Educating Ourselves About Drugs and Drug Use: Parenting Through the Tween and Teen Years

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

This is a sponsored post on behalf of the Touch & Know home drug testing kit. 

I have a confession to make. Well, not really a confession since it’s not anything I’m ashamed of. Maybe more of an admittance with questions attached. I have virtually no experience with illegal drugs. Or, for that matter, legal ones used in an abusive way.

I didn’t have an experimental phase in high school. I wasn’t a huge partyer in college. I didn’t really hang around with people who were into recreational or hard drugs. I heard a great phrase lately that is very apropos to this situation: I didn’t need drugs or alcohol because the circus of humanity was entertaining enough that I’ve never felt the need to be altered to enjoy myself. My dad's career in law enforcement had a little bit to do with it, but mostly I just never got the urge.

home drug testing kit equipment

As an adult, I’m glad my curiosity never got the better of me. There is addiction in our family tree. Who knows how I would have fared had I decided to do something ‘just this one time.’ On the flip side, as a parent, I kind of feel like my non-drug use has me at a bit of a disadvantage. Unless I saw them take it, I’d be hard pressed to tell if someone was ‘on’ something. I couldn’t identify a coke high versus an acid trip versus… whatever it is mushrooms do. See what I mean? I can’t even use the proper jargon! 

I don’t know what the current trends are with over the counter and prescription drugs. Is the drug du jour still Oxycontin? Are adults still taking their kids’ ADHD pills? I remember that was a story line from Desperate Housewives, but are people still doing it? I have no idea what the street names for drugs are nowadays. There’s virtually no way I’d recognize a drug by sight and don’t even get me started on social media. Did you know teens and tweens are buying and selling drugs using apps and social media? That they’re using certain hashtags on Instagram to let others know what kind of drugs will be at the party that night? Go to your Instagram and search s-i-z-z-u-r-p (without the hyphens). My search turned up a little over 33,000 results. The only reason I know about this party drug is because I was researching something else about teens and social media. 

drug testing kit for home use

Part of growing up can mean learning certain things the hard way. Right now Tyler is pretty adamant that drugs are "stupid." Will he always feel that way? Only time will tell. We're not naive. We haven't fooled ourselves into thinking Tyler will be the exception or that he won't experiment simply because we've told him not to. We know the time is coming where he'll find himself in a situation where he'll have to make a decision. We hope, when the time comes, he makes the right one. 

What has been gnawing at me lately is, what if he doesn't know he's in that type of situation? Last week I read a Time magazine article about synthetic marijuana that has me completely freaked out. These cannabinoids are  becoming increasingly available at convenience stores and gas stations. They are packaged like baseball cards and sold under the name potpourri, glass cleaner or incense. Hopefully, Tyler will never have the type of friend who would trick him into taking drugs, or tell him that something isn't harmful when it is. 

Phil and I haven't talked about setting up parameters for Tyler. So far it's been: don't do drugs. But we need to be realistic and we need to create an atmosphere where, if he does get into some sort of trouble, he feels comfortable talking to us. I'd like for him to call us from a party and ask for a ride home because he feels uncomfortable or has had too much to drink, and believe us when we say we won't get mad

home drug testing kit

On the flip side, we've already told Tyler that while he lives in our house, privacy is a privilege and not a right. The cell phone, computer and iPod he uses are monitored. When it comes to his room, so far we haven't had a reason to go through it. We trust him until he gives us a reason not to. If we were suspicious, I'd like to think we'd have no problem turning his room upside down. How do we balance allowing him a little bit privacy, keeping the lines of communication open and trying to stay on top of what may be happening under our roof? 

I'm feeling as though there's an enemy out there I can't fight because I don't know what it looks like. I can talk with Tyler about bullying, racism, peer pressure, trying to fit in and lots of other subjects because I've been there, done that. But drugs are uncharted territory. It's all so confusing, overwhelming and a little bit scary. So, finally, here are my questions: how are you parents and caregivers keeping up with the news? Where do you go to educate yourself about what tweens and teens are into? 

Last month I went to an event with fellow moms where we talked about our kids and our fears surrounding drugs and alcohol. I know that junior high has become the starting point for when kids are hearing about their friends using or their friends' older siblings. It was helpful to hear how the moms with kids Tyler's age started having these important conversations and how the moms with older kids survived! 

We also learned about a new home drug testing kit. It's specifically designed to test unknown substances. If I were to find something in Tyler's room, the Touch&Know® kit would be able to identify it as harmful or not with only five steps. I know myself and the few extra moments to reign in my emotions and wrap my head around the results, benign or not, would be much needed. 

As I said, there is addiction in our family. I know now that is the reason my parents and grandparents were so vigilant with me and my brother. They saw addiction first hand and lived with it for years. From their stories, it's not anything I want our family to go through. I have two of the kits in our medicine cabinets. I'm fully prepared to use them, but pray I never have to. 


