Options for dealing with crime and drug use

The Riposte & Parry is a private forum for serious discussions.
User avatar
fluffy
Buddha of the Board
Posts: 22635
Joined: Jun 1st, 2006, 5:42 pm

Re: Options for dealing with crime and drug use

Post by fluffy »

I have a benefit over you Lady tehMa in that I am one of "them", an alcoholic with close to twenty years in recovery. I have the benefit of interacting with "them" on a regular basis and can assure you that for the most part they are people like you and me. The ones you fear are the ones for whom circumstances have taken them so far down the ladder that the only option left for them to service their addiction is theft. Once their habit is sated they are no more a threat than any number of others out there, others who walk among us and for all intents and purposes look just like us and may well be close associates.

I don't believe I advocated "free drugs" as a solution, I did however advocate free treatment, education and medication if the patient is unable to pay.
How can a worker be both essential and unworthy of a living wage ?
User avatar
Lady tehMa
Buddha of the Board
Posts: 19394
Joined: Aug 2nd, 2005, 3:51 pm

Re: Options for dealing with crime and drug use

Post by Lady tehMa »

-fluffy- wrote:I have a benefit over you Lady tehMa in that I am one of "them", an alcoholic with close to twenty years in recovery. I have the benefit of interacting with "them" on a regular basis and can assure you that for the most part they are people like you and me. The ones you fear are the ones for whom circumstances have taken them so far down the ladder that the only option left for them to service their addiction is theft. Once their habit is sated they are no more a threat than any number of others out there, others who walk among us and for all intents and purposes look just like us and may well be close associates.

I don't believe I advocated "free drugs" as a solution, I did however advocate free treatment, education and medication if the patient is unable to pay.


Apologies fluffy (for the latter comment), I am so used to the "legalize it" rhetoric popping up that I mistook the direction of the comments. (I personally think that legalization would be a mistake).

I would like very much for the threat to be gone, and if that means treating everyone then so be it. I guess the next question would be how to keep them accountable? How to make sure they are regaining that which makes them a functioning part of society? How to make sure they are functional and not a risk to those around them?

And then of course, how to pay for it. Personally I think all government electoral positions should be on honorarium, that way only those truly motivated would apply. No more gold plated pensions. Get rid of the bloated middle management and redundancies in all government positions. But I digress.
PLEASE use spellcheck. If that is too hard, consider installing the Grammarly (free!) app that will not only spellcheck for you (AND offer corrections!) but also make sure that your sentences are grammatically correct.

You're welcome.
User avatar
fluffy
Buddha of the Board
Posts: 22635
Joined: Jun 1st, 2006, 5:42 pm

Re: Options for dealing with crime and drug use

Post by fluffy »

Lady tehMa wrote:I would like very much for the threat to be gone, and if that means treating everyone then so be it. I guess the next question would be how to keep them accountable? How to make sure they are regaining that which makes them a functioning part of society? How to make sure they are functional and not a risk to those around them?


From my experience with alcoholism and the recovery program I have been active in, nobody wants to be an alcoholic. They sincerely want to be "normal", they just don't know how. I suspect the same is true for drug addicts. Substance abuse and addiction is pretty much always a symptom of a deeper mental problem of some type. This is why the treatment is essential. The root of the problem must be ferreted out and dealt with. This is not an easy or quick proccess and early on there is great risk for relapse. Most treatment programs with any reasonable success rate are residential types, where the patient is isolated from outside society for a month or more, allowing time to make some progress past the high risk stages and strengthening the patients resolve to stay clean once they leave the facility.

...and then she wrote:And then of course, how to pay for it. Personally I think all government electoral positions should be on honorarium, that way only those truly motivated would apply. No more gold plated pensions. Get rid of the bloated middle management and redundancies in all government positions. But I digress.


Not a digression in my view. Sure this would be expensive and a tough one to for politicians to sell to a public already feeling over-burdened. I think this would be an excellent opportunity for our elected officials to put our money where their mouths are and actually do something that would benefit society as a whole, even if it meant tightening purse strings in areas like pensions and productivity. As an idealist this makes perfect sense, but as a realist I won't be holding my breath.
How can a worker be both essential and unworthy of a living wage ?
User avatar
Lady tehMa
Buddha of the Board
Posts: 19394
Joined: Aug 2nd, 2005, 3:51 pm

Re: Options for dealing with crime and drug use

Post by Lady tehMa »

Alcohol is just one kind of drug, there are other far more vicious ones as well, like crack and heroin.

