Society’s Role In Combating Substance Abuse

46The Failed War On Drugs

Throughout the world drug abuse is reaching an all time high. In the United States, inner-cities are reporting multiple drug-related deaths and injuries everyday. The pervasive “illicit drug trade”, continues to gain a strong hold on the global market. Children are using drugs at record numbers, partly due to easy accessibility. The cartels fight among themselves for the lion’s share of the immense profits.

Global criminal justice agencies, cannot contain the narco-trafficking effort. Corruption is an important by-product that keeps the industry solvent. Innocent people are peripheral casualties, as cartel wars continue and bullets fly. Producer countries will continue to offer the “cash crops”, and consumer countries will buy these drug commodities. A symbiotic relationship between producer and consumer, is at the very heart of this global drug cataclysm. Herein lies our moral dilemma.

These factors are all contributing to the deadly street wars, taking place in various locations throughout our world. Despite the successes international agencies may have, in terms of apprehensions and arrests, the illicit drug trade prevails.

I’m not suggesting giving up, and allowing these vicious cartels to win. However, the time has come for an all-inclusive international dialogue. Back in the nineties, the US assisted the Columbian government in eradicating coca agriculture, helping to bring some cartels to their knees. The initiative managed to slow down the production and trafficking of cocaine. In truth the effort was short-lived, as other producer countries filled the void.

Time to Re-Examine Our Approach?

Alcohol has been legal in many countries for years. We should use the lessons we have learned about alcoholism, while we look for solutions to today’s problems. The illicit drug trade is a global issue, and had better be addressed by all participating countries. Producer countries could not exist, if the consumer countries would not cooperate. Countries are products of their citizenry and actions speak louder than laws.

The United States is the number one “consumer” country of illicit drugs worldwide. This may be due to our large middle class, and the freedoms that Americans enjoy. As China and Russia continue to grow their healthy middle-classes, they are experiencing a rapid and significant rise in substance abuse. They are well on their way to becoming huge consumer countries as well. Money motivates people and may lead to criminal behavior. As one cartel falls, there are countless others waiting to take their place.

What appears an endless cycle, will continue until all governments, show true leadership. Controlled substances are not legal for use or sale, but who’s “controlling” these substances? Cartels! Yes, there are many drug seizures made constantly, but consumer countries remain saturated with these substances.

Is there an Answer?

The “G20”, made up of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, China, Russia, Argentina, Australia, Saudi Arabia, India, Germany, Indonesia, Mexico, France, Brazil, Turkey, European Union, South Korea, Italy, and South Africa, are the major world economies. They are all to some degree, consumer countries. The only country that’s a member of the G20, and is also a producer country, is Mexico. The producer countries are, but not limited to, Afghanistan, Myanmar (formerly Burma), Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Mexico, Columbia, Peru, and Bolivia.

The revenue of these cash crops play an important role for these producer countries’ respective economies. All fore-mentioned countries must sit at the “solutions table”. There are other countries involved providing the processing of narcotics, trafficking, and the like. This issue is of great importance, for all responsible governments, and their citizens.

The Power of Mankind

Drug addiction is a weakness of character, a disease of the brain, and more recently, a pre-dispostion from birth? Scientist will continue to research this disease. Some people will drink themselves to death, while others enjoy alcohol only during holidays. The primary by-product of this industry, will always be the violence it generates. Addiction, death by over-dose, and domestic crimes are back-page news stories. Apathy is prevalent.

Granted we’d like to help those languishing within the self-imposed prison of addiction, but that’s a healthcare issue. Or it should be!! Mankind continues to fight wars, against each-other, for a host of arbitrary reasons. People, nations, humanity have shown great strength, while coming together to survive natural disasters. We the “G195”, must combine our power and join forces, to eliminate the illicit drug trade forever.