The Influence Of The War On Drugs In The United States

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June 1971, President Richard Nixon declared a war on drugs. Today “an estimated 24.6 million Americans aged 12 or older—9.4 percent of the population—had used an illicit drug in the past month.” It has been slightly over 40 years since the war on drugs began and yet the country still finds itself in the midst of a drug epidemic. “An estimated 22.7 million Americans (8.6 percent) needed treatment for a problem related to drugs [...] but only about 2.5 million people (0.9 percent) received treatment at a specialty facility.” 14.5 billion dollars has been budgeted for 2015 to be allocated towards domestic law enforcement, interdiction, and international law enforcement. While only 9.6 billion dollars has been budgeted towards treatment and 1.3 …show more content…
The war on drugs has been a complete failure and the American government has completely lost sight of what is most important to help this nation arise from this great problem. If the government focused more on treatment and education towards drugs than the epidemic facing this country would start to fade away. According to Penal Reform International 317,176 people in US prisons are there for drug related crimes and according to The Vera Institute of Justice the average inmate cost 31,286 dollars a year. That means that approximately close to 10 billion dollars is spent each year to house and feed people for drug related offenses when the money could be better spent towards helping the people of America get over their addiction. The war on drugs has been a complete failure and it is time for the government to change its focus from a war that has been lost to the treatment of its own …show more content…
One consequence is that people have to seek medical care for their drug problem and there has been “an estimated 2.5 million visits to emergency departments in US hospitals associated with drug misuse or abuse” If that wasn’t bad enough “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40,393 people died of drug-induced causes in 2010, the latest year for which data are available. The number of drug-induced deaths has grown from 19,128 in 1999” Drug abuse is a huge problem facing this country and every 13 minutes someone in the US dies from a drug induced death . The amount of deaths happening in this nation is absurd. If more money were allocated towards treatment and education then these types of deaths would become far less common. Drugs don’t just affect the user they also affect the people around them. To often a child can grow up in a home where a parent is addicted to drugs. In fact over 8.3 million youth under 18 years of age, or almost one in eight youth (11.9%), lived with at least one parent who was dependent on […] an illicit drug in the past year. Of these, About 2.1 million youth lived with a parent who was dependent on or abused illicit drugs” When a parent uses drugs they put their child’s life in danger and “Research shows that children with parents who abuse alcohol or drugs are more likely to experience abuse or neglect than children in other

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