One in every 10 residents of the United States is abusing illegal drugs, according to the just-publicized findings of a 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
Another finding: The percentage of U.S. residents 12 or older who used an illicit drug last year was higher than it was annually from 2002 to 2013.
The survey results were reported in a magazine published by the American Society of Addiction Medicine, a national group of more than 3,600 physicians and associated professionals.
What do these two findings tell us? That President Obama’s mantra of hope and change is working. First, more people who were hoping to get on the illegal-drug bandwagon are succeeding, and second, the fact that they are reflects more change for the worse in these United States.
Here’s another finding, which comes as a surprise: Drug abuse among those aged 12 to 25 has stabilized, not increased. That sounds like a back-door introduction to optimism. But in the real world, it means our progress is stagnant in the war against illegal drugs.
Another finding: Marijuana use is increasing, mostly by adults aged 25 or older. Much of that can be attributed to the legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Alaska, as well as the legalization of medical marijuana in 17 other states, including California, Arizona, Michigan and almost the entire Northeast.
What’s the cure? The answer lies on several fronts:
— Universal enforcement of federal laws banning all illegal drugs.
— Better drug education targeting school-age youngsters, emphasizing the downside health effects and social stigmas associated with drug abuse.
— Beefing up narcotics units among our police forces to root out the importers and suppliers of illegal drugs, as well as the distributors on the street – prosecuting all to the full extent of the law.
But the best counter-measure starts in the home with parental guidance, activity monitoring and proper discipline for children found to be involved in drug abuse – especially when it comes to marijuana, heroin and homemade concoctions.
Unfortunately, the social fabric of our nation has deteriorated to the point that too many homes no longer are populated by a family structure. Permissiveness prevails. Responsibility has taken a back seat to doing what you can get away with. Faith and spirituality have evaporated. Rebellion is all but encouraged.
Consequently, what we reap is what we sow.