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All For Henry
March 1, 2011 7:19 PM   Subscribe

Katie Granju 's 18-year old son Henry lost his battle with drug addiction in May 2010. Since his death, a scholarship fund to send teenagers to rehab has been started in his honor, a short documentary on his life has been posted online, and his mother is using her blog to seek justice for those involved in his death. The Introduction and Parts 1, 2, 3 of her quest have been posted, with more to come.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero (51 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
It would be nice if there was a third-party, more objective source for information on this, particularly with regard to the mother seeking someone to blame for his death. I hate to say it, but well, grieving people aren't necessarily the most rational, and I don't know if a mother would be willing to admit their child self-destructed even if it were true.
posted by Mitrovarr at 7:55 PM on March 1, 2011 [12 favorites]


These deaths are horrific— the cause of this one, whether it was the beating or the overdose, as far as I know is still not clear. The mom really did do everything she could. It's something no parent should ever have to face.

I do wish more parents would come out and support making the overdose antidote naloxone (Narcan) available over-the-counter, however. The problem here is really not so much that people can't afford rehab, it's that most teen rehab is typically low quality and not evidence-based and sometimes harmful. This is even true of most centers with the best reputations, which sadly still insist that teens say they have the disease of addiction and go to 12-step meetings.

This, despite the fact that most teens cannot be identified as addicts because they are too young. If daily opioid use is involved, that's pretty clear— but that's actually extremely rare in teens. Most can't afford to become physically dependent, most don't show daily use, most use mainly marijuana and alcohol, even among those seen in residential treatment.

Contrary to what's done in virtually all teen treatment, it's better for teens not to be pushed to take on the identity of having a lifelong chronic disease with a 90% chance of relapse over which they are powerless until it's clear that that is the case— otherwise, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

So treatment does need massive improvement— but sadly, more funding for kids to go to rehab will not help this cause and will allow providers to go on doing what they do without improving quality. Accountability is needed, not more funding without evidence of safety and effectiveness.

Naloxone, OTOH, can keep people alive in the meanwhile in most cases.
posted by Maias at 8:41 PM on March 1, 2011 [32 favorites]


It would be nice if there was a third-party, more objective source for information on this, particularly with regard to the mother seeking someone to blame for his death.

... which is why she's trying to convince local, regional or national media to cover Henry's story.
posted by lisa g at 8:50 PM on March 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's stories like this that expose the fault lines in our belief systems. On the one hand, I trust in letting people exercise their free will as long as they don't harm others. On the other, what is the meaning of informed consent? You may say "underage", and qualify that with some arbitrary cutoff date, but at best, it may capture some kind of statistical majority. Many individuals fall on either side of such a divide. We all know people in their 30's whose judgment is inferior to that of some 15 year olds. How do you structure a drug policy that neither infantilizes people, nor leaves them at the mercy of ruthless merchandisers.

I think it's clear that the War On Drugs is a massive counterproductive failure. Legalization is the only option. But I certainly don't feel like I have many answers here. I suspect it's a matter of trial and error and inevitably many lives will be lost along the way.

The only thing I do know, is that any absolutist black and white answers are certainly wrong.
posted by VikingSword at 9:00 PM on March 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's an opposite kind of rehab that might work just as well.
posted by clarknova at 9:30 PM on March 1, 2011


VikingSword, I think the approach you are looking for is harm reduction.
posted by Tashtego at 9:32 PM on March 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm a little confused about what happened. I read the first three parts of the story, but it they didn't get to what he overdosed on. It said he had bruises and was bloody, do we know why?
posted by delmoi at 9:36 PM on March 1, 2011


What evidence is there that he got beat up? This post seems very sketchy to me.
posted by telstar at 9:45 PM on March 1, 2011


As someone who has followed this blog for over a year, there's more to the story, obviously not yet told.
posted by quodlibet at 9:47 PM on March 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Looks like it was drugs, delmoi.
posted by clarknova at 9:48 PM on March 1, 2011


Well, I just watched the documentary, and I have a few thoughts. What jumped out at me as kinda surprising is how almost predictable it seemed. Young kid can't deal with his parents getting divorced, and turns to drugs. Ends up getting addicted and mixed up with the wrong crowd and it's a tragic result. There's also a wide range of of attitudes about drugs expressed in the video, you have the grandma claiming that getting high and playing guitar is just what kids do, compared to the aunt who said something along the lines of "if you heard him play guitar, you'd know he'd never be the type of kid to get into drugs", presumably because he was quite good at it.

