Can Kids Be Scared Off Drugs?

In 1986, 22-year-old Boston Celtics forward Len Bias died of a cocaine overdose. This week, DrugMonkey argued that Bias' death—as opposed to educational programs like DARE—was the major reason why self-reported rates of cocaine use by 20-year-olds dropped from 20% in the mid-1980s to 7% in the early 1990s.

So, what do you think:

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The question is way too vague. Scared off drugs how?
By horror stories or personal experience? No and yes, respectively.

A qualified yes. Genuine information about the risks, from people who are not seen as just scaremongering, will have an effect. Saying "If you take drugs you'll die!" just makes kids think the adults are exaggerating and puts all the various drugs on the same level as other stuff parents don't want you to do, like staying out late or drinking alcohol. Openness and informed discussion will generally work best, and gives them a good basis for resisting peer pressure and downplaying of risk later on. Of course scary real-life stories may well play a part in that discussion.

OT: A friend directed me to this page, and I was wondering if you had heard of it and what you thought of it.

Scaring kids versus teaching kids is the real issue. Teaching is about consistency. Fear is just-scary. Save it for Haloween.

Fear works though if we count the maternalistic Hillary adverts scaring women (who apparently have fearful children) to the polls....

By the real cmf (not verified) on 05 Mar 2008 #permalink

The problem with scaring off kids that to lose the fear effect they only need a friend who has used drugs and is fine, and who tells it's okay.

By Dunkleosteus (not verified) on 05 Mar 2008 #permalink

As tincture said, the question is way too vague.

Yes, some kids can be scared off some drugs, but rationale and detailed education provided by believable, trusted persons will keep more kids off the most dangerous drugs.

You'll never "scare" kids off tobacco, alcohol, or marijuana (of which tobacco is the most dangerously addictive).

Do you smoke cigarettes? Does lung cancer scare you?

Did Reefer Madness do anything to stop the "new drug destroying America's youth" in the 30s?
--> hit the play button if you oppened the video - lol!

Anyway..... drug use goes down as prices or reports of tainted drugs increase. To be young is to be immortal! Dare is an interesting social phenomenon - lots of young folks have a bumper sticker on their car just to ward off suspicion. Most youth laugh at attempts to convince them of their mortality.

There are other programs that encourage young people to explore themselves, their capabilities, and their world. Sometimes it works.

Scare tactics almost never work, maybe the scared straight prison program.



By Wee Gordie (not verified) on 06 Mar 2008 #permalink

Oops, I forgot to mention that I think your post is has a bit of Bias in it - ROTFLMAO


By Wee Gordie (not verified) on 06 Mar 2008 #permalink

I remember being forced to watch the propaganda film "Reefer Madness" and others that tried to scare teens away from drugs. All we ever did was laugh at them.

That type of over-the-top tactic does not work, honesty does. Do not misjudge a teen's intelligence or motivation.

By Gilgamesh (not verified) on 04 Nov 2009 #permalink