High Society: How Substance Abuse Ravages America and What to Do About It

High Society: How Substance Abuse Ravages America and What to Do About It

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In High Society, Joseph Califano points out that a child who reaches twenty-one without smoking, using illegal drugs, or abusing alcohol is virtually certain never to do so—and chronicles the fearful cost in personal pain and public dollars of our nation's failure to act on this truth.

Califano shows how substance abuse is the culprit in violent and property crime, soaring Medicare and Medicaid costs, family breakup, domestic violence, the spread of AIDS, teen pregnancy, poverty, and low productivity. He takes on alcohol and tobacco interests that buy political protection with campaign contributions and seed a culture of substance abuse among our nation's children and teens. He explains the importance of parent power, proposes revolutionary changes in prevention, treatment, and criminal justice, and calls upon every individual and institution to confront this plague that has maimed and killed more Americans than all our wars, natural catastrophes, and traffic accidents combined.