Drugs Make You Un-Smarter
Savanna's Family's Pattern of Addiction
- Natural father is an alcoholic
- Adopted and raised by a stepfather from age eight
- Raised in a drug/alcohol/tobacco free home from age three
- Married young and didn't finish high school
- Controlled drinking, but sometimes drinks too much
- Sometimes smokes weed
- Adopted as an infant, raised in a drug-and alcohol-free home
- Drinking and drug abuse, and stealing to support his habit landed him in prison at the age of nineteen
- He was in prison for most of Savanna's life
Her Older Brother
- Raised in a single-parent home with weekend visits with his dad
- Mom drinks and smokes weed
- Started smoking weed when he was fourteen
- Started partying when his mom was at work
- Spent time in DT
- Went to a drug program for a short time at age sixteen, no change in behavior
- Dropped out of school at age seventeen
- Slowed down the use of drugs, still smokes weed
Her Aunt Jennifer
- Natural father is an alcoholic
- Adopted by her stepfather at age seven
- Raised in a drug/alcohol and tobacco-free home from age two
- Married young, her husband became an addict
- Became addicted to meth
- Became a widow with two children at age twenty-two
- Remarried at age twenty-five
- She has been drug, alcohol, and tobacco-free for about thirteen years
Her Uncle Jason
- Married young, had two children
- Became addicted to cocaine
- Sold marijuanafrom his home
- Arrested in front of his children, for selling drugs,
- Died on a drug delivery when he was twenty-four years old
- Father died when he was four
- Raised in a drug-free home since the age of six
- Raised by his mother and stepfather
- Experimented with alcohol, weed and harder drugs
- Caught with weed at school and sent to detention
- Has been in DT several times
- Sent to two drug programs, including a wilderness program
- Now working his drug program, trying to live drug free, and hopes to give up tobacco
- Only two when her father died on a drug deal
- Raised in a drug-free home since the age of five
- Raised by her mother and stepfather
- Fooled around with drugs and smoked weed
- Has been caught with weed at school
Savanna's Grandparents on Maternal Side
- Grandma Vanderwood doesn't have a problem with drugs or alcohol
- She married an alcoholic.
- Had three children with her alcoholic husband
- After the divorce, the children were raised in a drug-free home
- Jill remarried when Savanna's mother was seven.
- Savanna's grandpa doesn't drink, but his father was an alcoholic.
- Jill's first husband lives with Savanna's family. He still drinks.
Grandparents on Paternal Side
- Neither drinks or smokes
- Two sons who have been in prison for drugs
- Grandmother's father was an alcoholic
Favorite Bands: Tamerlane, Comeback Kid, Section 8, Brand New and Lily Allen
Favorite Foods: Pretzels, Skittles, Wendy's chicken nuggets, chicken taco salad
Favorite Activites: Dancing, driving, writing, and accustic guitar
Where Do You Live? In Utah
My favorite places to visit: The Oregon beaches and Ohio
Where do you hope to travel one day? Hawaii, Philly, California, and Savannah Georgia
Will drugs and alcohol get you where you want to be in life? No! It stops you from all of your dreams.
What makes you happy? Getting noticed by a guy, getting a tattoo or piercing, when I get my hair done, or when I go shopping.
What makes you sad? When I get ignored, or when I like someone and they stop talking to me.
Who has influenced your life the most? Grandma
What are your favorite movies? Stand by me, Now and Then, My Girl, Goonies, The Sandlot, Paranormal Activity 1&2
What are your favorite books? Hunger Games, Charmed and Harry Potter
Favorite TV Shows Ghost Adventures, I Love Lucy and the History Channel
Favorite Classes at School? History and Driver's Ed
Will you graduate from high school? Hopefully! My attendance needs to improve.
Do you want to write other books? Yeah!
What is it like to be a teenage author? I like the interviews on the radio and the newspaper. It's not that great in some ways, because when people talk crap on the book and on me, it makes me depressed and have second thoughts about the whole thing.
What I Believe: Being Straight Edge
by Savanna Peterson—age 15
Do you know any teenage boy/girl who has been around drugs their whole life, and still chose to take the other direction? I am going to graduate, go to college, and have a great-paying job. I am also going to go on a lot of trips.
Doing drugs runs in the family, but it stops at me. I hope my little sister will find the right sibling to look up to.
I believe in Jesus Christ, but I'm not a girl who goes to church all the time. I have made a life commitment to be straight edge. A lot of people use straight edge as a trend or to get a boyfriend, but not me. Some kids tell their parents they are straight edge for trust, and then go to raves. My aunt even thinks that I'm straight edge for that reason. I have better things to do than waste my life and money on drugs and alcohol. That's just not who I am. It's hard for people to believe that you can be different from the rest. No one thinks I can survive in my family without doing drugs. I've been straight edge for two years now. I know what commitment means and I know how to stick with what I plan to do.
