Every student in every school has to spend a lot of hours trying to stay awake during boring lectures and talks about drug prevention. It’s not that it isn’t an interesting and important issue. Especially in our age it’s very important to have at least some basic knowledge about this matter. However, after so many lectures it’s almost impossible to keep attention to what the lecturer or teacher is saying and we hardly ever find out something we haven’t already known. Nevertheless, this wasn’t the case of this drug prevention programme.
On October 4th our teachers gave us an opportunity to visit a drug prevention exhibition in REVOLUTION TRAIN during schooltime. At first, we were just happy that we won’t have to be at school and couldn’t care less about some exhibition we were about to visit. As soon as we arrived, our guide told us some basic information about various types of addictions, history of the REVOLUTION TRAIN and showed us a map of all the cities from Czech Republic and even Germany, which they’re going to visit next. Afterwards each of us was given a questionnaire, where we anonymously answered questions about how we spend our free time, our experience with addictive substances etc. (The results can then be used by representatives of towns and prevention workers.) Shortly after the tour could finally begin.
Every wagon was divided into three parts. The first part was a cinema, where we saw one of four parts of a movie. The movie was based on a true story of a group of teenagers, that slowly start with cigarettes and then they try harder drugs, mostly because they want to seem cool and fit in, so most of them become addicted soon. Because they can’t get rid of their drug addiction, they get into a lot of trouble. Some of them end up in jail for drugs dealing or negligent homicide, some of them are financially broke so they try to make money through prostitution, they also have serious health problems and one of them even dies of heroin overdose. The happiest ones, the ones that after all managed to get rid of the addiction (which definitely wasn’t an easy and quick procedure), still have to live with all the consequences of their actions, such as car crash permanent injuries, unplanned pregnancy etc. The story was very strong, emotional, touching, sometimes really scary and it definitely got under our skin. It was also interactive, we had to write into our questionnaires how would we react or acted if we were in the same situation as the main characters in the movie. After each part of the movie, we continued into the second and third part of the wagon, where we discovered almost perfect remakes of iconic places from the movie (such as the pub, the interrogation room, the doctor's surgery, the prison cell, the drugs lair and even a remake of the car crash). In this rooms we discussed the story, our experiences with drugs and our knowledge in this matter with our guide. He was very pleasant to speak with, and he proved to be a true expert in this field. Despite all our expectations the hour in the train went by very quickly. In the last wagon we finished our questionnaires and handed them in, received bananas as a snack to go, thanked our guide for the amazing tour and we were free to go home with a lot of things to think about.
In my opinion the REVOLUTION TRAIN is a brilliant project. Its environment, audio-visual projections, accompanying talk and the experience itself enhanced by gentle involvement in the story has a bigger effect on the students than all kinds of talks and events that we took part in in the past. I also think, that it can discourage a lot of the young visitors from drugs and addictive substances. It taught us, that life really is a gift.
Anna Suchá, sexta B