There Is No Such Thing as the War on Drugs | Teen Ink

There Is No Such Thing as the War on Drugs

May 20, 2019
By Anonymous

There is no such thing as the war on drugs. Or, more specifically, the "war on drugs" is not a term that one can make much sense of. The issue with this prevails in the fact that when one holds a light to the issue, the victims caught in the cross fire are actually the individuals who suffer from addiction. The problem here, rests in the hands of those who hold the most power - that being politicians (as it often is).

The thing is, we are taking the wrong approach. Policy makers have not had the foresight to comprehend the secondary impacts that drug criminalization would have. That is, criminalization actually leads to more dangerous, potent products and distribution practices.

To expand, when drugs are criminalized, they cannot be monitored by experienced industry professionals or federal regulations. This can result in dangerous and unknown substances ending up in these drugs. Plus, when drug distributors need to transport more drugs in smaller quantities, the drugs get more potent and thus more harmful. Not to mention, gang violence erupts when users and distributors cannot turn to the law to settle their disputes.

It needs to be understood that the demand for illegal substances will never deplete. Addictions will always exist. However, by abolishing possession we are hurting the most vulnerable populations of our society. So, how do we fix it?

We need to start treating substance abuse as a social issue, not a matter of law. As a nation, we need an understanding of the matter of addiction, and we cannot ethically continue to stigmatize it the way that we currently are now. Users simply are not being helped by criminalizing possession.

In Canada, steps in the right direction have been taken with safe injection sites, and even the legalization of marijuana. It seems that this act alone is starting to bring to light the idea that incarceration is perhaps not always the best approach. But we need to take it farther. We need more safe injection rehabilitation programming, and more support for those who need it. As individuals, we need to stop seeing substance abuse as intimidating and dangerous, and start seeing it as a social issue. One person at a time, we can win a war.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Dec. 19 2019 at 2:40 pm
SavannahReid BRONZE, Sacramento, California
1 article 0 photos 2 comments
Yor article really breaks down one the main issues of the world today and shows others that no one is trying to do something to help these addictions.