Pubdate: Tue, 15 Oct 2013
Source: Herald Times Reporter (Manitowoc, WI)
Copyright: 2013 Herald Times Reporter
Author: Tom Denk


Lately I've been reading in the newspaper and hearing on the news all 
this stuff about a "heroin epidemic." Are these people serious? Drugs 
have been a part of humanity for millenia and drug "problems" are 
nothing new - including in this area for decades.

The reason heroin use is on the rise is doctors have become overly 
strict with whom they continue to prescribe to. If someone has 
legitimate pain problems and makes a mistake, it is practically 
impossible to get the help they need through legal avenues. That is 
the reason heroin use has increased ...

The best thing to do would be to let people know they can get help if 
they want it. They shouldn't have to pay for it in ways like facing 
prosecution. People could get that help at hospitals or clinics with 
the use of things like suboxone, where they won't get extremely sick 
or possibly die from everything associated with withdrawals.

If government and society in general would like to see fewer deaths 
(and crimes) associated with drug use the solution is some sort of 
legalization. Legalization would lower the cost of drugs, which would 
lower crime. The tax revenues generated could fund rehab clinics and 
other costs associated with use. In addition, use clinics could be 
established, where people get "high" in the presence of medical 
professionals. That is what they do in Europe and very few people die 
from overdose.

They could show addicts going through withdrawal. That may not do 
much good for long-time addicts but for beginners it would at least 
be a start to getting off the drug. All treating addicts like 
criminals does is turn them into criminals. The last I heard, 
addiction is considered a disease, so why aren't people treated for 
the disease instead of being incarcerated?

I just got done sitting six months in jail because I had to take care 
of my legitimate pain problems because I couldn't get a doctor to 
help me. I guarantee 99 percent of people would have done exactly 
what I did. People do drugs (legal and illegal) because they make 
them feel good. That will never change. However deaths, associated 
crimes and costs of rehab can be greatly reduced. For those things to 
happen, everyone needs to face reality and stop living in a fantasy world.

Prohibition of drugs has been just as effective as prohibition of 
alcohol was - not at all! Things need to change, and the sooner the better.

Tom Denk

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