Suburbia Needs To Talk Honestly About...

Suburbia Needs To Talk Honestly About Drugs

There are 83 comments on the Hartford Courant story from Dec 12, 2008, titled Suburbia Needs To Talk Honestly About Drugs. In it, Hartford Courant reports that:

It happens this fast. On a Monday morning last August, 18-year-old Ian Wells was back in Wethersfield after a summer away traveling and working at a sleep-over camp.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Hartford Courant.

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anonymous

Wethersfield, CT

#1 Dec 12, 2008
Ian was my good friend and he was eveyones friend. If you needed to talk to him then he was there, if you wanted someone to hangout with then you could hangout with him. I met Ian from going to the skatepark and he ended up becoming my friend within a few months. At school he would always talk to me and we would write down random made up stories for his senoir english class and i can tell you that some of the best times I've ever had in my life were with Ian. So when you said, "is there nobody", trust me most people close to Ian have tried. I've made statements to the police about dave but they cant do anything. As far as the police can prove ha hasnt done anything wrong. To this day i see him driving a new group of kids around and most likely let them do drugs and get drunk at his house but there's no proof that anything has been done there. I would like to encourage friends of Ian to step up and give statments about old dave or the incident. It's not being a snitch, you arent going to get in trouble you're just helping out a friend and the family get closure.
Hope from Enfield

Enfield, CT

#2 Dec 12, 2008
If everyone who has lost a young loved one from drug addiction would just come forward and demand that we take it out of the closet, that might be a start in prevention. Embarrassment and/or shame does nothing for no one! Thank you Rick Green for keeping this subject on the front burner, and good luck to you Superintendent Kohlhagen for attempting a new strategy on drug prevention in your schools. And I commend you Sheila Ian for having the class to discuss your son's problem openly. My condolences to you on the loss of your dear Ian. My experience has been that this is an uncomfortable subject to discuss, thus the elephant in the room. No one should blame the school for what the kids do in the parking lot at, say, Burger King, but certainly this dangerous and unhealthy activity should be given as much concern in school as the school nurse devotes to head lice, pink eye and scoliosis. Parents should be grateful when others see evidence that their child is beginning to experiment with this dangerous activity and care enough to come forward and express their concern, instead of accusations of "character defamation". Reputations can be rebuilt and these young people might even grow up and become presidents! Drugs are everywhere, kids are curious and believe they are immortal. These kids need to know if they are caught in this dangerous activity, someone will tattle!
Privacy and confidential laws should not apply. This is a little more serious than academic failure. Speak up, loudly!
WellWisher

Wethersfield, CT

#3 Dec 12, 2008
Good luck Mrs. Standish. I know you and your husband have a reputation for getting things done in Wethersfield.

You will have your work cut out for you. My kids have graduated, but experience with Wethersfield High School suggests that most good ideas just die on the vine there. Getting just about any kind of sustained action going is generally impossible due to the leadership vacuum and lack of communications.
Hope from Enfield

Enfield, CT

#4 Dec 12, 2008
Hope from Enfield wrote:
If everyone who has lost a young loved one from drug addiction would just come forward and demand that we take it out of the closet, that might be a start in prevention. Embarrassment and/or shame does nothing for no one! Thank you Rick Green for keeping this subject on the front burner, and good luck to you Superintendent Kohlhagen for attempting a new strategy on drug prevention in your schools. And I commend you Sheila Ian for having the class to discuss your son's problem openly. My condolences to you on the loss of your dear Ian. My experience has been that this is an uncomfortable subject to discuss, thus the elephant in the room. No one should blame the school for what the kids do in the parking lot at, say, Burger King, but certainly this dangerous and unhealthy activity should be given as much concern in school as the school nurse devotes to head lice, pink eye and scoliosis. Parents should be grateful when others see evidence that their child is beginning to experiment with this dangerous activity and care enough to come forward and express their concern, instead of accusations of "character defamation". Reputations can be rebuilt and these young people might even grow up and become presidents! Drugs are everywhere, kids are curious and believe they are immortal. These kids need to know if they are caught in this dangerous activity, someone will tattle!
Privacy and confidential laws should not apply. This is a little more serious than academic failure. Speak up, loudly!
Pardon me, I meant Sheila Wells, Ian's mom.
isyourteen

