source: | 2000 Games, Devotions, Themes, Ideas and more for Youth Work
only for private using

Overview: Short stories – stories for children and teens

Subject: Drugs and the consequences


This is a story about a young person who becomes addicted to cocaine.


What are drugs? It often starts off harmlessly and becomes more and more intense over time. Many people do not see that it is heading towards personal decline or notice very late. This story is suitable as an “introduction to drugs” subject. Possible reasons (fate, wrong friends, showing off etc.) can be discussed and how decline can be outlined.


I would like to tell you about a former fellow student. He was called Dietmar. I was 19 at the time and Dietmar was one year older. We studied architecture in Munich together. For my age I was relatively childish and naive in those days. It might be because I grew up in the countryside protected by the family. Therefore there were many new experiences for me when I started my studies and lots of things were to influence me.

Life in the city was fascinating. There was always something going on, so many people and endless possibilities. In my student quarters there was a party almost every day but I had to learn, plan and draw a lot. You cannot do those types of studies on the side.

Architecture had always interested me very much. Now I was to learn everything about art history, building statics and free design – it was as if new horizons had opened for me. I ran (like all 1st semester students) around with my sketchbook, camera and measuring tape and was convinced that I would become the next Norman Foster (just like all first year students).

Lots of fellow students fascinated me as well. There was a somewhat older architectural draftsman who had a clue in comparison to the rest of us who would simply shake his head in despair at our daring ideas. There were extravagant chicks who were very good looking but couldn’t even sharpen their pencils themselves. At least three times a day you would always hear them saying: „Oh, my boyfriend is an architect to and he says...“ There were other inexperienced youths like me who also walked around the university with their mouths wide open and not to mention the talented artist who always made me really jealous in drawing lessons.

There was also Dietmar. I had noticed Dietmar on the very first day. He was somehow different to all of us. He was very difficult to rate and could not be pigeonholed so easily. If even looked different to the rest of us as he was almost 2 meters tall and made a very sporty impression. Although he obviously did not place great importance on his appearance, he looked really good. He did not say very much but when he did, his words were always well considered and full of amusement. Dietmar had charisma and an immensely likable enigma which meant that the women fell over themselves. Although he was only a year older he was streets ahead of me in many things and had a lot of brains. Dietmar could draw very well and had brilliant ideas. He found static calculations very easy. He did not take studying as seriously as me. He took everything not so seriously including himself. Dietmar’s ways led to other students avoiding him. He simply did not fit in our group with all of our values and procedures. I could be the case that we were really just jealous of him. He usually sat in the last row and dozed without any worries. If a professor believed that he wasn’t paying attention and though he could discipline him by asking a surprise question, a miracle would always occur. He would calmly listen to the question and then give a bluffing good answer.

Anyway, I had gotten on exceptionally well with him right from the start. He helped me when I needed help – not only with work but also on a personal level. He showed me how the most difficult calculations were worked out. He stopped me if I started partying too much. He supported me when I was harshly criticised by professors and gave me advice when I fell in love with a girl. For some reason we just had a good connection to each other. Even if it sounds stupid, Dietmar was a type of big brother to me.

Obviously I had noticed that Dietmar was sad. Although he had a girlfriend he would always have affairs, smoked like chimney, enjoyed a joint sometimes and was certainly not adverse to alcohol. At that time we all weren’t adverse. However Dietmar had always managed to keep himself in shape and did some sport, unlike me. Like I said, he was really an impressive person, which probably came from the fact that he was in the fitness studio or running every day. Dietmar was so full of vitality and looked as if nothing could bring him off the rails. I really liked him a lot and was happy that I had him as a friend.

However over time Dietmar started to change. It wasn’t so noticeable at the beginning or maybe I just didn’t want to see what was happening to him. Like I said, even after 1-2 years in Munich I was still pretty naïve especially with everything to do with drugs. At the beginning I noticed that Dietmar was becoming thinner and thinner. He said that he couldn’t train as much as the moment. He looked worse and worse, he was pale and his face was sunken. We didn’t go out as much anymore. Dietmar had got to know some new friends and he was always out with them at the time. They were older than us and I didn’t really feel comfortable with them.

Dietmar was absent from lectures more and more often – I had noticed that. However because he always had better grades than me I couldn’t make any accusations. I noticed that Dietmar slowly started to look more and more neglected. He often looked as if he had not washed for days. He always seemed to have money problems as well. He often borrowed money from me and didn’t give it back.

