Drug Addiction And Drug Offenders

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The human brain is a complex organ. It controls emotions, belief systems and basic bodily functions. For was much as we know about the brain and how it works, there is a stigma about mental disorders which effect certain behaviors, such as addiction. This stigma could be attributed to a lack of understanding, or possibly a fear, of what can turn into very destructive behavior. Drug addiction can cause people to act in ways that are often dangerous to themselves and to society, leading them to a life of crime, driven by substance abuse. For many years, drug offenders have been charged with prison sentences as a form of rehabilitation, as well as a way to deter drug related crimes. This sort of system is has shown to be ineffective and detrimental …show more content…
Most people are more likely to view drug abuse as a disease, rather than as a moral issue (Giordano). As technology and understanding of how the brain functions improve, there is proof to support these beliefs. Scientific advances in neurology and genetics have helped convince man researchers that drug and alcohol abuse is a chronic illness (Sapatkin). Viewing addiction as a disease should radically change the ways in which drug offenders are sentenced. In an article about how addiction effects drug offender’s behavior in the Journal of Drug Issues, Vincent Giordano describes the ways in which addiction is considered a disease. He sates, “Central to the disease concept is the idea that alcoholics (and drug addicts) have lost control over their ability to abstain from using drugs and alcohol… This loss of control has been interpreted to mean that addicts have no control over their addiction” (Giordano). Giordano goes on to relate how the understanding that addiction should be considered a disease, “… postulates that drug offenders should be treated as though they have an illness, and not punished as criminals, because they have no control over their addiction” (Giordano). With the view on addiction shifting to that of a mental illness instead of a moral failing, the ways in which drug offenders are charged should evolve as

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