Drugs (Illegal Drugs & Marijuana)
  • Illegal drugs are a preventable American tragedy.  It is stressing our law enforcement, social services, foster parent agencies, and destroying families.  Children of addicts are abused, abandoned and neglected.  Safety of children is an issue, and foster parents are becoming difficult to find.  
  • Why do kids do drugs?  Kids in 148 schools said they used drugs because they didn't feel good about themselves, and drugs make them feel OK for a short period of time.  Many kids think they are not OK unless their friends say they are.
  • The average time of a child's first experimentation with drugs until either parent knows anything about it, is 26 months.
  • Parents Using Drugs.  Children are often introduced to drugs by their own parents, destroying individuals and families.  Families represent the bricks which make up our society.  Drugs are taking the mortar out of the foundation of those bricks.
  • Substance abuse is a dysfunctional coping skill.  Drug use and abuse is almost always a symptom of another underlying, deeper problem.  People turn to drugs to cope with trauma and abuse.  
  • Addicts become slaves to this habit forming addiction as it alters their mind.  Once it overpowers them, they will do anything to buy more.  
  • Meth users are prone to violence and neglectful behavior.  The meth addiction is so powerful that the user can't stop, even knowing it is affecting an unborn baby.  Meth causes the user to lose sight of the fact that they are even responsible for their children.  They are completely focused on getting their next drug fix.

  • People need "treatment on demand," so they do not have to wait, and sometimes die trying to get into treatment. 
  • Girls and Drugs.  More girls than boys have started using alcohol, cigarettes and drugs. Teenage girls are stressed and depressed, self-medicating with these drugs.  Girls feel they are challenged and expected to look and act older today.  (2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health)  
  • Women and Drugs.  Substance abuse and addiction is by far the number one women's health problem, causing illness, injury and death, and contributing to a whole host of related social problems.  (National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, Columbia University, NYC)
  • The drugs plaguing youth and adults in the Spokane community are illegal prescription drugs, alcohol, methamphetamine and marijuana.  (Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council)

Statistics
  • One in 12 full-time workers in the U.S. acknowledges having used illegal drugs in the month of June 2007.  Most of the illicit drug use involved marijuana, and the prevalence of illegal drug use was highest among younger workers.  In addition, nearly 9% reported heavy alcohol use.  (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, Health and Human Services Department)  
  • Alcohol kills more kids than any other drug.  (U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2011)  
  • Judges have a big effect on drug offenders' lives.  A judge's decision may make the difference between a trip back to prison and an addiction-free life for a drug offender.  About 70% of drug convicts re-offend within three years of release from prison.  Participation in a drug court program where, instead of going to jail, offenders work to overcome their addictions under the supervision of a judge, lowers that number by an average of 18%.  Research analyzing the drug court model reveals the judge has a bigger influence on  success than even the offender's own life circumstances. 

