Pubdate: Tue, 16 Apr 2002
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 2002 Los Angeles Times
Authors: Andrew Koines, Julie Ruckel, George Spadier


Along the lines of psychiatrist Julie Holland's "Teaching Young People Safe 
X Beats Just Saying No" (Commentary, April 10), perhaps public service 
announcements should give practical advice on how to drive while 
intoxicated. Let's face it, you can tell people not to drive while drunk, 
but this only tempts them even more. We need to adopt a more enlightened 
approach. When driving drunk, drive slowly. Try to stay in your lane. Try 
not to pass out while you are waiting for the light to turn green. Avoid 
hitting other vehicles.

Ecstasy is just a bad drug. It may not kill you if taken in smaller doses, 
but the risk of long-term depression, panic attacks, other psychiatric 
disorders and reduced memory capability are reasons enough to stay away 
from this drug.

Andrew Koines


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I applaud Holland's efforts to keep children safe. Though the thought of 
one's children taking Ecstasy--or any other drug, for that matter 
(over-the-counter and prescription drugs included)--can be frightening, the 
thought of harm or even death is worse.

Teenagers will ultimately make their own decisions, and the best path is to 
teach them how to stay as safe as possible. Sensationalism and scare 
tactics do not work. Honesty does.

Julie Ruckel

Program Associate

Drug Policy Alliance

San Francisco

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On one hand, educating kids about Ecstasy may help save young lives. On the 
other hand, by teaching kids about Ecstasy and what the safest way to take 
it is, we are accepting it and sending the wrong message to our youth. When 
kids read these guidelines on how to take the drug they will think that it 
is safe to take as long as they follow the instructions.

Once someone is under the influence of this drug, he or she is in no 
condition to accurately follow the guidelines. Teaching kids about safe sex 
should not be compared to teaching kids about how to use drugs. Sex is not 
against the law nor is it wrong. Under no circumstances is it acceptable to 
take Ecstasy.

George Spadier

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