Angela Mertens April 9, 2018
father son

How to teach your children about alcohol, and drugs

I’m not a parent yet, but I’m still young enough to be one in the future. Life is good for me right now. I’m doing well professionally and have a happy personal life. So I sometimes find myself thinking about how my life experience could help the kids I may have one day.

I’m an addict, you see. A recovering addict. I’ve been clean and sober for nine years.

I have lived a lot in the first half of my three-score-years-and-ten. I’ve seen lots of good things, I’ve enjoyed many great times but unfortunately, I have also been at the bottom of the abyss of alcoholism and drug addiction.

So at this stage probably the best thing I can do is pass on some advice to parents, hopefully, to help them avoid having a troubled child like me.

The thing is, I had a very happy childhood. Not exactly “normal”, perhaps, but then what is normal?

What I mean has I had a loving, supportive family? What made my early life unusual was that we are Colombian and when I was a child our country was in turmoil. The drug trade made it a dangerous place. People were murdered and kidnapped all the time, and the sound of gunfire in the streets was sadly not uncommon.

My parents got us – me and my brother and the two of them – the hell out of there and to the suburban safety of California, where they rebuilt their lives from scratch and provided a safe environment for us.

Colombians generally are sociable people and they like a party. The national drink is aguardiente, an aniseed-flavoured spirit that may be only the same strength as most whiskey, rum, gin, and vodka but is deceptively easy to drink. That sweet, aniseed flavor makes it less daunting to the young palate.
 

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