It's hard to make friends with other straight-edge girls because in two weeks or so, they are selling out. They either find out the guy they wanted doesn't like them or they are influenced by people on the outside pointing fingers and saying they aren't going to last a week. They usually do sell out and don't prove anyone wrong. At first, I had people taunting me, but I've proved those people wrong. Once I made the commitment, it wasn't hard at all. I start my own trends and I didn't become straight edge for any guy. People who know me personally know that I stick to my words. I stay away from drugs and out of trouble because I'm doing this for me. Going to raves is a trend in my school. I'm showing people that there are other options.
I am straight edge to stay healthy and try to be as far away from drugs as I can. I've been around drugs and I have always been against them.
XXX--The three X's mean:
- 1. Drug-free
- 2. Alcohol-free
- 3. No promiscuous sex
To others, it's
- 1. Drug-free
- 2. Tobacco-free
- 3. Alcohol-free
But my group includes tobacco along with drugs
The straight edge themes are:
- "Never Say Die"
- "Fresh Till Death"—because drugs are dirty.
The X symbol first began when underage band members were allowed to play in bars. They were marked with an X on their hand so the bartender wouldn't serve them drinks. In the late 1970's and early 1980's a group of bands and kids were tired of the self- destructive attitude of other bands. They took the X symbol to set themselves apart from members and followers of other punk rock bands. The lyrics written in 1980 by the band Minor Threat proclaimed that youth of today don't need to:
"Snort white [sh**] up my nose
pass out at the shows
I don't even think of speed
That's something I just don't need
I've got the straight edge"
From this song, the movement became known as straight edge. The belief is that drugs and alcohol weren't needed and should be rejected. Straightedge.com * This website represents a strong opposition to drug and alcohol use and uses strong language to portray their message.
When I found out what straight edge was, I thought it was a very good idea. A lot of people think it's dumb, but they don't realize how good it is for your life. Many straight edge people are also vegetarian or vegan. Everyone has different thoughts about it. A lot of my old friends have started doing drugs, and that's why I don't have them for friends anymore. When I turned straight edge, I stopped hanging out with my friend I had since the 1st grade because she started smoking weed. I don't even talk to her anymore. My other good friend I had since I was little is in a gang. I pretty much lost all my old friends over my choice to live drug-free, but I gained new friends who have made a commitment, like me. To me, if you turn straight edge, you have to be faithful.
I like to hang out with people older than me. I think most kids my age are too immature. Yeah, I know kids who do drugs. When they ask me, "Savanna, how do you have fun without drugs?" Well, here's my answer. "How did you have fun, before you did drugs? You do not need drugs to have fun! Honestly, I have more fun than most druggies. There are so many fun things you can do in life besides doing XTC or smoking weed every day."
The thing that annoys me the most is when kids at school talk about how crazy their night was when they were rolling. Or they look at something and be like, "Whoa, man, that would be so cool on shrooms!" or "Holy s***, we should do some XTC and look at that, it would be so dank!" No! When people talk like that, I get so annoyed; I want to just pull my hair out! "I'm seriously sorry you don't know how to talk. It was your choice to lose your brain cells from all those drugs." Even when they aren't on drugs, all they talk about is drugs. There are more interesting things in life. I promise you when you quit, it will be the best feeling you will ever have! You will win!
Is straight edge a gang?
To me, straight edge is not a gang, but some people take it too far by slashing tires on beer trucks or waiting around outside a bar to beat people up when they come out. I don't go around with violent people. Straight edge simply means you have the edge because you are straight. My favorite band is Sleeping Giant.They even sing about the teachings of Jesus Christ in some of their songs. Because of the straight edge bands, kids are learning to be alert and aware. The bands help kids realize that they are much stronger because they don't deal with their problems by doing drugs. The drug-free message not only comes from school and parents, but it's coming from a cool band. Even though there are still plenty of kids doing drugs, the music and the straight edge message is helping thousands of kids stay away from drugs and stay clean until death. StraightEdgeLifestyle.MoonFruit.com
My friends and I like to go to straight edge shows, hang out and listen to straight edge music, talk about stuff, watch movies, and have video game tournaments. Druggies talk about drugs; we talk about other straight edges.
At parties, we play beer pong with orange juice or Kool-Aid. That's a game where you try to get a ping-pong ball into the mug of the opposite team. When you do, the other team drinks the mug.
Straight edge people are like a family to me and help me keep my commitment to be drug free.