Take Back America Campaign
1692 Aitken Rd, Lincoln, Calif. 95648 (916) 434 5629 firstname.lastname@example.org
PROTECT THE KIDS. PROTECT THE NATION.
ONE SIMPLE ANSWER TO PREVENT DRUG USE AND KEEP KIDS SAFE
Community Forum: Wednesday, May 9 _ 10, 2012
Time: 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Invited : School Board Members/Administration and Parents are Encouraged to attend.
Program: Addiction – Where and How It Begins Impacts of Drugs on The Adolescent Body and Brain
Prevention Programs That Have Worked
Proposed Drug Prevention Program
Presenters: Roger Morgan, Founder, Take Back America Campaign
Dr. George Elder, VP, Psychemedics
Carla Lowe, Founder, Californians For Drug-Free Schools
Hair Testing For Drugs
addiction is a preventable disease
One Simple Step ToPrevent Drug Addiction
Take Back America Campaign, 916 434 5629 email email@example.com
In 2010, 196 kids in St. Louis died of heroin overdose, up from 116 the year before, a 169% increase. Across the river in Jefferson County, deaths increased from 5 in 2008 to 26 in 2010, a 500% increase. In Placer County, Ca. in July 2011, 14% of patients in country drug treatment clinics said they were addicted to heroin, up from 8.5% the previous year; a 165% increase. From other sources, heroin use is epidemic throughout America. In many places they are lacing marijuana with heroin.
But heroin isn’t the only drug that kills, and death isn’t the only adverse outcome. Most addicts just ruin their lives. From personal experience, I can attest to the fact that they suck the quality out of life for all in their circle of loved ones. Almost all have one thing in common; they started their drug journey with marijuana. To prevent the problem of drugs like heroin that kill by overdose, we must start by preventing marijuana use where the journey begins, with kids. How?
Fourteen years ago, a courageous pioneer in prevention, Head Mistress/Principle Dr. Yvonne Gelpi at De La Salle High School in New Orleans, implemented a hair testing program with Psychemedics. With parental support, she gave students 90 days to stop if they were using drugs. On the first test, 33 kids tested positive, and the parents were called in. On the second test only 3. Years later, they rarely ever have a positive, but when they do they call the parents in, and never have a repeat.
Following her lead, Dr. George Elder, Headmaster at a private school in Tuscaloosa implemented a similar program. They tested everyone at the beginning of the school year, then random selection thereafter. In his own words, “….. it was the best thing he ever did for his kids.” George retired early from school administration to become VP of School and College Programs for Psychemedics, so he can help others.
Private schools have the advantage of making drug testing a criteria for admission. Public schools can legally test all students engaged in sports and extra-curricular activities based on a 2002 Supreme Court decision, but that doesn’t always mean without resistance, from parents or the ACLU. The Take Back America Campaign has developed the following program which shouldn’t be contested by anyone who cares about kids.
1) Voluntary Program using hair testing for parents who want the extra protection, and student leaders who want a reason to just say no to peer pressure. Cost: $59. Benefits: retail discounts, rewards, recognition, safe passage to adulthood.
2) School Policy for middle and high schools that stipulates if there is any cause for concern they will have a right to administer a drug test using hair, or other devices if necessary. Cost for positive test is $59 to be paid by parents/student. Follow on test within 100 days $59.
Schools or volunteers are paid $5 to take and mail a sample, so no cost to schools. The school policy serves as a deterrent for ALL kids, and for early detection if a kid has a problem. Non-punitive nature keeps kids in the system instead of flushing them out. Results are confidential between parents and school. Law enforcement is not involved, and records are sealed or destroyed on graduation. Teaches young people to be accountable for their own actions, and gets parents and schools working together, THE solution to keeping kids off drugs.
Founder, Take Back America Campaign
PREVENTION IS NO LONGER AN OPTION
Drug abuse is preventable, if we do what works to prevent it. And, prevent it we must, or accept our fate as a nation in decline. Addiction is called a pediatric onset disease, because it almost always starts with kids. To prevent the society’s drug problem, we must take action to protect kids; to deter the onset of the disease until they reach adulthood and their bodies and brains are less vulnerable.
The annual economic cost of our neglect is over $1 trillion, 600,000 deaths a year and over 23 million Americans enslaved by an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Drugs and alcohol are the root cause of almost all of our social and economic problems. Observe:
• Law Enforcement – More crime and less resources to fight it. Over 80% of violent crimes are committed under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 66% of prisoners are addicts, 33% mentally ill. America has 5% of the world’s population and consumes 66% of the world’s illicit drugs. We house 25% of the world’s prisoners. We have almost 1,000,000 gang members in America, many affiliated with the drug cartels. On average, addicts commit 100 crimes a year.
• Health Problems – According to CASA (Columbia University) substance abuse accounts for 72 major diseases requiring hospitalization, with a related cost of $700 billion a year. Roughly 3,600 Americans die monthly of drug overdose, almost all of whom started their drug journey with marijuana. Marijuana, being fraudulently touted as medicine, is a major cause of brain damage, birth defects and addiction, aside from numerous other deleterious effects. Marijuana doesn’t kill by overdose, but it is a gateway leading to the use of other drugs that do … such as heroin, which is on the rise nationally.
• Mental Illness – Drugs and alcohol are a major causal factor in psychosis. Marijuana use during adolescence can cause schizophrenia, paranoia, suicidal depression and PERMANENT brain damage.
• Education – America has slipped to 24th in the world academically, and in decline. Nationally, one-third are high school drop outs. According to UC Santa Barbara research, the average cost of a high school drop out over their life span is $386,000. Drugs and alcohol play a major role in truancy, violence, teen pregnancies sexually transmitted disease and traffic fatalities. Marijuana particularly impairs one’s ability to absorb and retain knowledge, stifles motivation and restricts the maturation process.
• Welfare – Addicts can’t work, or work affectively, so they burden the welfare roles. As addiction further cripples their brains, many end up “permanently disabled” and thereafter become a burden until death on all aspects of public service. Unable to care for their offspring, over 6 million children end up being raised by grandparents or in foster homes.
• Traffic Safety – Drugs alone account for 37% of injury accidents. A 20 year study in New Zealand verified that smoking marijuana doubles the risk of an injury accident. A California study (Crancer) showed that traffic fatalities caused by marijuana impairment doubled from 2004 to 2009 owing to the proliferation of marijuana use.
In California, substance abuse absorbs 20% of the State budget. If we didn’t have to spend the money shoveling up the damage, we would have more resources for schools, law enforcement, et al.
Hair Testing Prevents Drug Use
Random drug testing using hair analysis has a 90 day window and it is impossible to cheat the test. It isn’t the only prevention tool, but it is the best, and it makes all of the others work better, like conveying factual information on the harms of drugs and effective parenting. Schools will benefit by having less disciplinary problems, better attendance, improved academic performance, less violence and teenage crime and a more wholesome atmosphere and learning environment. The best education is wasted on a young person who contracts the disease of addiction and becomes a public burden for life. Deferring the onset of drug use by kids will have lasting benefits for the families, schools and society.
VOLUNTARY HAIR TESTING program for parents who want the extra protection, and kids that want a reason to just say “no” to peer pressure, for all middle and high schools. The cost for enrollment is $49 per school year, paid by the parents, with the stipulation that the child will be tested at least once. Testing more frequently is possible on request. Schools can offer it, or a community coalition or volunteer working with the school can do it for the school. TBAC will pay $5 for taking and mailing the sample.
Mandatory testing for athletes and those engaged in extra-curricular activities has been sanctioned by the Supreme Court since 2002, and is encouraged as a school policy. But a Suspicion Based Testing at school can potentially achieve the same outcome, providing protection to all students.
SUSPICION BASED TESTING AT SCHOOL If a child shows any cause for concern, the school, at its sole discretion, will have the right to administer a drug test using hair analysis, or any other type of test if for any reason a hair test will not work. Suspicion may be based on any information considered reliable by the administration, and such information will remain confidential. Causes for concern may include:
• Observed behavior or change in performance
• Reckless driving or speeding on campus
• Any major disciplinary infraction as defined by the Administration
• Chronic tardiness or absences from school.
• Being off campus without permission
• Violation of any civil or criminal law
• Excessive detention hours
• Excessive bullying
• Parental concern and request for testing
• Classmates concerned about friends
• Conduct which reflects poorly on the reputation of the school.
Results will be communicated back to the School Administration or Principal, or person designated by the school Principal. If a child tests positive, the parents will be notified and called in to work with the School counselor to determine a course of action, and/or need for treatment. Thereinafter, the child will be enrolled in a random drug testing program through high school. Schools tell us that once the parents get involved, a repeat is unlikely.
CONSEQUENCES FOR POSITIVE TEST RESULTS
In most cases of a positive test result, when the parents are called in a repeat is unlikely. Some suggestions follow, but parents and schools can determine their own consequences. Our suggestions:
On the first positive test on the voluntary program, only the parents will be advised with the proviso that they agree to a follow up hair analysis in 100 days, and in the period the student will complete a computer course on the harms of marijuana and other drugs to be reviewed by the parents, and a final exam be passed. If the school conducts a test based on suspicion, the parent will be notified by the designated person at the school and agree to the same conditions as above, but with notification to the designated school person on completion. If the child needs treatment, the school or local services will engage with the parents to find a suitable program.
