Bellenot & Boufford, LLC

Open Letter To Teens

I am an attorney. I have worked with teenagers and their parents for decades, because of trouble the teens have gotten into as a result of the use of alcohol and drugs. I write this letter to any teenager who thinks he or she knows what they are doing. Or who won’t or think they can’t stop what they know they shouldn’t do. Or to those who think this is no big deal. I hope you will read and finish this. I can’t force you to see things my way, but please at least consider this information. Not one of the teens I have helped would disagree with this now.

If you think it’s OK to drink and /or do drugs, consider this:

  • It’s not healthy. Drugs, including marijuana will cause damage to your body and brain. Don’t be fooled into believing anything else. Drinking impairs your judgment and slows your reflexes, leaving you vulnerable to your own actions and the actions of others.
  • It’s not cool. You will look and sound stupid to the rest of the world. And because of You Tube, the rest of the world may just be watching you. If you think that might be funny, consider that the viewers may include your family, co-workers, future employers, teachers, coaches, admissions offices and anybody else you want to impress or not embarrass. Consider the embarrassment your family will suffer.
  • It’s illegal, and being caught and arrested for it can damage your life and future:
    • If caught drinking or using drugs, you will be arrested.
    • You can end up with a criminal record.
    • You can end up in jail or a juvenile facility.
    • It will affect your chances of getting into a good college or getting a good job, even if the information is just in your high school transcripts.
    • If caught near or even driving by a school, playground or Daycare while in possession of any amount of drugs, the penalties are VERY SEVERE and in many cases mandatory. The same is true if you sell or provide drugs to others.
    • If you provide alcohol to someone who gets injured or injures someone else because they are drunk, you and / or your parents can be held responsible for their injuries and be ordered to pay damages.

Every day the Courts are full of teenagers and people who swore, “I’ll never be caught”. That is a gamble that doesn’t pay off.

Best Case Scenario If You Choose To Break The Law and Rules:

In the best case scenario you are lucky enough to somehow qualify for a program that will protect you so there will be no criminal record.

BUT THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES:

  • Drug counseling and treatment as recommended by an expert
  • Education classes
  • Community Service
  • Must obey the school rules and no absenteeism
  • Must obey your parent’s house rules and treat your parents with respect
  • Write an Essay
  • Random Drug Testing

These are just some of the consequences the court can impose on you.

AND THERE IS MORE:

  • Time from your life lost
  • Money that your parents should NOT Have to Pay! Not to mention time lost from work and worry over your actions and the consequences that follow.
  • Embarrassment and remorse.

What you have done is broken the trust that your parents had. So now you will lose that all important freedom you had to be independent. NO MORE! Your parents must protect you. They must check up on you. Know exactly what you are doing every moment of the day. They may check your room.

AND DON’T YOU DARE FOR ONE MINUTE GET UPSET WITH YOUR PARENTS ABOUT THIS. THEY HAVE NO CHOICE.

BUT THERE IS HOPE:

Despite this mistake, and it is a BIG mistake, your parents love you. They would die for you. They would love nothing more than to trust you again. But it takes time. May be a lot of time. And YOU have to earn that trust back. You have to work for that trust. It’s all on you. And one of the most important things on that road back to a trusting relationship is communication.

I don’t care if you don’t like to talk with your parents. If they are old and boring and annoying, Tough Luck. This is part of the price you must pay. And by the way, your parents are not old and boring and annoying. Show them respect. They do everything for you and are suffering in this fight to protect you right now. They lose sleep and carry a burden they did not create. They love you no matter what and at all costs. They will fight to their death to make your life good. Show them respect.

You may not like what they have to say. You may not like the rules, especially the new rules that you created. But your parents are right. They don’t act to hurt you or make you miserable. Even if you don’t like what they demand, it is best for you.

That is your best case scenario. This is your life if you do what you shouldn’t.
You don’t want to know what happens if you are not that lucky.

So be a Man or a Lady and accept responsibility for your actions. Get help if you need it. Trust your parents and know that they are right even if it’s a hard pill to swallow. Your parents are going to make your life better. Return the favor and help make their life easier. Talk to them, be honest, respectful and cooperate at all costs. Your parents are the most important thing you have in life.

Your parent(s) have given you this letter and are discussing these concerns with you because they love you and want you to be safe. Trust your parents and know that they are right and are looking out for your best interests. Return the favor and help make their life easier.

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