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Thread: How should society manage drug addicts?

  1. #1
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    Default How should society manage drug addicts?

    Do any members have any thoughts on how society should manage people who are hopelessly addicted to heroin/ice etc, and have resorted to stealing to support their habit. They are obviously in a different category to profit driven thieves, but have crossed a line, where they are now hurting others, not just themselves. This isn't an attempt by me to say "so therefore we should legalise ", nor am I angling at "hang the evil peddlers". Though without them, the problem arguably would not exist. Sounds like it would require a multi-pronged strategy.
    Just interested to hear forum members opinions.
    Thanks in advance

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: How should society manage drug addicts?

    Cut out the cancer that is prohibition, and then allow doctors the discretion to prescribe drugs like heroin to addicts, and treat them as people with an addiction rather than a criminal and provide them the support they need so that when/if they want to come off it they have a better chance to turn their life around. That said there are plenty of high functioning drug addicts too that have no desire to come off their usage, just like many who drink alcohol.

    For alcohol those who want off it can receive support and are not treated as criminals (or I hope they are not) and drugs should be the same.

    Prohibition pisses me off, really what does it do?
    - We had drugs before and after prohibition, it didn't get rid of them in fact drug use has soared since prohibition
    - It makes criminals of many people who otherwise are not
    - It creates crime and gangs that exist to supply it, just as alcohol prohibition grew the strength of the mafia in America.
    - Prohibition makes drugs stronger IMHO, you get charged on weight not strength so a dealer/grower (say for marijuana) is going to keep producing stronger cannibals with higher and higher THC content as the penalty is the same whether it is 3% THC or 25% THC. Same with other drugs, stronger drugs that you transport smaller amounts/weight with higher effects makes perfect sense under prohibition.

    TL;DR - The only solution IMHO is to decriminalize the drugs, treat addicts as people with an illness rather than criminals and stop providing a lucrative market for mafia/gangs, and beyond that educating people of the dangers of particular drugs.
    Last edited by joele; 1st December 2015 at 05:37 PM.

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  5. 1st December 2015, 05:31 PM

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  6. #3
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    Default Re: How should society manage drug addicts?

    The systematic review identified 15 international studies examining the impact of drug law enforcement on violence. Contrary to the prevailing belief that drug law enforcement reduces violence, 87% of the studies (13 studies) observed that drug law enforcement was associated with increasing levels of drug market violence.

    “Widespread drug-related violence in places like Mexico and the US, as well as the gun violence we are increasingly seeing on Canadian streets, appears to be directly attributable to drug prohibition,” said co-author Dr. Evan Wood, a BC-CfE researcher. “Prohibition drives up the value of these substances astronomically, thereby creating lucrative markets exploited by organized crime. Any disruption of these markets through drug law enforcement seems to have the perverse effect of creating financial opportunities for organized crime groups, and gun violence often ensues.”
    http://uhri.cfenet.ubc.ca/content/view/83

  7. #4
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    Default Re: How should society manage drug addicts?

    De-criminalise and medicalise drug addicts. Moar funding for medical/psychological support. Be relatively lenient with mules, they provide info about further up the food chain. For the top drug dealers, life with hard labor. "Papillon style". More lenient sentences and conditions for those who inform on their bosses. New identities if necessary for witnesses.
    Mafia bosses/drug lords who interfere with the court [with judge, jurers, lawyers, etc] get their case dismissed, and a one way [free] trip out over the ocean without a parachute.
    Just stick to the idea that science tests falsifiable hypotheses to destruction.

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  9. #5
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    Default Re: How should society manage drug addicts?

    I don't know if decriminalisation is enough by itself, as long as drugs are illegal to sell we provide a lucrative revenue stream for organised crime. At least if 'softer' drugs were legal it cuts off that stream and provides choices to people who want to partake, and they don't have to visit drug dealers to get it.

    It is an interesting discussion, it is just a shame we can't have a grown up conversation in parliament about it. Even hemp, which has no recreational use, is crippled (the industry) in this country and when it came up last time Tony and his cronnies giggled like children, and no change was made.
    Last edited by joele; 1st December 2015 at 08:15 PM.

  10. #6
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    Default Re: How should society manage drug addicts?

