Pubdate: Mon, 30 May 2005
Source: Medicine Hat News (CN AB)
Copyright: 2005 Alberta Newspaper Group, Inc.
Author: Elizabeth Wehrman, BSN, RN


RE: "Adults Are To Blame (16 May 2005)

Russell Barth makes an important point about drug education: presenting the 
facts is important.

I'm a mom of four adult daughters and a grandma of four grandchildren.

Discussion around the subjects of substance use, sexual behavior, HIV and 
AIDS is interspersed regularly with discussion of grades, driving and 
extracurricular activities as the girls were growing up.

The expectations held for them were clear, as were the consequences of not 
behaving within those expectations.

As adults, we as parents armed ourselves with information and we didn't 
hold back on sharing that information with our children. To be sure, we 
also shared our beliefs and feelings about issues - but we didn't confuse 
those with factual information.

The results? Not all four made all of the decisions we would have chosen. 
The one smoker now confesses that she wishes she'd never started and 
attempting to ditch the habit is a tough move. She'll get there, though. 
She's strong and she knows the facts.

There were no unplanned pregnancies, no STD's, no DUI's and no addictions 
to alcohol or other drugs (except the forementioned nicotine).

Our youngest daughter said we took all of the curiosity away. She added 
that many of her friends expressed the fact that they would have liked to 
have that kind of openness and communication with the adults in their lives.

For the sake of my grandchildren, I work toward drug policy reform and 
honesty in drug education. I have too much to lose to do anything else. And 
I trust that the investment made in their mothers' lives will have an 
effect on theirs, too.

Elizabeth Wehrman, BSN, RN

via email
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