In September, kids are mostly on their best behavior, or sort of. By October, they start finding their way into challenging and dangerous situations like drinking and driving, or becoming the designated driver who can't tell the truth about what he or she is seeing.
In all seriousness, a parent recently in our Angels at Risk program started her story by saying,
"My son is 13 years-old and when the police called me to tell me that they had arrested him for driving and he had been drinking, they said, 'Ma'am do you have a car to get here because your son has yours.'"
According to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), some 10.5 million people aged 12 and older reported driving under the influence of illegal drugs in the past year. (NIDA)
Also, the designated driver a lot of times, even if they are not drinking and drugging, are in danger in an unobvious way.
What they see a lot of times is sort of shocking and the truth is they are probably too afraid to tell you. They might not tell you what they really see because they are continuing to take care of someone else or they are afraid of not being cool or they are just plain trying to fit in.
The drinkers and the designated drivers almost always have secrets because they are trying to find their way.
Remember that they are still kids, remember how quickly they can get lost.
Some of the basics of our Angels at Risk programs and services are A) drug testing as a protective and positive means of prevention. B) Even once a month, counseling to make sure all communication is an option. C) Not becoming arrogant and not thinking you're above the law, and knowing anything can happen to anyone is the place and space all families should be.
No matter where you come from, rich, poor and everything in between, the bottom line basics are always true. They are brilliant.
To protect your family's hearts and to gain more factual information please view the following websites: http://www.angelsatrisk.com/, http://www.drugabuse.gov/, http://www.dare.com/home/default.asp, http://www.drugfree.org/