The Drug and Alcohol Factor

By Larry Ray Hafley

“Drug and alcohol abuse and addiction played a part in the crimes committed by 80 per-cent of the 1.7 million men and women now behind bars in the United States, a major national study concluded”(Houston Chronicle, January 10, 1998, 9A).

Can you imagine the furor that would have been created if “a major national study” had decided that cigarette smoking “played a part in the crimes committed by 80 percent of” our present inmate population? What if it were known that better than 50 percent of all automobile fatalities, rapes, and suicides involved the use of tobacco? What kind of protest would be waged against the tobacco industry if such facts were shown?

Further, what if it could be proven that economic loss to the country (caused by illness, injuries, health care, lost work time, destruction of property, etc.) was far greater than taxes paid on tobacco products and their producers?  Can anyone doubt that cries of outrage would be expressed?

However, since these facts are only true of drug and alcohol abuse, everyone can relax and drink up ( just don’t light up!).  This Bud’s for you!