And the thing about treatment, is that you have to want to be treated, you have to want to be off the drug or it doesn't work. . . what do we do when addicts choose the drug over getting well?
PLEASE use spellcheck. If that is too hard, consider installing the Grammarly (free!) app that will not only spellcheck for you (AND offer corrections!) but also make sure that your sentences are grammatically correct.

You're welcome.
User avatar
steven lloyd
Buddha of the Board
Posts: 19172
Joined: Dec 1st, 2004, 7:38 pm

Re: Options for dealing with crime and drug use

Post by steven lloyd »

Lady tehMa wrote: Can you could disprove my previous experiences, take away the firm conviction that criminals/addicts are dangerous? The trust I was talking about isn't trusting them with money, it is trusting that they won't hurt me and mine. That is the mindset you will need to overcome.

Of course I cannot disprove your previous experiences Lady tehMa. Furthermore, why would I want to? Criminals and addicts can be dangerous. It would be highly irresponsible of me to suggest anything different. The point, however, is that treating addiction as a crime instead of a mental health issue is not making them any less dangerous. Quite the contrary in fact. And if you want to alleviate your fear by locking addicts up, then you better be prepared to lock every single one of them up and lock them up indefinitely (because when they get out if nothing has changed then nothing has changed). How much of your income are you prepared to pay in tax to accomplish that impossible goal? How many police do you think we will need? How many Crown prosecutors and Judges? How much new prison space, along with the required guards and staff, etc. ? When we (society) finally figure out that the way we are approaching this issue right now isn’t working, and that little superficial changes that don’t address root issues (such as “getting tough on crime”) are not having any significant positive effect either (and, in fact, are only serving to make matters worse, making addicts and those others who perpetuate the subculture we've created even more desperate and even more dangerous), then maybe we’ll try to approach this issue in a completely different manner.
flamingfingers
Buddha of the Board
Posts: 21633
Joined: Jul 9th, 2005, 8:56 am

Re: Options for dealing with crime and drug use

Post by flamingfingers »

So the question is: Are we better off spending tax money to arrest, charge, and incarcerate these people indefinitely, solely for protection of the public, or are we better off spending tax dollars in residential facilities, therapy and medications for these people who can have a hope of turning their lives around?

I think the latter is a far, far better choice and infinitely more cost effective.

Now, when dealing with chronic schizophrenics and organic brain syndromes, I tend towards closer control, but that does not mean in a correctional facility that we equate to 'prison'.
Chill
User avatar
fluffy
Buddha of the Board
Posts: 22635
Joined: Jun 1st, 2006, 5:42 pm

Re: Options for dealing with crime and drug use

Post by fluffy »

Lady tehMa wrote:...the thing about treatment, is that you have to want to be treated, you have to want to be off the drug or it doesn't work. . . what do we do when addicts choose the drug over getting well?


True enough, not everybody gets it on the first try, some may never get it at all, but many, many do. What is needed is dedication and perseverance by all involved, and a positive attitude that keeps looking toward progress rather than dwelling on reasons not to try.
How can a worker be both essential and unworthy of a living wage ?
WhatThe

Re: Options for dealing with crime and drug use

Post by WhatThe »

One point I'd like to clear up lady T, legalisation spoken in the Proper context and by those not naive more accurately means that one is not a criminal for using and possessing an addictive substance; patient is more apt and reflective of what is truly happening physiologically.

The evidence I've read, spoken about, experienced etc. spells clearly to me that our society is failing in the first ten to fifteen years of kids lives. it says to me that our primary schools (education in general) are horribly underfunded, that teachers that don't ask "what's wrong?" of their failing students, that there's no meaningful access to psychologists within the schools. This also is true of health care. As Fluffy pointed out addiction is generally a symptom of trauma experienced early in life.

I wonder how "normal" people feel wanting help and they have to walk into Interior health's mental health and addictions facility. Where it's not like ER rooms with a broken arm etc. but where one is left to sit and think about how much of a head case they are. Councillors are assigned but wont contact the patient for some 4-8 weeks unless it's an emergency....uhhh the person is shooting smack and coke with dirty needles, I think it's an emergency.
Residential treatment? If you've got $250 a day to spend one can be in a bed tomorrow, if Medicare is paying better be prepared for a three,yes 3 month wait. What does this reinforce? What many are already feeling and some use to overcome: low self esteem, worthlessness, no self confidence.

There's so much more to this but I don't want to convolute too much.
User avatar
fvkasm2x
Guru
Posts: 7244
Joined: Apr 1st, 2007, 3:06 pm

Re: Options for dealing with crime and drug use

Post by fvkasm2x »

I don't care about people doing drugs that much... I don't necessarily think doing ANY drug should be a crime. If you're stupid or weak willed enough to get hooked on drugs, that's your problem. You shouldn't have to go to jail for being an idiot. It's your body.

However, if those same people are stealing/robbing etc... to fuel their habit, then I think they should be disposed of. I'm all for capital punishment after "3 strikes." No appeals or long trials either. Save the taxpayers money.

If you've broken into a house, mugged a guy or anything like that THREE different times (or more) you obviously aren't a contributing member to society. Bullet to the head and be done with it.

Yes I know this is crass, inconsiderate and unrealistic. I simply don't care. The world is a cesspool and I have no compassion for repeat offenders. Talk to an old lady who was beaten for her purse by a guy who has 20 previous arrests for drugs and tell HER to HER FACE that it isn't the druggies fault, he has a medical problem. Tell the little girl who had her Christmas presents stolen during a B&E that Santa still loves her, even though the bad men need a hospital for their problem.

I also don't think addiction is a disease. You chose to do drugs in the first place. You can choose to get help. And yes... I've had a family member addicted to cocaine. I've had a family member go to jail for crime related to drugs. Still doesn't change my opinion.

** While alcohol is a drug and has its share of related problems, I don't think you can group it with crack/coke/heroin. Alcoholics almost never do crime to feed their addiction. Apples and oranges IMO
User avatar
fluffy
Buddha of the Board
Posts: 22635
Joined: Jun 1st, 2006, 5:42 pm

Re: Options for dealing with crime and drug use

Post by fluffy »

fvkasm2x wrote:** While alcohol is a drug and has its share of related problems, I don't think you can group it with crack/coke/heroin. Alcoholics almost never do crime to feed their addiction. Apples and oranges IMO


True enough, it's a different animal in some aspects. With drugs it's all in the chase, what an addict is willing to go through to get the drug, with alcohol it's all about what happens after. Still both addictions have their roots in mental illness.
How can a worker be both essential and unworthy of a living wage ?
occasional thoughts
Grand Pooh-bah
Posts: 2744
Joined: Sep 6th, 2006, 11:07 pm

Re: Options for dealing with crime and drug use

Post by occasional thoughts »

Come on, whether legal or illegal, drugs are going to cost something. And drug use/abuse probably means that eventually the user/abuser isn't holding down a job or whatever that produces much income, so some may have to continue to resort to petty crime to afford their habits, unless society wants to do things differently.

So, . . . legalize the stuff so that the death and destruction en route from S. and C. America is mitigated if not eliminated, the hyper profits for wrong-side-of-the-law risk takers is gone, the concomitant retail prices collapse putting the stuff within the financial grasp of most users, and then "harm reduce" the hell out of the users in society, using largely the same tactics that have been used with tobacco over my lifetime.

The war on drugs will never be won the way it is being waged.
User avatar
JLives
Buddha of the Board
Posts: 18499
Joined: Nov 27th, 2004, 10:53 am

Re: Options for dealing with crime and drug use

Post by JLives »

I see it as three separate, but connected, issues. The first is drug abuse and the ill effects on society. The second is the black market and organized crime. The third is society's attitude towards drugs.

Drug use is not a problem in society and I think we need to have a different attitude towards it. What consenting adults do on their own time is of no one's concern. It is not the government's or anyone else's place to tell them otherwise. These people encompass the majority of drug users but don't make the paper for obvious reasons. It is when they are causing harm to themselves and others that is time for society to step in and give them a hand up into becoming productive members of society and engaging in life again. If people are stealing or being threatening to others then it is time to remove from the situation and try to refocus them towards something positive. Of course drug abusers can be dangerous and there are situations that require police intervention.

