15 April 2002 THE ROOT OF THE NARCOTICS PROBLEM IN THE UNITED STATES The United States is suffering from an epidemic caused by the use of drugs. The majority of criminals in the prison system are convicted on drug charges, and the majority of the population has been exposed to at least one type of illegal substance. The main problem that the United States faces in the War on Drugs is the lack of education to the citizens on the dangers that the drug trade poses to the individual and the mass population. The American child is bombarded by scenes on the television that depict the glamour of the drug world; the way that drugs make people feel good and the easy money that can be made are only a couple of examples that are presented on television. The movie and television industry make millions of dollars every year with episodes of drug lords that are victims of law enforcement and are many times made out to be the "good guy". This type of open media, which may seem harmless to an adult, gives the child the opinion that drugs are all right.

Without proper instruction beginning at the earliest of ages, the child grows up thinking that drugs are harmless and this increases the risk of curiosity. The Department of Education mandates classes on math, reading, and science but there is no set curriculum to teach the American child about the dangers of drugs. In order to best arm children about the drug problem that will be faced in the near future, there needs to be a set standard for all students to learn about drugs and the damage that is produced from the use of the illegal substances. The damages that drugs cause does not just stop at the individual and more often than not, the users are actually responsible for greater criminal offenses. The person that is using drugs, even if only social or experimental, is supporting a crime spree that is taking away the life of the "American Dream". The American child will grow up and move into adulthood keeping the same idea that drugs are harmless, and this is why the drug world is tolerated and sometimes overlooked by the common citizen.

Given enough education about the real dangers of the drug activity, the average American will make correct choices about the illegal activities. On September 11 many American citizens were outraged and wanted to know what could be done about the War on Terrorism. In order to fight the War on Terrorism, there should be the stoppage of organizational funding from the result of the drug trade within the United States. Many citizens are unaware that the drugs and terrorism are even related. The education process should continue on to teaching the adult population about what kind of organizations are being supported by drug usage. It is almost criminal to send an individual into combat without a weapon or at least some type of protective gear, but that is exactly what is happening to the citizens of the United States.

There is not enough education on the television that totally exposes the true results of drug usage. Many shows do demonstrate what happens to the individual caught using drugs or the criminal that is caught dealing, but television programming should be encouraged to take an interest in showing the larger scene of the crime syndicate, like the demonstration of how the majority of terrorist organizations are sponsored by the use of drugs. Through the use of educating the population, the government will receive the support of the citizens of the United State. The education process should depict what the drug trade really supports. Once these types of activities are discovered, the information should be disseminated to every member of society to demonstrate exactly what evils are being combated in the War on Drugs.