Is a full on 90s Crack-whore, say 1998 trying to survive the worst in the worst part of a very different New York City, does this person have worth?
Should this person be simply discarded or killed?
Not only is there worth in this person's continued existence, there is a huge financial burden levied on society by them breathing their next breath, this person very much like you in a profoundly horrible situation.
Fortunately the answer is easier than you might imagine and can be designed to morph as need dictates a change.
What gets people to take that first hit? Why drink, smoke or drug up?
Their place in society both physical and mental is the reason often associated with an un-diagnosed mental condition thrown in the mix. If within the resulting concoction which forms this person's view of reality and the answer to "am I ok?" is the answer of "no I am not."
If you are not ok you look for ways of being ok. The first drink, toke or ingestion will easily enter into their life quickly.
If you want to get current drug abusers, junkies or the 90s Crack-whore off the streets and out of the communities, the houses, top of the line or barely standing hovels, you need to attack the root of the problem. The thing that gets us taking that first reality altering substance, alcohol, cigarettes, and all our other drugs is not feeling "ok" enough to go against parental, and authority horror stories, societal presentations from "duh, just say no." to "you're hurting Jesus by doing that devil weed!" And most importantly they are so not ok they are going against the knowledge that drugs can kill you. They are going against their need to take that next breath. Why?
That is the question that no one seems to be able to figure out.
Because "I am not ok!"
Short, simple. Why risk death, why steal, lie, cheat, sell yourself or others, even your children, why make Jesus cry? Because they are not ok.
Why does kid A (excellent album) who doesn't take drugs, not take drugs? Fear, hell no! It is feeling ok enough to see that it is not good for you. Being ok enough with themselves that the need to alter reality is suppressed, no need, no want, no take. As for kid B through infinity do drugs because something is not ok. They were physically, sexually, societally, genederly (I don't think that is a word, I mean inequality based on gender), the list goes on probably not to infinity but at least to the range of 7,000,000,000 plus, mistreated, put down, and generally not in charge of their own lives. Not ok.
Whether chemically predisposed but un-diagnosed and ignorantly not searched for, or they simply had enough, mentally switched off survive at all costs mode and rolled the dice.
Abstinence doesn't work, it would be great if it did but as seen when dealing with anyone who knows what you are saying, saying no only increases the likelihood of doing said act. One of the big tobacco conglomerates, subsidized and legally poisoning societies around the World intentionally, realized that putting up signs saying "no smoking" made people want to smoke. Not only does the word smoke appear in the slogan, but the no pushes our want. So a fair percentage of those signs you see everywhere are put up by them. So put frankly the best way to get someone to do something is to say not to do it. "duh, say no to drugs." actually increased drug usage.
The war on drugs another "duh, me fight, me kill!" idiotic mentality has cost one trillion dollars as of 2012 in the United States, no telling the global cost in money and lost lives and there have been zero results. If people were just ok, the string of "Pablo Escobars" of the world wouldn't have and wouldn't continue to exist.
Making drugs illegal in the first place was an idiot move. It was a knee jerk reaction that has never relaxed. Chronic drug abusers are screaming to the World that they are not ok! So what does a "good" and let's not forget "christian" society do when it sees very plainly that this situation isn't working it increases punishment, says "no" louder and doesn't combat the problem in an ethical, moral or just way.
"Incarcerate them and change their mind" when all the abuser was doing, is doing, is just looking for a little escape they are morphed forcibly into an animalistic, mostly ex-person who now thrives in the savagery of lockup. Humans are designed to be okish come what may. The harder you push, the more you make jail horrible, the faster you are putting those jailed into a mental state where they are ok with the punishment. This is a psychological fact.
Stress equals Epinephrine, which sharpens and focuses and removes the physical issues which put us in that state. If you are starving to the point where Epi is dumping into your system you actually feel much better than you did in the early stages of hunger.
The blood is basically shunted from the intestine and guts, making you feel better in your plight.
When Epinephrine is released you feel great, pushing towards feelings of invincibility, giving you the strength to find food. With the sharpening of your mind that the hormone gives it also removes feelings and concerns from your view. You don't need to think about your failing business or marriage when a lion is chasing you. So the worse you treat people the better you actually make them feel.
