EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — With 2020 behind us, the promise of a better 2021 is here.
But already 2021 is off to a turbulent start, which might make people want to soothe anxiety through drug use. Carlos Briano, public information officer for the Drug Enforcement Administration El Paso Division, joined KTSM 9 News to talk about that.
Briano said that some are seeing the first seven days of 2021 with little hope, adding that the men and women of DEA remain committed to keeping our communities safe and healthy.
Susy Castillo: Wednesday’s events at the Capitol have many people on edge. What can we do to help keep our communities safe and healthy?
Briano: Every day and every year, we remind the public about the dangers of drug use and we ask them to commit to remain drug free. But let me share a statistic with you: according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the estimated monetary cost of drug and substance abuse in the U.S. — including illegal drugs, alcohol and tobacco — was more than $740 billion a year. That figure includes health care and legal costs and lost work productivity.
Susy: That’s an alarming statistic, Carlos. What else do we need to know about the effects of drugs?
Briano: Plus there are other costs to society like crime, unemployment, domestic abuse, divorce, homelessness, effects on unborn children, spread of disease and regretfully, even overdose deaths. So when we ask people to commit to living drug-free lifestyles, consider those terrible costs. Susy, it’s the first week of the new year. Many people made or are making resolutions. The men and women of the DEA want everyone to add staying away from drugs as one of those resolutions. This will help our city, our state and our nation become a safer and healthier nation.
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