Monday, April 14, 2008

The Helen Hunt Effect

Dear Lynn,

I am a Father of three and recently sat down with my oldest (he is only thirteen) to have “the talk”. I told him that drugs and alcohol destroy lives, I told him a few horror stories that I found on the net too, people dying, committing suicide, going to jail, hoping that would have an impact on him. Is there anything else I can tell him that you think might help?


A Scared Dad

Dear Scared,

First I want to commend you for communicating with your children, it’s hard enough to face these tough subjects with ourselves, now try facing it with kids, not an easy thing to do at all. I’m not a parent yet, so I can only imagine the care and concern you have for those three precious human beings you brought into this world. I’m sure you are a wonderful father.

Now as far as your actual approach to the issue, I think it SUCKS! But it is really not your fault, it is what you have been taught, it is a lifetime of old programming. You are doing what so many parents, teachers, commercials, politicians, try to do: instill FEAR, FEAR, and more FEAR. As much as you think that might work, it just doesn’t.

I grew up with the just say no, commercials, the eggs cracking and frying in a pan, the McGruff dog takin a bite out of crime, I was told by my health teachers that “Crack is Whack”, I watched all of those after school specials with Helen Hunt, where she smokes a PCP laced joint and jumps through a window screaming that there are bugs crawling all over her (which I truly believe is why she received an Oscar).

So with all of these so called “effective” warnings and scare tactics, I was led to believe that I was going to be met by some strange man in a dark alley, he would open up his trench coat, and there would be bloody syringes, pills, powders, and probably a few hand grenades hanging there. He would look at me with his one eye, since the other was covered by an ugly eye patch, and say, “Hey Lynnie, want some drugs?” I also thought that the second I ingested any kind of drug into any orifice, my head would most likely explode as I jumped through a glass window and died.

Fast forward to when I was first offered drugs in NYC. The dark alley was actually, a posh little Greenwich Village apartment. The strange and ugly drug dealer was my tall beautiful model-like looking best friend, Lucy. The drug was called ecstasy, say it out loud nice and slow, e-c-s-t-a-c-y, now say CRACK out loud. The scary drug which was supposed to cause my head to explode, as I jumped through a window, and die, made me feel warm, tingly, amazing, and full of love for all mankind.

It was nothing like “they” said it would be. No one told me that drugs were going to make me feel so good before they made me feel so bad. No one told me that the chemical reaction would produce an effect that mimicked something so amazing. No one told me that at first, I would feel sexy and comfortable in my own skin, before feeling repulsive and agitated in my own skin. No one told me that drugs would pretend to be my best friends before they placed a noose around my neck. No one told me that I would want to do them again and again and again. No one told me the truth.

So Scared, you ask, “Is there anything else I can tell my son?”

Why not the truth?


1 comment:

Viktor said...

That was a great advice!I'd apply that to my own when he reaches 13..How about love addiction? Can you give advice on those,too?Thanks so much!