Being born in the first half of the last century provides a vantage point on addiction without the personal experience.
Heroin is a bigger problem than World War because the cost and death rate are exacerbated by ignorant, heavy-handed governments who incarcerate drug addicts whose brains are permanently changed. Addicts have cravings for drugs, cravings beyond the control of the doctors, the government and the addict, -beyond the power of medicine to cure and certainly not cured by punishment. Addiction happens despite the will or wishes of the addict.
The U.S. now spends about $40 billion a year waging its spectacularly unsuccessful War on Drugs that has imprisoned up to 400,000 people — the vast majority nonviolent offenders who suffer with addiction. Over 111,000 people, many just bystanders, have been killed in Mexico alone.
Government ineptness on a scale so massive is almost beyond comprehension but the data shows incarceration has practically no effect on heroin addiction and incarceration unwittingly causes the economic ruin of families whose retirement savings vanish trying to pay for “Rehab” for their children, grandchildren and spouses.
After “Rehab” a friend went thru a $450,000 inheritance in a year-long drug-induced spending spree. Rehabs offer hopeless “cures”. Rehab absolutely fails. Rehabs get addicts “sober” for perhaps a few days after completion. Even “Recovered” addicts who are sober for years, maybe decades before they follow the John Beklushi’s, Seymor Hoffman’s, Bam Bam Bigelow’s, Lennie Bruces and perhaps millions of less famous people who were nevertheless victims of heroin or other drugs and incarcerated under the stupid premise: “punishing addicts cures addiction”. A moment’s reflection shows incarceration cannot cure the changed brain of addiction. Deranged government dervishes include dumb, inept, politically appointed therefore corrupt, malicious judges who incarcerate addicts, often in prisons run by friends. Punishment cures neither cancer nor addiction.
What should parents and grandparents do about addicted children and grandchildren? Hope they don’t die in some filthy place? Buy a coffin? Drain their savings and sell their homes? One thing’s for certain. Government isn’t on their side and is acting against the best interests of everyone except the pushers and producers who are enriched sufficiently to buy submarines, dig thousands of tunnels to supply a market that includes the murder of competitors on the streets of our cities and who are gleeful for the support of corrupt government. The War on Drugs has killed innocents and turned parents and grandparents into paupers.
Fighting the military equivalent of nuclear weapons with spitballs hasn’t worked because it cannot work.
How successful has Pennsylvania’s State Store System been in curing alcoholism? None -yet alcoholism is small potatoes to Addiction.
The War on Drugs has strong racial overtones too. It worked brilliantly in destroying the lives of the poor all out of proportion to the similar destruction of too many middle class users while the super rich can afford the drugs and useless rehab’s while easily paying the ridiculous fines that if anything are spectacular in their failures. The poor cannot pay. They are sent to jail. Black people are over-represented because the War on Drugs affects, wrongly, black people more than whites or Hispanics
Drug use increases pregnancy and abortion rates. In a diabolical way the War on Drugs produces more pregnancies. Most are unplanned and unwanted but the point is the failures of the government drug war causes an increase in abortions while severely misguided abortion opponents increase the injustice.
A startlingly successful drug treatment is Suboxone. No guarantees but a better short term success rate however the dumb, diabolical, controlling government caused a thriving black market in Suboxone.
How about lowering the prices of street drugs? If government simply backs off its failed 100 year War on Drugs, suppliers would compete; the price would drop until the dealers go out of business meaning no dealers, no drugs. Cheap heroin dries up the market but what happens to the addicts? Government won’t let go of them because bureaucrats and judges view them as revenue streams. There are neither good answers nor cures for addiction but why does government make people suffer? Because that’s the nature of government.
See “Kids For Cash” at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kids_for_cash_scandal