Attempts to address the illegal drug problem in the United States range from stricter laws to education programs. In addition, while harsh penalties may be a deterrent for some, the truth is it’s often too late for many who travel down that dark road.
It is believed that through awareness, the use of illegal drugs will diminish. Warning kids early remains our best option at long-term success. The Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program was introduced 22 years ago to educate students at the elementary school level to the dangers of illegal drug use. Police officers teach the program because they possess the knowledge, experience and credibility in this area.
Due to a number of factors, including budget cuts, D.A.R.E. nearly has been eliminated from most school programs within San Diego County at the middle and high school levels. To fill the vital need of drug prevention education, the non-profit education organization Proactive Network Against Substance Abuse (PRONASA) was founded and established by Philip D Hubbs, an officer with the San Diego Police Department.
Hubbs is motivated by having witnessed up close while working various stints in vice and narcotics the ugliness of wasted lives and the residual devastation upon society. He used his knowledge and experience to steer his two teen-age daughters clear of this trap and aim to help other parent do the same with their children through his programs.
The mission of PRONASA is to provide organized drug education at t he middle and high school levels to teach awareness to adult leaders, and to assist in finding help for those afflicted.
There are four steps to the presentation. First, it identifies the illegal drugs that are available in our community. Second, it explains the delivery system for each drug and its associated paraphernalia. Third, it educates on the objective symptomatology and shows shocking examples of the extreme harm illegal drugs cause. Finally, it identifies and provides community resources that are available to assist families dealing with a drug user.
Hubbs founded PRONSAS [501 (c) (3) Non-profit Educational organization] three years ago. He is not provided with a salary and volunteers 15 to 20 hours a week of his personal time meeting with organizations, attending committee/committee/community/school meetings and making presentations throughout San Diego County. He started the organization with his personal assets and equipment before seeking funding through grant and donations.
One of the special features of Hubbs’ programs is his partnership with local law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration. He also networks with various intervention, prevention and education organizations throughout San Diego County. Because of his efforts and achievements, these organizations have nominated Hubbs for several community awards, including the Channel 10 Leadership Award. He was the recipient of the prestigious Law Enforcement DEA Enrique “Kiki” Camerena Award and the California Lieutenant governor’s Cruz M Bustamante Commendation during the Red Ribbon celebration on October 19, 2005. The Red Ribbon Campaign symbolized the nation’s support for effort to reduce demand for drugs through prevention and education programs.
On Nov. 23, 2005, Hubbs received a certificate of recognition for his community service from Soroptimist International of La Mesa. He also was recognized by California Assemblyman Jay LaSuer and was presented with an award for his education programs.
Hubbs’ vision is to generate sufficient funding for his organization to provide schools with cash incentives to subscribe to his programs. The incentive for school principals to host the community and student presentations would be twofold. In addition to valuable substance abuse education an awareness they already enjoy, they also would receive money to enhance school projects or purchase needed equipment.