A Church of Scientology-backed program is providing free anti-drug information to elementary, middle and high school students in New York City’s five boroughs. Great, right? The Church of Scientology may be a little wacky, but who cares where the message comes from as long as the kids get it. That was my thought, before I read some of the crap they are telling these kids. Wow.
The Foundation For a Drug Free World was founded in 2006 and appears to be internationally active. DNA Info reports it visited 30 city public schools last year. I’m not sure who wrote their literature, but they are telling kids some pretty interesting factz™ about drug use. Here are some gems from their pamphlet, The Truth About Drugs:
“A small amount acts as a stimulant (speeds you up). A greater amount acts as a sedative (slows you down). An even larger amount poisons and can kill. This is true of any drug. Only the amount needed to achieve the effect differs.”
What? So they’re teaching kids that all drugs are the same and have the same effect on your body. That’s helpful. Smoke a little weed? Stimulant! Smoke a little heroin? Same! Who wrote this stuff?
Here’s what they have to say about marijuana:
“Because a tolerance builds up, marijuana can lead users to consume stronger drugs to achieve the same high. When the effects start to wear off the person may turn to more potent drugs to rid himself of the unwanted conditions that prompted him to take marijuana in the first place.”
I’m all for educating children about the dangers of drugs, but can we do it with real facts – not whatever this information is? Did some dude with literally no knowledge of drugs and their effects on the body just decide to whip up an anti-drug pamphlet one morning? Because that’s sure what this looks like. The pamphlet claims cocaine leads to murder and suicide and heroin causes spontaneous abortions in women. The pamphlet also lists the street names of each substance. For alcohol, they’ve listed: Booze, Sauce, Brews, Brewskis, Hooch, Hard Stuff, Juice – proving your 77-year-old Uncle Tony may be a contributing writer.
The DNA Info story also points to a City Limits article about one program in NYC, in which the presenter told kids that a certain amount of a drug can store in your body and reactivate later. Drug Free World’s presenter David Tidman told kids, “A certain amount of that drug or medicine stays in your body for weeks, months, even years, and later on what happens is it can dislodge from the fat tissue and reactivate in your body.”
Jerry Otero, Youth Policy Manager at the Drug Policy Alliance and drug prevention programmer at the New York City Department of Education, told DNA Info, “We can help kids by providing them with honest, scientific information. Without using scare tactics, we can promote an understanding of the legal and social consequences of drug use.”
Seriously. Spouting a bunch of non-truths and scare tactics is a ridiculous way to educate children about the danger of drugs.