Is Your Child on Drugs?

I have had Is Your Child on Drugs? by Ralph E. Wendeborn, Lorrie McLaughlin and Michael E. Palko for decades. I believe I acquired it as a rejected donation from the time of the old Mississauga Central Library, so that’s going back thirty years. This is a Canadian book published in 1970, and although the cover art suggests a degree of sensationalism designed to scare parents into suspecting that their children might be junkies, the book was in fact written with science and not tabloids as its source material. One underlying point stressed throughout the book was the need for parents to listen to their “youngsters” and be nonjudgmental. Parents should present their children the facts about drugs and not horror stories, as anything other than the truth will turn them off since children can tell when parents aren’t being sincere. 

The authors outlined the differences between addiction, habituation and physical dependence. Some drugs create a tolerance which the user must increase in order to gain the same effect. Fifty years later and this kind of information is still relevant.

I however was amused by the statement made about cocaine. In 1970 it may have been true but by the coke-soaked 1980’s we had a serious problem:

“Its use seems to have diminished and a World Health Organization report states that only a few pockets still exist where cocaine is smuggled in and used as a stimulant.”

The end of the book contained a lengthy list of “resources for meetings”. These were films to show at schools or among groups of parents to supplement an anti-drug presentation. I noted over a dozen interesting titles and some I was even able to find on YouTube. The content of these films was definitely dated and even laughable when viewed today, but none were of “Reefer Madness” hysteria. I tripped on the colourful teen scenes shot in San Francisco in the late sixties yet the black-and-white wholesome teens from 1951 induced a riot of giggles as they got high.

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