An American Tragedy: Crack-cocaine in our schools.

Crack paraphernalia
Crack paraphernalia
manufactured crack
manufactured crack

According to Bureau of Justice Statistics, on an average day in America 14 youths will commit suicide, 19 will be murdered, 2,600 will drop out of school, 15,006 ( that's almost 5 million a year ) will begin using drugs, 2,800 will be assaulted, 640 will be robbed and 90 will be raped. These statistics are growing every year.

One of the greatest contributors to suicide, murder, assault, and violence is a drug that gets little recognition for the damage it does and seems so innocent that its passed off like aspirin on street corners and in high school restrooms. This drug is Methamphetamine, also known as "speed", "ice", "crank", "glass", "crystal meth", "sketch", "tweak" and "dope". The drug is cheap, home-made, and readily available.

Seemingly harmless and fun, within months it destroys the mind, depleting sanity and logic, making the user paranoid and psychotic. ,The Office of Drug Control Policy calls the meth movement "massive" and building momentum across the nation.

An estimated 6 million Americans are current crack-cocaine users, and about half of them are age 25 or younger. The use of crack has more than doubled among those 12-17 since 1991.

Marijuana, long proclaimed as a harmless, non-violent, medicinally beneficial drug, has proven the gateway drug to crack-cocaine in over 90% of crack users surveyed.

This alarming phenomenon is not confined to our large cities. I live in an area known as the Verde Valley in northern Arizona. We have a total population of around 64,000 spread amongst 3 large towns and 10 smaller towns and villages. The closest large cities are Prescott and Flagstaff, about 45 minutes driving time distant. The only true metropolitan city in Arizona is Phoenix, about an hour and a half away.

I have been teaching life skills for 5 years now to adolescent boys and girls here in the Verde Valley that have fallen prey to this American tragedy. As recovering substance abusers they are provided with food, shelter, and a program following Narcotics Anonymous ( NA ) guidelines which includes counselling in life skills, goal structuring, mentoring, and peer meetings which are held every night by NA in different locations throughout the Verde Valley. There are literally hundreds of attendees which reflect about 20% of all crack users in our little valley.

The program is structured for an intense 3 month rehab environment with 24 hour one on one supervision, support, and discipline. Sadly, the recidity rate is 68%, that's how tough this monster is to beat.

Please contribute to and support your local Narcotics Anonymous chapter. Thank you.

Crack Cocaine - StreetDrugs.org 0 0 None None http://www.browserdefender.com/en/getdomain/www.streetdrugs.org

Parents, Teachers, Police Officers, Substance Abuse Educators can acquire training aids, brochures, the book Drug Identification Guide and other information ...
www.streetdrugs.org/crack.htm 

Crack Cocaine 0 0 None None http://www.browserdefender.com/en/getdomain/www.cocaine.org

crack cocaine delivers an intensity of pleasure beyond the bounds of normal ... if taken on their own and to excess, can easily have the reverse effect. ...
www.cocaine.org/

Teen Crack Cocaine Addiction | Newport Academy 0 0 None None http://www.browserdefender.com/en/getdomain/www.newport-academy.com

Although things did not quite play out that way, teen crack cocaine addiction is still a problem here in the early 21st century. ...
www.newport-academy.com/teen-crack-cocaine-addiction 

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Comments 57 comments

junko profile image

junko 5 years ago

I don't know for sure but it seemed that there were less drug use when there were more jobs in America. Now drug sales is the only job opening for the underclass, and the unemployed get caught up in drug use because there's more drugs than jobs


maven101 profile image

maven101 5 years ago from Northern Arizona Author

junko...Excellent observation...I'm reminded of some pop star remarking of how he and his friends " used to sit around unemployed, watching TV and getting really stoned, and other times when we would...well,I guess that's all we ever did...".

A major part of rehab for these recovering addicts is learning and using life skills, like how to find a job, how to interview for that job, and how to plan and implement a budget...That 68% that stumble and return to addiction have usually failed in two areas of importance: Finding work and leaving old " friends " and old life-styles behind.

Thank you for stopping by and leaving your cogent comments...Larry


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

I was not aware that crack is being smoked in high-school. I don't think that is happening here although there are many other drugs available.

What I see as of lately (especially here) is the abuse of Oxycontin which is basically synthetic heroin (and many other prescription pills).

