I’m Breathless

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 8:35 am

Heard an official from the National Institute on Drug Abuse talking on the radio about a recent report on inhalant abuse among children and teenagers. Apparently, aproximately 17 percent of all eighth graders have abused inhalants—paint thinner, hair spray, glue, nitrous, etc. Pretty scary stuff. But this person saved the worst for last. Studies show, he reported ominously, that children who regularly abuse inhalants invariably move on to…..marijuana! (Dun-dun-DUUUUUUUN!)

Don’t get me wrong; I am no proponent of childhood drug abuse. Hell, I’m a survivor of it. But the first thought that popped into my head at this announcement was, “Oh, thank God! If only those poor little tykes had started on pot sooner!”

Sorry to say it, but there’s no comparison between the potential damage of smoking a doobie and huffing a can of Aqua Net. To imply that moving from the latter to the former is anything but an improvement would lead one to wonder what you’ve been smoking. Or snorting.

2 Responses to “I’m Breathless”

  1. Joe Says:

    Seems to me that this is just par for the course. Religious extremists have seized control of the nation’s public health agenda, attacking ideologically expedient threats instead of more real or serious threats. I found this on the Google News feed.


    According to this article another politically popular idea, Virginity Pledges, actually lead to higher incidences of STD’s. I will paraphrase in-case Andrew doesn’t approve the link. Teenagers who pledge to remain virgins until they are married engage in much more risky -anything but- activities, resulting in higher rates of STD’s then are found among non-virginal teens. The article sites contributing factors such as a tendency among the “virginal” teens to avoid using condoms or to not seek information about STD’s and precautions that can be taken to prevent contracting them.

    Thinking about this I am reminded of a comment I heard a few weeks back. Recently, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) MD was cornered about the scientific accuracy of absence based HIV/AIDS prevention programs. These programs were teaching, among other things, that HIV/AIDS could be contracted through contact with tears. According to the CDC web site “Contact with saliva, tears, or sweat has never been shown to result in transmission of HIV”. Caught between the politics of supporting religiously motivated lies and established scientific fact this MD refused to acknowledge the lie as a lie.

  2. Uncle Andrew Says:

    Oh, as long as the link doesn’t lead to Texas Hold ‘Em, I’ll approve it all righty. 😉

    It’s interesting how, no matter how many times the “scorched earth” approach to teen awareness of the dangers of [topic of your choice] backfires, there’s always someone ready and willing to believe that it’ll work this time.

    I also don’t want to seem spring-loaded against religiously-based abstinence education, drug abuse prevention, etc. I’m for things that work, and what works in one demographic group won’t necessarily work in another. The problems begin, as you were pointing out in your post, when the divergence between “faith based” and “fact based” becomes too great to sustain the program or policy in question.

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