I lived with a family that had three boys that were about 2 years apart. When I met them they were 3, 5, and 7 years of age. I remember that the boys were happy, carefree and loved by their caretakers. The mother of these boys continued to meet the majority of their social/emotional needs. She was always there for her boys. However, when a boy reaches the ages of 8 to 10 he seeks a different point of view of the world. The boys are now looking at their father for their lessons in life.
As the boys grew older, I observed the father of the youngest two boys began spending more time with his sons. There was connection, bonding, and acceptance between father and sons. The father of the oldest boy was not connecting with his son on a consistent basis. A major factor, that I noticed, that had a negative impact on the eldest boy was that his father started a new family that did not include his son. As the boys became older the eldest boy turned to illicit drugs, dropped out of school and began to live a destructive life. The younger boys graduated from college and are living happy healthy lives.
This is a tragic example of how drug use begins. Of the 8000 plus individuals I have interviewed over the years there was always some traumatic experiences that derailed them emotionally and psychologically. The child does not have the ability to understand the trauma or to do anything about it and, therefore, tries to compensate for their emotional pain through alcohol, drugs, or criminal behavior to name a few.