she is not in the geeky crowd and has a good group of friends (although admittedly she does have some friends who do drugs... but they are not her close close friends).

    I think there are plenty of people who can experiment with drugs and alcholol and walk away just fine... unfortunately for us our difficult children are not among that group.

    I have very mixed feelings about legalizing pot. I used to be all for it.... but now I just wonder if legalizing it would create even more use among teens. Don't know the answer to that.

  12. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm with TL, I have very mixed feelings about legalizing pot. The pot today is not at all like the pot of the 70's ad I do believe that it leads to other drugs, at least for our difficult children it does. If we are going to legalize pot we should lower the drinking age too and I don't think that's a good idea either.

  13. Lourdes

    Lourdes Guest

    I'm a child of the 70s and the drug of choice for the mainstream kids - athletes, cheerleaders, drill team - was alcohol. The "freaks" smoked weed. That was about it.

    My 11th grader says "most" kids in his school smoke weed - although moreso in the summer when the school isn't random drug testing (private school). Some do it during the year. Several kids have already been kicked out of school for testing positive for weed. He says alcohol is not as big. Luckily, I guess, there is no pee or hair test for my son's addiction - video games. He named names of who smokes and who doesn't and it turns out he is one of the 10% who doesn't smoke weed. My son never leaves the house and I take him to school.

    Now among my 40something female coworkers - almost every single one of them is using prescription drugs inappropriately. One prefers alcohol, but the rest - pills - all due to stress.
  14. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This is an interesting topic, thanks for posting. I grew up in the 60's where smoking pot was, for the most part, a part of my youth. I have a daughter who grew up in the 80's and now a granddaughter who is 15. It seems that there was about the same percentage of kids who did drugs and drank alcohol in all our generations. My opinion is that it is more talked about, it's in the news, you read about it, it's out there now, unlike the secret it tended to be when I was growing up. I am in the middle of a very intense codependency program through a hospital which goes on for at least one year. Part of this program is to take educational classes on addiction. It's been a real learning experience. One of the classes, which are all facilitated by therapists whose expertise is chemical dependency, informed us that when kids/people take drugs or drink there is a certain percentage whose brains are predisposed to becoming addicted and almost from the very first time, they are addicted. If there is alcohol or addiction in the family, these folks are predisposed to addiction, their brains are different then the brains of folks whose genetic coding does not include addiction. That's likely been true through the ages, alcoholics have been around forever. Given television, news, movies, generally more openness about everything, I imagine it would appear that there are more people on drugs today. I read an interesting book by the former Admitting Psychiatrist at Bellevue hospital in NYC and she commented that after 9/11 the amount of people in her practice in Manhattan, who asked for medication was off the charts. With terrorism and the level of fear always circulating, more folks are on drugs and then of course, the percentage of people who get in trouble increases. Even in the hospital setting, folks are given drugs very easily for almost any ailment. So, legal drugs are much more prominent in our culture. and many are lifesavers, and many are abused. I think drugs are a much larger part of our culture now, they are advertised on TV! Almost everyone I know has a script for Xanax or Ativan, or some kind of tranquilizer. So, as I think about it, I would imagine illegal drugs are maybe the same, and legal drugs seem to more prominent, more available and certainly more abused. Well, thanks for the post, it's certainly food for thought.
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Addiction has existed as long as nature has. There are animals who eat things to get high. LOTS of them. It has been a human problem as far back as records go. I do think that many people think pot isn't a big deal and that for many it has the same role as alcohol.

    I think we just hear more about it because now we have laws about it, global info in close to real time, and we have figured out how to produce stronger substances (the pot grown in grow houses/operations are said to be far stronger than what was smoked in the past). Used to be people covered drug use up. Relatives went for a retreat or to some destination instead of admitting that they went to get clean. Heck, doctors and cops used to help cover it up (still do if you are wealthy and powerful).

