The Solution to Supporting Addicts in Recovery

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“Billions upon billions of U. S. taxpayers dollars have been spent over the years to combat the drug trade in Latin America and the Caribbean. In spite of our efforts, the positive results have been few and far between”.  So Says Eliot Engle, representative from New York, and author of a bipartisan bill that will create an independent commission to evaluate U.S. policies and programs aimed at reducing the supply of narcotics in the Western Hemisphere. Engle goes on to say, “Cleary the time has come to take a fresh look at our counternarcotics efforts”. No shit congressman.  How is it that the government does not know what any dope fiend can tell you? The drug trade is really very simple economics, it’s about as complex as a lemonade stand. To date the policies have tried to repeal the law of supply and demand because we don’t like the culture that surrounds people who like to get high. That’s my best guess anyway. Why we cherish people who swill booze and treat people who shoot dope like the unwashed, I will never understand.  The law of supply and demand is just one of those things, that seems to just be the way it is.  In other words, millions of people want to get high so somebody will meet that need/want or want that becomes need.

Engle, who is also a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on health, goes on top say “ To tackle our nation’s horrific drug problem, we can not simply look to solutions on the supply side”.  That’s a good thought and I am glad there is someone in Washington having it. The bill passed unanimously so it seems that Engle isn’t the only one having the thought.

Let’s not pull any punches. I think I should be on the commission. Actually, it’s not important that I am on the commission but it is important that the voice of recovery be heard. As a nation we have tried “just say no”, military tactics, incarcerating an entire generation, shooting people, shaming people, demonizing them, we have tried a lot, since Nixon made his declaration of war on drugs. What we have not tried is taxing, regulating, treating, and providing continuing care. Why not?  We have not tried to support people in recovery build the infrastructure to sustain their recovery. No, not really.  This should be national news, but it’s buried on the internet being read maybe by a few reformers. Well done Eliot, come on over to the loft, lets talk some policy reform, just don’t bring us wine when you come over for dinner because unlike most systems in America, we live intoxicant free. Is anyone in government the least bit curious as to how we do that?

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