America's 'War on Drugs' Reduces Users

America's 'War on Drugs' Reduces Users
Posted by FoM on September 10, 1999 at 10:31:17 PT
From Correspondent Charles Feldman
Source: CNN
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Is America's so-called "War on Drugs" being won or lost? The federal government says that roughly 6 percent of the U.S. population -- some 13 million people -- have used an illegal drug in the last month.
Each year, 52,000 Americans die due to drug use, which also causes tens of billions of dollars in damage to the U.S. economy. And yet, according to Barry McCaffrey, head of the National Drug Policy Office, overall drug use in America is down 50 percent since 1979. Cocaine use has dropped 70 percent, and adolescent drug use "has just turned the corner and is starting down," he says. When it comes to teens, if government figures can be believed, there has been a significant 13 percent drop in teen drug use from 1997 to 1998. "The heart and soul of the drug strategy is prevention and education programs targeted at American adolescents," McCaffrey says. "There, we are doing pretty well." Despite the declining numbers, though, drugs keep coming into the country -- several hundred tons of cocaine and heroin each year, according to the government. And while government figures indicate that fewer people abuse drugs now than 20 years ago, the Drug Enforcement Administration increased its number of agents by 5 percent between 1993 and 1996, from 2,813 agents to 2,946. For the last 27 years, James Stillwell has fought the drug war from the trenches of greater Los Angeles. His drug and alcohol treatment facility, Impact, treats as many as 1,500 recovering addicts a year. Stillwell believes the drug war is at a stalemate, with the decisive battles yet to be fought. "It probably always will be a stalemate until there is more attention given to treatment -- treatment on demand, if you will," he says. September 9, 1999Web posted at: 11:35 p.m. EDT (0335 GMT)
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #1 posted by J Christen-Mitchell on September 10, 1999 at 16:24:42 PT:
Inflated Hypocracy
Where did this figure of 52,000 drug deaths annually come from? That's up 42,000 people since earlier this week when The Drug Czar spoke to Rev. Jackson. And still half the 100,000 deaths from alcohol. Still doesn't make sense to imprison folks for enjoying their drug of choice but perhaps that's part of their cruel God making cruel men. 
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment

Name: Optional Password: 
Comment: [Please refrain from using profanity in your message]
Link URL: 
Link Title: