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As a country, many of our resources go towards combating a problem, that to date, has not been resolved. By the age of 32, I myself, was burned out from addiction and the trouble it created in my life. Having been in rehab 4 times or in and out of outpatient counseling from the age of 14, even my family was fed up with my usage. So was the law. Alcohol use is legal in this country, but when it comes to drugs, socially, society frowns upon the addict of drugs because of the extremes most addicts will go to as criminals. I was no exception, except for getting involved in organized crime at such an early age and working myself up the latter to worse criminal behaviors. Many times, I would find myself working protection for prostitutes who found it easier to pay me with drugs. For close to twenty years, being rehab three times, having a stroke, getting in trouble, or burning people out by my behaviors, “none” of it mattered to me more than my addictions. Many a judge, would tell me that rehab was a waste of their time and mine, until I met one that put his foot down. At that time I was facing 15 to life for being a habitual offender of assault charges, while of course, under the influence, but this judge offered a chance I never expected. “Change,” and I might consider reducing your sentence.
You would think that a person such as I used to be, would oppose the legalization of drugs, but I don’t. Why ? No matter the efforts of the law to end it, they don’t take into consideration the addiction part of usage. If you have ever bothered to study “statistically” the number of persons in prison who committed crimes while using, you would be amazed to find out, “most” were under the influence. Rather than set up “mandatory” treatment for addicts and alcoholics through the court systems of this country, the effortless alternative has been to “incarcerate.” Treatment of individuals at the maximum runs under $10,000 per individual, as opposed to almost three times that amount to incarcerate someone. This may be effortless to the courts, but the “taxpayers” foot out billions to feed , house and continue building new prisons all the time, after all, most of these addicts “will be back.”
The drug business is not resolved, because it not only profits those selling the drugs, but “law enforcement” as well. THAT is why you don’t see an end to this business. Then you also see the war in Afghanistan, where terrorism is an “excuse” for war, while the part you don’t hear about, is the war on opium and all those who grow it in this region. As long as there are huge profits to be made, neither the military, law enforcement “or” the drug lords are about to end fighting for them. Legalization, would end all these excuses. Like alcohol usage, regulating, taxing, and proper treatment of addicts through a system willing to “treat” offenders, would end a cycle for many, rather than to make life a revolving door to “incarceration.”
Addiction is “treatable,” and it can be “cured.” Far too many say it is a disease, but that is a term addicts and alcoholics don’t need to hear, for it gives them an excuse not to “quit.” It has been over 25 years since I quit, but then for me, I gave myself no excuses to fall back upon, like most people do who don’t wish to quit being “failures.” Maybe it’s time courts made some effort to quit making so many harden criminals who could change early on, “if” given the chance to do so.