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Drug abuse crisis cripples American dream

Li Qingqing / Global Times Share:

“These newborn babies cry for drugs, not milk.” The New York Times article has triggered heated debates on social media. Written by columnist Nicholas Kristof on Saturday, the opinion piece points out directly the serious situation of drug-addicted infants and the opioid-abusing America.

“He is exhausted but cannot sleep. He vomits, barely eats and has lost weight. He is also a baby… but he is inconsolable. What his body craves is heroin,” the article said. According to the author, every 15 minutes in the US, a child is born after a prenatal exposure to opioids.

Opioid abuse plight in the US is caused by itself, and China or any other country is not to be blamed for it. But how did the US end up this way? It has failed to govern its opioid crisis, both socially and psychologically.

Drug abuse seriously harms the US. The US consumes 80 percent of the world’s opioids. The problem is further aggravated because of opioid-prescribing doctors, US companies which peddle opioids and the US government’s disappointingly ineffective measures to combat drugs. For example, according to The Guardian, Johnson & Johnson, a US multinational corporation that develops medical devices and pharmaceutical goods, was ruled by an Oklahoma court of running a “false and dangerous” sales campaign that caused addiction and drove the US opioid epidemic.

More importantly, something is going wrong with Americans’ physical and psychological health. The country has failed to educate its teenagers to stay away from drugs. Among US teenagers, drug availability is high because of mental and peer pressure. CNN reported that as of 2017, nearly 40 percent of US 12th graders surveyed had used illicit drugs. This shows that most US teenagers either abuse drugs, or know somebody who abuses drugs. And now, the problem has been passed down to infants.

Drug abuse will cause mental decline, which will lead to the US’ decline. Whom would these teenagers grow to be, if they are easily trapped in drug addiction? And what would the country’s future become, if young Americans want to give themselves over to painkillers? Do not let the American Dream turn into a “requiem for a dream.”

US President Donald Trump wants to “make America great again,” but the US can be great again only if the younger generation has a strong spirit. The drug-addicted infants show us the spiritual world of American youth. The US problem is of itself. If the US cannot become spiritually strong, then “make American great again” is an empty slogan. Global Times.

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