A front-page article on Nov. 27, “Meth a persistent problem in Maine,” stated that, “Legislative leaders have expressed a willingness to fund additional drug agents as part of a multi-pronged approach that includes treatment and prevention options.”

On Nov. 20, an online article said House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe, D-Skowhegan, had submitted for consideration a bill that would increase drug education in schools.

I believe this should be a higher priority than hiring more drug agents, as Gov. Paul LePage has requested. With advancements in technology, social media is a big source for how children and young adults see the drug culture.

Children want to try drugs if they aren’t shown the correct ways of understanding the cause and effects of drugs, but see the “fun” side to drugs on the Internet. This experimentation continues to increase the demand of drugs, which increases the supply for drugs in Maine.

Cutting the supply doesn’t help with the drug problem. Going into the school systems and speaking to the children from kindergarten to high school and giving the most updated knowledge, without using scare tactics, can decrease the drug problem.

We also need to encourage kids to go into after-school programs. Children, at any age, look for acceptance and when they don’t find it at home or in school, they take it from anyone who lets them fit in with the crowd.

This is where parents need to participate more in helping their kids, by encouraging participation in organized programs. After-school programs will take up more of their children’s time during the day. The more time they are in those activities, the less time they have to experiment with drugs. Force only brings about resistance. It is education, empathy and motivation that brings about change.

Bethany Belanger, Augusta

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