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If you were to ask anyone at random, what is the most dangerous threat to our country, he’d likely say China, Russia, or Iran, because those countries are, or soon will be, a military threat to our nation. Some might say a polluted environment is our greatest enemy, while others might say the increase in rioting and looting from coast to coast. It’s highly unlikely that many people will say the greatest threat comes from the drug cartels that destroy the lives of tens of thousands of Americans each year. Deaths from illicit drug use can be differentiated in several ways, including an indirect risk factor for premature death from disease or injury, deaths directly attributed to drug overdoses, and violent deaths caused by clashes among gang members involved in the distribution of the lethal substances. We frequently read about the huge weekly death toll in major cities where drug gangs operate. The aforementioned are only those involving statistics on death caused by illegal drugs, it doesn’t include the thousands of families that deal with the devastating albeit non-lethal effects of addiction.

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