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Safe Teen Drug Use Not a Viable Solution

April 21, 2002

Re "Teaching Young People Safe X Beats Just Saying No," commentary, April 10

I was appalled when I read Julie Holland's suggestion regarding safe drug use. That she is a parent and a psychiatrist is an even more horrifying thought.

I would be the first to agree with her that our children don't always do what we want them do.

However, to advocate educated drug use is unconscionable, dangerous and irresponsible.

It is ridiculous to believe that a teen under the influence of any drug is going to have the presence of mind to drink a pint of water every hour, or to have the judgment to avoid alcohol while he or she is intoxicated by another drug.

It is utterly naive to think that an inebriated teen is going to have the knowledge or sense to "test the contents" of any drug.

She also suggests that our teens' sex and driving "should be deferred until sober."

Even adults under the influence of these drugs (including alcohol) make poor judgments about sex and driving, so how can we expect our teens to make better judgments?

As the parent of a teen who suffered severe brain damage from an accidental drug overdose, I resent Holland's suggestions.

If she wants to prevent teen death from drug use, she should recruit people like my daughter to teach other teens the dangers of drugs. My daughter has spoken to The Times, NBC, Teen, Elle Magazine, MTV, Channel One and 20/20, in her attempt to prevent other teens from suffering the devastating effects of drug use. She has spoken to hundreds of teens, and they are listening and learning. Ms. Holland's article is more than naive. It is a disservice to teens and their parents, and I regret that The Times printed it.

Maryanne Rose

Laguna Niguel

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