March 2022

Youth Opinion

Should I Buy My Kid Drugs?

Cabrillo Students Voice Their Opinion

We asked Cabrillo journalism students to weigh in on whether parents should provide drugs for their kids in the wake of recent deaths from fentanyl overdoses caused by drugs bought on the street. Here are their answers. Send your comments to [email protected]

Ally Goetz
As a young adult myself, I’ve seen plenty of instances where people have done drugs irresponsibly. Whether on school property or at a job, students and teens alike smoked weed or hit a Juul in the bathrooms of several different areas. The smell alone made me decide never to do drugs, and to this day, I haven’t. As for some high school kids I knew, I know for a fact that they still do drugs to this day. Legal or not, there is no way to stop drugs from getting in or out of schools. University or high school, drugs are already on the market to these teens starting at a young age. Most of Gen Z has received marketing and peer pressure to try out drugs, and banning them will only lead teens to want drugs more. Cut off the supply, and you’ll get more demand.

Like how campuses and hospitals in Santa Cruz have needle disposal areas, teens should be allowed to experiment in a safe environment. A room or a time to give students a safe space to educate and decide for themselves whether they want to do drugs or not, leaving the decision up to them and not the marketing campaigns that have only recently begun to put product warning labels on their drugs and harmful substances.

If I had a child, I’d prefer to educate them myself and have them try at home rather than learning from a friend who could potentially be feeding my child misinformation. Purchasing drugs and being used safely at home can lower the risk of overdose or harm coming to a child. It’s not only about health. It’s about the education and opportunity we provide for our children to help them make informed decisions about their health and choices. 

Steve Cross
I suggest looking into the work of the CAHOOTS program in Oregon, dealing with problems resulting from laws that injured people they were designed to protect.

They hired professional workers to perform some of the duties the police were forced to perform without training, such as relational counseling.  This alleviated problems like “suicide by cop” by paying social workers to consult families after police calls for domestic violence, rather than having the police do the counseling.
The CAHOOTS program has had some success in eliminating unnecessary deaths, hospitalizations and crimes according to CASE STUDY:

I recommend total compliance with the law until a better solution is negotiated, while communicating your concerns to the community in open forums and public discussions.

Gaby Gilson
This is a tricky subject because we don’t want to encourage teens or anyone to do drugs or smoke, especially do drugs because it’s not healthy. Still, at the same time, they will do it if they want to just like when you tell a kid not to do something, most likely they will still do it, but I think yes, it’s better to help your kids and find good weed instead of having something bad in it. I wouldn’t encourage anyone to do drugs, so I don’t think anyone should get their kids drugs or anyone drugs. I think the first thing is to try to educate them on the subject so they don’t do it because there are people that don’t do any of it. After all, they had a good education on it, but no, you shouldn’t buy your kids drugs because even if it’s clean, they can still overdose or become drug addicts. Drugs aren’t good, so I think rather than asking if you should or shouldn’t get it, inform them and educate them on the consequences and why they shouldn’t do it if they do tell you and decide they want to experiment with something I think it is better to be safe and do it with someone trustworthy. Still, overall, they should be encouraged not to do any of it. As I mentioned above, some kids will still do it, but I think it’s important to have a strong foundation, good education, and the right people around. If there are those things present and, for example, they want to smoke, then yeah, I say get them good weed, so there is nothing bad in it, but as for drugs, I don’t think they should have it in any way. Either way, I’m opposed to kids or anyone, in general, having drugs or alcohol because those are all bad things. I think it’s important to have good communication with your kids, have good values, and educate yourself on what can happen and all the bad things that it can bring.

Moises Mendez
In my opinion, it is much safer to provide (light) drugs from a trusted source such as a parent rather than a teenager to find it themselves on the street. The world is a lot more dangerous than we might think nowadays, and you never really know what drugs might be laced with. Teenagers are naturally curious and want to explore the world around them, including the world of drugs and drug use. With how much access to technology and easier communications we have today, it’s much easier for a teenager to find a drug dealer and make a purchase there, but you never know what those drugs would be laced with. I would prefer a trusted adult to obtain the substance they’re looking for. Obviously you’d want to stray away from any hard drugs, so if they’re going to use anything, I would encourage it to center around weed. At least in California, dispensaries are legal, making it much easier and specifically much safer to purchase weed for any kind of use. I would make a deal with my kid that I’m happy to provide weed to them as long as they stay away from any other drugs. If they’re using anything that I provided to them, it will be in the house, and I would try and encourage them not to give any to their friends just out of safety, but of course, they’re not always going to listen, so just keep any drug use within the house. Also, ensure that you have a long conversation about responsibility and addiction and that you’re always there for them and to help them with anything, fully judgment free. 

