The most successful pusher of drugs to children is the public school system.
Most modern addicts get their start on the school grounds, not from the pusher hanging over the school fences, but from the school itself. It is there where they learn all about drugs, what they feel like, which ones are dangerous, what they look like, and how available they are. When the child decides he must experiment, he knows which one to look for, what the signs of quality are, the going prices, and he has been reassured that they are available. He knows what downers and uppers are and how to use one to offset the other. The school makes sure that the child becomes well educated in drugs. It is in fact a mantra of the educators, "Drug use is going up, therefore, we must redouble our efforts to educate the child in drugs." This is quite kin to the statement, "The fire is getting bigger, therefore, we must throw more gasoline on the fire." And besides, the child is taught, everyone is doing it.
The child also knows that all he needs to do is pitch a tantrum and he gets a free and endless supply from the school nurse.
Children are born ignorant. Very few are born stupid. Most, in fact, are born very bright. All of them are intuitive (instinctively accurate) in divining personal relationships. They enter the world with instinctive expertise in divining the real relationship which adults project. Millions of years of evolution provided them with this ability. It was necessary for their survival. Those smart little rascals perceive much more than adults think. They are quick to perceive hypocrisy and as quick to get any hidden message.
Drug promotion through drug education.
The purpose and proper use of education is to teach something desirable. It is not an effective way to teach something not wanted. In fact, if something is not wanted, it should not be taught at all. The human brain will learn what it is taught. It makes up its own mind whether to use that lesson or not in actual practice. The human is an instinctive creature with intelligence. His instincts will not respond to education. But his mind will soak up everything he hears. Then it lies there, begging to be used.
Let's take murder, for example. If one should want the child to grow up to be an efficient murderer, then one would teach the child the proper use of knife, gun and poison. Any extra time should be spent in showing the child how to tie hangman's knots, how to build an incinerator, how to dismember bodies, how to use a club and how to build a car bomb. Drive by shooting could service as a bonus lesson for the bright ones.
If one does not want the child to be a murderer it's quite simple. Don't teach him any of those things. Tell him what murder is, why it is wrong and impress him that he is in for a lethal injection if he does it. Then spend the time saved in studying real provable useful knowledge on a more useful subject.
The same with drugs. Teaching drugs in school adds a stamp of importance to drugs, one not deserved. It also tells the child that drug use is common, so one is not an oddball if one takes drugs. He also learns about drug rehab, a safety net that he can depend on if he should get curious and experiment, then get carried away. If the child ever wonders how to cook the drugs and insert the needle (always a clean one so that HIV is avoided) along with the care necessary to keep air bubbles out, all he needs to do is stay awake during drug classes. In fact, the poor kid had better keep awake, if he dozes off he's liable for Ritalin treatment. He'll be on drugs real quick whether he wants to be or not.
The opposite attack might be used, if the desire is to diminish the use of drugs. Tell the child that when he shoots drugs with a needle, he is apt to die suddenly from air bubbles, or catch AIDS and die a lingering death, or die a painful death from infection, but don't tell him how to avoid these things. Tell him about killings over drugs, the shattered lives about drugs, every horror story possible. Or better still, treat it as an unspeakably stupid thing to do, something very close to suicide, and a disgrace to him and his family. And nothing else. Let him know that drugs are so idiotic that there is no sense in wasting any time on it.
Has anyone considered mandatory testing for the entire school staff? It is possible that recreational use is widespread, and their admonitions about drugs don't ring any more true than the curriculum suggests. Children are astute in diagnosing hypocrisy. It would be worth it to grab a few schools at random and throw a surprise test, complete with DEA agents. It might be wise to have standby crews available to avoid the chance of a school shutdown.
Drug promotion through confusion
Recently a young girl was suspended from middle school for giving a Midol tablet to another girl, who was also punished. Midol is a legal drug that requires no prescription. In another case a young girl was suspended for bringing aspirin to school. By equating non-prescription drugs and illegal drugs and treating them as equals, it is taught that Midol = cocaine, or cocaine is in the same class as Midol. Once this lesson is learned, cocaine is no longer frightening. It tends to become as acceptable as aspirin, or Midol.
Check the curriculum in any school with scheduled drug classes, (even having drug classes legitimizes drugs) and ask to see the list of drugs they will cover. There will be cocaine and heroin, of course, along with pot, caffeine, aspirin, alcohol and nicotine. No distinction is made. They're all in the same group. No attempt is made in the listing to show that some are legal, others are not, and some are not immediately dangerous while others are deadly. The attempt appears to be to show the child that, really now, your dad drinks booze and your mama is addicted to cigarettes, so what's wrong with a little recreational coke once in a while?
