Per Wickstrom with Randy Richardville
Per Wickstrom, the CEO of Best Drug Rehabilitation discussed the problem of drug abuse in America with Randy Richardville, Majority Leader of the Michigan State Senate.[alert type=”general”]Transcript of Video[/alert][separator top=”20″]
Per: Alright, I’m here with Randy Richardville, Majority Senate Leader State of Michigan. Randy, you know what I do. I run a holistic program here in Michigan. You know, when we look at addiction, and I know that you come across it more than most people because you’re in the public interest. What’s your opinion on, what do we need to do?
Randy: Well, you know I think the root of it is a good family life, good parenting, and things like that.
Per: What do you do when your son or your daughter, you suspect them of using drugs? You know, a lot of parents don’t know. You know, what do we do? You know a lot of them don’t know. They don’t know to call somebody for help or talk to their son or their daughter.
Randy: You know, in your world you’re more familiar with this. What are some of the warning signs that a parent would look for?
Per: The big warning signs of addiction are change in habit. You know, we like to look at grades. You know, you look at your son; he’s getting all B’s and then all of a sudden he goes to C minuses. Warning Signs!! And you know what? And I tell parents this all of the time. You can go to the local pharmacy, you know, and you can get a drug test. And you can drug test your kids. And a lot of parents are afraid.
Randy: What about prescription drugs? That’s a real problem too, right?
Per: Prescription drugs have raised 60% since 2006. I have been in the business long enough to know and everybody is getting them. It is not just you if you have a bad back, the doctor is prescribing it instead of “Let’s get your back healed. Let’s go to the chiropractor. Let’s go to the acupuncturist. Let’s do some stretching and exercising.” The first thing they do is they put you on pills.
Randy: Where do most of the kids start? Is it real early? Is it because of peer influence? What gets a lot of the kids started?
Per: This is a tough, a tough question. About 90% of our addicts, and we do full assessments on everybody, so I’m not talking off the cuff, this is actual. About 90% start with a beer and a joint. So 90% of the people start with those drugs. Am I for legalization of marijuana? Of course not. OK? I think alcohol is a worse drug personally than marijuana. That is my personal opinion because of what alcohol does to people. But, if we open the door, how easy is it for somebody to walk through? Should it be illegal? Yes, because it starts our kids on the wrong road and that’s what we are worried about.
Randy: Now, Let’s say that I’m a parent and I want to start a dialogue with a child. Do you have a way that you, you know you talk about a gateway into drugs or addiction? Is there a gateway into that dialogue? Like, is it maybe the parent says “there’s something that’s happened in my life.” Does that open the door to a conversation, or what’s the best way to start talking to a child?
Per: I like to find out what my son likes or what my daughter likes. If they are real football stars, I might find a football star who is a real leader and say “Hey, look at this guy’s career. Do you see any addictions during his career?” Or, somebody that is in your local circle that your son or daughter really has an influence, you know likes, like one of your friends comes over and he says “Hey Dad, that Joe guy is really cool.” So, hey if it comes to where you are uncomfortable, maybe you want to bring Joe over and Joe and you all can sit down and communicate, because the first step is “What’s going on? What can I help you with?”
Randy: Hey, we put a lot on the schools, but it really starts at home, doesn’t it?
Per: It starts with the parents.
Randy: Per, thanks a lot for the work that you do.
Per: Randy, thanks for coming out. I appreciate it. And, if anybody needs help, again just give us a call. Best Drug Rehabilitation. We’ll help you any way we can. Thank you.