Options for dealing with crime and drug use

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Lady tehMa
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Options for dealing with crime and drug use

Post by Lady tehMa »

It seems like it is becoming a daily occurance that someone I know is a victim of crime. Crime that usually has drug use at its root.

What options do we have for dealing with this? I'm not in favour of study-til-you-croak, because it has been done for years.

Feel free to brainstorm in this thread, even if it sounds crazy.

I know I've read lots of scifi, and wonder if maybe some workable solutions could be found there? In one universe it starts out with something of a socialist system, with people living at a subsistance or "subbie" level. They get the cruddy jobs, and in order for them to get even that, they have to accomplish their tasks. They are grouped together in communities, in some stories on lower levels and in some stories on islands, but generally isolated. People can be promoted, if they are willing to expend more effort than the norm.

In a short story I read (I keep thinking "the lotus eaters" but that may be wrong) free drug use was a tool to control population, if you wanted it you went to communes where you were sterilized. Basic care was minimal, but all the drugs you could want were free. Life expectancy was low, but people still volunteered for the free drugs. I can't remember if it was a one way ticket or not, this was some years ago.

I'm not sure any of this could be workable (unless as a novel, can I have credit pls?). But like I say, I do like the scifi/fantasy genres. I also get so very frustrated with seeing the criminals creating victims of decent, hardworking people. I'm tired of people hurting other people, then being given free cable, 3 squares a day, conjugal visits and free education when I see people who work 2-3 jobs just to survive, being denied a hand up with educational funding. There is something VERY WRONG with this scenario. Especially when so many reoffend.

Brainstorm, fantasize away, maybe we can actually find a solution? One can hope.
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fluffy
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Re: Options for dealing with crime and drug use

Post by fluffy »

Does not the way that rank-and-file citizens view addicts and criminals in general have an effect on the efforts we put into dealing with the problem? For the most part we see them as second rate humans undeserving of the benefits we take for granted. (See? Even I find it easy use labels like "them" to set them apart from myself.) Government cuts back the social safety net for "them" knowing that any public complaint will be minimal. It would seem a grassroots shift in the way we look at the problem would be a starting point.
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Lady tehMa
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Re: Options for dealing with crime and drug use

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So how do we shift the view? I think of criminals and I feel threatened. I feel protective of my family in a mama-cat-rawr kind of way. I think of all the times I've been robbed over the years, taken advantage of or swindled. Add in the fact that I really do try to make the world a better place, and help others - and then to be hurt/mistreated like that?

There is a reason some of us feel the way we feel, there is a reason there is no trust there. Little charity. Walls come up to protect ourselves - how do you propose we change that? To me, "they" are the enemy, the source of all ill treatment and not to be trusted.
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Re: Options for dealing with crime and drug use

Post by WhatThe »

Lady tehMa wrote: To me, "they" are the enemy, the source of all ill treatment and not to be trusted.


Fluffy is exactly on the right track with paradigm shift and the fact people are ignorant of the facts. . I chose this part to quote because of everything I've learned about this issue tells me the real enemy is our own govt. there's multiple reasons why I'll state that. Do you want to start with obfuscation of the truth? Facts?
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Lady tehMa
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Re: Options for dealing with crime and drug use

Post by Lady tehMa »

What facts exactly? I don't follow you, nor do I see how it pertains to changing how we think about criminals. I have some facts though.

Fact: I have been robbed.
Fact: I have been threatened by aggressive panhandlers
Fact: I have had personal property vandalized
Fact: I have had family members attacked and had their attackers get off with a slap of a wrist (do some community service, then go out and re-offend).

Can you understand how these experiences might contribute to a less-than-hospitable attitude toward criminals? Especially seeing as how they just go out and do it again, and again and again . . .

And then we have special folk like Olsen and Pickton and that more recent guy, the one who liked chopping people up? Homolka and Bernardo . . . should I be changing my attitude about these folk too?
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Re: Options for dealing with crime and drug use

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We look at the crime and drug use as the problem, when in the bigger picture they are but symptoms of the real problem, the problem being mental health and it's circle of repetition. This is the big quandary, the solution has to start within, but to deal with the problem with any hope of success there has to be an admittance on the part of the afflicted individual that there is a problem. The thing about being screwed up in the head is that it keeps you from seeing that you're screwed up in the head.
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Re: Options for dealing with crime and drug use

Post by occasional thoughts »

I'm always fascinated at North America's fascination with criminalizing the sale and use of narcotics. Who really cares in the first instance whether people abuse narcotics or not. People abuse a lot of things. Should these things all be criminalized? I think not.

As I've said in other forums, the anti-drugs industry is a massive, vested interest ("law enforcement") with a huge social cost that in my view is not worth it, fighting an industry (drug production and pushing) that returns supra profits given the risks brought on solely by the fact that it has been criminalized. The motive (the supra profits) for people to get into the drug and narcotics industry has to be removed through decriminalization and we as a society need to practice harm reduction for people who fall for the blandishments of "the high" of people who try and get hooked, ala alcohol, tobacco, et al.
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Re: Options for dealing with crime and drug use

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occasional thoughts wrote:...we as a society need to practice harm reduction for people who fall for the blandishments of "the high" of people who try and get hooked, ala alcohol, tobacco, et al.


