The Rise and Fall of DARE

by Honolulu Mother

According to this article, DARE has seen its funding mostly dry up in recent years as education departments finally took notice of all the evidence that it didn’t actually work:

DARE: The Anti-Drug Program That Never Actually Worked

Yes, the program known for giving our nation’s police officers a nice family-friendly outing and PR opportunity and for causing a generation of kids to lecture their parents about the beer in the cooler at the family cookout. I don’t know if they’ve stopped offering it in the local schools now, but if so, it was too late for my kids, who all went through it in late elementary and picked up all kinds of interesting alternative facts from the friendly police officers teaching the class. My favorite was the assertion that alcohol and coffee work the same way: first they make you more active, then after you drink more, they slow you down and put you to sleep.

Did you, or your kids, go through DARE? What do you think of it? Are their better alternatives for drug education?

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85 thoughts on “The Rise and Fall of DARE

  1. I got to meet the DARE officer for my daughter’s classroom yesterday, since I was taking photos (for the school yearbook) at the Valentine’s party and he dropped in. He seemed like a nice guy. Our police force is overfunded and underutilized, so DARE gives them something to do

  2. In fact, there’s some well-regarded research that some groups of students were actually more likely to do drugs if they went through DARE.

    I see so much totebaggery in this program. An authority figure, in a school no less, told you not to do something. How is it possible that anyone would fail to take heed?

    I wonder if there is a way to put a behavioral economics filter on policy proposals. Too many of these proposals seem to come from totebaggers who have a very limited grasp on what it’s like for the average person.

  3. In so many circumstances in schools, no thought seems to be given to how an actual person would react to a situation. No to mention, if someone tells you unbelievable/stupid concepts, you stop believing them or just assume they are ridiculous.

    A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with a principal about incentives and she mentioned having kids who finished a project early could then write a research paper. Fortunately, she did realize that it doesn’t work to punish kids who get their work done early.

  4. Didn’t DARE have something to do with Nancy Reagan? Or am I confused on this? To me, it doesn’t look much different than the anti-drug stuff we got back in the 70’s, except that it is a police officer rather than a teacher telling the kids the stuff they already know. I guess DARE is a little earlier since it is 5th grade rather than 7th

  5. A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with a principal about incentives and she mentioned having kids who finished a project early could then write a research paper.

    What do they say about making partner at a law firm? It’s like winning a pie eating contest where the award is more pie.

  6. In so many circumstances in schools, no thought seems to be given to how an actual person would react to a situation.

    It extends to a lot more than schools.

  7. I have no direct experience with DARE, don’t know if my kid went through it–he became awfully vocal about saying “are you going to get DRUNK?” whenever I had a single beverage a few years ago. Then last fall he started high school and thought being drunk sounded awesome and like something he wanted to do when he was older. Half a year into high school, it doesn’t seem to be a big deal either way. I still offer him a drop (literally, from a finger) when I have alcohol, and he still refuses. He asked if he could taste the champagne in the opened bottle in the fridge once. I said yes, he tried it and *suprise, surprise* he liked it. I don’t think he’s ever gone back for more. There are other things in our Eduction Dept nationally and with him specifically that I’m worried about now.

    Confusing a stimulant and a depressant is funny, as long as the idea is killed off quickly.

  8. Of course I hated DARE. Complete waste of time. At the time (about 8 years ago) the school’s health teachers conceded it was an ineffective program but they valued the opportunity for students to form a positive relationship with police. I’m unaware of another effective program but I would be interested in hearing of any.

    Under state education law public schools are required to offer character education, which is one reason the schools use DARE because it allows them to check off that box. They also offered an unproven bullying program when my kids were in school, probably for the same reason. But public schools are well practiced in offering curriculum that is unproven so it’s not like it’s unusual for them. (Harsh sounding, I know.)

  9. Psusdo, that’s the reverse of a conversation I had with my kid’s teachers when he was bored out of his brains. He still likes to read when he’s done with his assignment.

  10. The best thing about DARE in our school is that the kids get a pool party at the end. Of course, the party is in June (remember, our school goes to end of June) so it is always freezing cold for it. My oldest two, who have both done it, say that everyone dares each other to jump into the icy water.

  11. S&M There is a big difference between getting done early and doing something you like (aka reading) and getting done early and having more work piled on.

