Lately, there has been a lot of news coverage on America's failing educational system and the rise of drug abuse in the United States. Our political leadership has blamed the crisis we face in our schools on teachers and have used those allegations to further their political ambitions. Even President Obama has weighed-in on the situation and made the unpopular suggestion that students should have extended school days, but so far, from the Presidency on down, no one has come up with a rational and/or meaningful suggestion that will improve America's ailing educational system.
To make matters worse, just last month the government released a report that drug abuse was increasing throughout the United States:
Government report finds rate of illegal drug use rising to highest level in nearly a decadeBy: SAM HANANEL
09/16/10 12:10 PM EDT
WASHINGTON -- The rate of illegal drug use rose last year to the highest level in nearly a decade, fueled by a sharp increase in marijuana use and a surge in ecstasy and methamphetamine abuse, the government reported Wednesday.
Gil Kerlikowske, the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, called the 9 percent increase in drug use disappointing but said he was not surprised given "eroding attitudes" about the perception of harm from illegal drugs and the growing number of states approving medicinal marijuana.
"I think all of the attention and the focus of calling marijuana medicine has sent the absolute wrong message to our young people," Kerlikowske said in an interview.
The annual report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found marijuana use rose by 8 percent and remained the most commonly used drug.
Mike Meno, a spokesman for the pro-legalization Marijuana Policy Project, said the survey is more proof that the government's war on marijuana has failed in spite of decades of enforcement efforts and arrests. MUCH MORE
This may seem to be an alarming report that requires our undivided attention, but there is another report on a segment of our population where drug abuse is rising at unprecedented rates that is equally important:
Statistics Show Drug Abuse in Seniors is Rising
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
by: Luella May, citizen journalist
(NaturalNews) A recent study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found a dramatic increase in illicit drug use in adults 50 and over, including an alarming incidence of non medical use of prescription drugs among women aged 60 to 64. In part, this increase points to the aging of the baby boomer generation, and reportedly may necessitate the doubling of substance abuse treatment facilities by 2020.
The SAMHSA report, entitled Illicit Drug Use among Older Adults, found that an estimated 4.7% of older adults (4.3 million) have used an illegal drug during the past year. The report further showed that men 50 and over were almost twice as likely to use marijuana over the nonmedical use of prescription drugs. In those 65 years or older, the use of nonmedical prescription drugs was found to be more common than marijuana use.
Taking all age groups into consideration, men had the higher rate in using all types of drugs. However, women were found to have equal or greater nonmedical use of prescription drugs than men (1.9 vs. 1.7%). In particular, women between 60 and 64 years of age had a much higher rate of nonmedical use of prescription drugs, primarily for the purpose of self-medicating.
Pamela S. Hyde, J. D., SAMHSA Administrator, said that "This new data has profound implications for the health and well-being of older adults who continue to abuse substances." She further went on to say that this study pointed out the need for prevention programs focusing on all age groups, together with the proper screening and referral programs to be included in routine health services.
The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), the agency that monitors medications and illicit drugs reporting in emergency rooms across the nation, reported that the two most common prescription drugs that are abused are benzodiazepines (diazepam, alprazolam, clonazepam, and lorazepam) and opiates (oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, and methadone). The abuse ranges from dependence on solely one drug to several combinations. MORE
By now you're probably asking yourselves why I intertwined the failure of our school systems and drug abuse in the same article. Bear with me and I will illustrate why I believe both issues are intrinsically related, if not directly or indirectly caused by many of the same social issues and problems that affect almost the whole of the United States.
1 | 2