Pubdate: Fri, 10 Jun 2011
Source: New York Daily News (NY)
Copyright: 2011 Daily News, L.P.
Authors: Dr. David Moore, Licensed psychologist and chemical 
de-pendency professional, graduate school faculty member at Argosy 
University's Seattle Campus, and Bill Manville, Book of the Month
novelist; his most recent work of non-fiction, "Cool, Hip & Sober," 
is available at online bookstores. Bill also teaches "Writing To Get 
Published" for Temple University and at


BILL: On the Internet last Saturday night, I heard an old time radio
show, "Dragnet" -- so old that Jack Webb was still doing Sgt. Friday.
When they busted a dope pusher, Jack declared, in his most stirring
voice, "Another step toward winning the war on drugs!" What was that,
50 years ago?

DR. DAVE: I agree it's a meaningless slogan, like declaring war on ice
cream. Joe Friday's war on illegal drugs of the 50s and 60s was
largely fought on the fringes of society--stomping on the drug
addicted and disen-franchised 5 percent.

BILL: William Perkins is Executive Director of TARP, Inc., a treatment
consulting company and school for Training Addiction & Recovery
Professionals located here in Manhattan. "There is no war on drugs,"
he says. "Focus should be on treatment, which is effective at a rate
of approximately 33 percent. Due to the weaknesses in addressing the
supply side, the US must redouble its efforts to reduce demand." OK,
fine-- but, Dave, how do we in fact go about reducing demand?
Especially in the face of all the demand for the legalization of
medical marijuana?

DR. DAVE: Our experience is that a whole lot of these quoted
spokespersons for the legalization movement are old hippies who
started smoking in their teens. In 1976, 54 percent of the graduating
class had used illicit drugs in the past year. By 1992, the "war" of
the 1980s had driven that down to 27 percent. As this new "Generation
THC" moved into its teens --use has moved back up to an intractable
35-40 percent.

BILL: While their parents rebelled against alcohol by smoking pot,
Generation THC has added ecstasy and oxycodone to their party years.
My old anthropology professor once told me that two factors are always
present in any society no matter how primitive. Fire and intoxicants.
The Incas didn't have the wheel, but they had cocaine.

DR. DAVE: Been to an Inca House Party lately Bill? While I believe
there is no eradicating alcohol from all its cultural inroads into
society--there is no historical argument for drugs like cocaine.

BILL: The old hippies did some great things; success at equal rights
for women, tightening the principles for engaging in war overseas and
the Civil Rights movement. But I have a lot of foreboding about this
new generation of their children's approach to drug use. What does
your crystal ball tell you Doc?

DR. DAVE: The programs are out there to weave together into William
Perkins' prevention net--but it takes strong, unyielding, adult
leadership to implement that change. Teens use drugs because they feel
physically more euphoric after ingesting them. It's the panacea for
leveling the social playing field, instantly eradicating the boring
moments of the teen years and as a gateway into giddy shared
experiences with their peers.

BILL: So, our kids aren't stupid -- they know drugs make you feel
good. And, they know that we lived out that belief when we were in
high school. Our generation never figured out how to rebut their
argument, "You did it too when you were my age!"

DR. DAVE: Meaning we wouldn't use the juvenile justice system like our
parents did. We turned to our educational system. The schools promptly
said, "This isn't our job" and "we don't know how to succeed"--which
Presi-dent Obama finally conceded by canceling the 20 years of school
subsidies for drug prevention.

BILL: And you counselors were all feeding at that trough when the Prez
turned off the faucet. Money for treatment still flows through your
systems, but you don't seem to be the answer for prevention leadership
to change the teen world.

DR. DAVE: The hardest thing to accept is when the field research tells
you what doesn't work. In this case, failures to find community
leadership with the moral authority to confront the teen culture of
use and abuse. Parents, teachers, police and community counselors
appear to be off the prevention leadership list. Community Coalitions
are expanding, but without solid leadership to set youth expectations
and implement the prevention programs to carry them out, rudderless
coalitions are left spinning their wheels on minor details like
regulating 7-11 stores' beer sales.

BILL: Ok then. If we are going to bet our country's prevention money
on a leadership group to turn this around, who would it be?

DR. DAVE: At this point, I can think of one and only one--The American
Academy of Pediatricians.

BILL: I've been married twice, and the only intelligent thing I did
either time was not have children. But Dave, you're betting the health
of your grandchildren on them. I hope they live up to your high hopes.

DR. DAVE: My hope as well Bill; but over the decades, they are the one
community profession that has the well-earned mission statement to
step into our prevention leadership void: "The AAP is committed to the
optimal physical, mental and social health and well-being of all
infants, children, adolescents and young adults."
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MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.