Drinking, Driving & Drugs – Two of These Go Together

In my house music is a part of every day. Be it professionally produced, hummed by one of us, or completely made up – it’s an important facet of our lifestyle. I have a penchant for making up ridiculous songs about all manner of topics, however for this one I reached deep into my memory bank back to my Sesame Street days. There was a song I used to sing all the time, “One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others.” That song is what inspired this slide.

Let’s face it, everyone likes to have a good time. For many that involves an occasional adult beverage. For some, wisely or not, that means several. We also have a basic need to get from place to place on occasion; because although communes were all the rage in the 60s and 70s, most of us do not live with our friends. Since man (because of course women would never do this) first began to use modes of transportation other than walking, locomoting under the influence has been an issue. Actually, I’d guess that a fair share of walkers put themselves in danger while intoxicated even before there was no other choice of conveyance. And while it seems as if it’s nonsensical to hop into a two ton metal machine while inebriated, for far too many it is not.

This same desire to have a good time exists in our kids. It would be great if they just chose not to imbibe until they are of age, however that often doesn’t happen. In many ways, adolescents are more likely to make poor decisions when it comes to driving under the influence. The arrogance of youth and faith in their own invincibility often leads to ruin. Theirs, their passengers, other drivers, etc. A poor decision in this arena can be life altering, or even ending.

In both their ability to alter consciousness and their tendency to coalesce, drinking and drugs are the two that go together. Driving is obviously the one that’s “not like the others.” The discussion could have ended there, but I used this slide to cover one more facet of the drug and alcohol subject. The debate over what a true “gateway drug” is continues to rage on, even in professional circles. No matter how that debate ends, or continues in perpetuity, the evidence that alcohol use typically precedes drug experimentation in adolescents is irrefutable. (Cigarette use is also highly correlated with both drug and alcohol use, but that gets its own slide.) When you choose to drink, particularly at a party, it’s much easier to decide to take the next step. Especially when it’s a good friend passing the pipe.

I’m certain my kids are tired of me singing that old Sesame Street song as they walk out the door. Honestly, at this point, I tend to get a good natured eye roll. But I’ll keep doing it. I continue to hope that it reminds them how high the stakes can be, and helps the message stick in their consciousness. So far, I haven’t had to bail anyone out or rush to an ER, so they couldn’t have completely blown this slide off, right?

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