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The purpose of this piece of writing is not to compare the different methods of approaching drug prevention, or say what methods are not working. It is to simply state that the more the family takes action or gets involved with each others live, problems such as drug abuse will become obsolete. Many different attempts to lower the drug rate have been in placed by society. But despite years of anti drug campaigns within the school and media, drug abuse amongst teenagers in society continues to rise.
At home drug testing and emphasis on anti drugs within the family will prove to lower the use of illegal drugs amongst teens.
More and more teenagers are experimenting with illegal drugs in today’s society. A 1996-1997 PRIDE survey of more than 140 000 teens showed that drug abuse amongst eleven to fourteen year Olds is rising. 11.4% of jr. high students monthly use marijuana, cocaine and other illicit drugs. The number of new heroin cases involving the youth increased by 53%.
A study done at the University of Columbia has found that drugs are more readily available and used by the youth. Other surveys have found that drug abuse by high school seniors jumped 27% in 1993, 20% in 1994 and another 9% in 1995. At the age of twelve to seventeen, 2.9 million teens have used marijuana, compared to 1.4 million the past year. As if these statistics were not shocking enough, I found that in 1996 24% of eighth graders, 21 to 38% of tenth graders, and 29 to 40% of twelfth graders have been using marijuana. The fact that these problems exist makes one think what is being done to protect today’s adolescents from a life of drug abuse.
Despite these facts, there are programs in place.
The educational system has provided a variety of service projects and courses to help combat the ever growing drug problem. In today’s society the Federal government has required public schools to teach drug prevention since 1987. Also if you play any sports in high school, students are required to sign a contract stating they will stay drug and alcohol free. Teachers and other authority figures within the school, are constantly preaching against drugs. The fact that the drug rate is so high is causing the government to reexamine the approach they are taking and the substance contained in what they are teaching. Drug tests and rewards serve as a deterrent and as a reason to stay drug free. In Red Deer Alberta students voluntarily participate in drug testing. The students which pass then receive cards which allow them discounts at over one hundred and fifty businesses. If more programs such as this were put into place the drug problem may be lower. But until that has happened we must rest the solution heavily on the shoulders of the family. Children need to be prepared for the world. Educational facilities can only do so much. They can not take the lead in the war against drugs. The family has to.
Other organizations have been situated to uniquely fight against drug and alcohol abuse. The Rotarian international organization, with more than one million and one hundred thousand members, have devoted there time to help support the war on drugs. In fact, in 1992 they approved a ten year emphasis on drug prevention. In Spring Valley British Columbia, they initiated a program for teens who’s parents are substance abusers in order to break the cycle. In the program they council teens and walk them through the daily problems they may face. This program is a positive step taken in order to erase the drug problem. The Rotarians have also taken steps outside of Canada. In France the Rotarians have purchased homes that will be used as a shelter for substance abusers. The addicts are allowed to stay as long as they need to in order to break the habit. These programs would not be needed if the family took it upon there selves to help there children. If parents educate their children, they are less likely to end up in a place like this or to use drugs. A family can be a powerful tool if it is used correctly.
The programs place in society in order to abolish the use of illegal drugs will have little effect on children unless the anti drug process/problem is carried out/cared for at home, by the family. Statistics have proven that children who are educated on the effects of drugs from their parents use drugs 57% less than others. That is a humongous statistic. This stat is the basis for my argument. Over half of the population does not use drugs as long as there parents talk to them. There are many other processes one can do other than verbally telling a child the effects and dangers of drugs, although it is a important tool. Tools such as at home drug tests can act as a deterrent from using drugs. There are two types of drug testing that are done at home. A urine test. This test shows previous three or four days of drug use. The test that is the most effective is the hair test. For this test you need fifty hairs that are an inch long. The hair shows the past ninety days or three months. This test will be available over the counter. It is called PDT-90. These tests act as a deterrent. Although the fear of being caught by there parents helps solve the issue another process that is effective is incentives. They are a strong factor in deleting the drug problem. If a teenager does not use drugs, savings programs could be initiated. Car insurance premiums, a raise in allowance, and other positive enforcement are also offered. If a teen thinks the will get a “prize” they will be tempted to not use drugs. Although many of these techniques are tried by other organizations, the family’s participation and involvement in a child’s life can prove to be most affective.
To continue to prove my point, I decided to research it myself. I recently passed out a survey to twenty high school students enroled in Brantford Collegiate Institute and Vocational School to test my thesis. I found that 50% of students that I surveyed have admitted to using illegal drugs. Of these students 85% of them feel their family can do a good job of getting through to them on issues such as drugs. Another fact to back my point of view is that 90% of the students surveyed felt that drugs would look less attractive if they spent more time with their families. Even more empowering than that is that 85% of the teens who use drugs are not close to there families. The main reason this survey was sent out was to find out if teens who participated in family functions used drugs. The 25% of the students who stated they spend time as a family more than seven times a week, all stated that they have never used drugs. While the students who didn’t spend time with there families used drugs more than one time a month. The results of my survey that I received were exactly as I anticipated. Statistics and every day examples have proven to show that parental evolvement can reduce the use of drugs.
Although social organizations, including educational facilities, have stressed anti drug us, statistics have shown that in order to reduce the drug use rate, the family must get involved. Time must be spent as a family in order to bond. Families play an important role in today’s society. Children may not seem like they do, but they listen to their parents, they respect them. In order to solve the drug problem, we must first solve the problem of teenagers and broken homes.
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