Drug education programs were designed to help fight the war on drugs by educating children about illegal substances at an early age. However, even though the people who created the drug education programs mean well, those education programs fall short in a lot of ways. Consider the following ways that drug education programs have fallen short when it comes to preventing increased drug use.
It Is Not Easy to ‘Just Say No’
‘Just Say No’ was and still is one of the most popular phrases when it comes to drug education programs. The idea is a wonderful one in theory, but it is horrible in practice. Children and young adults can be very impressionable. Most popular recreational drugs are available to them if they have the right connections, which makes matters worse. When peer pressure is combined with that easy accessibility, it can feel almost like saying no is not a choice at all for those kids.
It Can Start in the Home
Something that a lot of drug program creators and administrators do not take into consideration is that a lot of child and teen recreational drug use starts in the home. When a child sees their parents using recreational drugs on a regular basis, it becomes part of their normal life. After being exposed to their parents using drugs and the fallout from their parent’s drug use, the children might turn to drugs themselves to try and help ease the trauma. It is awful, but it is not talked about as much as it should be. If a child is experiencing exposure to drug use in their home, drug education administrators should be able to try and find a way to make it so the child either has a safe space to go to or a social worker can follow up with the child after the program is complete. No child should have to grow up thinking that it is normal to have illegal drugs lying around the house.
There Is Not Enough of the Right Information Provided
Drug programs can be very educational in terms of drugs and their side effects, but the information is often outdated and missing a few very crucial pieces. A lot of drug programs include side effects that some kids might take as good, such as euphoria and hallucinations. Most kids are very curious and might want to know what those side effects feel like, so focusing on educating about the appeal of the drugs is not the best way to go, especially if that is what the kids hear first. Drug programs need to change the structure of their program at the very least so the kids do not just hear the interesting things the drugs do and focus on nothing else.
Educating kids about the dangers of recreational drugs is a must, but the currently approved programs need a major overhaul. New drugs and new ways of thinking are created every day, and the programs should be changing right along with them.