I can't imagine that drug use is worse than it was in the small town where I grew up. The first boy I ever kissed killed himself on New Year's Eve, 1979. Bruce was 19 and facing prison after being found with a kilo of coke in his car. He turned on his car in his family's enclosed garage and let it run.
Last year, a guy from my high school died not far from where I write this. He had been clean, scored some coke, but what he used to be able to handle was too much for his heart. Tim started seizing and a guy from a cellphone store tried to help him. Tim was grabbing this guy's ankles and pleading "Save me, Jesus!" He fought the cops when they tried to put him in an ambulance, so they tasered him. Because I had written about Tasers, I used to get press releases from Taser whenever someone died. I never thought it woud be about someone I knew.
I just went to my high school reunion. I would guess that 30 percent of the guys had been through rehab and another 30 percent looked like they needed to go. That's not much of an exaggeratin. Partying might be fun at 18, but it's not so cute at 48.
My kid has an independent streak. Hopefully it will stand kid in good stead when kid gets offered something.