John Moir: School meth lessons do not reduce drug harm

Posted On Sep 27 2020 by

first_imgNZ Herald 11 May 2018Family First Comment: Excellent commentary on the Drug Foundation’s flawed drug approach…“The harm reduction approach is intended to target current drug users, that is, the part of the population who will continue using drugs anyway and where the aim is to reduce harm. Ross Bell of the NZ Drug Foundation publicly conceded this, but inexplicably remained wedded to the idea that school children who are not meth users should also be targeted for meth harm reduction…..  On the other hand, Dale Kirk, a former policeman and current drug awareness educator, doesn’t need a guinea pig experiment to tell him the gambling odds, and he publicly expressed concern about the school’s teaching. And based on my experience as an addiction practitioner, I agree with him.”And so do most parents!Recently Massey High School taught its students how to be “well” when using meth, and since then a battle of words has ensued where both sides have stated their strong opinions as facts but no one has actually cited any evidence.Many of the students’ parents were outraged that the school encouraged its students to engage in harmful and criminal meth use by teaching and normalising it. On the other side, the school argued it acted appropriately, and the NZ Drug Foundation proclaimed the education was appropriate because it reduces or minimises harm and suggested that anyone who didn’t agree was an ignoramus living under a rock who didn’t know what was happening in New Zealand.So, who is correct, the professional Drug Foundation and school personnel or the common sense parents?One fact worth understanding is that the harm minimisation policy and related harm reduction strategies came to fame in the 1980s when it was introduced in Australia, primarily to reduce the risk of intravenous drug users being infected by the then newly arrived and dreaded HIV. One strategy was to turn a blind eye to the illegality of drug use and provide free clean needles to users and encourage users to not share them, thereby reducing the risk of blood-borne infection.Such strategies did reduce harm and helped addicted people to stay alive longer so that one day perhaps they would start the hard journey of getting off drugs.In their book, Drug Use In Australia: Preventing Harm, Hamilton, King and Ritter stressed this harm reduction approach was the “least worst option”, which begs this question, why would anyone advocate the least-worst-drug-using option for school kids who are not using drugs?A key point is that the harm reduction approach is intended to target current drug users, that is, the part of the population who will continue using drugs anyway and where the aim is to reduce harm. Ross Bell of the NZ Drug Foundation publicly conceded this, but inexplicably remained wedded to the idea that school children who are not meth users should also be targeted for meth harm reduction.If meth harm reduction is only appropriate for meth users, it follows that the school misapplied the approach when it taught the “least worst” way to use meth and avoid prosecution, unless of course it believed that all their students are meth users and law breakers.I am unaware of any scientific research that shows it is helpful and not harmful to teach school children how to best use meth and avoid prosecution for it. And though Mr Bell had ample opportunity to cite such evidence, to my knowledge he has not.If neither he nor Massey High School know if their teaching will cause harm, then aren’t they really guilty of gambling with the school children’s lives? Or is this an unplanned experiment where the children are guinea pigs?https://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=12048742last_img read more


All Nigeria Championships: Ogunlewe defends 100m crown

Posted On Sep 9 2020 by

first_img…As Okagbare completes sprint doubleSeye Ogunlewe is Nigeria’s fastest man again after winning the 100m Men’s title at the All-Nigeria Championships which ended on a high note on Friday. Ogunlewe who won his first national title in Warri in 2015 beat his rivals as he ran a new Personal Best time of 10.12secs to retain his crown and also book a slot to the Rio Olympics having surpassed the set standard.Oduduru Divine with a time of 10.25secs and Egwero Ogho-Oghene with a time of 10.36secs finished in second and third place respectively.Speaking after his victory, Ogunlewe said he worked very hard to defend the title and would even work harder to make some impact in his debut appearance at the Olympics.“I give thanks to God for making this possible, winning the 100m event again and qualifying for the Olympics is a dream come true,” the UK-based athlete stated.Ogunlewe with a time of 21.28secs also won one of the finals of the men’s 200m event.In another high point of the day, Blessing Okagbare also completed a sprint double; winning the women 200m event (Final A) with a time of 22.78secs.The fleet-footed Queen of the Tracks who won her seventh 100m Women’s title a day earlier made a light work of the 200m event.Lawretta Ozoh won the women’s 200m final B with a time of 23.71secs.Having finished second in the 100m event, Oduduru had a lot to cheer as he won the 200m Men’s event with a time of 20.51secs.Also on Friday, the Nigeria duo of Emmanuel Gyang and Deborah Pam both won the 10,000m in the men and women categories respectively.Gyang finished first with a time of 31:31:58 while Solomon Yilbam finished second with a time of 32:05:19.Daylong Sylvester of Nigeria Immigration came third with a time of 32:29:71.In the women’s 10,000m run, Deborah Pam, also of NSCDC, won the race with a time of 36:53:73, while Olamide Oluwaseun came second on 37:25:17, Olumidi Aderonke however finished third.Kunle Fasasi also became the new men’s 400m champions; dethroning Chidi Okezie with his winning time of 46.22secs.It was Theddus Okpara who won the men’s High Jump; scaling 2.10m while Obiora Arinze finished 2nd jumping a height of 2.05m.There was big upset in the Men’s 400m hurdles event where  Henry Okorie emerged champion, finishing in 50:12s to take the national title from Miles Ukaoma who could only manage a third place finish.In the women’s race, Amaka Ogoegbunam retained her 400mH title, running a time of 57:61secs.With the Nigeria Olympic trials over, attention will now be shifted to Saturday’s Confederation of Africa Athletics (CAA) Grand Prix, Warri Relays also taking place at the Sapele Township Stadium. Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more