There is a heroine epidemic in my town and in the county where I live in New Jersey.
More than 80 people have died from drug overdoses since the beginning of the year and many of those deaths have come as a result of heroine use.
Why heroine? Well, according to the story that I read it offers a bigger bang for the buck. In other words you can get higher with less heroine than with more of something else so in the long run (if you have a long run) you can save money. And saving money is as important in drug use it seems as it is important in other facets of our society.
Anyway, the heroin “epidemic” has compelled lawmakers in my state to propose legislation that would attempt to curtail the local drug trade by basically…making the penalties for selling heroine…tougher. Which will of course mean that more drug dealers and users will probably be going to jail…and the problem will undoubtedly just shift to another drug that comes along to take its place.
More than likely there is a drug epidemic in your, town, county, state too, but probably just with a different drug. People like to take drugs, or just can’t seem to help themselves…and the money that can be made selling them makes the drug trade just too lucrative for them to be scared away from by the penalty of incarceration.
The combinations of desire, addiction, greed and avarice are so powerful and overwhelming among humans that I sometimes wonder why I have never succumbed to the forces of drug addiction or dealing. Is it because I am a superior human being? Or is it just because I was never poor enough or addicted enough to need to get involved with drugs?
Is it something I lack, rather than something I have?
I humbly ask this question only because nothing that we have done so far in the history of the drug war has worked as far as getting people to stop using or stop selling drugs to one another and yet rather than come up with new ideas or approaches to the problem we continue to try and fight “the war” in the same old way.
Is this just another side effect of drug addiction? There is a lot of money to be made in law enforcement and in the penal system and a lot of reputations to be built in politics and law making and the judicial system on the backs of America’s drug addicts and sellers. Would large portions of our economy crumble without an illicit and illegal drug trade?
And Despite tough anti-drug laws, and 2.2 million prisoners in our jails, a new survey by The World Health Organization shows that the U.S. has the highest level of illegal drug use in the world…And that drug use is not simply related to drug policy, since countries with tough illegal drug policies did not have lower levels of use than countries with liberal ones,
So what gives? Why do we continue to pursue the same old policies when it comes to drugs and drug use in America? They don’t work. They have never worked. There is absolutely no reason to believe that they ever will.
Meanwhile, members of the United States Congress and many others are doing their best to block the administration of the Affordable Healthcare Act because they say…before even giving the new policy a chance to work…that it will fail and cost too much money.
With over 1 trillion dollars spent on the war on drugs in the last 40 years and with state and federal agencies continuing to spend over 30 billion dollars per year on what has proven time and time again to be a failed policy…is it really any wonder why we can’t find any money to pay for healthcare in this country and why certain groups want to make sure that we never do?
Simply put, and just by examining the data, the answer is an easy one.
We’re getting sicker, rather than healthier in America, because right now… that is our policy!