Where do kids get drugs?
You would be surprised at how easy it is to get drugs these days. Even if your child is not predisposed to using, taking a pill or using a substance to ‘relax,’ solve problems, achieve, feel better is the culture they are growing up in. Drugs you think are no big deal like alcohol and pot, lowers inhibitions and in today’s culture, it’s just too easy to make a mistake and suffer dire consequences.
The marijuana of today is far stronger than it was 20 years ago. And today when kids drink, they often do those high caffeine energy drinks to stay awake and be able to drink more, longer. So while people passed out in the old days, it’s all about staying up as long as possible these days.
Here are a few surprising places your child (or anyone really) can get drugs.
1. At home – From your medicine cabinet, your liquor cabinet, your kitchen cabinet.
This is numero uno. Leftover medications are typically where most drug abuse starts, igniting those who are predisposed to addiction. The earlier they start, the higher their risk of death. With opiates, even kids not predisposed can become addicted because it is so highly addictive. It starts with the substances that are in your home and they graduate to more serious drug use from there.
Some parents allow their kids to use substances at home because they fear their child will do it anyway and they might as well be safe at home. I can say for certain this is not a good practice.
What can you do? Discard leftover pain medication from surgeries, lock up your liquor cabinet, minimize alcohol you have in your home, and make sure stimulant meds are not accessible in the kitchen.
2. By text
Kids text and facebook message their drug dealers who in turn deliver them to your driveway like pizza. If your child is leaving for brief periods of time and returning, be suspicious. They could be running outside to make a quick purchase. Charles ordered drugs by text, they’d meet him in his car parked on the street.
I caught an exchange on the drive cam one time. He had the car on because it was cold. And I saw a shadowy figure walk in front of the car on a rainy night, Charles lowered his window, money and heroin were exchanged and the window went up. No words were spoken at all. You think you live too far out? Think again. We lived in the county and he didn’t want to be caught driving under the influence. So this was a default method of getting heroin.
What can you do? If you are the account holder for the mobile phone, you should set limits on your child’s digital device. They should not have these devices in their rooms at night.
3. From the mailman
The comedian Mitch Hedberg used to joke about the UPS guy being his drug dealer. he was not kidding. People can order off the “dark web,” “deep internet” or darknet silk road. There is a special portal. I remember Charles telling me about it.
What can you do? Again, limit those digital devices. Watch the mail. If your child is getting a lot of packages, be suspicious and make yourself present when they are opened. Do fall for their hissy fits about privacy.
4. Social media
Definitely not the most reliable and the easiest way for a con artist to rip off your kid, it does exist. Your more seasoned drug users are less likely to use this method but curious teens will often resort to this method initially.
Right now, customers are buying product off Instagram, Grindr, Tinder, Whisper, Yik Yak, and more. These days, if a smartphone app is social and location-based, you can guarantee there’s a dealer near you. App based dealing.
What can you do? Limit interaction and be vigilant about checking their phones.
5. After a friend’s surgery
I remember Charles would message friends who had had wisdom teeth removed and ask for the “yummy leftovers.” No one needs 30 oxycodone for this. In fact, tylenol/advil combo works far better with no abuse potential. Same goes with any other surgery. The kids know who is going in the hospital and that it’s likely they’ll get a narcotic.
What can you do? Be knowledgeable and educated. Never think it won’t happen to you. Don’t dismiss gut feelings because you can’t place the reason why they might be acting they way they are.
6. From Walmart and other drug stores
Plenty of over the counter meds have abuse potential. Take Robitussin, for example. This is a popular drug of abuse for high school kids. They call it “robotripping.”
Many times when kids are hiding drugs, they are hiding them right in front of your face but you don’t know it. Find out the covert places kids hide drugs in plain sight.
Learn what I wish I’d known before I lost my son to drug-related suicide