I think this story highlights three main things, two of which are intentional. Unintentionally, it shows the danger of conflating all drugs together in terms of danger. When you have programs like "just say no", pain pills are roughly on par with smoking weed, which can result in very sad cases like this. Even listening to the mother speak, it seemed like she placed equal blame on all drugs, while the uncle makes the very salient point that powerful narcotics are available in pill form now, and this is a relatively new development which people should be aware of. The third, and perhaps most commendable point of this however, is her correctly pointing out the difficulty parents face when it comes to asking for help, due to the stigma surrounding having an addicted child.

Overall, it's a very sad story and while I wish them the best and think they make some very good points, I can't help but feel they're promoting the same line of thinking which resulted in the loss of their son.
posted by yeahwhatever at 10:00 PM on March 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


It sucks that this young adult died of drugs or at least drug-related injuries.

What I can't seem to understand is why this is different than any of the other thousands upon thousands of drug or drug-related deaths of adults every year.

I feel for the mom...but the way she presents it sends a message that "my son isn't like the other drug addicts...he was different". I think thats where the problem lay...it wasn't different. It was tragic...just like the other thousand of deaths every year.

............................ ad nauseaum
posted by hal_c_on at 10:06 PM on March 1, 2011 [9 favorites]


"if you heard him play guitar, you'd know he'd never be the type of kid to get into drugs", presumably because he was quite good at it.

Yes, because as we all know, willingness to do drugs and musical talent have nothing to do with each other.
posted by telstar at 10:44 PM on March 1, 2011


Yeah if we had actual education about drugs, people would be a lot more aware of the dangers. Just like "Abstinence only education" results in lots of teen pregnancies, "Abstinence only drug education" (i.e. just say no) results in kids not knowing the actual risks.

And people tend to have really crazy ideas about drugs, just like kids who don't get real Sex Ed think crazy things about sex (like you can't get pregnant on your first time, you can't get pregnant standing up, etc).
posted by delmoi at 10:46 PM on March 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


which is why she's trying to convince local, regional or national media to cover Henry's story.

And she's obviously managed to get that coverage -- the documentary didn't make itself.

I rather doubt that it's objective coverage that she's seeking though. What she wants is media that will support her advocacy. Media that will echo the narrative that she's constructing, in which her adult son is transformed into an innocent victim, and the blame for his death is firmly located with someone else.

Personally, I think one of the worst things about dying from overdose at a tender age like this must be the way that your parents get to define who you were and what your life was about -- almost certainly in ways that reduce your life to a cypher -- reduce your whole being to what was probably one of the smaller and less significant aspects of your life. According to mom, Henry wasn't a person, he was an addict -- and what killed him will define who he was for ever.

Yet she's not prepared to extend the lack of agency and the victim status that she denies to Henry, to the couple whose home he died in. Henry was an innocent addict -- that pair were clearly the evil, predatory sort of addicts who love nothing more than to go around murdering children like Henry for kicks.

Henry's death will have been investigated by local police -- and where there's a prosecutable case for manslaughter in situations like this, they tend not to be backwards in bringing those prosecutions. Where there's any meaningful evidence at all, juries will tend to be pretty quick to convict what they percieve as low-life addicts, so I'm assuming that there was no prosecution because there wasn't the evidence to support such a case.

I understand that doing stuff like this helps Henry's mother deal with her own pain -- but I'm not sure why the rest of us need to be exposed to it.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:25 PM on March 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


.
posted by dagosto at 11:53 PM on March 1, 2011


Yes, because as we all know,

These people don't seem to know much of anything.
posted by clarknova at 12:22 AM on March 2, 2011


"if you heard him play guitar, you'd know he'd never be the type of kid to get into drugs", presumably because he was quite good at it.