On the second positive test Any or all of the following:
- Suspension of driving privileges (California Law stipulates one year to get a learner’s permit or drive’s license.)
- Loss of privileges for participation in extra-curricular activities and sports until a follow up test reveals a negative or clean result. Getting coaches involved in follow on action could be instrumental in keeping kids straight. They have a vested interest in their sports team, but more importantly in the health and well being of the student.
- Enrollment in a drug treatment or rehabilitation program after school.
- Community service, and other conditions as determined by the parents and counselor.
Additional Positive Tests If on additional tests the child tests positive, they need to be in treatment. Driving privileges should be revoked, as well as participation in sports and extra curricular activities. Interim drug testing should be used with urine, saliva and alcohol strips. While they aren’t as accurate as hair testing, it takes drugs roughly 5 to 7 days to get into the hair follicles, yet it only takes a day or two for other drugs to get out of one’s system.
Leniency is encouraged on the first positive test, with more severe consequences for repeats. In all cases the intent is to keep the child in the system, not pull them out or suspend them as has been the historic “zero tolerance” policy.
RECOGNITION AND REWARDS
Students enrolled in the voluntary program will receive Student Leader ID cards with their picture and credentials. Local merchants, major retailers and insurance companies will be encouraged to give discounts. Financial rewards, recognition and endorsements for scholarships are all part of the mix to encourage a wholesome, productive lifestyle. Upper classmen can also talk to elementary school children to encourage them to stay off drugs, and follow their role model.
Hair Testing has proven to be THE best deterrent to keep kids off drugs. In some private schools that had major problems, drug use has effectively been eliminated. This program offers the same possibilities for all schools, public and private. The benefits include:
- Suspicion Based Testing will provide a deterrent to cover ALL kids.
- No cost to schools. They actually make money to cover costs by taking hair samples.
- Trust between parents and students is preserved by suspicion based testing at school.
- Schools can determine their own policy for the consequences of drug use.
- Kids learn they are accountable for their own actions.
- The onus of playing drug cop is lifted off teachers and parents.
- The program gets parents working with the schools for the child’s health and safety.
- Hair testing has proven track record in reducing, and in some cases eliminating, drug use.
- Hair testing is more accurate and less intrusive than urine or saliva testing.
- The ACLU and drug legalizers have no legitimate stance for opposition.
- Parents should have no justifiable reason to oppose the program. Most will embrace it.
- Nobody is forced to enroll in the voluntary program. Suspicion testing covers all kids.
- Non-punitive nature keeps kids in the system instead of flushing them out.
- This program will save lives and reduce the burden on all levels of public service.
HOW TO GET STARTED
Schools or a local coalition can start a program just by designating a Local Program Administrator, who will register with the Take Back America Campaign, and fill out the attached form. The contact information is as follows:
The Freestyle Foundation
(dba) 21 Drug Free Challenge
P.O. Box __________
Lincoln, Ca. 95648
(916) 434 5629
(916) 434 5676 fax
The Program Administrator, either in the school or the local community collation, should register all parents and students who want to participate in the voluntary program. Participants can either present him or her with a check for fifty nine dollars made out to 21 Drug Free Challenge or they can pay with a credit card by going on line.
While the voluntary program can protect those who participate, it is strongly requested that the School Board adopt a policy for all middle and high school kids that in their sole discretion, any child who shows cause for concern will be hair tested. In that manner, all kids will receive the added protection they need to get safely to adulthood drug free.
Parents are naturally protective of their child, but based on research, kids historically have used drugs for two years before their parents even find out. Drugs today are so strong, the window of opportunity to save them from death or a life time of hell with addiction could be days or weeks. Parents and schools both have a critical role to play. Working together is the key to demand reduction for drugs and producing healthier, better educated, more productive young adults.
If we care about young people, or the future of our nation, prevention is no longer an option. It’s a necessity.
The Best Prevention Tool
21DRUG FREE CHALLENGE
P.O. Box ________, Lincoln, Ca. 95648 (916) 434 5629 firstname.lastname@example.org
Local Administrator ____________ _______
City, State _____________________
Phone _________ Ext ____ Fax __________
Website If Applicable ___________________
School Program (Client #___________)
Grades: Student Enrollment
School Policy For Suspicion Based Testing Yes _________ No ___________
Student Name Birth Date Parent/Guardian Email or Contact For Test Result Paid
 Sacramento Bee Article dated 03/28/2012 Heroin Use Surges in Suburban, Affluent Placer County