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October 2005
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SSDP is the future

I am continually impressed with the work and energy of Students for Sensible Drug Policy. Check out the latest from the Brown chapter’s Jesse Adams — this column in today’s campus newspaper.

I heard it for the first time in first grade and then again every single year from the fourth grade to the end of high school: “Drugs are bad. Drugs are addictive and destroy your life. Drugs will kill you.”

Considering that this message came from my kindly neighborhood police officer, the guidance counselor with the never-ending supply of Tootsie Roll Pops and eventually my high school’s endearingly dim-witted football coach, I was at first inclined to believe their obviously well-intentioned warnings. But over time, just like thousands of kids who have endured the DARE program, my peers and I became jaded and cynical.[…]

[…] what turned the kids I knew against DARE was the blatant inconsistency of the (mis)information it provided. […] For most kids, I think, it seemed ridiculous to respect warnings from an organization with such a clear lack of respect for its audience’s intelligence.

This group is not only getting the word out, they’re doing something important.

What we have now is a vacuum of readily available truthful information about drugs, at least for those who don’t want to conduct their own extensive research online. In the absence of education that could encourage safety, I have witnessed some truly dangerous drug-related activity: smokers wrecking their constitutions by single-handedly burning through ounces of marijuana in a matter of weeks; students snorting Adderall so that they can do their homework after an evening of using downers; even people assaulting their livers by washing down prescription painkillers with copious amounts of alcohol. Since prohibition is clearly impossible, harm reduction should be the goal. It is clear that students need an objective, trustworthy and confidential source for factual information about drugs and drug safety.

Last year, the Drug Resource Center opened as a joint project between Students for Sensible Drug Policy and the Department of Health Education. Its mission is to provide unbiased and truthful information about drug use, including the dangers thereof. The DRC’s volunteers are trained to direct visitors to the best sources of information so as to reduce harm. A more informed student body will be a safer one.

I encourage all students to visit the DRC, regardless of their personal stance regarding drugs – knowledge is power, and power is safety.

Congrats to the Brown SSDP.

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