Once Epi is released for a period of time Endorphins are added making you feel really good.
The better you treat people in jail the worse they will feel from the punishment. Simple logic. Unfortunately it seems that no one is making the very obvious connection.
Of course drugs are everywhere in jails and the root cause, "why drugs?" isn't treated in any way, shape or form it is only amplified by the caustic, torturous and barbaric treatment they are thrust into. When they get out of the prison factory system there life is long since over and they will never find acceptance or kindness on the outside in the Christian world of "God is the only judge" where instead not only are men and a few woman judging people, once the inhumanly treated individual gets out, society as a whole sees them as nothing and very much unemployable. They will not just get the punishment laid down by the judge and or 12 peers, they are ostracized and forever labeled and judged.
So you got no money and nowhere, no friends other than any criminals they can gain acceptance with because they sure as hell aren't landing on Park Ave. Humans need comradery and thrive on acceptance and the only place a pariah can get what they need is a deep scrape of the barrel floor. Of course this begets a higher probability that the "am I ok?" answer remains very much "no", which begets further and deepening depression, begetting increased drug use, then crime quickly happens until incarcerated again or they die just trying to be ok.
It is simple logic, if you don't feel ok you get a prescription and hopefully get better fast. If not you go to the hospital. For them they don't feel ok and they go to a bottle, a joint, a needle or pill. It makes perfect sense.
Psychology, as with everything, exists in a state of flux. What is fact now a couple of years ago would have been seen as witchcraft and what was done 50 years ago is currently looked upon as mass insanity.
The way the addict should be treated by a conscience, contentious society would be to evaluate them medically and psychologically and begin a treatment pattern. A direction to move towards, so they can move forward. And negate the incarceration cost and need. If you look at nearly all crime there is a drug component in its need.
Addictiveness of drugs (again all) could well be reduced.
Opiods are a perfect example here. Opiods have been cultivated for eons. The only reason Opiods are addictive is because an addictive drug is a profitable drug and society hasn't forced the development of a non-addictive replacement. No perceived profit in changing what for all intents and purposes works just fine as reasonably prescribed and is extremely profitable.
Criminalizing an attempt to reduce pain is where the true immorality lies.
Incarceration is not the answer. The answer is to address the help their actions are crying out for and work towards their inclusion in society, reducing the need to reach for the drug of choice and the crimes that such costly activities produce.
A dealer, though by profession a bottom feeder is just as much a result of a broken system as the addicts and users they serve. No kid on "what I want to be day" says "I want to increase the misery of the unfortunates around me by using drugs as power and profit. The legalization of pot in the great state of California has relieved unbelievable stress within the lives of normal citizens who just prefer to smoke a little plant instead of drink a little booze. And how many bottom feeders has it removed? I would say somewhere between one, for a little positive change is good change to, well all of them. It has taken a whole swathe of crime from life in Cali and hopefully it is a step more will take.
Added to this decriminalizing pot has improved the psychological well being of the user who got if he got busted prior would be dumped into and flushed out of the profoundly broken penal system and takes on a Typhoid Mary persona societally, they may as well be locked up for life or killed outright!
Right?! Wouldn't it be more humane to kill the poor wretches? Killing a user is akin to killing someone because they are without food. To humanely remove their suffering.
Ask anyone top to bottom if a death penalty reduces crime and they will say an emphatic "NO!"
All it does is glamorize the situation with help from the media making status seekers more likely to commit to get fame, and it increases the likelihood of instead of just robbing someone to get your $/fix you will kill them to try reduce your connection to the crime. The difference between threatening lethal force to get what you want and using the lethal force is extremely narrow.
Our concept of incarceration is the same as it was since way, long before the BC/AD switch over.
Trying to threaten with punishment is amoral, profoundly archaic and stupid. I have shown you that putting some unfortunate in Git Mo and torturing at will will actually make the stay easier for the detainee, or in this case the drug offender. What you are saying is the same thing as your great-great-great-g...great grand parents thought. "Put man in box, he no want do bad!"
