Perhaps it’s time to try something different for treating drug addiction.
There was a time I dismissed all drug addicts as a waste of time and believed they only had themselves to blame for their predicament.
That is until I started to follow a father on Twitter who has a meth addicted son.
Reading his heartbreaking tweets about the latest issues they are facing in regards to their son and the impact it has had on their family has made me realise that drugs have a far wider impact than just on those who consume them.
In a perfect world no one would ever feel the need to take drugs. And I doubt that anyone tries a drug with the intention of destroying their world and that of so many others.
I don’t know why people take drugs — maybe just as an experiment or because of peer pressure. It could be due to an undiagnosed mental illness or post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD).
The bottom line is people take drugs and some become addicted.
Addiction leads to numerous other problems including homelessness, mental health issues (or worsening mental health), physical health issues, paranoia and in some cases, violence. I don’t have any wonderful solutions or magic bullets.
The father I follow on Twitter believes part of the answer lies in enforced rehabilitation.
Instead of spending endless taxpayer dollars on the recurring cycle of drug addicts in and out of jail, let’s spend that money on setting up rehabilitation facilities.
Not a place where those with drug issues can choose to come and go as they please but a place where they must stay for a reasonable period — at least 12 months — that may enable some real progress to be made in beating their addiction.
Staff the rehabilitation places with those who can care for the mind and the body.
Yes, it would be expensive, but surely it is a better use of taxpayers’ dollars than jail, which has its own issues in regards to drugs.
What is obvious is that the present methods of dealing with drug addiction do not appear to be working.