Pubdate: Mon, 08 Jan 2007
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 2007 The New York Times Company
Author: Stephen J. Pasierb


To the Editor:

Among all the statistics that Mike Males cites in "This Is Your Brain
on Drugs, Dad" (Op-Ed, Jan. 3), a crucial point is absent.

Teenagers of the 1960s and 1970s did not have the benefit of the
aggressive drug prevention and education efforts of the last two
decades that have helped to drive down drug use.

Research on drug trends is vital to uncover the attitudes that
underlie drug using behaviors. It informs prevention efforts and the
important work being done in the area of drug treatment and

The spread of methamphetamine in parts of our nation is wreaking
havoc. The intentional abuse of prescription and over-the-counter
medicines is a pervasive problem that has become a far too normal part
of many teenagers' lives. These are dangerous behaviors that cause
real damage. This hardly represents an "obsession with hyping teenage
drug use," but rather a reality check that cannot be ignored.

Drug abuse overwhelmingly begins with youth, and when we successfully
prevent teenagers from using drugs or tobacco, or abusing alcohol,
they are far less likely to pick up the behavior later in life.

Stephen J. Pasierb

President and C.E.O., Partnership for a Drug-Free America
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