Educate our kids — don’t let them get into drugs!
I recently started the Do Art Not Drugs initiative to help teach kids to steer away from drugs when first confronted with them and realize that creative pursuits are a lot more fun and far more rewarding.
Last month I held an art session with a group of very creative kids from the Renaissance Academy in Altadena, CA. Look at their messages through their art. They have got it RIGHT!
Last week I put their work on display at a public forum entitled Teens on Drugs: Are We Doing Enough? which was held April 7 at the Church of Scientology of Pasadena.
My art events with children also include the distribution of drug education materials supplied by the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, an international non-profit group which distributes it message through booklets, Public Service Announcements and documentary films.
In addition to the dangers of street drugs it is important for teachers and parents to wake up to an alarming increase in the abuse of prescription drugs by youth. A recent survey revealed that 24 percent of U.S. high school students, some 5 million kids, said that had abused prescription drugs. In fact according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, prescription drugs account for more overdose deaths among youth aged between 18 and 25 that all illegal drugs combined!
Here’s another statistic for you. According to a Dec 2012 CNN news report, it costs the U.S. an average of $30,000 a year to incarcerate an inmate, but the nation spends only an average of $11,665 per public school student. No to mention how art budgets in public schools are being cut.
Within our local communities and across the nation, the emphasis should be on educating youth on the dangers of drugs and helping people addicted to drugs break their habits of addiction. rt is a great way to help that education process.
That’s my rant for today on this topic!