Writing Adolescent Fiction/Drugs

Stories written for children have to give a simple "Just Say No to drugs" message, firm and unambiguous. With adolescent fiction, you are free to deal with the topic of drugs in a non-judgmental, more nuanced manner. You can write a story all about cocaine, or a character's marijuana use can be a casual aside in the plot. Maybe you can write about a character's heroin addiction as one of the many complications in his life. You can write about drugs bringing someone up, and then bringing him down, or write about a character's struggle to break free of addiction, or write about someone being raised with a very strict drugs-are-bad message and then learning drugs are not all she was taught, or write about someone being raised by hippies then being surprised when harder drugs make her life miserable, or write about a teen wondering if drugs are all there are to life.

If you are writing a story about a teen addict who seeks treatment, there are plenty of options there, as well. You can write about your character going to a therapeutic boarding school, or a therapeutic wilderness camp, or an AA-type group. Your character could also enter outpatient treatment. If the drug being abused is alcohol, consider disulfiram (a medication that causes one to become violently ill from even a sip of alcohol) as part of the treatment.