I don't think prohibition works - education does and thank you for being involved with teens - they do need guidance.

Cheers!


maven101 profile image

maven101 5 years ago from Northern Arizona Author

Mr Happy...I don't know where you live, but believe me, if its in the US you can be certain this monster is reaching vulnerable teens in your area...

I agree that education works, especially when you can show the benefits of a drug-free life-style...I also believe that prohibition of harmful drugs is not only necessary, but should be enforced to the point where drug dealers that are selling to our teens, some as young as 11 years old, should be executed. The message should be: Don't mess with our kids...

Thanks for your appreciated comments...Larry


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

You have put-forth some very strong words Mr. Maven.

I would like to ask you what harmful drugs are? Are cigarettes part of that category? What about alcohol? Caffeine?

I found it hilarious when here (in Toronto, Canada) Tim Hortons stopped selling poppy-seed bagels. Opium comes from poppy-seeds and heroin is made from opium.

Back home, in Romania as a kid I remember one day at my grandmothers house in the mountains I was walking through a field at the back of the house and started eating poppy seeds. They grew everywhere on their own and the caps were all dried-up on the plant - the poppy seeds inside were dry as well. I ate a lot that day - I like poppy seeds. I did not know at that age (I was perhaps ten or so) the effect of poppy seeds. I fell asleep for hours on a pile of hay and never understood until many years after why I passed-out then. You live and learn. But to stop making poppy-seed bagels, that's ridiculous in my opinion. Where do you stop and how come we are so picky with the good and bad drugs. I know people addicted to Tylenol ... so, should I start executing doctors? They are messing with people (many drugs have re-calls after years of being out on the shelves).


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 5 years ago

What an important piece of writing. It is really shocking to read the stats you offered and realize that our kids are in trouble. I can't think of anyone better to counsel them than you, maven. I say go after the dealers and help the users. If you can't buy drugs then the problem dissipates. Voted up, useful and awesome.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

I do not want to seem like I am promoting drugs. I know people who have lost businesses, families, everything because of being addicted to a certain drug or other. From people, they have turned to walking zombies. It is quite tragic.

Prohibition doesn't work because every culture is different in regard to what and how certain drugs can be used. In Peru, Bolivia and many other Latin American countries, the coca plant is used in religious ceremonies. Peyote is used here in Canada as well as in the United States for such ceremonies as well. Thus, drugs are around and always will be - they grow wild anyhow. I think it is our attitude towards them that has to change - education is critical.

One can visit Amsterdam and see a functioning city where drugs such as weed, mushrooms, hash, etc. are everywhere, legal.

Thank you for the conversation.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States

Those statistics are so alarming. I knew drugs were a big problems in schools, but seeing those numbers really puts things in perspective. Being a life coach must certainly hold many challenges and I commend you for doing such important work. I know we need to stop drugs from coming across the borders but that seems like an inadequate solution for such a complex problem. Excellent hub. Rated up.


maven101 profile image

maven101 5 years ago from Northern Arizona Author

Mr Happy...You have asked me " I would like to ask you what harmful drugs are? Are cigarettes part of that category? What about alcohol? Caffeine? "...Using this curious logic perhaps we should also ban automobiles, guns, and chain saws...all have killed, injured, and wreaked havoc with man and nature...

We do what we can to lessen the impact of highly addictive and life-destroying drugs that serve no purpose other than to dismantle human self-esteem and personal responsibility...Your response, oft used by libertarians to prove a point, is that alcohol does all those things also...shouldn't we ban alcohol also.?..Overlooked and unacknowledged is the abuse of these substances...There is no such thing as a temperate crack user....they go all the way, everytime !! Smoking, drinking, driving a car, shooting clay pigeons, can all be enjoyed throughout one's life if moderation, self-discipline, and maturity are a part of that equation...

Using drugs to alter or enhance reality has been around since the dawn of Man...So has pederasty, as practiced by the ancient Greeks, female circumcision as performed by some African tribes, or cannibalism, as found in Borneo...does that make them " normal " and good.? We ban these acts and drugs because they are harmful to a civilized society that has agreed to live under certain laws that will protect and insure their safety...