  12. I have no idea if my school district does DARE, but starting in first grade they do have someone come in and speak about the dangers of drug and alcohol use. From what I can tell it seems to focus the most on prescription use and not sharing your medication with others. To be honest, it seems like a good program, but my DD is a rule follower so her experience may be different than what other kids think.

  13. We usually have wine with dinner, and we were not amused when my kid included a drawing similar to this for her DARE poster project.

  14. I think at some point, the kids were asked to report how much the parents drank. That didn’t go over well.

  15. I think DS had DARE in kindergarten, I remember from childhood about them demonizing beer, but I was all nah, my Dad drinks beer All The Time LOL

  16. Winemama, between your name here and your past ownership of a winery, if they were aiming for total abstinence, they failed with you, lol

  17. MM – yes the slogan “Just Say No” was attributed to Nancy Reagan.

    I remember when the cost of the designer dresses she favored came out there was a political cartoon of her and Reagan passing a window of dresses and him dragging her away saying “Just Say No Nancy!”

  18. My kids did DARE and definitely we had the “ooooh, Dad’s having another (2nd) beer…he must be trying to get drunk” phase. Now when I make myself a drink my youngest just says something like “that bad, huh?” and I reply, “no, just getting ready to deal with you.” All in good fun.

    I think the good part of DARE is it does provide a way to talk about alcohol/drugs abuse without it coming from nowhere. And I think being able to talk about these kinds of life decisions, also including smoking and sex, in a natural way keeps the communications lines open.

  19. “the slogan “Just Say No” was attributed to Nancy Reagan.”

    I started watching Narcos last night and at the end of the first episode there is a clip from ~1983 with Ron talking about going after the drug cartel(s) in Colombia and Nancy giving the Just Say No mantra.

  20. Fred, sometimes I wish it was hard to talk about those things with my kid ;) There’s a lot he doesn’t and may never know about me, but from the amount of info he gives me about himself, I can’t imagine there’s anything I don’t know.

  21. I think it would be really useful if the schools would talk more about depression and help the kids understand what it looks and feels like. Then try to explain how self-medicating is not the way to go, and they should talk to their actual physicians. I know there will be issues about physicians having to tell the parents and the kids wanting to keep that hidden. But lots of kids take recreational drugs because they feel socially isolated, or depressed/hopeless, or anxious.

  22. I think it would be really useful if the schools would talk more about depression and help the kids understand what it looks and feels like.

    Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. Including, maybe starting off with the concept that the brain is an organ and sometimes gets sick or malfunction, just like any other organ can malfunction.

  23. Long ago, the 8th-grade son of one of Palo Alto’s retired mayors got caught selling drugs. He killed himself. I will always remember the teacher who dropped the whole “teacher persona” and earnestly told my class that at our age, nothing is unfixable. No lectures, no “this will go on your permanent record”, no parroting the official message. He just said, “Look, I know you don’t understand this, but nothing is unfixable when you’re 13. No matter how bad you think it is, DO NOT KILL YOURSELF. No matter what you’ve done, you can still grow up and things will get better”.

  24. RMS, I agree. We had an incident at my son’s school with an untoward video that resulted in a boy being kicked out of school and the administration and a ton of parents kept saying “his life is ruined” and I was like He 17 years old and that’s it? May as well pack it up? What the hell! He’s made a big mistake with serious consequences but his life is not ruined. Satistically he’s go 70 more years to turn that around. STOP making kids think they will ruin their lives!

  25. I remember we were the first class to do DARE when I was a kid – I later babysat the police officer’s kids, so I got that out of it. ;) Otherwise I thought it was dumb, and clearly it doesn’t work!

  26. RMS, that story instantly brought to mind the history of HS suicides in PA. Does it go that far back, or was that pretty isolated back then?

  27. My older kid had internet/phone safety discussions with police officers quite a few times. The school had a couple of sessions on opioid use for parents and kids. These sessions were later in the evening and I didn’t make them. Not sure if DS was given the same information during school hours. Both kids schools have interesting talks by expert speakers but I rarely can attend these.

  28. Finn, the suicide clusters are within the last 10-15 years. This was more an isolated incident.

  29. At my son’s school, they recently did a presentation for the 7th graders on depression and suicide. I’m glad they did. As my kids get older and face more pressures, I’m becoming increasingly aware of trying to monitor their mental health, and get any issues that might come up addressed right away. Which is entirely different from how I was raised; in my family/culture of origin, depression was seen as a weakness, and as something never to be discussed outside the family (lest the family’s reputation be damaged).

