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For them to find something better to do.
I don't say that tongue in cheek, I mean it.
People on drugs, well it's the best thing they know to do.
As good as it makes everyone feel, it's a miracle we all aren't on drugs.
They need something better to do.
Something with meaning.
I read a paper that talked about exactly this thing... that addicts can much easier end their addiction if they change their environment and just get something better to do. I've seen it before.
 

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I read a paper that talked about exactly this thing... that addicts can much easier end their addiction if they change their environment and just get something better to do. I've seen it before.
Absolutely true in my little town. There was just honestly nothing for kids to do. No mall, no movie theater, no place for kids to hang out and do the things kids like to do. So instead everyone just hung out at each other’s house or had parties in the woods. Drugs, alcohol and sex is what kids will get up to if there is nothing else to do. When I lived there, meth was not on the scene yet so kids did more cocaine and speed then because those things were readily available. Meth is so much cheaper than coke though, so now even really young broke teens can get high for pennies. At least coke was more expensive and so when I lived there, most kids could not afford to be addicts. They could only afford to party. Alcohol was still a problem then and now but it causes much fewer problems than meth. Teen pregnancy was also higher than other areas, for all the same reasons.
 

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I read a paper that talked about exactly this thing... that addicts can much easier end their addiction if they change their environment and just get something better to do. I've seen it before.
changing their environments is what worked for my sister and BIL...

its expensive, but it works.
 

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Absolutely true in my little town. There was just honestly nothing for kids to do. No mall, no movie theater, no place for kids to hang out and do the things kids like to do. So instead everyone just hung out at each other’s house or had parties in the woods. Drugs, alcohol and sex is what kids will get up to if there is nothing else to do. When I lived there, meth was not on the scene yet so kids did more cocaine and speed then because those things were readily available. Meth is so much cheaper than coke though, so now even really young broke teens can get high for pennies. At least coke was more expensive and so when I lived there, most kids could not afford to be addicts. They could only afford to party. Alcohol was still a problem then and now but it causes much fewer problems than meth. Teen pregnancy was also higher than other areas, for all the same reasons.
You know what gets me? There's a lot of things that kids can do besides party and do drugs, even in small towns. It's limited by a person's imagination. What did people in those areas do before drugs became so available?

Perhaps the adults are somewhat at fault if they are not bringing their children up to explore their environment and find activities that they enjoy.

Perhaps the problem today is that with people growing up watching so much TV, with internet access, cell phone, and social media, they expect to be entertained.

https://www.travelsouthdakota.com/things-do?gclid=Cj0KCQiAt_PuBRDcARIsAMNlBdpue1imw59SyflaAH47HyObe7nOjj6JuiIWjoh-W6NmbQjufgv0d0waArC7EALw_wcB
 

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You know what gets me? There's a lot of things that kids can do besides party and do drugs, even in small towns. It's limited by a person's imagination. What did people in those areas do before drugs became so available?

Perhaps the adults are somewhat at fault if they are not bringing their children up to explore their environment and find activities that they enjoy.

Perhaps the problem today is that with people growing up watching so much TV, with internet access, cell phone, and social media, they expect to be entertained.

https://www.travelsouthdakota.com/things-do?gclid=Cj0KCQiAt_PuBRDcARIsAMNlBdpue1imw59SyflaAH47HyObe7nOjj6JuiIWjoh-W6NmbQjufgv0d0waArC7EALw_wcB
To the bolded, absolutely. Of the kids I actually knew at the time, those whose parents were more involved in their lives did not end being the druggies. Those of us whose parents really didn't know what we were up to or where we were had issues. I somehow did not really fall into the drug trap, but I partied with those kids because we were kind of adrift and only had each other for support. Honestly thinking back, I do not know what else I could have done, with no guidance there was truly nothing to do, no where to go. And when no one cares if you even come home or not, why come home? It's some kind of huge blessing that my life is not in tatters and I really never got in trouble. Others weren't so lucky. But all of the kids who had involved parents turned out great.
 

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Absolutely true in my little town. There was just honestly nothing for kids to do. No mall, no movie theater, no place for kids to hang out and do the things kids like to do. So instead everyone just hung out at each other’s house or had parties in the woods. Drugs, alcohol and sex is what kids will get up to if there is nothing else to do. When I lived there, meth was not on the scene yet so kids did more cocaine and speed then because those things were readily available. Meth is so much cheaper than coke though, so now even really young broke teens can get high for pennies. At least coke was more expensive and so when I lived there, most kids could not afford to be addicts. They could only afford to party. Alcohol was still a problem then and now but it causes much fewer problems than meth. Teen pregnancy was also higher than other areas, for all the same reasons.
I grew up in a very rural area until I was 14 or so, then we moved to the big city.