Here is a link that spells out clearly the dangers of certain drug use by our children that still lack the life-learned tools of moderation, self-discipline, and maturity:

Crack cocaine use by high school students according to the University of Michigan's Monitoring the Future Survey: www.1888drugcrimes.com/articles/drugs-crack-cocaine.htm

These predators that prey upon our children have no place in our society, none whatsoever, and I can assure you if I ever come across such I will do a lot more than make a citizens arrest....Larry


maven101 profile image

maven101 5 years ago from Northern Arizona Author

Breakfastpop...Always a pleasure to hear from you...Thank you for the comments and your wonderfully humorous, common-sense, and astute take on American values in general, and your clarity in particular as you express the political, cultural, and economic concerns of most Americans on your daily morning Hub...Stay well, my friend...Larry


futonfraggle profile image

futonfraggle 5 years ago

Sad statistics.


maven101 profile image

maven101 5 years ago from Northern Arizona Author

Pamela...You have clearly stated the challenge of this war against our children...It is highly complex, full of dead-ends, false promises, conflicting cultural concepts, and political footballs...I honestly don't know if there is a complete solution to addictive and dangerous drugs...all I know is that we must do everything in our power to protect our children, our future, from the insidious spread of drug use...if that means prohibition, prosecution, education and intervention then so be it...until someone comes up with a magic bullet, these are the tools we have...

I always enjoy your thoughtful comments on other Hubs...Thank you for leaving some on mine..Larry


maven101 profile image

maven101 5 years ago from Northern Arizona Author

futon...Yes, sad and tragic...I have seen the results of those cold statistics in the nightly NA meetings I take my adopted kids to...broken families, destroyed youth, young girls that have sold their bodies for crack, and the disfigured faces of long-term crack users...I have also seen determination, courage, and a stubborn hope in those faces...The daily challenges of these folks, adults and children, can be overwhelming. Someone needs to be there when they reach out...

Thanks for stopping by...Larry


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Thank you for your response Mr. Maven. Can you also comment on Amsterdam? I am indeed curious of your opinion (you are most likely not alone).

P.S. President Bush used cocaine, I think Mr. Bill Clinton as well and President Obama ... are they crack-heads? No. Maturity, moderation and self-discipline as you wrote are always needed, in all aspects of Life I would say.

Cheers!


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

And don't mind me saying that using peyote or coca leafs during religious ceremonies for people who are experienced and have done so for thousands of years, is not the same with cannibalism.


junko profile image

junko 5 years ago

Maven, I agree that some drugs rob people of their souls and the law and society should band such drugs. I also believe in very long mandatory sentences for those who sale such poison. I don't believe in long prison terms for drug users and abusers. But, that's just me. I think too many people are in jail for drug use. It's like this country employe's a few to hold captive the many that society can't employ, but like I said, that's just me.


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 5 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

Hi Larry - I think increasing drug use is a symptom of a sick society, and while I agree with you that predatory pushers, especially those targeting children, are every bit as reprehensible as predatory pedophiles and should be dealt with accordingly, I also think that the problem will not yield to a simple zero tolerance approach.

When I was at school in the sixties, a very few of the kids used to 'experiment' with solvent abuse, but they were looked on as losers. The rest of us were far too busy with schoolwork, sport, music, etc. In fact we were busy choosing between opportunities - because there were opportunities everywhere, both for a happy childhood and a promising future. Until these positives are restored to society, the false escape offered by the drug culture will not go away.

(It's great that you're giving your time to help in this field - well done!)


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

A bigger problem is having recruiters for the military in schools. I am sick of BU$ine$$ ABORTING OUR KIDS! And these wars are nothing but bu$ine$$ and population control. Crack? A bigger problem is the WAR MACHINE.


kathryn1000 profile image

kathryn1000 5 years ago from London

Yes,we often discuss the various wars and note that in times if economic recession and unemployment more young working class people join the military and die in foreign fields.The better off families can help their children through college etc.

The only thing I really know about cocaine or crack cocaine is that they can cause you to get spasms in the coronary arteries and even potentially a heart attack especially if you are a migraine sufferer.I know more than i would like to about heart issues bit it put me off from trying cocaine.

Once a doctor gave me some amphetamines just because i was suffering from tired eyes.i felt terrible after i took one................but i could haave got hooked.This was about 1977.Freud used to take cocaine and give ity to people I believe.If you think you're hooked you are afraid to stop but sometimes they exaggerate the symptoms of withdrawal.

