Bruce K. Alexander’s essay “Reframing Canada’s ‘Drug Problem’” is about shifting the focus from intervention to prevention. Alexander explains that in Canada there have been three major waves of drug intervention: “Criminal prosecution and intensive anti-drug” (225), “medicinal and psychological treatment” (225), and the ‘“harm reduction’ techniques” (225) being the most resent. The “’harm reduction’” (225) consisted of: clean injectable heroin, clean needles, methadone, and housing for addicts. Although each of the methods is devoted and knowledgeable, they have done little to decrease the deaths or suppress the unhappiness. While clean heroin did work well few addicts quit using and many found the conditions of reserving the drugs to be repulsive.
The reason that the old ways do not work, Alexander says, is because “self-destructive drug users are responding in a tragic, but understandable way” (226). It is not their drug- problem that causes the dislocation, but the dislocation that causes the drug problem. He uses the term dislocation to describe the lack of integration with “family, community, society and spiritual values” (226). Alexander goes on to explain that history proves that inability to achieve healthy opportunities can take on the form of violence and damaging drug use. The problem is more the “pattern of response to prolonged dislocation” (226). Therefore, the “drug problem” (226) is not the problem. Alexander supports this by explaining that the reason for the dislocation is driven by globalize society, which can only be established by the displacement of tradition, economy, and relationships. This has been seen in historically in England during the 19TH century, ...
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...ommunities away from their friends and families. This money would be better spent on stopping the dislocation; of children, the sick, and vulnerable, preventing future drug use.
Alexander believes that this problem needs to be restructured and viewed as a political dilemma rather than a criminal or medical issue, that the government needs to put the effort and money in to limit dislocation. He also thinks that it is naïve for society to think that things can return to the good old days or to think things can continue move forward while ignoring this problems being made by the society that is being built. The solution to the “drug problem is nothing less then rejecting single-minded neoliberalism and exercising sensible, humane controls over environments, corporations and public institutions for the common good. [This]… requires a broadly framed policy” (229).
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