Celebrity Deaths and Drug Use

Celebrity drug overdoses continue to make the news, and sadly, they have become almost commonplace. Any overdose is tragic, but people often overlook what is happening close to home until they or someone they know personally is affected by drugs. Anytime an individual is facing one or more drug charges, he or she needs to retain a competent drug defense attorney immediately, as the consequences of a drug conviction can be devastating.

The potential for drug overdose isn’t the only situation that parents need to talk to their children about. The illicit use of drugs can have far reaching effects, even lasting years after the drug use has been discontinued. The deaths of major celebrities, such as George Michael and Carrie Fisher, provide parents with an opportunity to talk to their kids about how drug use can have an impact on their health, many years down the road.

While the deaths of Michael and Fisher weren’t directly attributed to drug use, their health may have suffered as a result of this abuse. Parents should look for and create opportunities to expand the conversation concerning drugs. Celebrity deaths provide the perfect opportunity to do so. It may be an awkward conversation at first, but it is imperative that parents make their children aware of the short-term and long-term effects of drug use.

One difficulty in persuading children about the dangers of drugs is that children tend to think they are invincible. Pointing out that no human is immune to the effects of drugs and how they damage the body is one way to approach this topic. However, nobody is immune to the inherent dangers of addiction. Even those with money cannot always beat the odds when drugs are involved, and far too many individuals are dying before their time.

Parents often don’t want to bring up these topics, but kids will encounter these subjects regardless of parental involvement. Kids watch television, use the internet and talk to their friends. They need their parents to step up and talk to them too, not only to better recognize what their children know, but also to clear up any misconceptions they may have, and hopefully prevent them from engaging in dangerous drug use behaviors.

In addition, parents need to understand that no community, race, social status or educational level can protect a child from drugs. They have invaded every aspect of society and are easier to get than ever before. Fortunately, drug use by children, other than marijuana, appears to be on the decline.

DrugAbuse.com, in a December 2016 release, reported that only 14.3 percent of 12th graders used illicit drugs in the previous year, a significant decline from the 21.6 percent reported in 2001. Of tenth graders, only 9.8 percent had used illegal drugs in the prior 12 months, down from 18.4 percent in 2001. For eighth graders, only 5.4 percent had used illicit drugs in the prior year, down from 12.6 percent in 1995. The prior figures were peak periods for illicit drug use for each age group, which is why they were used to compare drug use prevalence.

However, the same organization found that children don’t perceive the risk and harm of a variety of substances. Eight graders reported in this study that they felt it was okay to occasionally use Ecstasy or bath salts more than in previous years. Furthermore, tenth graders reported less concern when it came to using inhalants once or twice, using Vicodin or crack cocaine occasionally or using inhalants routinely than they did in prior years.

Although there is less drug use among those in middle and high school, parents can’t assume their child won’t try illegal substances. This is especially true when students do not feel drugs are harmful, and parents need to emphasize the dangers associated with them. Celebrity deaths can help parents do so, without forcing a conversation with the child, and give parents and opportunity to emphasize the dangers of all drugs, including prescription ones.

If you are a parent who found out that your child has been using drugs and is now facing criminal charges, it is important to seek legal guidance immediately. Do not let your child speak with the police, either with or without you. With the help of an experienced Raleigh drug offense attorney, first offenders may find they can get the charges reduced or dismissed altogether. Others, furthermore, might find evidence can be suppressed or the attorney can request for their client to be placed in a special program for individuals with drug abuse issues, as opposed to being placed in a detention facility.

Kurtz & Blum, PLLC represents individuals charged with a wide range of drug offenses. This includes everything from possession of marijuana to possession with intent to distribute. Drug trafficking charges are also handled by our office, along with many others.

Give us a call today at 919-832-7700 to discuss the charges you are facing, and we will work to help you through this difficult time.