Ian Ford (ianford@DIRCON.CO.UK)
Wed, 28 Jun 1995 15:47:51 +0100
I don't want to make a big deal out of this issue but ...
Yes, Ritalin and Dexadrine are stimulants , and may be abused. I was
unhappy that the phrase " a kid with a pocket full of uppers " was used
in this context. Perhaps I'm being over-sensitive, but it seemed to be
equating treatment for a genuine medical problem with illit drug use.
Many kids are sensitive enough about having a neuropsychological
disability without having to be classed , at least by innuendo or
association, with drug abusers.
What concerns me is that Mr Brown might use the phrase in front of other
Scouts , parents or the kid himself , and give the wrong impression.
When I do the drug abuse presentation to Scouts I take care to stress
that drugs are not bad _per se_ ; abuse of drugs is. I would hate a kid
to stop taking medication he needed because he felt that to do so was
weak , or morally wrong as a result of a careless remark.
Usually I start my drugs session by asking kids to brainstorm names of drugs.
I get heroin , cocaine, cannabis etc. (or their street names) - then I
add caffeine ( read coffee, cola, Mountain Dew ) , alcohol , tobacco.
Then aspirins, penicillin , Tylonol , Benadryl ...
After that I talk about the medicinal use of drugs and lead into the
risks of abuse. Any drug needs to be used responsibly, whether it is
aspirin , legal " social " drugs such as alcohol , or illicit drugs
bought off the street.
I just do not like street slang being used to describe legitimate
pharmaceuticals. Sloppy language implies sloppy thinking , and sloppy
thinking can lead to sloppy attitudes.
Ian N Ford MRSH
Boy Scout Trainer, Channel District BSA
PS - FWIW I have completed Drug Awareness Education training for youth
and community workers and am a member of a Health Authority Drug
Reference Group which is a multi-agency policy forum dealing with drug
education , rehabilitation and enforcement in one of inner London boroughs.
So I might know a little bit about the subject ...
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City