reasons), and one concerned parent of a teenager (well three, if you count Banta and Watson who each have teenage children). It leaves one to presume that everyone in town who was so vociferous about the medical marijuana debate, either knows the answer, thinks they know the answer, or, probably more to the point, is tired of the discussion.
Be that as it may, Avani Dilger, founder of the high school/college program “Natural Highs – Healthy Alternatives to Drugs & Alcohol,” which supports teens and young adults in developing a healthy, sober lifestyle, disseminated a trove of useful information about the effects of marijuana on brain chemistry, and how those chemical effects affect the development the brain in a teen. Also in attendance were three young high school students who talked, from a teen’s perspective, about the pressures and temptations to try marijuana, and the alternatives that Dilger’s program provide.
The program is an interactive, strengths-based educational program integrating traditional and alternative approaches to substance abuse prevention. The curriculum provides cutting edge information on brain chemistry and development, hands-on opportunities to learn healthy coping strategies, creative ways of accessing altered states of consciousness, and discussions about issues underlying substance abuse. Some of those alternatives include: stress management, massage, acupuncture, herbs, and teas. The program is so popular in the Boulder School District, that Dilger says there is a two to three year waiting list for the elective course.
Also part of the program are activity nights, once a month in Boulder, which are organized and put on by the “Natural Highs Action Team,” (student leaders and peer mentors) which may include such things as a Halloween costume party, a P.J. night (where the teens make herbal pillows), and “clean” rave nights, where the DJs are part of the Action Team. Dilger says the kids who enroll in the program, and attend the monthly functions run the gamut, from ones who are there by court order, those that hear about them through word of mouth, to those who have never even tried alcohol or marijuana.