Drug promotion courtesy of the local police
What do the children learn from a policeman who comes to school to teach the children about drugs? He shows up in uniform, very impressive, and gives stature to the subject of drugs. And proceeds to instruct the children in the use of drugs. He assures them all that the stuff is available everywhere and the use is widespread. Sure, he says it's all bad, but children have very selective hearing. Those mean little kids in the back row rub their hands. They've had all of their fears allayed. All they need to do is be careful. Clean needle, hold it to the light and depress the plunger until fluid comes out, wrap the rubber band around the upper arm, pump the vein up, and have a ball. They know the procedure by heart. What can they use as a starter? Every child in the school knows that Ritalin in a bigger dose than normal, ground to a powder, mixed with water and boiled, taken in the vein, gives a high that is very close to the very best cocaine. And if the vein is too much to handle, snort the powder and get almost the same high. One can even use a razor blade, divide the powder into snort lines and use a straw, just like they do it in the movies. And it must be safe, half the kids in the school are taking the stuff by prescription, by order of the school.
Drug promotion courtesy of 'recovered' addicts and 'rehabilitated criminals'
There are men who make their living traveling around "getting tough with those kids." Most are fakes, con men who make their living that way. In gutter language they tell their tale. Years of addiction, living in degradation. One horror story after another. Then each tells finally the inspiration that made him see the error of his ways. The memory of mother, a dying addictive sister, tales that bring tears to the eyes.
Most of the kids see through such garbage and pay no attention, other than answering the teacher right when she asks about the lesson. The others see someone who took drugs for many years but was still able to recover. It must not be too hard to quit. Besides, "All I'm going to do it is one time. I won't have any trouble quitting at all."
Readin', Writin', Ritalin
The 'newer and kinder' schools do not maintain order in the classrooms. When children are not taught to behave, they don't. Their rowdiness annoys the teachers who did not keep order in the first place. They send the noisy ones to the school nurse, who promptly prescribes Ritalin. If the parent refuses to go along, child care enters the picture to see if the parent should be charged with child abuse and/or neglect. A lot of parents like the idea. It makes the kids easier to handle at home. Other parents, more stubborn in resisting, suddenly find themselves paying $250.00 per hour for professional help for their child, demanded by the school. If they still balk, the local judge will order the treatment. There are reports on the internet of schools where more than 50% of the students are on Ritalin, and at least one report on a trouble spot inner city school where Ritalin is alleged to be an ingredient in the food in the school cafeteria.
Since Ritalin is so wide spread, the official estimate (probably in error by at least a factor of 10) is more than two and possibly three million school children regularly take Ritalin.
What is Ritalin?
Ritalin® Pharmacokinetics Description: Methylphenidate is an orally administered central nervous system stimulant that is chemically and pharmacologically similar to the amphetamines. Methylphenidate's CNS actions are milder than those of the amphetamines and have more noticeable effects on mental activities than on motor activities. Methylphenidate shares the abuse potential of the amphetamines and is also a DEA schedule II controlled substance. It is clinically used in the treatment of narcolepsy and as adjunctive treatment in children with attentiondeficit hyperactivity disorder.
There is a large amount of advertising on the internet from people who claim to have much less dangerous solutions to hyperactivity and attention deficit through natural substances. Search AltaVista with the keyword Ritalin and you will find many. If your child is threatened with being placed on Ritalin, it might be worthwhile to consider some of these along with dietary changes (elimination of refined sweets, etc.). Maybe a few clandestine trips to the woodshed might help too, but be careful of the local gestapo. If your child is having behavior problems in school, it might be advantageous to teach the child to behave and keep him off drugs.
What are the possible side-effects of Ritalin?
Even when taken according to the prescription directions, there is a risk of developing dependence and tolerance to the drug. The manufacturer cautions physicians to be on the lookout for the following adverse effects:
What about the illegal use of Ritalin?
Ritalin tablets, which produce mild stimulant effects when taken as directed and at usual prescription doses, can create powerful stimulant effects and serious health risks when crushed and then snorted like cocaine, or injected like heroin. Producing cocaine-like stimulant effects, snorted or injected Ritalin is just the latest trend in a resurgence in abuse of stimulant drugs.In recent years, the frequency of diagnosis for attention deficit disorder has increased dramatically, especially since adults are now diagnosed with this disorder that had previously been considered a children-only disease. Prescriptions for Ritalin have increased more than 600% over the past five years according to the DEA, and a significant portion of these prescriptions are diverted for illicit non-medical use. When purchased in pharmacies with a valid prescription, Ritalin tablets usually cost 25 cents to 50 cents each. In the illicit street drug market, tablets sell for $3 to $15 each. While street prices in the Midwest are now at the low end ($3 to $5 per tablet) compared with some West Coast locations, they have been rising over the past few years. Epidemiologists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse describe Ritalin abuse over the last two decades as "sporadic but persistent," and rates of use fluctuate over time.
