Teach children to say no to drugs

Published 6:37 pm Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The LaGrange Daily News has had the unfortunate duty of sharing two separate instances where drugs were found in local schools in the past two weeks.

Incidents like these are fortunately relatively uncommon in Troup County, but they highlight a need within our community nonetheless.

In our modern world, children, teens and even adults will at some point have to make a decision on whether to try drugs or not. It is our job as a community to explain to young people what to do when they face that crucial decision.

Any DARE graduate can tell that the correct response when you offered drugs is to “just say no,” but how many of us have sat down and talked with the children in our lives about why they should not do drugs?

Programs like DARE — and its more recent update Law Enforcement Against Drugs — give children an idea of why they should not do drugs in a school setting.

These programs are of course vital for both education and prevention, but how many children do you know that really take something to heart — especially something difficult like defying peer pressure — if they only hear it at school?

Students need to know that their parents, grandparents, neighbors and church members care about them and do not want to see them succumb to the negative effects of drugs.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teachers, drugs can cause lung cancer, heart disease, liver disease and long-term addiction.

These are problems that no one should have to confront, especially when the cause is preventable.

The impact of drug use is not limited strictly to long-term health concerns either.

For teens, perhaps the most pressing point may be that driving while under the influence of marijuana or other drugs can result in similar penalties to drunk driving. In more serious cases jail time is possible.

All of this can be prevented though, and you can help.

Talk to the children and teens in your life about the negative impact of drugs. Let them know that you care.

If you are not sure how to start the conversation, the officers at the LaGrange Police Department would be glad to help.

The police department can be reached at (706) 883-2603.