published Monday, December 19th, 2011

Tragic drug and alcohol abuse in Hamilton County

The abuse of drugs and alcohol creates a range of social and individual ills, and those ills are compounded when the abuse starts at a young age. Young people can, in some cases, literally be throwing their lives away when they drink or take drugs.

So it was heartbreaking to read in the Times Free Press about the astonishing rates of substance abuse among young people in Hamilton County.

Here are just a few of the findings from the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey:

• Forty-five percent of male high school students who responded to the survey had used one or more of four dangerous substances -- alcohol, cigarettes, cocaine or marijuana -- in the past month.

• Thirty-eight percent of female high schoolers had used at least one of those substances in the past month.

• Among high school seniors, the abuse rate was 52 percent.

• Alcohol, not surprisingly, was the single-most abused substance, with 32 percent of students having drunk alcoholic beverages in the past month. In descending order, the next most frequently abused substances in the preceding month were marijuana, cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. Over a broader period of time, 15 percent of students said that they had misused prescription drugs, and more than 10 percent had used inhalants.

• All told, about 70 percent of local high schoolers have used addictive substances.

Some dismiss substance abuse as a mere "rite of passage" or "youthful indiscretion."

But there is no "passage" to adulthood for young people who die in auto accidents after drinking alcohol or who have a deadly reaction to illegal drugs. One such "youthful indiscretion" can be the last. And the long-term health dangers of tobacco are well known.

Of course, we know that young people are not always going to exercise mature judgment and can face enormous peer pressure to engage in dangerous activity.

That makes it all the more important for parents, teachers, church leaders and others in positions of authority over our youths to teach them the enormous dangers of drugs and alcohol -- and to back up that teaching with a balanced combination of encouragement and, when needed, discipline.

No loss of life to drug or alcohol abuse is ever acceptable, but it is doubly tragic when the victim is a young person. We should all resolve to reduce such tragedies in any way that we can.

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nucanuck said...

Clearly, laws controling or prohibiting access to alcohol and drugs have very little impact on youth consumption rates.

Unenforceable laws teach disrepect for the legal system. Decriminalizing all aspects of substance abuse and even supply networks would enable us to focus more on providing help for those whose lives become devastated, rather than fighting and losing a drug war with a worldwide criminal underground. Those criminal networks would go out of business if there products were no longer illegal.

What we are doing now is not working.

December 19, 2011 at 1:51 a.m.
conservative said...

Our nation's drug problem is a moral problem and an economic problem of supply and demand. Lieberals have stoped Biblical morals from being taught in our schools and strive continually to remove God from our society. Lieberals have promoted drug use on college campuses, in song, TV and movies, in print and in organizations. Lieberals have weakened and overturned drug laws and been lenient on both the user and pusher. Now Lieberals want to make the carnage legal! The carnage will just go away if we make it legal! Lieberals are dumber than a box of rocks.

December 19, 2011 at 9:15 a.m.
rolando said...

So, nucanuck, you would allow open purchase and use of marijuana or alcohol, for instance, by our high school students.

Would you stop at letting grade schoolers buy and use the stuff? How about pre-schoolers? Controlling use by those groups would also be unenforceable and teach disrespect for the law even earlier.

Cool.

All sold from government controlled outlets, no doubt...with the guv keeping the profits for use in rehab houses??

December 19, 2011 at 9:55 a.m.
rolando said...

Without a religion or other ethical belief system, there is no moral basis for not following the saying, "If it feels good, do it." That sayings concept, in itself, has fostered a perverted belief system among our youth..

As a society, we are reaping what we have sown.

Lieberals [thanx, conservative] have taught our kids to ignore moral and ethical standards of human conduct and to "go for the gusto" and satisfy the body and not the mind. How the mighty have fallen.

December 19, 2011 at 10:03 a.m.
XGSBoss said...

Oh, without the religion that says it's ok to hate and kill and discriminate? Yeah, that's what we need more of. Sorry, but when you have freedom (look up that word sometime) you will have people doing what feels good. You can only hope to punish or incarcerate the ones infringing on your right to do what feels good for yourself. And if that's my price for freedom, I'll pay it. Teach your kids what you want, just keep your antiquated, skywizard out of my life.

December 19, 2011 at 10:28 a.m.
HiDef said...

Lieberals have stoped Biblical morals from being taught in our schools and strive continually to remove God from our society

Everybody has different morals and parents should be responsible for teaching their own kids which morals they would like them learn, not their school teacher. Manners? Maybe, but morals? No way.

Oh, and what are "biblical morals"? I wasn't aware that jesus and co. "invented" morality.

As for liberals wanting to remove god from our society, you know that's a poor generalization. I personally would just like all religions to follow the rules and laws of our country. Nativity scenes don't belong on government property, the ten commandments don't belong in courthouses and if you have the freedom to put a billboard up telling me I'm going to hell if I don't believe, then I have the freedom to put one up telling you you're wrong.

December 19, 2011 at 11:38 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

"Without a religion or other ethical belief system, there is no moral basis for not following the saying, "If it feels good, do it." That sayings concept, in itself, has fostered a perverted belief system among our youth." - rolando

If one's only moral code comes from a "holy" book in which its "author" demands that we love him and obey his commandments or suffer eternal damnation, and If he/she has not done enough soul searching to realize that moral behavior stems from something much deeper than merely obeying certain biblical commandments of a mythical "skywizard," as XGSBoss aptly calls him, then that person is morally bankrupt indeed.