The best advice I had was from a college friend in the days when heroin was popular.He told me I didn't need to take it because I naturally saw the world in the way people did when hon heroin.I was never tempted to try it or indeed any drug including nicotine..........dad died of lung cance at an early age.Alcohol makes me feel sick so I stick to tea and water!I am lucky and i admire your work with the young.Maybe some political change is needed to help the poorer end of society.As Mr Happy says..George bush took cocaine but his wealthy family could help him.I sometimes thought it had had a permanent effect on his brain!!


Vinodkpillai profile image

Vinodkpillai 5 years ago from Hyderabad, India

I feel this is something very critical for the next generation and it's great work that you are involved in. Although this hub starts with dismal statistics and proceeds in the same vain, the sub text is hope, provided we respond positively. Awesome! Thank you Larry, for an inspiring hub!


maven101 profile image

maven101 5 years ago from Northern Arizona Author

Mr Happy...Responding to your request for a comment on Amsterdam you must be aware that the Dutch do not allow hard drugs ( cocaine , heroin, etc ) to be sold in their country.

Drug policy in the Netherlands makes a broad distinction between hard and soft drugs. Their tolerance towards soft drugs such as cannabis basically frees them up to devote more effort to counter the trade in harder substances like heroin and cocaine, and maintain addiction recovery programs. It means no legitimate coffee shop will supply or even stock anything other than these soft drugs...Larry


maven101 profile image

maven101 5 years ago from Northern Arizona Author

junko...I couldn't agree with you more...Law enforcement will sometimes take the easy apprehension route by arresting drug users with a lot more enthusiasm than when going after the dealers...in that respect I agree with Mr Happy in that we should invest in intervention and education for abusers and go after the dealers with the full force of law, which should be kicked up a notch...

Thank you for your appreciated and thoughtful comments...Larry


maven101 profile image

maven101 5 years ago from Northern Arizona Author

Dave...Your cogent comments are always appreciated...I agree the answer(s) will not yield to a simple zero tolerance approach...As Pamela has commented earlier, this is a very complex problem. It requires a multi-faceted solution involving societal, parental, and individual efforts to effect drug behaviour.

Yes, I agree that excessive drug use, its tacit appeasement and acceptance, is symptomatic of a failing society...Drug use, once looked upon as the realm of the losers in society, as you have noted, is now seen as " cool ", " hip ", and glorified in film, pop art, and music...Whatever happened to outrage..?

I am concerned for the adults that are addicted, but my focus is on the children that are being lured into this deadly abyss that swallows up whole families...

Your final comment begs the question: How do we return to those values and concurrent opportunities of the past that was the glue that held us together..?

I don't have the answer, perhaps there isn't one, but in the meantime we have a responsibility to do everything we can to provide a safe and wholesome environment for our children...Larry


maven101 profile image

maven101 5 years ago from Northern Arizona Author

Micky...Good to see you again, my friend...We each have our own windmill, yours being war, mine adolescent drug abuse...Each of us may never succeed in abolishing these scourges, but it is in the struggle itself that we remain true to ourselves that we achieve success...

Having experienced war, up front and personal, I can assure you that no one hates war more than this former Marine...Semper Fi, my friend...Larry


maven101 profile image

maven101 5 years ago from Northern Arizona Author

kathryn...Crack-cocaine is quite different from cocaine, per se...Its effects are much more addictive and devastating than the casual use of powdered coke...cocaine has been around forever and was a common ingredient in many medicinal applications...Crack cocaine is a manufactured drug that is cheap, inexpensive, and readily available everywhere...it is the drug of choice for the underclass vs powdered cocaine being the drug of choice for the more affluent...If I am to believe the main stream media reports of GW Bush using coke, then I must also acknowledge the same for Clinton and Obama as commented earlier by Mr Happy...

I love your poetry and original art...You have an exceptional talent that can be quirky and profound, all in the same poem...Thanks for stopping by and relating the personal comments on drug use and abuse...Larry


maven101 profile image

maven101 5 years ago from Northern Arizona Author

vinodkpillai...Thank you for the very astute comments, and, yes, we must respond positively with energy and hope...There is always hope, my friend...

