Pubdate: Thu, 22 Dec 2005
Source: News Review, The  (CN SN)
Copyright: 2005 Yorkton News Review
Author: Moe Brondum


To the Editor:

In regards to "Local kids now using drugs earlier than ever," I would
like to express my gratitude to the organizations putting on these
benificial talks. Education and awareness are the answer.

Unfortunately, the DARE program, as many children attending this
lecture will know, is full of mistruth and fabrication.

The approach of these programs, while noble, is geared toward
prevention through fear. Like telling children fairy tales.
Eventually, they will grow up and realize they have been misled.

There is a better approach, one that has been effective in reducing
the use of all drugs and alcohol in children. The Dutch model has
reduced teen experimentation with drugs like marijuana remarkably. In
Holland, 25 per cent of teenagers report use of marijuana.

This is starkly contrasted with Canadian figures of up to 75 per cent
of teens reporting marijuana use. Frighteningly, the Canadian
statistics are probably significantly higher because admitting to
using drugs is an admission of guilt.

The decline in teenage use of marijuana in Holland is credited to a
number of factors, these including factual education, societal
acceptance, and application of public health philosophies rather than
a punitive model.

In Canada, we treat drug use as a crime rather than a social health
problem. DARE program deceives rather than enlightens. And we continue
to harm our children with dated laws and policies.

Moe Brondum

North Battleford, Saskatchewan
- ---
MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin