Children of parents who talk to their teens regularly about drugs are 42% less likely to use drugs than those who don't, yet only a quarter of teens report having these conversations.

Laws and Drugs

Objective
To learn about policies and laws regarding drug use.

Background
Youths ages 12 through 14 may face pressure to try tobacco, alcohol, and illegal drugs. They should know the consequences of drug use and how violating drug laws and policies may affect their future.

Activities
Review school policies on drug use, and discuss the consequences of being found using or selling tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs.

Invite a representative of the juvenile justice system to speak with the class about the consequences of violating laws regarding minors and drug use (examples: a district attorney, a prosecutor, a social services worker).

Have the visitor brief the class on state and local laws related to the use, manufacture, or sale of drugs by minors and discuss the following:

• how juveniles are dealt with in the system;
• what kinds of punishments are common;
• whether parents are held responsible;
• how much the legal process costs, and who pays for it;
• how adjudication could affect a student's standing in school;
• how adjudication could affect future opportunities;
• how the system finds out about drug use among youths;
• what the laws are regarding search and seizure; and
• what steps youths can take if they suspect drug use. 

Resources
A representative of the juvenile justice system; copies of the school's code of student conduct or student handbook.

Teacher Tips
• This lesson provides a time to learn about laws regarding drugs and minors. This is a sensitive topic, and teachers should not encourage students to reveal in class names or information regarding people they suspect may be using or selling drugs.

Source
Learning to Live Drug-Free, A Curriculum Model for Prevention, U.S. Department of Education's Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program

2490 Coral Way, Miami, FL 33145 | Phone: 800-705-8997

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