DR. WALLACE: I'm a young mother of two sons. When I was in high school, I took every drug I could get my hands on. I met a young man shortly after I graduated from high school. (Don't ask me how I graduated; all I remember of high school is that I wanted to pass driver's education). With his love and understanding, I eventually went straight. Don't think it wasn't a chore, because I was addicted to heroin.
After two wonderful years of marriage, I started taking cocaine, and it didn't take long to discover that I could supplement the family income by selling a little cocaine as a sideline. Unfortunately (probably fortunately) for me, one of my customers was an undercover cop.
As I write this letter, I have lost my husband and children, and I'm facing a prison sentence. I am living proof that drugs can destroy a user's life.
Teens, please listen to my plea. It comes from my heart. Don't start using drugs! It's just a matter of time before drugs control your life. — Mother Who Now Knows Better, via email
MOTHER: Thank you for sharing your tragic story with our readers. I trust that it will inspire teens to avoid being involved with illegal drugs in any capacity.
MAKE THE BEST OF IT
DR. WALLACE: I'm 16, and for the first time ever, I'm enrolled in a private school. My parents placed me here because they think our public high school is filled with drugs and violence. In other words, they are attempting to shield and protect me from those naughty, naughty "public school students."
Yes, I did see a few drug deals go down at my public high school, and a few students got into fist fights during lunch break, but these infractions were isolated incidents, not everyday occurrences.
What triggered my move to a private high school was a minor drug bust, when the police came on the school grounds and arrested three guys for drug possession. It turned out they were trying to sell some pills to an undercover cop. The bust made the front page of our local newspaper, causing my parents to overreact.
I don't like this private school. The kids are snooty, and all I hear is how good their sports teams are. I know you were a high school principal at a public school. Please tell me how I can convince my parents that it would be better for me to return to my old public school. Should I start by saying that I would get better grades if I transferred back? Help! — Anonymous, Springfield, Massachusetts
ANONYMOUS: Changing schools is never easy, but you only compound the difficulty when you go in with one foot out the door. You're at a new school now, and I urge you to make the best of it.
Your parents had to make a tough choice. I know it's not the one you agree with, but they're doing it with your best interests at heart. My advice here is to make the best of the situation at your new school and seek a new friend you respect and can spend study time with.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.