National Families in Action
A Guide to Publications


NFIA Catalogue

Articles by NFIA

Articles about NFIA

Back to NFIA

Search NFIA





Mon, 08 Nov 1999
San Francisco Chronicle

Sue Rusche, Betty Sembler

As if parents didn't have enough to worry about. Now comes
something called "reality-based'' drug education, and it's being
pushed by the people who want us to legalize drugs.

These programs call for educators to teach children that they can
have "healthy relationships'' with marijuana, PCP, cocaine, crack
and heroin, and that they can use these drugs "safely.''

This approach to drug education is one thing that drove
adolescent drug use up in the 1970s to the highest levels in
history, from less than 1 percent in 1962 to 34 percent of
adolescents, 65 percent of high school seniors and 70 percent of
young adults by 1979.

High levels of drug use among teens also produced high levels
of drug abuse, drug addiction and drug-related deaths. By 1979,
1 in 9 high school seniors smoked marijuana daily. Many needed
drug treatment to stop. And so many teens died from drug and
alcohol-related causes, their age group's life span actually
decreased, while that of all other age groups lengthened.

In response, outraged parents organized some 4,000 drug-
prevention groups nationwide. One of their first battles was to
get rid of "responsible use'' messages and replace them with
clear, consistent no-use messages in drug-education programs,
particularly those paid for with tax dollars.

The result? Between 1979 and 1992, regular drug use went down
by half among all ages (from 25 million Americans to 12 million) and by two-thirds among adolescents and young adults.

Now legalization proponents want to change that. The
Lindesmith Center and the San Francisco Medical Society held
a "Just Say Know'' conference in San Francisco recently to
initiate the effort to replace "no-use'' drug education with "safe-
use'' programs in schools.

The Lindesmith Center is part of billionaire George Soros' Open
Society Institute in New York. Soros has funded drug-
legalization efforts for a decade. Publicly, proponents deny they
want to legalize drugs. They say they just want to "reform'' the
drug laws. Now they want to reform drug-free education. The
Lindesmith Center recommends the book "Chocolate to
Morphine: Everything You Need to Know About Mind-Altering
Drugs.'' The book claims there is no such thing as a good or bad
drug, just good and bad relationships with drugs. It says we must
teach children how to have good relationships with harmful,
addictive drugs.

The Lindesmith Center introduced its new publication at the
conference, called "Safety-First: A Reality-Based Approach to
Teens, Drugs, and Drug Education.'' The pamphlet advises
parents to "keep the channels of communication open, find ways
to keep the conversation going, and listen, listen, listen.''

The pamphlet also tells parents to encourage kids to "be honest''
about their drug experiences and that "there must be no negative
repercussions for their input and honesty.''

Unfortunately, some hard-working, affluent, church-going
parents in Georgia took this advice. Their teenagers did what
they wanted with no negative repercussions from mom or dad.
Their 12- and 13-year-olds were free to smoke, get drunk, get
high and engage in group sex. Nobody told them no.

The kids got syphilis. One died driving home drunk from spring
break. Another stabbed a friend. They are called "The Lost
Children of Rockdale County,'' and the TV news show
"Frontline'' introduced them to us on PBS this past month.

What can parents do? Set limits for your kids. Set consequences
if they break your rules. Enforce consequences if rules are
broken. Love them enough to be their parents, not their best
friends. Be the adults they need to protect them from the world's
dangers. And fight to keep "safe use'' drug education out of your

Or be prepared to watch a Frontline sequel a few years from now
on "The Lost Children of America.''


About Site Map Privacy
© Copyright 2001 National Families in Action. All rights reserved.
Questions? Write to