A tenet of the drug war is that “hard” drugs are so pleasurable that once tried, most people cannot resist them. This fiction is propagated by the media which showcases in the words of Dr. Stanton Peele, “extremely self-dramatizing addicts,” while ignoring the vast invisible majority of recreational drug users – the unaddicted. (2) The truth is that illegal drugs’ addiction rates are not nearly as high as they are popularly portrayed.
As can be seen below, of the millions of Americans who have experienced the highs of crack, heroin, and methamphetamine only a small percentage have used them in the past month. Even if the ludicrous position is taken that every person who has partaken in the past month is an addict, the addictive power of these substances is clearly overblown.
1. “National Survey on Drug Use and Health,” Fig. 1.1A, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 2010. LINK
2. Stanton Peele, Diseasing of America (1995), p. 161.