Pubdate: Wed, 05 May 2021
Source: Cowichan Valley Citizen (CN BC)
Copyright: 2021 Cowichan Valley Citizen
Author: Matthew M. Elrod


Letter writer Cristina Adam asserted that abstinence-based drug education is 
the best, adding that "in no uncertain terms there is NO way to take drugs 
safely." ("Letter: Say no to drugs the best message," May 3)

Alas, the "drug abuse resistance education" and "Just say 'no'"
messaging Adam recalls from her youth was found to be ineffective, if
not counter-productive. DARE graduates and those exposed to such
simplistic messaging were actually more likely to experiment with drugs.

While nothing in life is absolutely safe, some drugs, some means of
ingestion and some situations are more hazardous than others. For
example, cannabis is safer than alcohol, vaping is safer than smoking
and having a beer at home after work or school is safer than drinking
and driving.

Consider sex education. Yes, we urge minors to abstain, but we go on
to explain how to reduce the harms associated with sex should they
choose to engage.

Cannabis use by Canadian minors has gone down about 40% in the short
time since we legally regulated that industry. Contrary to Adam's
antiquated drug "education," we now know that cannabis is more often a
substitute for alcohol and other more dangerous drugs than a "gateway"
to them.

As Adam points out, we have reduced tobacco smoking with factual
education, taxes, advertising and packaging restrictions, bylaws
governing where smokers may smoke, cessation products and treatment on
demand. We haven't criminalized smokers or abrogated control of the
tobacco market to the mob.

Matthew M. Elrod

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MAP posted-by: Matt