Afterwards I had to say that the change in Dietmar was a creeping process. It was too slow that anyone could have really noticed. It was not drastic enough that I thought I should do something.

Then one day it was as if my eyes were peeled. Dietmar was in a bad mood again, looked dreadful and was suffering from the shakes. I said that he probably had a cold and should really go home but he said that it would go away. He needed the toilet and stood up to leave. When he didn’t come back before the end of the lecture I went looking for him but couldn’t find him anywhere. I thought that he must have gone home. It was not however very likely because he had left his things in the lecture room. I called his flat. He was not there. Because it wasn’t his style not to say goodbye I did start to worry a little and went on looking in the toilets. „Dietmar! Dietmar are you there?” Behind a closed door I heard a quiet rattle in the cabin: „Hey Achim... help me. Please help me!” It seemed like he could not open the door from the inside so I climbed over the top.

Dietmar was lying on the ground and blood was coming from his nose. „Hey what is wrong with you?” I asked him. „Keep calm, I’ll call a doctor.”
„No! Please, no doctors! It’s getting better.”
„What in God’s name is wrong with you, Dietmar?”
„I think I have taken an overdose but it is going away again. You should just help me to get home again.”

That is what I did. I carried Dietmar to his flat and I laid him on the bed. Slowly he started to admit that he had been taking cocaine for a while now but I shouldn’t worry about him because he has it all under control. He would now see this breakdown as a sign that he should give up.

Two days later he was back at university. He looked a lot better and made a good impression. „Man, I am doing really well! I can really notice how the dirt is leaving my body. I went running again yesterday and my girlfriend is coming to visit tomorrow.” I thought that he had everything under control when I heard him say that. Like I said, I was naïve then...

In the coming months the same scenes would repeat themselves. Dietmar’s mood was also very changeable. Sometime he was like before – full of life, bright and a real pal but more and more often a side of him came across which I did not know and scared me. In the meantime it had become a permanent thing that he did not have a single cent in his pocket and I often gave him money so that he could eat in the canteen. I believed in his stories at the beginning such as the one where someone had stolen his wallet in the underground. Over time I noticed that he spent his money on drugs.

Dietmar became more and more disagreeable. He, who was a nice, good person before, would become more and more aggressive. Beforehand he would have just laughed at fellow students who did not like him but now it seemed as if he were becoming rough. Obviously I spoke to him and wanted to make it clear that he would have to change, that it could not go on like that and that he must get away from the drugs but he always managed to calm me down again. I had heard at least a hundred times that he no longer wanted to be in the drugs scene and that he planned to do rehab. I swallowed all of that because I simply wanted to believe that everything would be OK again.

But nothing got better, quite the opposite in fact. At some point Dietmar’s girlfriend had had enough of him and his lies and left him. That pulled the ground from under his feet. Even if he had not always been faithful, he had loved her quite a bit. From then on he hardly ever came to university again. I even took the notes home to him and tried to convince him that he could not simply throw everything away.

Then one day he flipped out and hit me in the face. I think the reason was that he needed money again and I wasn’t prepared to give him any. He never apologised to me either. From then on he could have been dead for me. Dietmar was no longer the person I knew and had admired. His whole life now revolved around drugs and scratching enough money together for his next trip. Since then, we have not had any more contact to each other. Dietmar never turned up to the lectures again, did not take any exams and was finally ex-matriculated the next year.

I have never heard anything more from Dietmar and I do not know what became of him. I often make accusations of myself nowadays. I should have helped him somehow. As a friend, I shouldn’t have left him in the lurch. But what could I have done to get him away from the crap drugs?

Suggestions for questions for an introduction to a discussion:

  • What showed the decline of his friend?
  • What might have been the reasons?
  • What would you have done?
  • What kind of help is possible in your opinion? Is there any help?

Learning aim:

  • There are many situations in life which throw us off track and send us over the edge.
  • That can lead to some people turning to alcohol or drugs.
  • The decline is gradual which means that people do not notice straight away. The people themselves do not want to admit their „addiction” or „their own decline“.
  • Offering help and accepting help is important.

[ © | 2000 Games and Ideas for Youth Work ] - 2000 Games and Ideas for Youth Work
picture youthwork picture youthwork picture youthwork picture youthwork picture youthwork picture youthwork