Pubdate: Fri, 19 Nov 2010
Source: Chief, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2010 Whistler Printing & Publishing
Author: Robert Sharpe



The importance of parental involvement in reducing adolescent drug use
cannot be overstated ["There's no denying substance abuse
problems,"  The Chief, Nov. 12].

School-based extracurricular activities also have been shown to reduce
drug 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
number one drug problem.

For decades, school-based drug prevention efforts have been dominated
by sensationalist programs like Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE).

Good intentions are no substitute for effective drug

Independent evaluations of DARE have found the program to be either
ineffective or counterproductive.

DARE's scare tactics 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

Washington, DC
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