It has been proven for over 100 years that the war on drugs has not reduced addictive use. This is partly because it does not focus on what causes an addict to “become” an addict.
What made the war on drugs a failure? Let’s see.
Why is the war on drugs not working?
No matter how banned certain substances are, use continues in high risk situations. The war on drugs, as the name suggests, he leaves aside the figure of the consumer as an addictive person or health problem, emphasizing the substance as an active agent.
In reality, the main role in drug addiction is played by the person and not by the substance; a person, with certain physical and psychological traits and predispositions, who evolves in a family and social context who, due to different circumstances, to promote, authorize or not limit the consumption of substances.
Beyond the strong addictive power of certain substances, it is not the drug that generates dependence. This allows us to understand why there are also addictions that do not refer to chemicals, but to activities or people, for example, in the case of gambling addiction, as complex and problematic as any addiction. ; outraged there may be addictive behavior related to shopping, eating, working, Technology, a relationship, etc.
The war on drugs does not decrease violence
The war on drugs it does not end the violence surrounding drug trafficking. In fact, it continues to produce violence, death and murder. These are usually handed over to the security forces, as petty traffickers are killed, rather than arrested as the case may be for their criminal act. In addition, there is a high death rate among criminal gangs, which murder each other in search of power and control over the drug market.
A clear example that this war did not have the desired effects is the dry law and the consequent ban on the production, distribution and marketing of alcoholic beverages. As a result, far from promoting health or lowering the morbidity and mortality rates associated with alcohol consumption, there have been deaths caused either by adulterated alcohol consumption or by killings of alcohol. criminal gangs struggling to run the underground market alcohol.
The effects of the ban
Another aspect of the war on drugs refers to terms such as criminalization versus decriminalization, prohibition versus legalization. Penalizing the use of substances implies that the consumer be conceptualized as a person who commits a crime.
In Argentina, this is established by Law No. 23,737 on Narcotic Drugs approved in 1989 and in force today. Tenure for personal consumption is severely punished from one month to years in prison, with the possibility that the procedure is suspended by the judge and that the consumer is subjected to a curative or educational security measure for the time necessary for his detoxification and rehabilitation. We therefore think of rehabilitation as an accessory to pain.
However, the Supreme Court of Justice has declared the penalty of possession for personal use (Arriola failure) unconstitutional but the law has not yet been amended and criminal proceedings are currently pending against those found in possession of narcotics, even if it is. a small quantity.
The need to understand the context of consumption
If we consider that the drug addict is not a criminal, but a person with a health problem, we will know that this is not in prison the place where he will be rehabilitated.
If there are drug addicts who commit crimes, in any case, they should be penalized for the crime committed and not for the consumption itself.
It is based on this conception, that it aims at decriminalization and decriminalization consumers; think of the sanction only for those who market the drug. However, it is important to note that this means that consumers have to obtain drugs from traffickers, which continues to create risks and illegality.
If the debate revolves around the ban or legalization of substances and the elimination of drug traffickers in any case, there is a shift from the axis of analysis towards substances, leaving aside the single report. of a user with the substances they consume. It could thus slow down the emergence of questions that raise questions about consumption and symptoms, a necessary condition at the start of treatment.