As students reach fifth grade, they enter the world of D.A.R.E. Fifth graders learn about drugs and violence they might and face in the years to come. As these kids sit in a classroom and listening to a police officer talk about D.A.R.E., they learn information and expand their minds to the real world. Little do these kids know that this D.A.R.E. experience will stay with them forever. Although kids are taught not to take drugs, some people still take them.
If kids are stuck in a position where they are told to take drugs (like alcohol, tobacco, etc.), they need to learn/remember how just one choice can change your life. Three examples of drugs are alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana. Drinking alcohol can result in many things. For example, drinking alcohol includes dizziness, talkativeness, slurred speech, disturbed sleep, nausea, and vomiting. Alcohol can also result in a car accident, for if even a tiny amount of alcohol is taken, it can ruin the judgment and coordination required to drive a car safely. Also, this dangerous drug increases aggressive acts like domestic violence and child abuse.
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Alcohol can result in a hangover (headache, nausea, thirst, and dizziness) and a failure to fulfill one’s responsibility in work, family, school, or other roles. If too much alcohol is consumed, it can lead to addiction, alcoholism, anxiety, tremors, hallucination, and permanent damage to organs like the brain and the liver. To continue, if mothers drink alcohol while they are pregnant, the infant might have fetal alcohol syndrome. This means that infants might suffer from mental retardation, low intelligence, and learning problems. Marijuana is also a harmful drug. It can be eaten on foods of smoke (called joints or blunts).
Smoking marijuana can give people short-term memory and may alter the way the brain works. Heavy marihuana use may damage the developing brain in teens. Another drug is called tobacco. Tobacco contains nicotine that can reach the brain in ten seconds after people inhale it. One of the places tobacco can be found is in cigarettes. 46.5 million adults in the U.S. who smoke cigarettes can lead to death or disability. Cigarettes cause 400,000 deaths each year, and 5 million people younger than 18 will die from taboo-related diseases. Smoking is taboo is the cause of death in our society. In addition, smokers are more likely to get heart disease (170,000 people die per year from smoking-related coronary heart disease).
The lung, larynx, esophagus, and pancreas problems, along with cancer, can get smokers, for 30% of cancer deaths are linked to smoking. Lung diseases are ten times more likely to occur among smokers than nonsmokers. Also, if people are exposed to secondhand smoke, they might get heart disease, for 3000 nonsmokers die of lung cancer each year. Secondhand smoke also causes respiratory tract infections in 300,000 kids. However, tobacco, marijuana, and alcohol are not the only types of drugs. Other drugs are cocaine, GHB, Heroin, LSD tablets, and Ritalin. No matter what type of drug it is, drugs can be dangerous.
As I continued learning about D.A.R.E., I concluded that friendship and pressures (peer pressures and self-pressure) are somewhat connected. Friends or other people can cause pressure. Sometimes, when someone pressures you to do something (peer pressure), and you want to be their friend, you don’t know what to do. If you want to be friends with someone who offers you drugs, you should say “no” and respect them. If they want to be your friend, they should also respect your decision. If some stranger offers you drugs and uses peer pressure on you, say no, and hang out with other friends who don’t take drugs.
This way, you’re with people just like you, and you can stay fit and healthy. Some types of peer pressures are positive peer pressure (when someone urges you to do something good for you), friendly peer pressure (when someone who is your friend tries to get you to do something you may or may not want to do), indirect/tempting (when someone tries to persuade or convince you to do something you do not want to do), teasing (when someone makes fun of you to try to get you to do something you do not want to do), and Heavy peer pressure/bullying (when someone threatens you, physically or verbally in an attempt to get you to do something you do not want to do).
Self-pressure or personal pressure is a situation in which you pressure yourself and not others. No one pressures or offers you to do something that you do not want to do. Kids who are self pressured wonder what drugs taste like. They want to do things that might or might not suit them but don’t know what to do. You decide to decide things that make you curious. Either way, it might be bad for you and might change your life. Peer and self-pressure have something in common, which is pressuring you to do something you may or may not want to do.
