You probably know how many people die from Heart Disease and Cancer per year right? What about other leading causes of death?
150,000 people per year (and rapidly growing) die from prescription medicine, written by Physicians and distributed by Pharmacies.
45,000 people per year die from auto accidents.
(25,000 of those people die from drunk drivers.)
5,000 people die from illegal drugs
11,000 people die from hand guns (the overwhelming majority of those are domestic disputes or accidents in the home)
On average over the past 100 years about 30 people per year die from foreign terrorist attacks on US soil.
Pot apparently doesn't kill anyone (although one guy this past year claims it caused him to bite someone's face off)
Do we as a country spend to attack these causes of death proportionately?
You know the answer... We spent $12 Trillion in the past 12 years on the non-existent threat of terrorists. While the population has grown by several million, LE and airbags have managed to cap the number of traffic deaths so one could say the % of traffic deaths is going down. But what are we doing about the epidemic of deaths due to prescription medication? Next to heart disease, stroke, or cancer it's the most likely way we will all die.
Right. It also bears mentioning that The U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services reports 75,000 yearly (2007) alcohol related deaths 40,000 of which are due to injuries inflicted from alcohol related accidents. They also report that alcohol "plays a role" in 50% of traffic deaths, 50% of murders and 25% of suicides.
As far as what can we do about it? A paradigm shift. An elevation of the "default" human condition.
I'm, not convinced that any amount of money will fix the problem, because the problem is rooted in our collective obliviousness to our inter-connectedness to each other and to the universe as a whole. It's in the multi-generational ideologies that have deeply instilled within us profound falsehoods about what it means to be human. The end result is a society of people that are spiritually lost, lonesome, filled with sadness and often rage, and who are misguided by the idea that accumulation of stuff is indicative of success and the way to achieve that success i.e. all the stuff, is through aggression, competition and setting oneself apart. Until we learn and begin to teach the value of cooperation and empathy above economic success I fear we will only continue to create a society from which we feel the unhealthy need to escape. Money will most likely only breed even more bureaucratic programs that frustrate and fall short. The solution is absolutely all about wealth however it's about wealth of spirit. Individually we'll have to open our hearts, live our lives rooted within kindness and love for all people, especially those of us who are the easiest to judge. It will be through taking responsibility for our lives, our actions and our own happiness and recognizing and become conscious of who we really are and how we are all connected that we'll begin to fill the emptiness that we presently are attempting to fill up with food, money, belongings, pills, alcohol, sex, drama etc, etc.
We'll heal this country/the world of it's addictions and all of it's other faults only when we've healed ourselves individually.