The original Straight Dope book has been updated to take into account the new round of drugs (kids are taking powder pills instead of smoking, for example, and newer ‘fads’ such as Molly) as well as the effect of social media. Relying on first person accounts from various parents over the years, medical and psychological experts, and latest findings from the scientific community, author Califano gives even more compelling reasons to keep kids off drugs.
The book is broken down into sections to make it easier for parents to reference. From what drugs are out there, symptoms or signs of use, dealing with peer pressure, parental responsibilities, and more. The crux of the book is definitely the parent and how instrumental and influential they are in keeping their children drug/alcohol free.
Each section has tips, statistics, and bullet points to really hone in on the points. The author noted that the biggest reason for the update is the overwhelming evidence of just how destructive early drug use can be to the brain – citing a lot of the recent findings. Any kind of controlled substance use will have very adverse affects on the mental and physical health of the user.
The book does read very much like a government pamphlet, tackling a serious subject with corresponding gravitas. But whether a parent suspects their child (or child’s friend) of using alcohol or drugs or not, this is really required reading. Preferably, by middle school. Reviewed from an ARC.