One of the biggest problems in today’s society with drugs and alcohol is the age at which people are being exposed to them. Kids, as young as those in fifth grade, are already experimenting with things like prescription medications and marijuana, which for many are considered gateway drugs, leading to some of the more dangerous drugs that are available.
So what is the solution to this problem?
Per Wickstrom of A Forever Recovery, a rehabilitation facility in Battle Creek, MI, sat down with All-Pro Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor to discuss the issues that our youth are facing today.
“I think the only thing that you can really do is educate them. You have to constantly talk to them,” said Taylor. “Make them feel good about themselves. They don’t need something to enhance their life or mood, everything they need is inside themselves.”
“You have to constantly tell him, show him, and I think, sometimes as a parent, you have to put your foot down and find better friends and set the example.”
Taylor, who battled with addiction for many years, has witnessed firsthand what prescription pills can do when kids start them at a young age.
“My best friend’s son got hooked on pills, and I saw him completely destroy himself,” said Taylor. “I used to talk to him, talk to him, talk to him, and just like pills and crack and alcohol — at some point in time — you have to hope that they get it.”
“Pills, I think it’s so much harder than crack – you have to go look for the crack. These pills are everywhere. Doctors just hand them out. It’s amazing how society has changed.”
When asked what he would suggest for a 15-year-old high school athlete who found himself in a situation where his friends were doing drugs, Taylor said the easiest solution is to do what he would do now – walk away.
“Back in those days, I probably would have left the house where my friends were, and the same thing I would do now because I’ve experienced everything,” said Taylor. “I would ask him to do the same thing that I would do now because I’ve learned, the longer you sit there and associate with it, there’s going to come a time where you only have to do it one time, and you have a problem.”
“You would have to leave. I don’t associate with those people now and wouldn’t then. I can’t be in that world.”