So M1 was in a talkative mood which happens about once every three months or so. She was asking me where I was going tonight as I told the kids the sitter was coming. I explained to her that I have a requirement for professional training as a foster parent and that tonight was a training night counting toward that requirement. She asked what the training was about and without thinking I said “How to administer NARCAN” The silence is awesome and I feel like an idiot of course she has no clue. So I explain it is a course on how to administer the antidote to an opiate overdose. The car goes quiet except for Little Bit singing “We are driving” After a few moments I hear “Mom why do you care about this? You don’t know any addicts, you aren’t a medical person and none of YOUR friends use drugs?”
It’s a fair question but must be answered carefully. See what my child does not know is that her beloved Uncle J, my brother is a recovering addict. Little Man and Little Bit’s parents are currently in rehab for opiate addiction and sometimes at work our customers come in drunk, high or worse. I don’t want to scare her but she needs to know drug use is real and it does impact her life. I struggle with words I have to protect the kids parents and my brother quite frankly does not want people to know what he use to do. Egads there needs to be a manual for this sort of thing.
I ask her if she remembers a few nights ago when the ambulance raced past our house and she did. I told her they were responding to a drug overdose in the park right near where we get our gas and ice cream. M1 looks horrified and asks “Did the person live?” No he did not and I tell her this and add “Honey all I could think was that about an hour before that happened we were at that park and we could have seen this. I could never live with myself if I was in a situation where I could have helped but did not. I just could not. I want to learn in case I need to know because its better to have the knowledge and never use it then have a situation and need it” She nodded her head in agreement.
I then asked her “Do you know why opiates are so dangerous? Do you understand how many overdoses are actually accidental not on purpose?” The conversation then turned to one about drug use, dangers and how regular people like her and I can get caught up in this. We talked about masking pain and making choices we are not proud of. While M1 was adamant she would never use drugs I told her point blank “Look honey I love you and hope you are right but you never know what life will throw at you and so we don’t know what choices we might find ourselves making. Most people who struggle with this DO NOT start out meaning to become an addict so yes it could happen to any one of us”
The sitter came in and looked around, seeing us both serious at the table she asked if all was all right. I smiled and said “Oh yes everything is fine we were having a conversation” I go to leave and hear M1 telling the sitter “Mom is taking a class on how to help people in case they overdose because she wants to be safe not sorry” When I get home the sitter asks “Is M1 doing drugs?” I smile and explain no it was a preventive measure because of a recent heroin overdose in the park down the street. She nods and remembers reading about it. She asks if I have concerns about M1 using and I said no not really but thanks to this training my daughter and I had a GREAT conversation about drugs and prevention. The sitter looks relieved.
Wins all around!!