Wethersfield, CT

#5 Dec 12, 2008
Actually, isyourteen.com was established for Ian Wells in August. We are a group of concerned Wethersfield residents who are taking action against heroin and substance abuse. We have already met with Mr. Kolhagen and have partnered with Blackoutlive, a non-profit group also working towards substance abuse education.

http://nomoredrugsinwethersfield.blogspot.com... was established a week after Ian's death. The goal is to share stories of Ian but most importantly keep Dave Webster's name out there as a precautionary measure.

Feel free to check out both pages.
TRUTH

Glastonbury, CT

#6 Dec 12, 2008
The parents are disappointed that someone hasn't been arrested. Like who? He made his choices. He bought the stuff and used it, so who should be prosecuted?

Since: Oct 08

Wethersfield, CT

#7 Dec 12, 2008
TRUTH wrote:
The parents are disappointed that someone hasn't been arrested. Like who? He made his choices. He bought the stuff and used it, so who should be prosecuted?
Ian was in distress and the old man did nothing. The old man was aware that Ian was in distress, though this article doesn't state that. That was what the parents were referring to about the arrest. There are many facts left out of this story. Most likely intentionally. The police still consider this an ongoing investigation. While Ian died of heroin, he died under suspicious circumstances.
TRUTH

Glastonbury, CT

#8 Dec 12, 2008
powerwithaction wrote:
<quoted text>
Ian was in distress and the old man did nothing. The old man was aware that Ian was in distress, though this article doesn't state that. That was what the parents were referring to about the arrest. There are many facts left out of this story. Most likely intentionally. The police still consider this an ongoing investigation. While Ian died of heroin, he died under suspicious circumstances.
Don't get me wrong, I know this is a tragedy, and its happened before, but Ian chose to do the drugs. Our society is always looking for someone else to blame. The person to blame is the one who decided to use the herion, not the loser who didn't pick up the phone after the fact. There wouldn't be any circumstances if he wasn't involved with heroin.
Hhope

Enfield, CT

#9 Dec 12, 2008
TRUTH wrote:
<quoted text>
Don't get me wrong, I know this is a tragedy, and its happened before, but Ian chose to do the drugs. Our society is always looking for someone else to blame. The person to blame is the one who decided to use the herion, not the loser who didn't pick up the phone after the fact. There wouldn't be any circumstances if he wasn't involved with heroin.
What a narrow person you appear to be. Would you also say it is o.k. to harbor a terriost or cover the actions of a priest who was abusing a young person? I believe when something this dreadful and dangerous is happening to someone and you know it and prefer not to become involved, then you have to share some of the guilt. Believe me, there is enough to go around. I know of no one if they have lived a few years who has not made bad choices, but drug addiction many times does not give you that second chance.
TRUTH

Glastonbury, CT

#10 Dec 12, 2008
Hhope wrote:
<quoted text>What a narrow person you appear to be. Would you also say it is o.k. to harbor a terriost or cover the actions of a priest who was abusing a young person? I believe when something this dreadful and dangerous is happening to someone and you know it and prefer not to become involved, then you have to share some of the guilt. Believe me, there is enough to go around. I know of no one if they have lived a few years who has not made bad choices, but drug addiction many times does not give you that second chance.
So of course you don't blame the person who goes out to buy drugs and then chooses to use them, and instead you blame everyone else? I'm not surprised since people avoid personal responsibility like the plague.

