Dear Dr. Bradley -
I'm wondering if you can help me.
As a mother of a drug using 19 year son, I am more passionate than ever to get the message out to middle school parents the need to educate themselves about the risks of drug experimentation, abuse, and addiction. I've long since stopped being frustrated by the complacency and lack of concern in our society (schools, media, government) to campaign and get the word out as to how devastating effects drugs can have on a young person and what parents should look for if they suspect their child is using. This information should be common knowledge throughout our communities ~ especially since drug usage is not improving but no one wants to talk about it! No one wants to deal with it and therefore I will continue to do what I'm doing until more people jump on board!
Anyway, one of the many things I'm doing to try and share the message is to present drug awareness programs at our local middle school. My husband and I present two programs - one called "NOT MY CHILD" for parents only in the fall, and then one called "Can We Talk"? for both parents and their children in the spring. Last year was the first time we presented these programs.
For the spring one - I have a question - last year we had two young adults give their drug and recovery stories to both parents and students and then we split them up - leaving both groups to learn and discuss the appropriate material following the talks. When I came up with this idea of drug and recovery stories, I learned that other prevention programs (given by adolescent drug treatment centers) were having young adults share their stories too. I thought that these stories would be a good spring board for inspiring discussions for later. Well, a friend of mine told me recently that there's been some evidence-based studies that indicate that this isn't the best approach - having youth listen to these personal stories. I commented that perhaps it's because the adolescents might interpret these recovery stories as an excuse -thinking if these young people can try drugs and then go into recovery - then it's okay.
I've tried looking on-line for some data that supports this thought but I can't find anything.
To my knowledge the programs that are not well-supported by the research are the "scared-straight" approaches that just tell horror stories to which few kids can relate. Most kids just close off to the information since it is so dramatic, scary and "other world." I'd guess that the more common addiction stories (losing good friends, school, interests, family) would be helpful. I can tell you that since most adolescents in the audiences have already made up their minds to do or not do drugs, many experts say our efforts should be biased towards the parents who are the most powerful agents in the lives of their children. In any event, what you are doing can only help, not hurt, any of these folks so please accept my thanks for pushing back against the madness.
Dr. Mike Bradley
i dont know much about it but try some Drug rehabilitation centers, they help you to guide in this matter