Pubdate: Sat, 07 Nov 2015
Source: Western Star, The (CN NF)
Copyright: 2015 The Western Star
Author: Diane Crocker
Page: 7


Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program Gives Kids the Tools to Make 
Healthy Decisions

Gone are the days of preaching to children not to do drugs.

Now when the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary presents the DARE (Drug 
Abuse Resistance Education) program to students, the idea is to give 
them the tools necessary to take control and make healthy decisions.

The key to doing that is keeping it real, said Const. Scott Mosher.

Mosher, the RNC's media relations and community liaison officer, was 
the guest speaker at the Rotary Club of Corner Brook's weekly 
luncheon at the Glynmill Inn on Thursday.

In his address he provided the group with an overview of the program 
- - its history, how it works and some information on drug and alcohol 
use among young people.

The drug awareness program is geared to Grade 6 students - children 
who are just at the border of the age when drug and alcohol use often 
first begins.

The program covers lessons in decision making, risky situations, safe 
and responsible choices, communication, consequences, bullying and 
resistance strategies

"What I explain to the students is that keeping it real means that 
I'm going to give you the real information and we're going to talk 
about real things that are important," said Mosher, one of three 
officers in Corner Brook trained to facilitate the program, after his speech.

And it's a conversation that can get really interesting, as Mosher is 
often surprised by the exposure the children have to what's out there today.

Mosher said something else that's important for him is breaking down 
the barriers between the children and the police - showing them they 
have nothing to fear.

"I think it's important for them to see that. We're not just there if 
you get in trouble. We're there to help if you've got questions about things."

It's something that's worked as Mosher will have kids who've 
graduated from the program approach him just to talk about how they 
are dealing with things they learned about in the program and for help.

"I want to see the young people in our city grow up to be good 
community people," he said.

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DARE facts

* Corner Brook RNC detachment has three officers trained to offer the program

* D.A.R.E. is offered to Grade 6 students in six schools in the city

* 13 classes a year

* 250 students

* in 12 years, 3,000 students have graduated from the program

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Controls would be put on drugs, should they be legalized: officer

The question has been asked a lot lately: When marijuana is 
legalized would it cause more youth to use or would having it more 
controlled help in the prevention?

RNC officer Scott Mosher is quick to reply that right now the 
idea of legalization is theoretical. "We don't know for sure that 
that's going to happen."

If it does, he said the model for doing so, and putting in those 
controls, is alcohol.

"We have a system in place already that monitors and protects and 
regulates the sale of alcohol to minors."

It's a system he thinks is making a difference but is also more of a challenge.

"Right now it's easier to get some of these illicit drugs."

He said legalization of marijuana would be a challenge, but again 
said there are good models out there to follow. He also said there 
could be some benefits to legalization.

"If there's increased revenue through regulation or marijuana then 
maybe there would be more money put into prevention programs and 
social programs to assist people with addictions."

He also said legalization would have a detering effect on youth as it 
would be much more difficult to acquire.

It's not uncommon for marijuana today to contain other chemicals and 
Mosher was asked if regulation would help prevent this. In his 
response, Mosher said if legalized, there would be some controls on 
that. Regulation, he said, would make for a safer environment for users.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom