Lessen Dependence on All Types of Drugs

There is an interesting relationship between the article ``With Rise in Teen Drugs, Experts Begin to Ask Why,'' Feb. 10, and the editorial ``A National Change of Heart,'' Feb. 11, regarding the lessening of smoking in public places.

The remarks of Rep. Henry Waxman (D) of California that the House subcommittee hearing on the Smoke-Free Environment Act was ``a turning point,'' and that ``the national mood has changed,'' brings hope that American consciousness is awakening to how critical the drug problem is.

The statement by Maxine Wombell in the article on teenagers and drugs should be no surprise: ``Kids are bombarded by the message that there's a snake oil for whatever is bothering them.... Kids are told that pills work, and they pick up on it.'' Every day, drugs are advertised on TV and in magazines as being able to cure any problem. Have a pain? Take a drug. Can't sleep? Take a drug. Too heavy? Take a drug. Feel ill? Take a drug.

The illegal drug crisis in America will not be curtailed until the message from the pharmaceutical industry that drugs are a cure-all is curtailed, just as the advertising from the tobacco industry has been.

With today's ``information highway,'' truthful discussion should develop concerning usage of all types of drugs. As people understand the consequences of constant drug use there will be another ``turning point'' and the national mood will change, leading to a lessening of drug use and a happier, healthier America. Donald Morritt, Wallkill, N.Y.

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