This morning I spoke to a devastated parent who fears that she has lost her son to drugs. While the subject might make some people feel uncomfortable, just like any community, Delvin is in danger of losing talented but impressionable young people to addictions and it’s time to stop sweeping the matter under the carpet.
From discussions with counsellors and others, she knows that she is not alone and that there are other families in and around Delvin that are living the same hell. She is however racked with guilt over what she perceives as a failing on her part when it really isn’t like that at all.
This is not a case of a youngster coming from a deprived background and being exposed to drug culture from an early age. It is not a case of neglect as both parents were present and interacted with him throughout his younger life. It is not a case of him being a “bad kid” – the lad in question was (and still is) mild mannered, courteous and intelligent.
Conversations between mother and son indicate that peer pressure was a major factor here. Indeed, this is likely to be the case in other families where this problem has arisen – especially with young men. While some may dabble and then walk away, others get consumed by it and can neither acknowledge they have a problem nor find their own way back from it.
The parent I spoke to today is living a nightmare, hoping that her son will take up the offers of help that have been made to him before he does himself (or someone else) permanent damage. In the meantime, she asked that I share this story in the hope that other parents may be more aware of the real world dangers that are present in quiet rural communities like ours, and “have the talk” with their kids.