Saint John

Guidelines for Drug Decisions

Remember that all drugs have possible risk – even ones we take for granted. Aim to avoid these drug risks. Access reliable information about drugs before considering using them. Consult pharmacists, doctors, and unbiased written literature. When you need to be sharp and alert, avoid taking more than one drug at a time without consulting a doctor or pharmacist. Read thoroughly all directions regarding a medication provided by the pharmacist. Don’t expect drugs to solve problems or make you a better person.

Laws and rules regarding drugs must be considered. Certain drugs are illegal for everyone (eg: cocaine, LSD). Some drugs, such as alcohol and cigarettes are legal, depending on the age of the user. In some cases marijuana may also be considered a legal drug, if used for medical reasons and prescribed by a doctor. While other drugs, such as the caffeine found in coffee and colas have no legal restrictions.

Laws and rules regarding drug use may guide and individual’s school and/or work place. These rules may differ from laws enforced by the legal system. For instance, even though alcohol is legal for individuals nineteen and over, most work environments will not tolerate drinking on the job and could lead to termination.

Individual families will have different feelings about what is OK and not OK. These laws, rules, and family standards have consequences that must be discussed and considered carefully. For instance, some families feel that it is OK to allow all family members (including children) to have a glass of wine on special occasions.

Things to talk about

Below are some questions you can discuss with friends and family:

  • In what cases are the use of the following drugs OK and not OK? Medication, Alcohol, Caffeine.
  • What is the difference between drug use that is dangerous to your health and drug use, which is not dangerous?
  • Why do adults and youth use and/or abuse alcohol?
  • Why might a teenager try alcohol, cigarettes, or marijuana? Why might a teenager continue to use one of these drugs? Why might a teenager decide to stop using?
  • Discuss possible ways a person can avoid driving with someone under the influence.
  • How can a person gracefully decline drugs when it is offered to them?