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Drug Information


Kids and Substance Abuse

Kids aren't dumb; they look at the world around them and wonder why Tobacco, which is highly addictive and kills more people than any other drug, is legal and available without a prescription. It's important that kids and adults talk about Substance Abuse, so we've provided a a few sample questions (and answers) to get the conversation started:

What would you call a highly toxic substance that:
- is responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths every year?
- addicts will continue to buy no matter how much the price rises?
- slowly destroys the health of those users who aren't killed outright?
- finances terrorism and devastation around the world?

If you guessed "Petroleum" you guessed right ("Tobacco" is also a correct answer). We are a society of Oil Junkies, and our Habit drives us to support robbery, assault, and murder around the world.
Like any Drug Cartel, the Oil Industry exploits the weakness of users to get them hooked, and does whatever is necessary to keep them hooked. Petroleum is the most abused substance in our culture today.

What is Substance Abuse?
"Abuse" is a subjective term: some people consider any use of certain substances (mostly those that fall into the arbitrary category of illegal drugs) to be abuse. There are certainly substances that are so dangerous when used in certain ways (like the materials used in Nuclear Fission; the smoking of Crack Cocaine; using Gasoline to power cars, etc.) that it is best to avoid those uses, but substances are not, in and of themselves, Good or Bad.
Allowing individuals to decide for themselves (with help from their family, friends, and communities) whether their substance use is abusive seems like the fairest way to go.

But what about addiction?
There are certainly substances that need to be approached with great caution because they're physically addictive (like nicotine, heroin, alcohol, crack, and many prescription drugs). There are also substances that individuals and societies can become psychologically addicted to or dependent on (petroleum, money, fast food, and marijuana, to name a few). Providing thorough, honest information to people who might consider using any of these substances, and free treatment to individuals who do become hooked is the most humane way to deal with the problem of addiction and dependence. Visit our friends at for more information about sensible substance abuse interventions.

So why are some substances illegal and others not?
Three words: Money, Power and Control. The History of Prohibition is the story of the cynical exploitation by politicians and business interests of public ignorance and fear. While there are certainly people who sincerely believe that drug prohibition is a good and necessary thing, there is no convincing argument or evidence that the substances that our particular society has put in the category of "Illegal Drugs" are, in and of themselves, any more dangerous or harmful than substances that are used legally every day. Tobacco, Alcohol, Prescription Drugs, Petroleum, Pesticides, and too many more to list; these are all legal Substances, which, when misused or overused can ruin people's lives, health, and environment. Alcohol has ruined far more lives (and caused many more deaths) than Heroin; why is one legal and the other not?
Prohibition breeds corruption, violence, and... huge profits. Profits not just for drug traffickers. Military and "Intelligence" organizations, Police departments, and the contractors who supply them with equipment have all found drug interdiction to be hugely profitable.
Prohibition is used (along with, and often in combination with, war) to distract people from deeper social problems. Enron? What Enron?
means that huge numbers of people; almost all of them users or smalltime dealers, end up in prison. More prisoners mean more profits for owners of privatized prisons; for the industries that use prisoners as labor; and for the companies that provide goods and services for prisons.
encourages and directly causes corruption at all levels of government.

So should we just make all substances legal?
Maybe, maybe not. Completely decriminalizing so-called soft-drugs and making the most harmful hard-drug (petroleum) illegal is tempting, but probably not a good idea. We do need to admit that the War On Drugs is a complete failure. Then, instead of allowing an elite group of greedy and power-hungry people decide what we will and won't use, we need an honest evaluation of the dangers and benefits all of the substances we use. This won't be easy, but it will be something better than easy; it will be real democracy.


A collection of references on drugs and children

Sponsored by The National Youth Anti-stupidness Media Campaign