Oh man. That really is one of the most stupid things I've ever heard. An 18 year old's grandma has to be of the rock generation, so should know about the heavy drug use of so many great guitarists through the decades.
posted by w0mbat at 1:20 AM on March 2, 2011


I know from personal experience that with a death like this, some folks will cling desperately to what they think is evidence of the decedent's not being a drug addict. So yeah, the guitar thing is really dumb on its face, but it's a manifestation of grief, not a rock critic analysis. So maybe grandma should get a break.
posted by angrycat at 4:26 AM on March 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, no. I belonged to Katie's Attachment Parenting mailing list when my own son was quite small and came to feel like I knew her and her children. My son is now 16 and I can't imagine losing him. What a sad story.
posted by Biblio at 4:34 AM on March 2, 2011


Yes, because as we all know, willingness to do drugs and musical talent have nothing to do with each other.

Oh man. That really is one of the most stupid things I've ever heard. An 18 year old's grandma has to be of the rock generation, so should know about the heavy drug use of so many great guitarists through the decades.

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and presume niether one of you have kids, or have buried a loved one due to addiction. Apologies if I'm mistaken.

I likewise have personal experience with such matters, consequently I know to shelve the snark and spare the sarcasm when reading or listening to the outpourings of grief and rage from parents mourning the premature loss of their children.

To not to do comes off as cold-hearted and unnecessary. There's plenty of other posts here more deserving of objective scrutiny. Grieving parent posts ain't one of them.
posted by Hickeystudio at 5:23 AM on March 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


There's obviously numerous and complex drivers here -- as well as grief, sadness, and suffering.

I do want to agree with VikingSword about the War on Drugs being implicated in this type of problem to a significant degree. When children are told that marijuana is a gateway drug, they are correct, however, not only can it lead to other drugs but also it leads to interaction with criminality and darkness.

The ongoing demonization of drugs and drug users means that the supply half of the equation exists in a rather dangerous place, from pot farmers with machine guns to inner city drug cartels to "collateral damage".

When a teenager with emotional problems -- who already does not have a strong sense of self nor support system -- and is seeking escape, they enter the shadowy darkness and not only do they find chemicals and numbness, they also find communities of people, other users and suppliers, all existing in a world of illegal activity.

Thus, in their current policy manifestation, drugs may or may not lead to other drugs, but they explicitly lead to criminal activity. If you smoke a joint, you are doing something illegal and technically begin self-identifying as a criminal. Once you have self-identified as a criminal, it's not long before you identify with other criminals. What should be a commercial transactional, I give you cash and you give me dope, becomes an communal encounter -- we both hope we don't get caught. Ideally, we had a commercial relationship in common. Thanks to the WoD, we have a shared identity.

And we know where it goes from there.

Loved ones become powerless to stop the downward slide, because the behaviour exists in a shadowed, illegal place. It is hidden. The user moves away from them. The user identifies in greater leagues with their community of other drug users. Thus, the backstop becomes rehab. Powerless to stop the descent, we do the best that we can and make a place available for the teenagers when they hit bottom.

Yet the resources required to deal with that extended volume of damage is very expensive. Perhaps there would be money for that if government funding was spent on treatment of addicts rather than the futile pursuit of supply destruction. Yet, there's the simple economic principle that as long as demand exists, supply will exist.

Celebrities going to rehab and obscuring the costs of drug addiction -- and even glorifying it do not help the problem as that further suppresses what the experience of addiction is like for the average addict.

It's dark. And it's nasty. And the people involved often have become the same.

What has happened to Henry is very sad. Would the same thing have happened if drugs were legalised and taxed like cigarettes and alcohol? If Henry is going to self-medicate anyway, would it not be better for him to do so around people who love him rather than people who see him as a target of various types?

In the 60s, lots of people used drugs. And they went on to grow up, quit drugs, have a family, and be part of a tremendous society. So we know it can happen. What's changed? The demonization, criminalisation, and the darkness.

Sadly, calling for investigation of over-dose related deaths and trying to treat the heart-wrenching outcomes will never solve the problem of violence and abuse. Violence and abuse are power dynamics that formal law is designed to prevent. As long as drugs are outside formal law, so are the related power dynamics.
posted by nickrussell at 5:32 AM on March 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is the story of one person whose son died like so many others. It's not their story, it's her story. You're either interested enough to read it or you're not. Her story isn't diminished by the fact that so many others have shared a similar fate.

It's the saddest fucking thing I've read for a long, long time. But it's not, by any means, just about her son the addict. It's about her life. Her son was part of her life. How could she not be focusing on him?

From what I've read, it's a detailed account of her story so far. I don't think I could be so honest.

