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The Emergency Conference

Hi, it’s Mrs. S! Thanks for continuing to read this blog. Please share it and spread the word about prescription drug addiction in children.

My last post was about the changes I noticed in Andy’s behavior. I had students before with addictions and strongly suspected Andy was struggling with substance abuse. I followed him to the bathroom one day and discovered him snorting drugs with another student.

I made my presence known and confronted the boys. Andy looked scared and started crying. I escorted both teens to the principal’s office immediately, where I explained what I had seen.

I didn’t know the circumstances of the other student, so I left the principal to handle him. But I also asked my principal if I could handle Andy’s punishment on my own since I knew him so well. I gave him a brief explanation of my plan, and he agreed, arranging a substitute for my classes for the rest of the day.

Andy and I went back to my classroom, where I closed my door and called Andy’s parents asking them to meet me for an emergency conference right away. I didn’t want to wait until after school, giving Andy a chance to run away or come up with a story with his friend.

Andy’s mom and dad came right away, both looking very concerned. I let Andy explain to them what happened. He told all three of us how he had gotten hooked on prescription painkillers when his doctor prescribed them for after his leg and knee surgeries. At first, he took the pills as directed, but he liked the way they made him feel and discovered if he took more, he felt even better. He had found another student through social media whose mom was a nurse and had easy access to prescription drugs. He had been crushing them up and snorting them in the bathroom with the other student several times a day, every day.

By the end of his explanation, all four of us were crying. I gave Andy’s parents some information about rehabilitation and recovery that I had gotten from the school counselor. They took it gratefully and agreed to get Andy professional help.

Andy went to a 30-day treatment program and is entirely off painkillers. He is now in his senior year and back to playing football, and even joined the after-school Spanish club. He is headed to college on a scholarship next fall.

Early intervention for addiction is critical and no matter if you have children or now it’s important to know how to behave with those who are addicted.