We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Really! Are you the slightest aware of what is going on? 60,000 people a year dying from drug overdoses and you want more of it. Ireland doesn't even have 5 million citizens and you want to compare them with the U.S. Also I'm sure if you give Ireland time with their new drug freedom they willl also begin to enjoy the fruits of harmful illegal drugs.
Almost all of the sex traffic in the U.S. depends on drug addicted young women. 80% of small crime and property abuse is the result of drug addiction. More than half of all murders in the U.S. are caused by the use drugs. Most of the huge homeless problem is the result of illegal drugs. And you want more of this???
Believing in legalizing drugs does NOT mean we want more people addicted. Despite all the billions we've spent over the years, i doubt there is a middle schooler anywhere in the US that couldn't get his hands on anything he wanted. We need to try a different approach.
Take some of the money we now spend policing and incarcerating people and put that towards making treatment options more affordable, so that when addicted people want help they can get it.
Here't the thing about treatment: In Minnesota, there is a program that pays for 30 days of inpatient, and in some cases follow-up outpatient. Now you're not going to get Hazelden, but you will get a bed in a "treatment center."
A taxpayer-funded program? Oh, yes, they will come. Among addicts and those in the treatment industry, and yes, there is a treatment industry with trade publications and the whole bit: Minnesota is the land of 10,000 treatment centers.
Is it massively fraudulent? I think so. These treatment centers know people in other states. Those people send addicts to Minnesota, where amazing! suddenly they're Minnesota residents and thus eligible for free treatment. Are there kickbacks paid for this? Almost certainly. But no one is looking, so why not?
It is not luxurious. Some are better than others, but some are worn out three story houses with 20 addicts. The staff are usually serious people, often former addicts (many, many addicts, in recovery, say they want to be counselors. It's because they get a bit of a thrill hearing others' drug tales).
But the owners? Some, are probably okay. But there are those who are just in it for that sweet, sweet state funding. Oh, sure, they have counseling sessions and stuff. Maybe. From what I hear, some places are just a bed and meals, because no one is looking.
I know of people who flew in a relative, got her drunk and dropped her off at the county detox site. That establishes residence. Then she can get the evaluation and admittance to on of the treatment facilities. Then when the treatment is over, the addict is on the plane back home. The same addict has done this twice (that I know of). There are multiple felonies involved, but because of how I learned the information, I can't report it.
There's one that specializes in gay and lesbian teens. At least half of their patient load is from out of state. Many of those are insurance funded, but others aren't, meaning Minnesota taxpayers foot the bill.
And then there are the ones who actually reside here (for a given value of residence). Many of these folks have had multiple 28-day vacations. Judges facing a thief who will not stop stealing, and under pressure to keep the jail population down, will order treatment. Why not? It's not coming out of the court/corrections budget.
How many times? I heard one woman say that she was going in for her 25th, I kid thee not, treatment, and she was sure Jesus was going to make it work this time. I've known at least 12 who have 10 or more treatments.
Does treatment work? I'm not aware of any numbers that show better outcomes. They seem to be about as effective as just going to Narcotics Anonymous without treatment. I suppose it's helpful for friends and family of the addict, because they get a month of sanity befdre having to deal with the addict again.
I fully agree that the drug war is actively harmful to our society. I think the Switzerland solution would work fine if we can just have all our addicts be Swiss folks. I think if we scooped up the first 100 addicts we could find within a mile of Chicago and Franklin avenues in Minneapolis, and we dumped them in Zurich's addiction program, their journey might not be as successful.
Addicts have to want to get clean. It cannot be forced without incarceration, and that is not a permanent solution. They have to want it, and as long as their life is tolerable they will continue to use. It is a very individual thing as to what they think of as tolerable.
But having police departments with armored vehicles and belt fed machine guns is pretty bad also.