You're best off avoiding it if it's not your cup of cliche. For myself, I'm appreciative of this glimpse into someone else's life.
posted by h00py at 5:34 AM on March 2, 2011


I should have put scare quotes over 'the addict'. I really should have because it doesn't read how I meant it to.

This is when I need an edit window.
posted by h00py at 5:44 AM on March 2, 2011


Part 3 of her blog post in the OP has a link to this story in which the sheriff gives his ideas on what transpired the day of Henry's death.

What a tragic story.
posted by TedW at 6:56 AM on March 2, 2011


In the 60s, lots of people used drugs. And they went on to grow up, quit drugs, have a family, and be part of a tremendous society. So we know it can happen. What's changed? The demonization, criminalisation, and the darkness.
Lots of people in the '60s died of overdoses, too. I'm sure that lots of drug-users today will get clean and go on to live productive lives. This kid just wasn't lucky enough to be one of them. I don't pretend to have any great insight into drug policy, but I'm not convinced that drugs are more dangerous now than they were in the '60s. Judging from the experiences of my own extended family, I would say that drugs did plenty of damage in the '60s.
posted by craichead at 7:48 AM on March 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


She is not denying Henry's drug addiction; if you read the links, she is crystal clear on that. She knows he was an addict. She is maintaining that those who contributed to Henry's death, that may have played a major role in it, are not being prosecuted.

Our family seeks a full and unbiased criminal investigation into the circumstances of how Henry came to suffer what proved to be a fatal hypoxic brain injury, as well as how he ended up with significant physical trauma. All of the media coverage of our son’s death thus far (99% of which appeared in the week immediately following his death) has focused on only one question: was Henry’s cause of death caused by physical assault? Given that Henry’s cause of death was noted by his treating neurologist on the day he passed away to be complication from hypoxic brain injury, our family did not expect his autopsy to disprove that diagnosis. And it didn’t; it confirmed it.

But the fact that Henry’s physical injuries didn’t end up being the one element of his complex, multifactorial medical condition that actually killed him 38 days after he was brought into the hospital doesn’t mean that they don’t matter. First of all, he was clearly assaulted, and that should matter. He didn’t beat himself up. But the physical injuries should also matter for purposes of criminal investigation. If someone is brought into the ER with a gunshot wound to the head, as well as three broken toes, the broken toes may not be what killed the victim, but they should definitely be part of what investigators will look into to try to figure out what happened .

posted by emjaybee at 7:51 AM on March 2, 2011


Among those who never chose to take illegal drugs, exactly zero of them have died from an illegal drug overdose.

Choices have consequences. Parents are required to arm their children with facts, risks and possible/probable outcomes of those kids' actions. Parents can't actually prevent their kids from doing anything, but they CAN tilt the odds one way or another.

I don't know what this mother did or didn't do. No one can. I feel for her, and I don't judge her. For parenting, I can only judge myself: My daughter is eight, and if in a few years she goes down the same path Henry did, I will have failed.
posted by andreaazure at 8:30 AM on March 2, 2011


andreaazure: Among those who never chose to take illegal drugs, exactly zero of them have died from an illegal drug overdose.

Well, some people have died after being slipped overdoses of drugs by other people, so that's not entirely accurate.
posted by Mitrovarr at 8:44 AM on March 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


andreaazure: Among those who never chose to take illegal drugs, exactly zero of them have died from an illegal drug overdose.

And those who don't drive cars don't get killed in car accidents ... unless they're passengers, or pedestrians.

In the 60s, lots of people used drugs. And they went on to grow up, quit drugs, have a family, and be part of a tremendous society. So we know it can happen. What's changed? The demonization, criminalisation, and the darkness.

Sorry, but this just isn't correct. The decade of the 1960s (in North America at least) was the poster child for GETTING IT ALL WRONG with regard to demonizing, criminalizing and "darkifying" illicit drugs as opposed to rationally dealing with their appeal to an exploding population of young folk who were, more than anything else, just bored to death with the life options laid out before them. Every sloppy argument, every irrational over-reaction, every fear mongering pack-of-lies, every doomed-to-fail-by-design anti-drug campaign -- you can see their predecessors chugging along rather nicely by the time Richard Nixon gained the White House (1968).

Dig deep and you'll probably find the same bullshit percolating by the early 50s.

