Should drug abuse be considered a health problem rather than a criminal problem?

  • Treatment, yes. Prosecution, no.

    Much like smoking, alcoholism and overeating, drug abuse is a serious health-related dilemma. Heath issues can't be successfully addressed or treated by outlawing their existence. The failed and never-ending war on drugs is prima facie evidence arguing against this approach.

    Instead of illogically investing in jails, prisons and larger court systems to prosecute drug abusers, that money would be more effectively spent on addiction research, treatment programs and drug abuse education.

    I will even go so far as to say that classifying drug abuse as a crime actually exacerbates the problem by pushing the problem underground, providing incentives for drug abusers to associate with criminal drug dealers and to engage in petty crimes to support their drug habits. The entire illicit drug trade supported by this underground market has financed a vast international criminal network.

    It's time to put an end to the illogical and counterproductive practice of criminalizing moral and health-related issues, like drug abuse. Decriminalization of drug abuse should by no means be seen an endorsement of the practice or a sign of giving up. Instead, it's a simple, logical acknowledgment that criminalization does not successfully address the problem and, in fact, makes the underlying problem worse.

    Drug abuse should not be prosecuted; it should be treated. Drug addicts should not be warehoused in prisons; they should be diagnosed and given access to medical and psychological services. Preventing drug abuse and successfully addressing the problem of drug abuse should be the priority, not prosecuting those suffering from its consequences. Carefully regulating and taxing the drug trade would provide funding for expanded research, innovative treatments and aggressive educational programs. It would also deny that money to petty drug dealers and violent organized criminal cartels.

    It's time for society to acknowledge that criminalization of drug use does not work. It's time to get serious, get real and deal with this national health emergency in intelligent ways that actually show promise of producing results instead of continuing on with a failed strategy that hasn't worked, won't work and which produces more problems than it purports to solve.

  • Addiction is a disease.

    It's time for us to start treating drug addiction the way we treat alcoholism (which, by the way, is a form of drug addiction) and recognize it for being the disease that it is. You wouldn't punish someone for having cancer or depression, so you shouldn't do the same thing for having an addiction. Treatment, not prisons.

  • Yes, but only for a certain amount.

    Drugs should be considered a health problem because although many individuals abuse them in the wrong way, it does not make it fair to others who need is for medical reasons. Everyone considers drugs such as heroine, cocaine, psychedelic mushrooms, and ecstasy to be very serious drugs, which they are. But these drugs, if used in the right amounts, have been tested and proved to help people with certain medical problems, such as OCD, depression, major headaches, and so much more. Not only would it benefit medically, it would help also benefit financially. It costs a whole lot more to put someone away in prison then it is to help them seek the attention they need in rehabilitation centers. Drug use is a serious issue and needs to be looked at in the right perspective.

  • Yes, in most cases

    I believe that because in order to stop drug abuse it should not be criminalized. I think that making drug abusers into criminals prevents many of them from getting help. Although drug abuse can harm society, in general drug abusers only harm themselves. I believe it should be viewed the same way as alcohol abuse and help should be more open.

  • Yes, some of the time

    There are times where drug abuse is simply a response to underlying medical conditions, or a mental problem. There are other times that drug abuse is a social or personal issue. In the medical cases, then it should be considered a health problem. In the social cases, it should be a criminal issue.

  • Yes, drug abuse should be considered a health problem

    There are so many conflicting messages regarding the consumption of drugs that it makes one ask what really are society's thoughts and attitudes towards drugs. Obviously, illicit drugs are generally seen as wrong and problematic because they're illicit. However, you can't watch a TV program or look in a women's magazine with out seeing an add for some prescription drug that can induce addiction and a whole lot of other ailments that are worse than the ailment you were initially taking it for. Yes, drug use is a health problem.

  • No I think drug abuse should be treated as both a health problem and a criminal problem.

    I think drug abuse is a health problem and a criminal problem. It is a health problem obviously because it deteriorates your body and brain, and it is a criminal problem because those drugs are illegal. I think if the person does not want to seek help he should be forced into rehab.

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