My parents were definitely the latter. I was petrified about the health consequences of drugs, not to mention the wrath of my father. But I had to grapple with the same decisions as the young man in my class who's father openly smoked pot in their living room. Perhaps I had a harder time coming to my decision, but maybe not; and at the end of the day, I was there in the backyard right alongside him.
As an adult, I now know my parents may have not been as innocent as I had once pictured. However, their unwavering stance on the dangers of drug use I carried with me, and it has undoubtedly impacted the decision I made to not ever dabble in hard drug use. All that aside, what I can distinguish about my relationship with my parents is that it was loving and very open. They stressed the importance of communication and honesty and as a result I felt that no matter what decisions I made regarding drugs and alcohol, my parents were going to be there.
Do I fault them for not being completely honest? No. Because truthfully, had I known my dad had lit one up once or twice, that first moment would have felt a lot less weighty. And I think that the bottom line is that when you're contemplating drug use, the consideration should feel serious and consequential.
I hope to pass down to my kids the importance of open communication within the family, while not only educating them on the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse, but more importantly, reinforcing the notion that life's possibilities are endless when not littered with substance abuse and dependence; So that when faced with their own 10th grade moment, they will consider both sides and at the very least, feel like the decision is a weighty one.
What do you think? How open are you/will you be about your past drug and alcohol use?