Kids As Young As 6 Doing Drugs In Panhandle - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Kids As Young As 6 Doing Drugs In Panhandle

Patti Morris, Potter-Randall Intervention Drug Education Patti Morris, Potter-Randall Intervention Drug Education
Triste Shaw, Amarillo Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Triste Shaw, Amarillo Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse

By Megan Moore
NewsChannel 10

AMARILLO, TEXAS - Local children are telling counselors they started using drugs when they were as young as six years old.

A lot of times we are told it starts with a sip of dad's beer sitting on the coffee table.  But it often becomes a slippery slope and they end up in rehab by their teenage years.

At an age when most children are playing on the monkey bars, some others are at home using dangerous drugs.

Patti Morris, a counselor at Potter-Randall Intervention Drug Education or PRIDE, says "I've seen kids using meth regularly by the time they're ten years old."

Morris works with kids between the ages of ten and 17, but that does not mean their drug use just started.

She says, "sometimes we'll deal with kids who have been detained who are reporting drug use as early as six years old."

Morris adds kids start with alcohol or marijuana, and graduate to harsher drugs like cocaine or meth...with their families enabling them the entire way.

Triste Shaw, development director at the Amarillo Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse or ACADA, says "a lot of times they see their parents doing it and that's the way to stay within the family and to keep the family bonds going, however unhealthy those bonds are. So it's just natural they're going to get it from their parents or friends or whatever."

Shaw's office is the next stop after PRIDE for kids who cannot get clean before becoming adults.

She sees "18, 19, 20 year old parents. We don't have children here so we're getting them right as they turn 18," says Shaw.

Both Shaw and Morris say getting in early is better, because their chances of success are greater if they enter at an early age.

Morris says despite the claim that marijuana is natural, kids often tell her the joints were laced with another drug like cocaine or meth.

Powered by Frankly