And yes,the statistical facts are dismal, and frightening, but they are the real world...real flesh and blood facts that shout a warning to all of us: These could be your children, they are our future...Larry


kathryn1000 profile image

kathryn1000 5 years ago from London

Thank you so much,Larry.it's always a pleasure to read your accounts of your life and activities.Kathryn


maven101 profile image

maven101 5 years ago from Northern Arizona Author

Thank you Kathryn...You are always welcome here...Larry


mslizzee profile image

mslizzee 5 years ago from Buncombe County, NC

This is an interesting and alarming hub. Thank you for writing it.


cjv123 profile image

cjv123 5 years ago from Michigan

Our schools need to be gutted and started from scratch. Our public school is broken and if your Hub and these statistics don't make that clear, I don't know what does. Thank you for a very informative Hub.


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 5 years ago from Philippines

Although economics is tied to the drug problem.Family values I believe play an important role.How many of the kids in your rehab program have family problems or come from a broken home? The church and school can only do so much but unless the family unit is strengthen we will continue to see these tragedies.


maven101 profile image

maven101 5 years ago from Northern Arizona Author

mslizzee...Thank you for commenting...It is indeed alarming that our children are being lost to this insidious monster...knowledge is power only if it is acted upon.., and it is going to take a lot of knowledge and action to change this tragic trend in society...Larry


maven101 profile image

maven101 5 years ago from Northern Arizona Author

Carol...The Public school system has been broke since the late 60's....Between the federal government and the teachers unions the basic curriculum is controlled and dictated by ideological bureaucrats...incompetent teachers are protected and assured contractual tenure for life...Most of our teachers are from the bottom 20% of college grads...Discipline is a joke and self-esteem trumps competition...American kids score in the lowest rungs of general education, particularly in the hard sciences, yet they score the highest of all in self-esteem...They think highly of themselves, yet can't even read the diploma given them...not all, of course, but a significant number that will enter the work force, and life, woefully unprepared for these challenges...Which leads to drug use, to escape into another reality where all is warm and fuzzy...

But there is no escaping reality...Sooner or later you will return and have to face yourself and your choices...In the film " The Swimmer " with Burt Lancaster, he doesn't use drugs to escape his reality, but rather swims home through his friends swimming pools, putting off until the last moment the inevitable realization of a life without meaning or consequence...

NA offers a means to accept yourself as a fallible human being, grant yourself forgiveness, see the benefits of a drug-free life...

I apologize for the lengthily remarks to your comments, but the issue of public education in this country needs to be addressed and changed as you have said, from scratch...Larry


maven101 profile image

maven101 5 years ago from Northern Arizona Author

SilentReed...You are absolutely correct to point out the value of a viable family unit and its impact on a child's behaviour...You asked how many of my kids come from broken or troubled homes...The answer is ALL...Either a broken home with a single parent that is unable to give the attention or support these kids need because of work or incompetent parenting skills, or having parents that themselves are substance abusers in either drugs or alcohol...Most of these kids are very bright, easily bored, and non-verbal...

One young man, age 15, came from a very affluent home, where both parents worked in the airline industry and were absent for long periods of time, she a flight attendant, him a pilot...This child had full run of the house...booze was readily available and fueled the parties he had when they were gone...He got into coke as a dealer and sold to his friends, including some of his parents friends...One day he was asked by an older woman friend of his mother's if he could provide some crack...that put him into a whole new ballgame which eventually led to his addiction and his mother discovering the sexual abuse by the " friend " that used her body to obtain the drug...

This is just one story of one lost child of many, many more...Yes, family values, parental controls, and communication are the first and most important stop-signs to preventing drug use...

Thanks for stopping by and leaving your astute comments which we all appreciate...Larry


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 5 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

Drugs and a feeling of hopelessness go hand in hand.


maven101 profile image

maven101 5 years ago from Northern Arizona Author

ethel...Not always...granted, many do drift into drugs due feelings of disenfranchisement, but most do drugs because they are bored, peer pressure, or thrill seeking...all of which point up a level of immaturity that lacks foundational values to cope with the world...They simply were never exposed to any value system of any kind...choosing hopelessness as a way to rationalize drug use is simply denial of personal responsibility...So why do they choose the " easy " way...? Because nothing else was ever offered them...they had no choice...only a pliant acceptance of what the drug had to offer...a temporary respite from reality...

