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How do you keep the youth from doing drugs?


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This is a serious post, so glibness is not appreciated.


My little brother just turned 18. I'm the closest sibling he has in age, even though I'm 30. I've always tried to be the "cool brother." I hung out and drank beers with him and his shitty friends. Every kid does that, I thought it was fine. However, last year he started asking me about drugs. Like, cocaine and shit. I never want to lie to him, so I told him I've done cocaine. A lot of cocaine, plus ecstasy and acid and all other kinds of shit. The point I was trying to make when I told him about all that shit was that I wish I never did it. Well, at least cocaine, the rest is fine in the right circumstances.


Back in March, we talked about it for hours. He and his friends were curious about cocaine, so I told them about my experiences with it. I felt like I was beating my head against the wall trying to tell them that I wish that substance never graced my nostrils. Like telling them about the darkest points of my life, when I felt like the world could have been on fire and I wouldn't even bother pissing on the flames. Trying my best to tell them that my absolute worst moments were when I was on cocaine. The only time I ever got fired from a job was because I was on cocaine. The only time I've ever missed rent was because I spent all my money on cocaine (and other things, but cocaine was the main culprit. I bought an 8 ball, got so high that I forgot I bought the 8 ball, so I bought another 8 ball, then had to get a loan from my drug dealer to pay my rent).


I don't know what to do. I feel like the only take away that he ever gets is "but that party sounded pretty dope, though." And it doesn't help that his mom sheltered the shit out of him, so once he got to high school he was a full-on rebel.


I just feel like I can't deny my experiences, because that makes it worse. But if I tell him about my experiences, he just thinks "that sounds fun" and wants to do it.


Maybe there just is no getting through to kids.

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It sounds like you have done all you can. It a razor edge to walk when educating kids about drugs. Too much negativity can drive them to it, no enough and it feels like a free for all. My daughter more or less knows everything I did when I was younger, I gave her the information and I had to step back and let her make the calls. She knew if any shit went side ways no matter how bad we would be there and I think ultimately that what kids need.


Best of luck to ya

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I don't think you can if they already have the mindset of ignoring the bad and focusing on the good. I want to say that only talking about them in a bad light and only talking about how bad they made you feel is the way to do it. Like, don't say "don't do drugs," say "Drugs only ever made me feel like shit, but if you want to then knock yourself out."


I learned from negative example growing up and it as made me pretty anti-drug. Like, I would never stop anyone, but I am kinda even anti-weed. I know it isn't really that bad, but my dad was a major pot head and I can't dissociate weed from my dad. He was a pill popper and heroin addict as well.  It is the same with Cigarettes and Alcohol. I had other family members who always smoked and always drank. With the one, mixing prescription drugs and alcohol killed them. Another died from OD'ing on cocaine. 

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52 minutes ago, Rachel said:

You can’t make anyone do anything. People have been doing drugs for a long time and they always will. All you can do is share you story, say you don’t recommend it, and that’s it. He clearly is already curious about drugs and cocaine so he’ll do it if he wants. It’s not like you’re giving him his first line. Best you can do is look out for warning signs for problems, let him know you’re there for him, and if he does do it then informing him about harm reduction will be very valuable.

Also if it makes you feel better, most cocaine users don’t get addicted. It varies by study and hard to say exactly, but only 5 to 20% of cocaine users do it more than once a month. Most people just try it a few times or do it occasionally and it doesn’t ruin their life. Your story is the exception not the rule. 


For me, it was an addiction to the party lifestyle that led to the cocaine addiction. I think I was like 23 or 24 the first time I did it, and it was just to pick myself up between mushroom trips. Before that, I would take molly, mushrooms, acid, ketamine, etc. Eventually it got to the point that cocaine was the drug that I could take on my work days, since the effects weren't so long lasting. Then I started hanging out with drug dealers all the time and cocaine became a staple of my life. I couldn't do molly or acid every day, but I could do cocaine as long as my nostrils weren't breaking down.


I suppose the problem then is explaining to an 18 year old that taking a drug because you don't have the free time to take all the other drugs is not where you want to be.


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