Look at your own life. if your parents said don't hang out with Timmy the first thing you did was go see Timmy, lying and cheating as you go. When you get caught for you are a child and only have a few years of TV and peer training in the art of deception and don't know anything near the level of deceit your parents and virtually all in society are masters of. So when you get caught and get a bar of soap shoved in your mouth, are isolated within a room (prison) or corner, or even are beaten to unconsciousness guess what it only increases your drive to rebel against perceived injustice. You will try a new tactic that you learned from getting caught to get away with seeing Timmy. Even when beaten or starved you do not fall in line. The punishment, even if out of "love" or caring only breeds hatred and a better liar. Turning you into another part of society with the profound deception skills we all have.
So saying "Duh, drug users and providers should die!" Will not stop someone willing to suck a dick for and knowing that if caught will be physically, sexually, emotionally and in so many other ways tortured for X amount of their short life has done so far. Crap, it hasn't worked since we could only communicate with hand signals our displeasure.
How to at least begin to reduce the problem with drugs is to look at it first as a problem that isn't a mountain and insurmountable, something like a child would declare war on. It is just a problem and though more lethal than a huge amount of insurmountable problems, cancer, genetic abnormalities or disease process we thus far are unaware of and our ignorance forces a change towards "conquering" the new threat.
But drugs are not a new threat. Opium poppies have been cultivated since someone first sampled it's sap. Coca, where cocaine comes from has been used since the nomadic ancestors first came across it. And alcohol, an equally large problem for it is a drug and so a drug problem. We know that there is evidence goes back many thousands of years and probably predated the ability to write.
Literally people are killed every second because of this problem. We need to work on a society-wide campaign at an intrinsic and psychological level and attempt to reduce the need for the drug in the first place is the first of many Band-Aids. This is not easy in any way. Look at the drug nicotine I have been addicted since my early teens to this legally, chemically enhanced to increase it's physical dependence, drug and still light up when needed.
A code that I have tried to implement as close to a constant in my life as I can, is the words accredited to the late and great Albert Einstein and I am paraphrasing here but how I see it is that "doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results a different outcome, is the embodiment of stupidity".
In other words if you hit a wall that stops you don't keep walking into the wall. That would be stupid! Yet who we are and how we treat others is passed down in the same way the concept that threatening to or putting someone in a box reduces the viewed problem. It didn't work then it doesn't work now it only initiated a competition and we are 99.?% competitive. It is in our nature. So if I get caught I learn I don't want to get caught so the arms race, if you will, begins. It is not getting caught that is the problem or the challenge of not but instead it is a competition with either a parent in the case of Timmy or in the totality of society with fighting a law that impedes you being ok.
I want to bring up Portugal here and the great job they started in combating their problems. I am not using this example as a cure-all or a 100% solution but instead of a path taken that has had positive results on a lethal problem. See Portugal is a great example of how to rearrange a society from one that punishes those in need as basically the entirety of Humanity long ago bought into, into a society being much more caring and inclusive resulting in an amazing reduction in drugs and drug crimes. Implemented by a very forward thinking government of the small Western European nation.
They went from having the highest rate of drug related deaths in the entirety of the continent of Europe to having 3 annually in less than 15 short years. Yes, I am using a "Western" example but what they did was revolutionary and a fantastic set of shoulders on which to stand and see what could comes next.
They, again in a nutshell, please read more or watch a video on the fascinating subject, what they did is absolutely contra to "normality", they legalized all drugs. You will not be punished if you have a 10 or less day supply of nearly anything. Heroin, you can walk down the street in possession of an ample 10 days worth legally and easily purchased.
Unbe-freakin-lievable! How in the hell could this work, if my prescious little ones could get their hands on anything it will result in their death and destruction! Right?!
But, it is much more groundbreaking and intelligent than that. They saw drug usage as fitting into two categories those speaking enhanced pleasure and those medically and or psychologically needing to take them as they basically are in a cry for help situation.
Now for point one they looked at it this very rational way. As throughout a good chunk of the world they saw alcohol as relatively ok, so in their very open eyed view they realized having a little of this or that isn't really any more or less harmful than a goblet of grog. Especially if you could clinically produce the drug, increasing accuracy of dosage and reducing overdoses.