Thanks for the comment...Larry


kathryn1000 profile image

kathryn1000 5 years ago from London

Methinks we art addicted to this topic.It runneth and runneth.Where will it all lead?When will it end?

Thou art a master at writing interesting comments.I am developing withdrawal from thy hubs syndrome.I shall have to go cold turkey.


maven101 profile image

maven101 5 years ago from Northern Arizona Author

Kathryn...Surely your agile and talented mind can come up with an ode to human frailty...complete with your artistic renderings...all black and reds, with a dash of white for hope...

Thanks for stopping by, and have some cranberry sauce with that cold turkey...Love and peace...Larry


kathryn1000 profile image

kathryn1000 5 years ago from London

Thanks,Larry.


maven101 profile image

maven101 5 years ago from Northern Arizona Author

kathryn...You are most welcome...Your Munch-like profile pic reflects what many of us feel: A quiet desperation or maybe just a lingering exasperation with life and some of its inhabitants...Carpe diem, my friend...Larry


kathryn1000 profile image

kathryn1000 5 years ago from London

I thought I looked amused and perplexed.A lovely combination.I hate Munch!Someone once sent us "The scream"as A Xmas card so we sent it back and asked them to change it for a Nativity Scene.


maven101 profile image

maven101 5 years ago from Northern Arizona Author

Looking from your perspective, I do detect a quirky bafflement...


kathryn1000 profile image

kathryn1000 5 years ago from London

I think I'll change it to a flower!


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas

Larry, you have hit on probably the most destructive force in our society today...the destruction of our youth. We continue to grow our education and our ignorance level in paralell in this country...knowledge does not seem to stem stupidity. This decay began for real in the 60's along about the same time that the communists movement began to show its real face in the cold war era. They had defeated McCarthy and now they could come out and go to work. This is an area they continue to work in because it is so effective in breaking down the social fabric of our society. We have now elevated MJ to the status of a medical drug thus many will tout that crystal meth is simply following the same history as MJ and thus should not be a concern. What a hoax perpetrated on our youth. Add in tatoos along with body piercings and you have yourself a real poor look at the future in America. This issue, just like illegal immigration, receives only lip service by our elected officials but I am sure plenty of money is wasted on it on an annual basis to no avail. There must be some new approaches. I applaud what you are doing in that you are helping young people to find a mindset based in leadership which will go far to helping to short circuit this demon in our society. What a tragedy that so many young Americans throw away their future to experiment with a poison cooked up in some backroom by an idiot or possibly someone with an agenda. Thanks for sharing. WB


maven101 profile image

maven101 5 years ago from Northern Arizona Author

Wayne...Your sage and riveting comments reflect the heart of a true American; informed, concerned, and willing to do what is necessary to insure our nation's future...Our children are our future. If that future is being shaped by a progressive agenda we are duty bound to do whatever we can to change that agenda...

Alinsky has instructed folks like Obama and Hillary Clinton in the fundamentals of his " Rules for Radicals "...One such rule is that in order to achieve change in the future one must first remove the present, by any and all means...I should think that the disintegration of American values would be one of those " means "...

I don't have the answer, Wayne...Perhaps it is beyond answering...So many parts of our American culture have been eroded by political correctness, diversity, a politicized educational system, and a generation of adults that have put self-gratification before parental responsibilities...Humpty Dumpty has rolled down the hill, pushed by a progressive agenda, and when he breaks nothing will put him back together again...

Thanks again for your perceptive and intelligent comments...Larry


sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator

Hello Larry: This is a very important article and you are doing very important work. Unfortunately, I must disagree with your violent solutions. I'm sure that this does not surprise you.

Addiction is an illness from which I suffer. My disease has been kept in remission for eleven years. I have been attending 12 step meetings for 26 years since my first rehab in 1985. My last relapse involved crack cocaine and it was as addictive as alcohol for me. My first alcohol overdose occurred at the age of twelve in the 7th grade. I drank the better part of a quart of scotch, got into a fight and was puking blood.

Addiction is a disease which affects a certain percentage of our population and keeps our prisons full of people who are suffering from this physical, mental and spiritual malady.

Alcoholics Anonymous was founded 75 years ago by two alcoholics, Bill W. and Dr. Bob. The social stigma attached to alcoholism and addiction require anonymity to respond to an intolerant and judgmental society.

