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."