Decriminalize or Legalize All Drugs? Rehabilitation Instead Of Punishment

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opioid epidemic decriminalization the answer

So it’s no secret that we being the Western world are in the midst of an opioid crisis, we are told that many people are dying from overdoses and that I’m sure like myself many people have been touched by someone they personally know that has succumbed to this battle. So to find out why we are here we need to examine what got us here to begin with.

Many may point to how for minor injuries or pain that something with opioids was given to them for the pain, this is true and unfortunately how many become hooked. I’m sure that most people if they had a choice would never choose to become an addict of this horrible drug.

There are stories of how the doctors suddenly stop prescribing these meds and it’s already too late, so people cross state lines and shop for doctors and even will stoop to forging prescriptions to get there hands on these drugs.

Much of the deaths are attributed to fentanyl, which depending on the sources, can be difficult to tell exactly the strength and quality of these street derivatives of these drugs. Many people that can no longer get these meds through legitimate means have turned to black market sources for these drugs.

Some popular places where these drugs can be found are through sketchy dark net sources, this is not helping those who really have no idea how pure these drugs are and just a small amount can actually kill you.

Much of what has led to this epidemic, is that doctors are prescribing these drugs for very minor instances of pain, much too loosely in my opinion. I always thought that doctors would move away from giving these drugs to patients unless they were facing a terminal illness and had extreme pain that required these powerfully addictive medications, but it looks like the opposite effect is happening.

So some people are so dopesick that they will literally turn to any form of the drug that is available, like even shooting up with street heroin just to ease their pain and make life livable for another short while. Many compassionate folks are now tasked with operating “safe injection” sites throughout Vancouver, Canada, to observe and be ready to offer Narcan in a safe environment.

Overdoses are on the rise and have been steadily, because the street heroin is oftentimes cut with the super powerful form of fentanyl, where the user has no idea what is in the product. This is extremely dangerous and many people are not only dying in the streets but are tying up the EMT services throughout many Western Nations.

It really sickens me that these drugs are not being considered for decriminalization, whereas they can be properly regulated and will help those stuck with this horrible affliction to not overdose on god knows what is in the street product.

I honestly think that it would really take a horrible disease to makes someone need to stick a needle in their arm, I can’t fully comprehend, because I have never used these drugs myself, but I know many people that have met their untimely end to this horrible disease. Enough is enough.

We need to decriminalize and destigmatize these drugs and maybe even regulate them as to better treat this disease, people who want to change, and especially get off of opiates, need much more attention, some would say hands on support to kick this habit and this is just simply not possible in the environment we are living in now.

If police resources were shifted from criminalizing this behaviour I feel there would be more resources available particularly funding to offer real rehabilitation, or regulation where the product they are given will not kill them and the money will not be going towards the black market.

They say we live in a free society where you would think we’d be allowed to truly be free and choose for ourselves what we want for ourselves, offering a safe manner for ingesting what they are likely to have led to this problem would involve them providing a safe manner for those that are afflicted with this horrible disease that I would not wish on any human being to at least do it in a safe manner with regulated dosages.

There is also much talk about how many psychedelics out there can offer hope for those suffering with ailments like depression, anxiety and other medical ailments. Unfortunately this stigmatization has prevented these drugs from being largely studied as alternatives to the readily available prescription pharmaceuticals that are all to prevalent within our society. Maybe these drugs could offer hope to those that are suffering, where is our freedom, again?

It’s about time we have real discussions on what the next move can be, it’s clear that due to the epidemic proportions of what is happening now that this old way is not working, we need to revisit with real questions and find real solutions to these issues that are affecting us all whether we want to admit it or not.

Maybe Legalization is a Better Choice

I would go a step further and promote legalized drugs altogether. Think about it if the government was responsible for ensuring that the drugs and dosages were “safe” then it would be far safer as a whole than the stuff that’s laced with fentanyl and killing many people it really is an epidemic.

I see this battle as something that mostly stems from opioids used in pain medications and being promoted by the healthcare industry, then once cut off, the powerfully addictive nature of these medications makes many turn to the street to get their “fix”. This is where people are dying from using drugs laced with fentanyl and other horrible substances.

Think about it from the perspective of supply and demand, the more supply of something means the less of a cost for it. It would no longer be so hugely profitable for the cartels, would cut down on crime, and show people that we can be compassionate and put the law enforcement budget into rehabilitation.

Imagine if we actually had someone to stand with each and every user and we placed that much social responsibility into actually solving a problem, rather than punishing. I believe we’d be stronger for it and more people would actually want to succeed because they know there’s someone there who actually cares about them getting well. Social responsibility.

I don’t think that people would want to be addicted to hard drugs, I think if they had an honest shot to succeed and had compassion from others to make better choices that they in turn would. We are told we are free, we are told we have liberty, but I still don’t see how this is the case, unless we are free to make those choices ourselves.

I see more positives from legalization than I do from criminalization. Of course this is on the assumption of a legal age, so I would want it to be over 18 and you are free to make whatever decisions that don’t harm others.

When the onus is on the individual rather than trying not to get caught by the state I have hope that most people would not want to destroy their lives and employability for a substance, but if they go down that path we should not punish them but rather offer them hope and support to get back on the right path.

Let’s face it, it is not that much of a deterrent, I know of many places I could get any drugs I wanted, this does not mean I’m going to go do those drugs, or those same drugs if they are legalized, rather I would appreciate the ability and freedom to make up my own mind and have the onus on myself.

If young people get caught up in drugs then I feel it is so much more important to show them compassion and caring, because they have a better position to change and are still malleable in nature if we paid people to care rather than enforce drug laws, it very much possible that we could reach a better outcome rather than punishment.

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