Preventing Teen Drug Use

March 15, 2002 • Volume 12, Issue 10
Is the “get-tough” approach effective?
By David Masci

Introduction

A youth smokes a pipe filled with marijuana during the 11th Annual Massachusetts Cann Freedom Festival, a rally by supporters of legalizing cannabis, or marijuana.  (Newsmakers/Darren McCollester)
A youth smokes a pipe filled with marijuana during the 11th Annual Massachusetts Cann Freedom Festival, a rally by supporters of legalizing cannabis, or marijuana. (Newsmakers/Darren McCollester)

Teenage drug abuse has dropped slightly in recent years, but the rate is still high — 54 percent of American kids use an illegal drug before high school graduation. The problem is compounded by the rising popularity of potentially lethal drugs like Ecstasy and GBH — the “date-rape” drug. Some experts say the answer is random drug testing and zero-tolerance policies in schools. Others argue that such “get-tough” techniques don't work, while trampling students' civil rights. To add to the controversy, some studies show that the popular, school-based DARE prevention program, with its message of strict abstinence, is ineffective. Meanwhile, President Bush has won praise for a new drug initiative that puts more emphasis on treatment and prevention.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Teens and Alcohol
Aug. 18, 2006  Drinking on Campus
Mar. 15, 2002  Preventing Teen Drug Use
Mar. 20, 1998  Drinking on Campus
Jul. 28, 1995  Preventing Teen Drug Use
Mar. 13, 1992  Underage Drinking
May 15, 1981  Teen-Age Drinking
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Drug Abuse
Substance Abuse
Teenagers