The reason the war on drugs is failing is simply this: The problem is being attacked incorrectly. Kids don't want to hear how their brains will resemble scrambled eggs, or that they'll go to prison. In fact, this may cause children to experiment with drugs to rebel against society, as most teens will do in whatever way that they can.
Parents, listen up!
Do you want to keep your kids off drugs?
Then some of the anti-drug commercials are on the right track. Talk to your kids. But focus on addiction. Not the same old 'Drugs are bad, mmmkay?' speech. Teach them the definition of addict.
Function: transitive verb
Etymology: Latin addictus, past participle of addicere to favor, from ad- + dicere to say -- more at DICTION
1 : to devote or surrender (oneself) to something habitually or obsessively (addicted to gambling)
2 : to cause addiction to a substance in
This they will come to fear more than anything else. What do teens hate more than anything? Not having a choice. Being told what to do. If you want your kids to stay away from drugs, tell them that you won't be bothered if they want to experiment, but if they become addicted the only thing you can do is say 'I told you so'. This will be sure to steer them away.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all for the legalization of drugs. I like my recreational drugs. However, I do believe that they should be regulated for safety, there should be recommended doses, and there should be an age prohibition. I don't believe that the brain of a child is developed enough to experiment with drugs. However, I do not feel that I am qualified to determine at what age the brain is fully developed.
What it boils down to is this. The only way to keep kids off drugs is to not make such an issue of it.
If we can help in any way to get the kids to quit, or not start, I believe they'll leave the rest of us alone.