My 15-year old daughter went to her first concert recently. It was to see Twenty One Pilots, her favorite band. She went with friends, rather than us, and I admit to being more than a little nervous about what could happen. My husband is a huge Grateful Dead fan, so the concerts I’ve attended have likely had more than the normal share of drugs. And there have been overdoses leading to hospitalizations, arrests, and deaths over the years at concerts.
I talked to her a lot about what she might see at the concert, and was not at all vague about what we expected her to do if she was offered alcohol or a drug. She came back home many hours later very high, but on the music rather than a substance. She reported that she’d seen several “stupid people” who ended up missing the concert because they’d gotten drunk and passed out, or were escorted out of the venue due to being caught using drugs. I was pretty pleased that it had been a valuable learning experience for her.
My husband was the fourth of five children. He has never been drunk or used an illegal substance. He says that’s because he learned to avoid temptation early, after observing his older siblings’ painful experiences. Much as children of alcoholics may learn from their parent’s poor example and avoid the pitfalls of alcohol, as opposed to following suit. Our children will sometimes be in the presence of people using drugs and/or irresponsibly drinking. Let’s encourage them to observe, in the manner of a scientist, the negative effects of alcohol and drug use. And let’s hope that they learn from that.