Until the recent times, drug education was all about simple slogans and platitudes like “Say no to Drugs”. However, the world we are living in now is completely different, especially when medical and recreational marijuana has been legalized in many states. It is quite obvious that these slogans will not work anymore for kids, who see the adults enjoying cannabis legally. How are drug education programs changing now? What should be done in order to achieve understanding and consciousness?
Probably, one of the major things drug education programs are doing right now is proving students with free information and open conversation about drugs, the consequences of their usage. There are many schools where the curriculum “Being Adept” is introduced. Teachers and students there have an opportunity to discuss all the risks marijuana brings, alongside with the motives and reasons for why people use it. This curriculum is introduced not to scare children by using some old-fashioned tactics. Its primary goal is to make sure that children do understand what marijuana is and how it works. This program also teaches students about different kinds of marijuana since it is an important aspect as well. It makes students aware of how different things work and to which consequences they can lead.
Another drug education theme which is brought up is “Delay”. The principle is that teachers instead of telling students not to use drugs, tell them just to wait. Due to the fact that drugs are legal in the majority of states, children have to wait some time until they are old enough to use the drugs legally. The deal is that according to many researches cannabis causes great damages and destructions to the development of teens` brain. So, it would be better to wait to reach the allowed ages. The same is about the consumption of alcohol and nicotine, which are considered to be problematic substances as well.
A significant push is made away from the old tactic of drug education, including ideas about anti-marijuana and scary stories. Kids now are aware enough about cannabis and they are not interested in old portrayals of it. So, instead of focusing on scaring, the biggest emphasis should be made on simply informing.
The role of parents is also important here. They should not be scary or ashamed to talk to their children about drugs. It is not about some lectures children will not be interested in. Parents should tell some stories from their own experience, stressing about the consequences and results from using drugs and drinking alcohol being a teenager. Parents need to learn how to navigate conversations of such types. However, it is not only about talking. Children usually observe and follow their parents` acts and the way they use different substances.