Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Was the war on drugs good social policy?

 Was the war on drugs good social policy?

No, it had tragic consequences in the U.S. which created even worse problems and worse consequences that the original impact of drug abuse it was designed to curtail and mitigate. It is another example of how the solution became a problem worse than the original problem 

Substance misuse can be focused on as a supply problem or a demand problem. Unfortunately, conservative thinking dealt with it as a supply problem even though it was well known that prohibition didn't work to control the negative consequences of alcohol misuse.

Liberal thinking dealt with substance misuse as a demand problem. Prevention and treatment programs were proposed and implemented in a limited manner due to a lack of resources.

Public thinking is slowly shifting over 60 years and substance misuse is increasingly seen as a public health problem. Advocacy for funding of public health, treatment, and community prevention programs is necessary if we are to improve the overall health of our society.

For more see "How The Drug War Died" by Maia Szalavitz, The Nation, 04/04/11/2022.

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