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School Drugs Volume Said Hard To Gauge

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(I.AST OF A SERIES) Ann Arbor Pólice Chief Walter Krasny says it is difficult to gauge the extent of drug traffic in Ann Arbor schools "because of a reluctance on the part of teen-agers to provide information on the subject to parents, school authorities or the pólice." But there were 212 drug arrests in the city last year, and some of these were juveniles. What can be done about drug use by Ann Arbor junior and senior high students? Most peopie feel that educational pro-, grams on the subject must be stepped up and made more relevant to teen-agers. Most principáis interviewed by The News believe the approach must be "communitycentered," for it is not solely a school p r o b 1 e m . "School reflects the community. If drug usage can be eliminated in the community, it can be eliminated in the schools," decalred Scarlett Junior High Principal I Joseph A. Vachon. Mrs. Ellen Johnson, Health Education Consultant for the Ann Arbor Public Schools, says all of the local mental health organizations must cooperatej with the schools in researchingl the problem. The schools need help, she says, in finding outl why more and more kids arel turning to drugs. The Ann Arbor Pólice Department is attacking the situatipn through education as well as enforcement. The education involves talks given to teen-age groups by department detectives who are assigned to narcotics investigations. "We don't have what you'd cali a speaker's bureau, but on request we do provide working detectives who can provide information on the results they have seen from drug use," Chief Krasny says. The chiei says law agencies are moving away from "scare" tactics formerly used in warning teen-agers about drugs: "A lot of oíd wives' tales told about drugs have made many teen - agers extremely cynical about the real danger involved," Krasny says. "We feel officers who are actively working on narcotics cases can present plain facts to a young audience and without embellishment show such an audience the route the drug road takes." Also part of the pólice educational program is.a brochure now being prepared by the Pólice - Community Relations Department. The booklet will outline in easy-to-understand terms the effects of drugs and will describe virtually every type of drug now in use. , Most school authorities emphasize that parents must be. better educated on the subject of drugs. Tappan Junior High Principal Gene Maybee also believes parents must "have a greater understanding and a iwillingness to admit that their son or daughter may well be involved in the use of drugs." Most students interviewed by The News agreed that more educational programs on drugs Imight be helpful. But they I stress they would have' to be r'objective" programs, and not lonesided tirades against drug luse Talks by former drug lusers usually are well liked by I students. But the main thing needed to discuss drugs more intelligently - particularly marijuana - is more solid information on their effects. The effects of hard narcotic drugs such as heroin are well known. And recent research on LSD has turned up evidence that that mind-expanding drug may cause gene deformities. But our knowledge of the effects of marijuana, which most experts believe is the most common illegal drug used in this country, is limited. The main reason has been the reluctance of the federal government, until very recently, to allow scientific research on the subjcet. And without solid scientific research on the effects of marijuana, the subject can be discussed only incompletely.