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Why Do Some Kids Become Drug Addicts?

June 2012---Why Do Some Kids Become Drug Addicts?

What complex series of events must intertwine to create a drug addict? This answer is convoluted, and I believe not thoroughly understood by any of us.

I do not claim to have any answers, but after years of being a cop, here are my observations. Here are some of the more common building blocks that are often "used" to create a drug addict or children with varying degrees of dysfunction. These flawed building blocks are two distinct parenting styles I wish to explore here.

The Absent Parent

This is a parenting style in which the parents may be fully functional. They hold normal jobs, do not use drugs, may attend church and are well thought of within the community. They do not abuse their children and their children have all the creature comforts necessary for an ideal upbringing. But these parents are too busy chasing what they believe is success to engage the child. Or, they are simply too busy in general.

What does a child need? What do we all intrinsically need? Money, power, status? No, what human beings truly desire is to be desired by the ones they desire.The only thing which possesses true value is to be loved by those you love.

This point can be highlighted by death. All things that glitter in the world, all the things we believe bring happiness, that we seek with great energy, immediately lose their luster and importance when we experience the profound "blackness" upon the death of someone we truly love. That new car and the thoughts of a bigger house now have no allure. They don't matter anymore. They are distant, fuzzy and almost a memory, with overwhelming pain being the only thing clearly in focus. This loss is all consuming and everthing else ceases to really matter.

Alright Chief, enough philosophy...what does this have to do with me. Everything.

The absent parent is the one that never takes the time to truly connect with their child. They believe that working 80-90 hours per week to provide the child a nice house is what the child wants and needs. The child may enjoy the nice house, but the bedrock of your child's desires....are to be desired by you.For you to have time. When that does not occur, it can shatter that bedrock into thousands of sharp pieces that cut the "being" of the child.

If I ask you what is more important, your child or money? You will emphatically say your child, but then continue to live as if it's the money, the house, the cars or the vacation. Live what you say and it will yield great returns.....even when they are 17 and think you are stupid. Be there. Be involved. Connect.

The above section was inspired by my own experiences and the writings of Peter Rollins.

The "Always the Victim" Parent

This is the parent who again may be fully functional but allows their child to not be. This parent has what I call the "victim mentality". Their child is always a victim of some external evil force which seeks to destroy their child at all costs. Malevolent beings constantly harass and pick on the child. You know, horrible creatures such as the police, teachers, coaches and counselors.

Their child tries to follow the rules, tries to fit in, does absolutely nothing wrong, but is tormented anyways. It is not the fault of the child for not doing their homework, the teacher didn't give him enough time. It is not the fault of the child he was arrested for drug possession, the police planted the drugs on him. It is not the fault of the child he didn't make the team, the coach just doesn't like him.

Let me share with you an example of "standard" phone call, from this type of parent. The type of phone call almost every police department receives on a daily basis.

COP-Mrs. Jones?
COP-Hey, we have your son up here. We caught him out after curfew at the gas station. He was also caught shoplifting from there.
PARENT-No, you must have called the wrong house. My kid wouldn't do that. Anyways, he is here in bed.
COP-Ma'am, I can assure you it's him, he is here with us and you need to come pick him up.
PARENT-Look! I told you my kid wouldn't do that. Do you realize it's 1am!?
COP-Ma'am we have your son on tape stealing multiple items from the gas station and he signed a written confession. Do you realize this is the third time he has been arrested this summer?
PARENT-What!! You talked to him without me being there!? I'm calling an attorney and I demand you stop talking to him right now!
COP-Yes we talked to him. Either come get him or we will have to take him to jail.
PARENT-I'm on my way! This is a bunch of bull**it! You cops need to work on catching the real criminals and stop picking on my kid!! I am so tired of you guys not doing your job. What's the Chief's name, because I'm filing a complaint against you first thing in the morning!! Click......

Parents, I agree that we will all defend our children to the death when there is a true threat, but being a parent like this is only condemning your child to a life of disappointment and failure. Once removed from the security blanket that is mommy or daddy, they will be unable to deal with the way "non enablers" function.


It's simple. We are all guilty of these parenting styles from time to time, in little fragments. But, we need to avoid these styles in their excessive, all consuming, radical forms.

They do not always end badly. Kids have been raised under these parenting styles and turned out brilliantly. However; many young drug addicts will tell you these were/are their parents.

For some ideas on how to get kids off drugs click here.

Chief Kyle J. Fittro

If you are seeing this page as a single blog post, and would like to read more posts about drugs on the chiefteach website, simply click the blog tab at the top right of this page.


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