***WARNING: THIS IS A RANT. IF YOU ARE EASILY OFFENDED OR FIND THIS SUBJECT MATTER TOO SENSITIVE, DO NOT READ ON. THESE ARE MY PERSONAL OPINIONS AND ARE NOT MEANT TO OFFEND ANYONE. SOMETHING OBSCENE WAS BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION, AND I FELT THAT IT MAY BE SOMETHING OTHER MOMS SHOULD BE AWARE OF.***
I don't usually do too many personal posts, as I am back-logged with reviews and giveaways that need to be written. However, work is taking a spot on the back-burner for a moment, since there is something I feel I need to address with parents out here. Something that has me very upset and afraid for the future of our kids.
My 11 year old, 6th grade son came home today and told me something alarming: A child in his grade was found selling a wide variety of narcotic pain-killers. The child in question is a 12 year old boy. The child will more than likely be expelled, thank goodness. It just shocked me to learn that things like Oxycontin, Percocet, and Vicodin were even accessible to a child of that age.
Let me clarify something here: I was no angel growing up at all. I hung out with older kids and had access to a lot of different things that I shouldn't have. No, I didn't experiment with the vast majority of these things, but I knew lots of kids who did. Heck, many of them were my "friends". I didn't hang out with the best crowd, that's for sure. I had a pretty crappy childhood and gravitated towards those in similar situations. But one thing I NEVER saw were prescription drugs. Sure, I saw kids drinking underage, smoking, even experimenting with marijuana, LSD and shrooms. But never any pills. That was just something you did not see when I was a kid. Luckily, even though I was a pretty reckless teen in a lot of ways, I was always too fearful to do anything that could kill me. I have an irrational fear of death, and that probably did me quite a few favors.
So while I understand peer pressure and what kids can fall into, I always thought that the drug dealers were the real danger to kids...Apparently, this has taken a back seat to the medicine cabinet. And to be blunt, as a mom, this scares the shit out of me. Yes, I know...I just said shit. I never cuss on here, but right now, I am irate and afraid. Prescription pain-killers are no laughing matter. They ruin lives. They destroy what could be happy families. They turn people into pathetic shells of their former selves. These pills KILL. I have seen it happen so many times both in the media (think Michael Jackson and his drug issues) as well as to people I know. Prescription meds are highly addictive, and definitely lethal. They have devastating effects on those who abuse them and the people around them.
My question is this: WHY IN THE HELL ARE THESE DRUGS AVAILABLE TO MY 11 YEAR OLD CHILD?! How does this even HAPPEN?! I am going to go out on a limb here and blame irresponsible parenting. Why on Earth would any rational adult leave these toxic medications where a child could get into them? I would venture as far to say they need to be locked away in a safe that the children cannot access, and that is IF it's even necessary to have them in the home at all.
I have always had a specific issue with narcotic pain-killers for personal reasons I won't discuss. I do not take pills. Period. I had 3 cesarean and discarded 98% of the Percocet I was prescribed because I did not wan to take any chances at dependency. (The first 24 hours, I DID take the pills, although very, very sparingly. After that I took Tylenol and Ibuprofen.) I do not believe in taking any pill I can become hooked on, or any pill that can potentially kill me. Life is too damn precious. My KIDS are too damn precious. They deserve to have a mother. That's just my stance on this issue. Your opinions may differ, and I am not criticizing anyone who thinks differently.
That leads me to my second point: A large number of people abusing these types of drugs DO NOT TRULY NEED THEM. They become so dependent on them that they become a crutch. People convince themselves that they "need" these pills to function. It changes them over time, from their personality to their ability to deal with people they once loved and it even alters their appearances.To me, this is sad because it is a slow form of suicide. And there are crack-head doctors out there who are still willing to dole them out like candy. These doctors should lose their medical licenses and be held liable for the lives they are helping to destroy. They should be imprisoned for their unethical practices in medicine. A couple of the first things a doctor must promise upon taking the Hippocratic Oath are these:
"I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone."
"I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan"
I'm sorry, but handing out Morphine or Oxycontin to someone who is not terminally ill is the equivalent to handing an addict heroin. These particular medications basically are just that: Synthetic heroin. When a user shoots heroin, once it hits the bloodstream it is converted into morphine. WHY IS THIS IN MY CHILD'S MIDDLE SCHOOL?!
Now don't get me wrong. I know there are chronic, terminal conditions out there when patients DO need these drugs. I get that. I am not implying that everyone who takes pain-killers is a junkie. But you know what? MANY of them are, and in their own pattern of addiction and self-destruction, these pills are being left where kids can access them. Kids can take them. Kids can become addicts. Or dealers. KIDS CAN DIE FROM THIS.
So please, parents. Be very mindful about what drugs are in your medicine cabinets. If your kids stay overnight or even visit other homes, be aware of what they may be exposed to. Make certain that any and ALL drugs are kept physically locked up. If people laugh at you or call you paranoid and refuse to secure such drugs, don't let your kids into their homes. Prescription drugs should be treated a lot like a loaded firearm. There is no such thing as being to careful when it comes to the life of your child. Lucky for me, my son is VERY anti-drug and was pretty upset about this incident himself. I am proud of him for trusting me enough to have an open and honest conversation with me about the pressure that occurs in his school. Not all kids are that open with their parents. Please, just be aware that the drug dealer on the corner isn't the biggest threat to our kids nowadays. The real threat might be right there in your medicine cabinet. And these same drugs are being made available, even to kids as young as mine. Help raise awareness to this growing problem. Not one life should be lost.
