The Fine Line of Experimentation


By Mark Howerton

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The number one thing that I would want to communicate to families is that there’s such a small gap between experimentation and serious addiction. The addictive nature of drugs and the potency of drugs have significantly changed over time. What otherwise used to be a sort of an experimental, “partying”, “1 time encounter” type of thing is no longer a reality. The research shows that the potency of the drugs on the market today are significantly more powerful and more addictive than some of the drugs that were experimental drugs 10 or 20 years ago.
I encourage the use of drug testing programs to encourage your teenagers to say no in the face of social pressure to experiment. I’m actually surprised at how many parents don’t even realize they can drug test their kids.  It’s not something only done by the police or at the hospital. It’s something very easy, very quick and effective.  Effective parents are empowered to help their teenager make wise decisions about their encounters with drugs and alcohol.  I encourage parents to help their teenagers to have a drug-free high school experience by not only talking to them about experimenting, but also by investing in ways to use at home drug testing.
In the end, I want to encourage parents to empower their kids to make a decision not to even experiment with drugs and under aged drinking.  At first it might be perceived as a sacrifice to the teens that they may would sacrifice a “good time”, but ultimately its about understanding that it’s just not worth the risk. The speed and the narrow step from experimentation to significant problem is a risk families need to understand and avoid.