Since: Oct 08

Location hidden

#11 Dec 12, 2008
TRUTH wrote:
<quoted text>
So of course you don't blame the person who goes out to buy drugs and then chooses to use them, and instead you blame everyone else? I'm not surprised since people avoid personal responsibility like the plague.
Ever heard of the "good samaritan"? You would not feel guilt if you let someone die? There are laws regarding this and sounds like this person broke them.
Stiinky Pinky To You

United States

#12 Dec 12, 2008
TRUTH wrote:
<quoted text>
Don't get me wrong, I know this is a tragedy, and its happened before, but Ian chose to do the drugs. Our society is always looking for someone else to blame. The person to blame is the one who decided to use the herion, not the loser who didn't pick up the phone after the fact. There wouldn't be any circumstances if he wasn't involved with heroin.
Gee sounds like you have never made a mistake in your life. Ian was a CHILD. Children make mistakes. It's a tragedy when one of those mistakes costs them so dearly. Since you are indeed perfect, why not volunteer to help those less perfect than yourself.
Observer

AOL

#13 Dec 12, 2008
Unfortunately he WASN'T a child. If he was, they might have been able to charge this guy with something.
What about driving folks to buy drugs? People are arrested for that all the time. Why not this guy? Can WPD explain that?
GreekChorus

AOL

#14 Dec 13, 2008
"This town has a DARE program, but after that, there is nothing. These kids need more information," she said.

Oh, please.

When I was in middle school in the early 1970s, long before DARE was invented, I was taught things at school that I still remember well:

1. Heroin and all other opiates are highly addictive.

2. Opiates are illegal, other than when prescribed by a physician, because people who use them are very likely to become addicted and thus need to be protected from their own stupidity both for their own good and for the good of taxpayers who will end up paying for their recovery.

As a consequence of the education I got over the course of a few hours of class time in sixth grade I have never once used any type of illegal drugs, despite enormous peer pressure both in high school and college. And you know what? I never overdosed! Amazing, isn't it?

Society tried to protect this kid from his own stupidity by making possession of heroin a felony. He, however, decided that he was smarter than people who were older, wiser and more experienced than himself, chose to commit a crime and paid the price for not being nearly as bright as he thought he was.

And at that point we can see what is wrong. Everyone is talking about this kid like he is a poor, helpless victim, not the criminal that he was. I can understand that his parents are desperate to find someone to blame out of a fear that their own failed efforts at parenting are the real cause of their son's death. But as you can see from these posts there's a whole culture out there that says this kid isn't responsible for what happened to him.

How do you expect to keep younger children off drugs? By painting criminals as objects of pity - if only he'd had more information!- or by holding their deaths out as the tragic but inevitable consequences of what happens to people who break the law?
isyourteen

Wethersfield, CT

#15 Dec 13, 2008
TRUTH wrote:
<quoted text>
So of course you don't blame the person who goes out to buy drugs and then chooses to use them, and instead you blame everyone else? I'm not surprised since people avoid personal responsibility like the plague.
This family is not absolving Ian's responsibility in buying and doing drugs. You must believe that they beat themselves up about it. What they are saying, and I agree with, is that there were was an adult man in the house who was aware that Ian was in trouble.

We will never know if Ian would have survived this overdose because the adult in the house refused to seek help in a timely fashion. The time lapse could have saved Ian. But again, we will never know. This old man has a bad reputation in our town.
His relationship with the young teens in Wethersfield in questionable.

What you don't know is that this old man allowed Ian over for years. At 15 Ian was "hanging" out with this man. Ian's parents confronted the old man and asked him to leave Ian alone. The old man told them essentially to go to hell.

Why did this man allow these young men over? Why did he take them to Hartford to buy drugs? Why did he allow them in his home to use? Why did he not call for help when he realized Ian was unresponsive almost immediately after Ian used heroin?

Indeed there is enough blame to go around. But if we all turn a blind eye to substance abuse then we are responsible as well.
isyourteen

Wethersfield, CT

#16 Dec 13, 2008
isyourteen does not speak for the Wells family in anyway. Any opinion expressed is just that.
a parent

Wethersfield, CT

#17 Dec 13, 2008
It is not the school's responsibility to save our children from drugs. The parents are still the best line of defense in this endeavor.

