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Schools Fighting Teen Drug Problem By Using ‘Marijuana Goggles’

“Alcohol goggles” that simulate the experience of being drunk are used in 84 countries worldwide as a prevention tool to help avoid alcohol abuse, but could the same formula work with marijuana?

The Fatal Vision Marijuana Simulation Experience, simply referred to by many as “marijuana goggles,” allows users to experience the sensation of getting high on pot without actually trying it.

The Simulation Project

The goal of this simulation project is to simulate “the distorted processing of visual information, loss of motor coordination, and slowed decision-making and reaction time resulting from recreational marijuana use.”

A high school student group in Hancock County, Ind., is already using them. During a local Youth Council meeting, teens completed a maze, navigated a map and observed lights with and without the goggles. Completing the maze took four times as long with the goggles, had difficulty navigating a map and couldn’t see flashing red lights that represented a roadblock.

“It’s very important to realize that these might not be the exact results, but these are very close to exactly what some people in our community our going out and driving in,” said New Palestine Senior Keelie Baker to Fox21News. However, the goggles are cost-prohibitive for most school districts and organizations. A set of goggles and accompanying activities starts at $975 and additional goggles since $200. A refill package of five laser pointers cost $280.

The Other Side of the Issue

As with most new ideas, this one certainly has its detractors. In fact, some medical experts believe the goggles are little more than an expensive scare tactic that won’t prevent future drug use. For example, Joseph Palamar, an NYU professor who researches teen drug use, said the findings from the goggles are obvious because they “take away the ability to see red, and then the teens are asked to engage in activities that are highly dependent on the color red.”

Keith Humphreys, a professor of psychiatry at Stanford University who studies drug addiction, bluntly said that “there is no evidence at all that they are of any value for preventing marijuana use. This just won’t work.”

The Current Culture

The goggles have also been fodder for late-night talk show hosts and Internet memes. A Reddit thread on them jokes about whether the pot goggles would lead to heroin goggles and how they would work on a user who is actually high on pot.

But the truth of the matter is that goggles aren’t necessary to dissuade kids from using marijuana. Talk with your child about the dangers of smoking pot. Share your own experiences with marijuana and why you don’t use it anymore or, if you’ve never tried it, explain what led you to making that decision.