From denial to facing facts

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Two letters on page A4 were like a recurring nightmare to me. The first by the Helbergs reminded me that I was in denial when my son began to use “pot.” I was one of those “not my child” parents. After all neither his father nor I used drugs or abused alcohol. We were a church going, intact family. His mood swings we attributed to being a teenager, but eventually we had to face the fact that our son was an addict. Pot became cocaine and who knows what else. Money and jewelry went missing. We suffered his violent outbursts and at 18, I had to throw him out of the house for the sake of the family. I faced the possibility that he might die from an overdose or bad drugs; he might end up in jail for dealing; or he might kill someone when driving his car under the influence.

We were lucky. After 10-plus years of hell, our son sought help. Today he is a son of whom anyone could be proud.

We might have been like Carlos Lluch and Louisa Callery. We might have had to bury an 18- or 20-year-old and spend the rest of our lives wondering what we could have done to save him.

I agree with the Helbergs that no money should be spent on enlarging or enhancing school facilities until this problem is under control. Having activities at night will only give the drug dealers more opportunity. Invest in drug sniffing dogs like we see at airports. Give the dogs access to all classrooms as well as using them to monitor the gates. That should discourage the dealers and weed out the kids that are carrying. Students that continually get “high” on campus should be suspended for the sake of the others.

My advice for the Helbergs is take your child out of Malibu High even if you have to get a private tutor or pay for a private learning center to help him/her keep up. If he’s high he’s not learning anything good anyway.

Agnes Peterson