As U.S drug policy continues to rely on a counterproductive drug war, resistance to moving towards decriminalizing addiction, persists. Of course, the losers are young addicts that can and should be rehabilitated. many are on the road to become criminalized addicts, if not already there. Some have a hustle; others fill our jails. Make no mistake, many are our children and relatives.
Public and private treatment institutions remain effectively, insignificant in dealing with the populations that need their services. The realty is that it takes money to recover and isolation from the outside world for a typical addict. Treatment professionals agree that a long period of abstinence is necessary for the restoration of naturally occurring dopamine and receptor functioning. Without this transformation and internment, an addict exists in an emotional black hole. The loss of 7 million Americans to addiction each year is very significant. An alcohol and drug dependent America is dragging us down. With exception to the Veterans Administration and federally funded programs, our insurance and healthcare policies are ineffective. They do not deal with co-existing mental disorders or proper treatment. Typical insurance and health care policies consistently demonstrate rejection of proper substance use disorder (SUD) treatment. Except for sparse and difficult public funding, insurance companies rarely pay for basic replacement drug therapy which is relatively cheap.
We live in a world that hates addictive behavior, yet silently condones the biggest drug dependent and alcoholic population on earth. People like Governor Scott of Florida ditch prescription databases over privacy and business rights. How does that even fit? Our government claims to want to eradicate demand and source, yet have at least enabled or created a situation in which more pharmaceutical opiates are available than ever and our budget to fight the drug war in Mexico is as counterproductive as our U.S. job eating trade deficit. Instead we jail addicts. Addicts who are not violent, should be screened and sequestered in an environment geared to treatment. Dollars spent to accomplish this can come from otherwise, redundant incarceration. Addicts are human beings that need to be rehabilitated. Jails and prisons are good at warehousing and worsening criminal behavior. With an exception to federal prisons, what is missing, is the willful intent to screen and rehabilitate.