Treatment Abuse, Behavior Modification, Thought Reform > Straight, Inc. and Derivatives

Augusta, Gone

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Augusta, Gone Has anyone else read Augusta, Gone, by Martha Tod Dudman?

Augusta, Gone Anyways, it's a true story written by a mother about her teenage girl getting into drugs and running away and everything.  It was painful to read.  I kept feeling furious at the mother and then also so sad for her, she really didn't know what to do, and her daughter was apparently into some bad stuff.  She sends her to a wilderness camp in Idaho and then to a reform school in Oregon.  I feel that I can read between the lines and see that these places were not what was presented to the author on her visits.  In fact, at the school in Oregon, while her daughter is there, one of the students commits suicide.  

Why do people get so bewildered about adolescent pain, as though it is so mysterious what is hurting them?  "Oh my kid is out of control," people say, "I don't know what to do, I tried to do everything right."  Well, what is going on at home?  Are the parents emotional nutcases themselves?  Is there physical violence, or threats?  

I was talking about this book to a man I know who has two kids in their twenties.  "So, did your kids do drugs?"

"Oh, no" he says, "no, they wouldn't do that."  I ask him what he did -- was he really strict with them, or what.  "No," he says, "we just talked to them.  I told them the truth: I drank, I tried marijuana.  I told him how it was when I messed up and got in trouble."

I don't know what I would do if I had kids and they got into really bad stuff.  Knowing what I know about the harsh treatment programs, I could never send them there.  I don't know if I could "send" them anywhere, like a prisoner.  But I can understand the reason parents do it, and I understand they don't know, they don't understand how those "schools" can do so much damage.

I think if I found out my kid was doing anything really dangerous, anything harsher than marijuana or alcohol, I would pack the family up and move to a remote mountaintop, or another country.   Well, do you have a better suggestion?

Do any of these troubled kids who get into bad drugs and crime come from really healthy families, where everything is fine?  I really would like to know.  The word about teen problems seems to be that your great kid suddenly gets in the wrong crowd and the drugs are what makes them the way they are -- rude, irresponsible, etc.  It is never about what is really going on with your kid's soul. What are they really thinking about, what makes them so miserable, who is hurting them, what do the parents need to change about themselves (rages, etc.) to stop driving their kids crazy.

I wish I could be at the conference.  Are y'all really going to be in one big room together?  Is anyone feeling a bit paranoid about it?  

Re: Augusta, Gone There are two kinds of people in this world; people whos lives have been somehow shaped by harsh tragedy and those you don't know very well.

I don't think kids today are any more troubled or troubling than kids any other day. I think we've just been fed on a whole lot of fear mongering and hate mongering and far too many people are falling for it.

I do have a 17 year old daughter. And it's a white knuckle ride sometimes watching her make some of the same mistakes I did. She's got our help and support if she wants it. She doesn't want it. There's simply nothing that I can do to help her without putting her at more risk than she's doing by herself. But I also know what she's made of and what it was like to be 17. I think she'll pull it out. Why, with any luck at all and go on to make new and interesting mistakes thereby impriving on my work as I try to improve on my own parents'.  -If there's a worse idea going than locking kids up for victimless crimes, it's probably locking them in close proximity to some tyrannical altruist bent on helping them even if it kills them.
Saving our Children from Drug Treatment Abuse

more thoughts on the same I think back on myself at 17 and I don't see what I was doing as particularly dangerous with a couple exceptions: riding with drunk or stoned drivers, and doing LSD.  I got into a lot of trouble for truancy and "running away" (to friend's houses): I was completely incorrigible!

But if my kid got into heroin or ecstasy or something pretty golldurn life- or health-threatening like that, I think I would have to take some extreme action.

Oh, another book I read recently was "The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood".  One of the characters gets sent to an extremely harsh Catholic girls' school.  It was a Straight-like or prison-like environment.  I don't know how much the author was drawing from reality; in her book, this took place in the 1940s.  The girl's mother could not stand her "behavior" or her "attitude".  There was no drug problem or truancy or anything but a few teenage pranks, and, in the mother's view, a lack of meekness, an general attitude of self-importance.

When I was first in Straight I said to an executive staff that I was sure I did not have a drug problem, and she said something to the effect that I didn't have to have a drug problem, I could just work on a behavior problem.

Re: more thoughts on the same Well just so you know MDMA, or ecstasy is not actually dangerous in and of itself. The dangers are related to the adulterants potentially mixed into the pill or the very real possibility that it is not MDMA at all and instead it may be Amphetamine, GHB, Rohypnol, ketamine, or any other drug that can be made into pill form. If people are careful about drinking enough water, and testing their pills with the simple test kits available, then it is a pretty safe drug. The risks inherent to MDMA are about the same as the risks for other soft drugs like LSD and Marijuana, mainly as long as you don't try to operate heavy machinery and you keep yourself in a safe place you are ok. I have never done Ecstasy but, I go to a lot of clubs and raves. Most deaths attributed to ecstasy are either bullshit claims made by talking heads and drug war zealots, as in the case where Florida officials reported over 100 deaths from MDMA, when in reality all but 20 of those did not even have MDMA in their system and most of that small group died from other things while on Ecstasy, like car crashes and adulterants.

If I were a parent and my kid was addicted to drugs, I would get him help but, I don't think I would do anything residential and I think I would put my money to good use by hiring an addiction specialist or a psychologist to help him, rather than giving vast sums of money to some cult-like group awareness program.  

  I do not anticipate this to be much of a problem, because despite what the press would have you believe, most drug users are not addicted, especially teenage users, since they generally don't do addictive drugs. Secondly, most teens follow the patterns of their parents or adults around them, teens who drink heavily usually have parents who drink, my parents almost never drink, and I almost never drink, the same goes for smoking and probably most other drugs.  It seems like almost every teen and adult in my area either smokes pot or drinks but, I only know 2 or 3 people who have ever tried cocaine.  Slavish discipline makes a slavish temper... If severity carry'd to the
highest pitch does prevail, and works a cure upon the present unruly
distemper, it often brings in the room of it a worse and more dangerous
disease, by breaking the mind; and then, in the place of a disorderly young
fellow, you have a low spirited moap'd creature, who, however with his
unnatural sobriety he may please silly people, who commend tame unactive
children, because they make no noise, nor give them any trouble; yet at
last, will probably prove as uncomfortable a thing to his friends, as he
will be all his life an useless thing to himself and others... Beating them,
and all other sorts of slavish and corporal punishments, are not the
discipline fit to be used in the education of those we would have wise,
good, and ingenuous men...
John Locke, 1692


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