interested

A different approach to drugs ?

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Would any one like to discuss this article in terms of their own countries problems. This has been Portugals answer to drugs since the Salazar regime finished. Would it work in America or the rest of the world?

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/dec/05/portugals-radical-drugs-policy-is-working-why-hasnt-the-world-copied-it?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Copy_to_clipboard

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It seems a very sensible approach.

Not least because the current approach- legal prohibition- clearly doesn't work, and never did.

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Empirically, there is good evidence that treating drug abuse as a medical and social problem is likely to have an overall better outcome than a (predominantly) criminal one.  One big issue is the political atmosphere, as it is more intuitive for the voters to see police action rather than setting up needle exchanges, for example. The latter is seen as a drain on economy and promoting drug abuse whereas the former as taking hard actions. Yet as we (should) know now the war on drugs has done little to curb drug abuse, at the cost of a lot of money, lives and disproportionate incarceration of the poor. 

Small scale decriminalization in various countries seem also to positively affect outcome, while Portugal is an example that even on a large scale the net effects seems to be positive, especially in the area of public health but also virtually in all other relevant metrics.

Again, at this point the biggest issue is political will.

Edited by CharonY

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If the US publically funded healthcare, I think we could easily make Portugal's system work. We'd move a significant portion of our prisoners out of the for-profit prison system and into medical programs that are aimed at helping them rather than making money off of them. But because healthcare is privately operated, and we pay 2-3 times what the rest of the world pays for healthcare, our own citizens don't trust the doctors.

So much ignorance surrounds these issues. If we believed we were worth the investment in healthcare, if we believed the country we pledge allegiance to had our best interests in mind, how much less of a drug and alcohol problem would we have? I'd love to find out.

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48 minutes ago, John Cuthber said:

Not least because the current approach- legal prohibition- clearly doesn't work, and never did.

Yep. It just changed ordinary people to criminals, after being arrested with meaningless quantity, they lost jobs, lost homes, lost families, and they ended up homeless hopeless full-time narcotics-abused (selling stuff to others, having to stole to have money for stuff etc.) criminals as a result..

 

Edited by Sensei

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It's an issue of education; if you can explain to people that the "war on drugs" is totally wrong-headed and doomed then you can get a better policy.

But it's easy for politicians to accuse their rivals of being "soft on drugs" as if it's a bad thing.

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The world is copying it since there is evidence it works. 

For example here:

Quote

In the Czech Republic, the National Drug Policy Strategy 2010-18 originally focused solely on illicit drugs, but in 2014 and 2016 was revised to address alcohol, tobacco and gambling (Figure 1). The strategy is comprehensive and has four pillars: prevention; treatment and resocialisation; harm reduction; and supply reduction. It is complemented by three supporting domains: coordination and funding; monitoring, research and evaluation; and international cooperation. In the area of illicit drugs, the strategy defines four key objectives: (i) to reduce the level of experimental and occasional drug use; (ii) to reduce the level of problem and intensive drug use; (iii) to reduce potential drug-related risks to individuals and society; and (iv) to reduce drug availability, particularly to young people. The implementation of the strategy is supported by a series of consecutive three-year action plans for each area.

2

http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/publications/country-drug-reports/2017/czech-republic_en

---

btw is "political will" a euphemism for ignorance of voters? Rhetorical. 

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Both Portugal and Czech Republic have Socialists governments, not Capitalist. Would politicians implement this system for instance in an economy controlled by big business and lobby groups. Similar to the American and possibly the rest of the English speaking world? 

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I've brought this subject up to quite a few Republicans before who I know well enough that they respect my opinion on stuff.

When I point out more that it's not so much as taking it soft on drugs as trying a different method, and that method is changing their lifestyle, they often believe me. I use Vietnam Veterans as an example, a lot of them used drugs in the war yet when they came back to America and they got out of the highly stressful environment, the majority of them quit. 

The only thing I could NOT convince them of was that this method was worth the money. To them, they don't associate prison costs as compared to this method. They simply assume that imprisoning them costs virtually nothing but the food they eat and that this method is insanely expensive.

So I'd say if you wish to try and convince them, try making the point that it's fiscally more efficient in the long run, then in the short run.

