In High Society, Joseph Califano points out that a child who reaches twenty-one without smoking, using illegal drugs, or abusing alcohol is virtually certain never to do soand chronicles the fearful cost in personal pain and public dollars of our nation's failure to act on this truth.
Califano shows how substance abuse is the culprit in violent and property crime, soaring Medicare and Medicaid costs, family breakup, domestic violence, the spread of AIDS, teen pregnancy, poverty, and low productivity. He takes on alcohol and tobacco interests that buy political protection with campaign contributions and seed a culture of substance abuse among our nation's children and teens. He explains the importance of parent power, proposes revolutionary changes in prevention, treatment, and criminal justice, and calls upon every individual and institution to confront this plague that has maimed and killed more Americans than all our wars, natural catastrophes, and traffic accidents combined.
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About the Author
Joseph A. Califano, Jr. served as LBJ's domestic affairs chief and Jimmy Carter's secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, where he started the nation's first national anti-smoking campaign in 1978, calling cigarette smoking "Public Health Enemy Number One." In 1992 he founded The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, now recognized as the nation's top think/action tank on substance abuse involving tobacco, alcohol and illegal, prescription and performance enhancing drugs.