Maybe They’re Finally Getting it!

I watched a documentary last night on a PBS show called Frontline. The episode was titled “Chasing Heroin”. I hope you will watch it yourself here. It’s 2016 and we have a heroin epidemic. Did you know? I didn’t! I’ve heard about the opium problem through a close friend of mine who’s son and many teens got hooked on OxyContin. Their family went through hell trying to get help. It was such a huge problem that the Purdue Pharmaceutical Company stopped making it and made a less addictive drug. This caused an even bigger problem. Those already addicted had to find an alternative. They chose another opiate, heroin. These people were prescribed this medication through their family doctor and now roam the streets looking for heroin and imprisoned.

This was a huge shock to me. Those of us who live middle class lives don’t usually see this lifestyle but more and more we are exposed it. My daughter, Justine was arrested for drugs. I don’t usually talk about it and many of my friends don’t even know. I have written about these experiences in my book, Not My Story To Tell. I know what drugs they were and they weren’t heroin, but the facts remain.

The reason I’m writing about this is because of a program in Seattle that I learned about on this show. It’s called LEAD. I’m including information about it here. When people are arrested for drug use, instead of putting them in jail, they are helped! Imagine that! They are offered the option of going into rehab or are helped with mental illness. I was so happy to see this huge shift in law enforcement. What good does throwing people in jail do? 

I would like to hear any opinions on this topic.

 

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10 thoughts on “Maybe They’re Finally Getting it!

  1. A complete and utter waste of time and money to lock people up for drug taking. Treatment and education is needed more.By all means lock up those who deal in drugs, making money whilst destroying (often young) lives. Quite often mental health issues involved too.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A significant percentage of people with bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses (typically undiagnosed or improperly treated) self-medicate with illegal drugs and end up in jail. This is frustrating for their families, friends, and even many law enforcement officials (including some jailers) who recognize they need help with their mental illness and the drug problem will most likely take care of itself. Granted, at a point there’s an addiction problem as well, but being jailed doesn’t resolve that issue either. In fact, jail is such a unhealthy environment for someone with mental illness that it generally compounds the problem. We need programs that address the root of the problem, such as mental illness, rather than building more jails and tightening sentencing guidelines.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I used to work with drug addicts and criminal offenders. There are no easy answers. I can only say, if you want to get humble, work in addiction. No one ever got clean because of me. Whenever they did, they would always tell me, “I got sick and tired of getting sick and tired….I just wanted it.”

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Where I worked, people who were caught selling drugs, would say they were really addicts. So then they were mandated to treatment or to jail. They were actually very good patients. They did not want to go to jail, so their compliance was higher. Sometimes they got the message before the end of treatment.

        Liked by 1 person

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