Steven Rodrigues
Do something, even if it’s wrong?!
Parents most likely will be poised with the subject of drugs and their children. To that, you may find your choice of parenting being the normative teaching versus action and reaction. The obvious suggestion is to accentuate awareness, education, and morality of right and wrong. Perhaps your situation may lead to action, such as providing parent-selected drugs versus your child’s pedestrian street purchasing.
What to do? Foremost, set the proper tone and image and be law-abiding. Facing the consequence of arrest may seriously impact the teaching path, let alone the embarrassment to parent and child. Control what you can control, treat this issue as a family management opportunity and keep that vigilant watch over your children.
If so compelled to act, act at the ballot box, participate in related public forums, and participate in any school-specific education and prevention programs. Be proactive, be most favorable, and always maintain a primary parenting attribute; be your child’s role model.

Jesse Bridges
I would recommend that you would buy the drugs for your stepdaughter. I have a little sister who is only 15 years old. I constantly worry about her doing drugs or something else. That way, I can at least make sure that she is using them safely. And that fact that I at least know what she is buying. Basically, the alternative would be to lock her down and not give her any freedom. .  I have to find the line between willing to trust her and, at the same time, learning where to draw the line. Also, if I am buying them for her, I at least know that she is safe, and I hopefully know what I am buying her. I figure that if she is going to do drugs, at least I can be in a position to stop her before she gets out of control. Also, the fact that if I don’t get them to her, one of her friends who isn’t as trustworthy as me might get them for her. Also, I don’t like her friends. Another reason I should be the one buying them is that if my sister’s allowance runs out, she doesn’t have to resort to any criminal activities to get money.

Narayan Wilder
With an overdose epidemic related to the lacing of various controlled substances with the far more deadly compound fentanyl, the question of how parents should deal with their children consuming and obtaining illegal substances has been circulating. If the goal of drug programs is harm prevention, then the first step is to make sure people don’t do drugs, and the best and only way to do that is (as with sex Ed) accurate education then easy access to the most proven clinical methods for harm reduction, like test kits, clean needles, responsive medical help. So if a young person is going to be partaking in controlled substances a way to make sure they are as safe as possible is to provide access to reliable non-tampered products as a form of harm prevention. This should be supported and seen as a valid way to keep your child out of harm’s way as much as is possible.

Stigmatization and criminalization are two leading causes of extrinsic harm related to controlled substance use. They could be ostracized from their family and end up homeless. They could be harassed or detained by the police for acting like a “tweaker” the amount of harm that is assigned to an individual as part of a less dignified social class multiples the risk factor of their internal circumstances. That is why I support parents who feel comfortable providing their children with what they know to be accurate substances, so their child does not have to be exposed to the risks of interacting with criminal elements.

Lucille Tepperman
So, you think your teenager is a good kid? That they wouldn’t be the sort of kid to over-dose? that they don’t do drugs? Come on, marijuana is now legal, and we live in California, the land of experimentation and counselors pushing hallucinogenic therapy. 

Don’t you remember being a teen?

You do your best as a parent or adult role model, but that doesn’t mean that teens will not experiment with drugs, that they won’t cede to peer pressure at a house party and pop the pill that is being handed to them. They don’t get depressed and think that a little mind-altering drug may be an escape.

“It’s not my fault it was laced with Phetynol,” was my teenage nephew’s response when I expressed concern that he was using.  For youth who are not in school or troubled, there should be a way to make free drug testing kits readily available to them.

All parents should have one available in their home for their kids to use.  This issue concerns us all; these are the youth, whether you have kids or don’t.  We should protect them. We need to make this an open discussion, and the community should

be addressing this on social media and in council meetings.
Why is there no government campaign out there like we had when I was a kid, Take a Bite Out of Crime?

As a modern developed nation, who are leaders in the world in medicine and science, with all this technology at our fingertips, we should protect the young people.

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