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Soybeans, corn, and tobacco are still Kentucky's three highest cash crops-the legal ones, that is. However, many Federal and State officials are adding another one to the list; unfortunately, it isn't legal to grow it.
The State of Kentucky is home to five national parks. Each of these parks encompasses hundreds, perhaps even thousands of acres. Some of these areas are rarely, if ever, visited by tourists, but they do see their share of human contact.

That's because many Kentucky residents are using National Park land to grow marijuana, which by the way is what the first paragraph was making reference to. National Park officials report that more and more plants are being discovered on National Park land. When Park officials find the plants, they destroy them. They know, however, that the ones they do find are just drops in the bucket compared to the many others that are out there.

What is even more disturbing is that the people who are growing the marijuana are using many of the same dangerous, sometimes even deadly methods to protect their marijuana plants as old-timers did to protect the moonshine stills that once dotted the state. Things such as poisonous snakes tethered in such a way that they cannot leave a particular site, but provided with natural foliage in order to remain camouflaged, and trip wires that release arrows, spears, or other deadly implements.

The prevalence of marijuana is also seen in the number of people who admit to using it. Of 25,428 Kentucky residents surveyed, 3,484 admitted to using marijuana. The next highest substance of abuse was alcohol.

An even more disturbing statistic, however, is that in a survey of those who were admitted to drug treatment centers, 0.1% of the admissions were of children between the age of 0 and 11 years. As if that weren't bad enough, 0.2% of children between the age of 0 and 11 years who were admitted to drug treatment centers were there because of an addiction to smoked cocaine.

Kentucky also has problems with other substances of abuse; however the numbers aren't really important. What is important is that even with these sobering statistics, there is hope. And, that hope can be found in any one of Kentucky's 270 drug and alcohol treatment centers.

Thankfully, many of the drug and alcohol treatment centers are designed to treat children and adolescents. By attending counseling sessions and participating in other activities, they will learn how to continue throughout the rest of their childhood and adolescence without having to resort to drug or alcohol use.

Parents or guardians who have children or adolescents who need the services of any of the drug and alcohol treatment centers in Kentucky will most likely be able to afford the treatment. This is because many of the facilities have payment arrangements, which include acceptance of medical insurance coverage, both civilian and military, sliding scale fee arrangements which base payment amounts on the household income, and other options. You can get help if your child needs it.

In the meantime, parents and guardians can do their part to decrease marijuana use by children and adolescents in Kentucky. They can do this by taking an active part in their child's life, by helping them choose friends wisely, and most importantly, by being drug or alcohol free themselves.

Therefore, if parents or guardians need help for their substance abuse problem, they should get it for themselves as well as for their children. In this way, they will lead by example.

The "old folks" used to refer the passing down of bad habits or problems as a "generational curse". As an adult, you can take responsibility for your actions. This includes something as simple as not using drugs or alcohol yourself, as was mentioned earlier, and by doing your part to help your State and Federal authorities in their efforts to curb the growing and distribution of marijuana in Kentucky.

http://www.justice.gov/ndic/pubs1/1540/marijuan.htm
http://cdar.uky.edu/ktos/downloads/report/Section%205%20&%206.pdf

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