Los Angeles, California
For nearly thirty years, the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program has focused on educating children and teenagers about the danger of controlled substance abuse. While it has met some success, drugs are still a major part of teenage culture. But a new approach is being implemented that, though unorthodox, is garnering massive support due to its effectiveness.
Officer Graham Lotski, 57, is sitting behind the teacher’s desk in an empty classroom at a high school in the Los Angeles Unified School District that has asked to remain unnamed in this article. There are forty desks in the classroom, each with a small sealed Tupperware container with the words “Don’t open until instructed” printed on the lid.
Before the students arrived, Lotski said, “We’ve tried scaring kids off drugs with stories about the awful shit that happens. But that doesn’t seem to be enough. We have to show them.”
The students filed into the classroom and sat down at their desks. Lotski held up a small scrap of paper. “This,” he said, “is Lysergic Acid Diethylamide. But you know it as LSD or acid. Now, I could tell you about how dangerous it is and why you shouldn’t do it, but we all know that won’t work. So I want you to open the container on your desk. Inside is one blot. I want each of you to do it.”
After a moment of initial hesitance, all the students had dropped acid. As the effects started to kick in, Lotski lowered the overhead lights. He then turned on speakers emitting nightmarish noises, and turned on an overhead projector displaying production stills from horror movies. This went on for hours, the entire time Lotski shouted, “Drugs did this to you!”
Lotski explained that, “it will be a long time before these kids consider doing drugs again.” A visibly shaken Marty Friedrich, 17, said, “My intestines turned into snakes and tried to eat their way out my eyes. I don’t want this to happen again.” Sally Ronaldson, 16, held a similar opinion, “Unending horror. A swarm of locusts and a pox upon all the earth. Death comes not to those who wish it.”
Photo courtesy of Bill Gracey on Flickr Creative Commons