I do not believe in the Christian concept of a God who punishes non-believers, nor do I believe in the silly concept of a literal hell, but that doesn't give me the liberty to commit murder or to steal or to otherwise hurt other people. I choose to do good because I see the good that comes from it, and I choose not to do bad because I see the ripple effect of harm that it brings. In short, I (we all) have empathy and we are social creatures who rely on other people for love and well-being. That is sufficient reason to act in a moral manner.

If one would simply follow the golden rule of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you, there is no other "commandment" or biblical dictum that we need to follow. That one principle is all the moral guidance one needs. And that is not strictly a Christian principle, that is a universal principle. One size fits all, regardless of belief in a God or religion or the lack thereof.

December 19, 2011 at 12:19 p.m.
Rtazmann said...

WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS LET'S USE OUR YOUTH,,,,,STATISTICS SHOW THAT WHEN THE WORD NO DISAPPEARS FROM SOMETHING,,,,IT BECOMES LESS APPEALING TO THE CONSUMER...AND WHEN WE DON'T USE OUR CHILDREN WE USE RELIGION,,,,GIVE ME A BREAK!!!ONE REALITY FORE SURE IS THAT THE WAR ON DRUGS IS COSTING WAY MORE THAN PREVENTION.... IT HAS BEEN ONGOING SINCE THE 70'S SO WHO IS WINNING??DON'T YOU THINK BY NOW OUR MONEY IS BETTER SERVED ELSEWHERE??

December 19, 2011 at 2:03 p.m.
nucanuck said...

rolando, are you defending the status quo in the worldwide US war on drugs? Is that not government gone wild in an ever growing bureaucracy that continues to fail at their task?

Legalization doesn't mean support for drugs, only a different approach to dealing with an acknowledged problem.

What do you suggest?

December 19, 2011 at 2:40 p.m.
Rtazmann said...

WHAT IS QUOTED IN THIS ARTICLE IS A DREAM,,,,,,LIKE I SAID DRUGS HAVE BEEN AROUND SINCE BEFORE THE 70'S AND HAS NO SIGN OF GOING ANYWHERE BUT TO CONSUMERS...FACE IT ,,,,YOUR LOCAL BAG-BOY IS NOT BRINGING IN 30 TON'S AT A TIME,,,,A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE IN A DREAM WORLD WHEN IT COMES TO DRUGS AND THE DRUG WORLD..WHAT IS NOT RIGHT IS A NUMBER OF STATES MORE OR LESS HAVE MARIJUANA LEGAL AND A LOT DON'T,,,,ISN'T IT TIME WE EVEN THE BOARD??

December 19, 2011 at 2:41 p.m.
Rtazmann said...

I'M SAYING IF WE HAD A WAR LIKE THIS THAT HAS LASTED 60 YEARS THE GENERAL PUBLIC WOULD BE UP IN ARMS FOR LACK OF PRODUCTION,,,,HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE BEEN KILLED IN THIS WAR????SHHHH----IT IS A SECRET,,,,A REALITY IS WARS DO NOT COME WITHOUT DEATH..

December 19, 2011 at 2:47 p.m.
macropetala8 said...

conservative said... Our nation's drug problem is a moral problem and an economic problem of supply and demand. Lieberals have stoped Biblical morals from being taught in our schools and strive

The preacher who came to our school to teach morals was always drunk.

December 19, 2011 at 7:27 p.m.
macropetala8 said...

Rtazmann said... WHAT IS QUOTED IN THIS ARTICLE IS A DREAM,,,,,,LIKE I SAID DRUGS HAVE BEEN AROUND SINCE BEFORE THE 70'S AND HAS NO SIGN OF GOING ANYWHERE

And I'd like to add, when "bible" and "god" were being taught in the schools drugs in the U.S. were pretty much legal. Drug addictions were pretty much treated as a healt issue rather than a criminal one. Heroin, marijuana and cocaine were legal in the U.S. well into the 1940s and fifties. At a time when today's bible thumpers considered America to be at its most religious and morally correct.

December 19, 2011 at 7:37 p.m.
holdout said...

Can't you be moral because it is the right thing to do rather than because a god has a lake of fire in front of you and a pitchfork to your back? Do you have to be extorted into treating others as you would be treated? And on another note I remember reading, "it is not what you put in your mouth that makes you sinful but what comes out or your heart" in the bible written in red. No one advocated making drugs legal for minors and it should not be. Being an adult means making your own decisions and then living with the results of that decision. Treatment would be cheaper than enforcement.

December 22, 2011 at 10:23 a.m.
Rtazmann said...

BEING MORAL HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH DRUGS,,,IF IT DOES THEN THERE IS A LOT OF IMMORAL PEOPLE OUT THERE,,,YOUTH AND ADULTS/...RIGHT NOW WHAT IS IN PLACE IS NOT WORKING,,,JUST THROWING GOOD MONEY TO BAD..MARIJUANA IS A WEED,,,,,,I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT THE BIG ISSUE IS...ALL THE SO CALLED RESEARCH ARE LIES MADE UP BY THESE AGENCIES TO INCLUDE OUR GOVERNMENT....IT IS TIME WE ALL STOPPED BEING BRAIN DEAD AND BELIEVING THIS LOAD OF GARBAGE..

February 1, 2012 at 3:02 a.m.
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