Drugs have been part of our culture since the middle of the last century. Popularized in the 1960s by music and mass media and romanticized in movies and on TV today, they invade all aspects of our society.
An estimated 208 million people internationally consume illegal drugs. In the United States, results from 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that 19.9 million Americans (or 8 percent of the population aged 12 or older) used illegal drugs in the month prior to the survey. You probably know someone who has been affected by drugs, directly or indirectly.
The most commonly used — and abused — drug in the U.S. is alcohol. Alcohol-related motor accidents are the second leading cause of teen death in the United States.
The most commonly used illegal drug is marijuana. According to the United Nations 2008 World Drug Report, about 3.9 percent of the world’s population between the ages of 15 and 64 abuse marijuana.
Young people today are exposed earlier than ever to drugs. Based on a survey by the Centers for Disease Control in 2007, 45 percent of high school students nationwide drank alcohol and 19.7 percent smoked pot during a one-month period.
Why do our youth start taking drugs so readily in our society today? When asked, responses ranged from: to fit in, to have fun, be more grownup, boredom or just to do something different. And without knowing the dangerous and sometimes fatal side effect of these drugs they become easy targets for the drug pushers.
Drugs are essentially poisons and depending on the amount taken can either slow you down, poison or kill you. Many drugs directly affect the mind, distorting the user’s perception of what is happening around him or her and as a result the person’s actions may be odd, irrational, inappropriate and even destructive.
The Foundation for a Drug-Free World, a nonprofit organization headquartered in
Los Angeles, California is dedicated to the eradication of illicit drugs, their abuse and attendant criminality.
The Drug-Free World campaign is predicated on the statistically proven fact that whenever young people are presented with the unvarnished “truth about drugs,” illicit usage drops. Accordingly, the Drug-Free World information and prevention campaign features 13 Truth About Drugs booklets — one for each of the most commonly abused substances. Campaign materials also include an Educator’s Kit to provide teachers, law enforcement and community groups effective tools to help young people make the right decision. Incisive public service announcements and documentary videos complement The Truth About Drug series — 90 minutes on every drug of choice from those who have been there.
To date, more than 700 million have heard or seen The Truth About Drugs message and wherever campaign materials have saturated populations, usage rates have dramatically dropped.
For more information about The Truth About Drugs campaign go to www.drugfreeworld.org or call 212.828-1825 ask for Moni.