Kids and substance abuse. . . I’ve been thinking about this dangerous and deadly mix quite a bit over the last few weeks. At the beginning of December the folks at the Institute for Social Research released the latest data from their ongoing Monitoring the Future Survey. . . that’s the annual look at drug/alcohol use/attitudes among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders that’s been going on since 1975. I’ll be sharing some of their findings tonight when I speak to parents and youth workers on the topic of teens and substance abuse at the Lexington Christian Academy in Lexington, MA.
While driving north this weekend, my trip around the radio dial got me thinking about how pop culture has interacted with kids on drugs and alcohol. An oldies station playing 70s music played Billy Joel’s 1973 seven-plus-minute song “Captain Jack. ” It’s one of the most significant songs ever penned by Joel. . . and for those who love and care for kids, it’s incredibly moving. It’s a song about the difficulties of life and how so many seek to escape through altered consciousness. Captain Jack was an actual heroin dealer who lived near Billy Joel. The song doesn’t celebrate substance abuse, but serves as an anti-drug tune. After hearing the song on the radio, I went back to YouTube and listened to it twice again. Powerful.,Give it a listen. . .
A little later I let the dial pause on a country music station where I heard Little Big Town’s 2014 hit tune, “Day Drinking.” This one is not anti-drug, but one that encourages listeners to get an early start on one’s drinking. Give it a look. . .
Attitudes have morphed and changed. Our beliefs inform our behaviors. I pondered this while driving. And, I thought about the conversations I’ve had with parents of addicts over the last few weeks. Consequently, we need to be addressing these realities.
Download the new CPYU Trend Alert: My Child Is Abusing Drugs and Alcohol – What Do I Do? by clicking here.