Which is what makes situations like the one being explored here so damned frustrating, enraging, tragic. We ought to know better by now. And in fact, many of us do, but holy shit, not enough of us. Which, upon encountering stories such as this, just leaves me feeling an apoplectic rage that so many participants in our greater culture could be SO FUCKING STUPID TO THE POINT OF CRIMINALITY.

And so on. I think I need a joint.
posted by philip-random at 9:02 AM on March 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've been following this story more or less since Henry died, and there are a few different factors that form the core of her argument. She totally agrees that Henry was a drug addict—that's why he wasn't living at home anymore—but nonetheless believes that:

1. The people who severely assaulted Henry—regardless of whether or not injuries sustained during the assault—should be investigated and prosecuted, and law enforcement isn't interested because the actual cause of death was just another overdose. I don't know the full story, but if it's as she describes, I can agree with that.

2. The people who supplied Henry with drugs and/or didn't pursue medical help quickly enough are culpable in his death and should be prosecuted. I'm not too sure about this. I can see her point and why she's upset, obviously, but if you start aggressively prosecuting everyone just for being around an overdose victim, it's going to make people less likely to help, not more, and I can't support anything that puts so-called legal "justice" ahead of actual harm reduction. As far as things like bringing up dealers on murder charges and the like, I don't know enough about the arguments to say whether or not it's effective, but on the face of it, it sounds like it'd do more harm than good.

3. People need to be much more aware of prescription drug overdose as a growing problem. I can pretty much agree with that, too; I hope, however, that it doesn't lead to restrictions on people that truly need strong medication. But given how hard it is now to buy an effective decongestant over the counter, I'm not too hopeful. Frankly, these draconian legal measures to prevent people from accessing "drugs" just screws over everybody else, especially people with legitimate medical needs, and puts actual drug addicts in more danger. They're not going to quit; they're just going to go to more extreme, dangerous and potentially violent means to get their drugs. Again, this kind of approach puts "justice" ahead of actual harm reduction. I think education and awareness, not to mention wider availability of things like naloxone (as Maias mentions) would be a more effective way of dealing with the problem.
posted by infinitywaltz at 9:17 AM on March 2, 2011


and if in a few years she goes down the same path Henry did, I will have failed.

I don't understand why people think it's somehow their fault that their kid goes down the wrong path. Your kid will be influenced by her friends, by the culture she's a part of, by information presented by the media, and a host of other things that you will have no control over. The only way it would actually be your fault is if you insisted she do drugs and she OD'd.
posted by anniecat at 10:09 AM on March 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


The Granju family said the teen had sustained a skull fracture, broken ribs, a broken jaw and was bleeding from his ears when he was admitted to the hospital. The preliminary autopsy findings do not support those claims.

"No trauma is observed at the time of the autopsy," states the report from the Knox County Medical Examiner's office.


I'm confused. She posted a picture of her son on the ventilator and has a closeup photo, and she says his eyes were purple and swollen. I don't see it. I guess the picture could have been from after his six weeks on the machines, after he healed, but if it's not, I don't see it.

Poor kid. He looks just like my coworker's son who is a mop-headed kid who wants to study marine biology and goes on these expensive summer programs on some islands every summer to study turtles or wildlife or something.
posted by anniecat at 10:21 AM on March 2, 2011


Part 4 is up. It clears up the question about the pictures, anniecat- there are no pictures of his first days in the hospital because neither the police nor the family took any.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:58 PM on March 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


and if in a few years she goes down the same path Henry did, I will have failed.

I don't understand why people think it's somehow their fault that their kid goes down the wrong path. Your kid will be influenced by her friends, by the culture she's a part of, by information presented by the media, and a host of other things that you will have no control over. The only way it would actually be your fault is if you insisted she do drugs and she OD'd.


This. After a certain age and/or a certain distance, parents don't get credit for their child's successes nor blame for their failures. The child [actual minor or after age of majority] owns it all. I own my successes AND my failures and my parents can be PROUD of me or SAD for me, but they did neither the awesome of the non-awesome and therefore are neither successes nor failures themselves.
It becomes clearer (to my mother sometimes, although we've rarely had to have this conversation; she's quite awesome herself) when I question whether she owns my/my brother's successes, too? Of course not, she answers. Those are all mine/my brother's. Then why not our failures as well?
posted by atomicstone at 1:22 PM on March 2, 2011


