Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Drug-Free Halloween in Abilene?

So, apparently there was a station at Abilene's Boo at the Zoo where this sticker, all with other anti-drug/anti-drinking posters and stickers were handed out to the children:

Then, there was a public outcry. This sticker is accused of being inappropriate for children, inappropriate for the area, and somehow promoting the use of Meth.

Here's my take on it: When I was in elementary school, I think maybe fourth grade, the DARE program had a puppet show. The puppets told us about how drugs were bad, and the affects of different drugs on your body. I remember in that puppet show being told that LSD never truly leaves your body. Once you take it, it doesn't wash out. That puppet show was 15 years ago, and I still remember it.

Things like this are intended to help children remember the message. Nothing on this sticker is wrong. Meth will make you a "twitchy idiot" faster than you will realize you have a problem. If this sticker keeps one kid from taking Meth, it did it's job.

As far as this message not being needed in Abilene:

"Statistics have shown that their are approximately 5,594 marijuana users, 2,449 people abusing prescription drugs, 916 cocaine addicts, 416 people using hallucinogens, 233 people that use inhalants, and 51 heroin addicts who live in Abilene, Texas.
It is estimated that 166 people will be killed by tobacco, 32 people will die from alcohol, 6 lives will be lost to illicit drug use, and there will be 6 deaths due to intoxicated driving this year in Abilene.
There will also be close to 706 people arrested for drug charges and around 535 DUIs in Abilene this year." (source)

From the Texas Department of Health and Human Services's Drug Facts Among Youth 2010:

  • Use of methamphetamine (speed, crystal meth, ice, or crank) was first reported in the 2008 secondary school survey. About 3.0 percent reported lifetime use of methamphetamine in 2010, down from 3.5 percent in 2008. However, the past-month use of methamphetamine remained stable at 0.8 percent during the past two years. 

  • 4.8% of High School seniors have tried Meth in 2008. 2.9% of Ninth graders, and 2.3% of seventh graders.

Drugs are a problem. This sticker should upset you. It should upset you because there are people out there who will give and sell Meth to your children. However, if you throw this sticker out and never talk about it, you are simply contributing to the problem. That might sound harsh, but if you don't talk with your kids about drug use, I know a really nice guy on the corner who will tell them all about drugs, but that might not be what you want them to hear.


  1. Let me see~
    My ex husband is an alcoholic.
    My father drank a quart of scotch a day before dying at age 56.
    My 39 year old daughter is a recovering heroine addict on the methadone program now for 3 years.
    I have replaced one addiction with another all my 65 years.
    My 18 year old grandson, the light of my life, smokes pot on a regular basis.
    My 10 year old beautiful grandson, whose mom is my daughter recovering and his absent father is drowning in heroine somewhere, has 2 strikes against him already.
    YES! It is very important that we teach our children the dangers and horrors of drugs and alcohol. I am in complete agreement!

  2. Hey Sue,

    Thanks for sharing your story. Unfortunately I think it often takes having the horrors of drug and alcohol abuse knocking down your front door for the reality of that danger to be clear.

    Prayers that your family can break the cycle of addiction and start down the path of lifelong and generational recovery.


  3. Thank you Amie! I agree that people who have not lived through it don't understand it. It is very serious and complex.

  4. Amie, good blog post. Good thoughts. The sticker isn't the problem, the drug problem is already there. Did you submit this or something similar to a local newspaper?

  5. No, Julie, I did not. The original story was covered by a local soft news show though. That's where I originally heard of it. We generally don't go to Boo at the Zoo because we don't have children. It's one of the few zoo events we skip.