If abused, what are the dangers of Ritalin?
HEALTH CONSEQUENCES Ritalin (methylphenidate) is a central nervous system stimulant, similar to amphetamines in the nature and duration of its effects. It is believed that it works by activating the brain stem arousal system and cortex. Pharmacologically, it works on the neurotransmitter dopamine, and in that respect resembles the stimulant characteristics of cocaine. When taken in accordance with usual prescription instructions, it would be classified as having mild to moderate stimulant properties, but when snorted or injected it has a strong stimulant effect.
Health Consequences of Intravenous and/or Injection Drug Use The hypodermic syringe was designed to deliver a concentrated dose of a drug quickly and efficiently. In doing so, it bypasses many of the body's natural defense mechanisms such as the skin, respiratory cilia, digestive acids, etc. The syringe allows anything in it (drugs, dust, bacteria, pollen, allergens, yeasts, viruses, fillers, etc.) to pass directly into the blood and body tissues. The rapid delivery of drugs via injection makes it difficult for the user to control the intensity of the drug effect, thus making toxic overdoses more likely. When drugs are prepared for injection by a street user, dust, dirt, and other contaminants fall into the liquid. Bacteria, talc, lint, and other particles are injected along with the drug. The "inert ingredients" that manufacturers include to increase the bulk may be harmless when taken by mouth, but talc, cellulose, mineral oil, and sugars (among other fillers) can create serious problems when injected directly into veins or body tissues. Complications from injection drug use include:
There are numerous reports in medical journals about permanent and irreversible lung tissue damage related to injection of crushed Ritalin tablets. Health consequences of Snorting Drugs (Intranasal Insufflation): The delicate epithelial tissues that line the nasal cavities and air passages may be damaged by direct contact with drugs. Ritalin tablets contain the hydrochloride salt of methylphenidate and yield dilute hydrochloric acid when they come into contact with moisture. While this is not a problem in the stomach (hydrochloric acid is one of the digestive acids used in the stomach), in the nasal passages the acid can "burn" the delicate nasal tissues, resulting in open sores, nose bleeds, and possibly in deterioration of the nasal cartilage.
Legal issues in the illegal use of Ritalin
LEGAL ISSUES Ritalin (methylphenidate) is a Schedule II Controlled Substance under the federal Controlled Substances Acts. Under federal and state law, dealing in or distributing Ritalin is a serious felony. Depending upon the quantity, location of transfer, and age of the recipient, dealing in Ritalin could be a Class A Felony resulting in a prison term of up to 45 years, and a fine of up to $10,000.
The sale of Ritalin tablets by students to other students is common. Some students, not on Ritalin themselves, feel that they are at a disadvantage in school, much in the same manner that athletes resent other athletes taking steroids. They will buy the drug and try to regulate their own dosage. The traffic in illegal Ritalin by school children for recreational purposes is high. Parents are cautioned that if their children traffic in illegal Ritalin, they could lose their homes , automobiles and savings accounts due to DEA seizure. In addition they could face serious charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and child abuse. They are also liable to lawsuits for damages from the parents of the other child.
Once on Ritalin it is customary to leave the child on the drug until the 10th or 11th grade. The problem is: Sooner or later that child must face the real world on his own two feet. If he has been propped up on drugs, there is a loss of confidence when released from them. Other reports on the internet claim that a large percentage of these children on Ritalin will turn to other drugs when they can no longer get Ritalin.
Our public schools incessantly promote the use of drugs. Is it stupidity? Is it incompetence? Is illegal drug use so wide among the educators that they are seeking company and acceptance? Is it ideologically driven in a deliberate attempt to diminish the will of the American public in the face of an imminent socialist takeover? Merely another part of the process of dumbing down the American public? Or is it intellectual insanity? The result of generations of uncontrolled thought without basis or value?
An error of this proportion cannot be absorbed by our society indefinitely. It is typical of the error in every nook and cranny of our education system. The entire system is destructive. Whatever the reason, it appears that the only solution is to:
I found your web page in a web search for the "psychology" of "drug pushers".
