Amy: Parents wrongly suspect drug use

  • Article by: AMY DICKINSON
  • Chicago Tribune
  • November 10, 2012 - 4:48 PM

Dear Amy: I go to a small middle school/high school. It's a pretty drug-free environment, at least the one my friends and I inhabit.

However, my parents (particularly my mom) are under the impression that all my friends are doing drugs. I am certain that my friends are drug-free. But I'm afraid that if I tell my mom this, she will tell me I'm being naive, think I'm covering for them or doing drugs myself!

I think she did stuff like that when she was younger, because she had a tough childhood. How do I convince her my friends aren't on the same path?


Amy says: First of all, good for you. When distressing statistics about drug use among teenagers are trumpeted, I always think about the kids who aren't engaging in this destructive behavior.

Your mother seems frantic to make sure you're safe. Unfortunately, instead of opening a dialogue with you she is slamming the door shut. The way around this is for you to start the conversation.

Here's how you can start: "Mom, I know how worried you are about drugs at my school. What was it like when you were in high school?"

Don't expect her to admit to drug use, but listen to her description and say to her, "For all the kids who do use drugs, there is an equal amount who don't. My friends and I are those kids." Assure her that she has done a solid job of raising you. You can also allay fears by letting your parents get to know your friends. Invite them over.

Self-centered beauty

Dear Amy: I have a friend who is quite beautiful. My problem is that I cannot bear to hear another long story about how pretty she is, how someone told her she was beautiful or how something awesome happened because she was the most stunning person.

I'd hate to lose a good friend, but I cannot bear this anymore.

Amy says: You have to wonder why someone so beautiful would be so insecure that she would have to point it out constantly. Let me pass along my mother's favorite quote: "Handsome is as handsome does." I take this to mean that a person's deeds are the true key to beauty.

If this is a true and intimate friendship, you should be able to ask her about her behavior and say how it affects you.

You can start by saying, "You are beautiful. But you point it out so often I wonder: Do you really know that? It's like you're trying to convince me. It also makes your looks the headline of everything that happens during your day. Surely, some of the good stuff in your life is due to other reasons?"

Send questions via e-mail to Amy Dickinson at

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