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Obama Says Addiction Shouldn't Be Treated as a Criminal Problem

Discussion in 'General Substance Abuse Discussion' started by Rainman, Mar 30, 2016.

  1. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    President Obama speaking at the National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroine Summit said drug addiction shouldn't be treated as a criminal problem. He admitted that treating drug addiction as a criminal problem isn't an effective way to fight the drug problem. It appears that after realizing the war on drugs is lost the government now sees the need to use other strategies to combat drug addiction.
    xTinx, kgord, MrsJones and 1 other person like this.
  2. deanokat

    deanokat DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

  3. remnant

    remnant Community Champion

    I tend to agree but this is qualified under certain circumstances. Some people become addicted to their medications like the case in Marinol, a form of medical marijuana. Others are victims due to exposure at an early age or difficult circumstances. But there is a category that becomes addicted due to abusing drugs to shore up their instincts when committing crimes.
  4. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    Right that helping those who got addicted will give them hope and more chances of kicking the addiction. These is for those who got addicted and did not do crimes as some committed crimes just to have money for their addiction or because they already lost their right minds. That will be a different case.
  5. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    I agree with him - I think all that punishing addicts as criminals does is push them deeper into addiction. Does jail time get to the root cause of the problem? Hell no! We need to be treating addicts like they have an illness which they do! You wouldn't throw someone in jail who had cancer or diabetes...we need to view addiction as something that needs treatment, not punishment (in my opinion!)
    MrsJones and Rainman like this.
  6. SashaS

    SashaS Community Champion

    I think that the entire reason drug use and addiction was criminalized in the first place was in an attempt to scare addicts and show that there is no need to take drugs. Keeping it illegal definitely scares people from ever trying, but if they are already addicted, then I guess its better to treat them instead of jailing them. Its a rather difficult one because it has been the law for a very long time so it will be an expensive and time-taking process to change.

    But at the same time, it will be worth it. Addicts can have the peace of mind that if they turn themselves in to a rehabilitation center or to another family member or friend, that they can get help instead of being charged for their actions.
    MrsJones and Rainman like this.
  7. Momma9

    Momma9 Community Champion

    I think most drug abusers also have mental issues. Sending them to jail does nothing to help them deal with that or their addiction. I think Obama is on the right track. Now if we can just come up with ways to remedy this problem without it becoming yet another government bureaucracy!
  8. deanokat

    deanokat DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    Simply using drugs should not be a criminal offense. Selling drugs? That's a different story. But using should be treated as a health problem, not a criminal problem. Unless the user is committing crimes to support their habit.
    aimeep80 likes this.
  9. Tsky45

    Tsky45 Community Champion

    This is true an addiction isn't a criminal problem unless a criminal act is committed. If someone has a drug problem they need help not jail time. Unless a person commits a robbery or murder for drugs, they shouldn't be treated as a criminal but someone with a problem. Drug abuse has to be dealt with at the source. I agree with Obama on this.
  10. JoshPosh

    JoshPosh Community Champion

    It's true. It has gotten to the points where local government sees it as an opportunity to increase their federal budget by seeking out drug raids because all of the capital that is raised from drug raids where all of the drug properties are sold. When that local division increases it seizures, they increase their next years federal budget to buy new department toys.

    Do you see any police officers setting up sting operations to bust Jwalkers? Nope. Only in drug trafficing is where they will go out and do a sting and infiltrate drug dealings.
  11. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    I do think that it's come a time now where we have to look at different ways in tackling the drug problem, as nothing is getting better. If anything the problem is getting worse, and after spending billions trying to stamp out drugs by persecuting the addicts, now we have to find a different method of going about it.
  12. DancingLady

    DancingLady Community Champion

    I agree, I don't see individual addict as criminals, intentionally breaking the law. In most cases I see them as victims of a substance most of them wish they had never touched in the first place. So many now are addicted because a doctor gave them a prescription they maybe shouldn't have had, or shouldn't have had for as long as they were prescribed it.

    I think we need to focus on the drug traffickers, they ones who are making the drug available to the addicts. They are the ones who are hurting people and society, knowingly and deliberately. Those are the real criminals.
  13. djolem

    djolem Senior Contributor

    Wow. This guy said something smart for a change. This is a good way to deal with problems because not only the addicts will have less trouble to live and even try to cure themselves but also there's maybe a chance to legalize drugs and lessen the criminal rate in that area. Maybe people would realize that somebody will try to help them not only judge them and incarcerate them.
  14. kgord

    kgord Community Champion

    Well it is not a criminal problem but if criminal acts are committed during the course of an addiction. SOme one has to be held responsible. I mean if someone steals My TV I can't just say oh well, he was a drug addict. I mean most drug addicts steal to support their habits. There has to be a way to compensate victims of drug addicts. However, just being addicted in itself, should not be considered criminal.
  15. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    President Obama has never been more correct. Drug addiction isn't the problem here. However, I do think something should be done about drug pushers - people who deliberately and with all due consciousness sell drugs to teenagers and broken adults with the intention of profiting from their muddled emotions. These people are the real criminals and should be jailed. If authorities zoom in on drug king pins and cartels, they can very well reduce the incidence of addiction in the United States and other nearby regions as well.
  16. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    A drug addict is breaking the law when they take illegal drugs, but people who are alcoholics aren't and that's still an addiction.

    You often find that it's the addiction that makes a person do illegal things in order to feed that addiction, in that case it is the drugs fault and that person needs to be treated and not fined and imprisoned.
  17. darkrebelchild

    darkrebelchild Community Champion

    When people are addicted to drugs, their actions are not deliberate so it should not be treated as a criminal case. I hope alternatives like love, care and pampering these addicts can help eradicate it gradually from the society.
  18. Okaviator

    Okaviator Senior Contributor

    I personally think that the actions of drug users are made because of pure addiction to a drug. Which makes a person lose self control, when he/she can't get more of a drug.
  19. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    The loss of self control us solely down to the addiction that consumes that person. There can be somebody that's never broken the law in their life, worked hard from an early age but then goes through a personal tragedy or trauma, starts taking and gets addicted to drugs, loses their job and home and then turns to crime to feed their habit.

    It then spirals out of control because they are a good person that knows they've done wrong so their conscience eats away at them, to numb the pain they commit more crimes to pay for more drugs

    Is that person a criminal, or a victim of circumstance? It's the death of their partner or child for example that's led them to taking drugs to block out the pain, and then the drugs have taken over. That situation should be treated differently to somebody who's robbed a bank, just to fund a luxurious lifestyle.
  20. jackiewbu

    jackiewbu Member

    I agree with this. Although does this mean forgiving crimes of those who committed them just because they were addicted? If someone addicted had committed murder do we just get them help or are they to be punished for the crime? Addiction causes you to lose self-control but does this mean they should be forgiven for criminal activities?
    aimeep80 likes this.