They matter because when a teenage boy is found unconscious, bleeding, bruised and suffering from a drug overdose inside the private residence of two sketchy adults who can’t reasonably explain how he ended up this way, law enforcement should realize that people don’t beat themselves up

I'm really confused. She keeps insisting that he was beaten with a tire iron. How does she know it was a tire iron? Also, she keeps calling him a boy, but he was 18. His parents kicked him out of the house. She thought he was old enough to be kicked out of the house. Granju seems shocked that he would be in the company of two "much older" adults, even though he sounds like he was pretty much homeless (or was he living with relatives?). Was she picturing him doing drugs in a basement with a close knit group of friends? (To be clear, I think she didn't have much choice in kicking him out because she has small children to look after.)

The officer was extremely nice and very compassionate. He asked Dr. A a few questions about Henry’s condition, and then asked Chris and me to join him in a private room off the ER waiting room to tell him what we knew. He told us that paramedics had been called to a private residence in South Knoxville just before noon that day. The residents of the house (NOTE: I actually don’t know if it’s a house or a trailer or a duplex or what it is because I’ve never been able to bring myself to drive by, but in order to keep things simple, I am going to refer to it as a house.) had apparently told the paramedics that Henry had spent the night at their house, and that they had discovered him unconscious in the morning when they woke up, at which point they had called 911. These two people also told the paramedics (who must have asked how Henry ended up bruised and bleeding, along with the overdose symptoms) that Henry had told them that he’d been beaten up the day before they brought him home to spend the night.

She goes on to say that that isn't likely, but other than saying that they were "much older" than Henry, I don't get why it honestly wouldn't be likely.
posted by anniecat at 2:28 PM on March 2, 2011


Among those who never chose to take illegal drugs, exactly zero of them have died from an illegal drug overdose.

More people die from overdoses of legally prescribed drugs than die from the illegal variety. But those people are at least morally pure, right?
posted by rtha at 2:42 PM on March 2, 2011


I think if a child is making the decision to use, abuse and eventually overdose on illegal drugs (or for that matter, legally prescribed ones -- nice strawman rtha) at least some portion of the blame goes to the parent. Or, self-directedly, if my child does I will blame myself.

In terms of time spent, no one has influenced my child as much as her two parents. That will become less true over time, and that will certainly not be true once she gets into high school. But in this time it is my responsibility to arm her with the facts of the matter. (Yes, even eventually talking about how there is a world of difference between what can happen to you if you use heroin or if you use pot -- while still saying pot is still a bad idea in my opinion.)

Let me put this another way: many people on this thread have had some strong comments about how a parent should or should not feel. How many of you are parents?
posted by andreaazure at 3:15 PM on March 2, 2011


I'm a parent. I think addiction can sometimes be traced back to nurture, and sometimes not at all. I think "blame" is a pretty dumb way to frame it but you're welcome to beat yourself however you like for what any people you create happen to get up to over the course of their lives.
posted by padraigin at 3:23 PM on March 2, 2011


nice strawman rtha

How is it a strawman? I'm pointing out that far more people risk - and lose - their lives to prescription drugs. So while you're technically correct that people who don't take illegal drugs will not die from an overdose of that illegal drug, you left out some particularly important and pertinent information: they should be far more concerned about the bottles in their medicine cabinet, and the fact that their kids are far more likely to try their parents' Xanax or leftover Vicodin than they are to start scoring heroin.
posted by rtha at 3:27 PM on March 2, 2011


Over their childhoods. I don't claim providence over an entire life.
posted by andreaazure at 3:27 PM on March 2, 2011


rtha, I was poking back about the morally pure comment. This thread is about an illegal drug; I responded about illegal drugs.

Yes, please, keep prescription medicine away from kids. (And inform them of the risks involved anyways.)
posted by andreaazure at 3:28 PM on March 2, 2011


Over their childhoods. I don't claim providence over an entire life.

If you're a parent, and you're not surprised how little you're actually able to mold your children, then you're probably not paying enough attention to what you're doing.

And I think that's what's biting Granju in the ass here. An unwillingness to understand that her son was his own person from the moment he drew breath, aside from any external influences that may have come into play.
posted by padraigin at 3:40 PM on March 2, 2011


But in this time it is my responsibility to arm her with the facts of the matter.

