Jasele Oita's Blog A weblog about everything

May 26, 2010

Change in War on Drugs Strategy

Filed under: Health — admin @ 12:14 pm

Four decades ago, the United States declared war on illegal drugs. Looking at the amount of money spent on that war, the lives lost, and the hold that drugs still have on our country, there are plenty who feel that this war hasn’t been anything amounting to a success. Looking at the number of people still checking into addiction program facilities and the amount of effort that goes into catching and prosecuting those involved in the drug industry shows us just how much work we have left to do.

Gil Kerlikowske, known to many as the U.S. Drug Czar, acknowledged that things haven’t gone as well as was hoped when the country first declared war on drugs. There is a more intense public concern about drug problems now than there was forty years ago. Far too many people know someone who has been though drug rehab or otherwise struggled with dependency issues. Perhaps some people back when the “war” began thought that drug use would disappear as a result of the government’s actions and that the concept of the rehab center would be a thing of the past. Even with a more reasonable perspective, it’s clear that the strategy needs to be adjusted.

President Obama has spoken about the issues that the country faces when it comes to the ongoing drug problem in our culture. He stated that the new national policy will be to treat the abuse of drugs as an issue of public health, a view in line with your typical addiction treatment program. Indeed, treatment along with prevention will be the main focus of this new policy. Kerlikowske acknowledged that taking drug dealers off of the street does little to address the addiction problem, and that additional steps need to be taken in that direction. Hopefully, this new approach will also shift public perception about drug and alcohol addiction.

Even as new policy is being made, many people are still coping with dependency on a personal level. Seeking assistance from an addiction center is an important step towards kicking the habit and getting your life on track.

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