Added to this loveliness, they increased education at all levels of the reality of drugs, burning the so stupid it is funny "horror" flick, "Refer Madness" and replaced it with the honest cost of becoming inebriated by X, Y or Z. They also realized that if you want it you will get it no matter the cost even when seeking pleasure.
They initiated with complete coverage free needle exchanges and halved the number of new HIV cases again in less than 15 years making it safer for those just really going only a little harder than booze.
As for the second category, the unfortunate people who are so in need of feeling ok they put themselves and those around them and society as a whole in harm's way.
They de-stigmatized the entire concept of drugs as a black and white issue. They did this with their pretty "intelligently designed" education program. They made the problem not something to hide from and be shunned for but instead to have the act be seen as a need for help. Further that a positive push towards acceptance and getting the person you love the help they need is the Human and Humane way to go.
To enhance this they used the money they had for years used to walk into the drug war wall again and again and funneled it into providing the psychological support and treatment the chronic user need. And so making them closer to ok. Depression is not an affliction of the week and feeble minded it is something that has the possibility of hitting anyone across the board. Isn't that like cancer, doesn't cancer more or less hit any and all? Yes, so it needs to be treated medically and psychologically. We all have our breaking points small and big and we in our beautiful brains seek simplicity and a state of at least close to ok.
Did it cost a lot? Initially the implementation and restructuring and training took money, time and recourses. But, I attest loudly, that if it is even a little over the $51,000,000,000 that the US spent on the totally unsuccessful "war on drugs" in 2015, it is well worth it. As Portugal's, again Humane, program continues to dramatically decrease the cost both in Euros and in lives taken or effected by drugs. The prison population plummeted and drive towards programs designed to accept the ex-cons, seeing them as situational pawns not as pariahs. They saw the ex-prison attendee as having served their sentence and their debt repaid, and so are free to rejoin society. Programs such as reeducating business owners to utilize their abilities and retraining and educating the, I have to say, victims.
System wide medical costs especially ER and ICU visits have fallen dramatically. Changes and huge positives have been felt throughout society, they have and very probably will continue to occur for the foreseeable future.
Is Portugal's process stagnant?
By design no, it isn't. They are trying to attack not just the problem with a knee jerk law, they saw the need to morph what works towards what works better and what doesn't is evaluated to see if it can be determined as to why the failure occurred and it is quickly discarded.
Think of what the financially powerful (though in a current state of decline due to a profound top end incompetence) a nation like the United States could accomplish! What amazing results await us?
The World could do the same. To see the needy as not criminals nor afflicted but drowning is step one and all that follow, right or wrong if done with the intent of making a positive mark on the lives of hundreds of millions of Americans and possibly billions around the world.
There is some pretty old shrink jargon, "to recognize that there is a problem is the initial movement towards recovery". But what needs to be added to this is that if a misstep occurs, stop, re-evaluate and try another educated step forward. When you hit a wall you don't go head long over and over, you step to the left, right or over.
So to see that there is a problem I believe everyone, everywhere is onboard, that drugs are a problem. Now it is time to take a better step, see if we can't ultimately get around this costly wall.
Is my idea the white of the yin and yang's black and white motif?
No, nothing is black and nothing is white, but it is a much better shade of gray than our current and long standing drugs policy!
All I am suggesting is leveling the playing field a little and giving us all a little fairer shake. And yes sympathy, human compassion and not a rock or a stick.
A chronic drug abuser, whether addicted yet or not is saying very loudly that they are so unhappy they happily risk death from an overdose or from the violence that obtaining a fix brings. They risk incarceration and the rape, violence and torture prevalent in our and all penal systems and the fact that means they have thrown their lives away because the future closes with the closing of the cell bars.
They are not criminals they are needy, where are our hearts? Our brains? Easy stuck in Einstein's loop just walking into the wall again and again, gaining zero insight.
These people are not just figuratively, but physically our family. Give a shit and not a stone and let's see what can be accomplished with intelligence and not eons old accepted stupidity.
There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:
1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?