Some of you know my background in Criminal Justice and Nursing. Studying and working with those who have Drug Addictions played a major part in both careers.
I guess that’s why this article made me want to simultaneously laugh and pull my hair out in frustration.
How could people, especially “experts”, be this short sited, naïve, and lack basic understanding of ADDICTIONS!?!
Let me start by giving you this quote by Dr. Cicero from the Washington University School of Medicine: “As we made it more difficult to use one drug, people simply migrated to another. Policymakers weren’t ready for that, and we certainly didn’t anticipate a shift to heroin.” (Emphasis mine)
The links to both articles deals with the increase of Heroin addiction.
The reason behind Heroin becoming a drug of choice: it became harder and more expensive for people to acquire narcotic drugs (OxyContin, Percocet, Lortab, etc) to get their high.
Not surprising to me (but obviously it was to many “experts”) people looked for a different drug to get their desired effect. Heroin took the place of prescription drugs.
You see, you can’t take one drug away and think it will cure (or even curb) addictions. People will simply replace one drug for another.
Basic human nature dictates that people will search for any means to get what they want. You take one option away and they will find another to take its place.
This isn’t limited to drug addictions.
The same thing will happen with other addictions: Alcohol, Sex, Work, Exercise, Gambling, Etc.
If policy makers, or anyone, want to make a positive change in our society, they can’t be so short sighted and uninformed. They can’t think that taking options away or making it harder to get a certain type of drug (putting pseudoephedrine drugs behind the counter of pharmacy’s) will stop people from getting high.
The problem isn’t the “drug”; it’s what drives the desire for the drug that must be addressed.
The root problem must be dealt with (pain, depression, anger, rejection, or any number of issues).
This is one of the main problems with America’s policies. They don’t go to the root of issues; they simply put Band-Aids on things that need major surgery.
You can pick almost any topic in current events today and it can be traced back to this phenomenon.
Example: Gun control.
Many experts and policy makers think that by making it harder for the average citizen to get (or carry) a gun that it will decrease crime.
Criminals will still have the guns.
Those with the intent to do harm will still find a way.
Whether it’s to hurt somebody else, hurt self, or commit a crime, they will find a way.
If you take guns away, there are still knives, ropes, explosives, or any number of ways to hurt someone else, harm self, or commit a crime.
Please understand I do not want to get into a gun control debate, I’m simply using this as one more example of people severely underestimating the ROOT causes of what drives human nature.
If we want our world to be a better place, a safer place, it’s time to stop applying Band-Aids. It’s time to address real issue. It’s time for major surgery.
Yes, issues like narcotic addiction need to be addressed.
Yes, I think policy makers were on the right track with making it harder for addicts to obtain prescription medication.
HOWEVER, for them to be SHOCKED by some of the unintended results due to their decisions is ludicrous.
“Policymakers weren’t ready for that, and we certainly didn’t anticipate a shift to heroin.” (Dr. Cicero)
To me, this statement is the epitome of NO DUH!
If leaders are going to make decisions that affect society, they need to be ready for almost any potential outcome. While they can't control everything, somethings are so fundamental that there should be no reason for anyone to be able to tell our law makers, "NO DUH" as it relates to the outcome of their decisions.
America cannot afford for this type of NO DUH moments.
(please keep all comments respectful. I realize this post is controversial, but that's no reason to abandon manners).
Also, I'm happy to announce that my book The Precipice: When Everything We Know Ends is FREE for 3 days on Amazon (starting TOMORROW). Pick up a copy for yourself or for friends/family (don't forget to leave reviews on Amazon- they really help an author out)! Enjoy.