The War on Drugs Isn’t Working

The+War+on+Drugs+Isn%27t+Working

Photo courtesy of Flick via Creative Commons License

How many times have you been told not to do drugs? Time and time again, we’re remindedAi??of the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse, yet many people continue to do drugs and succumb to addiction. We warn people againstAi??it, yet many do, and pay the price for it. The way in which we approach and perceive addicts is an essential part of helping to fix this.

Peopleai??i??s ability to handle difficult parts of their lives contribute greatly to addiction and the consequences. The American political satirist P.J. Oai??i??Rourke saidAi??it thusly: “…No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.” O’Rourke is right. If our approach isnai??i??t working, we should try something else, focusing on the people themselves instead of the drugs.

Drug addiction can be handled in different, more helpful ways. During the Vietnam war, 15% of U.S serviceman were addicted to heroin. Hundreds of heroin addicts over the course of the war were sent back to normal lifestyles, void of any kind of rehabilitation. Rather than a court martial, the Nixon administration countered this with treatment. Through the system, those caught with heroin in their systems would be forced to get help instead of being sent home immediately. This helped somewhat, and by 1970, only 11% had even tried heroin.

If their generation could learn to combat drug abuseAi??like this, surely it can work forAi??addicts nowadays.

We should start by helping people come clean instead of chasing a nearly impossible goal. Admittedly, itai??i??s hard to help those who donai??i??t want help, but we have to wonder why they donai??i??t want help, and why they started in the first place. Often times, people explain that their attraction to drugs is born out of emotional stressAi??and depression. Drugs to them are a means of dealing with life’s problems. If such is the case, we should focus on the core of the issue; you simply canai??i??t get rid of drugs. Such is the nature of supply and demand. The key is to help those who want help.

A great example of this working is Switzerland. They opened up clinics in which people could get medical assistance and help with employment and housing, as well as, believe it or not, clean needles with which to inject under medical supervision. Incredibly enough, drug-related crimes plummeted, and ai??i?? of those who sought help returned to normal jobs and, eventually, normal lives. 70% of addicts in Switzerland get help. This is not only cheaper than the so called “hard-line” policy employed in the United States, it was more effective. Thereai??i??s no reason not to try other ways of dealing with drug abuse, especially when the amount of time and money spent on cracking down on dealers and cartels has only lead to mass incarcerations, violence, and crime.

Drug addicts aren’t always criminals, and addiction is a disease, not a crime. born out of normal people who have problems dealing with their life problems, or trying to fit in. They should learn to deal with their issues without drugs and only medical and therapeutic aid can help. A five-year prison sentence isnai??i??t going to fix the underlying problems of addiction.Ai??