According to the Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Department of Education, Growing Up Drug-Free: A Parent’s Guide to Prevention, Washington, D.C. 2012, before leaving elementary school, your children should know:
-The immediate effects of alcohol, tobacco, and drug use on different parts of the body, including risks of coma or fatal overdose
-The long-term consequences – how and why drugs can be addicting and make users lose control of their lives
- The reasons why drugs are especially dangerous for growing bodies
- The problems that alcohol and other illegal drugs cause not only to the user but the user’s family and world
In her thoughtfully candid book, Florenza exposes ways far too that many of our children are being exposed to drugs, alcohol, and bullying by creating a story that allows parents and caregivers to create an open dialogue about these issues. For some parents, who thankfully are in areas where drugs, alcohol, and bullying are not factors their children face, may feel the subject matter is "too much," for younger students. However, for parents and caregivers who know the dangers their children face on a daily basis, it is a wonderful tool to have an open dialogue. Florenza lists conversations starters at the back of the book for caregivers to discuss aspects of bullying for those who are being bullied, witness bullying or are the bully.
Florenza's book follows the mission of D.A.R.E. which is, " D.A.R.E. envisions a world in which students everywhere are
empowered to respect others and choose to lead lives free from violence, substance use, and other dangerous behaviors," by not teaching them how to "say no" to negative influences, but how to "say yes" to positive influences.
– Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Department of Education, Growing Up Drug-Free: A Parent’s Guide to Prevention, Washington, D.C. 2012.