Baldies' Blog began originally in the UK by a 26 year old journalist with a blood cancer on a mission to inform the world about bone marrow donation.

He has since died, and I took on the cause of making cancer care more transparent for everybody.

Cancer is a disease that will touch everybody through diagnosis or affiliation: 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed and 1 in 3 woman will hear those words, "You Have Cancer."

I invite you to read how I feel along my journey and
how I am continuing to live a full life alongside my Hodgkin's lymphoma, with me controlling my cancer, not my cancer controlling me.

I hope that "Baldies' Blog" will prepare you to handle whatever life sends you, but especially if it's the message, "You Have Cancer."

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Adderal Generation

It’s been reported on “Today” this morning that for the first time prescription drugs are listed among teens as easier to acquire than alcohol.
My suspicions, one of my worst fears, has come true.
Our prescription culture has trickled to our teens. It’s easy to creep into medicine cabinets where drugs are kept, unused and unacknowledged for years. That is, for years, until our teenagers get curious about the contents.
Usually they can find some goodies. Most parents have suffered a broken limb, stretch of abdominal pain, or had a surgery in the past.
After one year, those medications are expired and need to be thrown out, but who really does this?
I’ve worried about the possibility of X breaking into my stash when he gets in junior high. We have a hidden lock box, and have for a while now.
This is not specifically for him, you would be surprised the amount of covert pill poppers you know that present their secret once you have open access to a prescriber.
I worry about x due to some basic psychological theory that suggests at about 5 or 6 years old children begin to understand reversibility. He sees me taking medicine to get better. That medicine must make him feel better also. Have a problem? Take a pill.
I think this is the cause for the “the adderal generation” nickname regarding our teens.
I have been taking medicine to feel better for years now, X is only now mature enough to understand that if I take pills to fix my “problems,” he too could do the same.
This message will stay with him until he feels a need to “medicate” himself for some reason. Without finding a reasonable outlet or prescribed medicine, he may just decide to “self medicate.”
Uh-oh, I’m in trouble.
He was all ready figured out some good excuses to pretend he’s sick. He knows if he has a sore throat, I’m worried about strep and don’t want to contaminate other kids. He gets to stay home.
I didn’t think kids gained this knowledge so early.
As teens, if pills are not available, kids are smart enough to convince a psychiatrist that they have certain “symptoms.” Their friends are doing the same for RX pain killers.
The internet is also a major offender. It tells teenagers symptoms to describe to their doctors to receive pain meds. You can also buy straight off the internet. Whoa, all you need is a credit card.
However, unless US Licensed, 98% of the drugs sold on the internet are not what they say they are. Who knows what it is? Could be rat poison.
I think many of these teens underestimate the power of pills. They can be taken legally. Doctors, whom they trust, prescribe them so they must be safe.
TO intervene, I explain to my son what I take and why I’m taking it. I’d describe the structure and tell him I know exactly what is going in my body (even if I really don’t).
This suggest he should also know what he ingests. Because we educate him does not mean we’re going to be stupid. There is no leaving controlled meds around the house.
I did make that mistake once, only to find X “making a potion” with a possible lethal dose of narcotics. He was 4. I didn’t know he could open “child proof bottles.”
Just a little FYI on how an interest in substances may be created and may present itself in the teenage years. I’ll try to keep all us parents up on the trends.

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