Reading your page was pretty insightful for my purposes, but the more I read on, I realized that your message is the most dead on view of how to deal with the drug problem in today's youth. A lot of the drug education in my high school taught you the calculated risks of it all - the how to's, the what-to-look-out-fors, the seemingly-minor downsides of it all, and the penalties if caught. With this in mind, a lot of people just play game theory and calculate the risks & make a well-informed decision to do it anyway. More should be focused on positive alternatives in life that would give some better reasons not to get involved.
Just wanted to say "right on" and hope that you get your message out to the educators in this country!
I think that a proper education concerning drugs is probably the BEST thing that could be done for today's children. In fact, I think that part of the reason drug use is so bad is from a lack of proper knowledge. Part of the problem is that the current "drug education" programs, such as D.A.R.E, treat drug addiction as a purely criminal problem, and are presented by figures that the children are unlikely to respond positively to (i.e, a police officer comes in, and tells them "Don't do drugs, they are bad, and they make you into criminals. If you do drugs, me or one of my associates will have to arrest you and put you in jail." The unsuccessful tactic attempted here is to scare the kids into doing the right things; this is hardly effective at all. The drug problem in America has been called "epidemic". That very term implies that it is at least a partially medical problem. However, few if any medical programs have actually been applied to the current drug problem, and NO medical approach to drug education has ever been taken. Children are told "don't do drugs! you'll die!" or "you'll become a criminal" or "you'll go crazy and kill someone else or yourself". They are not told the facts about most drugs; this lack of knowledge, combined with the horror stories of parents and D.A.R.E officials, makes the experimentation with drugs into a perfect way to rebel. When teens find out that marijuana doesn't instantly turn a person into an insane criminal, they begin to feel like they've been lied to; they say "Gee, this isn't as bad as they made it out to be!". Of course, this often results in experimentation of other drugs, and the growing apathy towards the damage that such drugs might cause. In addition, alcohol and tobacco legality can give crossed messages to teens experimenting with drugs. Adults say "drugs are bad" but often enjoy a drink themselves, under the false pretense that drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes are not considered drug use. When teens then go out and try some weed, they find that its effects are often not nearly as strong as alcohol's, and that it is "better for you than cigarettes, because cigarettes have added chemicals". These are yet more additions to a pile of misinformation plaguing American youth. This is a tough subject for me; I say the things I do because I was in that position. I picked up my first drink when I was ten. My parents would say "don't do drugs! You'll end up a bum, or in jail!". Yet, they would enjoy a few cocktails upon coming home from work; I quickly deduced that they derived a sense of relaxation from the drink. I tried it myself, and what do you know! I was right. I could go on forever about my regrets; but let me sum it up for you; If I had known more about drugs, and if both misinformation and the hypocrisy of "the war on drugs" in a society dependent on alcohol and other drugs could be erased from our learning process, then perhaps I wouldn't have tried that first joint, and then that first line of coke. But I did. And I learned from that the hard way. People must be properly educated about ALL of this. The lack of such information would only make matters worse. The only thing that kept me from trying marijuana and other drugs until I was 14 was the fact that I was scared S***less to; but once I had... whoa! was I hooked. I was convinced I'd been lied to, and fed with the ideas of the drug-using culture that my false education was all a conspiracy of the government and of the tobacco and alcohol companies to make money off of the American public. As to your example of old guys travelling around getting tough... I'll tell you what , nothing was so convincing to me of how messed up my life had become as seeing a friend die from a cocaine overdose. What makes you think that most of these guys are old fakes? It was a group of such 'old fakes' that eventually helped me to reach sobriety. My story, as compared to the ones I heard from some of these people who had been doing drugs for 10 years longer than me, were nothing. It was their stories, made even more believable by what I had already seen, that eventually helped me to retrieve my sanity. I was 20 when I reached sobriety. I think that other teens can do it too... And I can't help but wonder sometimes, "what if I had just known about that group a few years earlier..." Unfortunately, my school had given me no such educational opportunity. And my god! I wish it was treated as a medical problem, as it is in Holland! Do you know how hard it was to sober up after years of drug use?! Perhaps if we adopted a hollandesque approach to drugs, we might actually help to curb drug use, God forbid. (and contrary to the belief that holland's residents are a bunch of addicts and drug users, and crime is higher over there, the fact is that most of the drug addicts and criminals there are people from other countries.. but that's another subject entirely...) What I mean to say by all of this is that it is not the education of drugs that causes drug use, but the lack thereof, or the falsification thereof. To teach the wrong things is as bad as not teaching kids at all. Perhaps if americans knew ALL the facts about the drugs floating around (including alcohol), they might be able to fight it off. I'd like to think that I'm a little older and a little wiser now, and that hindsight is 20/20...
This poignant letter says it all: