Teenage Drug Abuse Essay Research Paper One — страница 3

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Education program (DARE) which uses uniformed police officers that teach mainly 5th and 6th graders how to say no to drugs. However, this program has had an extreme minimal impact on drug use. Social psychologist William B. Hansen has been studying drug prevention programs for 20 years and has concluded that, They don t have any evidence to back that up- that it works. (Glazer, 653). He explains that one of the main problems with DARE is the fact that, 5th graders are bouncy and cuddly. They are not suspicious when you walk in wearing a uniform. By junior high the same children are searching for independence from adults and are more influenced by their peers than a man in a uniform. When the DARE program was used in the 7th grade, it was obvious the motivation had worn off

(Glazer, 663). When combining the poor drug education programs with the fact that many adults do not know how to talk to their children about drugs, this is contributing greatly to the increasing drug use among teens. During the 1960 s, drug use was glamorized by many. A revival of similar interests in the present time have helped increase the acceptability of drug use. During a time period where bell bottoms and vintage clothes as well as the popularity of the Grateful Dead and designer cigarette lighters featuring marijuana leaves were largely popular, history has certainly repeated itself. LSD art pieces has become collectors items and the revival of hemp is extremely prominent. The marijuana leaf emblem has become a fashion statements and designer bongs and pipes are popular

items to sell. The idea of Hollywood glamorizing drug use is still quite prevalent. The phrase sex, drugs, and rock and roll has certainly described the lives of many famous musicians. Lyrics that many famous rappers sing are encrusted with references to blunts and 40 s (keep in mind many elementary school kids look up to these singers). Numerous stars have been arrested for possession of drugs and many movies have been based around uncontrolled substances. It seems no matter where a young teenager will go, they are faced with the issue of drugs one way or another. This will greatly affect their decision on whether or not to experiment with them. One proposed policy on the issue of teenage drug abuse is the zero tolerance law. This is very similar to Rudy Guliani s successful

approach to eradicating the crime in New York City. Examples of zero-tolerance laws currently in place for youth include significantly increased penalties for selling drugs near schools, and expulsion as the mandatory punishment for student possession of drugs. There is even a new federal statute withholding federal college financial aid from those convicted of a drug crime. It has been noted that where zero tolerance laws are in effect, there has been a much greater success rate in dealing with the problem and stemming addiction (Drug use Back Up for Youth, 1). Another proposed policy issued by President Clinton was appointing General Barry R .McCaffrey as the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Gen. McCaffrey, who has been named the Drug Czar of the

President s Cabinet, is authorized to develop and coordinate the policies, goals, and objectives of the Nation s drug control program (Policy.com, 3). His main focus has been to decrease the amount of illegal drugs entering the United States and promote more drug awareness among teenagers. A third proposed policy is one I have created. Based on my research I have discovered that the major problem associated with the rise of teenage drug abuse is an extreme lack of drug education. Schools today are practicing a policy that has proved to produce poor results. Keeping the previously mentioned school problems with D.A.R.E. in mind, one can see that if this is the policy that will be implemented in years to come, the current situation will not get better. I propose that students in

8th through 12th grade have a mandatory drug education class as part of their weekly schedule. These classes should be run in association with profit free organizations and directed by young adults who were once teenage drug abusers. This will not make the students feel inadequate as they might feel this way with a uniformed officer in front of them. This will also reiterate the idea that drug abuse is a serious problem that can happen to anyone. By having students hear real life stories from real people they will be more influenced then, for example, watching a movie. As part of this mandatory drug education class, students will also be required to visit a drug rehabilitation center once a year where they can truly see the effects drug abuse can have on your mind and body. By