Now that we’ve cleared the air on this War on Drugs and admitted it was actually just a cover for getting at “hippies and blacks” (thank you President Nixon), can we finally address the real issues and do something about it? Please?
Obviously the biggest problem is we have massive, and I mean unholy numbers of people behind bars for – and let me pull out my temporary Libertarian card here – crimes that do NOT harm other people. When Bubba is put through the prison system for a few ounces of weed, losing his job, his ability to be a productive member of society, unable to provide for his children, incapable of getting a job once he gets out, what in the living fuck have we accomplished pray tell? Well, we’ve started to legalize marijuana you argue, so what if it’s cocaine? Okay, what if it is? What the hell difference does that make? Is jail the answer? Will prison fix Bubba? Help his family? (Of course, I’m assuming he hasn’t committed any crimes along with his drug issue.)
It’s so far past time for us to treat drug problems as the mental health issues they actually are instead of like criminal matters. Drugs are an addiction, and addictions occur in the brain. According to our own government:
Drugs contain chemicals that tap into the brain’s communication system and disrupt the way nerve cells normally send, receive, and process information.
Fortunately, treatments are available to help people counter addiction’s powerful disruptive effects. Research shows that combining addiction treatment medications with behavioral therapy is the best way to ensure success for most patients. rehabnear.me faith based treatment approaches that are tailored to each patient’s drug abuse patterns and any co-occurring medical, psychiatric, and social problems can lead to sustained recovery and a life without drug abuse. (Source)
Since we’ve completely fucked up the lives of all these folks who really should be dealt with in the mental health care system, let’s take a look at how we’ve dicked over a whole different group of people. In our continuing effort to combat this horrible and invasive problem, the government has decided it must stop drug use of all kinds in every possible way. What could go wrong? Drugs are very, very bad, right?
Well…the downstream negative impact of this is that chronic patients are now automatically treated as drug seekers. EVEN IF THEY AREN’T IN PAIN. This is my favorite part. I’ve had doctors who did not know me either flat-out deny me medication or actually offer me a suppository or nothing just to gauge my level of need. FOR FUCKING ANTI-NAUSEA MEDICATION. Can you imagine what chronic pain patients deal with? We have terminal patients being told they can’t have more than xx amount of pain meds, because they might get bloody addicted?!?
New laws are constantly issued that create more red tape for doctors and their patients. There are limits on what doctors can write on so many prescriptions it would blow your mind. Many medications cannot be transferred between pharmacies, even between two of the same chain in the same city. Oh, obviously for Xanax and Morphine. I’m talking about cough and stomach medicine. And most everyone is familiar by now with the trauma of getting pseudo-ephedrine during allergy season, right? Some lawmakers in your state’s capital got together and picked a random milligram out of a hat, and wham-bam that’s how much you can get every two weeks. I have to drive to a different state to get mine, 12 every 14 days after I pass the “Prove to the Pharmacist This Isn’t for Meth” test, because in my home state, I cannot buy the generic. Yes, that is correct, the poorest state in the Union has passed a law that requires you to have a prescription and does not allow the sale of generics, so if you aren’t lucky enough to live near another state, fuck you. Pay twice as much for the name brand, because somebody made a deal with somebody else behind closed doors to “fight the war on drugs.”
Heads up: I just read several articles that indicate a new trend in getting high on Imodium. Let’s all take a moment of silence, then go stock up before new laws hit…else we gonna end up battling serious red tape at a very inopportune moment.
At the end of all of this…we still have a horrendous problem with drugs. We have just as much of a drug problem in this country as we ever did. People are dying from overdoses everywhere, the douchebag governors don’t want OD remedies available, red states are bitching about legalizing marijuana even for medicinal purposes because Jesus said it was bad, and the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
So why don’t we try something different? Perhaps refer to our own government’s recommendations, and finally end this ridiculous War on Drugs?