Government research has shown that to be effective, a drug prevention program must be built on scientifically accurate information about the harmful effects of drugs. In honor of Red Ribbon Week, here are my picks for educating ourselves and our kids about drug and substance abuse.
The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign has a very hip site, with games, e-cards, discussion forums and the straight scoop on drugs. To learn about drugs in general ("Why People Take Drugs") or specifically (alphabetically from alcohol to tranquilizers) jump to Heads Up. To voice your opinions, visit the bulletin board. What are your own reasons for not doing drugs? Do they include your desire to do your best in sports, be creative in music or honor your family? Discover, develop and share your own reasons in the interactive Your Anti-Drug section.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving are also against underage drinking. Their extensive site includes sections for various age groups (elementary, junior/senior high school, college, and parents); and a vast collection of scary statistics ("The median age at which children begin drinking is 13. Young people who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who begin drinking at age 21.") Truth & Consequences is an excellent click that debunks many popular myths about alcohol.
In 1985, Special Agent Enrique 'Kiki" Camarena of the Drug Enforcement Agency was kidnapped and killed by Mexican drug traffickers. Each October, thousands of schools and communities demonstrate their commitment to a drug-free life by celebrating Red Ribbon Week in his honor. Red Ribbon Works offers ideas for implementing Red Ribbon Week, informative anti-drug articles for parents and teachers, and a catalog of products (such as stickers and ribbons) to purchase for Red Ribbon Week..
"Hi! My name is Sara Bellum. Welcome to my website exploring the brain's response to drugs." Sara's Quest, created by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, teaches middle-schoolers the effects of drug abuse on the body and the brain. It includes background information on brain anatomy, and chapters on marijuana, opiates, inhalants, hallucinogens, steroids, stimulants, nicotine and methamphetamine. After perusing the materials, take the animated Sara's Quest Challenge to test your knowledge.