  30. @RMS – in many states teens can consent for mental health treatment, and there is no parental notification required. (Insurance notification is a separate issue, however).

  31. I was not aware that DARE tried to increase kids’ self-esteem as well. I wonder if any studies were done on the effects of that.

    A while back, I read some articles and arguments suggesting that excessive self-esteem, especially when not rooted in reality, leads to antisocial behavior.

  32. This is somewhat related. DS has been talking for a few weeks about how one of his friends keeps talking about how he has “a list” of who he is going to shoot. Sometimes he says the “black kids” are at the top, once he said DS was at the top of the list. He also that he ordered a taser online. DW told DS he needed to tell someone at school, and he didn’t. So DW called the school on Monday afternoon. Within 3 hours, we had two cops at our house to talk to DS. Yesterday the kid wasn’t at school. DW talked to the mom of one of DS’ friends today (DS gave the cops the names of his other friends who heard the statements), the mom said she talked to the principal yesterday and the principal obviously couldn’t say much did say it was good DW called and something like “In this case it was necessary.”

  33. Our school doesn’t have DARE, but the district has lots of other programs that they use to educate the kids about drugs and alcohol. One of the first things that DD noticed about middle school was that the signs in the bathrooms in elementary schools were bears with instructions about hand washing. She said the signs in the bathrooms at the middle school are all about warnings about drugs.

    There are youth counselors that work with the town and our police force to present age appropriate seminars and awareness weeks. The schools have an unfunded mandate from Albany about wellness and health so there are wellness fairs now in each school. A few of the tables are devoted to awareness of drugs, smoking, alcohol etc. The youth council officers and staff will bring beer goggles and livers in jars to try to educate the kids on the impact of alcohol. They have before and after pictures of lungs from a smoker. Some of this visual or touching stuff seems to work better vs. sitting in the auditorium and hearing a lecture for 40 minutes.

    I actually think the kids DO learn something when they try to finish an obstacle course while wearing the beer goggles. They all think that they can do it, but it is rare to see anyone actually finish it without an error.

  34. 1:36, such a tough call to make, but so necessary because the police keep saying that a tip like this is one of the few ways that they can sometimes help these kids BEFORE they injure or kill someone else.

  35. I actually think the kids DO learn something when they try to finish an obstacle course while wearing the beer goggles. They all think that they can do it, but it is rare to see anyone actually finish it without an error.

    I always think of that episode of WKRP when they were doing a test on Johnny Fever to show how reaction time gets worse with alcohol, and he kept getting better with every drink.

    I never did DARE and my kids never did it either.

  36. Missed DARE when I was in school and hasn’t been something my kids have been exposed to either. I think that programs that provide factual information are helpful on topics like alcohol, drugs, sex, etc. I don’t think abstainence only programs work as they often just teach fear and do not provide information.

    I get frustrated when the school has a ZERO Tolerance policy about bullying, but then when a kid is being bullied, they don’t actually do much. A friend’s son attempted suicide due to bullying. They had addressed it with the school, but it was still occurring. The bullies never suffered any consequences. Thankfully, they pulled him out of school and moved him.

    In other cases, the ZERO Tolerance policy swoops down and an honest mistakes ain the wrong category can result in a permanent consequence. You will likely have a “fine” life after that, it just won’t be the one you were previously on the path to.

  37. I didn’t have DARE, but discussions about underage drinking were a big topic in high school since I turned 18 the same year that Congress passed the the Minimum Drinking Age Act. The impact wasn’t immediate for me because it took a couple of years for the law to be fully implemented, but that topic dominated most of HS years when they discussed drinking in school.

  38. Lauren, I ran into that change too. When I entered college, the age was still 18, but the law had just passed. I had just turned 17. Each year, the age-to-drink kept rising, so I never got to be legal while I was an undergrad. Well, I had no money for beer so it didn’t matter much…

  39. “The best thing about DARE in our school is that the kids get a pool party at the end. Of course, the party is in June (remember, our school goes to end of June) so it is always freezing cold for it.”

    I’ve never been to your part of the country, but I’m surprised to hear it’s so cold in June. Does it ever get warm?

