The dangers of addiction - When should the discussion begin?
It seems that every generation faces a battle with a drug that will kill them. Today's opioid epidemic continues to sweep the nation, and is particularly lethal in our Philadelphia community. We must start talking about the dangers of addiction right from the very beginning.
In 1981, I wrote Lost in the Ooze, a modern day fable originally developed as an educational tool for teachers and parents to open a dialogue with children regarding the dangers of addiction. Over 30 years later, I am convinced it remains a timely tool for audiences of all ages.
Drugs remain a taboo topic. Why? We teach our children to cross the street safely, warn them about strangers, yet we hesitate to address drug issues directly when it is so prevalent. Having taught for 10 years in the Philadelphia school system, I've witnessed first hand how this story initiates conversation about the perils of drug use.
I once told a group of teachers that we should start teaching, Lost in the Ooze, (like it was a Christmas poem) in kindergarten. That day, one young teacher raised her hand and said, “They’re too young, you’ll scare them!”
Yeaaaah! I hope so.
Does that sound cruel? Does that sound hard? Well, maybe it’s time to scare the hell out of kids. It’s better than the alternative. In 2016, 36,000.00 people died from drug over-doses.
Also, I am available to perform this tale live and co-lead the discussions that follow. If you are an educator in the tri-state area, or a member of a community group that could benefit from this lesson please contact me. This is such an important message to share.