Drug Free School Program
Give Them A Reason To Say "No" To Drugs - Test for Love!
CHOICES FOR TODAY'S YOUTH
Today's young people are faced with more choices than their parents had just 20 or 30 years ago. Cell phones, chat rooms, instant messaging, cable TV, email, and iPods - the world is changing at a rate that increases every day.
We have instant and unfiltered access to information, products, media, and people. While this age of technology can be very exciting, it can also be quite overwhelming and brings new challenges to the family structure. Our kids now have tools that enrich their lives in some ways, but also raises the level of responsibility that they must assume at a young age.
This new independence and accessibility makes our kids even more vulnerable to the allure of drugs than ever before.
Every family and every child today is exposed to an ever growing presence of drugs. It is not just the "troubled" teens and slackers that are using drugs. Honor students, athletes and ordinary kids are unable to avoid drugs at school, parties and friends' homes. Temptation, curiosity and desensitization by the media lead otherwise good kids to make bad choices. Stable families and good schools provide only some protection. In interviews with students who use drugs, it is clear that there is no absolute barrier to drug use. Children of physicians, lawyers, and law enforcement officers have all become casualties of the drug problem.
By the time an adolescent finishes high school, he/she runs a risk of becoming one of the "casualties" of today's epidemic of drug use. According to the most recent studies conducted in our nations school systems, 54% of all high school students will have used an illegal drug by the time they become seniors. These students are doing far more than "just" smoking marijuana - 82% have used cocaine and roughly 2% have tried heroine. They have far more to choose from than their parents did. Today, drugs like Ecstasy, Ketamine, GHB, and other substances are just as available as marijuana was only a few years ago. These drugs can have short and long term effects that can interfere with intellectual, emotional, and physical development, as well as produce more immediate dangers.
Many parents recall their own adolescence and wonder whether a little marijuana use or even experimentation with "harder" drugs is such a bad thing. After all, they survived, so how bad could it be? This view, more common than many would admit, is mistaken on several points. Drugs today, including marijuana, are more potent that they were even 15 years ago. In addition, newer synthetic drugs, such as Ecstasy and GHB, are used along with the more traditional intoxicants of alcohol and marijuana. These drugs are dangerous; they not only present a risk for habitual use and dependence, but also can produce abrupt and dramatic effects, including overdose and death. In addition to the dangers the drugs themselves pose, there is the threat from the environment where adolescents frequently acquire them. "Club drugs" are used at "raves" or parties where supervision is lacking, and the "underground" nature of the event fosters secrecy, unsafe sex, and impaired judgment. This environment leaves teens vulnerable to others to prey on them - to both introduce them to drugs and to add them to drinks without their knowledge, dubbed by the media as the "date rape" drug phenomenon.
We are living in a society where 1 out of every 2 teens is trying drugs, and 2 out of 10 are using them on a regular basis. Parents and guardians risk the chance of their teenager getting behind the wheel of a car, buzzed, intoxicated or high, causing an accident and having the parents responsible for the damage. This results in the family car, personal property, private property and other people's lives at risk. Parents are ultimately held accountable for the actions of their kids and responsible for damages.
It is unrealistic and irresponsible to not acknowledge the risk our children face when using drugs. Our kids are smart. They know about drugs; see their friends taking drugs and are being offered drugs throughout the school year and in social engagements. We, as parents, cannot assume that our attentive and thoughtful parenting will make our kids immune to the allure of drugs or the response from peer pressure in taking drugs. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. Proactive parenting, open discussions and giving our children a reason to say "no" to drugs is the best grassroots decision.
Give your child a reason to say "No" to drugs
Stop Worrying - Start Testing!