Parents and teachers have a stark reality to face: accidental overdose is currently the leading cause of death under the age of 50 in the U.S. That means that an American teen is more likely to die of a drug-related cause than any other reason in his or her young life.
Despite the good intentions of decades of Just Say No campaigns, we have not effectively curbed drug use or drug related deaths by embracing abstinence-based drug education. Nor have we adequately prepared adults to navigate the new and evolving landscape of drugs, including the advent and rise of vaping and fentanyl-laced drug supplies.
As the primary recipients and recyclers of abstinence-based messaging and stigma, parents and educators alike could use an updated outlook on drug education and drug use with an eye for keeping kids safe during childhood and beyond.
In this episode, parents and teachers will have the opportunity to learn from other parents and teachers about the need for a fresh perspective and the benefits of learning a non-judgmental, harm reduction approach to drug use.
Hosted by Sasha Simon, Safety First Senior Program Manager at the Drug Policy Alliance, First of All aims to clear away all the junk science and stigma related to substance use, putting science, dignity and respect first. In this series, Simon brings key components of a harm reduction-approach to drug education to life online so viewers can discover innovative ways to learn about drugs that could save their lives or those of the people they love.