Today's Teens Are Smart, Adults Must Be Smarter

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It must be a rite of passage -- at least for some young people -- finding new and easier ways to get high and stoned.

For many years now, the drug of choice has been alcohol.

The latest twist is an over-the-counter cough medicine. It is a pill that has been available for years. It is easily purchased by anyone of any age in any store carrying cold and allergy remedies.

Police say it has only recently become a problem drug among Payson's young people.

Overdosing can result in slight impairment, psychedelic effects, hallucinations, mind and body disassociation, brain damage, liver damage and death.

Already, two young people in Payson have been hospitalized because of it.

It is not just up to the parents and teachers to be vigilant over the community's children. It is the responsibility of every adult.

Clerks in our stores must be alert to children purchasing such non-prescription medications. The people who serve young people meals in fast food restaurants and other places must be able to identify suspicious behavior that could be related to drug use. Even those with only the most casual association with the children of this community must join the fight for their safety.

It is a fight that goes beyond the abuse of drugs by young people. It reaches all the way to the Legislature where there is a move to make it a felony to not report even the most passing complaint of sexual abuse of children by adults. This is an effort to stop the excuse and shield offered when an abuse situation is handled "in-house."

No matter how smart children are, no matter how much they think they know about the world and the people in it, they are still children. They are still vulnerable, and they can be easily hurt, both physically and emotionally. It is up to adults to protect them, even if they fight that protection.

Yes, today's children are smart. Adults have to be smarter.

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