By REBECCA COHEN
The news media make a big mistake when trying to communicate with our generation about the dangers of drugs.
They continue to say that X and Y drugs are horrible for you, but they do not face the reality that teenagers and college students are most likely going to experiment with drugs – regardless of what the media says.
It is as if the media have come to terms with the fact that teenagers are going to have sex, because they have modified their message by promoting safe sex instead of abstinence. But they have yet to do so for teenagers with drugs.
Although most teenagers are too young to be sexually active, it is unrealistic to think all teenagers are abstinent. It is almost equally as unrealistic to think that our generation is not going to experiment with drugs.
Therefore, instead of slamming all drugs, the news media could try explain without bias what these drugs are actually doing instead of just saying they are bad. Because regardless of what the media says, kids are going to do them. So, in order to reach our generation about these drugs, they need to change their angle.
If the media takes a more realistic approach, kids might trust them more, which should be the ultimate goal of reporting the effects of drugs. If teenagers learn to rely on the media for information about the dangers of drugs instead of say, an older sibling, they will be in much better shape.
This is, of course, if kids and teens choose to do drugs at all.
Additionally, if the news media do not instinctively bash use of all drugs, when they do say that one is exceptionally horrid, teenagers might actually believe them instead of skipping the articles altogether.
Perhaps illegal drugs are an entirely different ballgame than underage sex, but if kids are going to do them regardless of the media, wouldn’t we rather them be safe?