TO THE AMERICAN SLEEPERS
WHO SUPPORT THE WAR ON DRUGS
Message to Those Who Think The Drug War is All That...
... IT ISN'T!
Right now, $2,765,500 per second is being spent to fuel a war
on drugs that has cost trillions. This figure includes
taxpayer dollars, donations to private organizations, healthcare
funds, and percentages absorbed by other organizations not even
associated with the war on drugs. According to the 2006
statistics compiled by the United States government, drug abuse is
rising steadily, despite reports from the Partnership for a
Drug-Free America that attempt to indicate how effective the drug
war is. If you consider the earnings of the black market,
the more money our society pumps into the war on drugs, the more
money citizens use to buy drugs. Consider the
financial losses of a corporation who buy into the idea of
pre-employment drug screening, the loss of a candidate who tests
positive for drugs, the time of employees wasted on interviewing a
candidate who is dropped, and the cost of drug users to buy from
the black market rather than prescription medication, we would be
able to feed the world's starving population 15 times over...!
The cost of valuable human life is enormous!
Because pharmacology is as young a science as an infant not yet
fully out of the womb, there is far too much unknown about drug
dependency, addiction, abuse, misuse, and responsible use.
But we do know that humans are an intelligent species known for
taking risks. If not for risk-takers, the world might still
be flat, none of us would be where we are right now. In
fact, the majority of us wouldn't be alive.
The drawback here is not those who use drugs but rather those
in positions who are not releasing information. All across
the world and beyond to the International Space Station, the most
sophisticated network ever built -- a network that I personally
helped to build -- connects everyone on the Internet with millions
of scientific databases, but instead of releasing information to
allow the flow of information, our society has suspended so much
valuable data from the drug user community as well as from the
general population. We have patient care physicians who
don't understand the difference the fundamentals of sleep
disorders and won't even make the effort to do so.
Physicians who think that narcolepsy, a sleep disorder is somehow
associated with a narcotics disorder! There are high school
students who know more than our doctors! Now that's
really something to fear. Drug abuse is something to
fear. But it isn't going to go away if we just say
'NO'! It's just going to prolong our ignorance, so that
generation after generation we repeat the same thing over and
over. What we are doing by not sharing real information is
wasteful, and waste is negative.
The choice we have is very simple: either we educate our kids
about what we know or we lie to them and try to keep them from
hurting themselves only to find out that by doing so, we've just
given the opportunity to someone we have no control over.
The choice we have is between giving our kids -- that
generation that succeeds us -- a life that counts or
allowing them to die in disgrace. That is to say: there will
always be a percentage of humans who ventures out to new
vistas. We might not want them to, but that is their
mission. Do we stop them and impede progress? Do we
condemn them as we let them go and let progression slip
away? Or do we communicate with them honestly, everything we
know, and allow them to achieve their mission? The only way
we're going to save lives and build on progress is if we use
common sense in making that decision.
of Drug Abuse and the Drug Problem
|The primary cause of drug abuse is
lack of education that results from the war
on drugs which prevents the general public from obtaining accurate
and reliable information regarding the proper administration of
drugs. The drug problem is the
societal fear of substances that is caused by the media.
How many people use drugs?
The federal government reports nearly 14
million adults currently use illegal drugs ("current"
meaning illegal drug use within the past 30 days). That
represents an increase of more than 1 million users since the
government's 1995 report. This is considered grossly
inaccurate since polls conducted have maintained dramatically
different but substantially higher results. One polls
indicates 19 million adults living in Continental US (excluding
Alaska and Hawaii) use illicit street drugs on a weekly
basis. Another poll shows that there are 37 million adults
who should be using medication on a regular basis but less than
50% take this medication regularly.
Then there are 11 million Americans who admit
that they are "heavy" drinkers (5 or more drinks on the
same occasion on at least 5 different days in the past month).
