Letter to the Editor

LETTERS: DRUGS: MATTER OF SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

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To the editor:

Recent letters to the editor have addressed the effectiveness of faith and spirituality in treatment of diseases of addiction. The observation that a strong spiritual foundation facilitates recovery from a variety of diseases may also be applicable to our social dependence upon drugs.

Drug-war objectives to date have predominately been reactive attempts to reduce the availability and use of whatever illegal drug happens to catch the public's attention, whether it be heroin, marijuana, crack cocaine or the current headliner, methamphetamine. This approach has not been successful due to an apparent reluctance to view drug use and abuse as a symptom of the spiritual illness prevalent in our society. We agree that drug abuse is unhealthy yet give little thought to our use and promotion of nonprescription drugs. Drug dependency, be it legal or not, is contrary to physical and spiritual health.

Tobacco and alcohol are by far the most dangerous drugs in our country in terms of lost lives and economic costs, yet they continue to be promoted and protected. This would not be the case if our society had the spiritual strength to recognize that the social costs far outweigh the so-called benefits, all of which can be reduced to the common denominators of selfishness and greed. Selfishness, because that is why people choose to use. Greed, because many people profit from these industries. Rather than a war, what we need to overcome our social dependence is a revolution that begins with individuals willing to take a hard look at our own behaviors and the messages we convey to others. We can choose to model and promote drug-free living in our daily lives, and we need to find the means to promote healthy choices as aggressively as the tobacco and alcohol industries market the use of their products. As voters and consumers, we can encourage moral responsibility among the politicians and businesses that profit at the expense of human life. JIM MAGINEL

Cape Girardeau