Grossly conservative government estimates put chronic crack/crank addiction at 1.4 million for 1996. Yet widespread chaos in our country testifies to the real depth of the drug crisis our nation faces daily. In truth, 1.4 million is only the tip of the deadly iceberg, a fraction of our true national disgrace and neglect. For make no mistake about it, we are being neglected by our government just as surely as a parent is neglecting a child by not meeting their needs. First unleashed on the black community in the early 80's, it's now at home in virtually every community, urban and rural, coast to coast. Rich or poor, black or white, educated or uneducated, crack/ crank is an equal opportunity destroyer.  Every single day, we have the radio, newspaper and TV news accounts of the devastation visited upon our country. Crack and crank are ruining lives, tearing families apart and destroying our country from the inside out. Incredibly, while all this is going on, nothing is being done about it on a treatment level. Billions have been spent in the punishment arena to no avail and yet our governments, state and federal, plan to spend billions more throwing good money after bad. In essence this money is financing business. Prisons, their maintenance and related services are a multi-billion dollar business in this country! 80 % of our prison population nationwide is incarcerated for drug related offenses. Those suffering from crack/crank addiction aren't being helped, they're being warehoused. When someone supports incarceration instead of treatment, we must ask ourselves if they have hidden agendas. Do they profit finacially from warehousing of human beings? While the few are profiting from the misery of the addicted, our country faces its biggest disaster ever. The war on drugs has become a war on the people.

When they imprison our people instead of treating them, they imprison our nations future. Current "drug czar" , retired Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey states: "the absolute dominant drug problem is methamphetamine (Editor: crank) ". He also admits that hospital admissions among underage users are on the increase due to the use of marijuana in combination with alcohol, crack and crank. This insures a new generation of crack/crank addicts to replace the one falling before them. Adolescents using crack/crank develop the short fuse symptomatic of this drug use. Is it any wonder we have violence in our schools today? But do the "authorities" talk treatment? No, they talk bootcamps for our young. When you hear a news story about bank robberies involving getaways by bicycle or limousine and their families confirm the existence of a drug problem, it's not rocket science to figure out that crack/crank makes sane people insane. Domestic abuse, child abuse, murder, rape, suicide, road rage and crime sprees are all on the rise. Punishment and imprisonment have done nothing to keep it in check. Clearly our citizens need to stop being dependent on government for solutions. We need to decide whether we want to live in a forgiving world or a punishing world. The punishing world isn't working. Treatment is the only viable course of action. Many concerned professionals are eager to involve their time and expertise in cure research for medication and stabilization treatment but they are not being funded or encouraged to do so. This is incomprehensible in light of the drug epidemic enveloping us.

Government speaks of enforcement policy when what we really need is a public health policy with a priority on recovery and treatment programs.