    We get such an enormous barrage of info every day and addiction/drug issues sell media so those stories get shown/printed more often.

    that being said, I don't know of many people who were able to manage pot as their only drug. I had one close friend who had a TOTAL personality change due to the enormous amount of pot she was smoking. We also worked together and she put a LOT of us at risk because she would be so very messed up. I took a ten yr break from her because I just didn't want to be around it. I do think at some point we will probably have to legalize it. If nothing else it would help deal wth the drug cartels. Or so the theory goes. They sure wouldn't have to sneak it around and hurt people over it.
  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I know many people who only smoke pot the same way as they would have the occasional beer. These are the same people who grew up in the 70's and smoked a little pot now and then on the weekends. They werent the pot heads who smoked pounds of pot a week. These are the people who can smoke it after they take care of all their other responsibilities. They dont put their families at risk of going down the tubes financially. I dont think pot is always a gateway drug just as cigarettes arent a gateway drug. Heavens I just heard on tv that they want to start controlling sugar the same way they control other addictive substances. Oh please. What next?
  17. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    The pot today is much stronger than it was a decade or decades ago.
    And it is proven that it can alter brain activity. It certainly can cause lethargy and a reduction in motivation.
    It is particularly problematic for teens who are still developing.
    But lethargy and lack of motivation is not a good thing for anyone.
    I think our society needs to find enjoyment in other ways and re think the way we do things so that pot is not such a temptation for so many.
  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    in my opinion pot and alcohol are used pretty much alike and for the same reason. As a total non-drinker (I have never been drunk in my life) with a non-drinking husband, I can tell you that your social life suffers and you are not invited to as many parties if you don't do either. Hub and I are fine with that...we don't like to party and are ok with a few other drug-free friends. I never did get why anyone had fun acting stupid...and sometimes blurting out things they wish they hadn't said the next morning. I'm not even talking about alcoholics...I mean social drinkers.

    Until our society stops using alcohol (the biggest gateway drug)as a way of being accepted, both adults and children will find substances appealing. Even as an adult, I am under tremendous peer pressure to "oh, come on, at least have one drink." If adults act this way and put pressure on their friends, kids are going to do it too. In a way, they are copying us. Some of my daughter's friends see their parents getting together every weekend and they definitely end up drunk and silly in front of the kids.

    I don't think we are going to get rid of pot or alcohol anytime soon. It's everywhere and it's more accepted to do it than not to do it. Heck, in spite of my daughter having never seen either me or her father drunk, she was a drug addict. She got that from her environment outside of the house, not in it. It is a big temptation for any teen who wants to be accepted and is not comfortable in his/her skin or has a tendency toward depression or who is seeing chaos at home. They use drugs for the same reasons that adults do. in my opinion the kids who see the adults drinking probably think, "Wow, that looks like fun." These people sometimes get sick enough to be puking, although most are just at that "silly, silly" phase. However, they often do say inappropriate or sexual things when they are at that stage.

    Until alcohol stops becoming synanamous with having a good time, I don't see our kids turning to other things for fun if they are in that vulnerable category. Of course, there ARE kids who do not use drugs...my younger daughter neither uses drugs nor drinks. But she is self-confident and a very good athlete. My older daughter did not have the same personality traits that can be buffers against substance abuse.
  19. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    Agreed a million times over. I know so many people that are very successful and enjoy pot in the evenings the way some people enjoy beer. They are not lethargic or lazy in any kind of way. I do not believe it is a gateway drug. I think people have predisposed addiction qualities and that addiction could be with anything - video games, gambling, food, hoarding, etc. or drugs and alcohol.
  20. Lourdes

    Lourdes Guest

    My son has never had any interest in weed despite the fact he has been exposed to it from my 50-year-old brother for my son's entire life. It's no secret my brother smokes, he has smoked in this house. It made zero impact on my son. The boy has no interest. He even has school friends that smoke and it doesn't persaude him to do it. So, I am thinking people are pre-disposed to get involved in drugs no matter what the environment is.