Still, I fault the schools in several regards. First, they hush up any incident and provide no general information. When was the last time parents heard from the prinicpal or school resource officer about this issue? It has never happened in Wethersfield.. Parents truly don't know the scope of the problem. Why don't we know about arrests, drug usage, and people like Old Dave? Surely our kids won't tell us. Why can't the police tell us the names of people involved? Surely much of this is public record. Why not have a meeting and let the SRO tell us what his job is like on a daily basis at WHS. And don't sugar coat is for us parents.

This is why I fault the schools and police. They have the information to let parents do their jobs watching out for their kids, but they hide it. I have never been called to any PTSA meeting, information session, or any other forum at the high school where this issue was addressed. Why? Too embarrassing? Schools should admit the problem in their midst and tell us what they deal with.

Finally, anyone who is arrested and convicted should be made known publicly. If they are a minor and schools or the police protect confidentiality, fine. Follow the laws, But surely there are names that can be named of people over 18. Do the police and schools have to protect these people, too? Let us keep our kids from associating with these sort.

Get the information out in public. It's not the school's fault kids use drugs. But is their fault for not educating families.
unfortunate

Newington, CT

#18 Dec 13, 2008
Condolences to the Well's family.

I wonder if a story such as this, could be a wake-up to schools like Canton, who don't see the importance of drug sniffing dogs on school grounds.
The dog's main purpose is not to inconvenience a student, but rather get their attention before something similar happens to them.
west hartford

West Hartford, CT

#19 Dec 13, 2008
Affluent suburban teenagers have money, mobility, and free time to do drugs. Many of them have been brought up with all their material needs met, due to no effort of their own. Of course they don't mature by 18. Why should they?
After years of an easy watered -down school curriculum , where everyone can succeed without trying, sports teams where everyone gets a trophy, and years of Mom and or Dad paying all their bills and expecting no contribution of work, money, time or respect, the kids are oversized babies.
Parents and teachers label bad conduct as a disease, and give the kids pharmaceutical drugs in lieu of dispipline or leadership. They are ripe to be addicts.
Schools and parents can't read the kids' minds. But they can stop giving them cars and phones, stop giving them unearned money for gas, restaurants,cigarettes, Uggs, Ipods, beauty treatments, and clothes, and tell them to GET JOBS or do volunteer work.
The suburban kids I know have everything, and are not expected to perform or be responsible in any way. High living is their entitlement.
When they fail, academic standards are lowered. When they act out, their bad conduct is medicalized.
Very few adults are demonstrating or teaching character, responsibility or self restraint, and everywhere we turn, we are exposed to self indulgence, vulgarity, violence, and greed.
While this boy's death is tragic, it is not unique and not surprising.
TRUTH

Glastonbury, CT

#20 Dec 13, 2008
isyourteen wrote:
<quoted text>
This family is not absolving Ian's responsibility in buying and doing drugs. You must believe that they beat themselves up about it. What they are saying, and I agree with, is that there were was an adult man in the house who was aware that Ian was in trouble.
We will never know if Ian would have survived this overdose because the adult in the house refused to seek help in a timely fashion. The time lapse could have saved Ian. But again, we will never know. This old man has a bad reputation in our town.
His relationship with the young teens in Wethersfield in questionable.
What you don't know is that this old man allowed Ian over for years. At 15 Ian was "hanging" out with this man. Ian's parents confronted the old man and asked him to leave Ian alone. The old man told them essentially to go to hell.
Why did this man allow these young men over? Why did he take them to Hartford to buy drugs? Why did he allow them in his home to use? Why did he not call for help when he realized Ian was unresponsive almost immediately after Ian used heroin?
Indeed there is enough blame to go around. But if we all turn a blind eye to substance abuse then we are responsible as well.
You say that this old guy let Ian over his house "for years". You wrote that Ian was going there since he was 15 years old. Obviously Ian was a heroin addict too, so maybe it's the parents who should be held responsible. You say they "confronted" the old man, but that's not enough is it? This kid has been going down this road "for years" and it's the old guy that's at fault? It's Ian and the parents who are at fault. While Ian is buying heroin, shooting up and then dying at this weird old guy's house what were the parents doing?

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