As I sat in a room in 5th grade, I remember learning a type of violence: bullying. I learned that bullying will always be in your life, whether at school, work, on the streets, or even in your own home. Bullying is a repeated behavior by one or more people that intends to harm others and make a person feel bad on purpose. There are many types of bullying. Some are: verbal (name-calling), physical (punching, pushing), social (leaving someone out of a group on purpose), extortion (stealing someone’s money or belongings), and cyber-bullying (using computers, the Internet, and cell phones to bully others). However, verbal bullying happens more than any other kind of bullying. many people wonder why people are bullies. The answer is quite simple really.
It’s because they are unhappy inside for some reason or don’t know how to get along with other kids. Bullying is an assertion of power through aggression, and forms change if age change (school, gang attacks, child abuse, elder abuse). Bullying is not about anger, but a contempt-a feeling of hate toward someone who is thought to be worthless, inferior, or doesn’t deserve respect. Still, bullying hurts everyone, for victims get their feelings hurt or injured by bullies. Kids who are watching a bully pick on someone else feel sad or scared (FYI: 85% of the time kids are watching a person bully another person. Adults hardly see a bully being mean to others). With bullying, people often mix myths and facts together.
Here are some examples: Myth: if I tell someone it will make things worse. Fact: Research shows that bullying stops when adults and peers get involved. Myth: Just stand up for yourself and hit them back. Fact: There are times when people can be forced to defend themselves, but hitting back makes the bullying worse and physical harm increase. If kids are in a situation in which they see violence, they should know just what to do and why bullying happens. All the information I learned in D.A.R.E. helped me as I grew older and went to Junior High. I learned to watch out for things that might harm me. I was able to say no to things that made me uncomfortable or didn’t want to do. I learned that drugs are bad for you, and to help others when they are in trouble or hurt.
I never want others to get hurt verbally or physically; especially if they’re my friends. As I observe people’s acts and movements, I was able to figure out which people to stay away from, and which to be friends with. Either way, I still talk to them and try to get to know them. Also, even though I actually never saw someone bully another before, I just know what to do in that situation, and why they did that. Not everything in life is a joke, for people have reasons in which they do things. The information about violence and bullying also helped me in 7th-grade computer class when we learned about bullying (it was really about cyberbullying). At least I knew something about bullying.
If I was able to do things differently, I would have continued to learn more about drugs and violence after D.A.R.E. instead of laying around doing nothing. It doesn’t hurt to learn more about things. Also, I wouldn’t have believed that bullying will end once you get out of school. I learned later in life that bullying happens everywhere, at any time, at any age. I wouldn’t have believed that bullying will never happen to me. Although I never was bullied before, everyone has a possibility of being bullied or even become bullies themselves. if 5th graders ever asked me what worked for me in Junior High, I’ll tell them to be aware of things around them because you never know what might be lurking around the corner. who knows, someone might be bullied or taking drugs.
If this ever happens, you should tell an adult, and make sure you have proof. Also, if someone asks you to take drugs, just say no, and respect the person. This way, you stay healthy and fit, while also not hurting a person’s feelings. To continue, if you are around someone who smokes, it’s best to get out of that room because the smell is awful and if you actually breathe it in, it tastes like ashes, and you can’t get the smell and taste out for a while. Also, you might be exposed to secondhand smoking, and have a possibility of dying. Plus, stay with friends that don’t pressure you to do things that you don’t want to do. It is better to be friends with people who respect your choices, respect you, and give you space.
Don’t hang out with people who pressure you to do things that might hurt you, for, in the end, things will come to an awful end. Last, it won’t hurt to keep what you learned in D.A.R.E., for the experience will help you later in life. There will be people who might bully you and tell you to take drugs. It might not happen in Elementary School or Junior High. However, it can defiantly happen in High School. So try to stay safe always. The experience people learned on D.A.R.E. is important. You learn things about drugs and violence that might/will lead you to a better life. It helps kids get ready for the real world and years to come. Plus, it helps kids make good decisions. So please, remember your D.A.R.E. experience and never forget about them, for you never know when you need them.