I am not sure if the topic has ever come up but I know that tobacco and alcohol are prohibited at Scouting events, how about other substances? With so many states having medical marijuana, and some recreational, I could see this as a question some units might run into. Being under the influence of any substance is an issue if working with kids, even if it is prescription drugs. However, some people use marijuana for daily medication. My daughter could get a script for it for her seizures. The difference between a user for medicine, who may take it pill form or just take a couple of puffs, and someone who uses it recreationaly can be tricky. I had a friend who claimed to use it control seizures but she used the wrong strain. She used it more than she needed to control seizures. In fact, she had more seizures the more she smoked. When I confronted her, she did finally admit that it was to get high.
Long story I guess but I want to keep scouts safe. My take would initially be, no use while at Scout activities. I am really not sure if I could tell a kid they cannot take there medication to control their seizures. Thoughts?
Joe, the topic has come up at recent training events, including Brownseas. Marijuana, legal by state, Federally illegal, and prescribed or not, is still a 'drug'. This makes it covered by our Code of Ethics and Youth Protection Guidelines:
"The use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco shall be actively discouraged as being incompatible with a health approach to Scouting activity. No member shall partake of any scouting activity while under the influence of drugs or alcohol."
The Pacific Northwest Hullabaloo event, with over 300 participants, specifically includes similar language to prepare participants.
This said, we recommend that scouts with medically necessary drugs notify leaders of the need for such prescribed medications and of their presence in camp outs and other events.
Ibuprofen is a "drug" - as are many other dangerous but universally used substances. So the Code of Ethics/Guidelines is already being commonly broken. I'm sure the federal status will eventually change for the incredibly diverse and effective "drug" cannabis, but if a medicine is legally prescribed by a doctor for seizures and is deemed medically necessary by that caregiver, whether federally banned or not (and for whatever political reasons), in my opinion that overrides any Code of Ethics. And like Jeffrey says, like with any other medically prescribed drug, even Ibuprofen or Tylenol, its presence should be made known to the leaders. If the child's safety is priority as we claim, and safety for this child hinges on having this medicine, then there is no ethically sound reason to say it cannot be used by the child at scouting events in its prescribed manner, just like any other medicine. Just my 2 cents. I would hope that any of the scouts in my group would not be afraid to take their prescribed medicines as long as I am notified of their presence.
In my personal life I am careful to make a distinction between medicines and drugs. Even something that I have a prescription for can be a drug if the need for the medicine has passed. Example: Hydrocodone is prescribed for the pain of a wisdom tooth extraction. During the healing process it can be taken as medicine for the pain. In the absence of pain, it becomes a drug, even though the prescription may still be valid. I hope that makes sense.
Camp leaders should certainly be made aware of any medicines, which can and should be used as prescribed and needed.
I think it is a good idea for everyone to keep a list of all medications they are taking handy, because that information may be needed by medical personnel in the event of an emergency.
I share the reasoning that Jeffrey gave in reference to the Code of Ethics. That is how I would handle it with my Scouts too. I do not have an issue at this time but knowing the mind set here in Spokane, I could see it happen so I asked for several reasons. Like David said, using a script after it is no longer needed can be abuse. Especially if it is a controlled item. I met someone recently that used used oxycodone to "calm" his anxiety. Even though it is prescribed to him, he did not take it for pain, by his own admission. I have a list of meds I take with me at all times.
Thank you all for your inputs.