War on Drugs

17 Mar

What would you do with 15 BILLION dollars? Keep dreaming…

Well, that is how much the federal government spends on the “War on Drugs” each year. Most of this money is spent on enforcement: stopping the drug trade and locking drug offenders up. Another part of it is spent on treatment and just a tiny bit of the green stuff is spent on prevention.

This whole war on drugs could have been WON by now if we had just listened to one of our forefathers, Ben Franklin who said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” I will come back to that brilliant piece of advice in a moment.

A little history for you: 1971 President “Tricky Dick” Nixon proclaims the War on Drugs because U.S. soldiers fighting in Vietnam are becoming addicted to heroin. Back in the states, gangsters are buying heroin by the kilo (that’s 2.2 lbs) and distributing it by 1/8th of a gram (28 grams in an ounce). Don’t forget what Franklin said. So what happens? We have a heroin epidemic because the demand is strong and the suppliers are making tons of cash (non taxable).

Fast forward to last year, I live in Oklahoma and Oklahoma had the highest number of prescription drug users (without a prescription) at 240,000 or 8% of the population. It is interesting because they don’t even mention how many people are abusing prescription drugs with prescriptions. What was the leading prescription drug used? Hydrocodone. What is Hydrocodone made from? Opium. Where does Opium come from? 87% comes from Afghanistan. Where are our troops right now? Afghanistan. Yes, 40 years later we are fighting the same war against the same type of drug. BTW, of those 240K people, 739 died from their use. Even scarier is that in 05′, only one Oklahoman died from Hydrocodone but last year, 153 died from it.

I can’t do a story on drugs without mentioning the biggest problem we have in this country, alcohol. There are approximately 12 million alcoholics which cost us about 60 billion per year. Now alcoholics aren’t the only problem, American drinkers spend over 197 million per day on alcohol. No wonder there are so many beer commercials. Alcohol is factor in 83% of homicides, 81% of wife beatings,73% of felony arrests, 73% of child beatings, 72% of stabbings, and 41% of the rapes in this country.

One more interesting tidbit before I talk about prevention. Lipitor is the most successful drug on the market (legal). It rakes in over three billion a year. Lipitor is useful because it lowers cholesterol. High cholesterol is a factor in 80% of the heart attacks.

So back to Franklin’s advice, the best strategy against drugs is prevention. Please kill the idea of legalization of all drugs. Just look at the havoc alcohol causes in this country alone and it is legal. There are, of course many reasons people use drugs but it really comes down to just two main reasons: increase enjoyment and increase relaxation. To simplify, to prevent a person from using a drug in the first place, he must be shown ways to increase his enjoyment and relaxation which really gets back to the simple pleasures of life.

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