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03 Mar 2003

DRUGS & GANG INITIATION
I come from a very decent family and we were always better off than the avergae family. My father died while I was quite young and my mother raised us all on her own. Not one of her children were problem children or ever involved in drags & gangsterism. However, I have a 17yr old nephew who is in matric whose behaviour & habits bother me. Everyday day he hangs out on the corner of the road in which he lives with people who you can clearly see are drug users and gangsters, in other words skollies. His parents know that he hangs out at the corner but I don't know if they know who he socialises with there. Maybe they do that they're turning a blind eye. I've just very recently been told that he uses dagga as well as other drugs and that he has a supplier from Congo. Apparently he has to try out the drugs for this person in order to be supplied. He has also told my daughter that he has been initiated by a gang the night that it happened, and also showed her the tattoo with the gang sign. He made her promise that she would not tell anybody and said that she is the only in the family that knows. My niece & him are at the same school - she was approached by a teacher and asked whetehr he uses drugs as he throws tantrums while at school. She told them to speak to his parents which obviously did not happen. Because of the type of people his parents are I cannot approach them & tell them anything. Firstly, his mother would hide everything from his father and then on the other hand he would be able to lie to his father by denying everything and then his father will end up being cross with me 7 think that I lied. My daughter is also terrified that if anyone finds out about the initiation & tattoo, that he would then ask his gang members to harm her as she is the only that knows.
What can I do to prevent him from getter deeper into the mess that he already is in. Please help!
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Dear Bubbles,
This is really not a psychiatry problem, but one about the dificulties of living in a sick society. It does indeed sound as if the boy is involved with a gang and the sort of drug-dealing scene that can easily suck him into worse and more dangerous problems. It sounds amazing, though, that his parents, living in the same place, could not be aware of what is going on ; unless they are working very hard NOT to know what's happening.
If the mother, learing about this, would try to help it to continue by hiding the facts from the faher, that's frankly not much of a mother. And if the father would simply believe his son's denials, without checking out the facts, ten he's pretty foolish, too. FInally, the teachers are highly irresponsible if they have, as it sems, good reason to believe the boy is on drugs, and haven't bothered to talk to the parents about this.
Maybe the first priority for the time being, would be to protect yourself and your daughter from harm, until such time as the parents start to wake up and smell the garbage.
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