Although he will continue to aggressively prosecute drug cases, Utah's U.S. attorney says law enforcement will never win the war against drugs.
"There's no way we're going to stop the supply (of drugs) entering this country," Brent D. Ward told students and parents Monday at Clayton Intermediate School. He spoke as part of a drug-prevention workshop sponsored by Citizens for Positive Community Values."I will not stop prosecuting these cases, but law enforcement will never win," he said. "I've come to the conclusion that it is you and me as parents who will win."
Ward said he and Hyrum Smith, chairman of the board of the Franklin Institute, have made presentations on the prevention of drug abuse at 115 schools around the state this year and have felt a "great response" from teenagers and parents. He said the experience of telling students how great it is to be in control of their lives has been greater than any of his duties as Utah's attorney.
Ward spoke about a former student body president at Skyline High who is now serving time in prison. The student began by attending keggers as a sophomore and slowly started using small amounts of drugs. He obtained a scholarship and graduated from the University of Utah, but his drug problem continued to escalate.
"He was spending $8,000 a month on drugs," Ward said. Help finally came in the form of FBI agents who raided his house and stuck a gun in his face. Ward said the man told him, "They put an end to my self-destruction."
"The point of this evening is to suggest that it may not just be the child's behavior problem but ours (as parents) as well," Ward said.
Smith said attacking the behavior will not stop anyone from using drugs and said people need to understand the principles that drive them to the problem. He focused his comments on a "decision-making model" that helps people to see where rationale and behavior patterns originate.
Everyone looks at the world through a "belief window" etched with thousands of principles each individual has accepted as correct, Smith said. "We have these principles because we believe they'll help us satisfy four basic human needs" _ to live, to love and be loved, to feel important and to have variety.
Smith said by looking at the rules, behavior patterns and ultimate results that stem from principles of the "belief window," people can determine whether their principles are correct.
"If the results of your behavior do not meet your needs, there is an incorrect principle on your belief window," he said.
Some parents, for example, may have the principle that their self-worth is dependent on never losing an argument, which may fill the important human need to feel important. With that belief principle, Smith said a parent will make a subconscious rule they must never lose an argument with their children and their behavior may cause severe communication and relationship problems.
Chances are, the results of such a principle will not meet the parent's need to feel important, especially in the long run, said Smith.