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Posted in Education
The Fillmore County D.A.R.E. essay winners from all four schools, left to right: Deputy Kevin Beck, Taylor Gravos (Rushford-Peterson), Clara Wieser (Rushford-Peterson), Cade Pederson (Lanesboro), Kiara Reichstadt (Kingsland), Adam Bucholtz (Kingsland), Mitchell Lee (Mabel-Canton), Deputy Lance Boyum and Sheriff Daryl Jensen. Photo by Jason Sethre
Choosing friends carefully is very important at all times, especially during the years of middle school all the way through college. In those years your parents' opinions begin to matter less and your friends' opinions begin to matter more. It's important to pick friends that have the same values as you do. If you have a friend who smokes, they may offer you a cigarette and you may not know what to do because they are your friend. It would be a lot harder to say no to a friend than to someone that's not your friend. Your best bet is choosing friends that have the same attitudes about tobacco, drugs and alcohol as you do. For example, if you and your friend are hanging out and a guy walks up to you and asks if you want to smoke, you won't have to worry what your friend will say, you already know, you will both say no. It will make these types of situations easier if my friends and I feel the same about drugs.
You should never take illegal drugs. There are drugs you take when you are sick like Advil and Tylenol, and when taken as directed, they are safe. Illegal drugs are never safe. They are illegal for a reason. If you getcaught, you will most likely get put in jail. Drug dealers aren't nice guys. They know what they're doing to the people who buy their drugs, but that is how they make their money. Drug dealers have ways of tricking kids by telling them, "If you lick this sticker, it will taste like candy." It will most likely have drugs on it, so don't accept any stickers from a stranger. When Officer Beck was talking about drug dealers and their tricks, I found myself wishing all the drug dealers were in jail, and we wouldn't have to worry about them.
I also learned some of the effects that drugs and alcohol would have on my body, such as blurred vision, dizziness, acting funny, poor judgment, loss of memory for a period of time, and the loss of brain cells. Most of the effects wear off, however, you can't get your brain cells back! These are just some of the evidence why we shouldn't use drugs or alcohol. These effects didn't take me by surprise because I had heard about them before the D.A.R.E. program, however, after being reminded of these effects, I am very sure that I will never use drugs and won't drink alcohol while under age.
In conclusion, I now understand that D.A.R.E. is more important than wanting to watch my brother wipe out on the driveway. Drugs and alcohol are bad news. I realize how important it is to choose friends that have the same values as I do. I just wish people would realize that while cigarettes are not illegal, they are very bad for you and are a very difficult habit to break. The effects of drugs and alcohol can be very small or life changing. It could mean losing a few brain cells or losing your life. It could mean time in jail for breaking the law, or time in jail for having taken another life. For me, it's not even close to being worth it.
I, Adam Buchholtz, solemnly swear that I will never use drugs or cigarettes in my entire lifetime; and I will wait to see if I want to drink alcohol or not when I'm twenty-one. (I also really don't have a choice if I want to or not, thanks to my parents.) I also want to give a special thanks to Officer Beck for teaching us all about D.A.R.E. and all the facts associated with it.