Teens n’ Drugs + How to Take a Bath (so you won’t stink)

The first half of this post was regarding the election, boring old news and just re-reading it stresses me out. Folks, 6 in 10 Canadians didn’t vote for the Conservatives. The system needs to change… but that is another column.

* * *
On another note, a group I have recently become in involved with is COPS (Community Police Board – if you will). Recognizing that the majority of crimes committed are from kids aged 16-25, a lot of crime has drug related roots.

Centre Wellington Youth are more than just dabbling in drug use nowadays. They will tell you that ‘it’ is everywhere. “IT” creates a cycle of crime, which, with two boys under age 12, I will tell you I didn’t really ever give much thought to; this particular cycle. But if you become hooked on a drug, then you need to pay for it, and perhaps stealing might be the way to fund your addiction? Who knows what people will do for a hit, but stealing is definitely something that certain merchants will tell you affects their business.

So what to do? Some advice from someone close to me going through this with their child is this: know your kids friends and if you have a bad feeling about someone you are probably right. Do not be afraid to punish your child, they think and know they have all the power in this day and age.

If they threaten to call the C.A.S on you – hand them the phone. OPP reminds me that you still have the right to physically punish or discipline your child, but don’t use excessive force. Things get a little fuzzy around the term excessive force, which can lead to a sense of hopelessness for parents how to manage their drug addicted child. Further, parents calling the OPP for assistance in managing the nightmare has put the state in the business of raising our children.

What I can tell you is the moms (and some grand-moms) of youth affected by drugs are running out of ideas on how to deal with the problem. Finally convincing your child to visit their physician is a hurdle most covet, however you quickly learn as concerned mom that what is said in the privacy of the doctors office, stays in the doctors office if your child is over the age of 13 and thus, we are cut out of the cycle to helping our kids. This is the same for social workers, counselors of any kind – ‘nope, can’t tell you the problem, but keep at it, you’re on the right track.’

Young girls don’t have to steal because once a dealer/boyfriend gets them hooked they will use their bodies to get their fix. Does this response want to make your head explode? It does mine. When I asked when on earth privacy laws changed, I was informed about the Charter of Rights and Freedoms founded in 1982.

The OPP have something to offer in their various frustrations on the same subject. For instance, if youth (or anyone for that matter) run away, a simple phone call attempting to locate the person at a hostel or even a hospital will render zero results. OPP asking a school if a child is there is also a challenge for them. Yes the school will call police to review police tapes of a kid writing graffiti all over the bathroom, but a similar request to see tapes to sort out a drug deal in same bathroom will also render zero results. Literally, the only time privacy laws can be broken down, is if the OPP are needed, and this is a sad one-way street that has been created by government.

This situation all round is not working for anyone so in the meantime, looking at what is causing the cycle and trying to do something about it, is what COPS is working on now. Educating our grade seven and eights in drug awareness is our plan and we are working on pitching the schools/ service clubs (to help finance) now to have teachers attend training for a program called High on Life which takes a holistic view combining the current curriculm on drug awareness with assertive training and goal setting. So far St. Mary’s School and Elora Public are on board (thank you Elora Lions, you rock boys n’ gals) (looking for all schools in CW).

As Maude Barlow says: Fighting for justice everyday is like taking a bath. If you don’t do it, you’ll stink.

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