Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Refusing Temptation: Editorial Exchange: Refusing Temptation

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Refusing Temptation: Editorial Exchange: Refusing Temptation

Article excerpt

An editorial from the Red Deer Advocate, published Feb. 10:

Parenting requires a basketful of tools and the savvy to know when, and how, to use them all.

Among the many tools a good parent will use is the leverage offered by "Just say no." It's a simple message: clear, concise and pointed.

Of course, more than a few good parents will find that isn't enough. The battle against bad choices -- including the use and abuse of drugs and alcohol -- often takes more than a few rational conversations with your children.

That's where programs like DARE come in, reaching children in the schools, helping them to understand how to make good choices and helping parents to understand just how important self-esteem and positive role models are to the moulding of a child into a safe and confident adult -- one who is able to say no.

There are, of course, far too many people of all ages, and all walks of life, who succumb to the siren's song of drugs.

And yes, many came from loving, nurturing homes that delivered all the messages in all the right ways. We likely all know such families.

And that's where organizations like the Central Alberta AIDS Network Society, the Potter's Hands ministry, and a number of other community and government programs, become so critical. They offer non-judgmental supports, advice and safety when people are at their most vulnerable. And they will gladly offer a hand up out of the nightmare when the drug user is ready to take it. They do difficult work with grace and generosity.

But there's a great deal at stake here, and no means should be discounted.

It's easy enough to find evidence of the wasted lives associated with drug and alcohol abuse. Spend an afternoon in the Red Deer Courthouse and see how often drugs play a role in proceedings, either directly related to the charges or as the driving force behind crimes committed.

In recent weeks, a frightening number of people have died after taking a version of the street drug ecstasy, with a chemical makeup altered from its traditional formula. …

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