My mission is to break the silence and bridge the gaps between adults and young people when it comes to drugs. I propose to do this by building a collective of Drug Ladies who are prepared to hold space for conversations about drugs both within and beyond conventional drug education settings, which are often limited in their capacity to nurture relationships.
The Drug Lady exists in all of us. She is the archetype of an adult who offers guidance and engages in dialogue about drugs without shaming, fear mongering, or punishing.
During my first week of work as a drug intervention coach and educator, I explained what I hoped to offer to a class of Oakland middle schoolers. “So, you’re the Drug Lady?” one of my students proposed.
In that moment, the Drug Lady was born out of a need for safe conversations, spaces and relationships with adults, that are especially rare for young people who say “yes,” “sometimes,” or “maybe” to drugs.
Since my debut, I have worked with hundreds of youth. Having a Drug Lady transforms the way that youth relate to themselves and navigate the world. I have worked with teachers and parents and witnessed transformative conversations between parent and teen in a way that builds trust, connection, and safety. I have supported schools in responding to student drug use and seen them prioritize connection and repairing harm, as opposed to punishment and stigma.
I have seen The Drug Lady archetype awaken in each of these adults.
I believe by building a community of Drug Ladies, we can make significant progress towards building a culture that respects and lives in harmony with the power of drugs, the sacredness of young people’s minds, the need for intentionality around all forms of consumption and objects that alter us, and a community that fosters belonging and healing.
This is what the Drug Lady calls forth and creates: a compassionate, pragmatic, and empowering shift in our collective conversations and relationships to drugs and the young people who may use them.
The Drug Lady is a gender-neutral, inclusive archetype who models 3 main pillars: compassion, pragmatism, and empowerment.