Controversy, controversy, controversy! Everywhere you look there is controversy - even when you are talking about programs for troubled teens that are used in schools. An article describes a federally funded study that scrutinizes the effectiveness of a program developed to discourage teen age drug abuse. Their conclusions were critical of the program, claiming that instead of curbing drug abuse, it actually encouraged drug abuse in addition to angering its teen participants.
“The study concluded that grouping at-risk youth together, even for a class designed to set them straight, could be a bad idea.”
One of the study’s authors suggests that the study puts all such teen programs into question, noting that Texas alone spent 35 million on a variety of drug education programs in one year. Which suggests to me an ulterior motive for the study. It certainly makes no sense to conclude that grouping teens at risk together is unsuitable for such classes. How, pray tell, might one assemble them? But the reporter sheds no light as to where anyone should go with these kids nor does he enlighten his readers as to why the study was ever initiated or why 4 million dollars of tax payer money funded it.
Knowing that drug legalization advocates have a great deal of money invested in un-demonizing drugs, it would have been helpful had the reporter offered more background on the origins of the study so one could determine it’s credibility. It is futile to hope that politics would be set aside when it comes to teens at risk, given that children are already being used as political pawns for the 2008 elections.
By Ann Walker