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Why does the war on drugs fail?

Why does the war on drugs fail?

June 17, 2024

It has been proven for more than 100 years that the war on drugs has not reduced addictive consumption. In part, this happens because it does not emphasize what makes an addict "become" addicted.

What has made the war on drugs have failed? Let's see it

  • Related article: "Mules: the weakest link in drug trafficking"

Why the war on drugs does not work?

As much as certain substances are prohibited, consumption continues, and it does so in situations of great risk. The war on drugs, as its name suggests, leaves aside the figure of the consumer as a person with an addiction or health problem, emphasizing the substance as an active agent.

In reality, the protagonist role in addiction is embodied by the person, not the substance; a person, with certain traits and predispositions both physical and psychological, that develops in a family and social context that, for different circumstances, promote, allow or not limit the consumption of substances .

Beyond the high addictive power of some substances, it is not the drug that generates the addiction. This allows us to understand why there are also addictions that do not refer to chemical substances, but to activities or people, for example, in the case of pathological gambling, as complex and problematic as any addiction; also There may be addictive behavior linked to shopping, food, work , technology, a relationship, etc.

The war on drugs does not diminish violence

The war on drugs does not put an end to the violence that surrounds drug trafficking . In fact, it continues to produce violence, deaths and assassinations. These are usually given to the security forces, given that the small traffickers are murdered, instead of being detained accordingly as a result of their criminal act. In addition, there is a high mortality rate among criminal gangs, who kill each other, in search of power and control of the narcotics market.

A clear example that this war has not brought the expected effects is the dry law and the consequent prohibition of the production, distribution and commercialization of alcoholic beverages. As an effect, far from promoting health or reducing the morbidity and mortality rates linked to alcohol consumption, there were deaths caused, or by the consumption of adulterated alcohol, or by murders of alcohol. criminal gangs struggling to handle the clandestine market of alcohol.

The effects of the prohibition

Another side of the war on drugs refers to terms such as criminalization against decriminalization, prohibition against legalization. Criminalize the use of substances implies that the consumer be conceptualized as a person committing a crime.

In Argentina, this is established by the narcotics law No. 23,737 passed in 1989 and in force as of today. Grief is mitigated tenure for personal consumption from one month to years of imprisonment, with the possibility that the process is left in suspense by the Judge and that the consumer is subjected to a measure of curative or educational security for as long as it is necessary for their detoxification and rehabilitation. It is thought thus, to the rehabilitation as accessory of the pain.

However, the Supreme Court of Justice declared the criminalization of tenure for personal use unconstitutional (Arriola ruling), but the law has not yet been modified and criminal proceedings are still ongoing against those found with possession of narcotics, although of reduced amount is concerned.

The need to understand the context of consumption

If we consider that the addict is not a criminal, if not a person with a health problem, we will know that it is not in prison the place where it will be rehabilitated .

Although there are addicted people who commit crimes, in any case they must be penalized for the crime committed and not for the consumption itself.

It is in function of this conception, that it is aimed at decriminalization and decriminalization of consumers; thinking the penalty only for those who market the drug. In any case it is important to point out that this entails that the consumer has to obtain the drugs of traffickers, which continues to imply risk and illegality.

If the debate revolves around the prohibition or legalization of substances and the elimination of drug traffickers, however, there is a slippage of the axis of analysis towards the substances, leaving aside the singular relationship of a consumer with the substances that consume In this way, the emergence of questions that raise questions about consumption and symptomatics, a necessary condition for the start of treatment, could be impeded.

Bibliographic references:


Why The War on Drugs Is a Huge Failure (June 2024).

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