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Drug Education Should Reflect Reality.


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Drug Education Should Reflect Reality Not Deny It

  • by Sabrina Fendrick, NORML Women's Alliance December 23, 2011 check-big.pngcheck-big.pngsharecheck-big.pngsharecheck-big.png
     


    [Fact: Drugs are pervasive in our society and, one way or another, adolescents will be exposed to mind-altering substances.]

    It is an unmistakable reality that a significant number of high school students will try marijuana. According to the recent 2011 Monitoring the Future Survey, nearly 40 percent of all high school seniors admit to having smoked marijuana in the past year – a percentage that has held relatively stable since the study’s inception over 35 years ago.
     
    Some want to use this fact as a justification to deny any opportunity to rationally discuss marijuana, its use, and its risks with children in an open and honest manner. They think that saying anything about marijuana other than encouraging its total abstinence is condoning its use. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
     
    When society teaches sex education, are we suggesting that all the teenagers go out and engage in sexual intercourse? No. Rather, it is an acknowledgement that the best way to reduce the negative effects associated with sex (unwanted pregnancy, STD’s, etc) is through honest, objective information that allow people to understand their options and provides them with the tools they need to make informed decisions.
     
    When we talk to teenagers about the dangers of drinking and driving, are we condoning alcohol use among minors? No, of course not. It is, however, a reality that many adolescents will a) likely consume alcohol as seniors in high school and b) have access to a car. Yes, we encourage students not to drink. But, we urge them specifically not to drink and drive.
     
    We can all agree that teens should not smoke pot, or be using any mind-altering substances. Those are important, developmental years. Still, teens should be educated regarding how smoking marijuana can affect their body’s development specifically, how to reduce any harms associated with its use, and to distinguish between use and abuse. There should be honest, truthful drug education.
     
    As Kristen Gwynne states in her AlterNet article, “Give young people accurate information, and they will use it to make better decisions that result in less harm to themselves, because teens, like everybody else, do not actually want to get hurt or become addicts.”
     
    She goes on to say, “Giving students honest information about drugs [will]…increase the odds that they will use drugs safely, and reduce the likelihood of experiencing the [relative] harms associated with [it].”
     
    By contrast, the Drug Czar and federal law advocates for complete prohibition, limited information explaining the real effects of marijuana and condemning any opportunity, as Gwynne states, to provide “education that helps teens understand their health options, and ways of reducing the harm of drugs.” When it comes to our children, like everything else we teach in school for development and behavioral growth, drug education should be based in reality, not a denial of it.
     
    In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “If a state expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”

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Here in rural Michigan we are having a real problem with young folks overdosing on heroin and I blame the D.A.R.E. program for that. The lies that this program promotes regarding cannabis are falling like flies, and the young mind says, "well, if they lie about this benign plant, they are likely lying about most of the other drugs". The program has backfired in a big way and "they" simply cannot admit the error of their ways. j.b.

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Here in rural Michigan we are having a real problem with young folks overdosing on heroin and I blame the D.A.R.E. program for that. The lies that this program promotes regarding cannabis are falling like flies, and the young mind says, "well, if they lie about this benign plant, they are likely lying about most of the other drugs". The program has backfired in a big way and "they" simply cannot admit the error of their ways. j.b.

 

 

I would like to say I am a prime example of this, except with my parents. Never once did they tell me the truth, just it was bad and not for me. I tried cannabis and it was better than the cig I tried, and the booze. Then I tried the other stuff... Now the only thing I do is my Medical Cannabis. :)

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Somehow, 'truth' doesn't figure into their equation.

 

It starts at home. If more parents told their children the truth about drugs instead of parroting the media propaganda, more young adults would be using cannabis instead of alcohol and the other deadly stuff.

 

 

Kids, stay away from the booze, pills and the powdered stuff. It will kill you. Use cannabis and heal your body and mind. :rock:

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It's not really even 'health education' at this point but more like a 'political re-education'.

 

More like a good education [ truth, fact, honest ] vs a bad education [ mistruths, deceptions, lies ]

 

 

 

"Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts." wiki ...More

 

 

 

It would include both health & political education. as in Federal Government has absolutley no bisiness deciding any of our health choices.

 

Especially because they provide none of the above, except to alow the citizens to be preyerd upon by Insurance Co.s and Pharmaceutical Interests [Patent Medicines] as well as tobaco co.s, alcohol - beer n wine, coffee, tea... interests.

Edited by solabeirtan
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