Local Students Take a Stand Against Drugs and Alcohol

February 28th, 2012 at 11:21 pm by under News, Personalities, Uncategorized

Dozens of Virginia Beach children took a pledge today, to stay drug-free. Bayside Elementary School invited me to be the guest speaker for its fourth grade D.A.R.E. graduation.

Students take D.A.R.E. pledge

D.A.R.E. stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education. The program is available for children in kindergarten through 12th grade. It’s a collaborative effort between school and law enforcement personnel.

Over the past few months, the students learned about the dangers of drugs, alcohol and tobacco.

Families of the D.A.R.E. grads

Many of the kids had family members there for today’s event. I spoke to the group about peer pressure and shared stories about athletes, entertainers- even a family friend- who fought addiction.

When I posted a picture and a word about my visit on Facebook, a few people posted comments opposing the program.

Deputies Foy & Driscoll leading the D.A.R.E. pledge

Curtis posted, “No one wants kids doing drugs but DARE is a useless project that just spends taxpayer dollars in an attempt to forge support for the unconstitutional prison industrial complex and its pet project the bloody war on drugs and ethnic minorities.”  Maggie added, “Good on the kids for completing the program, but there are some sobering statistics about D.A.R.E.; ”Scientific evaluation studies have consistently shown that DARE is ineffective in reducing the use of alcohol and drugs and is sometimes even counterproductive — worse than doing nothing. That’s the conclusion of the U.S. General Accounting Office, the U.S. Surgeon General, the National Academy of Sciences, and the U.S. Department of Education, among many others’. She cited this link:

We know people are human and sometimes have to learn lessons on their own. We can only hope by citing real life examples and explaining that everyone’s body chemistry is different and addiction is hard to shake once you get caught up in it, it will keep kids from ever trying and or abusing drugs.  I shared these quotes from singers Kurt Cobain and Billie Holiday and the sad stories about their deaths which can be attributed to their substance abuse and addiction:

“Drugs are a waste of time. They destroy your memory and your self-respect and everything that goes along with with your self esteem.”
Kurt Cobain, Grunge Musician, who struggled with drug abuse and depression and died at 27.

“Dope never helped anybody sing better or play music better or do anything better. All dope can do for you is kill you – and kill you the long, slow, hard way.”
Billie Holiday, Singer who struggled with drug and alcohol abuse and died at 44.