Although the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program teaches kids about the dangers of drugs and different ways to respond when they are offered, Futrell said it is also vital that parents keep a close relationship with their children and make it known that they care about the choices they make.
“If you don’t talk to your kids now, you’re going to have a much harder time once they start middle school,” he said.
Futrell added that if parents didn’t talk to their kids about drugs, then other children at school probably will.
Major Duncan Wiggins of the Cadiz Police Department, who has led the fifth-grade D.A.R.E. classes in Trigg County for the last 11 years, said that graduates had learned nine different ways to say no to drugs. He called these “Ways to stay in charge.” One of these was to stay away from places where drugs might be. Several sets of fifth-graders demonstrated other ways to avoid using drugs. First, one boy asked another if he wanted to try some drugs, to which the other said, “No thanks, I’m good.”
Wiggins said that another good way to say no to drugs is for the child to give reasons and facts that support their decision to not partake. To demonstrate this, one boy pretended to offer another some marijuana. The boy said, “No, thanks. I heard it causes brain, mouth and lung cancer.” Wiggins said that using humor is also effective when turning down drugs, such as saying, “No, I need all my brain cells for my test tomorrow.”
For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.