Shame on The Chronicle, of West Lorne, Ontario, for running this high school student's column and not fixing his/her spelling and grammar. Embarrassing a kid in print, in front of the whole town, is a bad introduction to newspapers. No wonder kids end up so screwed up on MTV and YouTube and MySpace.
Yeah, well, and shame on Taylor Cundy for being such a crappy speller and having such lousy grammar. Youth is No Excuse for subliteracy. Especially for a Canadian Anglophone Youth.
Can't verify, but my intuition is that Taylor's a girl. She COULD have shown her draft column to her Health Teacher before she sent it off to The Chronicle. Maybe she did. So shame on the Health Teacher. Surely good spelling and good grammar are important components of good health.
West Lorne is near London, Ontario, and has a population of 1400. Wikipedia reports that West Lorne is home to western Elgin County's only high school, West Elgin Secondary School.
West Lorne, Ontario, Canada
Thursday 5 April 2007
Most Teenagers Don't Use Pot
by Taylor Cundy
In health class every year we learn about drugs and their effects on the human body. We learn the drug groups and some of the effects. What we don't learn is what this does to the brain and the rest of our body. The thing that scares me about health class is that nobody listens and I know that over half my class is going to try drugs before they turn eighteen. I hope that this article will give them enough information to not try drugs.
The most popular drug that we hear about in our area is marijuana. One in six high school students have tried marijuana. Marijuana has many different street names but in our area the most common names are weed and pot. What people that use marijuana don't know is that traces of this drug stay in your body for up to seven days after you actually use it. Some effects of marijuana are feeling very thirsty, hungry, paranoia and delirium. If I could tell all marijuana users one thing it would be that you don't have to use marijuana just because you think everybody else is doing it. Most teenagers do not use marijuana!
Another drug that teens take is ecstasy. They use it at raves so our area probably doesn't have a lot of this drug. Ecstasy has good and bad side effects. Some good side effects are self-confidence, empathy, energy and peacefulness. Then there are the bad side effects which include the need to touch other people, increased heart rate and blood pressure, blurred vision, chills and or sweating. Are you willing to take these risks every time that you take ecstasy?
There are four main stages of drug abuse. The first stage is experimental use which usually involves peers for recreational use. The next stage is regular use where the taker worries about losing the drug. Daily preoccupation is the third step where the user loses any motivation and there behaviour changes become obvious. The last stage of drug abuse is dependence where the user can't face daily life without the drug. This is the stage when the user will need serious rehabilitation help.
I don't think that drugs are cool and I don't get why people try to pressure others to try drugs. I hope that this article has taught you something that you didn't know and has convinced you that there are bad things that go along with drugs. Always remember that its okay to say "no" to something that you don't want to do.
West Lorne, Ontario, Canada
Thursday 26 April 2007
Letter to the Editor:
Students Keep Using Drugs
Much of Taylor Cundy's column "Most Teenagers Don't Use Pot" (5 April) reflects a school drug curriculum of value. Cundy writes, however:
"What people that use marijuana don't know is that traces of this drug stay in your body for up to seven days after you actually use it."
This factoid doesn't exist in a vacuum, but warns students that they risk failing a school or workplace drug test. It's three weeks too short; THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis, is fat soluble and typically lingers in detectable amounts for up to a month after ingestion.
In the United States, where suspicionless random student drug testing has become central to anti-drug policy, students have learned about marijuana's month-long lingering traces.
Students are protecting themselves against a life-destroying failed drug test by shifting to heroin, which has become concentrated enough to snort rather than inject.
Opiates like heroin, codeine, morphine and Oxycodone are water soluble, and are flushed from the body within a few days, so teens can party with opiates on Friday night and -- if they live through the weekend -- test negative by Tuesday.
Law enforcement and drug-testing industry authorities claim that when students know they'll be tested, students stop using drugs.
In fact, students keep using drugs, but as peer word spreads, they shift from a medically innoccuous substance to highly addictive and toxic substances to evade the tests.
No death has ever been attributed to marijuana use. Fatal heroin and opiate overdoses, and deaths from binge alcohol drinking, are commonplace tragedies. Such teen deaths are on the rise in the USA because of badly flawed government anti-drug policies which rely on the instant magic junk science of suspicionless student drug tests.
Northampton, Massachusetts (online reader)
Copyright 2007 The Chronicle