Is There Still A War on Drugs?
We do not here much about a War on Drugs these days. It doesn’t seem to be in the mainstream media nearly as much as it was a decade ago. Many can remember that the War on Drugs dominated the news several years ago. The drug wars between the Cartels in Mexico was also at the top of reporting. Thousands were dying in Mexico over drug gang warfare. Each Cartel fighting to the death in order to gain the upper hand on drug distribution locations into the United States. My question is…What Happened? Why are we tuned out when it comes to the war on drugs? Is there still a war going on with the United States government AGAINST street drugs?
What is ironic is that we are now in an epidemic with opiate & heroin abuse and over-dose deaths. More people are dying than ever before. In Ohio alone, at least 8 people die every single day from heroin over-dose. Now, is when our government should be waging its biggest war on drugs. Now, is when the mainstream media should be reporting on any war on drugs….if there is one. Current research efforts have shown us that our government is letting us down. It seems as if they gave up on fighting this drug epidemic at the level they use to. This is wrong and something needs to be done about it. We need to educate & create awareness to all people young and old about this opiate abuse epidemic. Enough is NOT being done and that is why so many people are suffering. This ‘drug problem’ is not an isolated, inner-city, bum, thug issue anymore. Its hitting all types of people. Its in our suburbs and county high schools. Opiate drugs are attacking and killing people of all ages and status. Everyone from business-men, to nurses and attorneys are feeling the negative effects of opiate drug addiction. If you alone are not opiate addicted, then you surely know someone who is or was. This is how big the problem is right now.
Statistics show us that 1-in-4 people who are legally prescribed opiate pain medication go from being dependent to fully addicted to opiates. Out of that group, 85% of heroin users originally got addicted after being legally prescribed opiates by their Doctors. These statistics have drastically increased. It use to be that only about 10% of prescription pain pill takers became fully addicted with many problems to follow. This problem has more than doubled over the past 5 years.
Let us be clear…we are NOT against people who are suffering chronic physical pain who need to take prescribed pain medications in order to function. I was one of these people after having 5 open reconstructive shoulder and neck surgeries. I experienced chronic pain beyond the scope (10-on the pain scale) for over a decade. My surgeries only seemed to add to my physical pain. It turns out that one of my surgeons who was inexperienced botched my first surgery and sliced through numerous nerves. We were unaware of this for many years until a cutting-edge neurosurgeon discovered that I had tumors growing on more than 10 of my nerves located in the nerve ‘bundle’ located deep under the shoulder blade. This was the culprit of my excruciating pain. These are called Neuromas….and Boy, are they severely painful. There is nothing like nerve pain. Its different than other types of pain. Because of my injury and proceeding surgeries, I had about 4 different types of pain going on at various times within my shoulder and neck. These were: A deep burning pain, a terrible sharp ache, pain to the touch of my skin, hurt when I would move my arm, and tenderness when any pressure was applied to my shoulder or neck. I say all of this to say that we fully respect people in chronic pain who desperately need effective pain medications to help them function (and give them relief). We go as far as to protect the rights of people in pain who need opiate medication.
Our stance is that more must be done by doctors to research a patients genetic history. If a patient has a genetic pre-disposition to addiction or alcoholism, this must be brought to their attention. Patients must be educated on the dangers of using opiate medications especially if addiction “runs in their family”. It has been proven that addiction is genetic. The facts are startling. Stats prove that if a person has just one blood-parent who was an addict, the child has a 53% chance of becoming addicted if they ever experiment with opiate drugs. If a person has both parents who were either addicts or alcoholics, then they have a 98% chance of becoming the same if they ever start trying drugs or alcohol. This is exactly why families pass down these problems from generation to generation.
Information is Power, and Awareness is Prevention
We have our own War on Drugs here at HEROin Me. Please join in and support us by subscribing or donating to our Go Fund Me Page listed on the right side bar of main page. Every little bit counts. If I could spend full-time educating families and young people about addiction, I absolutely would. If we can help just one person, then we are using our bad past situation with addiction for the better. We are making something good come out of a very bad thing. Otherwise, our terrible situation with opiate addiction, relapse, treatment and recovery was all for nothing. I cannot let that happen. I am here to help people. But, this takes time and money.
