The War on Drugs: The US Drug Policy and its Effects on Society and Communities

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Utilization of prohibited drugs remains to be a severest health issue in the United States, and the ‘War on Drugs” persists with no end near (Saxe et al., 2006). Estimations by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) demonstrate that, in 2002, illicit use of drugs cost the US economy over 180 billion dollars (Dobkin & Nicosia, 2009). About 30 billion dollars were ascribed to crime, 16 billion dollars to health care and the rest, to abridged efficiency. Hence, lessening the use of illegal drugs and the unpleasant health and offense endings connected with their utilization is a significant policy objective in the United States (Dobkin & Nicosia, 2009). This paper shall first discuss the US drug policy, users of drugs and consequences of the war on drugs. The paper shall then offer various recommendations and end with a conclusion that summarizes the key points discussed.

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US Drug Policy

In reaction to these issues, executive-branch bureaucrats, state and federal legislators have ratified and executed policies that, though varied in approach, are inclined in the direction of enforcement. Such policies consist of the ban of nearly any use or tenure of heroin, marijuana, cocaine and a broad range of other stimulating substances. Policies that vary from the abolition of crops such as coca in supply nations through exclusion of smugglers to imprisonment of merchants within U.S. boundaries (Bobo & Thompson, 2006) and disruption of boulevard markets have been executed, so as to make trading such drugs strenuous. For instance, President Bush accorded the “Mérida Initiative in 2008, which would offer $1.4 billion to Mexico and other states over three years to aid fight hostility and drug smuggling” (Suddath, 2009).

Public agencies have also attempted to decrease Americans’ order for drugs via prevention programs presented through schools, treatment of material abusers and over mass media. Nevertheless, most overlays on drug management at federal, national, and local planes merged have been intended for enforcement. In the last 15 years, these actions have had a theatrical effect on some divisions of culture. Conversely, they have not resulted in substantial reductions in the sternness of America’s drug-linked issues, prompting loud criticisms of the existing policy (Suddath, 2009). Most critics dispute that the amplified stoutness of that strategy has done more destruction than well being. A number go so remote as to put forward that drugs are supposed to be legitimatized. These assaults have encouraged similarly well-built defenses of the existing policy by enforcement supporters, who deem that stronger medicines should be administered in case the patient declines to get well.

Users of Drugs

While the present rates of illegal drug use are approximately the same among Whites and Blacks (7.2% and 7.4%, respectively) and lesser for Lations (6.4%), the figure of White drug abusers is larger than that of drug abusers of color, since the White have a sizeable share of population (Moore et al., 2008). As of 1998, Whites made 72% of all illegal drug users weighed against the 15% share of Blacks (Moore et al., 2008). The study also indicated that the potential of Whites to use marijuana was five times that of the Blacks.

Consequences of the War on Drugs

The accounts of convicted criminals and their societies are formed by the overextended wing of the prisons (Bobo & Thompson, 2006). The judicial organization, which was selected to serve and guard the people, assumed the clash of the war on drugs in 1968, whilst the Nixon government decided to intensify endeavors against the trade, circulation, and utilization of illegal drugs in the United States. The war on drugs has shaped a behemoth of jails, courts and prisons, which have made little to reduce the use of drugs, although doing much to form perplexity and adversity in urban societies and families of color (Bobo & Thompson, 2006).

Ever since 1972, the figure of people imprisoned has augmented five times devoid of a comparable reduction in drug use or crime (Moore et al., 2008). The reduced costs of stimulants and opiates and the augmented power of cannabis may direct one to a contrasting view. According to the political views on the war, skyrocket imprisonment rates are a symbol of accomplishment, rather than disappointment.

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A large moral panic regarding crime stimulated by political feasibility and media captions, and shaped the necessity to spiral the war on drugs. The result has augmented imprisonment shaped by, slight judicial prudence, tougher rules and prosecution, and bigger policing. Since these laws are not imposed evenly, most frequently the people of color and deprived are communally unable to detach from surroundings that are branded “drug areas” become victimized. They unintentionally put themselves at the hub of the state’s war on drugs.

