Drug abuse snapshot

The Minnesota Department of Human Services is out with its drug trend report in the Twin Cities today. Here’s the bottom line:

  • Heroin use and prescription drug abuse rising
  • Marijuana use increased to 33 percent of high school seniors in 2007, compared with 29.2 percent in 2004, although declines were seen for grades nine and six.
  • Cocaine treatment admissions are gradually declining.
  • Marijuana continued to account for more admissions to addiction treatment programs than any other illicit drug, with 3,067 admissions that represent 16.1 percent of total admissions in 2000.
  • Cocaine treatment admissions are gradually declining.
  • Ecstasy use rose from 4.3 percent in 2004 to 5.7 percent in 2007.
  • LSD use rose from 4.9 percent in 2004 to 6.2 percent in 2007 among Twin Cities metropolitan area high school seniors.

    Here’s the entire report.

    • Mary Hartman

      In 2002 the FBI instigated COINTELPRO operations against citizens of Racine, and most markedly against me and a man by the name of Clyde Boone. Why? We had uncovered the fact that the BEARCAT Hollow “sanctuary” operated by Ken and Nancy Kraft was a CIA/NSA shell corporation for narco-weapons trafficking. In February of 2002 the FBI operations escalated when we started to piece together the larger picture, which eventually led us to discovering the cascade of corporations being established throughout the US, using fake “sanctuaries” as fronts. We printed the documentation showing this entity had HQ in Washington DC and tentacles to South Africa and Guam. Heroine use in Minnesota was expected since the distribution network for the heroine moves through the St. Lawrence Seaway and up and down the Mississippi River. Jesse Ventura came dangerously close, yet not close enough, to exposing our state’s involvement in this when he said a high ranking official in our state government is actually a CIA operative. If this individual is in the department of homeland security, as the governor alluded to, the heroine, meth and cocaine distribution is heavily guarded by our own law enforcement officials. This would explain why an aide to Tim Walz allegedly watched and listened as bricks of raw cocaine were transferred from used car vans and into bakery vans under the watchful eye of a Sheriff and a Chief Deputy. Think Mena, Arkansas was bad?! They had the problem of nosey IRS and state cops, but the CIA seems to have taken care of that problem by co-opting them here. COG is being implemented right under our noses and it’s being funded with the sale of drugs and weapons. God Bless America! We need it.

    • GregS

      One of the big victories is with Methamphetamines. Glad to see it.

    • Bob Collins

      I’d like to see a little outstate data on meth. But, yeah, with so much emphasis on the meth crackdown, it’s interesting to see an effect.

    • GregS

      What I would like to see…. (hint, hint) is an investigation into the attitudes of former and current meth users.

      I am extremely curious about what causes a wave of drug-use to build and break over time.

      Law and law enforcement has little more than a suppressing impact. More than anything, the answer to the drug problem lies with these attitudinal shifts.

    • Tyler Suter

      I’m curious to know whether people are more concerned with controlling marijuana (federal measures to do so) due to the fact that it statistically tends to lead to other drugs, or increased focus purely on hard drugs because of the actual/direct damaging effects of such drugs. The reason I ask is because the report shows 26% of total Cannabis items seized in 2007, and only 1.5% of total heroin items seized in that same year. And it may be worth mentioning that opiate based drugs (which includes heroin) kill the most people per year (EVERY YEAR in this report); cannabis of course has not caused a single death according to the report.

      What I would be truly interested in seeing would be all these numbers categorized by financial demographics as well as said categorization in correlation with age demographics. I would be willing to bet that the average financial means of a person (or that of whom a person depends on if one is not an independent) in correlation with drugs used, would demonstrate that those drugs used by individuals of lower financial means are seized at a much lower rate than those drugs used more often by those of high financial means. The exception of course would be cocaine and derivatives of cocaine, which of course is a skewed figure because powder cocaine is in the same group as Crack (cocaine in its rock form/cheaper form). If powder cocaine and Crack rock cocaine were separated, I have little doubt that it would demonstrate a large disparity in the attention paid to drugs used by high income individuals/individuals with high financial means as apposed to drugs used by low income users/users with low financial means. I also think trends would emerge based on drugs used by Black users and drugs used by non Black users; which would of course would be very unnerving and even frightening given the so called progress we’ve made as a society in regards to race relations in this country.

