As parents we have this tendency to worry about a lot of things:
- Will my kids make it into a good college?
- Will they feel confident about the way they look?
- Will they have friends?
- Will they experiment with drugs?
- Will they grow up to be a cat person?
You know, all the usual stuff. The fact is that we want our kids to be successful and to be happy. We want them to live life to its full potential and become amazing contributors to our society. The problem is that sometimes we miss warning signs when it comes to potential danger. I’ve talked to a number of parents who feel dumb or defeated because “all the signs were there.” “How did I not see this coming?”
Because of these conversations I’ve done my best to keep my eyes open for anything that may be out of the ordinary and I’m pretty sure my 5 year old has the tendencies of a junkie.
A few nights a week we give our son melatonin to help him sleep. He has the hardest time regulating his sleep patterns and the melatonin seems to help him settle down enough to get some rest. (We’ve found out that the irregular sleep patterns are actually pretty typical for kids with autism. If you have a child with autism who needs help with rest, it’s definitely something to look into).
As we were putting Collin to bed Jackie noticed some white chunks under Collin’s bed. She picked them up and showed them to me. Sure enough it was a pile of pills we had been giving him for the last week. The same week we couldn’t figure out why he was having such a hard time sleeping. It all made perfect sense. What we couldn’t figure out was how it was happening.
That night we gave him the same little pill and I watched him put it into his mouth, slide it over into the pocket of his cheek like a little squirrel, and leave it there.
He was hiding his medication from us until he went to sleep and then ditching it under his bed!
Did I mention he’s 5?!
I’m no dummy. I’ve read the story about the guy who ate the cocaine to try and destroy evidence and ended up dying. I’ve heard all the horror stories about how mules smuggle drugs across the border (it is NOT pretty). Even if Collin wasn’t abusing drugs yet, at the very least he’s shown a predisposition to smuggle and distribute. Do you know how he responded when we confronted him about the transgression? He laughed in our faces. Who knows what kind of drama we’re going to be dealing with in the future?
I’ve come up with a few other warning signs to watch for when it comes to your kids and drug abuse. At the first sign of any of these, please arrange for an intervention immediately. Collin’s is this weekend.
- An affinity toward pixie sticks.
- Interest in early entrepreneurship, like a lemonade stand – Why in the world would a 4-year-old need money?
- Loose change missing from the cup holder in your car.
- An obsession with balloons.
- If your child refuses to seek and insists on hiding when you play hide-n-seek.
- Any felony charges.
- Their favorite TV show is Celebrity Rehab.
- They start putting disguises on Mr. Potato Head
- Face Tattoos
- They ask for the Easy Half-baked Oven for their Birthday
- These are just a few of the signs that come to mind and I’m sure there are many many more. If you have any others you’d like to add, the comments section is open. Together we can help our kids succeed!
P.S. Hopefully this is very clearly satirical. The part about Collin cheeking his medication was 100% true (DANG KID!). Everything else is just my lame attempt at sarcasm Drug abuse and what it does to people and their families obviously isn’t funny.