002 Reading an American magazine with my students

 

 

My students and I read a feature article in an American magazine about the "drug problem in America.”

That there are 64,000 drug-related deaths per year, lowering the average life expectancy in the US for the second year in a row.

There is no sign of improvement and the situation is only getting worse.

The words of a person who got involved in drugs lightly.

The fact that it has become so widespread that it is no longer anyone's concern.

When terrorists kill people, the authorities fly in, but when people die from drugs, no one comes to help.

The words of a former addict who is now a counselor, "My shameful past is helping others.”

A woman in her thirties who got involved in drugs when she was six months pregnant and is terrified for her unborn baby.

The fact that the number of dead mentioned above is about the same as the number of dead Americans in recent wars.

Finally, the words of a photographer who has been taking pictures for the feature.

It is very heavy and dark. "Is this America today?” Some of the students asked me with concern.

It is certainly hard to believe when you only see and hear light news from Japan.

In relation to the number of people I mentioned earlier, I told the students that if you consider the population ratio, more than 50 people die every year from drugs in Tsukuba City alone.

Of course, this is the number of deaths, so the number of addicts is probably many times that number.

It is easy to imagine that if you walk around the city, you will come across addicts stumbling around or maybe even driving their cars.

Another thing I talked about was to calculate if each of the 64,000 people, most of whom are probably adults, had a decent job and earned an income.

Even if each of the 60,000 adults earned only 10,000 yen a year, the total would be 600 million yen.

Of course, there is no such thing as 10,000 yen per year, so even if we estimate the annual income at a low level of 1 million yen per person, the total income would be 60 billion yen, and this is for the first year.

This is 60 billion yen for the first year, and since the people who died in the second year will remain the same, a new 60 billion yen will be generated, making the total 120 billion yen.

In addition, if the same number of people die in the second year, another 60 billion yen will be generated.

The third year.... The third year will bring tremendous economic loss and misery to the lives of the people who died and the families left behind.

Of course, the nation also has to suffer.

I was reminded of the story of the opium epidemic in China (then called "Qing").

This is what my students and I talk about as we go through our English class.

(502 words)

 

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