Pubdate: Mon, 2 Jun 2008
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2008 The Ottawa Citizen
Author: Charles Akben-Marchand


Re: Youth residential drug program gets 'long overdue' approval, May 29.

Drug addiction is a serious problem for people of all ages, and
addicts should have access to treatment and the tools to manage their
addiction if treatment is unavailable. So the announcement of a youth
residential drug program is a step in the right direction, even if
it's a small step.

But I am concerned with the rhetoric used to describe the magnitude of
the problem.

In the article, Glenn Barnes, author of a recent report on drug use
among Ontario students, says youth addictions are of "epidemic
proportions." This is supported by statistics saying, among other
things, that about one in four Ontario students reported using
marijuana at least once in the previous year.

It is dishonest to imply that a quarter of Ontario students are
"addicted" to marijuana simply because this many students used the
drug one or more times in the past year.

I went to the dentist one or more times in the last year, but I'm
hardly addicted to it. If we as a society can't accurately define our
problems, we'll be unable to measure our success in solving them.

Charles Akben-Marchand,

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