The war on drugs has been a very personal one for me. Not only have I had my own battle with drugs, I have had relationships with people who have had also suffered from addiction. What I can tell you from my experiences is that it isn’t a criminal issue.
For me, I was fortunate enough to have a great support system and was able to get clean without treatment. My ex, unfortunately, could not. Not that I am better than those who need treatment. Those who seek treatment are the brave ones.
One of the biggest problems with the current system is that unless you have great insurance or are independently wealthy, it can take weeks to get into treatment. Don’t get me started on the fact that many hospitals are not equipped to deal with someone who is detoxing.
So what will help win the war on drugs? Prevention and treatment have to be a priority. Currently only two cents of every dollar spent on the “war on drugs” is spent on any kind of prevention and treatment. A study by the RAND Corporation found treatment is 10 times more cost effective than interdiction in reducing the use of cocaine in the United States and that every additional dollar invested in substance abuse treatment saves taxpayers $7.46 in societal costs. Source: Rydell, C.P. & Everingham, S.S., Controlling Cocaine, Prepared for the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the United States Army (Santa Monica, CA: Drug Policy Research Center, RAND Corporation, 1994). The National Treatment Improvement Evaluation Study (NTIES) found that with treatment: drug selling decreased by 78%, shoplifting declined by almost 82%, and assaults (defined as ‘beating someone up’) declined by 78%. Furthermore, there was a 64% decrease in arrests for any crime, and the percentage of people who largely supported themselves through illegal activity dropped by nearly half – decreasing more than 48 percent. Source: Center for Substance Abuse and Treatment, National Treatment Improvement Evaluation Study 1997 Highlights.
I also believe that Oxycontin and Oxycodone both need to be the very last resort for pain management. I have had many people around me who have been prescribed these then moved to heroin after they could no longer get their prescriptions anymore.
I want you to know, if you are suffering from addiction, it doesn’t mean that you are bad, wrong, or evil. You are perfect, whole, and complete just as you are you don’t need to add anything to be better. Just look at what is working in your life rather than what is missing and start to see why you use.
If you are ready for help, please check out https://www.naatp.org/ for assistance.