Wednesday, June 22, 2016
The Folly of Educating Drug Users
We are in the midst of a lot of drug problems and even some deaths. Many people use the term "Epidemic" but that is too strong, in my opinion.
This chart indicates that heroin use has about doubled since 2002 when it was one person per 1000 people. That is a huge problem. When I first went to Russia, drug abuse was much higher and we called that an epidemic. We have seen our work with building healthy families produce dramatic results.
Even if the rate of use and deaths had not increased, we need to do all we can to reduce it. However, I find that the best ways to reduce both the use and abuse of drugs is not "education".
Drug users already know a lot about drugs. Even if they do not, the ability of straight, educated, middle class people lecturing potential users on dangers will likely backfire. We know from outcomes on the DARE programs that after taking DARE, kids may be less likely to intervene and help a friend that is starting to use.
The key to prevention is to get to the roots not overly focus on the fruits. Make sure kids have great relationships with parents, teachers, coaches, youth leaders at church, etc.
Make sure they have an opportunity to develop relationship with God. Pray for your kids and with them. Go to services and share the good news.
there are no guarantees because people can do what they want. But prevention always begins with great relationships not lectures.
See our stuff on great relationships.