Opiate addiction is one of the biggest issues that we have today. It is such a contemporary issue because opiate addiction is a disease that strikes people on every social economic level. Gone are the days where we could just label an opiate
addicted person as a heroin junkie or someone who chose their own fate, what we do know now is that the majority of today's opiate-addicted people are everyday people like you and I. With the majority of them having become addicted to opiates from pain medicines prescribed by their doctor. Even if that were not true, by now we should know that addicted people should not be treated like criminals, but they should be treated like people with health issue. 40 Years of a failed War on Drugs should have taught us this lesson and that criminalisation is not the key to helping drug-addicted people. It is often the case that we ignore drug addiction as a health issue until someone we know and love is hit by this disease. It is often only then that we are able to extend empathy to these people who have opiate addiction
because we see it up close and personal. It is very easy to label these people that as no good, criminals, who deserve their addiction when they are far from us.
It has been established that heroin addiction and opiate addiction should be treated medically, you should now understand the importance of drug addiction treatment and therapy. It truthfully is the only way that people are able to get better when addicted to these drugs. Throwing people away into a jail cell and criminalizing them doesn't help them, it only makes them spiral deeper into the depression and the pain of addiction and more drug usage. That is not what we want in our society and that is not what is going to help the issue. The only way you can help this issue is by awareness and treatment and nothing else will work. We have tried everything else, we tried prohibition, we tried putting people in jail, we tried mandatory minimum sentences and all that has given us is more addicted people.
It was first the case that the increase in opiate addiction was mostly in Blue Collar places where people work hard labor jobs, where they were overly prescribed pain medicine and where they subsequently became addicted. It was later the case that their children got hold of their drugs and used them and themselves. That was very easy to ignore because it was outside of mainstream America and in the small areas that we often ignore. But it wasn't only hard working class people with injuries getting addicted to their pain killers, it was soccer moms who had car accidents, fathers who had slip and fall injuries who were handed painkillers, people who have had surgery and who quickly became addicted to their pain medication. It was kids in Suburbia finding these pain killers and using them, sharing them with their friends and creating a whole new cycle of addiction for society to solve.
All of this is why the therapy model has to be pushed over any other idea. It is why the prison model doesn't work, the law enforcement model doesn't work, only treating addiction is the only way that we can stop this problem. Also making the public aware of how dangerous prescription drugs are and how it can destroy your family.