Touch&Know® Facts and Resources:

The Touch&Know® test will enable you to positively identify the presence of Crack/Cocaine and the general presence of Brown Heroin and/or 18 other illegal or controlled drugs, including: White Heroin, Methamphetamine, Amphetamine (powder), Ecstacy/MDMA, Methadone, Ketamine, PCP, PMA, DMT, MDPV, Mephedrone, PMMA, mCCP, MPA, Buphedron, MDPBP, Cathinone, MethCathinone, Methylone, and Marijuana/Hashish. It can also test for designer drugs like bath salts.

Only a VERY small amount of substance is needed to perform the test. The results are immediate. You do not need urine or hair samples with the Touch&Know®. You are testing the substance, not the person. Sold exclusively at Walgreens.

Connect with Touch&Know® on social media:

Touch&Know® blog

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Touch&Know®. Opinions and experiences are my own. Photos and video courtesy of Black Falcon.

Budget Friendly Snacks for Your Young Athlete | Save Money Shopping at Grocery Outlet {Giveaway}

Friday, April 4, 2014

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Grocery Outlet. **This giveaway has ended**

Grocery Outlet budget friendly snacks for athletes

If you have school-aged kids, you already know keeping the pantry stocked with healthier snacks is a challenge. Call me biased, but I think sports parents have it even tougher. If your kid plays, be it on a rec league or travel, you know where I'm coming from. Take, for instance, the following scenario:

6:30am Wake up in time to eat breakfast before getting on the road for the hour-long drive to the tournament.

8:00am Arrive in time for team warm ups, hear "Mom, I'm still hungry," and throw a snack at your child.

9:30am Game is over. Hear "Mom, I'm starving! I will DIE if I don't eat something right this second! DIE I tell you!" Throw a snack at your child while standing with other team parents, using your phones to Google nearby breakfast restaurants.

11:00am Google local parks to kill two hours before you have to be back in time for the afternoon game.

11:30am Hear, "Mom, do we have anything to eat in the car? I'm thirsty."

12:30pm Pile into the car to head back for the afternoon game. Ask, "are you hungry? you should eat now if you are."

1:00pm Spot your child from across the arena. He is standing in the doorway to the locker room frantically waving at you with one hand, and pointing to his mouth, pantomiming eating with the other. Throw a snack at your child.

2:30pm Second game is over. Start loading the car. Hear, "Mom, I'm hungry." Throw a snack at your child.

3:00pm Use your phone to check traffic. It sucks. Steel yourself for two-and-a-half hour drive home.

4:30pm Traffic worse than what was on Google Maps. Curse silently because you know what is coming.

4:45pm Hear, "Mom, are we stopping anywhere for dinner?" Throw last of the snacks at your child. Hope to Heaven traffic breaks up and you make it home soon.

Am I right? 

Between packing lunches and sports weekends, snack foods have started taking up a bigger portion of my budget. There haven't been too many breakthroughs in terms of the variety of portable, healthier, non-perishables. My choices seem to be cheap and bad for you, or healthy and expensive. Organics? Hardly ever an option. 

I wasn't sure about taking my local Grocery Outlet up on their snack food challenge. I'm not used to shopping without coupons and couldn't see how I'd be able to save money without them. Plus, I thought the store would be filled with brands I'd never heard of. I was wrong on both counts.

Grocery Outlet sells heathy organic snacks

Since I've been paying attention to prices for so long, I have a good sense of when an item is priced well and when (even on 'sale') it is not. This knowledge came in handy while I was shopping. I picked up 26 items* and paid $29.34. 

When I took my receipt to Vons to compare, the savings were very clear. I found six items that were identical to the ones I purchased at Grocery Outlet. If I had purchased the same things in the same quantities from Vons, I would have spent $26.85 for only 10 items. 

Vons versus Grocrey Outlet budget friendly snacks for athletes

That's a significant difference. Again, since snacks go so quickly in our house, they're something I keep an eye on because they can quickly take over my grocery budget. Now, will I see these same items the next time I go to Grocery Outlet? Maybe. Maybe not. But I'm fine with that. I'd rather a slightly rotating inventory with low prices than the same things over and over. Overall, I'm happy with my first experience and can say with certainty I will go back again.

Luckily, Grocery Outlet would like to extend the challenge to you, too. If you live near one of their stores, enter below to win a $25 gift card. You may not be able to see the Rafflecopter widget on mobile devices.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*There should be two more items in the photo: one more Yopa (I got hungry) and a 59oz bottle of Tropicana Orange Tangerine. 

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. Mel, A Dramatic Mommy is not responsible for prizes lost in the mail or incorrect physical or email addresses. Giveaway is open to residents of the United States, age 18+. Giveaway will close at 11:59PM ET on 4/14/14. Two (2) winners will be selected. Winner(s) will be contacted by email within 48 hours. Winner(s) must respond to me via email within 24 hours or an alternate will be chosen. If you have any additional questions, contact Melanie at ADramaticMommy{@}


I was not compensated for this post. I was provided with a gift card to facilitate my shopping. Opinions are my own. Grocery cart image courtesy of Grant Cochrane and
copyright melanie sheridan 2009 template design by Studio Mommy (© copyright 2015)