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News (Media Awareness Project) - CN BC: Editorial: Just Say No Approach Still Isn't Working
Title:CN BC: Editorial: Just Say No Approach Still Isn't Working
Published On:2012-01-20
Source:Coquitlam Now, The (CN BC)
Fetched On:2012-01-24 06:04:18

For a generation, "Just Say No" was the slogan hammered into our heads
when it came to drugs. It didn't work then and, apparently, it's not
working now.

The recent string of deaths related to ecstasy, much of which
apparently has been tainted with a toxic chemical, shows that some
people either ignore warnings or simply aren't aware of them.

After hearing "People have died taking ecstasy" and "We don't know
which pills are contaminated," you would think that people would stop.

But the most recent death, that of a Langley teen, came after several
weeks of warnings in every possible venue.

Unfortunately, the Just Say No approach has conditioned several
generations to ignore warnings.

The anti-drug lobby wants to prevent teens and young adults from
becoming addicted: a worthy goal. Unfortunately, this group will often
snatch at any straw that might scare people away from any illegal
drug. Many of their claims are based on shaky evidence or studies that
have been discredited. Using bad science just undermines the central,
real argument that addiction takes a terrible toll, both mentally and

In addition, young people have a keen eye for hypocrisy. The fact that
you can legally buy tobacco and alcohol everywhere in Canada - two
substances that are both addictive and potentially fatal - also tends
to undermine warnings about other drugs.

The warnings from the BC Coroners Service on the recent ecstasy deaths
have actually been blunt, straightforward and to the point.

Ecstasy is illegal, and is therefore made under uncontrolled
conditions that may be unsanitary. It is likely made by amateurs who
may or may not have a good understanding of what they're doing.

Unfortunately, even this kind of warning isn't enough to stop
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