It is not easy to face the truth, but the fact of the matter is that America has been losing the war on drugs and addiction. Lives continue to be lost, which suggests that a better, different approach needs to be taken. 2014 had marked a new high, with drug overdoses having resulted in almost 50,000 deaths in the United States. In other words, drug overdoses had resulted in considerably more deaths than vehicular accidents. This is certainly quite gloomy and horrid news.
More than half of the American citizens who have been dying because of a drug overdose have been using either heroin or prescription opioid painkilling medications like OxyContin. These are the two main classes of drugs that can be blamed for 61% of the drug overdose-related deaths that took place 2014, which equals to approximately 28,000 deaths.
For a very long time, never-ending criminal justice and prohibitive efforts have been made. Yet, both heroin and prescription opioid painkillers are cheap and readily available on the street. Moreover, people in just about every demographic are vulnerable to the epidemic. It has had an impact individuals of all ages, of both genders, of every ethnic group and race that exists in the United States. The “war on drugs” has not proven effective at stopping people from getting high when they want to.
In recent years, taxpayers have contributed tens of billions of dollars to the war on drugs, which the federal, local and state governments have claimed has been succeeding at conquering the nation’s drug problem. However, the fact of the matter is that America is at the losing end of this war and the nation is getting overwhelmed by the epidemic.
In merely 14 years, the number of drug overdose-related deaths have grown twice as much, even though the United States is among the world’s most affluent countries. The problem is that at every level, the drug treatment that is available is not up to the mark. Furthermore, society has failed to realize just how exploited and helpless victims of drug abuse tend to be, and it ultimately leads them to a drug overdose death.
The nation has still not recognized the true nature of the drug epidemic, which is the reason that the numbers are not improving and the deaths are not stopping. This trend cannot be turned back just by increasing the number of police in the air, in train stations, on the streets and the waterways. This epidemic will also not be solved by charging large numbers of young black men with drug-related offenses and putting them in prison. What the nation needs to do is properly comprehend the true nature of the drug epidemic.
Something is seriously wrong if the rate of drug overdose-related deaths has doubled in the past fourteen years or so. Focus needs to be shifted to those who have been victimized to win this war on drugs. Greater compassion, information and understand needs to be provided to the drug addicts, to expose the consequences of their addiction, so they may escape the hold it has over them.