Law Enforcement Against Drugs, or LEAD, partners with Schools in New Jersey to educate our youths on the dangers of drug use. One of the initiatives of LEAD this year was to invite seven gifted students from Fifth Grade to write an essay, poem, or narrative on the dangers of drug and alcohol (ab)use. A LEAD-jury selected three winners from this competition. Emma Ghosh was awarded the second place in the competition held at Lafayette School District.

The battle with drug addiction has afflicted our society for decades. Our approach to tackling this societal predicament has been from the supply side, i.e., trying to restrict the inflow of drugs from other countries. Nevertheless, it is hard to regulate contraband items when payoffs are high because of the escalating demand for these coveted products. A simpler and more effective solution, which is often ignored in our societies, is to limit the demand by making our youths familiar with the heightened risk from drug (ab)use. We applaud the efforts of these seven fifth graders who are committed to disseminating the dangers of drugs, alcohol and tobacco.   

Name:  Emma Ghosh

Date:  6/9/17

Teacher: Ms. Dellano

Project Chosen:  Essay on the Dangers of Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco

Doesn’t everyone want to live life to the fullest? Don’t you? I do, my friends do, my classmates do, my family does. Well, the L.E.A.D program teaches kids how to be safe and protect themselves from obstacles that could possibly prevent kids from living a happy and healthy life. The program helps kids learn what drugs, smoking, and alcohol can do to their body and how it can affect the way we treat others and others treat us. The L.E.A.D officers teach us that there is nothing good about taking drugs, alcohol, and/or smoking. There are many morals that L.E.A.D is able to help kids understand, like the difficulties of life when you do start alcohol, drugs, and/or smoke. Three things that I have learned from the L.E.A.D program are that life is supposed to be a journey, exploration, an adventure, when you start drinking alcohol, smoking, and/or do drugs, you physically cannot keep up with the adventure and journey. You wind up hurting those around you, those that love and support you. Secondly, smoking, alcohol, and/or drug usage has deadly effects on your brain and body. Lastly, and most importantly, L.E.A.D taught me strategies on how to say NO to drugs.

First off, life is supposed to be a journey, exploration, an adventure, basically action-packed. When you start drinking alcohol, smoking, and/or use drugs, you physically cannot do even the basic functions. Alcohol, drugs, and smoking make it hard for you to stay active and keep up with all your other friends. Most importantly, you hurt the ones around you and the people that love and support you.

Secondly, smoking, alcohol, and drugs stop your brain from functioning properly. The chemicals in cigarettes are horrible for the brain. The ingredients in cigarettes, alcohol and drugs are in every way, harmful to you body. I can recall that one of the L.E.A.D teachers said, “One of the main effects of alcohol is brain and nervous system damage. Alcohol can be memory-impairing, vision-and-speech-affecting, seizure-causing disorder. You won’t be able to form new memories. You’ll mumble involuntarily and your eyes will twitch constantly.” The brain and heart are 2 of the most important body parts. We would not be able to survive without them, and smoking, drinking, and drugs target you heart and brain, which is one of the reason people die from one of the three.  

Additionally, smoking, especially, can lead to irreversible damage to your lungs and heart. Which can then cause the person to have trouble breathing and put them at a greater risk of heart disease or lung cancer. For example, the L.E.A.D teachers explained, “Smoking, in particular, can give you lung cancer or heart disease because of the smoke that you inhale. The smoke that is inhaled can damage your lungs because of all the chemicals in tobacco, which are also released into the smoke. The chemicals in the smoke are absorbed by your blood cells and then reach your heart and hurt the function of your heart and lungs. That will subsequently make it hard to breath. Smoking can also cause cancer of the lung, esophagus, mouth, throat, kidney, bladder, liver, stomach, and much more.” The L.E.A.D teachers also mention the horrible consequences of using drugs too. From deadly cancer to fatal heart attacks, some prescription drugs have even been known to cause either slow or immediate death. Other drugs may cause patients to do things they wouldn’t ordinarily consider. Drugs can also cause cancer of the bladder and other organs. Drugs can also elevate diabetes symptoms. This all proves that smoking, drinking, and drugs can cause irreversible damage to your body.

Most importantly, L.E.A.D taught me strategies to say no to drugs. One big problem is that some people are really hurting others and making them suffer through peer pressure.  One of the most important factors is that drunk people think smoking, drinking and doing drugs is “cool”, but that is just the chemicals taking over their brain! “Peer pressure will usually stop after the person says no, but in some rare cases it doesn’t. And that is where you want to go to a trusted adult, like a family member or whomever is closest, like if you are at school tell a teacher or aid. This is NOT tattle-tailing! Peer pressuring is wrong and not ok, it should be reported immediately. Even if you see someone being peer pressured who doesn’t know how to say “no” or is being threatened, you could help by telling an adult immediately, or the person being peer pressured could get seriously injured!” stated one of the L.E.A.D teachers.  This shows that although some people may say it’s cool to take drugs, drink or smoke, in reality you would know not to listen to them because you had L.E.A.D classes! This is an extremely important thing to know because if you are clueless when something like that happens to you, you need to stick up for your own health and wellbeing! ‘Cause not everybody else will know what to do during such a situation.

In conclusion, if you’re on drugs, drink, or smoke, life is a bottomless pit that drowns you in sorrow and remorse.  You cannot trust drugs, alcohol, and smoking to help you or heal you or make you forget that horrible past, you have to handle it yourself and learn to deal with it like so many other people in this world have. The L.E.A.D teachers tell us that our mind is still growing then, which is when smoking, drinking, and doing drugs have the ability to take their hardest strike at our brain, heart, lungs and other internal body parts. L.E.A.D is an important program that I feel, everyone should know about. The program is not your average program that tells kids “drinking is bad”, “don’t smoke or do drugs”, it is able to get into more detail and give kids an absolute crystal clear image of how dreadful it is to smoke, drink, or do drugs. In conclusion, I have learned valuable lessons from L.E.A.D. Most importantly, life is supposed to be a journey, exploration, an adventure, and when you start drinking alcohol, smoking, and/or do drugs, you physically cannot keep up with the adventure and journey. You wind up hurting those around you, those that love and support you. I, Emma Ghosh, pledge to never ever try to drink alcohol, use drugs,or smoke.

July 4, 2017


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