The War on Drugs, Where We Are and Where We’ve Been

Posted October 27th, 2017, by Dan Carman
Kentucky Defense Attorney

This is a generation that has grown up on video games and, for the most part, they have been constantly connected to the internet and social media. Unfortunately, they may also be the generation to witness the loss to the war on drugs. Like any war, stories about it are not pretty and there are plenty of casualties. Perhaps your family has been affected directly or indirectly. It is a major social issue with huge economic impacts. If you or a family member has been affected by it, it can also have serious legal implications.

What is the war on drugs? When did it start and how were the battles fought? Where are we and where do we go from here?

The Government and Fighting Drug Abuse

Many point to a government-sponsored film from 1936 entitled “Reefer Madness,” as the start of the war on drugs. This is a film that has turned into a cult classic and is viewed almost comically today. The war on drugs, however, has been no laughing matter. The term “war on drugs” didn’t come into widespread use until President Nixon declared drugs as “public enemy number one” in 1971. Since then the “war” has included the use of military forces and regime changes in South and Central America to slow the flow of drugs into the U.S. Today, the War on Drugs comes with a $51 billion annual price tag, and yet it is a war we are losing. A 2015 article in US News declared, “We Have Lost the War on Drugs,” and cited the fact that drug deaths far exceeded those of traffic deaths as just one example of defeat. In the years since the publication of that article, the casualties have continued to mount, many of them in or near our own backyard.

Middletown, Ohio: The Opioid Capital

Just north of Kentucky, along I-75 in southwestern Ohio, lies the town of Middletown. This is a town highlighted in the recent bestseller by J.D. Vance entitled “Hillbilly Elegy.” It has also received additional national attention as the opioid capital of the United States for having more opioid-related deaths per capita than anywhere else in the country. There is no question about it. The war on drugs is having an impact nationally, and in our own backyard.

A recent NY Times article says it is likely that drug-related deaths may have reached near 60,00 in 2016. That is close to double that of automobile deaths. This is not an issue, however,  that will be reduced by some “Click it or Ticket” campaign.

Where Do We Go From Here?

We may not be able to address drug use nationally until we address it locally. We may not be able to address it locally without facing it in our own neighborhoods and families. If you or someone you know has a drug abuse issue or is addicted to opioids, reach out and get help. It may not be easy, but war is ugly and lives must be saved.

If legal issues are involved, our team of Kentucky defense lawyers may be able to help. You are not alone. We are fighting on behalf of Kentuckians from Elizabethtown to Louisville to Lexington. Call the law offices of Dan Carman and Attorneys, PLLC today. We are trying to win the war, one battle at a time. Contact us today.

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