Even the drugs are different now. The “druggies” aren’t smoking doobies under the bleachers anymore; they’re stealing prescription pills out of your medicine cabinet. But don’t let pop culture fool you: Most teenagers don’t experiment with drugs at all. More than three-quarters of Columbia Public Schools’ students in grades 8-12 have never tried marijuana. More than 92 percent don’t take prescription pills. More than 97 percent haven’t taken party drugs like MDMA or ecstacy. Less than 1 percent of these students have used meth or heroin. That’s the good news.
The bad news? You’ll never, ever stop worrying. And you shouldn’t. The stories on this page should offer encouragement and inspiration for parents who want to keep their kids clean.