  40. DARE was started in 1983 in LA. I offer for your after work entertainment the original comedy bit Sgt Stadenko from a 1973 album by Cheech and Chong. The opening bit is the best part (it is kind of long) and it is of course funnier in a slightly altered state. However, Basketball Jones from the same album is priceless in any state.

  41. Finn, the town pool is outside and not heated. In early to mid June, weather here is often coolish and damp (with some hot days mixed in but not tons), so the water is cold. High temps are often low 70’s or even 60’s at that time of year. For example, I just looked up the highs for the week of June 5 last year, and they were 70, 82,83,68,69,75. The pool party always seems to be on the day when the high is 69

  42. Mooshi, I lucked out because D.C. was 18 for beer and wine. Beer was 75 cents in the student run pub. We used to go to dive bars too, and pitchers were $5.

  43. Lauren – I didn’t even have that kind of money! I was so poor, I used to split a pack of ramen with my best friend.

  44. Meme, I fondly remember that piece, particularly since I attended Catholic school and had some familiarity with the drug culture of that era.

    It would be nice to find an alternative to DARE that actually works because we do have a drug problem. Over the last few years several recent graduates from our small local high school have died from drug/alcohol-related problems.

    Any thoughts on the new guidelines for sufferers of back pain?

    The recommendations come as the United States is struggling with an epidemic of opioid addiction that often begins with a simple prescription for ailments like back pain. In recent years, a number of states have enacted measures aimed at curbing prescription painkillers. The problem has also led many doctors around the country to reassess prescribing practices….

    The new guidelines said that doctors should avoid prescribing opioid painkillers for relief of back pain and suggested that before patients try anti-inflammatories or muscle relaxants, they should try alternative therapies like exercise, acupuncture, massage therapy or yoga. Doctors should reassure their patients that they will get better no matter what treatment they try, the group said. The guidelines also said that steroid injections were not helpful, and neither was acetaminophen, like Tylenol, although other over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin, naproxen or ibuprofen could provide some relief.

  45. Any thoughts on the new guidelines for sufferers of back pain?

    I’ve been reading that opioids don’t really work for long term chronic pain management. I don’t know how true that is.

  46. “Doctors should reassure their patients that they will get better no matter what treatment they try, the group said. ”

    Having watched my father, who was once a highly active runner and mountain climber, suffer from debilitating back pain for years, I have to say this is just bogus. For a lot of people, it doesn’t get better.

    I have said for years that a way to really improve the health of a lot of people would be to put much more emphasis on research into effective pain management. So many people end up curtailing exercise because of serious pain, which then leads to cascading health effects. It is lovely to say that exercise will help, and I actually believe it – but a person who is in serious pain simply can’t go exercise no matter how much they want to. This is what I saw happen to my father. When he passed away, he was not healthy because of 10 years or more of total inactivity – but it wasn’t what he wanted at all. He loved doing active things. He wasn’t lazy, he was just in too much pain.
    Pain research gets shoved to the back because it isn’t glamorous and doesn’t immediately save lives.

  47. “I have to say this is just bogus.”

    That was my reaction. I’ve known of people who keep their stash of drugs for when the severe back strikes. This is a lifesaver for them, yet they don’t seem to have problems with addiction. Going back to Meme’s video, I wonder if marijuana has been found effective for back pain.

  48. “I know your back hurts, but go run, be active, instead of taking a pill.”

    I get the impression that Dr. Weinstein doesn’t have chronic back pain. He may be a great guy and he was quoted out of context but his comments make me kind of stabby.

  49. “I’ve been reading that opioids don’t really work for long term chronic pain management. I don’t know how true that is.”

    A while back I had an online friend who was dealing with long term chronic pain. What he told me was that opioids did offer relief, and long term pain sufferers did not have the same susceptibility to addiction that others did, and he didn’t get high from them.

    Totally guessing here, but I’m thinking that for some people taking opioids for short term pain, as they heal, the pain subsides, the drug interaction changes, and they become susceptible to addiction and getting high.

  50. “I have to say this is just bogus.”

    It was for my mom, who was unable to sleep in her bed for over a year because of back pain, so she slept sitting up in the living room.

    She finally found a doctor who diagnosed the problem as a cyst, which was surgically removed. As she regained consciousness as the anesthesia wore off, she already felt better.

  51. :A while back I had an online friend who was dealing with long term chronic pain. What he told me was that opioids did offer relief, and long term pain sufferers did not have the same susceptibility to addiction that others did, and he didn’t get high from them.”