What happens during the years when she thinks you're lame and don't know anything (though she'll come back around in her mid-twenties)? Those are the years you'll have to present her with the facts about drugs, and her friends will tell her that this drug or having sex standing up have no consequences, and that her mom and dad aren't credible sources of information?

There was one of her posts that said that Henry had come to her after he smoked pot for the first time and confessed, and that he swore it would never happen again and that he didn't even like it. He seemed like a privileged kid, his mom was smart and caring, and he, like most people, decide what they think is dangerous and what isn't dangerous, what to believe and what they don't want to believe. And sometimes they'll know something and not care, or not think it applies to their lives.

Parenting is not a science. You may "educate" your child, but only if the child is willing to listen and only if the parent is still credible. Your level of credibility in your child's mind isn't something you can control when your kid's finding herself suddenly embarrassed and mortified by everything you do and say.
posted by anniecat at 3:45 PM on March 2, 2011


having sex standing up have no consequences

that would be " having unprotected sex standing up have no risks."
posted by anniecat at 3:47 PM on March 2, 2011


In terms of time spent, no one has influenced my child as much as her two parents. That will become less true over time

don't have the study handy but I recall reading that by the time a child reaches age ten, parental influence will equal that of peer influence in terms of key decisions. Past age ten, it's the peers who start to hold more sway.

Choices have consequences. Parents are required to arm their children with facts, risks and possible/probable outcomes of those kids' actions.

This is true, but are parents willing to be straight with their info. For instance, according to NA (Narcotics Anonymous), only 15 percent of those who experiment with heroin at least once end up becoming addicted (that is, 15 percent of an already rather small percentage of the population). Are we willing to acknowledge these rather long odds fact when discussing drugs with our children, or are we just going to go for the SCARE part of the argument? IT WILL KILL YOU AND YOUR BEAUTIFUL BODY WILL BECOME COVERED WITH OPEN SORES!!!!

WORTH NOTING: Many who die of heroin overdoses are not junkies -- in fact, it's often a dabbler who suddenly encounters a purity of the drug that his body just doesn't have the tolerance for. Also, with regard NA and those 15 percent of experimenters who go onto junkiedom, NA's focus quickly becomes not the drug itself but what it is about junkies' psyches (souls) that has allowed them to fall where most don't.
posted by philip-random at 4:04 PM on March 2, 2011


Here, child, roll this twenty-sided die. On a 1-3, your life is wrecked. On 4+ you can use heroin with fewer direct problems other than your whole life being wrecked.

Worth it? No do-overs.

(A normal die approximates this: 16.67% for rolling a 1.)
posted by andreaazure at 4:57 PM on March 2, 2011


andreaazure:

A. normal child would never even try heroin. Very few people ever do. And of that small percentage, it's only 15 percent of those who try who become addicted (a small percentage of a small percentage). I personally have never felt remotely inclined toward trying heroin or any other opiate, and I've tried many other weird substances.

B. As I pointed out, Narcotics Anonymous doesn't concern itself with the drug's addictive properties per say; rather they focus on the user's predilection toward addiction, because again, 85 percent of those who try it don't become addicted. What's up with that other 15 percent? Why do they need a pain killer so badly that they'll sacrifice all else for it?

C. based on your own math, your calculations are all messed up. Roll a 1 and "your life is wrecked", not a 1-2-3. You've taken 15 percent and turned it into 50 percent. This is precisely the kind of fact mangling that has so dis-credited the anti-drug arguments over the years.
posted by philip-random at 5:11 PM on March 2, 2011


As I said, on a twenty-sided die, 1-3.
posted by andreaazure at 5:20 PM on March 2, 2011


You're right. I'm wrong. About the dice roll.

But I don't think it is dice roll. I don't think addiction is that random. I don't think that the 15 percent are just unlucky kids that pull short sticks. They're kids that come to the drug with an existing NEED -- an emptiness inside WANTING to be filled. That's the problem that needs to be explored, deeply.
posted by philip-random at 8:19 PM on March 2, 2011


This is sad. It looks like the kid came back to town after withdrawal kicked in, somehow met up with people twice his age (presumably for drugs), and 15 hours later they called an ambulance on him. The people he met up with say that he had already sustained the severe head trauma when they met him, and that they merely woke up to find that he OD'ed. It looks very suspicious. I think there's more worth looking at, but it doesn't look like the police knew how to handle this case.
posted by autoclavicle at 5:35 PM on March 3, 2011


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