“Classes are harder,” she said, noting that some nights she has 10 hours of homework and stays up until 3 a.m. to finish it. “Parents need to realize there’s unbelievable pressure on kids. You need to look good. You need to have a job. You need to get into a good college. Kids are miserable, so they turn to something that makes them feel better.
“If you yell at them, they’ll be scared of you. Talk to them. Look to see if they are up late at night crying. They aren’t doing drugs to be cool. They are doing it because they are sad and have a problem.”
Where to turn
Information about drugs and addiction is available from Learn to Cope online at learn2cope.org or by calling 508-738-5148. The organization holds support group meetings in Tewksbury, Lowell, Gloucester, Salem and many other communities.
To dispose of prescription drugs, don’t flush them down the toilet. Take them to drop-off boxes, which are available in Tewksbury and Lowell. Andover currently does not have a drug drop-box, but may get one.
For a video of a young woman talking about her path to addiction, see http://bluemassgroup.com/2012/03/the-face-of-addiction/
The science of addiction in plain English: http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/addiction/
Watch the documentary “Race to Nowhere” (racetonowehere.com) to understand what pressure is doing to adolescents.
Check out www.erowid.org, a comprehensive online resource about psychoactive plants and chemicals.
Call Andover Youth Services if you are looking for local resources at 978-623-8241, visit andoveryouthservices.com or email director Bill Fahey at email@example.com.