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"The polls show us that in most people's minds, it is the number one problem in the country" (Smith 18). In this statement made in an interview with Newsweek magazine, President Ronald Reagan is justifying his administration's war on drugs. This war is partially in response to statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, indicating an upward trend in certain kinds of drug use among high school, college students and young adults (Bachman and O'Malley 15). For example, the use of cocaine by college students is up to 17 percent while the number of students using cocaine in more dangerous forms (smoking rather than snorting) has doubled since 1983 (Smith 10). Further, those reporting daily use have also doubled. More importantly, the number of college students indicating that they had begun using coke and were consequently unable to stop has doubled since 1983. Despite these discouraging trends, the finding which deserves the most concern shows that those who have tried these drugs during their high school years have increased steadily to an astonishing 80 percent. The drug epidemic appears to be infiltrating deeper into society. Thus, President Reagan's statements reflecting his concern for the drug plague appear to be in accordance with these statistics. As a result, a national program has to be developed to give firepower to this war on drugs: programs that would make drugs difficult to use while getting the people themselves turned off to drug use.

In attacking the drug epidemic, the administration has to determine in which areas the reform would have the greatest overall effect. Further statistics from the Department of Health & Human Services indicate that the "plateau" age for drug use is 22, an age when many are in college. In addition, surveys show that the transition one makes from high school to college is accompanied by an increase in drug use (Bachman and O'Malley 15). As a result,...

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DRUG TESTING AND COLLEGE ATHLETES. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 20:00, May 26, 2020, from