Our main goal here at HEROin Me is to use information to educate people and bring as much awareness to this problem as possible. Aside from delivering helpful info and products to address people’s addiction, detox, treatment and recovery….we also want to teach young people about the genetics of addiction. We want to make people aware of this epidemic.
Here Is a List of Our Goals:
- Help Addicts get the right treatment (Treatment)
- Have opiate addicts avoid relapse by teaching them about their brain chemicals and how to replenish them (Recovery)
- Alert School kids and families how to research their family genetic history to see if addiction or alcoholism exists (Genetics)
- Make all people aware of the heroin & opiate epidemic that is killing people. Join together to fight it (Awareness)
- Get the War on Drugs fired back up at full-steam…this includes public & private sectors. “No Customer, No Cartel”. (Fight Drugs)
- Reduce the number of future addicts by educating them NOW about the dangers. (Long-term efforts)
- Help current addicts avoid relapse by addressing their brains neuro-transmitter chemicals (dopamine & Serotonin)- 90% of all addicts relapse in the first week of rehab.
There you have it. As you can see, we are taking a comprehensive approach to this opioid drug problem haunting our country right now (2016). It is getting worse. We are hearing a lot of news reporting about heroin over-dose deaths nation-wide and how Cartels are lacing heroin with synthetic Fentanyl. Drugs are cheaper than ever, too. As a matter of fact, we discovered that every single day you can go online and find a new report about Heroin/Opiate Abuse. Every new day, there is a new article that talks about how many people died in this State or that State.
But, what we are NOT hearing is what is going to be done about it. We are NOT hearing our government step up and reclaim the War on Drugs. We are NOT hearing the mainstream media demand that we fight this drug epidemic. We are NOT hearing the general public take a stand and demand that our leaders do more to combat opiate drug abuse and addiction. This is a major problem and the reason why we are making these efforts on this site to do more to help. Again, please join us. Power in numbers. Subscribe to our site and receive articles and updates. Contribute to our Go Fund Me page. Click on our ads and articles throughout this site which ultimately helps us recoup the costs of hosting and site management. Click on the right-side bar Amazon link and make your purchases of any products through that link. All these ways will help us cover costs and raise funds that will be used to reach out into the communities nation-wide and bring awareness and education to more people. If our government is not helping enough then we, The People, must step up and take action.
In the 80’s Nancy Reagan started the program called “Just Say No”. This was a terrific campaign to stem the number of kids experimenting with drugs. This was a way to STOP them from trying drugs, versus an effort to help existing addicts. WE NEED BOTH OF THESE EFFORTS TODAY. However, this campaign died-out unfortunately. The First Lady got older and no one carried the torch. We would gladly re-start this program if possible. We are investigating and trying to locate the original leaders of Just Say No.
D.A.R.E. – Drug Abuse Resistance Education
DARE is just about the only government program that exists today which is wide-spread and known. This is a positive thing, but this is NOT enough! More must be done. If we have an increasing number of over-dose deaths every day; if we have more people addicted to opiates than ever before; and if we are at epidemic levels of opiate and heroin addiction…..then we need MORE programs to fight this than just DARE.
Below is a Recent Article Regarding War on Drugs
Credit: By JOSÉ LUIS PARDO VEIRASOCT. 9, 2016 (New York Times)
“MEXICO CITY — In 2006, Felipe Calderón, then the incoming president of Mexico, vowed that change was coming to fix the problem of drug trafficking and drug-related violence. To fulfill this promise he sent the army into the streets and embarked on a full-on war against drug trafficking.
Things did indeed change.
The year before he took over, Mexico’s homicide rate was 9.5 per 100,000 inhabitants. The rate soon doubled, prompting the government to deny there were any civilian victims: those dead in the war against drugs were either evildoers (drug traffickers) or heroes (the policemen and soldiers who fought them). A decade later, too many unknown victims have fallen in this war. The estimates are close to 150,000 dead and 28,000 missing. Mr. Calderón’s promise was epic; his strategy, simplistic.
