Cocaine In Our Schools
In March of 2011 the news was alerting everyone to the fact that an elementary school in Washington, D. C. had a student that brought cocaine to school and shared it with other children, leading to charges of possession of a controlled substance. Four children who received the drug ingested in orally or inhaled it. All of the children were taken to the hospital and were determined to be out of any danger.
In September 2010, school officials in Bowling Green, Ohio discovered cocaine in an elementary school cafeteria. A seven year old in New Jersey was found with crack cocaine. A 13-year-old student in Hock Hill, South Carolina was trying to sell a bag of cocaine to fellow students in the bathroom of his middle school. All of this begs the question of how theses children were able to have access to cocaine and are children at the elementary level actually using cocaine?
The National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and health Promotion states that cocaine use among youth increased from 2% in 1991 to 4% in 2001 and then decreased to 3% in 2009.
According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, 36.8 million Americans aged 12 and older had tried cocaine at least once in their lifetimes, representing 14.7% of the population. Approximately 5.3 million (2.1%) has used cocaine in the past years and 1.9 million (0.7%) had used cocaine within the past month. 1 This report goes on to show that .9% of the 8th grade students used cocaine in the past month in 2008, with 1.2% of the 10th graders and 1.9% of the 12th grade students.
Another national survey, National Household Survey of Drug Abuse shows that 66,000 girls between the ages of 12 and 17 had used cocaine in the past month in 1999.
Over the past twenty years, there has been a trend for all illicit drugs to trickle down from their sales on the streets to colleges and junior colleges, then to high schools and junior high schools and, tragically, many are moving into children in elementary classrooms. The judicial system and law enforcement have heightened the penalties for distributing drugs on or around a school yard and drug education and prevention professionals have begun addressing the issue of cocaine and other illicit and dangerous drugs to a younger clientele, but the fact remains that this trend is still very evident in America today. Drug prevention strategies are quite different for prepubescent children than they are for the high school populations that were used to research and develop prevention approaches.
It has also been seen that crack cocaine, which was originally marketed in urban ghettos and areas of high street crimes is now becoming popular in club and bar settings and in our schools.
Most middle class parents are unprepared and many times unwilling to think with the idea that their children or their peers might have access to street drugs as strong and dangerous as cocaine. This pervasive feeling of denial keeps parents from seeking out education and support so that they can initiate conversations about cocaine with their children and create a climate where children feel that it is safe to have a dialog with their parents about cocaine and other drugs that they are being introduced to when they are away from home.
Instead, you will find young children having conversations with their peers on how to act around the parents so that they won't detect that they are high on coke.
Today's parents have the benefit of the internet to learn about how cocaine affects children whose bodies and minds are still developing as well as finding demographic and statistical data that will help break the denial that produces typical parent comments such as: "there is no way that my child would ever come into contact with anyone that has even taken cocaine, much less someone who is selling the drug".
When cocaine has been discovered in elementary school aged children's environment, most parents blame their schools systems, which in turn, point their fingers at the lack of drug education in the homes. Everyone has difficulty in accepting that cocaine could be a threat to young children, but in some areas of our country, this has been the case for many years.
Fortunately, there are professional Narconon drug education presenters and prevention specialists who can use researched based approaches of presenting the dangers of cocaine without making it an exciting taboo that can play into the hands of children who are looking for ways to establish their right of passage as they begin to test the system in their efforts to mature and emancipate. Narconon's Drug Education presenters are well trained and available to schools, and other venues where youth can learn the truth about drugs and develop protective attitudes that will help them navigate through the influences and pressures that could, without this help, lead them to addiction.
Call a Narconon cocaine treatment center if you know someone who uses cocaine.
- Ref: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National Findings, September 2009.