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A recent government* survey has concluded that more American adults are using drugs than they did in the past. Before you read the article (if you’re not too busy using drugs), you’ll probably blame the recent uptick in drugs to pharmaceuticals. Actually, you may not, that’s just what I assumed. Drugs are every disgruntled housewife’s best friend (along with 2-3 bottles of white wine, and possibly a fuck buddy who can really clean the pool–wink, back-slap, misogyny). But, and this might be shocking to readers of John Cheever or watchers of Woody Allen flicks, marijuana is the primary source for the surge in drug use amongst adults in America. Who would have thought?
According to the USA Today’s Your Life Health Section,
The increase has largely been driven by more marijuana use, according to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. In fact, in 2010 some 17.4 million Americans were using marijuana, compared with 14.4 million in 2007, the researchers found. This is an increase in the rate of marijuana use from 5.8 percent in 2007 to 6.9 percent in 2010.
“I don’t know why there is an increase in marijuana, but that almost explains the increase in drug use,” said Peter J. Delany, director of SAMHSA’s Office of Applied Studies. “That’s the driving trend.”
That’s not all. It seems HMJ’s target audience, THE YOUNG FOLKS with bongs, also played a part in driving up the drug numbers.
In addition, young adults appear to be the group showing the greatest increase in drug use. “The group that seems to be standing out among everybody is the 18- to 25-year-olds,” Delany said. “These are the people who are going to college, starting in the workforce and starting families.”
Illicit drug use among this group has gone from 19.6 percent in 2008 to 21.5 percent in 2010, a significant increase, Delany said.
“This is a whole group of people we haven’t focused on. We have to intervene much earlier, before they get into trouble,” he said.
Congratulations college students and mid 20’s liberal arts bachelor’s degree graduates, you’ve done it! That last line about intervening much earlier is prescient for a number of reasons.
My neighborhood DARE instructor, investigator Icavangelo (sp?), came into my 2nd grade class, and my 4th grade class to talk to me and my peers about the dangers of drugs. The first time I was offered drugs at 11 years of age, I did exactly what they told me to do: “Say ‘No!’ Run away. Tell Someone.” I did all this, then two years later I was using my lunch money to buy nickel bags of schwag from the Puetro Rican dudes that sold outta the payphones, and Investigator Icavengelo wrote me up for possession. Good times.
DARE and the War on Drugs will always be a lost cause even if you start in the womb. Pretty soon you’re gonna have toddlers toking up just to deal with the mind-melt DARE instruction for toddlers THAT NEVER SEE DRUGS.
Conversation with my unborn son when he’s 7:
Me: “Where did you learn about drugs?”
Me: “What did you learn?”
Son: “Drugs are these cool things older people do. A lot of them do it, so I’m gonna try and find some. I wish I was older…”
Me: “Go to your room and think about what a backwards country we live in Tyrel Jr.”
Son: “That’s irony right?”
*It’s a government study, so the results are DEFINITELY fair and objective ;>)
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