If you didn't play hockey in the winter (which I didn't - skipping grades and being small for your age until I hit high school, plus having no money made that impossible) and baseball in the summer, along with camping and stuff... you really had nothing to do.

By the time I was 12 or 13, I could easily drink a case (12) of beer in a night. Bush parties involved a lot of booze (drugs were scarce back then). We had nothing to do but go into the wilderness, drink, fight, and fool around. So that's what we did. Parents would shrug their shoulders and say things like "boys are going to be boys."

I remember being 13 and trying to decide if I was going to pack more beer or milk for cereal at breakfast while camping. I picked beer, and discovered that beer on corn flakes is actually pretty good. That same region still has a very high alcohol, drug, STD, and teen pregnancy problem.

I was lucky; I moved to the big city, discovered football, rugby, wrestling, dating, all of that stuff. I can still drink most people under the table easily to this day, although my hangovers are now bad.
 

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By the time I was 12 or 13, I could easily drink a case (12) of beer in a night. Bush parties involved a lot of booze (drugs were scarce back then). We had nothing to do but go into the wilderness, drink, fight, and fool around. So that's what we did. Parents would shrug their shoulders and say things like "boys are going to be boys."
Exactly! Though I don't know that our parents said anything at all. I think they were just happy we weren't around.

The parties I went to were always co-ed. Girls didn't want to hang out with just other girls by the time we were 13-14. We wanted to know where the boys were and what they were up to. We sure found out!
 

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I grew up poor, in an area with lots of drugs and addicts. I went out into the wilderness and learned fieldcraft, hunting, etc. I scavenged broken electronics from dumpsters. I got into long distance running. I always found stuff to do.

Having "nothing to do" is a really dumb reason to get addicted to drugs, in my opinion...
 

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Exactly! Though I don't know that our parents said anything at all. I think they were just happy we weren't around.

The parties I went to were always co-ed. Girls didn't want to hang out with just other girls by the time we were 13-14. We wanted to know where the boys were and what they were up to. We sure found out!
I was raised by a single mom, so I don't blame her for not being around. Was hard for her to raise us by ourselves. She grew up on a farm in the bush with a bunch of brothers, my grandmother was born in a log cabin not far from where I was raised. So it was fairly rough and tumble, kids were expected to mostly raise themselves.

The problem with hookups in a place like that was that everybody knew what everybody had done with everybody else. It was a weird incestuous vibe. Extremely promiscuous, although I didn't actually lose my virginity until we moved to the city. But I mean farm kids know how things work, you know.

I'd often vanish into the bush with my buddies after school on friday and just kind of show up dirty and tired for sunday dinner. It was normal. She'd check me over for injuries, patch me up if I needed, give me a hot meal and send me to bed. That would be a standard weekend, no questions asked if I didn't need to help out with the many side jobs we always did. But she was exhausted, too. I don't blame her. She did the best she could.
 

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I was raised by a single mom, so I don't blame her for not being around. Was hard for her to raise us by ourselves. She grew up on a farm in the bush with a bunch of brothers, my grandmother was born in a log cabin not far from where I was raised. So it was fairly rough and tumble, kids were expected to mostly raise themselves.

The problem with hookups in a place like that was that everybody knew what everybody had done with everybody else. It was a weird incestuous vibe. Extremely promiscuous, although I didn't actually lose my virginity until we moved to the city. But I mean farm kids know how things work, you know.

I'd often vanish into the bush with my buddies after school on friday and just kind of show up dirty and tired for sunday dinner. It was normal. She'd check me over for injuries, patch me up if I needed, give me a hot meal and send me to bed. That would be a standard weekend, no questions asked if I didn't need to help out with the many side jobs we always did. But she was exhausted, too. I don't blame her. She did the best she could.
Yeah. I get it. My parents loved me but they were neglectful. I think they just weren't cut out to be parents. I don't blame them, not everyone should be a parent. And the fact that they loved me made a huge difference because even though they were neglectful, I always felt loved and that makes a big difference in the life of a kid.
 

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I grew up poor, in an area with lots of drugs and addicts. I went out into the wilderness and learned fieldcraft, hunting, etc. I scavenged broken electronics from dumpsters. I got into long distance running. I always found stuff to do.

Having "nothing to do" is a really dumb reason to get addicted to drugs, in my opinion...
Some of the kids I knew took care of themselves this way too and didn't get into trouble.

I just kind of rode the edge of everything. I was a cheerleader, I was very visible in our community for several different reasons, I was a good kid in most ways, but I also partied and stayed out all night regularly and chased boys.

