In the book Understanding Drug Use, An Adult’s Guide to Drugs and the Young, by Peter Marin and Allan Cohen, you find that education in our youth today is vital. In a few short years, drug taking by younger people has become a fact of life in America, and for hundreds of thousands of families this fact poses a profound problem with wrenching social, legal, and psychological implications.
Faced with an upsetting and unfamiliar experience when they discover that their children are experimenting with drugs or alcohol, parents search frantically for olutions-often coming up with the wrong ones, thereby intensifying an already sensitive situation. This book seems to have been written with the parent or mentor in mind. It focuses on realistic approaches to dealing with substance abuse, and attempts to help parents and others understand why some people put themselves in these types of situations.
The damage that could result from a parents lack of understanding in the meaning of their child’s drug and/or alcohol abuse can often be worse than the results of the child actually taking the drugs! Marin and Cohen lay the groundwork for this understanding with a discussion of adolescence in America today that makes many parents realize they play an important role in helping their children react to situations.
With sensitivity and genuine feeling, discussion can open up new areas of understanding, revealing some of the fundamental impulses that motivate our young people in today’s society, and perhaps parents will be better equipped psychologically to relate to what really troubles their children. Most parents must assume that their children will attempt drugs and/or lcohol at least once in their adolescence, and attempts to suppress their use entirely “are doomed to fail, because children react to actions of parents and peers”.
The authors instead suggest ways to minimize drug misuse and teach specific ways in which parents, teachers, community leaders, and others can assist children in education on the negative results of abuse. Some of the suggestions are helpful and can bring understanding to the child as well. What to do if your child is arrested is one topic area, and in it the authors suggest you attempt o motivate your child to see how he or she came into the situation they are in now.
Also, if you find that your child has had an experience with alcohol or drugs, point out the negatives immediately (hangover, “bad trip”, etc). They point out some helpful and also unhelpful attitudes the parent or other person can develop. Throughout this book are excellent bits of advise and reasoning techniques parents can employ to divert their children away from drug and alcohol abuse. Each parent should be given a copy of a book such as this when leaving the hospital, after giving birth to a child.