cannabisnews.com: From Manhattan To Main Street





From Manhattan To Main Street
Posted by FoM on February 22, 2000 at 07:41:39 PT
By Joseph A. Califano Jr.
Source: Washington Post
The rate of drug, alcohol and nicotine use among young teens in rural America is now higher than in the nation's large urban centers. The rates of drug, alcohol and nicotine use among adults are about the same in rural towns and mid-size cities as in large urban centers. At the start of the 21st century, there is no place to hide from the scourge of substance abuse and addiction in America.
These troubling conclusions come from an assessment of the incidence of substance abuse and addiction in population centers that the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University recently conducted.Eighth-graders living in rural America are much likelier than those living in urban centers to use illegal drugs, alcohol and tobacco. Compared with those in urban centers, rural eighth-graders are: 83 percent likelier to use crack cocaine and 50 percent likelier to use cocaine; twice as likely to use amphetamines; 34 percent likelier to smoke marijuana; 29 percent likelier to drink alcohol (and 70 percent likelier to get drunk); more than twice as likely to smoke cigarettes; nearly five times likelier to use smokeless tobacco.Among 10th-graders, rates of use in rural areas exceed those in large urban areas for every drug except Ecstasy and marijuana. Among high school seniors, the rates in rural America exceed those in large urban areas for cocaine, crack, amphetamines, inhalants, alcohol, cigarettes and smokeless tobacco.Drugs are now as available on Main Street as they are in Manhattan. The proportion of individuals surveyed in rural towns, small cities and large urban centers who find drugs "very easy" or "fairly easy" to obtain is essentially the same: around 60 percent for marijuana, 40 percent for cocaine and crack, 30 percent for heroin.From 1990 to 1998, the average annual increase in per-capita drug law violations in cities with populations of 50,000 to 100,000 was more than double that of cities of 250,000 or more; in cities with fewer than 10,000, it was six times as much.In 1988 the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy began identifying High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas--centers "of illegal drug production, manufacture, importation or distribution"--that need additional federal resources to fight the problem. Originally used to mark giant urban centers such as New York, Los Angeles and Miami, the designation was applied to Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota in 1996 and to Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia in 1998.According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from 1994 to June of 1999, AIDS cases in rural areas increased by 82 percent compared with a 59 percent rise in metropolitan areas with populations above 500,000--largely because of intravenous drug use. A 1998 report from the SmithKline Beecham Drug Testing Index, based on tests of some 5 million employees in various regions of the eastern United States, revealed that the proportion of workers in rural areas of Tennessee, Indiana and Florida who tested positive for drugs was twice that for the three largest metropolitan areas.From 1994 to 1998, Drug Enforcement Administration seizures of methamphetamine labs jumped from 263 to 1,627--a sixfold increase concentrated largely in less populated areas of the West and Midwest. In 1998 state and local police seized another 4,132 illegal drug labs, almost all producing meth, largely centered in rural areas and smaller cities.Thirty-five years ago, when I was on the White House staff, President Lyndon Johnson had difficulty mustering interest in the nation's first Drug Rehabilitation Act, with an annual appropriation of only $15 million, because Americans viewed drug addiction as an affliction of the urban poor, largely confined to black ghettos. The nation's failure to deal with the drug problem then--based in no small measure on the assumption that it was "their" problem, not "ours" --gave drugs time to seep into every neighborhood in every large city across America.Parents with the money and freedom fled first to the suburbs and then to rural towns. But drugs did not respect geographic boundaries, and today the sores of drug abuse and addiction that we allowed to fester in our urban ghettos infect every hamlet in America.Battling drugs only in one place is like pushing down on a pillow: They will just pop up somewhere else. With Mayor Rudy Giuliani's success against drug dealers in New York City has come increased drug activity in Westchester County and eastern New Jersey. It's time to recognize that we can no more deal with the scourge of drugs in one city or section of the nation than we can cure leukemia in only one part of the bone marrow.The writer is president of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. He was secretary of health, education and welfare from 1977 to 1979. Published: Tuesday, February 22, 2000; Page A19  Copyright 2000 The Washington Post CompanyRelated Articles:Drug Abuse Among Teenagers Leveling Offhttp://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread4040.shtmlhttp://www.alltheweb.com/cgi-bin/asearch?type=all&query=cannabisnews+drug+abuse
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Comment #2 posted by CongressmanSuet on February 23, 2000 at 00:31:41 PT
This is sad...
   When I saw who the author of this article was I felt compelled to post.That Columbia University would be the home to this mans "research trust" is sad to me. Anyone who has seen him or heard him thru media broadcast can tell his ideas are so out of step with the current research. A BIG "gateway" man. I reside in a "rural" town population 2500, and it was a big deal when 2 students were found with a nickel baglast year. Expulsion, the works. Rural areas are worse than urban areas? I would love to see how convoluted these statistics are.Being originally from Northeastern New Jersey, you know where all the increased drug activity is because of Guliani's great feats of supporting the "us versus them" law enforcement model in NYC., Im amazed by the drug paranoia the people here display. As far as Im concerned, there is no appreciable drug problem where I am, yet this small town of 2500 has two drug dogs, and I have never heard of a single case of them finding drugs in the last 2 years. This whole thing has gotten way out of hand....and hey, Kap, I live right on your back door....
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Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on February 22, 2000 at 13:26:49 PT
Mr. Califano's selective memory
'Thirty-five years ago, when I was on the White House staff, President Lyndon Johnson had difficulty mustering interest in the nation's first Drug Rehabilitation Act, with an annual appropriation of only $15 million, because Americans viewed drug addiction as an affliction of the urban poor, largely confined to black ghettos. The nation's failure to deal with the drug problem then--based in no small measure on the assumption that it was "their" problem, not "ours" --gave drugs time to seep into every neighborhood in every large city across America.'What Mr. Califano fails to appraise the readers of is a little known fact: The policy of 'benign neglect' was also in full flower at the time of his early sojourn in government. What was 'benign neglect'? Essentially, it was the government saying this: we can't do anything about poverty and the lack of responsibility among 'certain groups' (code for Blacks) that has any lasting impression or efficacy, so just make public noises of concern, throw them some bones in the form of social welfare programs, but do nothing. It was a policy developed by Senator Patrick Moynihan to act as a template for dealing with urban problems. Such as drug usage among the underclass. In short, lock them up if they make an obvious nuisance of themselves, but so long as they don't trouble the taxpayers in the burbs, then let 'em go to hell in their own way. And Califano, this great champion of the poor and the downtrodden, was every bit a part of the whole stinking mess.
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