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Doctors Look to Education to Prevent Drug Abuse

Recent studies indicate the use of club drugs such as ecstasy and G-H-B continue to rise. Doctors at Ohio State University Medical Center are trying to reverse the trend through education. Doctors say educating people about the drugs' long-term effects on the brain is key to discouraging drug use. A recent survey of thousands of Ohio teenagers indicated nearly 10 percent of high school seniors used ecstasy in 2002. OSU physician of internal medicine and pediatrics Dr. Stephen Koesters says the direct approach of education is effective because many people don't realize how harmful club drugs really are. Koesters says use of club drugs can cause lasting nerve damage on the brain. But some recovering addicts disagree. 29-year old Shannon, who did not want her last name revealed, recently attended Maryhaven, an addiction recovery center for ecstasy and marijuana use. She suffered a stroke at the age of 22. She says educating people on the effects of these drugs will not be affective. Instead, she says the best way to discourage club drug use is to talk to someone, who like her, has also abused drugs.