That's the big question, isn't it? Do we as a "progressive" society assume the responsibility of helping those unable to help themselves? And for that to happen wouldn't we have to start seeing the marginalized segment of our society as something other than the social debris that we see them as now?

There is also the major stumbling block to treating addiction that we come up against over and over, the fact that until the addict makes the decision for him/herself there can be little hope of success in treatment. It's a real ugly mess to be sure. After close to twenty years involvement in an alcohol recovery program I can tell you that one of the common threads I've seen among those who find successful recovery is an emotional "bottoming out" that instigates a change of perspective. Is there a way to actually promote that emotional turnaround, plant a seed that blooms into the addict making the required decision themselves? Incarceration and punishment don't seem to be the ticket.

To me, that is the question at the root of this problem: How do we help those who cannot see the need for help? I know from personal experience that people in that state of mind will hear efforts to help not as help, but as nagging and meddling. There is resistance to "owning" the problem, it's always someone else's fault.
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steven lloyd
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Re: Options for dealing with crime and drug use

Post by steven lloyd »

Society will always have addicts. As long as we criminalize addicts and addiction then addicts will be forced to continue as criminals and the criminal drug trade (including all that is associated with it such as people like Lady tehMa being robbed, threatened by aggressive panhandlers and having family members attacked) will continue to flourish. Paradigm shift required.
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Re: Options for dealing with crime and drug use

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Agree, but the question remains as to what direction that shift should take. The heavily addictive drugs are also somewhat debilitating in that heavy users generally become unemployable and are forced to turn to crime to support their addiction. The only solution to that is to somehow make the drugs available for free and that is opening a real nasty can of worms.
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steven lloyd
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Re: Options for dealing with crime and drug use

Post by steven lloyd »

-fluffy- wrote: The heavily addictive drugs are also somewhat debilitating in that heavy users generally become unemployable and are forced to turn to crime to support their addiction.

Psychosis and other mental health and health problems are highly debilitating as well without those afflicted forced to crime (although there is a strong argument correlating socioeconomic disadvantage with higher incidence of crime – usually more minor crime however). Treating addiction as a mental health issue rather than a criminal issue would be a giant first step.
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Re: Options for dealing with crime and drug use

Post by fluffy »

I agree with that as well, but it brings us back to the original problem, that of how to instigate a grassroots overhaul in the way society as a whole views that segment of society marginalized through addiction and mental health issues. The way you and I (and I say "you and I" meaning the public at large, not necessarily you and I if you get my meaning) view these people is at the heart of the problem. It also doesn't help much to have a government that fosters this line of thought by considering funding for treatment programs and facilities as expendable luxuries.

What we're talking about here is widening the social safety net to include those suffering from addiction which means a huge economic load for income replacement and treatment programs. We are also looking at some sort of widespread education to get you and me to stop seeing them as "them", and start seeing them as "us, but in need". That sort of shift isn't going to come overnight because we are talking about a huge financial commitment of public funds, which of course means higher taxes, which of course means that you and I are going to have to wait longer to upsize our plasma TV's and SUV's. Realistically speaking, that's going to be a hard sell.
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WhatThe

Re: Options for dealing with crime and drug use

Post by WhatThe »

Absolutely agree so far. Delving deeper into the pschyological aspect we start seeing patterns from external stressors beginning at very young ages that may or may not lead to self destructive behaviour. We as a people seem to think that every person is "made/created" equal and that early developmental stimili have no bearing on brain developmet and it's responses. that is clearly just not the case.
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steven lloyd
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Re: Options for dealing with crime and drug use

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-fluffy- wrote: What we're talking about here is widening the social safety net to include those suffering from addiction which means a huge economic load for income replacement and treatment programs. We are also looking at some sort of widespread education to get you and me to stop seeing them as "them", and start seeing them as "us, but in need". That sort of shift isn't going to come overnight because we are talking about a huge financial commitment of public funds, which of course means higher taxes, which of course means that you and I are going to have to wait longer to upsize our plasma TV's and SUV's. Realistically speaking, that's going to be a hard sell.

Yes, it is interesting to note how much public/political resistance exists when it comes to addressing these issues in a pro-active manner in spite of the fact we know that reacting to the fallout of not pro-actively addressing these issues costs ten times the amount (at least that much) in totally ineffective efforts through policing, courts, corrections, etc. – and that doesn’t even include the impact on victims of crime (crime that might have been prevented). Ironically, we're already paying an even greater price and yet still seem to be able to upsize our plasma TV's and SUV's. In some social matters, we (the collective “we”) seem to be very slow learners, and in some cases even make turns to go back and retry already failed approaches. Ideological rigidity and pig-headed stubbornness in resisting any shift in thinking seems to be the only explanation.
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Re: Options for dealing with crime and drug use

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So, in order to deal effectively with "them", we have to first fix "us".
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