Showing posts from June, 2019

Why do young people think some drugs are 'safe' or 'harmless'? Put simply, we tell them 'lies' and we don't teach them to 'respect' all drugs

The most commonly used definition of a drug is "any substance (with the exception of food and water) which, when taken into the body, alters the body's function either physically and/or psychologically." Drugs can be legal, illegal or pharmaceutical and can be taken in a variety of ways, including "via inhalation, injection, smoking, ingestion, absorption via a patch on the skin, or dissolution under the tongue."  Over the past 18 months I have been talking (and writing) about a number of substances that appear to be becoming increasingly popular with school-based young people - nitrous oxide ('nanging') , 'jungle juice' (or amyl nitrite) , cannabis , and ecstasy/MDMA . With all of these, growing numbers of students are telling me that they (or at least, their friends) believe these drugs to be 'safe' or 'harmless' - two words that you don't ever want to hear young people use in relation to drugs. Now, before you start to

"Why didn't the parents make any contact?": A mother's frustration after her daughter's 14th birthday party

A few weeks ago a woman (let's call her June) approached me after a Parent Information Evening. After thanking me for the talk she then proceeded to tell me about a birthday party she had recently hosted for her daughter. As she said, all went well with the actual event - it had been carefully planned, rules and boundaries put into place and the girls were well behaved and there was certainly no issue with alcohol - but June and her husband had been totally blindsided by the response of the parents of the invitees. We spoke at length and I have to say, some of the things she told me even surprised me! I then asked her if she would like to share her experience with readers of my blog. June's only concern was that she could be identified by other parents at the school and the possible ramifications that could have on her daughter, as well as her and her husband. With that in mind, names and some of the details of what happened have been altered. "I've attended a coup