David Denson wants to get the word out to parents that their teenagers, or their teenaged nieces, nephews or grandchildren could become drug mules.
He’s concerned that they could be recruited to smuggle drugs onto air-planes, or have drugs mailed to them.
“What happens to these kids when they get picked up? The guys that make money off them are not getting them lawyers,” he said.
“They just move on to the next one. If the kids haven’t figured it out, a mule is not a smart animal to be,” said Denson.
He encourages parents to find out with whom their children are hanging out.
“It’s a small island. If your kid is hanging with a crowd, and you don’t know where their money is coming from, then maybe your kids are involved with drugs,” he said.
The father of four pointed out that parents who know that their children are involved with drugs should take their children on the side, and give them a slap upside the head.
“Or, they should call the police and say, ‘Hey, my kids are hanging out in a lifestyle that I don’t want my kids to be in.’ Parents have got to start paying attention,” he said.
Denson pointed out that teenagers want toys fast.
“They want to have a motorbike, a Jet Ski, or drive a nice truck. Well, you’ve got to earn it,” he said.
“You don’t take a short cut. If you do, you end up in jail, dead, or drug-addicted,” Denson said.
“You’re whole life is ruined, and their parents put their heads down,” he said.
He noted that parents should be the No. 1 anti-drug enforcer.
“When they see their kids hanging out with people who don’t work or work part-time, they need to hang out with their kids to make sure they are not doing that kind of stuff,” said Denson.
He said that parents should look at their teenagers and start asking them questions, such as, “Who are you out with?” “Why are you out at 3 in the morning?” “Why does your friend have a brand new truck and a Jet Ski?” and “Where do they work?”
He said children should be told early how drugs can mess up their lives.
“By the time they are 16 or 17, that is too late. And parents should not be lying to them. Their uncle did not go on vacation,” he’s in jail, said Denson.
He pointed out that it could be embarrassing for the entire family if someone is busted for being a mule.
“Mommy and daddy have to put up their house, and for what? What their kid did was for nothing,” he emphasized.
“Their kid could have been a waiter and done better,” said Denson.
Denson has four daughters.
“If I ever caught my kids doing drugs, I would be on the phone. I would not let the kids they hang out with in the yard, if that was happening.”
He said that relatives can also put pressure on children not to get involved with drugs.
“They can never hear it too many times from uncles, aunties and grandmas. They can also lead by example,” said Denson.
He said that if parents want their children, their nieces, nephews and grandchildren to be successful, then they have to step up to the plate.
“It takes a bit of courage to talk to kids. It’s that or visiting them and talking to them through a glass window (in jail),” he said.
“Because if you talk to them through the glass window, it’s too late.”
- Cynthia Kaneshiro, staff writer, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 252) or firstname.lastname@example.org.