How many drug users are
By some estimates nearly three-quarters of
current illicit drug users 18 and older are employed, but it has
been estimated that there are between 50 and 85 million employees
who use drugs regularly and 10 million of these have tested
positive for drug use during the past 2 years. The federal
government claimed that if all workers ages 18-40 were
administered a drug test on any given day, 25 percent would test
The Gallup Organization reported that in a survey of full-time
employed adults more than 30 percent indicated they had personal
knowledge of co-workers' drug use on the job. In a 1996
survey of employees conducted by the Hazelden Foundation, nearly
61 percent said they know people who have shown up for work drunk
Gallup reports that nearly 10 percent of employees have been
offered drugs to use while on the job. And 44 percent of
participants in the 800 COCAINE hotline survey admitted to selling
drugs to other employees.
Which drugs are they using?
Alcohol is, by far, the leading substance
abused by Americans in virtually all categories. When
measured in comparison to illegal drugs, the effects of alcohol
abuse are devastating. Following alcohol, the leading
illegal drug abused in the United States is marijuana. In
1997, approximately 5 percent of the U.S. population 12 and older
(11 million) were marijuana users.
Cocaine was second with an estimated 1.5 million current users.
Perhaps most disturbing was the fact that there were nearly
700,000 new cocaine users that year, and that first-time cocaine
use among 12-17-year olds increased from 4 percent in 1991 to 11.3
percent in 1996.
Other highly used illegal drugs include heroin with an
estimated 325,000 current users; up 422 percent in just four
years, and also noteworthy is hallucinogen use with 1.1 million
users. First-time use of any illicit drug among 12-17-year
olds jumped from 11.7 percent in 1991 to nearly 26 percent in
1996... further evidence that drug use trends are steadily
How does substance abuse
affect work performance?
It depends on the substance that is being
abused. For example, during the 1970s, the major complaint
was cigarettes with 89% of all non-smokers saying that second hand
cigarette smoke was the major contributing factor to production
loss. During the 1980s 70% of all accidents on the job were
attributed to alcohol abuse. During the 1990s, alcohol
continued to be the major problem affecting performance.
Marijuana, methamphetamine, and amphetamines
were dropped from the list reported by the US Federal Government
when polls showed that these substances resulted in level or
increased productivity along with caffeine. Prescription
drug use of anti-depressants indicated a substantial loss of
performance in a 2006 study whereas, a 2002 study indicated an
increase in performance. One of the most revealing studies
on how job performance is affected by substance abuse comes from
the U.S. Postal Service. The Post Service discovered that
substance abusers are involved in 55 percent more accidents,
experience 85 percent more on-the-job injuries, and have a 78
percent higher rate of absenteeism when compared to their
non-substance abusing co-workers. Sixty-two percent of
callers to 800 COCAINE admitted that drug abuse adversely affected
their job performance. The federal government estimates that
substance-abusing employees are one-third less productive than
their non-using co-workers. Thus, proving once and for all
that the war on drugs is a major factor in loss of productivity.
How much does substance abuse
In terms of its impact on human life, the cost
of substance abuse is inestimable. From an economic point of view,
the cost to the workplace is tremendous. Forty-three percent
of CEOs in one survey said they believe abuse associated
with alcohol and other drugs cost as much as 10 percent of
payroll. A Wisconsin study concluded that expenses and
losses related to substance abuse equal 25 percent of the salary
of each affected employee. The overall price tag of drug abuse
has been estimated to be as high as $200 billion annually due to
the war on drugs.
To calculate how much drug abuse is costing your company follow
this formula: Multiply $6,600 (the average cost per year per
substance abusing employee) by 17 percent of the number of your
employees (the percentage of the total workforce with a substance
abuse problem). For example, if you have 65 employees, 17
percent would be 11 workers. Multiply 11 by the average cost per
year, $6,600, and you get a total of $72,600 a year. Now ask
yourself—can my company afford to lose nearly $75,000 every year
to a problem that I can have some control over?
THE BOTTOM LINE: THE WAR ON DRUGS IS
COSTING US MORE THAN ALL OF THE OTHER WARS FOUGHT BY THE UNITED
STATES COMBINED & IT HAS YET TO PRODUCE EVEN
THE SLIGHTEST HINT OF A POSITIVE RESULT.