3 Points to Stay Drug Free
My daughter and I love traveling all across the united states speaking to kids about drugs and alcohol and how to make good choices in their lives. We do hundreds of presentations every year in nearly every state in Northern America. One of our favorite parts of our presentations is the segment of the three things that kids need to do in order for them to stay drug-free throughout their lives. These are three things that my daughter and I have both done and without these three things, being drug free would have been nearly impossible.
- Know What You Know
The first thing anyone, especially a child has to do if they are going to be drug-free is they have to, as we put it, “Know What You Know.” What this means is that they have to make a decision today that they want to live their lives being drug-free. One of the examples we give is that as humans, things happen in our brains before they happen in the world. For example, the idea of the train was in someone’s brain before it was a train. The idea of the cell-phone was in someone’s brain before it was a cell phone. One of the most important things a child can do is to make a decision beforehand that they want to live a drug and alcohol-free life. I told my daughter that one day a day would come where someone was going to offer her something to drink, something to smoke, or something that falls in the category of a drug, and you have to be prepared for that day before it comes.
- Know Why You Know It
The second thing a child has to do if they want to be drug-free is they have to “Know Why You Know It.” They have to have a reason for why they want to be drug-free. If a kid can have a reason for wanting to be drug-free, it makes it so much easier for them when the time comes where they are faced with the difficult decision of whether or not to use drugs and alcohol. When my daughter and I travel, we like to ask the students what their reasons are for being drug-free. We love this part because of all the different answers we get. We will get some incredibly inspiring ones like, “I want to be a doctor when I grow up and drugs or alcohol would take that away from me.” We get some sad ones like, “My Uncle died from drugs at a young age and I don’t want other people to go through pain because of my addiction.” And even some funny ones like, “I don’t want to do drugs and then I forget how to make chicken nuggets, because I love chicken nuggets.” Whatever the reason is, any reason is better than none.
- Surround Yourself With People That Believe Like You Do
The last point that we give to the students, which my daughter feels is one of the main things that helped her to be drug-free through school, especially in high school, was to surround yourself with people that believe like you do. We always tell the students, “if you do not want to do drugs and alcohol, absolutely do not hang out with people that are doing drugs and alcohol.” It is so much more difficult to live a drug-free lifestyle when you are surrounded by people that are doing drugs or alcohol.
The example we like to give is one of a person standing at the edge of a cliff, and no it’s not the classic, “if all of your friends jumped off would you…” phrase that all of our moms so lovingly asked us. We say, “if you were standing at the edge of a cliff, and you took someone’s hand to try to help them up, is it going to be easier for you to pull them up or for them to pull you down?” Of course all the students can imagine that it is easier to get pulled down than it is to pull someone else up. Then we tell them that that is the same exact way it is with drugs and alcohol. It is so much easier to get pulled down than it is to pull someone else up. But, we continue by asking, “let’s say now that you were standing at the edge of a cliff, except this time you had a bunch of friends behind you and they all had a rope around you and were holding onto you very tightly, now which was is it going to go? Exactly, now you would be able to pull the other person up.” It is so much easier to live a drug and alcohol-free life when you surround yourself with people that think and believe like you do.
There are so many kids out there that want to live their lives drug and alcohol-free and my daughter and I have such an incredible experience to get to travel around the country speaking to all different kinds of kids from different backgrounds and cultures and socio-economic statuses and different paths. The one thing we see everywhere we go, though, is large groups of kids that want to devote their lives to staying drug-free.