    This is my 9 step program

    1. Rethink the nature of addiction because the traditional understanding of the condition is just plain wrong.

    2. Decriminalisation of everything.

    3. Provide heroin to heroin addicts, ice to ice addicts, lsd to me...no no i mean lsd to lsd addicts

    4. Provision of these substances comes with a genuine, deep and long term program that helps people choose to quit

    5. Compete with organised crime in some markets - eg, cannabis and MDMA ensuring quality and safety and tax revenue.

    6. Very harsh penalties for possession of commercial quantities

    7. Illegalise AA and other like organisations. Their approach does not work, it is outdated, ignorant of the nature of addiction and gives false hope.

    8. De-stigmatise not only addiction but substance use generally given that humans have been doing it since...well, since we were human.

    9. Give license to research and development to come up with chemicals that we can take that are non addictive, harmless and dont cause destruction and mayhem - but are fucking awesome to take!

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  12. #7
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    Default Re: How should society manage drug addicts?

    I think it was Portugal that decriminalized drugs a few years back, accompanied with a program to assist people with getting healthy again. Worked amazingly well, according to the documentary.
    http://www.newsweek.com/greenwald-wh...g-drugs-349992
    Last edited by knowledge is power; 1st December 2015 at 09:43 PM. Reason: To add a link
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  14. #8
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    Default Re: How should society manage drug addicts?

    Quote joele said View Post
    Cut out the cancer that is prohibition, and then allow doctors the discretion to prescribe drugs like heroin to addicts, and treat them as people with an addiction rather than a criminal and provide them the support they need so that when/if they want to come off it they have a better chance to turn their life around. That said there are plenty of high functioning drug addicts too that have no desire to come off their usage, just like many who drink alcohol.

    For alcohol those who want off it can receive support and are not treated as criminals (or I hope they are not) and drugs should be the same.

    Prohibition pisses me off, really what does it do?
    - We had drugs before and after prohibition, it didn't get rid of them in fact drug use has soared since prohibition
    - It makes criminals of many people who otherwise are not
    - It creates crime and gangs that exist to supply it, just as alcohol prohibition grew the strength of the mafia in America.
    - Prohibition makes drugs stronger IMHO, you get charged on weight not strength so a dealer/grower (say for marijuana) is going to keep producing stronger cannibals with higher and higher THC content as the penalty is the same whether it is 3% THC or 25% THC. Same with other drugs, stronger drugs that you transport smaller amounts/weight with higher effects makes perfect sense under prohibition.

    TL;DR - The only solution IMHO is to decriminalize the drugs, treat addicts as people with an illness rather than criminals and stop providing a lucrative market for mafia/gangs, and beyond that educating people of the dangers of particular drugs.
    Good post joele, lots of good points, but I was thinking that the strategy of keeping heroin addicts constantly supplied might make them disinclined to ever stop. From what I have read (and I have no first hand experience), getting off it is to horrible to even contemplate, so it may create a (admittedly very small) sector of society who have no real likelihood of ever getting off it.

    I agree with all your other points, particularly treating them as addicts not criminals.
    So maybe the best we can hope for is to disempower the drug dealers, and empower the drug addicts, while tacitly accepting that they will always be addicts.

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  16. #9
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    Default Re: How should society manage drug addicts?

    We dont get addiction. I'm an addict. I know why and i know how to fix it but there is not the societal infrastructure to do so so. Read this this stoker

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/johann...l?ir=Australia

    Heroin is not necessarily the addiction it is portrayed to be.

    Going to an office to clinically shoot up excellent quality junk everyday is not really that enticing a proposition especially after a month or two - its kind of lame actually.

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  18. #10
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    Default Re: How should society manage drug addicts?

    Thanks for the link pipbarber. I'm not disagreeing with you, but is the explanation provided incomplete. Aren't there examples of people who "have everything", movie stars etc, who have serious gambling/substance addictions? Maybe it's not just loneliness, and feelings of disconnectedness/ not having an intellectual focus in life etc.
    Maybe some people have a psychological disposition (and I'm not a psychologist, so what I'm saying could be wrong), that means they should never try these things in the first place, ever. And I'm am not accusing you of being weak-willed, so please don't take this the wrong way. I may not have given this enough thought to be trying to crystalize my ideas on a public forum. But in principle I completely agree that the idea of an "addict" taken in isolation removed from it's societal ecosystem is the wrong way to approach the issue.

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