Let's be honest. There are no answers. We are blazing new trails, our instincts, our own research, our mistakes are all we have right now. I am piecing together the puzzle through reading, thinking and observing myself and others around me. It is becoming very clear to me that the environment plays a determining role in the loss of self and total loss of perspective of young people deciding on a path of self-destruction. Why worry when the self has disappeared a long time ago? Hey, it's okay to go to strange psychic spaces once in a while; however, our society doesn't allow time for people to be out of the ordinary. If one doesn't fit the cookie-cutter, one is doomed in today's world of success, whatever that means. These young people need community and connectedness, not judgment and strident demands. If anyone senses that they may be seeing a similar perspective, I would look forward to being in touch.
I don't think there is any one answer or paradigm for drug use/addiction. I do think you need to be careful when you talk of the environment not to make it sound like you are parent blaming. I think society often blames the parents and assume they have done something wrong to have a drug addicted kid. Often that is just not the case... and of course there are many kids who grow up in very dysfunctional homes who do not end up drug addicted. I do think community and connectedness is key..... but I am not sure how that fits into your paradigm
Hello Elizabeth.....Hello All. I did write a rather long post yesterday that never went through. What's with that???
I disagree that enviorment is the major cause of drug addiction. Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Baltimore are load with addicts BUT so is rural Minn (highest in the nation in meth labs and use). This small laid back town I live in has drug addicts and alcoholics galore,,,so does the all American town 16 miles away. I see skinny girls with teeth missing walking on the main streets. Addicts have come from every walk of life.
I think we are going to find that genetics play a strong role. More in next post.
These kids have been raised in a drug culture and they like getting high. Some will become addicted. Most won't. They will outgrow their drug taking and drinking. AS a teenager I started drinking and later in my 20's 30's I put away a fair amount of alcohol. I NEVER became alcoholic and without thinking about it I just atarted drinking less. Did I like drinking...yes I did. I didn't like the hangovers. Another true fact:most will quit drugs on their own....without costly rehab.
We must make kids get responsibility for their own lives. This generation, the next and the one coming up are a greedy bunch. They do feel entitled. We like to say that drug addicts are all sick, have a disease. Most of that is psycological babble. They became addicted because they used too long. It's the same with cigarettes. And I did become highly addicted to cigarettes. I did quit cold turky 28 years ago. Why? Because I made up my own mind to quit. By the way nicotine is the hardest drug to quit.
My husband and I were driving through a stunning, pristine little town called Virginia City in Madison County Montana, remarking about what a safe and serene place this would be to raise a family, when we came upon a huge billboard with the deranged faces of youthful addicts with the blazing caption "METH EQUALS DEATH".
Trouble in paradise????
As Deb mentioned, addiction is a problem independent of environmental distinctions. But the cultural influences, the prevailing spirit of the times, seem to reflect an atmosphere of apathy, cynicism, bitterness and hopelessness. Many young people are despairing that the future is bleak and beyond their power to control, and this plays itself out in many ways. Just observe how many people today are festooned with tattoos, piercings, this is the new brand and it's dark. Instead of a sign of rebellion, tattoos are a sign of conformity. There are no positive social movements that capture the interest of our youth. My generation ended the Vietnam war, and impeached a president, but today the protests are absent, there are so many social problems demanding attention and outrage, but there is no energy for inciting change, instead that energy is directed inward, often destructively.
I recently spoke to a group of college kids in my son's ethic class who believe that the World Trade Towers were brought down by explosives, the Patriot Act was enacted to strip away our constitutional rights, we are only in Afghanistan for oil, the Federal Reserve's function is to keep us financially enslaved with a debt that can never be repaid, and all of our congressmen are corrupt. In this context, rampant drug use can be understood, even if many of our addicted children don't articulate this as such, the generalized mood of despair gives context to much of this behavior.