Same old approach to drug ‘education’ undermined by its blatant hyprocrisy

To the Castlegar News editor, Re: ‘Police strike new charter with schools and community groups’ (June 30).

To the Castlegar News editor, Re: ‘Police strike new charter with schools and community groups’ (June 30).

Again with the D.A.R.E. nonsense? How many times does a program have to fail before it is abandoned?

The problem with most drug “education” aimed at young people is that it mostly consists of fear-mongering: “Don’t! Or you will get in medical, social, or legal trouble!” Indoctrinations, certificates, slogans, promises and vows — all of it has proven to be of little help and at least some harm. Don’t believe me? Since D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) first started in the mid-1980s, drug use among Canadian teens has quadrupled!

It could be because programs like D.A.R.E. exaggerate the so-called “dangers” of marijuana, while ignoring — or even decrying — it’s many proven medical applications. When kids are lied to about one thing, they are less likely to believe you when you actually do tell the truth about drugs like meth and heroin and OxyContin.

And who can blame them? We live in a culture that glamorizes sex, fun, danger, thrills, law-scoffing, risk-taking, rule-breaking, power, wealth-acquisition, and authority-resisting. We advertise booze, fast cars, fast food, violent movies and video games, and a kaleidoscope of drugs, right on TV! Then we tell kids that “drugs are bad.” Does anyone still believe that kids don’t notice this wild hypocrisy? A ruse by any other name…

There is also a misconception in our society that suggests that only drug-abstinence is to be encouraged and admired. Telling kids to “never” use certain drugs is like telling them to never see a certain genre of movie, never go to an amusement park or exotic country, or never do anything at all that may be both risky and fun. It teaches them to be afraid of new things, instead of curious, and, as history has shown, fortune favours the adventurous. Sensible, moderate, well-informed drug use is no more harmful, risky, dangerous, or immoral than any one of dozens of other activities humans participate in every day. And if you think drugs have nothing good to offer society, then throw away every CD you own.

For those keen on teaching kids about drugs without all the hyperbole, spin, sloganeering, and bald-faced lies of the standard “education” programs, I recommend the Canadian Students For Sensible Drug Policy website at www.cssdp.org, the Educators For Sensible Drug Policy website at www.efsdp.org, or the Law Enforcement Against Prohibition website at www.leap.cc.

 

Russell Barth

Educators For Sensible Drug Policy,

Federally licensed medical marijuana user,

Nepean, Ont.

Just Posted

Castlegar remembers

Remembrance Day ceremonies were held Monday at the cenotaph in Castlegar.

Castlegar Rebels see leads slip away in 7-6 OT loss

The Castlegar Rebels suffered another overtime loss Friday,

Regional crown caps Mount Sentinel winning season

The Wildcats senior volleyball team won the Kootenay zone title

BCTF rejects mediator’s recommendations for settlement

Negotiations between B.C. teachers and the province will continue

RCMP disrupt Castlegar-Trail-Salmo drug flow

Bust on Nov. 6 leads to two arrests

‘We love you, Alex!’: Trebek gets choked up by ‘Jeopardy!’ contestant’s answer

The emotional moment came in Monday’s episode when Trebek read Dhruv Gaur’s final answer

Birthday boy: Pettersson nets 2 as Canucks beat Predators

Vancouver ends four-game winless skid with 5-3 victory over Nashville

Judge rejects Terrace man’s claim that someone else downloaded child porn on his phone

Marcus John Paquette argued that other people had used his phone, including his ex-wife

Petition for free hospital parking presented to MP Jody Wilson-Raybould

What started as a B.C. campaign became a national issue, organizer said

Petition to ‘bring back Don Cherry’ goes viral after immigrant poppy rant

Cherry was fired from his co-hosting role for the Coach’s Corner segment on Nov. 11.

B.C.’s high gasoline prices still a mystery, Premier John Horgan says

NDP plans legislation this month, seeks action from Justin Trudeau

Group walking on thin ice at B.C. lake sparks warning from RCMP

At least seven people were spotted on Joffre Lakes, although the ice is not thick enough to be walked on

VIDEO: Don Cherry says he was fired, not sorry for ‘Coach’s Corner’ poppy rant

Cherry denies he was singling out visible minorities with his comments

B.C. teacher suspended for incessantly messaging student, writing friendship letter

Female teacher pursued Grade 12 student for friendship even after being rebuked

Most Read