I believe it is vital to expose children to drug education at a young age. If children are made aware of the risks of using drugs recreationally before they are ever in situations of drug use, they may be more likely to resist giving into the influence. One educational experience that had a large influence on me personally was in my high school health class. Recovered drug addicts from a local spectrum home came to our class to tell us their stories about the path of their addiction and the horrible life-changing detrimental effects of the drugs. The stories were moving and emotionally impacted all the students in the class. It was eye-opening to hear about how recreational use lead to addiction so quickly and uncontrollably. In my opinion, programs such as these would offer a potential solution to the toxicological abuse epidemic.
Another program I have heard about is schools taking their students on trips to local prisons to listen to inmates speak of their drug history. Such programs give students first-hand exposure to the legal consequences of being involved with drugs. Many inmates have lengthy or life-long sentences because of their drug involvement, and hearing them personally speak about their situations would likely deter children from making the same risky decisions. I believe that both of these types of programs would be beneficial to involve children with from a young age. In addition to starting from a young age I think it would be a good idea to make the programs a somewhat consistent part of health education. Rather than only attending such events one time, I think it would make more of an impact if it were an annual event where students listened to different speakers and different stories each time. In this manner, the consequences may become more real and relevant to the students, and the emotions and reality of the risks of drugs would stick with them for longer.