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A Letter to Parents

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					                                       A Letter to Parents

When our children are born, we are filled with wonder. We would do anything for them! As
toddlers and youngsters, we know how to solve their problems. But soon, they are pre-teens, and
we face new challenges….. As they strive for tentative independence during these years, our kids
are changing and developing at warp speed, and they need our guidance and protection.

….….Most kids begin to wonder what it would feel like to be older and some, but not all,
become curious about cigarettes, alcohol, or even drugs in early adolescence. Some will begin
smoking cigarettes now, especially if family members or their peers are doing so.

These days, kids have access to something new. For little or no money, and no ID - they can get
“high”. Cough medicine, energy drinks, and food items are the new drugs of choice for middle
school students. Mom buys these “drugs” at the store (or NEX) and never suspects why they are
disappearing from the food pantry or medicine chest.

Cough Medicine
Drinking Robitussin is called Robo Tripping. Please check Parent’s Corner to see a video about
a young girl‟s bad experience with this dangerous activity. Nyquil, a commonly used, over-the-
counter cough medicine, contains 26% alcohol. Be sure your adolescents don‟t have access to it.

Energy Drinks
“Monster”, and other “energy” drinks, are consumed by teens for a quick „high”. They contain
enough caffeine to cause heart palpitations and raise blood pressure. They are also addictive.
Students have reported drinking up to 9 cans before school. Some students bring them to school
and suffer from caffeine jitters all day, making it hard to absorb important educational material.

Food Items
Last week, a middle school student reported peers were snorting “Crystal Light” powder. The
student got “hyper”, then “light-headed”, then “spacey”. If students drink a “Monster”, the hyper
feeling continues.

We could consider this a “prank”, but we can‟t afford to underestimate the danger. Snorting
Crystal Light puts kids at risk for hard drugs. If students are offered cocaine in high school, they
just might try it. Plus, aspartame, the artificial sweetener in Crystal Light, is not meant to be
consumed in such high concentrations.

All school nurses, teachers, principals, administrators, counselors, poison control, our regional
drug prevention contacts, and Inhalants.org have been informed - to respond and address the
physical affects of Crystal Light on the body. But most importantly, I am informing YOU, the
parents. Talk to your kids. Reason with them. Tell them you are keeping an eye on them and care
about their health. Keep cough medicine, like Robitussin and Nyquil, in a place out of reach.
And be suspicious if they ask you to buy Crystal Light. Don‟t provide anything they can misuse.
You are their best example!
Waverley Paitson, C.P.P. Certified Prevention Professional
Oak Harbor School District Middle Schools

				
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