Today, however, the fastest-growing population of drug abusers is white, middle-aged Americans. This is a powerful mainstream constituency, and unlike with teenagers or urban minorities, it is hard for the government or the news media to present these drug users as a grave threat to the nation. ... Among Americans in their 40s and 50s, deaths from illicit-drug overdoses have risen by 800 percent since 1980, including 300 percent in the last decade. In 2004, American hospital emergency rooms treated 400,000 patients between the ages 35 and 64 for abusing heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, hallucinogens and "club drugs" like ecstasy.
As the writer, Mike Males, argues, it looks like the ONDCP should perhaps spend a little less time a) targeting teens with ads and b) asking those same teens if they're doing drugs ("Why, of course I am!") and spend a little more time targeting older folks. Hmmmm, suddenly those spots featuring Dennis Hopper start to make sense.
Then again, if enough of these fools off themselves, that Social Security crisis might never materialize.