Pubdate: Sat, 08 Nov 2003
Source: Daily Press, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2003 Daily Press (CN ON)
Author: Bruce MacKinnon


Education Is The Best Deterrent To Drug Abuse.

It's the message parents are getting from Drug Abuse Resistance Education 
(DARE) officer Sue Bouffard of the Timmins Police Service.

She is introducing parents to the subject matter Grade 5 students receive 
during each of the two 17-week DARE courses presented in city schools 
throughout the school year.

"For the DARE program to work, it has to be a team effort between teachers, 
students, parents and community policing," Bouffard said. "A lot of parents 
have never seen illegal drugs before, so it's good for them to see the 
drugs first hand."

Once the course is over, parents will be called upon to play an active role 
in continuing the education process for their children, Bouffard said.

"If children grow up with high self-esteem, there is less chance they will 
turn to drugs," she said. "It's important for the parents to get involved 
to provide positive activities for their children.

"They should be involved with their kids in at least one positive activity 
per week. It may be a sacrifice for the parent, but it's well worth it."

Some of the warning signs parents are alerted to are lower grades, bad 
attitudes, arrests and discovered drug paraphernalia, like roach clips, 
coke spoons, cigarette papers or mirrors with razor blades.

Other things to look out for are finding large sums of money on your child, 
missing money, curfew violations, red eyes, slurred speech, poor 
co-ordination or drastic changes in the types of friends the child has.

"The kids will be exposed to drugs, like it or not, it's out there in our 
community," she said. "There are new designer drugs on the streets now, 
from ecstasy and GHB (date rape drug) to LSD on paper with appealing 
pictures on it. They are designed to appeal to our youth.

"Education is important because it can prevent negative situations and 
prevent disasters." 
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