Fred, as far as drugs, you are onside with Tom's words on this so hang in there regarding the forum bullying.
If you read this thread carefully, you may notice that people's complaint with Fred is not that he supports sobriety or that he wants kids to stay off drugs, but that he will not consider other dimensions of a very complex issue. I am certainly not going to engage him further on this issue because of his closed-mindedness.
Are you certain that Tom would appreciate your tying his views directly to those of Fred? Fred here is offering a largely discredited, un-elaborated, Reagan-era "just say no" prescription for drug abuse, whereas Tom in the thread you linked to, was speaking with much more nuance and sophistication about the use of consciousness-expanding drugs for lowering entropy.
Some parents, who are openly atheist, have been known to move to religious regions and put their kids in religious schools, to help tilt the odds in this war against entropy.
The environment may contribute to drug abuse and drug addiction (in the form of stressors, e.g.), but the urge to use drugs to manage inner pain truly arises from within. I was around alcohol and drugs throughout high school, but did not start abusing them until I was 18 and experienced a crisis in self-esteem and found out my dad was having an affair. You think religious schools are the answer to drug abuse? I guarantee you those kids, if hurting or stressed inside, will find other kids at that boarding school to drink vodka with behind the dorms, or vandalize the school, or fight with, etc. See this book review
for a bit more on the topic.
Consider Tom's words here: "Creating the right environment first
typically retards progress by inadvertently putting the cart before the horse, causing energy to be focused on issues of minor importance. Successful learning does not flow from the right environment - the right environment flows from successful learning."
Getting clean is not
a simple matter of just saying no. Are you familiar with the conception of a "dry drunk?" It is someone who has stopped drinking, but who has never dealt with the underlying pain and stress that gave rise to his alcoholism. Getting clean is a long process of coming to terms with the worst things that you have suffered in your life. Talk to addicts about the deprivations they've suffered: deprivation of parental love and reinforcement, family stability, a secure sense of self, deprivation of success, of hope, of a voice. This deprivation opens up a hole which they try to fill with the drug, and it works on a short-term scale. The pain they feel fades as their brain floods with rewarding neurotransmitters. It is not until they come down that they begin to see that the drug is not a long-term solution, that it even contributes to the pain. But they cannot stop using it, and they are not likely to stop, until they see a professional who can guide them through the process
of acceptance and forgiveness, and help them back on a path towards recreating their life.
It will take a caring and accepting social infrastructure to accomplish this--one we do not currently have and one we will not have if we continue taking the tack that "drugs are bad mmkay" and give a simplistic "the best way to stay off drugs is not to take them." Bette hit the nail on the head: this is divisive rather than inclusive. It's also utterly naive.