Also, another thing that helps, is making hybrids of it. One thing I learned on this site is that there are very few Absolutes. Make exceptions to when it'd be considered criminal, and you'll find you'll garner a LOT more support a lot faster than you'd think. 

 

In April I'll spend 3 days participating in a mock government program. If you'd like I'll write a bill up that I believe implements this idea, and present it to them. I'll post it on here in a few days to get your opinion(The OP's) on whether you think it models your idea of a different approach to drugs.

I live in PA, and this mock government program is a group of teenagers between 14-19. One thing I know is that a lot of kids my age, their views, their beliefs, are aligned with their parents. It may change when they go to college, but the majority will have the same views as of now. Pennslyvania voted Republican, so I know that a good portion of these kids is probably Republican. Getting it passed, will mean I was able to appeal to their sense of belief, and in my opinion, show that a different approach to drugs may yet be possible. We can't make a leap all at once, and the first step to changing the way we approach drugs is providing an alternative approach to a large portion of people, and making them BELIEVE it can work. 

Do you agree? If so I'll go ahead and write this bill.

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31 minutes ago, Raider5678 said:

I've brought this subject up to quite a few Republicans before who I know well enough that they respect my opinion on stuff.

When I point out more that it's not so much as taking it soft on drugs as trying a different method, and that method is changing their lifestyle, they often believe me. I use Vietnam Veterans as an example, a lot of them used drugs in the war yet when they came back to America and they got out of the highly stressful environment, the majority of them quit. 

The only thing I could NOT convince them of was that this method was worth the money. To them, they don't associate prison costs as compared to this method. They simply assume that imprisoning them costs virtually nothing but the food they eat and that this method is insanely expensive.

So I'd say if you wish to try and convince them, try making the point that it's fiscally more efficient in the long run, then in the short run.

Also, another thing that helps, is making hybrids of it. One thing I learned on this site is that there are very few Absolutes. Make exceptions to when it'd be considered criminal, and you'll find you'll garner a LOT more support a lot faster than you'd think. 

 

In April I'll spend 3 days participating in a mock government program. If you'd like I'll write a bill up that I believe implements this idea, and present it to them. I'll post it on here in a few days to get your opinion(The OP's) on whether you think it models your idea of a different approach to drugs.

I live in PA, and this mock government program is a group of teenagers between 14-19. One thing I know is that a lot of kids my age, their views, their beliefs, are aligned with their parents. It may change when they go to college, but the majority will have the same views as of now. Pennslyvania voted Republican, so I know that a good portion of these kids is probably Republican. Getting it passed, will mean I was able to appeal to their sense of belief, and in my opinion, show that a different approach to drugs may yet be possible. We can't make a leap all at once, and the first step to changing the way we approach drugs is providing an alternative approach to a large portion of people, and making them BELIEVE it can work. 

Do you agree? If so I'll go ahead and write this bill.

 

Legit concern. The sentence after this one invalidates it however.  The problem is complex and requires complex considerations.

The program you are planning to be involved with sounds promising. Personally, I would like to hear about your experiences and progress.

One step at the time.

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2 hours ago, tuco said:

Legit concern. The sentence after this one invalidates it however.  The problem is complex and requires complex considerations.

The program you are planning to be involved with sounds promising. Personally, I would like to hear about your experiences and progress.

One step at the time.

Yes, one step at a time.

 

Firstly, my experiences. I live surrounded by Republicans(or more lately, no longer Republicans but Conservatives) who are very vocal about their political opinions. As a result, I usually know quite well what will go over with Republicans and what won't. I won't even TOUCH the subject of gun control with them, even on very mild grounds. However, other issues, I'm finding that their goals are actually fairly aligned with Democratic goals(quite a few exceptions, but generally, make America a better place, reduce crime, help the poor, etc.) The biggest separation is HOW to do so. So my progress with making this bill pass this mock government is larger with my general intent on educating Republicans on more effective methods. Firstly, like I stated before, make things Hybrid. If you can't make a giant leap all at once, make it a step.

