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It is obvious that illegal drugs have become a major cause for concern in North America It is becoming increasingly difficult to fight the war on drugs since many substances are readily available to anyone who can afford them According to the PFDA Partnership for a Drug-Free America the average age teens first use inhalants is thirteen This statistic is mind-boggling and surely something must be done Since Canada tends to follow Americas example the drug problem in the United States affects Canadians as well What is the clean-cut solution There are many advocates for drug legalization and many people feel that legalization will end all drug-related crimes Yet this issue has been debated to death and there is no need to beat a dead horse Instead it is more advantageous to examine the many other viable options rather than looking at the old argument of drug legalization Therefore the real question is What steps should America take to fix its growing drug problem and there are actually five main areas to consider - adolescent drug use drug offensescrimes the drug laws themselves foreign drug trade and drug abuse By looking at these five issues in detail and considering possible solutions an overall answer can be found Firstly illegal drugs seem to have found a younger target audience In 1995 one in three high school seniors one in four sophomores and one in six eighth graders used marijuana ElSohly 1995 letter to editor Right now anyone any 14-year-old who wants drugs can usually find them within minutes almost anywhere in the country United States The Nation 1999 p 18 A more effective means of preventing drug use among young people is an urgent need Today prevention consists mainly of Just Say No messages broadcast on TV or preached in the classroom Research shows that such messages by themselves do not work Oliver 1996 p 41 Although the United States government is
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