Joshua Y. Colorado

Drug use in the United States

A look into the increasing drug epidemic and the effects such as increased prison rates and drug related deaths.

Dear Madame/Mr. President:

Ever since I was a kid I always wondered why illegal substances such as Methamphetamine or Heroin had such a strong grip on so many people's lives. It is astonishing how many people rely on the use of these drugs even though it is clearly so damaging to not only their individual health but to those who are close to them as well. For example, throughout most of my life, my mother has struggled from time to time with the use of stimulants such as Cocaine and Methamphetamine. Watching a loved one basically ruin his or her life is the saddest, hardest, most frustrating thing to go through, especially as a kid. I believe that one of the most important issues that you face is to come up with a solution to decrease the access and use of illegal substances in the United States. This decrease in illegal substances could potentially lead to things such as a decreased prison population and decreased drug related deaths.

The War on Drugs has had a more negative than positive impact on the United States. The reason I believe this is because the efforts to decrease drug use around the United States has actually caused things such as gun violence and increased prison population due to drug related convictions. For example, if you opened the prison gates today, enough men and women would stream out, trading one uniform for another, to completely staff every McDonald's and Starbucks in the country, as well as the entire U.S. Army, Marine Corps, and Postal Service. Trevor Burrus, a journalist who believes that gun violence is a growing issue, argues that the frequently purported causes of gun violence are usually mistaken. He believes that two of the contributing causes to gun violence are actually government programs: the drug war and the public education system.

More evidence that supports that the drug war has had a negative impact on the United States includes there being one in 28 children that have a parent in prison in the U.S., in large part due to the mass of people convicted of drug law violations. I’m sure that there are some things that the drug war has been successful with, but in large part the drug war has proven itself a miserable failure that actually contributes to the current drug epidemic.

The starting point to help fix this awful problem that our country is facing is halt the legalizing of gateway drugs such as marijuana. Another place we would start is making other illegal substances such as Methamphetamine and Heroin harder to come across.


Joshua Y.

Wheat Ridge HS

Composition for the College Bound English

Twelfth graders in Colorado

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