Last week, Zach Galifianakis, star of the new movie “Due Date,” startled his interviewer and fellow guests on Real Time with Bill Maher by pulling out what he said was a joint and lighting up. In a later interview, Bill Maher denied that Zach had been smoking real marijuana. It hardly matters. The communication behind the action is crystal clear. It says “Marijuana smoking is acceptable.” It tells young people “Go ahead and smoke it.” This was all part of the brouhaha surround the debate over California’s referendum to legalize marijuana, which is neither here nor there. This article is not about legalization.
The fact is that as irresponsible as the act itself would be to let that communication hang in the air, unanswered. For that reason, Narconon International senior drug educator Bobby Wiggins calls for parents to respond to this TV gimmick by actually talking to their children about drug abuse and the real-life problems it can create. Narconon is an international organization dedicated to preventing drug and alcohol abuse and to helping those who have become addicted recover fully.
“It’s not enough for parents just to tell their children they should abstain from drugs,” said Wiggins. “They’ve got to be real with them. The truth is that marijuana use itself creates its own damage and is itself addictive. The dealer trying to sell a teenager an ounce of marijuana is sure not going to be the one to tell the kid, so it’s got to be the parents.”
The National Center on Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA) provides annual reports on the state of substance abuse among America’s young people. These reports completely support the idea that the best route to success is drug-free and alcohol-free. Their reports state that about half of students who drop out of school either themselves have been involved with alcohol and/or other drug use or they have parents who are substance abusers. CASA’s research also indicates that young people who abuse drugs or alcohol have lower grades and higher rates of suspension or expulsion. They are less likely to graduate from high school or college.
But don’t expect the noisy advocates of marijuana legalization or decriminalization to admit any of this. For the record, Narconon does not take a political stand on this issue…because it’s a red herring. What is important is demand reduction – effective drug rehabilitation and effective drug education.
“For decades, Narconon has taught volunteers in the U.S.and dozens of other countries how to educate children to think more responsibly about drug use,” stated Wiggins. “We emphasize giving students real information they can use to make drug-free decisions on their own. Our method of drug education has been studied and demonstrated to reduce drug use by those students who receive the curriculum. The only safe amount of illicit drug use is none at all, period.”
Visit http://www.youtube.com/user/narconon#p/u/7/Ze2L6lMG7gI for more information on the Narconon program.