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Talking to your kids about drugs: New 'strawberry' meth makes it scarier than ever

Everett_playground

Unaccountably, when I read this article about drugs being marketed to kids forwarded to us by an urbanMama, chills go through my spine and I wonder, should I start talking to Everett about drugs, now? He's six, and certainly old enough to get the concept. We have talked about drugs, but it was more one of those "in the far distant future make sure you don't, because..." kind of conversations.

I don't know if there's any evidence that this "Strawberry Quick" (meth mixed with Kool-Aid powder) has popped up in Portland, yet, but it's both insidious and a likely big hit in our rather meth-soaked streets. The other scary drug for beginning users is "cheese," black tar heroin mixed with Tylenol PM and snorted, rather than shot up, as regular "adult" black tar heroin is. Kid-friendly. [Shudders]

I'm going to email the drug task force in Portland and ask if there's been any reports of this stuff on our streets. In the meantime, when do you plan to talk to your kids about drugs? Have you already? Any insights?

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My 11 y/old middle schooler comes from a long line of addicts (mostly alcohol) on her dad's side of the family (mostly). We've been talking about drugs and alcohol for as long as I can remember. Really--3 years old? Younger? And obviously the content and tenor of those conversations have changed since she started middle school. No more should xyz happen "in the future" types of conversations; it is a definitely "in the present" type of thing for us now.

It's complicated with the alcohol especially. I am a moderate/occasional/social drinker. Even at 11, it's hard for her to parse out why it's okay for me to drink (responsibly), but how is it that alcohol pretty much killed her grandmother (lifetime of abuse)? And how come her other grandma (my mom) can drink sometimes (again, responsibly) and it's not killing her.

And I'm constantly reinforcing the "do drink/do drugs, but if you do, please, please, please talk to me/call me/come to me message.

It's scary enough when they are little, but they are still under supervision pretty much constantly--parents, school, babysitter, etc. But when they get older and are out and about at times without that constant supervision--if I think about it too hard it just makes me weep!

Okay, in my almost last paragraph, that should have read "don't drink/don't do drugs". Obviously.

That's easy for a small child to be curious about this harmful drug if it looks and smells like kool aid- american kids' drink. I remembered in my middle school days, the odd thing was kids try to snort kool-aid straight. I don't know if preteens still do this over 10-13 years later, but kids used to carry dried kool aid in plastic baggies and eat them like dippin-stix candy.

My husband's brother is a meth addict who has been in jail on and off for 12 years. His father was killed in a drug deal....we talk to our kids all the time about what happens to you when you make bad decisions.

Okay I am absolutely petrified by this!!! My husband and I talk very openly about drugs and alcohol with our boys who are 7 and 4. We have addiction in both of our families. I stopped drinking about 10 years ago and my husband about 20 years ago. My husband's sister has had a crack cocaine addiction for about 15 years and at this very moment is wearing an ankle bracelet. My husband has tried intervention in his family and it wasn't successful. I have an uncle who has lost everything due to drugs and almost died in a motorcycle accident two summers ago. It is so painful what addiction does to a family member. My heart breaks every day for these people with so much to offer and you just don't know what to do.

I don't know why but I have been in the mind set of, well I won't have to worry about this til they are teenagers but that is not true. So thanks for the information.

When my kids were littles, I did a lot of role-playing with them. Over and over.. I would be the friend, the pusher on the playground, the guy with the cool bike or car. They had to come up with inventive ways to say "no,thanks". Now that they are older, I leave out the games... but I'm still pretty frank with them about why we don't do drugs and how it effects our bodies in negative ways, etc and so on.

I will make them aware of the koolaid meth just as I informed them of the tainted pirate candy for Halloween last week.

I am encouraged to hear so many parents being really straightforward with their kids starting from a very young age. could it be we are finally learning the lesson that drugs teaches (that its not worth it?). as i read the previous comments i thought of all the mentions of addiction in families and i thought, "huh, we don't have that" and for some reason the alcoholic dad and meth addicted cousin "didn't count".

we do have it.

is ANYONE untouched from addiction?

Hooray for the moms and dads who are actively finding ways to help their kids pass drugs by.

signed
"East County Portland"

I think whether your child is 6 or 16 the drug talk is a necessary and important one. We are too quick to think that just because our children are still very young that they aren't at risk. Drugs are everywhere and the younger kids are easier to sell to, kool-aid and meth?! Sick.

There are unfortunately a few addicts in my family that were always a serious reminder of what happens when you do drugs. Making the consequences real can help.

I'm not terribly worried about the Strawberry Quik business. The stuff that meth is made out of is not ever gonna be yummy.

We have had the drug talks, and the surly one has had much drug (mis?)education through schools.

I don't believe that she uses alcohol or drugs right now but I know many parents who believed the same thing about their kids back in my day. And that's when kids routinely stole out of Mom and Dad's stash.

I know kids her age who do, I did. But my pious future Republican seems unscathed so far. And where it gets sticky for us is that I know people who are 420-friendly and are pretty open about it. My kid is pretty much zero tolerance, and so we've had to leave more than one social gathering in a hurry.

I would say the most important thing is to walk your talk. If you go to to the garage to pass pot around when the kids are "asleep", you may wanna rethink that. They're probably not gonna get approached by a dealer in a trenchcoat. It'll be at a sleepover, before school, hanging out with a close friend. My kid has been offered stuff by some of the sweetest kids with the nicest parents. So you do what ya can, then pray, chant or meditate.

ProtestMama--word! Not one single bit of the alcohol--or other--use/abuse that occurred during my teens involved the proverbial "pusher" or the dealer-in-the-trenchcoat you refer to. It was all busting into (or just casually opening)someone's parents' liquor cabinet, or sneaking into older sib's or parents' stash, or getting some older sib to buy beer or do a liquor store run. Or the joint being passed into the backseat by the parent driving us home from the movies (true story) like it was the same as offering a stick from a pack of gum. All of us scholar-athlete-clean-cut-preppy-kids didn't even have to go outside our snotty little circle to buy from the "heads" that cut class and hung out in the park.

The message has GOT to go beyond "just say no". They need to know why they are saying no and what the consequences could be if they say "yes".

My kids (5 and 3) and I talk a fair amount about their dad's nicotine addiction, in what I hope is a low-key way emphasizing concern for his health. They know that the answer to, "What's the best way to quit smoking?" is "NEVER START!"

But we haven't talked other drugs yet. Not sure how to go there in a natural way, and of course I yearn to believe that this is all about choices that are a long, long, long way off. (Yeah, right.)

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