Pubdate: Fri, 13 Sep 2013
Source: Foster's Daily Democrat (Dover, NH)
Copyright: 2013 Geo. J. Foster Co.


LSD, speed, angel dust, crack ... and now Molly.

The names may change over time but the harm they do to young bodies 
and minds persists.

While the nation's political attention has been focused on legalizing 
marijuana for medicinal and recreational use, the dialogue has 
drifted from where it needs to be - focusing on the drugs that 
without doubt or debate kill the body and maim the mind.

The issue hit home locally when a 19-year-old Plymouth State 
University student died after overdosing at a Zedd concert held at 
the House of Blues club in Boston. That incident was followed by two 
non-fatal overdoses at another concert in Boston, and deaths linked 
to Molly also occurred at the Electric Zoo Festival in New York City, 
one of which was 20-year-old University of New Hampshire student 
Olivia Rotondo.

It is the nature of youth to believe bad things only happen to 
others. That is until someone you know is affected. If you have to 
yet experience this point in life, ask a friend or a parent. That 
first death of a young friend, a classmate, or confidante can be like 
running into a brick wall face first.

Additionally, we, as a culture, are made immune to what should be the 
obvious horrors of hard drugs. As the Age of Aquarius, and with it 
the Woodstock Generation, reached a zenith we were being told by the 
likes of Timothy Leary that drugs were good ... mind expanding.

Today our youths are again wrongly being taught they are immune in 
other ways. Television and films have made death a daily part of our 
entertainment regimine. Gamers, testing the limits of Xbox or Play 
Station, die and return to life moments later.

Such is not the case in the real world.

That being the said, how do we get the message across to a new 
generation of youngsters who fear no death and falsely believe in 
their immortality?

Hopefully the deaths of close friends, classmates and those who we 
may have passed on campus but not known by name will make a dent.

But over time, we have found that much comes down to how parents, 
families and other support systems which should prepare our next 
generation of adults for the real and often cruel world.

Just as it has been proven time and time again that parental 
involvement improves a youngster's chance of benefiting from a good 
education, our life's experiences tell us the same often applies when 
it comes to preventing the misuse of drugs.

While there are no guarantees, keeping channels of communication open 
and looking for signs of distress are key to shepherding our children 
into adulthood.

As any parent will eventually attest, there is no foolproof system 
that will ensure success. Increasing the odds may be the best we can do.

That point was made recently when we were privy to a conversation 
which included a young man who found himself thankful for the support 
system offered by his friends and family. This while counseling a 
college student who had troubles on his mind.

None of what we write here is to lay blame for failure or to rest 
child-rearing success on any one, lone set of shoulders. It is, 
however, a request - no, a plea - for parents, family and caregivers 
to take note of recent tragedies and to reconnect with those younger 
family members who will be tomorrow's adults so they stand a better 
chance of making the right choices.
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