This is a great program on how the United States is quickly becoming a nation where a huge percentage of its economy is and will grow to be based on drugs. The estimated cost now of illegal drugs in the U.S. ranges to $276 billion a year. Alcohol abuse costs about $185 billion a year and tobacco costs about $155 billion a year. We must realize, in our push to "decriminalize" and "criminalize" drugs in order to save state government dollars and irresponsibly garner election year votes that the real costs far exceed what is only involved in the acquisition of drugs. We must factor in drug-related medical care, lost productivity, murders, destroyed families, insurance costs, suicides, property crimes, and law enforcement costs. The costs to this nation in substance abuse problems, then, are huge and in part due to the consumption-based society in which we live and which is not sustainable in the near future. We must change our social organization to relieve people of such a pronounced need to self-medicate. We must reengineer this drug-based social remedy through a medical model and must restructure our economy into a sustainment-based model.
The most abused substance in this country is alcohol and that is because it is largely legal. While legalizing drugs is politically popular, the erosion of our social fabric and our reliance on outmoded public management methods will undermine the vitality of our nation and usher in a period of unprecedented social depression and loss of global leadership.
This is a public service training message of the American Public Safety Training Institute located at: www.tapsti.org
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