Rant over. Thanks for "listening."
11/9/2011 07:32:05 am
It is definitely not a good idea to keep Oxycontin and other narcotics where children can get at them. It sounds like that is what happened in this scenario. It's also possible the 12 year old boy has an older sibling who is a "professional" dealer and got them that way.
11/9/2011 11:35:59 pm
It was a problem when I was in high school 10 years ago. I knew quite a few kids who were hooked to Oxy, which was the main freely available prescription drug. I grew up in a suburban middle income town, it wasn't a dangerous area either.
11/9/2011 11:44:54 pm
That is absolutely outrageous and terrifying! It always boggles me when parents have no clue what their children are "in" to. Sure kids will be sneaky but if parents actually parent then they would know to keep Rx drugs out of sight/hidden even if it's for fear of accidental dosage. Off subject... however the same thing applies to guns. If you have them keep them in safe places where your children can not get to them.
11/10/2011 12:47:46 am
I agree, ladies. I have seen so many people get hurt by prescription drugs, and it's sad...I know a couple of people who actually died from overdose on Oxy, and this was handed to them by their doctors for conditions that did not warrant it. Who needs something that potent for a backache? And I don't mean degenerative disc disease, either. I mean a normal backache! I know they've changed a lot of their regulations when prescribing this, but there are still crackhead doctors that do not care and will hand people anything they ask for like candy. And to think that my 11 year old is being exposed to this at school!I was just really irate that a 12 year old brought a LARGE quantity into a middle school!
11/10/2011 06:55:05 am
I'm completely and utterly with you in this regard. My other half and I have this dilemma going on currently, since his daughter has just started middle school this year.
11/10/2011 07:40:47 am
Eva, your comment hit very close to home. I cannot go into specifics about it, but I know someone who also has pancreatitis and has been an addict for at least a decade, if not longer. They will admit they have a problem, but do not seek help for it. They don't WANT to change. It's so sad, too, because before the drugs literally took this person's identity from them, we were very close. They were involved with me and my oldest son and we talked daily. Then out of nowhere, everything changed. That person was gone, and the morphine took over. It changed WHO they are as a human being, and they can't even see it. They no longer call, and if I try calling most of the time the phone goes unanswered or I get bitched at for trying to talk. I stopped trying years ago to call, as it became pointless. They are sick all the time, but it's not due to illness...It's the drugs. It is no longer about killing pain. It's about a horrible, debilitating addiction, and it hurts everyone around them. I don't even feel like I know the person anymore, and my kids don't know them either. My youngest 2 have had very little involvement and my oldest asks me why this person doesn't try harder to see him...And as a mom, I don't know what to say. I don't tell him the truth, though. It would break his heart. This person means a lot to me, and it kills me to know all of the things that they're missing out on. They're throwing their life away. And there is nothing I can do to stop it. If I try and talk about it or say how I feel, they get very, very nasty. It's like Jekyll and Hyde. Sometimes they're rational. If they're low on the meds, they're horribly mean and completely irrational. I wish I could just go drop my kids off to visit them, but I cannot do that in good conscience when at one time I wouldn't have thought twice about it. I know they would never intentionally let anything happen, but in that opiate induced haze you spoke of, you never know what could happen. They've chosen the drugs over everything else in their life, and ultimately, they're losing so much more than a little pain. They're losing the things that should mean the most. I guess that's why I have such a strong opinion of prescription drugs. I have seen what they do. I had friends who DIED. And I don't want my kids exposed to this in any way. I hope the child who brought the drugs to school and his parents get the help they desperately need. Family should come before drugs, and in this poor kid's case, that obviously has not happened.
11/10/2011 02:30:08 pm
I know I am new to reading your blog but I felt the need to comment. I have no issues with these drugs being in my home. Note I am not a user but I also know what it is like to have pain and not have insurance to obtain these medications. I have had two c-sections and that pain could never compare to the back spasms I have on occasion. Knock on wood not in over a year. Anyways in saying we as parents need to be aware of our children. I am so glad your child felt comfortable coming to you and telling you about this child. That is what I hope of my children. Now what gets me is how do these kids know these drugs are in their home. We keep a safe and all prescription drugs stay in it. Parents need to stay involved and explain these and other drugs to our children and protect our precious little people.
11/10/2011 11:30:26 pm
11/11/2011 08:23:32 am
I just had to chime in here. I had a friend whose ex-husband was on oxy. She came to pick up her kids one day and he was out of it. He showed her a large blue pill. Turns out that many addicts mix diet pills with oxy to level out their high. I learned all of this after talking to a DEA Agent who specializes in prescription drugs. The street market value in this area of OXY is $40 a pill or in Alaska $100. So folks can make 2000-4000 a pop on one bottle. And prescriptions for oxy have increased ten fold in the last five years regardless of the problems. On a somewhat positive note Brandy, if a kid is taking it to your son's schools to try to sell them, he probably got them out of his parents cabinet and has no idea what they are are or the street value. He has probably seen someone in his neighborhood sell them and wants to be the kid with the money. It's sad, but not that uncommon. Hopefully they won't expel him but will get the kid some help and evaluate this parents.
You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post; I will try to get the hang of it!
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PR Friendly Mama!
I'm Brandy, a happily married, proud Mom of 3 amazing kids. If you're interested in building a working relationship, please feel free to e-mail me at: NewlyCrunchyMamaOf3@gmail.com
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