ForeWord Reviews

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Drugs and Your Teen

All You Need to Know About Drugs to Protect Your Loved Ones

Clarion Review (3 Stars)

“The average drug dealer is a kid who goes to school with your children,” according to Gianni DeVincenti Hayes, Ph.D., and Michael Talley, Jr. In Drugs and Your Teen, they stress how easily teenagers can get hooked on drugs and the difficulty of recovering from substance addiction.

Hayes and Talley emphasize the serious consequences of abusing drugs, including alcohol. For example, addicts often steal to get money for drugs and volatile mood swings are common symptoms of drug abuse. When discussing how parents can help in preventing and detecting the problem, the authors emphatically and wisely recommend home drug-testing kits.

A former college professor and department chair, Hayes earned her doctorate in comparative studies/humanities; her BS and MS in research science, and her second masters in research and educational administration. She received her bachelor’s degree and a Distinguished Alumni Award from Gannon University. The author of twenty books, including Salisbury, Maryland: Picturing the Crossroads of Delmarva, Hayes started American Drug Testing Consultants after a drunk driver caused her serious facial injuries.

Talley was previously in the software industry. He owns Drug Test Consultants, which he started due to a daughter’s drug addiction in her teens.

This book presents abundant crucial warnings and suggestions for parents who have or will have teenagers. For example, to help teens resist peer pressure to take drugs, the authors advise that they say, “I can’t try that! My parents test me!”

The authors make good use of reinforcement and repetition for parents who might only read part of this handbook. For example, they strongly and repeatedly urge parents to get to know their children’s friends. At one point, Hayes and Talley take the repetition too far when they list the tranquilizer benzodiazepine twice in the same paragraph. Charts, graphs, and photographs—such as a photo of a boy snorting cocaine—help maintain readers’ interest.

In addition to a number of typos, punctuation problems, and missing words, the book also contains a few other mistakes. For example, when referring to differences between types of drug tests, the authors write, “The chart in the appendix outlines some of the pros and cons.” However, that chart is in the chapter on testing. Readers will expect note numbers to refer to the endnotes, but instead they refer to the bibliography.

The authors wisely suggest disabling the toilet when seeking to obtain a urine specimen from the toilet bowl if a teen refuses to provide one. Since addicted teens eventually enter the workforce, the authors strongly advocate workplace drug testing.

Readers of Drugs and Your Teen will no longer be able to ignore the likelihood that ordinary school kids are drug addicts and even dealers. Parents must be hypervigilant or face the shock of discovering that their teen is one of them.

Norma Kellam