Effective anti-drug education
Bringing vitals facts to our youth.
Drugs destroy billions of lives every year. Popularised in the 1960s by music and mass media, today they invade all aspects of society.
The problem has many faces. From the university student partying for 3 days straight on an ecstasy or meth-amphetamine fueled rave, to the school child addicted to Ritalin (methylphenidate); from the mother who cannot get through a day without taking pills for depression, to the CEO addicted to cocaine.
According to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime's 2005 World Drug Report, an estimated 200 million people, or 5% of the world's population between the ages of 15 and 64, consume illegal drugs. This is an increase of 15 million drug users over the previous year.
Marijuana is the most widely abused drug of choice in Australia, with ecstasy second and meth-amphetamine (known as Ice) ranking third per the latest United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime report released mid 2006. With over 78,781 drug abuse treatment episodes, millions of dollars are being spent, taxing our social services and hospital and medical programs, not to mention the costs through law enforcement, with 79,026 arrests related to drugs during 2003-2004. This does not even count the destroyed lives of the family who have to go through the pain of having a loved one on drugs. And then there is the cost to the individual user.
Headline news stories warn of the dangers of these psycho-stimulants which are increasingly popular, with the side-effects of purer Ice and other amphetamine-type-stimulants literally sending the users crazy, placing ambulance and hospital workers at risk in going about their daily job to help others.
Abuse of alcohol and illicit drugs costs society an estimated $276 billion annually. Substance abusers incur 300% higher medical costs than non-abusers. They are one-third less productive on the job and 2.5 times more likely to be absent from work either or more days a year.
While we can prosecute drug dealers and try to stop their network, anyone who has worked in the field for any length of time knows that to be a never-ending task without other programs in place. It is not one we should stop - keeping the drug off the streets is a start and our law enforcement officials are working hard to stop the supply. But we also have to stop the demand for illicit drugs with the user and we need to do much, much more to reverse the trend that is creeping into our society that taking drugs is OK and a normal fact of life. It is not. All methods to promote drug-taking profit only one source - the drug seller. The idea that a drug can fix problems, be it mood, behaviour, or just being bored is false; it simply is a cover-up, leaving the real problem sitting there unsolved.
And it is not just illegal drugs we are concerned about. A study by Melbourne's Florey Institute has revealed that amphetamines such as those given to children for behavioural difficulties, which are in the same category as cocaine may expose teenagers to increased heart attack if re-used later in life and in experiments on adolescent rats, put them at greater risk of amphetamine addiction in adulthood. There ar e reports that children as young as five have suffered heart attacks and strokes after taking Ritalin, one of the most popular amphetamine-type prescription stimulant. With over 50,000 Australian children on legalised amphetamines, what does the future hold for these youth? Prescription drugs are used in non-medical settings in increasing amounts, including kids selling their pills in the yard for profit.
Truth About Drugs Information Kits
Our intention with this website and our educational materials is to provide factual information that young people can read as well as their parents to really educate them before they start on drugs. We have spoken to literally thousands of youth in Australia one-on-one about drugs and what they know about drugs. The reality is that they know little to nothing. They have heard many false statements that make them think the harm is far less than it is. There is a lack of comprehensive available information about the full effects of drugs - what they do, the short-term effects and the long-term effects and the lasting mental problems that can result. To get copies of these booklets, you can buy them on-line from the link above.
We also welcome you to contact us about providing drug-education and prevention lectures, setting up chapters of the Drug-Free Ambassadors or to work with us in any capacity to help eliminate this epidemic.