I'll give an example. One of the bills presented to me last week was only presented to my delegation. In it, it outlawed the use of solitary confinement entirely. Now firstly, only 7/12 of the kids would have passed it(this was a mock debate session to prepare for the mock government session. Irony). I get this based on what their opinion was. Now it would have passed, but I proposed a simple amendment, and it ended up passing with 12/12 votes(note my delegation is slightly in favor of liberal positions, however, I'm told the mock government session is in favor of conservative positions). My simple change was that rather than entirely outlawing solitary confinement, it limited it to 1 session, no more than 24 hours, once a week at most.

Now, this would drastically cut down on solitary confinement still, and just keeping that little amount swayed 5 more kids to vote to approve it. Hence the nothing is absolute and making Hybrids of this process can massively influence support. The main obstacle is not creating an effective method, it's getting people to support it. I've seen this process done on several bills now, and it works quite well on issues that people can be swayed on.

For this drug program, we have to create a hybrid on it to get it to pass majorly. I don't like getting it passed by the skin of the teeth, I'd rather see at least 80% of kids supporting a bill, if not more.

 

However, now I have to state the obvious. We have to agree on what we believe would be effective measures.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJUXLqNHCaI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ao8L-0nSYzg

This video, I think, sums up the basic idea.

Do you agree? I know most of this post was related more to the process of convincing people, but I can't stress how important this is in government proceedings, much more than whether the process actually works.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Raider5678

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Governmenta all over the world ( OK, here in Canada anyway )  are announcing programs to fight the Opioid crisis.
Millions of dollars are being announced to provide drugs to addicts to help ease their suffering and protect society.
Yet these people chose the path to their suffering.

Why not start with legalizing drugs to cancer sufferers who, to a large extent, are not responsible for their suffering.

If an opioid addict chooses to abstain, eventually he will not be suffering.
If a cancer sufferer takes heroin to ease his suffering, he's still faced with a painful death.

I know which one I'd help first.
How about you ?

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2 minutes ago, MigL said:

Why not start with legalizing drugs to cancer sufferers who, to a large extent, are not responsible for their suffering.

That is a strange point to make. Pain medication is obviously legal...

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20 minutes ago, MigL said:

Governmenta all over the world ( OK, here in Canada anyway )  are announcing programs to fight the Opioid crisis.
Millions of dollars are being announced to provide drugs to addicts to help ease their suffering and protect society.
Yet these people chose the path to their suffering.

Why not start with legalizing drugs to cancer sufferers who, to a large extent, are not responsible for their suffering.

If an opioid addict chooses to abstain, eventually he will not be suffering.
If a cancer sufferer takes heroin to ease his suffering, he's still faced with a painful death.

I know which one I'd help first.
How about you ?

Good medical ethics has no frontiers. Besides,  cancer can be caused by ones actions/inaction/excess. Is the smoker, cirrhotic alcoholic or obese person totally blameless if they get cancer? Having a sex life can  get you papilloma virus and cause cancer...are you to blame? it is not productive to have a judgemental agenda like yours.

Edited by StringJunky
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My post was regarding heroin as a painkiller, CharonY.
And there are numerous studies as to its effectiveness.
I really don't think its legal anywhere that I know of. Correct me if I'm wrong.

I don't think I'm being judgemental at all Stringy.
You could live the healthiest life and make all the right choices but still eventually die of cancer. It is a built in genetic failure mechanism. Eventually your cells stop reproducing perfectly and anomalies develop in their reproduction; these anomalies or abnormal cells are, by definition, cancer. Malignant ones reproduce quickly and spread.
The addict on the other hand, is all about choice. And if you re-read, I don't wish to deny the addicts either.
I just want cancer sufferers taken care of too ( or better yet, first ) 

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2 hours ago, MigL said:

My post was regarding heroin as a painkiller, CharonY.
And there are numerous studies as to its effectiveness.
I really don't think its legal anywhere that I know of. Correct me if I'm wrong.

I am not sure about the relevance of that. What would be the advantage over the opioids currently in use? Specifically, what would be the be its advantage over e.g. precisely dosed morphine? Hint: check the bioconversion of heroin once inside the body. Also, there is a reason why synthetic opioids are around.  

But for the bigger point, it is obvious that pain patients are not denied pain medication. In fact, overuse is one of the causes of the opioid crisis. It seems to me that the legal situation for pain patients is quite clear and is nowhere near the issue of addiction. Well, aside the fact that pain patients are at risk at becoming addicts.

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I stand corrected.
Thank you John and CharonY.

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