Is Drug Decriminalization the Solution to Drug Abuse and Addiction

Arguments on drug decriminalization rage back and forth, pro and con. Drug decriminalization is the way to reduce harm from drugs, drug decriminalization will fail and result in more people becoming addicted to drugs. One might wonder if this is even the right place to put one’s energies.

Both sides are digging up precedents that would seem to prove their viewpoints. Pro-legalization advocates talk about Portugal’s experience, and anti-legalization advocates point to Alaska’s experiment with legalizing small amounts of marijuana, which was reversed after thirty years. It turned out Alaska’s youth were using marijuana at a rate twice that of youth in other states.

The US government is under pressure from South and Central American countries who blame American consumption of drugs for the drug-related problems south of our borders.

Is decriminalization the way to go? It’s a tough decision for lawmakers because if the wrong direction is taken, literally millions of people could suffer. Some say that the illegality of drugs at least deters some people from using them. Might those currently being deterred from drug abuse then feel free to experiment and perhaps become addicted?

The Other Side of the Problem: Recovery of Those Who are Already Addicted

Narconon Arrowhead, a long-term residential drug rehabilitation program in Southeastern Oklahoma, works with those who became addicted to illegal drugs that were used or legal drugs (like alcohol and prescription drugs) that were abused. This side of the problem – the millions of Americans who are addicted to drugs or alcohol and who need rehabilitation – do not greatly benefit from the changing of laws on drug possession. Yes, their risk might be lower of being arrested at the moment, but their biggest problem is the compulsion and necessity to abuse a drug or alcohol every day and the harm this does to their physical health, their mental health and their lives.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 17 million people can be categorized as addicted to alcohol and another four million can be considered addicted to drugs, either illicit or prescription. These people need help before they can join the sober majority of Americans.

The Narconon Arrowhead drug recovery program has had remarkable success in restoring addicted people to lasting sobriety after graduation from this program. Seven out of ten of those who graduate stay sober for a two-year monitoring period or longer.

The holistic Narconon program helps repair the damage done by addiction by guiding each recovering addict through a series of life skills course that show them how to restore personal integrity, learn which friends are likely to lead to success and which ones might tend to lead them back into substance abuse and how to make the right decision when faced with day-to-day challenges. Additionally, a common sense, non-denominational moral code is provided to each person to act as a compass, helping guide plans and goals along positive lines.

As recommended by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Narconon Arrowhead and Narconon California programs takes between three and five months for most people to complete. If a person needs more time to recover and rebuild, there is no additional charge.

Drug rehab can and does work if you find the right program. If you are trying to help someone who is addicted to illicit drugs, prescription drugs or alcohol, find out how the alternative addiction treatment program at Narconon Arrowhead can solve the problem. Call 1-800-468-6933 today and ask to speak to speak to an Intake Counselor for advice on your situation.

References:
http://www.justice.gov/dea/demand/speakout/index.html
http://www.americasquarterly.org/node/978
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/21/latin-american-leaders-blast-drug-policies_n_1163110.html
http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment/principles-effective-treatment

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