Preventing Teen Drug Use

Do school programs push the wrong message?


Drug use is once again on the rise among America's youth. Although teens who use drugs are still in the minority, some experts say that recent increases in the popularity of drugs, though modest, may indicate the beginnings of a new drug epidemic. They point to the pot culture's comeback, as reflected in music and clothing, and to surveys showing teenagers' weakening disapproval of drugs. Federal drug officials say stronger anti-drug messages are needed, but studies indicate that most school drug prevention programs are untested or ineffective. Some researchers say the predominant message - that students should resist peer pressure to try drugs - may have little impact in a society where drug experimentation is a normal but not necessarily fatal part of adolescence.

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