The criminal justice system feeds on the infirm and mentally ill and is not a solution to this malady. Empty the prisons and invest those funds in treatment programs. At least 50% of this nation's prison population are incarcerated due to their illness. I know that I am a liberal politically. It is the holier than thou or the weller than thou who believe that punishment is the solution to the problem.

I work with young people with drug and alcohol problems.

Their lives are ruined and their opportunities confiscated by society by their criminal records moreso than their drug addiction. Society confiscates their hope and future success. Prison is torture and not rehabilitative. Warrior training for street violence happens in prison and the indignity fosters anger and rage and violence. The criminal justice system confiscates liberty and justice for the lifetime of an individual and divides society between the us and them.

The persons who finance the drug trade in this country are not held responsible. Criminal prosecution begins and ends at the retail street level where addicts support their habits by dealing drugs to other addicts. It is like shooting fish in a barrel. Only banks are exempt from our money-laundering laws. Imagine that!

Prisons are appropriate for violent offenders. Non-violent offenses should not be punished by incarceration.

If there is a victim of a crime, you should get time. Drug laws should be totally revised and people should be treated as human beings not social trash.


maven101 profile image

maven101 5 years ago from Northern Arizona Author

Gerry...You commented " , I must disagree with your violent solutions "... You have apparently misread, didn't read, or simply assumed what I have written in this Hub and stated in my many comments...Please show me where I have advocated incarceration for drug addicts...My only " violent " recommendation was for the execution of dealers that target our children...

This Hub has nothing to do with adult addiction , alcoholism ( which I agree is an illness ), or drug abuse apprehension and prosecution...My concern is for our children that are being destroyed daily by an insidious drug called crack...

My comments, specifically to Pamela, Futon, Junko, Dave, Silent Reed, and Wayne should convince you of my intent in publishing this Hub, and not any advocation of incarceration or increased persecution of drug addicts...I do advocate for NA and the good work they do, even with the 68% recidity rate, because we are still saving that precious 32%...

I stand by my conviction that drug dealers that are targeting our precious children should be put on trial, and if found guilty, executed...Harsh you say ?...You want harsh, check out some of the destroyed children I have to deal with and tell me execution is not deserving and an appropriate punishment ...Larry


sligobay profile image

sligobay 5 years ago from east of the equator

Larry, my dear friend, you must forgive my political beliefs in order to understand my comment. I do not believe in the death penalty for anyone, including the military executions of Saddam Hussein and Obama bin Laden. I believe in due process of law and the restraint of government excesses. I am not a former Marine, but if I were, I would take death even more seriosly than I do. It is irreversible and life cannot be restored once taken.

I live among the young men who have forfeited their inalienable right to the pursuit of happiness. Think about it. A convicted drug addict can never enlist and serve his country even in a time of protracted war. The nation is saying: "You are not worthy enough to stand beside your countrymen and protect and defend your nation." Addiction is a disease of self-hatred and self-loathing. If there is no full restoration of citizenship and status as a human being, there can be no lasting recovery. The drugs are only a symptom of the disease. More harm is done by a society which alienates others, reduces them to an underclass of meaningless human beings -human trash on a waste heap.

Paying one's debt to society should not last a lifetime. A life of hopeless desperation is the cause of relapse and the constant state of anger which addicts must stave off. Your work with young addicts is fueled with anger rather than the love that conquers all. Unconditional love not hatred is the example which young people need to recover and survive.

My comment was not meant to hurt you but to inform you. Yes, I have witnessed the worst of the worst of youthful addiction. Huffers use aerosol cans to blow out their brain-cells. These are not marketed as drugs but are used to "Kill" the pain of self-loathing. I have stood at the gravesides of many and have an intimate relationship with the disease that murders our children. I have sat with many in detoxes, rehabs, psych wards, meetings and funeral parlors. Many were abused physically, mentally, sexually and spiritually. Hurt people hurt people - mostly themselves. Self-mutilation has become epidemic.

I see their scars everyday. Suicide is actually a reasonable option to their minds.

Until this nation builds love into its legislation, there will be no relief from the scourge of this disease and society's reaction to the disease. Adult addicts were once children with problems that went undetected and untreated by our education, social welfare and medical industries.