      I am not one to say that cannabis does not have its negative or harmful effects, but I do not feel that attention is paid to drugs categorically based on the ACTUAL/REAL effects yielded by each drug. Trying to control cannabis use is like trying to dig a whole in the sand, and we just keep digging.

      I could go on for a very long, long time regarding issues pertaining to this topic, but it would just make me more frustrated than I already am and I can’t handle much more angst in regards to this subject. I also have the feeling that few care about the issue I take regarding this topic. I hope I am mistaken about the few caring part.

    • GregS

      I have little doubt that it would demonstrate a large disparity in the attention paid to drugs used by high income individuals/individuals with high financial means as apposed to drugs used by low income users/users with low financial means. I also think trends would emerge based on drugs used by Black users and drugs used by non Black users; which would of course would be very unnerving and even frightening given the so called progress we’ve made as a society in regards to race relations in this country

      Tyler,

      The strongest pressure to suppress crack cocaine comes from the black community itself. They are the ones who suffer the devastation of crime, prostitution and social chaos caused by crack.

      The same community pressure comes from rural areas affected by Meth.

      You seem to be painting criminal justice in terms of offenders. I can see why this makes the laws appear confusing. On the other hand, if you look at the issue from the perspective of the families whose children have to pass violent street dealers and prostitutes on the way to school, the picture shifts dramatically.

    • Tyler Suter

      I guess I’m failing to see how that pertains to my statement or rather from which direction it approaches the statement. Maybe further clarification is necessary and I do appreciate the exchange of dialogue. (Speaking to GregS)

    • Tyler Suter

      And if I understand you correctly, GregS, you are placing responsibility on the black community – solely – to improve any situation that may put them at a disadvantage. Now to a certain degree that is fair because of the fact that the most effective means of improving a community is from within, but we must keep in mind that our government is arguably, I think actually, responsible for a “Black disadvantage” – if you will. Although slavery is in our distant past, it still pertains to society today when considering the fact that Blacks were put at a major disadvantage based on the events that occurred prior to the Emancipation Proclamation, disadvantages that were compounded later by such policies as “Separate but Equal.” So keeping this inherent disadvantage in mind, as well as a constant cycle from generation to generation that offers little to no progressive direction and/or existence of positive role models, how can we expect one to succeed? If your mother and father, grandmother and grandfather, great grandmother and great grandfather, and so on and so forth, either failed in every positive pursuit or busted her/his butt every day to pull in just enough to support the family, where does one find a path out? Even more daunting, if your mother and father were drug abusers and everyone around you – for the most part – is doing the same, what do you think you would do (think about it from the standpoint of an impressionable child). I really don’t think the bootstrap approach works for people in these communities, especially with the stigma – that in my personal opinion exists – surrounding Black individuals in a White man’s society. The stigma does go both ways of course, but we must look at who is the minority because only the minority is truly slighted by such a stigma.

    • Tyler Suter

      I’m also not sure where you got the laws are confusing part.

    • GregS

      I guess I’m failing to see how that pertains to my statement or rather from which direction it approaches the statement.

      The direction is from the perspective of the victim community. The black community demanded harsher penalties for crack than for powder cocaine. They demanded this because their community was being negatively impacted by the crack epidemic.

    • GregS

      So keeping this inherent disadvantage in mind, as well as a constant cycle from generation to generation that offers little to no progressive direction and/or existence of positive role models, how can we expect one to succeed? If your mother and father, grandmother and grandfather, great grandmother and great grandfather, and so on and so forth, either failed in every positive pursuit or busted her/his butt every day to pull in just enough to support the family, where does one find a path out? Even more daunting, if your mother and father were drug abusers and everyone around you – for the most part – is doing the same,

      Obviously you did not grow up in or near a community of color.

      I did.

      I came of age in the 1960′s in the Selby-Dale neighborhood of Saint Paul.

      Your (academic) analysis bears little resemblence to any kind of reality. When I lived their black families were MORE intact than white suburban familes are today. There was substantially LESS drug abuse than today.

      If your theory of past grievences held any validity then family formation and drug-abuse should have been substantially worse then, not better.

      What we have seen is a dramatic degradation of the family and neighborhood culture at the same time that opportunities became available.

      It is a classic case of tragedy in the face of success.

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    • c

      here’s a huuggge comment coming from my mouth-

      perhaps we should attempt to treat each other with more dignity and respect!!!!

      drug addiction is ONLY a symtom of DEEPER lying issues.

      i believe when we feel whole within and without we are free from any temptation of anesthetizing pain through the use of perscription and illegal drugs and alcohol.

      there are many reasons why people, white, black, purple begin to abuse drugs and alcohol. i think starting by alittle compassion for each other is a good start.

      whatdayathinkofdemapples?

    • GregS

      there are many reasons why people, white, black, purple begin to abuse drugs and alcohol. i think starting by alittle compassion for each other is a good start

      Of course, c. You are absolutely right.

      However we need to separate addictive behavior from violent behavior. The two are often but not always related, yet they need to be addressed separatly.

      It is one thing to deal and use drugs, it is another to shoot a 14 year old girl who is doing homework at her kitchen table – in the head.

    • Tyler Suter

      Just to clear the air, I don’t feel disrespected by Greg and I would hope the same is true from the opposite side of the table. I think we are both very passionate about this subject and therefore would like to be understood as clearly as possible by one another in addition to those observing. As Dennis Prager often stresses, it’s about clarity rather than shooting counter opinions down or being right; there is no ‘right’. With that said, I am not one who feels that being polite is always the most progressive manner of debate, at least not to the where one hesitates to make a valuable statement for the sake of being polite.

      I must say that it was incorrect to assume that I did not grow up near a community of color, but that of course is not the issue.

      And the last thing before getting back to the debate is that respecting one’s elder(s) is among my MOST important values. Therefore I do recognize the potential ignorance of my preceding assumptions/statements as well as those to follow.

      If it is the case that during the 60s families in Black communities were more intact than families of today’s ‘White suburban’ communities, it still does not speak at all to the current family circumstances. I would invite you to take a look at figures regarding Black children raised in households without a father. I think that is a large contributing factor to many problems that plague a substantial portion of the Black community. And just to be clear, I am not pinning Whites vs. Blacks, rather I am talking about a prevalent segment of the Black community independent of any other US population segment. I make this distinction because much of the Black community maintains – this is a matter of perspective – an exclusive and overt cultural identity; in my opinion the only well established non-Caucasian ethnic segment within the US population for which both is true. From my perspective, all other well established ethnicities in this country have intrinsically acculturated to American traditions, ideals, practices, etc. (I’m assuming that it is unnecessary to elaborate on what I mean by ‘American’) to a greater extent than the particular segment of the Black population that I am referring too.

      I think another necessary, but maybe less relevant, object of consideration should be the potency of drugs today as compared to those of the 60s. I can’t speak to drug usage rates in the 60s, and I trust that your claim is correct in regards to drug usage during the 60s within the Black community, but I don’t think it is fair to speculate on said patterns as compared to present figures. Similarly, prices are much higher today – I believe even taking inflation into account – than prices in the 60s. I think it would be unfair not to include economic considerations in to this and most other debated subjects.

      One last thing – before this turns into an all night essay – if you were calling my analysis academic because you think it was well written and well founded, which I assume was not the case, I appreciate the compliment. Otherwise I would have to say that the comment was a cheap shot.

    • Tyler Suter

      And the 14-year old comment: I blaim the drugs, not the people (of course it is necessary to hold them accountable in a court of law). As was the case with each of my preceding statements, I am not arguing that laws are unfair or that there isn’t a serious problem, rather I don’t think that throwing every captured offender in jail will solve this problem. Punishment is only part of the solution – a very small part – prevention is the meat and potatoes.

      I think Frederick Douglass said it best:

      “It is easier to build strong children than repair broken men.”

      Take a look at that report Mr. Collins published on today’s News Cut about testing scores. Here’s a quote from his post regarding graduating reading tests:

      “Springfield Public Schools, is at one of the spectrum. All of the students passed the test. On the other side, however, is Arlington Senior High in St. Paul, where only 49% of the 9th graders passed the test.”

      Is it a coincidence that Arlington is among the most predominently non White schools (9 Caucasian students out of 251 total students) in the report and Arlington is almost exclusively white (95% White)? Quite a coincidence…

    • Tyler Suter

      OH yeah, it was a reading/writing test.

    • Tyler Suter

      I need to think hard before submitting and inevitably forgetting something, this is getting rediculous.

      I wanted to use my own ethnicity as an example of an acculturated ethnic group. I am Irish and Catholic, and upon arrival ‘we’ were treated quite poorly – I guess you could say. It was not until Irish Americans became acculturated that Irish citizens began to prosper in society.

    • GregS

      Tyler,

      You began by bringing up the issue of disparity between crack and powder cocaine suppression. You clearly indicated that you attributed this to racism.

      I responded by pointing out it is the black community itself that lobbied federal and state legislation for this disparity.

      They were the victims. They demanded remedy. Most victims of black violence are black.

      You then inserted “Black Disadvantage” into the conversation, speaking at length about intergenerational failure.

      If your mother and father, grandmother and grandfather, great grandmother and great grandfather, and so on and so forth, either failed in every positive pursuit or busted her/his butt every day to pull in just enough to support the family

      That is where I took exception.

      It is almost impossible to deny that a substantial portion of black youth who came age during the late 1960’s and 1970’s threw away the hard fought gains of their parents. You cannot blame your failure to achieve on your parents when your parents are more successful than you. You cannot blame the failure to achieve a stable family on your grandparents or your great grand-parents who were slaves when their families were more stable than yours.

      There is a well documented devolution into the under-class in the 1970’s and beyond. Asking why this happened is crucial to solving the problem of the under-class, but logically we need to look elsewhere than the legacy of slavery and discrimination.

    • GregS

      Is it a coincidence that Arlington is among the most predominantly non White schools (9 Caucasian students out of 251 total students) in the report and Arlington is almost exclusively white (95% White)? Quite a coincidence.

      I am going to be blunt.

      You are attributing academic under-performance to the race of a child and that is racist crap. You are clearly suggesting a child does better in school by virtue of being white and worse by the “curse” of being black.

      The difference in performance is not a matter of race at all. It is solely attributable to the presence of an anti-intellectual under-class that cripples academic performance.

    • c

      Tyler AND Gregs-

      the whole bit about ‘treating each other with love and compassion’ was not about you but did include you. I was talking about Joe Blow or Susie Snowflake walking down the street….black white…blah blah….misheveled with uncombed hair, or a mohawk or even scantily clad inorder to drum up business.

      The reasons behind the addictions, the violence and abuse stem from many different roots. There is no One Answer. Sometimes having a good stable home with parent involved -HEAVILY- is enough to keep the kids off of drugs and alcohol. Although I have heard some addicts say that they came from a great family, wealthy, loving parents….and they used anyway.

      Know your children, I think that is an important key.

      Proactive is best with opening the communication-great techniques are taught in Early Childhood Family Education. Delores Colloroso (spelling) a child rearing educator, has great suggestions-I know she has a video and she may very well have a book on the subject.

      Children or teens living with parents who abuse drugs and alcohol are not living with parents, they are merely living with other teens and children.

      I think the issues that involve anger with drug alcohol abuse need lots of work. Inorder to get to the root of any underlying issue you have to remove the individual from the substance and the toxic environment (this includes people associated with the use-family, friends ,work) Lots and lots of healing is needed to be done and it takes a long time. I could go on but I’ll stop here.

    • Tyler Suter

      I’m not saying that achademic acheivement is based on race, what I am saying is that the support systems in place are not equal across racial lines. I attribute that to the fact that the way in which public education funding is designated is out of wack. I don’t think that it is fair to designate higher portions of funding to schools/districts that report higher standardized test scores. I believe that this only perpetuates a trend for the miseducation of underprivaliged students.

    • Tyler Suter

      I’m thinking that we have both reached a point where we are no longer making any progress and I also think that we are misunderstanding each other – I attribute that to the method of communication (I prefer face to face over internet and I made the mistake of delving deeply into a discussion over the internet).

    • Tyler Suter

      And my issue with Crack and Cocaine was not with the laws in place, rather it was with the statistics for each in the report being lumped into the same category (cocaine).

    • c

      /support systems in place are not equal across racial lines/

      oh really?

      (that is being said with incredible sarcasm)

      /And my issue with Crack and Cocaine was not with the laws in place, rather it was with the statistics for each in the report being lumped into the same category (cocaine). /

      as far as abuse goes it IS the same.

    • Tyler Suter

      Mybe use is the same, but I don’t think use across vaious demographics is the same.

    • Tyler Suter

      And the support sytems comment was a clarification and was not inteded to be a grand proclamation.

    • c

      /Mybe use is the same, but I don’t think use across vaious demographics is the same./

      sure the wealthy are more likely to use cocaine…but what does that matter? abuse is abuse and it happens everywhere.

    • GregS

      I’m not saying that achademic acheivement is based on race, what I am saying is that the support systems in place are not equal across racial lines. I attribute that to the fact that the way in which public education funding is designated is out of wack.

      I absolutely agree. We spend WAY too much in the inner-cities, and get little for it.

      Minneapolis spends $18,900 per student per year for K-12 education. Almost the same as Breck or SPA, the most expensive private schools in the state.

      Yet the drop-out rate is, what? 45%?

    • c

      recovery is a looonnnnng process and perhaps those kids who go through treatment in highschool and the treatment process doesn’t ‘stick’ take a couple times to hit a bottom before they do make an effort to stop.

      Gregs are you suggesting cutting the funding?

    • Tyler Suter

      Ok GregS…I’m giving up. You should make some of these comments under your full name. As it stands you really don’t have to stand behind anything you say, but I do and therefore I think my best choice is to stop.

    • GregS

      Tyler,

      I thought the purpose of discussion was to discuss, not to agree.

      Its pretty simple. Racial prejudices in the United State have declined to a state where the greatest drag on minority advancement is attitudes and behaviors within underclass culture.

      Even Barack Obama struck that same cord in his Father’s Day address. He, and a few others, have finally listened to researchers who have documented that the primary predictor for whenther a child will grow up poor is NOT race, but whether his parents father lives in the home.

      Again, in the 1960′s, black families were more stable than white suburban families today. They were also more stable than families are today in all countries of Europe.

      What happened to black underclass families did not happen because of slavery, or racial discrimination, it happened because of cultural shifts in the 1970′s.

    • Tyler Suter

      This WAS to find clarity and not to force agreement, and then you called me a racist. You also quoted the word curse…I never used that word or even alluded to that word; I don’t have any idea why you quoted it. That is about the time this ‘discussion’ became personal and therefore no longer was a discussion. And the ‘discussion’ also became silly when you started talking about return on investment regarding funding public education. Since when has public education been a business? Kids are not stocks that we trade on the open market. There is no expectation for a return on investment.

      And then there is this excerpt from your last comment:

      // Even Barack Obama struck that same cord in his Father’s Day address. He, and a few others, have finally listened to researchers who have documented that the primary predictor for whether a child will grow up poor is NOT race, but whether his parents father lives in the home.

      One, Barack Obama does not speak for the entire Black race. I think Barack will be a monumental role model for the young Black community and hopefully he will begin to dispel some stereotypes of Blacks in America. But keep in mind that Barack is not the descendant of African American slaves; his father is Kenyan and his mother is White. It seems like you – and many others – have this idea that Obama is responsible for some sort of Black empowerment or movement in America. He’s a presidential candidate. That is enough of a responsibility/burden in itself.

      And two: ‘finally they have listened’… To who? And who are ‘they’? What are you talking about? Researchers? Are you sighting some study or just regurgitating bits and pieces of what you’ve heard along the way as to best illustrate whatever point it is you are trying to make? Do you even have a point GregS?

      And my last little bit here, do you really believe that all of, and I quote, “What happened to black underclass families did not happen because of slavery, or racial discrimination, it happened because of cultural shifts in the 1970′s”? If you say so GregS.

      This one goes out to you GregS – written by my man Bob Dylan:

      “Come mothers and fathers throughout the land

      And don’t criticize what you can’t understand

      Your sons and your daughters are beyond your command

      Your old road is rapidly aging

      Please get out of the new one IF YOU CAN’T LEND YOUR HAND

      For the times they are a changing