Two weeks ago, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published “Study Finds Historic Levels of Marijuana, Hallucinogen Use Among Young Adults.” The data, from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), looked at national long term surveys of 10th-12th graders that were followed into adulthood for the past several years. The data showed 43% of young adults 19-30 abusing marijuana. Worse, it showed record numbers using hallucinogens, which includes LSD, ecstasy, PCP, and ‘shroom.’1 My experiences in ERs mirror this: I routinely treat patients suffering from the ill effects of marijuana, PCP, heroin, cocaine, and many other illicit substances. Marijuana is frequently the entry drug into far more dangerous ones.
For decades, relying on a near complete lack of data, leftist medical leaders have hijacked the approach to drug abuse. The CDC’s webpage for drug strategies, cited by such ‘woke’ doctors, lacks any trial that leads to proven decreased drug use. Instead, they push Narcan, clean needle, and clean crack pipe distribution as the way ahead. This is like fighting obesity related deaths with a defibrillator when patients reach the end state (death) instead of promoting weight loss, healthy eating, and exercise. Their approach has failed and drug deaths have predictably increased 600% over the past 3 decades. In 2 decades I have never seen a former addict state that he/she quit drug use because of Narcan.
Worse, such doctors support politicians that advocate open borders which greases the path for illicit drugs to reach the US. Then, the American Medical Association and other large medical groups push for defunding the police, the last line of physical defense to keep drugs off the streets.
Intellectually, there is little/no discussion amongst emergency physicians and toxicologists, the specialties who deal with drug overdoses, on strategy to reduce deaths by reducing use. A nationally respected illicit drug toxicologist commented (on Narcan use) in early 2022, “But who knows if that will translate to decreased deaths? At least we can reduce a harmful and expensive (to society) medical condition with this approach. To me, it feels better than doing nothing. 4 decades after Nancy Reagan sounded the alarm, the liberal led US medical establishment has no plan to put the fire out, only gasoline to make it worse.
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When was the last time you saw an internet commercial, billboard, or magazine ad from a medical authority encouraging abstinence from drugs use, or encouraging parents to talk to their kids about the evils of drugs or to pay attention to what their kids are doing? Instead, medical literature is focusing on empowering children to make health choices without parental involvement (abortion, STDs, transgenderism) and climate change. Youngsters who aren’t trusted to rent cars or buy handguns are given the keys to the drug world.
Ironically, they also increasingly speak out against disparities in health care. Simultaneously, they support politicians that legalize drugs, declare education racist, defund the police, attack religion, and terrorize parents into silence. The end result is inflation, increased access to drugs, increased poverty, and decreased parental/religious/ethical influence that disproportionately afflicts minorities. Doctors who point out these syllogisms are criticized and/or silenced in professional medical forums.
Congratulation woke doctors of America. Drug use and drug deaths are at record highs. Mission accomplished.
Perhaps in November, young Americans should keep this in mind as they vote. The woke doctors and the politician that they promote don’t have their best interests in mind. They should also remember well that these woke doctors are a large reason why young people of today will live shorter lifespans than their parents – the first time in American history this has ever happened. Too many drug ‘raves’ end in the cemetery.
John Hughes, MD
USMA Class of 1996
3rd Generation West Pointer
4 combat tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan
1Stephenson, Joan. “Study Finds Historic Levels of Marijuana, Hallucinogen Use Among Young Adults.” JAMA 6 September 2022.