I wish families would take a more hands on role where possible before it reaches that point. I have explained previously my experiences with drug abuse in the family and I found many people were just not willing to put themselves out there and DO something about it. It became a pattern of making apologies and enabling. We stuck our neck out and made change happen. We searched for a community program for help and found none that met the needs of the situation. A big stumbling block was you were required to be clean prior to entering the program. It completely misses the small window when they may accept that help. I will never regret it and that family member is still clean and quite happy in life.

The drug trade and legality is a very valid topic when discussing addiction too. It is part of the whole cycle. The mark up on drugs is huge directly due to their legal status. A plant that grows in ditches is thousands for a pound while tomatoes are .99(ish). They can be grown exactly the same way. Even with taxes there is room for huge price drops. The economics for a legal market are sound. Then there is the availability matter. Drug dealers don't necessarily use quality control measures. Why would you buy chemicals stirred up in a bathtub when you could purchase tested, clean product in a pharmacy and make informed decisions on dosage and potential interactions with other drugs (prescribed or otherwise) you may be taking? There is also the age of consent issue in that drug dealers don't ask for ID. Now with that said of course there would still be people buying underage and buying bathtub drugs. There is no such thing as harm elimination, only harm reduction.

Now onto our attitude on drugs. Drugs can be used a tool. That's why we have pharmacies. They are there for what ails us. They can bring us up or bring us down. They can open our mind to possibilities that we never would have conceived of without unlocking our brains to go to that creative place. There are many other species of animals that use mind altering substances, including elephants and water buffalo, and it is not because their mommas didn't love them enough. I know I found that my youthful experiments really opened my mind. I still have journals that I carried around writing down my ideas at the time to look back on (the night with the pot bellied pig running around the house was particularly interesting). Several successful people credit the use of LSD for elevating their minds to create what they did. Steve Jobs said this:
“Taking LSD was a profound experience, one of the most important things in my life. LSD shows you that there’s another side to the coin, and you can’t remember it when it wears off, but you know it. It reinforced my sense of what was important — creating great things instead of making money, putting things back into the stream of history and of human consciousness as much as I could.”
Read more at http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/ ... tmXzRtE.99

I think many people are missing out on that experience because of our attitude of legal=good, illegal=bad and that is unfortunate. There are evolutionary theories that the use of hallucinogens was the catalyst that rocketed us ahead of other primates .

I believe society needs to take a balanced approach of education, harm reduction, and understanding. If we put half the resources into treatment programs that we do into the drug war we'd be light years ahead of where we are now. We are all just people trying to get through life and some of us tend to lose our way.
"Every dollar you spend is a vote for what you believe in."
"My country is the world, and my religion is to do good."
User avatar
steven lloyd
Buddha of the Board
Posts: 19172
Joined: Dec 1st, 2004, 7:38 pm

Re: Options for dealing with crime and drug use

Post by steven lloyd »

jennylives wrote: What consenting adults do on their own time is of no one's concern. It is not the government's or anyone else's place to tell them otherwise. These people encompass the majority of drug users but don't make the paper for obvious reasons.

fvkasm2x wrote: Alcoholics almost never do crime to feed their addiction. Apples and oranges

Alcoholics can buy their “drug” at a store. It is legally regulated and not a crime to consume. Apples and oranges.
User avatar
steven lloyd
Buddha of the Board
Posts: 19172
Joined: Dec 1st, 2004, 7:38 pm

Re: Options for dealing with crime and drug use

Post by steven lloyd »

occasional thoughts wrote: The war on drugs will never be won the way it is being waged.

The wars on drugs is the reason for the war over drugs
– that’s the war that is creating and claiming the innocent victims.
User avatar
fvkasm2x
Guru
Posts: 7244
Joined: Apr 1st, 2007, 3:06 pm

Re: Options for dealing with crime and drug use

Post by fvkasm2x »

steven lloyd wrote:Alcoholics can buy their “drug” at a store. It is legally regulated and not a crime to consume. Apples and oranges.


True, but I don't think legality of the drug has anything to do with the user committing crimes to support their habit. The worst alcholics end up losing their job and doing other things to get drunk. Mouthwash, turning to huffing paint, etc...

I've never heard of someone breaking into a house to suppor their booze habit. I don't think that is a reflection on the legality, but more of a reflection on the drug and the effect it has on the minds of the users.

Return to “Riposte & Parry”