Teens Talk Truth has officially relocated to the bushveld of South Africa. We are based in Hoedspruit on a Big 5 Game Reserve called Leadwood Estate. There are parents everywhere who are hungry for information on how to be a better parent. This desire spans the globe as we all try to catch up with this fast-moving world that our children, teens, young adult and adult children live in. No matter their ages, we all want them to be healthy and happy.
My desire is to share my knowledge here in South Africa with other parents who want to help their troubled kids or make sure their kids don’t get into trouble. I’ve discovered that the bottom line is that we as parents underestimate our influence on our children. We are the first line of defense and their teachers are usually 2nd. Their peers may not be savvy enough to help them or don’t see the treacherous path our child may be heading down.
I recently met a 16 year old high school student who told me that there are plenty of drugs in this town and that the parents need to know more about what to do. The primary difference I see here is that 12 step recovery and Alcohol and Drug rehab are not as visible or available as in the U.S. There is stigma everywhere against addiction and mental illness, but the less it’s talked about, the bigger the secret and the greater the shame.
As I get ready for my first trip back to the States after moving to South Africa, I am excited beyond words. To get to see my children, grandchild, family and friends is a joy I can barely contain. Travelling in recovery circles and with mental health professionals, affords me an opportunity to catch up on the latest treatments and news on relapse rates for teens. I will be looking at the prescription painkiller abuse, which is leading so many young people to a cheaper opiod, heroin. This is resulting in continued relapse, school drop-out rates, emotional dependence and in many cases, death. I look forward to bringing back some good news from abroad as well.