    I don’t believe that claim either. I think my father was totally dependent, and I have known others. Being addicted because of the pain relief is still being addicted.

    There really needs to be a more serious effort put into research into chronic pain. I think that would go a long ways to easing the opiod crisis, and might help a lot of middle aged people on disability get back to work.

  52. “Being addicted because of the pain relief is still being addicted.”

    I believe he meant that he wouldn’t go through the same type of withdrawal an addict would if he stopped. I.e., there was not the same physical dependence.

    “There really needs to be a more serious effort put into research into chronic pain. I think that would go a long ways to easing the opiod crisis, and might help a lot of middle aged people on disability get back to work.”

    ITA. It’s also a huge quality of life issue.

  53. Finn, I think calling it “quality of life” is why research is on the back burner. It needs to be pointed out how chronic pain affects concrete things, like ability to work or ability to exercise to improve health factors like blood pressure or diabetes.

  54. Mooshi’s 3:54 comment points out the need for preventative health care, instead of reactive medicine. I doubt it will happen before we have a single payer health insurance program that is trying to bring down costs of health care for the whole country. So not during the next four years.

    When we moved here, there were apparently lots of “pain management” places that gave out narcotics freely. Since regulations were tightened up significantly, there are many fewer. Last summer when I hurt my back, the doctor I saw who prescribed the first round of narcotics left town for ten days. His office staff told me that if it were any other type of meds, one of his partners could write a script for more, but not narcotics. I also couldn’t transfer to anyone else in the practice mid-case. I found out then that there are still some pain mgt centers around. Fortunately, he was checking his email, including the patient care system, and he sent in a new Rx. They cannot be called into the pharmacy; patients have to carry a paper prescription to the pharmacy. (Same thing for Adderall, Ritalin, etc). I was surprised that he could use the system from where ever he was to tell the office to print it, but I wasn’t asking any questions. In the last couple of years, quite a few of these types of surgical centers have opened up. I don’t know that they are very effective.

  55. The county where I grew up is light orange, surrounded by yellow, just north of that Blue Ridge ball of red on this map. And of course where we are now, there is lots of it, as there is all along the Florida penninsula’s coast.

  56. What he told me was that opioids did offer relief, and long term pain sufferers did not have the same susceptibility to addiction that others did

    Mmmph. I highly doubt it.

  57. Being addicted because of the pain relief is still being addicted.

    That’s like saying a diabetic is addicted to insulin.

  58. That map is fascinating. Even though the deep South is really poor, they have few deaths from opiods. It is clear that this is a racial thing – areas where poverty is black have low death rates, Areas where poverty is white have high death rates.

  59. This is one of those issues where the research is “conflicting”. There was a study (or maybe multiple ones) back in the 90s or so that claimed to show that people who actually have pain don’t become addicted to opioids. Now studies are coming out claiming that’s not true, and that people with chronic pain are just as susceptible to becoming addicted as non-pain sufferers.

  60. Mooshi, I disagree that the opioid problem is racial. The upper Midwest (Minnesota, Iowa, Dakotas, Nebraska) is overwhelmingly white (as is poverty, with the exception of reservations) and has few deaths, consistent with what J. D. Vance observed about church attendance/practice in those two areas.

  61. In almost every area in the map with the highest death rates, the same is true on both sides of a state line, with the exception of Oklahoma. I wonder what is unique about southeastern Oklahoma that doesn’t carry over to bordering counties in Arkansas and Texas. (I know plenty that is unique there, just not related to drug use.)

  62. Whether or not pain sufferers are susceptible to addiction to pain-killing opioids, I think their comfort tends to get short shrift. Whose call is it to make between chronic pain and the possibility of addiction?

  63. Whose call is it to make between chronic pain and the possibility of addiction?

    The doctor who is about to get her license pulled, maybe.

    That’s flippant, I know. I absolutely agree (and agree with Mooshi) that chronic pain is a terrible problem, and we need better solutions.

  64. I just had rotator cuff surgery and my mom made such a fuss about not taking pain killers because they are addictive. I walked out of the surgery with a giant bottle of pain killers and prescription ibuprofen. I tried for two days to not take the pain killers. It was horrible! I lay in bed with tears streaming down my face. My husband was beside himself with the feeling of powerlessness. I finally took one and slept peacefully for like 15 hours. I’m sure it helps with the healing to be able to rest. Not to mention the psychological relief for the caregiver. I’ve been able to go with just the ibuprofen after that. I can’t imagine how terrible it must be for chronic sufferers.