In the sight of several police commissioners, politicians, society leaders and wealthy nationals, the war on drugs might seem to be a victorious one. This is because imprisonment rates are on the increase and jails are constructed almost as rapidly and the risk of drugs is, in conjecture, being detached from regions, public parks and school playgrounds (Moore et al., 2008). It would be suitable to deem this the conclusion of the crisis, to clean hands of criminals and drugs and progress to another thing, something that merits concentration from both the public policy and the criminal justice structure.

The outcomes of “clean streets” are adversative to what is required to make healthy societies, as the lasting effects of regular removal and proficient incarceration of drug users makes a substantial dispute (Moore et al., 2008). The consequences of detaching people from their societies, as well as families, and then returning them after some time, with no any aid or considerable remedy, are severe. Persons who have served long prison verdicts for nonviolent drug crimes are not simply left with slight or no social backing but also recognized by the criminal justice structure as latently threatening repeat criminals (Moore et al., 2008). They are not simply detached from their loved ones, but as well placed in an unfeasible circumstance, whereby they are not capable of supplying for their relations or maintaining emotional knots with their partners. After discharge, the majority, being viewed as criminals, find difficulties in acquiring useful, lawful vocations. Similar to other wars, the harm of the war on drugs is made too small to see, although it is extremely disparaging. In order to understand these assertions further, let us examine health in prisons and life after prison.

Health in Prisons

Health is normally poor in prisons. However, while medical treatment is neither authorized nor deemed as a right for the common people, it is consented for prisoners. Despite this, prison, medical treatment is poor in several nations. Prison inmates experience high rates of HIV, psychological illness, TB and other communicable ailments.

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While prisons are required to treat communicable illnesses and other disorders, they are never mandated to support contentious programs, for instance, condom allocation and needle sharing for HIV and hepatitis C deterrence. Prisons frequently house convicts from societies excessively impacted by health discrimination and consecutively go back ill to the same societies.

There lacks assurance that imprisoned persons’ health will be improved after spending time in prison. Imprisonment augments the risk of contact to HIV and other avoidable circumstances. Besides, partners who rejoin their loved ones are at an augmented risk of contagion. Spouses and children of imprisoned people and societies of color tolerate the yoke of mortality and morbidity.

Life after Prison

Former prisoners are likely to lose communal and family bonds (Moore et al., 2008). They encounter difficulties while searching for employment, since most employers never hire guilty offenders. Laws of zero tolerance hinder persons with drug-linked offenses from government aid, for instance, civic housing and financial support to join institutions.

It is implausible that an ex-criminal will steer the obstacles created by the criminal justice structure during incarceration with victory, and then undertake additional hurdles founded by both the culture and government once discharged. These impacts are the side-effect of a double standard that offers care to the wealthy and jail to the deprived. They are as well an effect of the politics of panic, which forces politicians to support prisons instead of schools and sentence rather than health.

Recommendations

Societies of color experience a growing public health crisis shaped, by the United State’s resolution, to incarcerate those detained for nonviolent drug crimes (Caulkins et al., 2005). Difficulties that afflict inner towns, from deficiency and desperation to substance utilization and augmented mortality and morbidity, are aggravated by high imprisonment rates, since suburban societies are never hurt when nonviolent drug criminals are presented with second chances and cure. Hence, policy makers and public health specialists should work, in partnership, to take care of this as a community health crisis, one that merits cure and deterrence rather than reprimand. Prime prevention consists of the formation of well-built, feasible societies, whereby affiliates have employment and new alternatives in addition to drugs. Material use cure can only be efficient in locations where the circumstances of primary deterrence are found.

Public health specialists are supposed to campaign for the families of imprisoned persons. Family disconnection is a possible source of recidivism and can add to the threat of children adhering to their parents in the structure (Caulkins et al., 2005). Each person is supposed to be able to access superior education and health within and out of jail. We are supposed to back ex-felons subsequent to their jail terms in their endeavors to secure meaningful education, vocations and housing. Singling out those who have been through incarceration proliferates the discernment that people in deprived communities restrains to unlawful and high-risk vocations and ascertains their prospects as insecure, unemployable and useless to the community.

