One of the primary goals of government is to protect the society. The government
mainly achieves the objective by formulating polices and laws to curb behaviours that are viewed as
immoral. Drug use a social problem that has affected the general wellbeing of the society.
Unsurprisingly, Canada and the US have taken measures to mitigate use and effects of drugs. In North
America, drug use has been criminalized and is mainly punished trough incarcerations. In contrast,
Holland has taken a progressive approach where drug use is taken as a public health concern rather than
a criminal act. The vulnerabilities of youth to addiction calls for special focus of drug control policies in
Do you feel that the policy choices of a ‘war on drugs’ approach is an effective strategy for
dealing with addiction?
The modern policy choice of a war on drugs has proven to be a success although at a huge
financial cost. Criminalization of drug use has discouraged trafficking and use. Hard drugs such
as cocaine and heroine are an outright danger to the youth and society. The cost of sustaining
drug abuse is high which might encourage unlawful conduct to satisfy the habit. Illegal drugs
lead to approximately 10,000 deaths per annum in the US. There is no doubt if illegal drugs are
legalized the number will significantly increase.
On the other hand, the strict policy of a war on drugs has come at high financial cost and mainly
to the benefit of pharmaceutical firms. Most pharmaceutical firms in North America make
millions of dollars in profits mainly due to governments’ policies and tenders. Legal drugs lead to
approximately 700, 000 deaths per annum in the US. In direct contract to illegal drugs it seems
clear that the policy does not work perfectly.
However, Nixon’s war on drugs has seemed to work towards the protection of societal values
and youths. The vulnerabilities of youth to addiction are wide-spread and deep. Youth are prone
to addiction compared to other clusters in society. Addiction has exposed youths to criminal
behaviors and gambling. Also, the classical issues in North America has exposed youths from
minority communities to drug use punishment.
Do you feel that drug addiction should be treated as a medico-psychological issue?