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Drug Hysteria

Drug Deaths Per Year

Cigarettes*
Second HandSmoke***
InfantDeaths (SecondHandSmoke)*
Alcohol**
Overdoses Illegal Hard Drugs**
Overdoses Legal Drugs**
Cocaine/Crack Overdoses**
Heroin Overdoses**
Aspirin Overdoses**
Marijuana Overdoses**

418,690
3,800
1,711
100,000
3,600
21,000
1,696
1,046
1,000
0


* Federal Center for Disease Control 1990
** U.S. Public Health Service 1988
*** Environmental Protection Agency 1990


Despite the frenzy over Crack, Cocaine, PCP and Heroin the government reported total deaths in 1986 as 3,563. NBC Television News reported 1,600 Crack - Cocaine deaths in 1989. Data from the American Cancer Society, confirmed by the U.S. Surgeon General, shows more people die in two days from cigarette smoking than from crack and cocaine in the entire year.

The Surgeon General's report shows almost 10,000 people a month die from alcohol abuse.
Your tax dollars still go for U.S government price support payments to Tobacco farmers, who are selling a very slow acting, but very deadly drug. Surgeon General DR. C. Everett Koop in his The Health Consequences of Smoking, reported: "Nicotine is every bit as addicting as heroin and cocaine." Dr. Lester Greenspoon of Harvard Medical school said, "If cigarettes were prohibited, there would be a black market and people would kill over territory for selling them."

Entire branches of the medical profession are devoted to dealing with the lung and cancer diseases which are almost entirely an outgrowth of cigarette use. The American Cancer Society states that forty two million dollars a year are spent on medical care and lost productivity due to smoking.
Alcohol abuse, leads to severe kidney, liver, and heart problems. Alcohol is not even considered a drug by advocates of urine testing. Yet the number of babies stillborn last year because of mothers' alcohol abuse during pregnancy was greater than the number of people who died from crack and cocaine use. While the headlines scream about crack, the government doesn't even require a warning label on bottles of alcohol. The Federal Railroad Administration cited 77 train accidents to show the need for anti-drug tests. But investigation of the accidents showed the sole cause in 73 accidents was alcohol, while marijuana was mentioned twice, once in combination with alcohol and methamphetamine. The Center for Disease Control reports that in 1987 23,630 deaths, or 51% of all automobile fatalities, involved alcohol.
Approximately 90% of the calls coming into Byrd Labs concern marijuana use. Byrd Labs has deduced during the last two years, after conversing with thousands of worried job holders, that Urine testing is essentially an anti-marijuana campaign. Most employees can't afford cocaine and it passes out of the system quickly - in two to three days. But, THC residues may stay in the system more than a month. usually smoked after work or on the weekends. As one woman caller put it, "I want my husband to smoke pot when he comes home, stressed out , from work. It keeps peace in the family."
Drug over-use is bad for both the individual and the culture. But legislation passed by drinkers and smokers, to stop people from using other drugs is self-defeating. If one drug like cocaine is suppressed, synthetic substitutes are easily available. The principal drug abused by junior high school students are inhalants. Almost two thirds of have tried liquid paper. We can't ban everything.
Our culture teaches - "Drugs work". They're advertised as instant and attractive remedies on television. Our culture teaches when illness occurs, one rushes to the doctor, not for acupuncture, herbs, or other holistic remedies, but for drugs. It's hard to convince people who can't afford a "family doctor" that street drug use is bad.

Politicians have enhanced their position by decrying certain substances - even herbs and mushrooms - as drugs, while putting widely used nicotine and alcohol in an exempt category. Even more hypocritical is these same politicians promoting the school systems' use of drugs for social control. This year close to one million children will be given Ritalin to increase their attention in school.

The Physician's Desk Reference warns about Ritalin: "Frank psychotic episodes can occur, especially with abuse. Careful supervision is required during drug withdrawal, since severe depression as well as the effect of chronic over activity can be unmasked. Long term follow-up may be required because of the patient's basic personality disturbances." If we sold Ritalin on the street we would be sent to jail as "drug pushers." But Drug Czar William Bennett supported Ritalin use as Secretary of Education.