The war of drug traffickers against the government and among themselves has expanded. In places like Tamaulipas, along the border with the United States, to speak out is often a death sentence. In what’s known as the Golden Triangle (Chihuahua, Durango, Sinaloa), controlled by the Sinaloa drug cartel, threats by “sicarios” (the cartel’s hit men) force the inhabitants to flee their communities. Tourist resorts are no longer sanctuaries. Acapulco is now the country’s most violent city, and one of the world’s most violent.
Even if Mexicans believed Mr. Calderón’s promise, the question to ask was and still is: Why would thousands of people work in drug trafficking?
Drugs and drug trafficking are a social, cultural, economic and health-related phenomenon; social violence and insecurity is just one of its many facets. Traveling through Mexico’s depressed areas makes anyone understand that organized crime is, in many of them, the only constant presence, the start and the end of everyday life. There, where the state does not reach, or does only to fight crime, illicit means are often the just source of employment.
For thousands of Mexicans, drug trafficking is a way to survive. The weakest links in the chain, like the growers or the drug mules, do not ponder whether it is right or wrong. They work only to subsist.
The war on drugs turned out to be a complete failure. Drugs continue to stream north to the United States, the great user, and firearms enter Mexico in return, where they kill thousands. The systematic hunting of drug traffickers has yielded a large number of detainees, even some big names like Joaquín Guzmán Loera, known as El Chapo. Jails are overflowing. But 41 percent of those jailed for drug crimes were arrested for possession of controlled substances worth less than 500 pesos (under $30).
Meanwhile, there are steady flows of cocaine, human trafficking and natural resources, and extortion and poppy growing are rampant. According to United States Drug Enforcement Administration data, Mexican heroin is the most commonly used type in America, surpassing the Colombian supply. In the state of Guerrero, the top producer of Mexican heroin, 50 criminal groups vie for control of the territory.
If Mr. Calderón was the father of this drug policy, his successor as president, Enrique Peña Nieto, seems to be playing the role of the teenager who, in trying to rebel, repeats what he saw his father do.
This past August and July were the most violent months of Mr. Peña Nieto’s presidency, with nearly 4,000 dead — similar to the record numbers of 2011, the bloodiest year of the Calderón administration.
Ten years is enough to get a clearer view and try different approaches. Decriminalizing possession of all drugs for personal use would be a sound first step: It would ease the burden on the collapsed judiciary system, reduce the incentives for the police to make arrests and focus their efforts on violence-prone traffickers who terrify citizens, and not on users.
The great shift in Mr. Peña Nieto’s policy was his backing of medicinal use of marijuana, a needed action, but not enough, particularly when it is compared with other similar efforts throughout the region.
In recent years, Colombia has stopped destroying the coca plantations and has sponsored a nationwide crop substitution program, while the country´s president, Juan Manuel Santos, issued a law allowing the medical use of marijuana. Costa Rica, a country without an army, has begun a drug-treatment program. In Jamaica, laws for the traditional and medicinal use of cannabis have been approved. In 2009, Argentina’s Supreme Court declared punishment for drug possession for personal consumption unconstitutional, and Uruguay has legalized the production, distribution and use of marijuana.
Mexico tabulates the amounts of a drug anyone can possess before being considered a trafficker. But this tabulation does not fit the reality of users. For example, it allows for only five grams or less than 0.18 ounces, of marijuana. While drug policies must address each country’s characteristics, decriminalizing drug use should be a shared premise.
More than 15 years ago, Portugal decriminalized drug possession for personal use and created a system for drug treatment and social reintegration; cannabis use has leveled, the number of heroin addicts is down 70 percent, and deaths by overdoses have also been reduced. In the Netherlands, a cafeteria-style system has created a legal work force around cannabis and, in part because users are not prosecuted, that country’s jails are virtually empty. Recently, a lack of business has led to the closing of a few Dutch prisons. Drug use — of all drugs — is a health issue, not a criminal one. And it should be dealt with as such.”