Our children must be brought to understand the true nature of alcohol and drugs as well as they understand the three Rs.
Sticking our heads in the sand and hoping that all will somehow get better is no solution. More stringent drug laws and bigger prisons may lock away the problem, bringing an illusory peace of mind to some, but those solutions have already proven not to solve the problem, but to be part of it.
Answers will not be found simply in the halls of justice.
We cannot arrest and imprison our way out of this dilemma.
Sweeping changes are needed on our approach to this problem, from the government and from individuals.
The way out will come through honesty and hard work. You and I are going to have to roll up our sleeves and, one by one, rehabilitate those that have become addicted by making substance abuse rehabilitation widely available upon demand.
These addicts are our brothers, sisters, sons and daughters. Sometimes they are our parents and grandparents, husbands, wives and neighbors. They can conquer addiction should we choose to make substance abuse rehabilitation a shoulder-to-shoulder effort in every community. It is simply too late for any other approach.
In these dangerous times, our children must be brought to understand the true nature of alcohol, marijuana and other drugs as well as they understand the three Rs.
Parents, teachers and those who run drug education programs must dig in to ensure each child understands why society has become so addicted to drugs. Most importantly, children need to get the picture, to see the tremendous costs in terms of human life and misery that a decision to experiment with and use drugs means. Equally important is that they be given knowledge of how to obtain pleasure in life without drugs. A drug-free life, they will discover, has its own unique and wonderful rewards.
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