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February 02, 1990 - Image 18

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-02-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Drugs

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cut through family ties like
a laser."
Today, his son is off of
drugs and is a junior in col-
lege, Dr. Firestone said. But
every day he still battles his
addiction.
Shaarey Zedek's director
of education and youth,
Rabbi Chuck Diamond, told
the crowd, "I don't know a
lot about drugs."
Yet, he too had horror
stories of Jewish youth in-
volved with drugs: a New
York boy who was caught
with drugs ran from the
police. He dropped
something as he ran and an
officer in the dark of night
thought it was a gun. The of-
ficer fired and killed the
youth. The dropped object
was a kippah.
"Jewish people don't do
these things," Rabbi Dia-
mond said as he remembered
Tanya, a Jewish teen in
Great Neck, N.Y., who had
been given drugs by her
parents. He also talked of
Ruth, a 12-year-old who
wanted to be a Camp Ramah
adviser when she grew up.
In the camp stands a weed-
covered monument in
memory of Ruth, one of four
girls killed by a drunken
driver as they crossed the
street.
According to the National
Institute of Drug Use, the
average age of children who
use drugs for the first time is
11.5 years old. If the parent
uses drugs, that average age
drops to 9 years old.
More than 23 million
Americans use illegal drugs,
many of them white
employed males.
Sheldon Lutz, the pro-
gram's chairman, said he did
not expect to find any an-
swers during the two-hour
symposium, but wanted
local Jews aware that drugs
are a problem and Jews
must be involved in solu-
tions.
Rabbi Diamond said syn-
agogues should also have a
role in preventing drug
abuse.
"I feel we here at the syn-
agogue can do a lot for our
youth," Rabbi Diamond
said. The synagogue should

give "our kids a good self
image so they can have the
self-confidence to say no to
drugs."
Donald Reisig, director of
Michigan's drug agencies,
said drug traffic will con-
tinue "as long as we have
the demand."
The drug battle will not be
won in the cocoa fields of the
Andes nations, but in the
United States when there is
no more demand, said
Reisig, who called drugs
equal opportunity employers
which affect anyone
regardless of race, religion
or sex.
"Only when we assume
the responsibility for
ourselves will the Bolivian
woman be able to get her
sons from the cocoa fields,"
he said. "The police do not
have the answer to the drug
problem. They are playing a
holding action while we get
our act together."
Sgt. Michael Lemon, of the
narcotics division of the
Detroit Police Department,
said the problem is not just
drugs.
"We have a people prob-
lem. We have poor kids and
we have rich kids. We see
people who travel 200 miles
to buy two packages of co-
caine. It's easy purchasing
narcotics," said Lemon, who
has made more than 900
undercover drug purchases
and participated in 5,000
drug raids.
When he tells children and
teens about drugs "I don't
use puppets. I give it to them
straight," said Lemon, who
later made cocaine sound
disgusting by naming the
chemicals found in the drug.
"It's a lot more than say-
ing no to drugs. Let's put
away the coloring books. It's
time to teach drug education
just like we teach algebra,
English or history," Lemon
said.

"We have to instill the
proper ethics at the top of
the ladder so we can pass it
down. That's what I'm going
to do with my son and
daughter. When you hear
me, you hear my father talk-

ing.9,



Yavneh Students Know
All About Drug Abuse

SUSAN GRANT

Staff Writer

T

hey may be young, but
the children at
Yavneh Academy
know they should stay away
from drugs and alcohol.

That lesson was reinforced
last week for the school's 12
students in kindergarten
and first grade when Bonnie
Brown, a volunteer for
Maplegrove Alcoholism
Chemical Dependency
Treatment Center, spoke to
the children about the

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