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Mom Whose Son Overdosed Finds that Other Parents Were Getting High with the Kids

Can we depend on other parents to keep our kids safe?

As parents, we depend on other parents to help keep our kids safe. But a recent story from a mom who lost her son to a fatal overdose proved that we have to keep an eye on other parents as well.

Her son had first taken prescription drugs – Vicodin – when he was 15. He had a summer job working in a nursing home. Someone who worked there offered him some Vicodin. He took the six pills he was given, then started taking prescription drugs at parties. Things kept getting worse until, four years later, he died of an overdose.

This boy had a lot of potential. Despite the drugs, he got through high school and earned a college scholarship with football. But he only got to play one game. He had such bad muscle and bone pain trying to withdraw from the prescription pills he was taking, he couldn’t continue. He went home. Then back to school, and back and forth again.

He had totally dropped out of college within a year. And it was just about a year after he started college that he took the fatal overdose.

After his death, several of his friends came around to see the boy’s mother and talk to her – telling her about her son’s life with drugs. And about their own lives. That’s how she found out that many of the drugs that were available to her son were actually given to him by his friends’ parents.

His friends told of their parents getting high with them, and letting whatever kids were visiting smoke marijuana, take other drugs and drink in their homes.

There were no drugs or alcohol allowed in his own home. His mother was shocked to find out that things weren’t the same in others homes.

Parents often have the idea that if they let the kids do drugs and drink at home, they’re less likely to do it while they’re out – which means they’ll be safer. But, in fact, whatever kids do at home, they are likely to do more of when their parents aren’t watching.

There are a few lessons to be learned here:

  • Always do a thorough check on the parents of your kids friends. Go to their houses, meet them, discuss drugs and alcohol and see where they stand. If there’s anything idea at all that ‘drugs are fine in moderation’ or that kids should be allowed to drink at home, even if nowhere else, just put your foot down. Educate your own kids on drugs, and make it known that parents who don’t understand how dangerous they can be are not the kind of people you want to be responsible for your kids. And parents do have a responsibility for what goes on in their home.
  • One for one, the friends who visited this boy’s mom after his death, wished they had parents that also had no drug / no alcohol rules in their homes. To them, it showed that the parents cared.

It’s okay for parents to be friends with their kids, but not at the expense of being parents. Kids need structure and rules. They need their parents to be setting a good example – not acting like a kid.

There was nothing in this mother’s story about getting addiction help for her son. I have no idea why – but a good drug rehab program probably would have saved his life.

Drugs aren’t something to fool around with. You don’t wait and see how things turn out, you jump on it. And this mother’s story is exactly why.

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