America's Longest War: Rethinking Our Tragic Crusade Against by Steven B. Duke

By Steven B. Duke

A glance on the failed "war on medicines" asks and solutions such questions as why are we battling this warfare? Is it winnable? will we make the US a drug-free society? Is drug prohibition the reason for crime? and different questions.

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Drugs are virtually the foundation of modern medicine. Psychoactive drugs are central to the practice of modern psychiatry. Little but warehousing was done for psychotic patients until the discovery, mostly since World War II, of modern psychotropic drugs. Such drugs permit millions to lead normal lives today. In American society, moreover, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and other mood disturbances are almost as common as headaches. The suffering associated with these disturbances is drastically relieved by antidepressants, tranquilizers, sedatives, and other psychoactives.

S. from smoking-attributable diseases and burns; included in this figure are also deaths from passive/ involuntary smoking. 43 Surgeon General, Reducing Health Consequences, 121. 44 Morton Mintz, “Tobacco Decimating World, Says WHO Epidemiologist,” Washington Post, 5 April 1990. 32 Steven B. Duke and Albert C. ”45 The same report estimates the annual economic costs of smoking (not including the cigarettes themselves) at over 52 billion dollars. 46 If you add the costs of the cigarettes themselves, approximately 55 billion dollars, it brings the total economic cost of tobacco smoking to about 107 billion dollars per year!

In such drinkers, the withdrawal symptoms can be both more painful and more dramatic than the symptoms of heroin withdrawal. Hallucinations are common. Death is occasionally the final stage. HEALTH EFFECTS OF ALCOHOLISM The adverse health consequences of chronic heavy drinking are staggering. When taken in large quantities—perhaps three or four ounces per day—alcohol is a poison that rivals nicotine in its pernicious effects on the human body. 62 Regular alcohol use can precipitate esophagitis, exacerbate peptic ulcers, and increase the risk of gastrointestinal cancer and pancreatitis.

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