Latest years have seen alterations in what was formerly a monumental force to imprison drug users. Nations have progressively established drug courts as a benevolent response to drug issues. Persons outside and inside the criminal justice society are identifying the call for educational courses inside jails and feasible re-entry courses for discharge. A number of judges are re-affirming their prudence with prison term. Besides, jurisdictions are being enforced to restrict convict populations and establish early discharges. It would mirror an immense enhancement if consistent treatment and deterrence policies directed their early discharges. Early discharges work best when provoked by consistent prevention and cure policies, rather than prison congestion.

The spherical pattern of incarceration and final release with restricted rights have offered health perils that have been abandoned by the public health organization, forming a public health problem with no structure to handle the effect. There lacks a program that can deal with the impacts formed by the incarceration and ensuing life-altering growth of entire populations. The problems shaped by imprisonment should be methodically addressed by means of public health policy laid out by the nations and federal administrations. Entitling these problems to the notice of the government is the duty of public health practitioners, since they are well positioned for the task.

In conclusion, the US drug policy has had little success. This is because the war on drugs has shaped a behemoth of jails, courts and prisons, which have done little to reduce the use of drugs, although doing much to form perplexity and adversity in urban societies and families of color. Ever since 1972, the figure of people imprisoned has augmented five times devoid of a comparable reduction in drug use or crime. The lasting effects of regular removal and proficient incarceration of drug users make a whopping dispute. There lacks assurance that imprisoned persons’ health will be improved after spending time in prison. Imprisonment augments the risk of contact to HIV and other avoidable circumstances. Besides, partners who rejoin their loved ones are at an augmented risk of contagion. Spouses and children of imprisoned people and societies of color tolerate the yoke of mortality and morbidity. The consequences of detaching people from their societies, as well as families, and then returning them after some time, with no any aid or considerable remedy, are severe. Persons who have served long prison verdicts for nonviolent drug crimes are not simply left with slight or no social backing, but also recognized by the criminal justice structure as latently threatening repeat criminals. Former prisoners are likely to lose communal and family bonds. They encounter difficulties while searching for employment, since most employers never hire guilty offenders. It is implausible that an ex-criminal will steer the obstacles created by the criminal justice structure during incarceration with victory, and then undertake additional hurdles founded by both the culture and government once discharged. These impacts are the side-effect of a double standard that offers care to the wealthy and jail to the deprived. They are as well an effect of the politics of panic, which forces politicians to support prisons instead of schools and sentence rather than health. Hence, policy makers and public health specialists should work, in partnership, to take care of this as a community health crisis, one that merits cure and deterrence rather than reprimand. Prime prevention consists of the formation of well-built, feasible societies, whereby affiliates have employment and new alternatives in addition to drugs.

References

Bobo, L. & Thompson, V. (2006). Unfair by design: the war on drugs, race, and the legitimacy of the criminal justice system. Web.

Caulkins, J., Reuter, P. Iguchi, M. & Chiesa, J. (2005). How goes the war on drugs: an assessment of U.S. drug problems and policy. Web.

Dobkin, C. & Nicosia, N. (2009).The war on drugs: methamphetamine, public health, and crime. Web.

Moore, L., Ph, D. & Elkavich, A. (2008). Who’s using and who’s doing time: incarceration, the war on drugs, and public health. Web.

Saxe, L., Kadushin, C. & Thige, E. (2006). Community-based prevention programs in the War on drugs: findings from the fighting back demonstration. Journal of Drug Issues, 2, 263-294.

Suddath, Claire (2009). The War on Drugs. Web.

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DemoEssays. (2022) 'The War on Drugs: The US Drug Policy and its Effects on Society and Communities'. 12 April.

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DemoEssays. 2022. "The War on Drugs: The US Drug Policy and its Effects on Society and Communities." April 12, 2022. https://demoessays.com/the-war-on-drugs-the-us-drug-policy-and-its-effects-on-society-and-communities/.

1. DemoEssays. "The War on Drugs: The US Drug Policy and its Effects on Society and Communities." April 12, 2022. https://demoessays.com/the-war-on-drugs-the-us-drug-policy-and-its-effects-on-society-and-communities/.


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DemoEssays. "The War on Drugs: The US Drug Policy and its Effects on Society and Communities." April 12, 2022. https://demoessays.com/the-war-on-drugs-the-us-drug-policy-and-its-effects-on-society-and-communities/.