"Solutions? Anyone? More prison time? Close the southern border? Or is rampant drug usage going to be a fact of life in our country? A symptom of a nihilistic population."
Many people think the two wars we have fought which we have lost the most in, have been the War on Drugs and the War on Poverty. Both have been dismal failures. In fact, one of the reasons (certainly not the only one), we have such a problem on our southern border is due to the drug trade. And we have the drug trade because so many people in this country use drugs. Hard, cold fact.
It was June of 1971. I was getting ready to rotate off of Okinawa and come home for the first time in 18 months. President Nixon, alarmed by the nation's increasing drug usage, declared drugs to be "public enemy number one". This started our never ending War on Drugs. Yes, this "war" has been going on that long.
So how is the war going? Buckle up for this one. Since 1971, we have spent over $1T fighting the war on drugs. In addition, in 2000, we lost about 20,000 people to overdoses. Last year, we lost over 60,000. We are going nowhere fast. As states like Minnesota grapple with the legalization of marijuana, many more hard core drugs, like heroin and fentanyl, are coming in the back door. These drugs are so powerful, they can stop a human heart in an instant.
How powerful is fentanyl? First off, much of it is manufactured in China, and then smuggled into our country via the mail or air freight. Recently, there was a bust where enough fentanyl was recovered to kill every man, woman and child in this country. Black tar heroin, much of which is coming over the southern border, is almost as dangerous.
Solutions? Anyone? More prison time? Close the southern border? Or is rampant drug usage going to be a fact of life in our country? A symptom of a nihilistic population. Many times I have been told when I ask too many questions about addiction - that I don't understand. I guess I don't. How someone could take drugs so powerful, the high will take them within inches from death, is beyond my understanding. To me, it is an Icarus way our young people tempt the gods of fate. Not just once - but many times over.
Answers? I have none. I conclude this article with more questions than answers. All I know is this. Drugs are tearing the foundation out of our country. The financial as well as emotional cost is enormous. Who is to blame? You? Me? Everyone? No one? Like I say, more questions than answers.