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A very slippery slope


 S ome children smoke cigarettes and drink alcoholic beverages when they are still very young. By the time they graduate high school, nearly 50% of all teens will have tried marijuana. Some later move on to more addictive substances.

We cannot assume that all children who smoke marijuana today will become heroin addicts tomorrow. But the danger does exist. And long term studies of high school students show that few young people use other drugs without first having tried marijuana. Once a person can no longer get the initial rush he seeks, he begins to increase drug consumption or to look for something stronger.

Lets face reality

A study of 9,712 American children, teenagers and parents shows that children increasingly are coming into contact with hard drugs.

24% of young Americans surveyed said they had been offered drugs at least once.

84% of young Americans surveyed in 1997 considered drug consumption dangerous. (In 1993, 90% considered it dangerous.)

21% of parents surveyed said their child may possibly have smoked marijuana.

44% of young people said they had smoked marijuana at least once.

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