1,825,000 New People Trying Drugs

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There are currently 15 million drug users in the United States and an increasing number of those are children. "Ours is a nation that praises the quick fix of popping a pill, which can lead to experimenting with other drugs," said Joanna Young, Drug Addiction Referral Specialist, http://www.DrugAddictionHelpLine.com.

Studies show that early drug prevention must give young children the truth, the vital information and tools they need to make their own choice to keep away from drugs.

In the development of an effective prevention program, we first need to address the areas where drug education efforts have failed in the past. An effective drug education program should not focus on "harm reduction," nor should it use exaggerations as "scare tactics" to keep kids away from drugs. To be affective it needs to focuses on education first and foremost. We know if children are given the truth about drugs, and are given all the information, they can and will make the right decision—a decision they know is the right decision, to live drug free.

The key points to keeping kids drug free are knowledge, responsibility and control. If children are given the truth about drugs, they will be responsible for their actions and make the right decision and control their own lives (and those of their friends) to stay drug free.

In 2004, 3.7 percent of 10th-graders reported annual cocaine use, significantly below the peak in 1999, though year-to-year changes were not significant. Among 8th-graders, 1.1 percent reported annual cocaine use in 1991, a figure that increased to 3.0 percent in 1996, hovered around that point for several years, then dropped to 2.0 percent in 2004—significantly below the 1996 high point.

Eighth-graders reported a significant decrease in perceived availability of both crack and powder cocaine in 2004. Twelfth-graders, however, reported a significant increase in perceived availability of both crack and cocaine in 2004.

On an average, 5,000 new people experiment with drugs each day. Over a year, this adds up to 1,825,000 new people trying drugs. It is vital that we change this trend. Drug education lectures to youth are the most effective way to do this - you reach them before they experiment and get addicted. To request drug education personnel to come to your school or group, go to http://www.CentralCalCoalition.org. And help reverse the drug problem today!

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Joanna Young
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