Pubdate: Thu, 23 Feb 2006
Source: Marblehead Reporter (MA)
Copyright: 2006 CommunitysNewspapers, Inc.
Author: Stephen Heath


As a father of three with the youngest now a high school senior I
concur that parents need to be straight up and be available for open
and honest discussions about drug use and drug abuse.  It would be
helpful if the fundamental messages being delivered by our drug czars
and drug war supporting legislators were a bit more accurate.

In response to the suggestion that making a drug illegal might
increase danger and risk, the drug warriors gravely correct us by
firmly stating, "Illegal drugs are against the law because they are

This blanket definition is not only misleading in fact, but also
creates a misperception that a drugs risk level is what determines its
legal status.  Thus an uneducated teen, or adult for that matter,
concludes that legal drugs are allowed for open purchase because they
'must not be dangerous'.  We are seeing this manifest itself by
evidence of persistent teen use of alcohol and tobacco and an
increasing number of teens misusing various pharmacueticals.

Our kids deserve more accurate and factual information about all drugs
- most especially alcohol, tobacco and those drugs that can be
purchased over the counter or via an RX.  To date, public policy
makers aren't providing that, and the increasing number of ways teens
abuse substances is the result.  And the attendant confusion in
messages makes it just that much more difficult for parents to be
trusted by our kids about the information we are sharing with them
about drugs.

Respectfully submitted,


Public Relations Director

Drug Policy Forum of Florida

Clearwater FL