Decriminalization of Drug Possession
Lately, everything has been up for debate. Topics that many had already drawn conclusions based upon established facts, have now been reduced to heated arguments across the dinner table or perhaps an interpretative dance of opposing sides. Why wouldn’t the decriminalization of drug possession be any different? Should laws be modified in order to help an individual struggling with an addiction to drugs? Or should someone with personal-use drug possession or an individual who has survived an overdose be prosecuted? This post is not arguing either side, but just sharing information and allowing the reader to draw their own conclusions for themselves.
Regardless of anyone’s thoughts on the topic, there are people struggling with substance use disorders (SUDs) that need help. And for some that don’t receive that help as soon as possible, they will lose their battle with drugs, but they don’t have to.
American Addiction Centers (AAC) has facilities across the nation that help individuals with both SUDs, as well as alcohol use disorder (AUD). We provide medical detox, both inpatient and outpatient care, as well as aftercare planning. There is no need to wait for lawmakers in order for you to reach out for help about your own life. If you’re currently struggling with an addiction, please reach out for the help that you need today.
Should There be a Decriminalization of Drugs?
Those who are for the decriminalization of drug possession have a variety of reasons for feeling the way they do. Some of those feelings can be supported with facts, but in the end, it is one of two opposing sides.
Decriminalization removes the “criminal penalties for drug law violations.” And these violations tend to be possession for personal use.
It’s important to note that decriminalization normally does not apply to the supply or sale of drugs, but rather applies to the possession or use of drugs.
Benefits of decriminalization:
- Reduction of number of individuals in prison.
- Increase in those who need drug treatment actually receiving it.
- Reduction in criminal justice costs.
- Reduction in individuals getting arrested.
Those who subscribe to this point of view believe that the investment in harm reduction services and treatment can contribute to the public health and safety benefits such as the ones mentioned above.
According to an article in The New York Times, “Oregon has become the first state to acknowledge that it is impossible to treat addiction as a disease and a crime simultaneously.” And the article goes on to share that decriminalization is needed soon, as the “leading cause of death among people 18-45” is from fentanyl.
The foundation for an argument against decriminalization of drugs appears to be a moral one. For some, on this side of the debate, they believe that decriminalizing personal-use drug possession, is an indication that society condones the use of it. Some even believe that decriminalization is equal to legalization.
The organizations that support the decriminalization of drugs include:
- The NAACP.
- World Health Organization.
- Organization of American States.
- National Latino Congreso.
- Human Rights Watch.
- American Public Health Association.
What are your thoughts? And why do you feel the way you do?
AAC offers treatment in a supportive environment to help individuals reach long-term recovery. If you’re currently struggling with an addiction to drugs, please reach out to get the help you need today.