Opiates and Outcome Fever

I spoke to a father of three teenage boys recently, a very reasonable, bright man. He expressed concern about the fact that opiates are out there, and we talked about striking that parenting balance around drugs and alcohol, about finding that sweet spot where you don’t issue blanket prohibitions that are impossible to enforce, nor do you become overly permissive.

This brought up some things I’ve been mulling over:

  1. Why are so many teenagers sniffing and shooting opiates, boys and girls who, a generation ago, wouldn’t have even entertained a thought of using them?
  2. What are the more complex dynamics in middle- and upper-class schools and families that are causing kids to use opiates?

Actually, I would argue that “good” kids are taking risks with many aspects of their lives, not just opiates. In fact, many of their choices can be seen through the lens of addictive behavior, whether it’s sex, working out, drinking, video games, even schoolwork. Read more

The Media is Catching on to The Bombardment

If you have ever talked with me about kids, you know about The Bombardment, because I bring it up all of the time. The Bombardment is my term for the amalgam of the cultural and societal issues that have changed kids and parenting over the last 20 years or so. The Bombardment has caused a number of challenges for parents, but, more particularly, kids. The challenges are serious: they have caused increases in suicides, opiate use, failure to launch, crippling anxiety…these are just a few examples, and so many times, parents don’t have a clue about the secret lives that their children live every day. Much of my work addresses these challenges. Read more