Children and teenagers need relationship, not drugs

by Renate Dünki

In the nineties, a popular initiative called “Youth without drugs” was launched in Switzerland. Many sportsmen and women were committed to it. The open drug scene in Zurich shook up many people. The misery of the young people was obvious. Today drugs are no longer consumed as demonstratively in public as then, but their prevalence is still high – with the known tragic consequences for the addicts and their families. What is new, however, is the “soft wave” with which “feel-good drugs” are now to be made socially acceptable in our neighbouring country. What is it all about? And where are the media to take up this issue making clear statements against the big business?
  Instead: A few weeks ago, an article appeared in the Sunday edition of the “Neue Zürcher Zeitung” under the heading “Wissen” (Knowledge), which – uncritically – presented the drug consumption of LSD in relaxing mini-doses. A growing mini-dose community in the US advocates a feel-good lifestyle that provides relief for stressful jobs or the task of raising children. Hence, the title “Mom takes a little drugs. Mini-doses of psychedelics like LSD are said to boost mood and creativity ...” More and more mothers “help themselves with such mini doses, in order to better cope with the increasing demands of raising children”! So, do children also need mini doses to cope with family and school? There is no mention of this in the article.
  The portrayal of the happy mini-dose community is surrounded by the report about “research work” of individual psychedelic scientists, all of whom think nothing of drug abstinence. The article lingers longer on the statements of a professor of Clinical Pharmacology. He and his team are investigating the effect of mini-doses of LSD on ADHD patients. This in order to substitute Ritalin, a very lucrative drug in the field of addictive drugs. A clinical study should be completed by the end of this year.
  Yes, bringing up children is not always easy, especially today, because arbitrariness and isolation have increased. But raising a child is a deeply satisfying task in life. It depends, as always and everywhere in life, on sensitive observation and exchange. This is already important with the infant (attachment research). If this does not always work, there are other people around, the father, the grandparents, a good neighbour, a mother from the playgroup. In conversation with them, the mother or father can address the difficulty with their child and take on a different perspective for once. This relieves the pressure. Often very little can help: to watch someone else do it and a little encouragement. After all, we are human beings with social skills, and we don’t have to get high or remove a minor discord feeling with the child by using psychotropic drugs. Mini-dose or not: a little courage and perseverance is necessary to observe a difficulty in living together – of course also with a child – and to try to find a solution. Every child depends on an alert, attentive counterpart who can also say NO once in a while and who helps him or her over a cliff. This requires relationship, not drugs.  •

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