TEENAGERS AND DRUGS

February 22, 2001

By: Lynn M. Paltrow, New York Times, letters, February 22, 2001

Re "Antidrug Program Says It Will Adopt a New Strategy" ( front page, Feb. 15 ): Even as revised, the DARE program will not effectively address some important precursors to drug use.

Re "Antidrug Program Says It Will Adopt a New Strategy" ( front page, Feb. 15 ): Even as revised, the DARE program will not effectively address some important precursors to drug use. Having represented some of the most reviled drug users in this country -- drug-using pregnant women -- I know that too often, a history of having been raped, of being sexually abused or experiencing the sudden death of a parent or other loved one marks the beginning of problem drug use.

DARE would do well to remember that among those in its student audiences are young people who need help with issues far more painful and frightening than whether or not they will "fit in" with their peers.

Lynn M. Paltrow, Executive Director, National Advocates for Pregnant Women, New York