Targeting Yuppie Drug Users

William Bennett’s first major decision on the war against drugs--to concentrate on the “yuppie drug users"--is a clearly misguided attempt and, although well-intentioned, reveals a crucial lack of understanding of the problems of urban communities (Part I, March 20). I do recognize that drug use and abuse, by any sector of our society, are wrong and of some concern.

However, I must point out the following to Bennett: It is not yuppies who are selling drugs on our school campuses; it is not yuppies who are peddling drugs on every other corner in our community; it is not yuppies who have turned to prostitution so that they can get a quick high; it is not yuppies who are stealing from their family members to support their habit, and it is not yuppies who are engaging in nightly warfare over the establishments of turf for cocaine trafficking. The fact of the matter is that the most serious and the worst problems in our society resulting from drug addiction are not affecting yuppies.

Bennett’s position represents the very type of ivory-tower approach which we--in the heart of the problem--have always feared. I do not profess to have the answer, but I recognize that Bennett is starting at the wrong end. Any solution to the drug problem in our community will have to contain some combination of law enforcement, rehabilitation, punishment and early education about the dangers of drug use. These efforts must be directed to where the major problems exist--the urban communities. If Bennett does not recognize this, then he is obviously not in touch with what is occurring in these communities.