  65. SM, a doctor in our community was arrested very publicly during a workout at the Y for doing what your doctor did – taking care of a patient’s refill for an narcotic while the doctor was out of the country. I think he had written the prescription in advance and then the office staff gave it to the patient at what would have been the correct time. He had his license revoked. It all depends on who is watching, I guess.

  66. I have mentioned this before…I am in favor of low impact excercise. When you are younger injuries are easier to recover from but as you age old injuries flare up and new injuries take longer to heal or result in constant pain and may result in loss of mobility.
    The seniors I have observed who aged well watched their diets and kept active with moderate exercise.

  67. So, looking at the map, I am wondering what’s with NY? I would have expected it to be like PA, instead it’s more like ND. Except for NYC, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Yonkers (the cities proper) the state is highly white, and much of the rural parts of the state are poor, yet few deaths. What is NY doing right?

  68. I didn’t mean to imply that the opiod problem is strictly racial. I think it is very bound up with poverty. But what the map seems to show is that poor areas that are heavily black, such as the deep South, have a much lower death rate than poor areas that are heavily white, such as Appalachia.

    The upper Midwest is not a desperately poor region in comparison to Appalachia or the deep South. Same for upstate New York.

    There are some other interesting variations on the map too. Why is Cape Cod so much worse than the rest of MA?

  69. The seniors I have observed who aged well watched their diets and kept active with moderate exercise.

    I think the key is you need to stay active when you are younger, you can’t wait until you are 60 and then start exercising.

  70. The areas on the map for Georgia that are red are geographically where most of the meth production and use is, so for Georgia I’m sure that’s contributing.

  71. Mooshi, I see your point about deep poverty being uniquely problematic in the South and Appalachia and agree. When I lived in Kentucky, I had the impulse to support charity locally. In other places I’ve lived, I was slower to support local charity, on the belief that it was entirely possible for most people to support themselves.

  72. @mafalda – The only time I’ve had any controlled pain killer prescription was also after surgery, and it was absolutely necessary to recover. My experiences were somewhat similar to yours – necessary for a few days and then easy to wean to Ibuprofen and then nothing. I wonder if there is something about chronic pain that is different from recovering from a ST event that leads people to become addicted. Luckily, this is not something that I have experienced personally or with anyone close to me, so I really don’t know.

  73. I have long time sober/clean friends who have had to take opioids after surgery, sometimes for weeks after joint replacement. They are the ones who are really terrified at the prospect, but if they are not living with a strong companion or don’t have the right sort of family nearby, they try to stay a bit longer post op in the structured skilled nursing facility and then get folks from AA/NA to visit daily and watch over them.

  74. I once attended a seminar from an anesthesiologist who ran one of the city’s best pain management programs. Pain medications are necessary but his rule of thumb was the moment you feel “loopy” on the meds, it is time to step down to the a lower dose or take a different drug. So if you have an opioid prescribed after surgery and then day two that makes you feel like your dancing on moonbeams and not just blocking the pain, well it is time to step down to 1/2 the dose or the RX strength ibuprofen. This is the step that many people don’t do and they continue to take the whole bottle of prescribed opioids which can lead into problems.

  75. Used to Lurk- that makes sense. When i came back out of the general anaesthesia, i felt strange and terrified, i sobbed and called for my husband in both languages. Until I could hold his hand and look into his eyes,it steadied me. The nurse told me most people like the feeling and seem very happy and loopy at that point. She said “you probably don’t have an appetite for mind altering drugs.”

  76. HFN: Go reread the post “taking care of a patient’s refill for an narcotic while the doctor was out of the country. ” is not what my doc did.

  77. Mafalda/Ivy, I’ve had them prescribed twice in the last 8 years, once after surgery and once after injury. Both times I was highly motivated to get off them as quickly as possible, because my son only has one parent, but also felt that taking them when I hurt badly was important for him.Imo, the awareness and desire not to get hooked are part of the prevention.

  78. Mafalda, my experience coming off general anesthesia the two times I’ve had it was similar. I took longer to walk/become coherent than normal. My mother was similarly sensitive to drugs and I wonder if it’s genetic.

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