Some parents are at odds as to why after all of the love and nurturing that goes on in the proverbial nest is lost when their children decide to gamble with their mental health.
This can happen so simply and without parental knowledge or at least the strength to acknowledge and to prevent their children interacting with drug dealers.
As children, we were told by everyone “Do not talk to strangers”. There were dangers then and it was easier for parents to protect their children. They had a better idea of what they were protecting their children from and our parents seemed to be tough.
The situation now has moved to “Out of control”.
Parents often have little idea of what their children are looking at and who they can turn to when they are learning about stuff that they know isn’t what their parents want them to find out about. Just to be grown up and to be able to converse with these forces puts them ahead of the others.
So they believe.
It appears to be worse for children whose parents have indulged them and who have a bit more money to spend and to offer children additional opportunities. They soon become targets for those who have not had the same opportunities. There may even be evil intent.
Young teenage boys have always wanted to be tough but somehow the message has to be given that there is nothing tough about a drug addict or the person who has no boundaries in regard to what they are drinking and what they smoke, or worse. Some of the products available through pushers are irretrievably dangerous.
Even if they eventually manage to kick an addiction they can be scarred for the rest of their lives. They won’t have any friends then.
Sometimes it is the happiest and most beautiful young people who are affected and who become vulnerable to the practices of drug taking which is so often akin to drinking drinks that don’t appear to contain much alcohol.
I am sure that most young boys and girls see their parents as wishing to spoil their fun. It takes a strong family to help guide children through these dangerous and unprotected times. It can break families. There is no blame attached to this because family structures have changed. Parents are both expected to work in order to bring in much needed cash for the benefit of the family.
However, parents must not be naive when it comes to checking up who their children are in contact with. This does not mean they do not love and it does not amount to disrespecting your child.
Younger children, teenagers and kids in their 20s who want to be accepted and noticed by their peer group, cannot have any understanding of how the innocent acceptance of a “joint” from a so called friend can start a downward cycle that may affect them for the rest of their life.
The offer to simply try a drug when under the influence of a few drinks may come from a source with intent to make that young person a target to influence them. Once hooked, it becomes easy to impose harder drugs on the unsuspecting youngster.
Parents, by that time, no longer have the ability to communicate with their son or daughter because they hear lies and assurances that are fragile at the very least, in terms of truth. It is too late by then especially if your son or daughter has become impressed by the initial ease of life when experimenting.
Your child may even be targeted by an adult who, maybe, they have never even met, and who wants to adopt a younger friend because of their own shortcomings with their own peer group. That person will not have the slightest hesitation of imposing a drug culture on your child especially if there are rich pickings to be enjoyed by future supply as most drugs are totally addictive.
All children need to be educated in the negative aspects of using drugs. People seem to want to make changes to themselves all of the time. This again is due to the strength of media targeting. It is so easy to get in to a youngster’s head and to make them feel inadequate if they remain as they are. Such intentions to change another are generally fuelled by jealousy and hatred.
This culture may also bring down a family. Parents start to feel guilty for not approaching their children sooner. There may even be a breakdown in communication between the parents, especially where there is a separation. At the time, it sounds so negative and unnecessary. Next, they are out of control and when dealing with a young adult, you will find there is no one out there to help, and, especially, from the person who you are actually trying to help. Zero acknowledgement as the paranoia has already set in.
The impact of drug abuse also affects relationships as many who use strong drugs have little self control and are subject to mood swings. They simply cannot engage. Children lose out all of the time. Realistic help, alongside professional advice, needs to be obtained in order to actively help young people before it is too late for themselves to make changes.
The mental health and psychiatry services offered under the NHS cannot possibly meet the needs of all. If you are able to get treatment, the difficulty is maintaining compliance with the effective anti psychotic and other types of medication available.
We are witnessing sad and lonely people walking around the streets who have lost the ability to converse and enjoy simple warm social conversation. They are unable to engage in close relationships or to parent children themselves due to their own mental health issues. Many suffer from psychosis, paranoia and schizophrenia. This is terrifying and hard to acknowledge once it takes a hold and a person remains unmedicated.
They do not see the need for medication themselves and most people turn a blind eye. This is not surprising as an unmedicated person who has suffered the side effects of drug taking will not be an attractive prospect to sit and chat to. There needs to be help to encourage treatment for these poor youngsters who risk being lost forever because they have gone beyond listening or to acceding to the good wishes of their family, nor from having a role in society.
We hear of the son or daughter who has chosen to stop engaging in prescribed medication and who lives in a world of delusion and paranoia. He or she comes back from time to time but the condition gets worse enhanced by drinking.
What happens next?
Families and friends lose any influence or the will to help because of the monstrous ill effects of those early joints smoked on the walk home from school. This is often done to impress and then moves on to a completely new league which few manage to escape from.
The friends, who once thought it was cool to laugh, move on with their lives and pay no regard to what happened to their friend who got caught up in drugs, for whatever reason.
Apologies for being so negative but as a family mediator, I hear about the lonely path for a mother and father who actually still love their son or daughter but appear powerless to do anything other than offer love which is invariably thrown back or simply frozen out.
If this story affects you and you feel that family mediation can help you to communicate regarding a dispute with a close family member further to a marriage break up or separation, please contact:
Tricia Muzalewski, FMCA and Law Society Accredited Mediator at Wynn Mediation 612 – 614 London Road, Westcliff on Sea, Essex SS0 9HW.
Contact details: www.wynnmediation.com
Tel: 01702 341241
PMM/ August 2018