The United States has spent over 30 years fighting the war on drugs. Americans have paid a heavy price financially. The drug enforcement budget is now $40 billion. A lot of time, effort, and money go into America’s attempt in eliminating trafficking, dealing, and the use of illegal drugs. Many believe that this is a war worth fighting, while others feel that America will never conquer the war on drugs. The latter suggest legalization as an alternative plan that will help save the country millions of dollars. In this paper, I will examine the history of the drug war as well as the arguments for and against fighting the war on drugs.
Illegal drug use in America dates back to the beginning of the 20th century. At this time two to five percent of the entire population of the United States was addicted to drugs. Times were very different then though. There are two main reasons for the high rate of drug addiction in the early 1900’s. The first was the use of morphine for pain relief in patients that had just gone through a medical operation. The patients were given the medication throughout the surgery as well as throughout their recovery time in the hospital. Thus after spending an extended amount of time in the hospital, they would leave with a repaired body along with an addiction to morphine. The addiction was so prevalent among soldiers during the Civil War that it became known as the “soldier’s disease”. 1
The second reason for the high drug addiction rate at the beginning of the 20th century was due to the audience that it was targeted to. Along with the soldiers, women made up a large portion of the population that was addicted to morphine. It was sold ...
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... In addition, we could greatly decrease the supply problem by stopping drug production in other countries. This would be a very hard task, but would impact the drug world immensely. A focus on treatment for addicts would also help. The success of drug treatment depends on the motivation of the patient and is directly related to the length of time that a patient remains in treatment, but the success rate of fully completing is significant.
If we could succeed in preventing the production of drugs in other countries or stopping drugs at the border as well as stopping the sale of drugs in the United States, we could win the war on drugs. It may not happen in your life time or mine, but baby steps should continue to be taken for future victory. We must never give up on fighting against drugs because the repercussions of legalizing them would be far worse.
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