Kind of like now! lol :laugh:
 

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If I was known for anything in my community, it was for running endlessly. People used to talk about it a lot, because I would often run for 8+ hours straight.

When I was in the delayed entry program, before I joined the army, I would run to the recruiting station to do PT, then run home. I lived in Keystone Heights(FL) at the time, and the recruiting station was in Orange Park, 36 miles away.
 

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Yeah. I get it. My parents loved me but they were neglectful. I think they just weren't cut out to be parents. I don't blame them, not everyone should be a parent. And the fact that they loved me made a huge difference because even though they were neglectful, I always felt loved and that makes a big difference in the life of a kid.
On the upside, by the time I was 12 or 13, I could easily:

Drive almost any vehicle - car, truck, motorbike, skidoo quad, argo, boat, tractor... on almost any kind of terrain. Including no road at all.

I could make a fire in the rain, or in the snow, without matches. I could walk into the woods by myself with a small survival kit in a blizzard and walk out days later and be just fine. I could build a cozy lean-to with just what I could find in the bush.

I could handle a large canoe with a full pack in heavy rapids by myself. I could navigate easily with a compass or visually if needed. Won a bunch of awards for stuff like that.

I could fight boys bigger than me and win. I was decent at pond hockey. I could track most animals easily. I've been up and close with bears many times, including having one come into my lean-to when sleeping. Was hunted by a cougar at least once. Have been close enough to wolves to pet them (although I didn't). Once had a moose try to come into my tent with me.

I'd been in a tornado. Like, literally, in one. We were in northern saskatchawan, and one came down, picked up our tent, spun it around, and set it down 50 feet away.

I knew how to handle knives, keep them sharp and clean. Had guns, and knew how to use them.

I knew how to rock climb, rappel, field dress a wound, use stuff in the woods to do it.

And yes, I knew how to get a bra off one-handed.

I wouldn't have had any of those kind of life skills without that kind of upbringing. All of that was kind of just what you knew how to do where I grew up.

However... I couldn't imagine letting my kids do any of that stuff by themselves, even at an older age than I routinely did. Different time.
 

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I also grew up very poor and in a poor, rural area with not much to do. My parents were super protective of me. But they also were big into the church and their own activities there. The church tried to keep us busy with camps and other activities to keep us from having sex or doing other things. But it was easy to sneak around and we found ways to get to the "bad kids".

It was mostly drinking and sex and pot. I saw people doing hard drugs but luckily i never got into it. I guess i could have easily got into it but I think it was luck. If I were pressured or had a boyfriend with a real problem then it easily could have been different.

For me, it was not just about not having much to do. I mean, all kids can say that whether they are in a boring suburb or a more rural place. or if they have money or are poor. Lots of kids with money are ignored and have problems. But for me, poverty sometimes made me feel hopeless. Sometimes it inspired me to want to get the heck out of there and i did go to college (yay!!!). But when I felt hopeless I felt like nothing mattered. Drink all night. Give myself to guys. Who cares.

We never had no food but some times we had to eat just like rice and beans. I didn't fully understand until later that at times we literally had nothing and my parents could give us nothing but that to eat. One of my early memories is of bill collectors. One year I got a NEW pair of socks for Christmas. We hardly ever got ANYTHING new. Always from the "poor bins" that people donated. I remember today the smell of those socks when they were brand new. I didn't know how new things smelled.

I cant' tell these stories without crying but some of the best memories were times like when my father found or was given a used and often broken toy like a big wheel or a bike or a something. he'd come home and surprise us with it and we'd all take turns with it. Like a warm summer night that seemed to go on forever and ever....just laughing and leaving the problems behind... or the rare times my mother turned on the sprinkler for us in the summer.

Sorry, i know this is off track but the talk about growing up in rural poverty really got to me.
 

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Addiction is rampid no matter what the local environment is or the person's social/economic situation.

From what I've seen a kid who grows up in a home and/or neighborhood that is infested with gangs and drugs has a high likelihood of becoming addicted or using a lot of drugs.

However, there are a lot of people who grew up middle class and even upper class who end up addicted to drugs as well.
 

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Perhaps the adults are somewhat at fault if they are not bringing their children up to explore their environment and find activities that they enjoy.

I think it goes even beyond parents. In places where drug addiction is a problem, communities as a whole have broken down. It does take a village to hold each other accountable.

As a species we evolved in tribes and we work best in tribes. When one is not involved in positive ways with their neighbors lives, don’t expect things to magically just be better. In this, we should not expect our federal, state or local governments to fix these problems. If theses things are a problem in our communities, we need to examine what are “we” doing to change it for the better.



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