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major problem that exists within Canadian society is the abuse of mind-altering

substances. Such narcotics cause not only health problems, but also violent and

potentially criminal acts. A mind-altering narcotic can be defined as both the legal and

illegal type. The four main categories of drugs are: narcotics, CNS depressants, CNS

stimulants, and hallucinogens. Most of these drugs are highly addictive and are usually

obtained by prescription or are considered a banned substance and must be purchased


Users of many of the “harder” drugs being abused today also face the possibility of an

eventual overdose. An overdose is the ingestion of a lethal or mind-damaging amount

of drugs. Once an full addiction of these drugs occur, the user faces withdrawal

symptoms when a discontinuation of a drug transpires. This is due to a reduction of the

natural pain-killers that exist in the body of non-drug users. These symptoms include

chills, sweating, cramps, headaches, diarrhea and excessive vomiting. The treatment of

drug addicts includes an extensive program of detoxification. Medical drugs, such as

Naloxone, are sometimes given to patients to aid in overcoming these addictions. These

drugs occupy opiate receptors in the brain to block all effects of the damaging drugs,

however the Naloxone is not an addictive drug, as the others are. The downfall to the

medical drugs being used to help addiction are that there effects are very short-term

and cannot cure the patient, but does assist in attaining the goal of substituting a more

controllable, less lethal drug as opposed to the original narcotic .

The key to preventing substance abuse in Canada is to educate the public, preferably at

a young age, never to experiment with potentially life-threating drugs. This education

can be attained within the pre-secondary schools. In 1988 prime minister Brian

Mulroney announced proposed Canada’s Drug Strategy. Laws were enacted, which

prohibited the sale of drug paraphernalia and increased the power of police to seize the

assets of arrested drug offenders. The Strategy allocated the sum of $210 million in its

first five years (and an additional $270 million in 1992) mainly to the prevention,

education and treatment of drug use, while 30 per cent of this money was intended for

the traditional area of law enforcement.

The goal of education within the school system should be to support those students

who are non-users with recognition and social activities that will encourage them to

remain non-users and to facilitate a belief and value system that incorporates concern

for fellow students and residents of the community. Drug education should emphasise

the negative aspects of drugs to give the student a fair understanding of the long-term

effects of drug use.

Building a program for long-term survival, which describes features of prevention

programs that can increase a program’s survival chances after the initial grant period

should be considered a priority. Educators cannot be at the student?s side at all times,

especially when the student is faced with pressuring situation affecting the

experimentation of drugs. Programs must focus one long-term education that will

remain in the students mind long after the program has terminated. One option for

educators is to use the tool of fear. If enough fear is put into the students mind in may

deter them from ever wanting to experiment with the drugs; or even from becoming

curious of their effects.

The clear solution to winning to “war on drugs” is to establish a clear long term

program. Such a program should include government grants, a description of the

health risks associated with the use of alcohol and illicit drugs, standards of conduct

that clearly prohibit the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of alcohol and illicit,

and a description of the applicable legal sanctions under school, local, state, or federal

law for the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of alcohol and illicit drugs. These

examples, along with the use of fear, should provide a very effective method of

deterring students from ever wanting to, or becoming curious with experimentation of


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