Pubdate: Mon, 23 Jul 2007
Source: Labradorian, The (CN NF)
Copyright: 2007 The Labradorian
Author: Keith MacKinnon
Note: Cpl. Keith MacKinnon is Labrador District Drug Awareness 
Coordinator, he reminds readers to make wise choices and say no to 
drugs. Cpl. MacKinnon can be reached at  His column returns in September. 
During his absence, columnist Peter Pickersgill will fill the void.
Bookmark: (Marijuana - Canada)
Bookmark: (Ecstasy)
Bookmark: (Opinion)


Catchy title, makes you want to read further, doesn't

What do I mean, by "you're being watched?" I'm not talking about the
police but rather the oldest sibling in a family.

How many of you adults were affected by the oldest brother or sister
in the family? If you smoke drugs or drink underage, against (most)
parents' wishes, what do you think little sister or brother will think
when they learn of this? Naturally, they will figure that if it's OK
for the older sibling then it's OK for them.

How many times have we heard a younger sibling say to their parents,
"How come I can't do it, he/she does?"

Looking at the issue from this angle gives us another perspective on
our decision making and how it affects others, not just ourselves.
Scenario number two. Some local trafficker confronts your younger
brother or sister and offers them a joint or some ecstasy and you find
out. How angry are you going to be?

I'll bet you'll not be long having words with both the bad guy and the
sister/brother for even considering such a stupid move.

What nerve have they got trying to get my brother/sister involved and
hooked on drugs? Who do they think they are?

But are you thinking in this same frame of mind when someone comes to
you offering alcohol or drugs?

It's natural for kids to emulate their older brothers or sisters and
parents. We all know how good they are at picking up conversations,
actions, etc. Then, six months later, they let you know they remember
what they heard or saw.

I once was in the middle of a school talk to grades K -3 on smoking,
alcohol, and other things children don't want to be part of. Abruptly,
one little fellow up front in grade three asked me, "Officer, what's
alky? ". I said, "Well, its hard alcohol, like liquor but it's made in
a thing called a still, that's kind of complicated for what we're
talking about today, so we'll carry on..."

Undeterred, up shot the little hand again. "But, officer, what's a
still look like?" I replied, "Oh, it's got copper tubing and a
stainless steel jug and a heat source, but you don't need to know too
much about that "

His little eyebrows shot up and he stared me down with an honest
expression on his face as he triumphantly stated, "My dad's got one of
them in the basement!!!"

A good friend of mine, his teacher, rushed forward with a grin and
said, "Don't tell him your name son."

As I speak with youth in many schools, this kind of innocent
exclamation happens frequently. Believe me, they remember.

As parents, the example we set for our children is important, to say
the least. If a child grows up in an atmosphere where drug use or
alcohol abuse is common, they are significantly more likely to
experiment with these substances themselves.

For you teens, think about your little brother or sister before you
make a mistake they won't soon forget, say no to drugs and alcohol.
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake