Press Release Summary: WHICH WAR IS MORE IMPORTANT?
Press Release Body: (OAK RIDGE, NJ)-As we mark the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, many Americans are left wondering: Since the war on terror began, what ever happened to our nation's war on drugs?
Stephen Della Valle, author of the new addiction and recovery memoir Rising Above the Influence, has been asking that lately as well. "The Iraq war is understandably on everyone's minds right now," he says. "But at the same time, America's battle with drug and alcohol addiction rages on. When will it get the attention that it deserves?"
While the US has spent over $500 billion on Iraq war expenditures since 2003, since the "war on drugs" began in the early 1990s, it's spent the same amount on trying to eradicate one of the country's most deadly epidemics. Unfortunately, over ten years later, there isn't much to show for it.
"It's amazing," says Mr. Della Valle. "All that money, and 85,000 Americans still die every year due to alcohol-related problems-plus another 17,000 who are killed by illicit drug use. How many deaths will it take for our politicians to address our nation's lethal problem with drugs and alcohol, and fund the programs we really need to overcome it?"
The $5 billion that the federal government has reportedly spent on the war on drugs has been concentrated in the following areas:
· Enforcement of laws and policies: 84%
· Treatment and rehabilitation: 6%
· State funding: 5%
· Research: 4%
· Prevention and education: 1%
"How are we supposed to help kids stay off drugs when only one percent of funding goes toward prevention and education?" asks Mr. Della Valle. "How are we supposed to help those who are already in trouble when we're paying more money to arrest them than we are to rehabilitate them?"
Stephen Della Valle is president of the board of directors at Turning Point rehabilitation center in Verona, New Jersey. Currently celebrating twenty years of sobriety, he lives in Oak Ridge, New Jersey, with his wife, Donna. He has three children.
Rising Above the Influence is available now (ISBN: 0-9801776-0-X; softcover; Oak Ridge Press) on Amazon.com, Borders.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and at fine bookstores everywhere.
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