Days before my 16th birthday, my next door neighbor committed suicide. He drove out to a lake, wrote his parents a letter, and pulled the trigger on a shotgun. In the aftermath, and for a VERY SHORT while, people tried to explain it, but they never really understood. They missed the point and ignored the broader picture.
I somewhat feel the same with recent coverage of the teenage overdoses in Park City. The Park Record says, “Residents were stunned. Police said the boys had been talking with their friends on social media about dangerous drugs, a revelation that caused parents to fear that other children were also in danger. In a matter of days, the issue had been dragged into the light, and officials were saying it as clearly as they could: Drugs are a larger problem in Park City schools than many parents realize.”
It’s all so sanitized and medical. So, let’s please cut to the chase and avoid the niceties . Your kids are in a place where drugs and alcohol are prevalent. Your kids are in a place with lots of money which leads to lots of options. Park City kids have been associated with a drug culture for 30 years.
My wife grew up in Sandy in the late 80’s and early 90’s. It was “known” back then that if you wanted drugs and alcohol, you went to Park City.
What was our main concern when moving to Park City from Sugarhouse seven years ago? Do we want to raise kids in the alcohol and drug environment of Park City? We hoped we could instill the right environment for our kids (and educate them on the topic), so we decided to move here. Will one of our kids try alcohol before age 14? Probably.
I have no magical answers for “solving” Park City kids’ drug issues. However, I do know that treating it like something new and mysterious does everyone a disservice. Who cares if it is some synthetic opiod from China! That makes it sound like something most kids wouldn’t go to the effort to obtain. I can hear the kitchen talk, “Oh it’s not going to happen to our kids.”
So, let’s tell it like it is:
- Your 18 year old knows someone who regularly does cocaine
- Your 17 year old knows people who do heroine
- Your 16 year old knows someone who could get them vodka this Friday
- Your 14 year old can find some money, go to Smiths, buy a prepaid credit card, order who-knows-what from the internet, and then receive it via UPS on a Friday at 2 PM.
Do with that what you will, but please don’t tell me it’s unexpected.
It’s up to you to save your kids. It’s up to all of us parents, individually, to save our kids.
Our kids are in the jungle and it’s up to each of us to get them through.
To do anything less, or expect that it’s not an issue, is putting blinders on. Those blinders may cost you everything.