Two Brothers Talking Drug Education Reform

img_2077In this episode I’m joined once again by my little brother Matt Kerouac to discuss the OD Movement’s drug curriculum proposal we’ve got in the works.  He offers a valuable, unique perspective for two reasons.  First he’s 18 years old so he recently went through the public school system.  Second, both of his brothers went through the ringer in regard to addiction.  It was fascinating to me that he never went through the DARE program, the core drug education from my youth.  Matt described the education he did experience as fear mongering and abstinence based.  In his mind it wasn’t effective at all and that he doesn’t think that it’s not really set up to be.  He believes it’s set up as something that’s simply meant to be checked off as student’s are briefed on the curriculum as opposed to being meant to instruct or teach.

Although in his opinion it should fall more on the parents to educate their children than on schools.  He talks about how the education he received focused soully on the drugs and that addiction was never covered, which I thought was interesting, he compares the drug climate between middle school and high school which he described as, “night and day” and shares his thoughts on how the current system wasn’t comprehensive.  Matt also shares talks about why people use drugs and why it’s so common to begin experimenting in the high school age bracket.

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I ask Matt what a drug curriculum would look like if he were to design it.  He responded by saying he’d definitely make it longer, consisting of its own course with its own curriculum.  He also wouldn’t make it a fear factor thing, another interesting bit, and  he really loved the idea of bringing in real life people who have been impacted by addiction.  Real people who have dealt with the reality of drugs. When taken as a whole, what Matt liked about the OD proposal was that he found it to be more informative, more interactive, and more credible than what’s currently being taught. His key takeaways were teaching it to an appropriate age, 7th or 8th grade in his opinion, and his favorite piece was bringing in people who have dealt with the reality of drugs.

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