Until a criminal record ceases to be a life-long scarlet letter, there can never be full rehabilitation and social redemption. Our American System perpetuates relapse and recidivism.

Your article is important. I respect you and the work that you are doing. I am not trying to change you or your opinions. I am only tring to offer you some insight into the mindset of the young addicts with whom you work. God bless you Larry.


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 4 years ago from California

Agree that boredom contributes to experimenting with drugs; stress and peer pressure contributes as well.

Sad subject, but a good hub


maven101 profile image

maven101 4 years ago from Northern Arizona Author

TT...Thank you for the appreciated comments...Yes, stress and peer pressure are in the mix when folks turn to drugs...My experience has been with teen drug abuse, its consequences and its devastating impact on families...

My dear friend, Gerry, misses my point: CRACK COCAINE is killing some of our best and brightest and dealers that trade in this stuff with our kids need to be tried, convicted, and executed...I'm sorry if that offends some, but I have seen the end result of this assault on our kids and I for one will not hesitate to clean this scum from the face of the earth...Larry


IamDrugs 4 years ago

These dealers need to make a living too. They have children to feed too. I'm sorry but if your kid wants to do crack there is something with your parenting that its not right.


maven101 profile image

maven101 4 years ago from Northern Arizona Author

Iamdrugs...

Your comment " These dealers need to make a living too. They have children to feed too." is one of the stupidest comments I have ever received on HubPages...

Where did you read that my " kid " wants to do crack..? My " kids " are adults with children of their own, and no, they never were involved with drugs...My association with crack is through counselling and life coaching recovering teen drug abusers at the Wick Home in Arizona...I've seen first hand the total devastation this drug wreaks on families, so don't give me your caustic and naive comments that speak to a condoning of drug dealers that deal to our youth...Larry


kathryn1000 profile image

kathryn1000 4 years ago from London

If that last person's comment wasn't so sad it would be funny.

We had a police raid on the house next door 2 days ago re drugs.But even educated young people here with jobs can totally drunk every weekend and openly talk of it on Facebook.

It's a big worry to me with some people i know.Good you are helping people in that project.


maven101 profile image

maven101 4 years ago from Northern Arizona Author

Kathryn...

What you allow is what you teach...Our permissive and hedonistic society shirks the idea of personal responsibility...

A culture that worships narcissism and self-indulgence at the altar of moral relativism is a selfish culture doomed to mediocrity at best, and disintegration at worse...

The young men and women I work with are highly intelligent yet socially immature, and when confronted with stress, peer pressure, or simply boredom, they turn to the drug of their choice, most of which is readily available to them in school, work, or play...

Thank you for the appreciated comments...Larry


kathryn1000 profile image

kathryn1000 4 years ago from London

I totally agree with you.I went through some really hard times as a student but we didn't even drink or smoke.[luckily I couldn't smoke and drink doesn't agree with me.]

I am concerned about alcohol consumption in young professionals..not as bad as crack cocaine but it puzzles me when it seems normal to them.I feel with some it's lack of strength of character...but I don't know enough to say.

If this is what our society breeds then we need to pull back.I see you've had a long running comment stream here.

Pardon the metaphor!


maven101 profile image

maven101 4 years ago from Northern Arizona Author

Kathryn...Re the young professionals you mentioned, binge drinking is commonplace for college students and continues into adulthood.... They are usually quoted as saying the pressure of the school curriculum, the homework, paper prep, timed tests, parental expectations, or pressure at work, is reduced through binge drinking...

These are all rationalizations and really point to a lack of self-discipline, poor self-image, and an immaturity still stuck in their college years...

I'm not against responsible drinking...It does loosen the tongue and reduces stress...it's the drinking to get drunk that separates the moderate and responsible drinker from binge drinkers...

I may have Martini before dinner and a glass of wine during, all of which contributes to the sociability and enjoyment of dinner...Just sitting down with a bottle of whatever and consuming drink after drink with the sole intent of getting drunk makes no sense to me...Larry


kathryn1000 profile image

kathryn1000 4 years ago from London

Thanks for that,Larry.I am not anti-alcohol but to go after work and drink till closing time with no food is common here..I'm hoping one person I know will grow out of it.

A little wine is good for you...nut not eating gets risky.

A difficult topic but you are working to help.

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