Pubdate: Wed, 24 Sep 2008
Source: Richmond Review, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2008 Richmond Public Library
Author: Robert Sharpe



Re: "Drug use good or bad?" Sept. 20.

The importance of parental involvement in reducing adolescent drug use
cannot be overstated. School-based extracurricular activities also
have been shown to reduce use. They keep kids busy during the hours
they're most likely to get into trouble.

In order for drug prevention efforts to effectively reduce harm, they
must be reality-based. The most popular drug and the one most closely
associated with violent behaviour is often overlooked by parents. That
drug is alcohol, and it takes far more lives each year than all
illegal drugs combined. Alcohol may be legal, but it's still the No. 1
drug problem.

For decades, school-based drug prevention efforts have been dominated
by sensationalist programs like Drug Abuse Resistance Education. Good
intentions are no substitute for effective drug education. Independent
evaluations of DARE have found the program to be either ineffective or

The scare tactics used do more harm than good. Students who realize
they've been lied to about marijuana may make the mistake of assuming
that harder drugs like methamphetamine are relatively harmless as
well. This is a recipe for disaster.

Drug education programs must be reality-based or they may backfire
when kids are inevitably exposed to drug use among their peers.

Robert Sharpe Policy Analyst Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, DC
- ---
MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin