I have a confession. It's shocking and startling in this day and age, and probably for many almost unbelievable however it is true. Ready?
I have never done any sort of illegal drug. Ever. Not once. In fact, I have never even smoked a single cigarette. Not one.
My teenage angst consisted of taking one or two sips of a cooler before dumping them out in my friend's garden and recording "secular" music onto a cassette tape.
Drugs never even tempted me. Ever. Smoke made me cough and the people on drugs were losers. I didn't need that to have fun or dull the pain. And so I managed to navigate my youth relatively unscathed.
And honestly, this is the life I would want for my boys but my boys are growing up today, not twenty years ago and their world is almost baffling to me in it's differences. The boys are of the age where their access and exposure to drugs is almost daily. My oldest attends a high school of 900 students. If he wanted drugs he most certainly could have them. My second son has friends with siblings that both deal and use. My third son had a child dealing pot in his SIXTH GRADE classroom last year.
My lack of experience or education does not mean that there is any escaping that drugs have already touched our lives deeply. Our reality is simply that I became their mother because of drugs. Or, I suppose, because of an addiction to drugs. Not mine (Advil anyone?) but others.
Because of drugs my sons lost their first family and their first country. Their community. Their connections.
Because of drugs, their biological father will spend the vast majority of his life incarcerated. Their biological mother will not know them as the boys they are today or see them become men tomorrow.
Because of drugs our family grows today.
And so I have to educate my sons about drugs and addictions and the costs and the pressures. And I educate them about genetic predispositions to addiction.
I hate it. I hate the judgement that might be read into my words, the labels that must be placed on their family of birth; the extremely clear discussions of personal choice and responsibility, tempered by a biological reality of addiction.
Their reality is not my reality but their reality IS my responsibility. I MUST educate them because their genetics demand I do.
"Experimentation" is not an option when trying it once might result in a life time of addiction. And so I educate them, and read to them, and honestly, do my very best to scare them away from that which would ever try to hold them captive in its destructive vortex because I intend to break the icey grip of the cycle of addiction that has stolen so much from my sons and their first family.
Is that realistic? Are my expectations fair?
How do you approach talking about drugs with your kids?
How do you plan on approaching talking about drugs with your kids if addiction is a genetic reality in your family or in their family of birth?