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DUE is Medical Training

 
 
 

DRUG USE EDUCATION IS MEDICAL TRAINING: 

It's NOT About Teaching Kids How to Roll A Joint.

It's About Bringing Students Into Hospitals to Learn 

When I was 19, I spent several days with a family who came from France to live in Montreal.  The first day of my visit, I was introduced to a bright 5-year old boy named Yanick.  At dinner time Yanick joined the rest of us at the table.  Everyone filled up their wine glasses from three or four bottles of red table wine.  Then I saw the father pour wine in Yanick's glass. 

"Isn't he too young to drink that?" I asked, forgetting that this was a different culture. 

Yanick's father laughed along with the others.  "You Americans," he said with a thick French accent, "the reason why you have such a problem with alcoholism in your country is because you don't teach your children how to drink."

Is Yanick's father is right?  Here's the answer: 1) There are valid studies which show that restriction and denial are the foundation of drug misuse. 2) Others feel that exposure to alcohol at a young age leads to drug addiction, but there is no uniform evidence that indicates this is correct.  If this were true, then alcoholism would be rampant in France.   Thus, Yanick's father is right. But there's another part to this answer.  It's not what is taught to a child, but rather how that child is taught that factors into the child's future.  

 In Yanick's household, wine is served with dinner only.  The only time the wine is consumed is during dinner at the dinner table.  Once the portion of wine is consumed, there is no second glass for Yanick.  The guests are offered a second glass first and if there is any remaining, it is corked for the next dinner.  No one would ever think of coming to the kitchen cupboard in the middle of the night to drink the wine, it's just not done. As for other alcoholic beverages, they are not consumed by Yanick's family.  His uncle goes to nightclubs with a girlfriend, but they rarely drink.  Instead, they will smoke hashish and use other drugs that are more sociable.

People in the US often blame Puritanical roots as the underlying cause of rigidity towards substances.  But the Puritans have had less impact on our current culture than many realize.  Advertising has had an enormous effect on the drug culture.  To increase product sales, cigarettes and alcohol have been sold as a sport unto themselves in the US.  Ironically, in the 1960s television sitcom, Bewitched, martinis were the solution to every problem where witchcraft was evaded. In the 1930s and 1940s, cigarettes were glamorized.  I don't know of any smoker who can make it through Now Voyager without lighting up a cigarette.  When one airline ran the the movie on their flights, there were so many complaints about smoke in the bathroom that the airline had to pull the movie and show something else. Certainly, Vivian Leigh will never win a posthumous award as a film star most appreciated by the American Lung Association.   Generations of cigarette smokers learned to misuse and abuse nicotine from watching movies.  The difference between cigarettes and methamphetamine or even heroin is not really all that great, morally cigarettes have been acceptable for centuries, but chemically they can cause more damage than methamphetamine, cocaine, cannibas, and heroin combined.  Yet society has grandfathered cigarettes while closing the gate on others.  So far, we as society, have either taught our people wrong (cigarettes) or not at all (methamphetamine).  We have failed with each approach.  What we have never done is to teach the right approach to administer drugs.  We never teach youth or the public at large how to drink a cocktail or smoke a cigarette.  These are drugs too, and they should be used as such.  

Drug use education is a program that neutralizes any glamour associated with psychostimulants to provide a scientific and clinical approach to drug use.  It stresses the importance of precalculating doses prior to usage in order to avoid accidental overdosing after the psychostimulant takes effect.  It establishes the need for a uniform approach to drug use that is not in place today.  It cites an undefined but massive industry that could be developed which focuses on ways to unlock controlled substances and make them more accessible to the public but in regulated quantities that averts abuse.  This might consist of physician regulated hardware storage devices that dispense medication through some time-controlled mechanism that is easy and cheap to manufacture but durable to avert tampering.  As an example, this device might be regulated to dispense two 10mg desoxyn tablet per day.  Anyone who tampers with the device could face serious fines.  What this will do will allow those individuals who need the medication access to controlled substances that is unattainable today.

There is really just a small segment of society that that might feel the need for such precautions, however, we can educate the public all we want, when under the influence, everyone is effected.  

Drug use education unto itself, is a model stand alone program with boundaries that can be stretched in any direction by lawmakers, but the basic premise is to stop abuse, eliminate the need for controlled substances, deregulate physicians and the healthcare industry and reduce the black market out of existence simply by decreasing demand.  Regardless whether we begin to implement such a program now or later, it is the only logical course of action in a chemical society.  As an example of an illogical approach we would tamper with brain mechanisms or genetics that we are not prepared to do. Thus, Drug Use Education is the simplest and least costly option we will have to control chemical substances and still make them available for physicians to prescribe without jeopardizing their careers.

The recommendation here is that DUE be used as part of an overall campaign to change the attitude of drugs to something more positive.  To accomplish this, I am proposing the adoption of a model I call the Pro-Positive Drug Education approach that inserts Drug Use Education as part of a prevention routine and includes Harm Reduction for those who are beyond the grasp of prevention.  

 

 We live in a society of chemical substances and computer technology.  We teach our youth everything there is to 

 

 

 

 

 

THE "GATEWAY" DRUG

 The concept of a "gateway" drug that leads to "harder" drugs is a very misleading theory.  For example, aspirin could be considered a gateway drug since it is typically the first line of remedy treatment that the average person might use, leading to other, more powerful prescription medication.  In other words, once you've used aspirin, it's likely that you will go onto using other medications.  The important point to remember here is that aspirin is used by people who don't have any experience with healthcare or medicine. When we give people the power to take over the counter medications without any training, we are giving them carte blanche to extract any pill from any bottle and do the same. This is why  PPDE is required at an age early enough to enforce prevention.

 

 

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