  • Addiction is a serious and growing problem.  Almost 22 million people in the U.S. are addicted to alcohol or other drugs.  If you add smoking cigarettes in there, it pushes the number up to 60 million people - that’s like saying everybody in California and Texas is addicted.  That is just the individuals.  It is not just a profound effect on the individual, but it affects families and the workplace and the community and society overall.  (Source:  “Addictions:  Bad Habits, or Bad Genes?”, Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Pfizer, Dr. Phil show, April 15, 2016)
What You Can Do
  • Parents and Grandparents.  Lock up your medicine cabinets! 
  • Old Medications.  If you have pain medications in the house which you no longer need, get them out of your house.  (see Environment, Recycling, Prescription Drugs on this website)
  • Make Children Your Priority.  Parents can help prevent their children from abusing substances.  Make it a point to spend time with your kids and to communicate with them from the time they are very young, and your kids will be more inclined to turn to you later on when they feel the pressure from their peers to smoke, drink or use drugs. 
  • Set a Good Example.  Parental example is the greatest teacher for children in all things, including substance abuse.  Parents in turmoil look for ways to numb their pain; but unfortunately, sometimes it is drugs and alcohol—an example viewed by their children.  Do your children watch you take a pill or a drink to deal with stress, anxiety, and depression?  What messages are you sending and teaching your children? 
  • Addicted Parents Neglect Children.  Children who are neglected by parents abusing substances will never trust that they will have food, comfort, and unconditional love.  They will be thwarted in their ability to concentrate, interact socially, and develop physically.  If you are addicted to any drugs, get professional counseling or therapy.  Contact a drug rehabilitation/treatment program.
  • Eat Dinner as a Family.   Research has found that the more children eat dinner with their families, the less likely they are to smoke, drink or use drugs.  (The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University in New York City)
  • Bad Things Feel Good.  Teach your children that sometimes, bad things (like drugs and pornography) feel good, but that they need to have the courage to simply say, “No.” 
  • Where Are Your Children?  Know your children’s whereabouts, activities and friends.
  • Family Rules.  Set fair rules and hold your children to them.
  • Listen and Talk.  Maintain open lines of communication.
  • Have the Conversation.  Parents— Talk to your children about the danger of all drug abuse, including prescription drugs.  Explain that even a small dose can take someone’s life.  For help talking to your children about the risks of drugs and alcohol, visit http://www.starttalkingnow.org.   
  • Treatment Programs.   If your child ends up in a treatment program, do the hard work that the experts and counselors ask you to do—go to meetings, sit in group therapy sessions and participate, and write the letters to your child.  You will be helped as well as your child.
  • Allow Consequences.  Allow your children to face the consequences of their behavior, instead of always rescuing them.  Parents who are in denial or always rescuing their children, simply enable them. 
  • Marijuana Next Door.  Protect neighborhoods from marijuana use and production. Call Washington State’s toll-free, anonymous tip line at 1-800-388-4769. 
  • Underlying Causes.  Substance abuse is a dysfunctional coping skill.  Drug use and abuse is almost always a symptom of another underlying, deeper problem.  People turn to drugs to cope with trauma and abuse.  Find out what is driving the addiction. 
  • Work as a Community.  Gather police, clergy, school officials and parents to work together to resolve the drug addiction problem in our community. 
  • Inform Police.  Call 327-5111   Report the sale of drugs and all other illegal activity on the Secret Witness anonymous tip-line.  Cash rewards are offered for information that leads to arrests to keep our community safe. 
  • Watch for Signs.  Learn some of the most obvious signs of substance abuse: 
Withdrawn, depressed, tired and careless about grooming
Hostile and uncooperative
Relationships with family members, co-workers or friends deteriorating or changing
New friends that seem different than the people they would normally be drawn to
Failing grades 
Loss of interest in hobbies and activities he/she once enjoyed
Low self-esteem (over body image and intelligence) 
Eating or sleeping patterns changing
Red-rimmed eyes and/or runny nose, but no cold
Missing money or valuables from home or workplace
  • Outstanding Resource:  For pictures and detailed information on hundreds of drugs which are sold on the street, contact local law enforcement for a copy of “Street Drugs—a Drug Identification Guide,” or request a copy from Publishers Group, LLC, 2805 Alvarado Lane N, Plymouth, MN  55447, (763) 473-0646, mailto:sdinfo@streetdrugs.org,  ISBN 0-942677-02-1.  
  • Drug Tests.  Offer drug tests to parents to use with their kids.  Kits cost approximately $4.  Urine activates the device.  Tests such as Monitect MC10 may be purchased in bulk off the Internet.   Remember—they are not 100% accurate. 
  • Role Models.  Surround your children with positive role models.  All citizens can help prevent addictions by being good role models, especially to your own children and family. 
  • Truly Care About Young People.  All adults who work with youth are part of the prevention of substance abuse and violence among our young people.  Help young people bond to their families, schools, communities and peer groups by giving them opportunities, skills and recognition.  Reach out to those you feel may need some extra help. 
  • Mentors.  Mentor children in prevention of tobacco, alcohol and substance abuse.  The Spokane region places 75-80 new children in foster care each month—largely due to parents who have drug and alcohol addictions. 
  • K-9 Dogs.  Request school boards utilize our tax-provided K-9 dogs to make unannounced, periodic checks for drugs on school grounds.  Ask school districts to reveal their infraction reports.  Accurate information is a motivational tool for correction. 
  • Research Solutions.  Get involved, and learn from the successes of others.  For example:  The Cody, Wyoming community turned around their teen drug program with CAN (Change Attitudes Now).  Eight of 10 high school seniors had admitted using illegal drugs.  Instead of teaching teens to say “No,” they taught them to say “Yes” to a contract promising they will not use, sell or possess any illegal drugs to maintain their membership in CAN.  In return, 4-12th graders gain access to high-speed computers, prizes, and receive discounts from over 50 businesses in town.  CAN kids responded to “free stuff” like free popcorn at the movies, free admission to a museum, and discounts at stores.  The most important benefit—the program inspires younger kids to stay drug-free.  CAN teaches kids that when you make positive choices, there are rewards, and if you don’t, there are penalties.
Local Organizations
Additional Resources


Daybreak
Provides inpatient and outpatient services to over 1,000 youth annually, to keep them free from drugs and alcohol. 

First Call for Help
838-4428

Isabella House
Provides 180-day long-term residential substance-abuse treatment for women over 18.  Women must be pregnant or parenting a child under the age of 6.  624-1244
 
Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council
Call to learn more about the dangers of prescription drugs and other substances, or to share your story of recovery in an effort to help others. 
(509) 922-8383
http://www.gssac.org 
http://www.drugfree.org 

Narcotics Anonymous
325-5045

Reaching Out Advocating Recover (ROAR)
Promotes freedom from substance abuse. 
(509) 326-7627. 

Secret Witness
An anonymous tip-line to report the sale of drugs, or any other illegal activity.  Cash rewards are offered for information that leads to arrests to keep our community safe. 
(509) 327-5111. 

Seek help with substance abuse problems. 
Call the 24-hour, toll-free support line at 1-800-562-1240. 

Spokane County Drug Unit
(509) 477-4778

Spokane Treatment and Recovery Services
(formerly Community Detox Services of Spokane)
312 W. 8th Avenue
Spokane, WA
(509) 477-4631

“Street Drugs—a Drug Identification Guide,” is an outstanding resource book containing hundreds of pictures of drugs which are sold on the street.  Contact our local law enforcement for a copy, or request a copy from
Publishers Group
LLC, 2805 Alvarado Lane N,
Plymouth, MN  55447
(763) 473-0646 
mailto:sdinfo@streetdrugs.org 
ISBN 0-942677-02-1.