We need to get all of the various interested and involved individuals and organizations to "Join Together" and get the general public "up in arms" before the coming election. If the "Rights and Lefts" can do it, so can we. It must happen now, as we have little time to waste. THE DRUG WAR MUST STOP IMMEDIATELY IF NOT SOONER! I have visited personally, one-on-one, with the former "Drug Czar" Gen. Barry McCaffrey. Out of that visit, I came away understanding that he may be the head of the ONDCP but the Congress and President hold the "purse-strings" and if the budget that the current "Drug Czar" submits does not suit the Congress or President it will be handed back to the "Drug Czar" for revision to what they want. What do they want? They want the $20 billion to come to their respective states in the form of interdiction. That insures that the Criminal Justice Monster that has built since Pres. Nixon created the ONDCP in 1971. Why did he do that anyway? As I see it, "to get even with those damn Hippies protesting the Vietnam War." Then he resigned and went back to practice law and make big money as a defense attorney defending those damn pot smoking, and drugged out Hippies. At least that is how I see it. The real problem here is that far too much of the general public are suffering from the "Lemming Syndrome." They watch the news on TV, read the local paper sometimes, listen to a little talk radio, develop a lot of myth and misconceptions about alcohol and other chemical misuse (substance abuse if you like) and like a bunch of lemmings, follow the leader right off the cliff and into the water to drown. When the population of lemmings is reduced to a survivable amount, the rest go back home to make a bunch more just like themselves and the process starts all over again. Isn't that about the way it works? Right now, as a Professional Addictions Futurist, I estimate that the "Drug War" in conjunction with a number of other factors involved, are creating an annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in our country of about $800 billion. About $200 billion can be about right for the Departments of Corrections in the U.S. and around $20 billion for the ONDCP of which about $1.5 billion goes to the agencies that support the research, treatment and prevention of Addictions and other Mental Health Problems. Far too little to help much however; they do some really good money management and somehow get by. About 35% of that $800 billion has to go to the medical professionals who are attempting to repair the damage done by a disease that they never studied in Med. School. Why, because it wasn't offered. Why not? Addictions wise Doctors would start working with identifying the addictions in their patients and send them to the Addictions Professionals who would then proceed to try and work with little or nothing from insurance money, Medicare maybe, a very little state and federal funding perhaps, or what little the addict might be able to scrape up without stealing and hocking something like they did to get their chemicals of choice. Do the Doctors tell the insurance companies that they have been treating the broken bones of an alcoholic. ABSOLUTELY NOT IF YOU WANT TO GET PAID! I think that you get the picture. Unfortunately the insurance companies gave up on paying for treatment of addicts because they were locked into another "money-go-round" similar to the criminal justice system. The alcohol and drug treatment centers were still using the old antiquated form of treatment called the "Minnesota Model" modified to some greater or lesser degree by the institution providing the treatment. That model, developed in the 1950's, is nothing more than a psychosocial form of AA. Treatment centers got cut off, for the most part, from insurance money and saw that the criminal justice system was getting all of the sick people and putting them in prison. If you cant beat them, then join them and if you have a problem with alcohol and/or drugs in the workplace, you go do what your Employer Assistance Program tells you to do or loose your job. When the Department of Transportation is involved, it is very likely "one strike and you're out." Almost secretly, the researchers in genetics and the neurosciences have been finding an abundant amount of information that, quite frankly, should be frightening. They are rapidly moving toward medical and genetic repairs and cures for alcoholism and drug addictions along with many other mental illness. The available technologies have driven their speed in discover exponentially. What happens to that $800 billion per year when the alcoholics stop drinking and the addicts stop using? All of the people dependent on the disease of addiction lose their jobs and large amount of business will shut down and half or more of those defense attorneys will not be needed and I could go on and on and on. Our country faces a NATIONAL ECONOMIC DISASTER because it is not a question of if the researchers will find the answers but one of, WHEN? Your Comments and interest will start the ball rolling, hopefully in a much more positive direction and one helluva lot faster.
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