Pubdate: Sat, 27 Oct 2007
Source: Aiken Standard (SC)
Copyright: 2007sAiken Standard
Author: KAREN DAILY, Staff writer


As drug trends change so does the approach to teaching young people 
about the life altering effects narcotics have.

The school district has approved including a drug-education program 
into the curriculum for grades 8-12 that mirrors a successful program 
taught by the Drug Enforcement Agency, said Aiken County Sheriff's 
Office Sgt. Steve Deibel.

The D.A.R.E program has been taught in the 5th grade, but we want to 
expand the education to the students over a longer period, he explained.

"It's an assembly style program with powerful information," the sergeant said.

Aiken County Sheriff Michael Hunt said Aiken County Council budgeted 
for the agency to hire a number of deputies, and as a result, the 
sheriff's office will have a deputy teaching the program in area schools.

"We need to keep drug awareness prevalent," Hunt said.

The sheriff's office will meet with the school district this week to 
discuss expanding the program to sixth and seventh graders, Deibel said.

Statistics show that alcohol use begins as early as 9 and marijuana 
use at age 12, he said.

The program is a comprehensive approach to raising awareness about 
the dangers of drug use.

In addition, the course discusses the prevalence of prescription drug 
abuse, club drug use, meth use among American youth.

Prescription medication abuse by teens and young adults is a growing 
problem in the United States, according to the Partnership for a 
Drug-Free America's annual tracking study, which this year showed 
that one in five teens has abused a prescription pain medication.

The instructor will also incorporate images into the program, showing 
the visible side effects of methamphetamine and other drug use.

"We identify the drugs, what they look like and what they do to your 
body," Dieble said. "Then, the most shocking part is when we discuss 
the long term effects," Deible said.
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