This is an actual question.
And interestingly, it’s a question Boomers can’t answer unless they were a part of the permissive drug-culture of the 60s and 70s.
I wasn’t and it was so remote in my community (non-existent, actually) the thought never even came to mind when we tramped off to the big city (60,000) to go to college.
I lost two high school classmates to drugs I’d gone thru school with. And both died of drug complications from their year spent in Vietnam around 1967. One spent a year pushing paper in Saigon, while the other was at My Lai, only it was not until a football team reunion in 1996, when I asked his older brother, “What ever happened to Freddie?” that he told me Freddie “never really came back”. I had to find out from another classmate, a retired judge, that Freddie had taken his own life in the 80s, and yes, drugs had been at the bottom of it. We were all raised within a hundred yards of one another.
And in the coal town we grew up in (this was before JFK was shot), sneaking to drink beer was the favorite past time of our rule-breaking teens. Being caught smoking cigarettes could get you tossed from the team, and no one risked that, but I never heard of a single kid being called out for beer drinking since it didn’t impair their physical health. It was just illegal, as was smoking under the age of 18. And with many of them being east European, with “ski” at the end of their names, I doubt their parents even objected.
That it was illegal mattered little…just don’t get caught.
Fast forward to university, I finally broke the law and had my first beer at age 19 (I liked it). But I broke an even bigger law and got a fake ID so I get into clubs and buy gin and tonics. So did everyone else, and those clubs would have gone out of business had the law clamped down and denied those several thousand cash-paying customers at the door every weekend.
Even in my military training I was never cautioned about drugs, which, in my day had largely been marijuana, which had become popular with the Anti-war crowd. And because of special treaties my state had with out-my-state parents in Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan, we were overwhelmed in the 60s and 70s with affluent kids whose parents were looking for more distinction than Drexel or Syracuse. Still, I never heard of drug problems on campus until the really in-your-face anti-war types, fewer than a few hundred, moved in. They even took over the campus for a day, I think over Kent State.
It was in the Army that I learned about drug-use among troops, especially pills, since some were available over-the-counter in Japan that were prescription only in America. As the chief of criminal defense, I had several ritalin cases, and asked my clients why they liked it. “It was just a cheap high.” There was no literature on it in 1972-1975 but I have since learned, 40 years later!!!, that…
From 2015, “Despite stereotypes about college students resorting to black-market Ritalin to help them cram for exams, young people are actually most likely to start misusing prescription stimulant drugs in their high school years, according to new University of Michigan Medical School research.
“The peak ages for starting to use these drugs without a prescription – in order to get high or for other effects – are between 16 and 19 years”
40 years! Rule: It will always take “science” years to catch up with whatever it is that makes young people want to try it, and in many case get hooked on it. The youths will always be a step ahead…if they have no other impulse but the pleasure-of-the-moment to drive them; i.e., lacking parenting and a strong moral foundation.
I’m not going to give you a breakdown of the various drugs now available or popular with young people, but I do know a thing or two about what I often call “bratlings”…as should you. And they have had a prominent place in television crime dramas since the rise of “Law and Order”, which had a solid place in television from 1990 thru 2010.
Since the breakdown of many American cities is now occurring before our eyes, it would do you some good to revisit those old shows to see what message they were broadcasting about what was important to Hollywood producers then, as well as what real events in New York were being revealed to audiences today, especially as to the lengths some parents would go to to indulge and protect their children…plus keep them out of their hair! (Columbine, 1999, and Parkland, 2018, both good examples of hidden cultures and absentee parenting.)
I’ve even spent the last several months bingeing on British and Australian/New Zealand crime shows from the 1990’s forward, and found the same to be true of their private school-privileged classes, as well.
In short, everyone has known for years that the close relationship private sector wealth and the government class has enjoyed with one another the past three decades has created an incestuous relationship as noted in street behavior around the country, only now numbering in the millions. (See the gallery array at the end.)
And while only 50 years ago the maturing reality of marriage, family and career, would cause kids to lay those wild flings of their childhoods aside, as my parents always knew I would, and I worked overtime to insure my sons would as well, in a far more morally-hostile environment than I ever knew we now have perhaps millions of young people who simply can’t lay those behaviors aside, in large part because they are drug-based, addictive, but also because they never heard to word “No”.
And because they are so closely-related nowadays in several urban and suburban communities, parents (many themselves over-indulged as youths) cannot bring themselves to impose restrictive, more punitive, cures for their children’s weaknesses.
Now, I don’t have the answers, and you might not like my bite-the-bullet suggestions below:
But I wrote these in four parts, in June-July, 2020, before the election, and before the Jan 6, 2021 “insurrection” in which the police and federals took part of my advice. But two of the main weaknesses I noted did not/does not apply to those citizens still being held hostage in Washington today; 1) they are neither spoiled teenagers nor drug-induced and 2) they are not hirelings. Therefore their jailors have struck no fear in the people they’re holding, nor have they caused any sense of moral regret or remorse.
In order, they are:
Please read, then talk among yourselves.
And note the gallery we’ve accumulated:
and their parents in ’68