Listen To Your Mother has joined forces with The Partnership at Drugfree.org to host an exclusive blog tour, to follow the live-streaming event of readings on September 10.
We invite you to join us today, Thursday, September 12, as 11 women discuss the epidemic of medicine abuse -- a health issue that is a concern for all of us. Read the original stories on their blogs today and hear them read live, sharing in what we know, and how you can help.
These readings feature new and original work about each of the women’s personal connections to addiction, substance use, and/or what they want children to know about the medicine abuse epidemic through powerful story-sharing. The following is my contribution to the #EndMedicine Abuse project.
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Growing up, there was no "talk" about drugs, drug abuse, or alcohol use in my home. My family was one of tight lipped understanding of what was acceptable or not. It was behavior based on fear, and though we might have done what was expected, sadly, there was no closeness.
My single parent mother wasn't comfortable bringing up issues that were hard, difficult ones to cover. Where do kids find knowledge and understanding, if it's not offered at home? We get it from school programs, yes, but where is the trust of someone you love, in that information?
I have talked to my teenagers about drugs. I began telling them when they were in the 6th grade. I didn't fear that they'd roll their eyes and sigh, bored at what lecture mom had to give because you kow what your kids will listen to?
Stories from real life.
The kind that are scary and uncomfortable to hear. And even more uncomfortable to tell, because of their truth.
When I was a teenager, there was a girl in my neighborhood, who after being out of school after a week of whispered rumors that her boyfriend had overdosed on her mother's prescription barbiturates, came back, to say that yes, her boyfriend at 17, had died.
The girl had often joked about her mother's medicine cabinet looking like a pharmacy. Her boyfriend got curious one day, and tried the pills. In the beginning, one pill at a time was fun enough. He soon though it would be more fun with two. And then four or more at a time became the amount of fun he needed. The pills didn't feel dangerous to him because they came from a Doctor.
When four at a time didn't get him as high as they used to, someone at school told him that if you take the pills with cough medicine, it would be a real wild ride. The girl was too scared to try that with him, but she was even more scared to tell him no. Her mother never checked on her cabinet full of prescriptions, new and expired, there were so many bottles, she never noticed what bottles had what pills missing, and they were all within such easy reach. One afternoon, with no one home at the girl's house, he took the red pills with yellow pills, and a bottle of her little sister's prescription cough medicine. He died that day.
My children know this story to the point that they know the color of the girl's eyes. They know how that boy is forever 17. They know the names of the prescription drugs he took that day and of how prescription drugs killed him.
That boy is forever 17. And I will forever see the much too young girl's grey eyes stark against her face made ghostly white from grief, on the day I first saw her after her boyfriend died.
If someone told you that they knew of something that could give you a 50 percent chance of keeping your children safer, you'd say, "Tell me what to do."
Children who learn about the risks of drugs from their parents are up to 50 percent less likely to use drugs than those who do not get that critical message at home.
Talk to your children about prescription drug abuse. Lock up your medications and keep them out of reach, discard your unused and expired ones. Tell your children that coming from a Doctor doesn't mean they're safe -- they're prescription for a reason. Don't wait for them to ask you to talk. You tell them you want to talk.
It's never too early to start the conversation.
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I am proud to be among the voices listed here, who are contributing their stories to this important project to EndMedicineAbuse. Please visit their blogs today to read and hear their story:
Janelle Hatchet – http://www.renegademothering.com
Brandi Jeter – http://mamaknowsitall.com
Sherri Kuhn – http://oldtweener.com
Heather King – http://www.extraordinary-ordinary.net
Lyz Lenz – http://www.lyzlenz.com/
Judy Miller – http://judymmiller.com
Lisa Page Rosenberg – http://www.smacksy.com
Alexandra Rosas – http://www.gooddayregularpeople.com
Ellie Schoenberger – http://www.onecraftymother.com
Zakary Watson – http://www.raisingcolorado.com
Melisa Wells – http://suburbanscrawl.com
This live event, blog tour, and post are sponsored by The Partnership for Drugfree.org, LTYM’s 2013 National Video Sponsor, working together with listentoyourmothershow.com in an effort to #EndMedicineAbuse.
THANK YOU all so much for your attention to this crucial project.
Let's pledge to do all we can to keep our kids safe. Learn more and take the pledge to #EndMedicineAbuse at Drugfree.org/medicineabuseproject