Research Paper: Drug Addiction and Crime

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Drug Addiction and Crime

Over the last several decades, the U.S. has been aggressively involved in a war on drugs. Part of the reason for this, is because of the adverse effects that it is having on the lives of various individuals and their families. At the same time, it has been causing the crime rate to increase exponentially. A good example of this can be seen by looking no further than city of Juarez, Mexico (which has been serving as ground zero). As, there were a total of: 25 thousand drug related murders, while the police and military are battling various cartels that are backed by an $8.6 billion industry in marijuana sales alone. ("Drugs and Crime," 2010) This is troubling, because it showing how the current policy is not working with: the total amounts of crime and usage only continuing to rise.

As a result, a new approach needs to be taken that will address these problems by: reducing the number of addicts and the underlying levels of crime. To determine this we will examine possible solutions for these issues. This will be accomplished by taking a realistic approach that can be implanted as well as looking at the role that: the church, family, community and nonprofit organizations are playing. Together, these different element elements will provide the greatest insights as to the overall challenges that are being faced when dealing with these issues. Once this occurs, it will offer specific insights as to how these problems can be effectively resolved. This is the point, that the underlying scope of these challenges can be successfully addressed.

The Current Policy and its Long-Term Affects

The current approach that is being taken is to go after those individuals who are involved in: the sale, distribution and usage of illegal drugs. These different elements have meant that large criminal enterprise have quickly been emerging to meet the demand for a host of different products. Over the course of time, this has caused a number of large cartels to emerge that are running their businesses based on: violence, intimidation, extortion and bribes. This has undermined many different governments in various regions of the world.

Evidence of this can be seen by looking no further than Columbia. Where, over the past 30 years they have been receiving tremendous amounts of foreign aid and military support to effectively battle these groups. As, the government has used nearly every single measure conceivable to prevent the flow of illegal drugs to: the North America and Europe. However, a shift has occurred with even more continuing to be exported to these markets despite these efforts. As, there are a number of substances that are increasingly imported from the Latin America to include: cocaine, marijuana, opium and heroin. This is troubling, because it is showing how the current policy is continuing to fail. In spite of a host of initiatives to: stem the flow and billions of dollars being spent to tackle these challenges. (Carduso, 2009)

At the same time, it is causing the underlying amounts of violence to increase dramatically. In the case of Columbia, war on drugs is averaging around 5 thousand murders per year. This is because many of these cartels will often fight with each other for dominance of: key routes and they will more than likely engage government forces on a regular basis. These different elements are important, because it is showing how the current approach in the war on drugs in not working. As, it has created increased amounts of: instability in the region and it is having an adverse impact on the way of life for many communities in these countries. Once this occurs, it can undermine any kind of efforts to stabilize the economy, with many poor regions being heavily influenced by these cartels. This means that ordinary people will begin to become involved in this industry, instead of seeking out normal careers that will build their lives over the long-term. At which point, the cycle of violence will continue with: these organizations having an endless amount of recruits. Over the course of time, this will add to the instability of a host of governments in these areas. This is problematic, because it will cause a number of civil wars to emerge in nations that were considered to be relatively stable only a few decades earlier. (Carduso, 2009)

A Realistic Approach that can be implemented

As a result, a new strategy needs to be implemented that will address these issue, while being able to create some kind of policy that has greater amount of flexibility in the future. This is the only way that the war on drugs is able to be won, given the fact that the current policies are not working. Once this occurs, it means that the overall amounts of violence will decline and a variety of governments will be able to effectively dismantle the large cartels.

Yet, when you look even further beneath the surface, it is clear that there are a large number of criminal enterprises from various regions around the world that have become involved in the trafficking of illegal drugs. A few of the most notable locations include: groups based out of: Asia, Europe and Africa just to name a few. The reason why, is because the underlying profit margins are so large that there a wide variety of substances are transported around the world to achieve this objective. To include: marijuana, crack / powdered cocaine, methamphetamines, heroin, opium, ecstasy and PCP. This is problematic, because it means that these issues have made the situation even worse, with a variety of criminal gangs competing against one another (which is causing the underlying amounts of crime to increase). (Zabransky, 2007, pp. 156 -- 180) ("Fact Sheet ADAM II Report," 2008)

Decriminalization

One of the most obvious approaches is to decriminalize these different substances. As, this will directly address: the supply and demand issues, while dramatically reducing crime. The reason why is because Decriminalization will allow government to: regulate these substances and many communities can begin focusing on how they can deal with the large number of addicts. At the same time, it will take away any kind of profit motives for these large groups in: production, distribution and sales. Once this occurs, the number of arrests by law enforcement for drug related offenses will decline and it will improve the quality of life in many areas that are currently known as drug havens. This will have positive ripple effects on numerous governments by: giving them the power to increase their tax revenues. (Cussen, 2006, pp. 39 -- 48) ("Drugs and Crime," 2010)

However, the big challenge moving forward is how can some kind of workable solution be implemented that will effectively tackle these different challenges. Where, you do not want to conduct some type of blanket decriminalization of various substances. Instead, you want to focus on finding a way of being able to control the availability of these substances and ensure that the civil rights of the community is protected. (Cussen, 2006, pp. 39 -- 48)

The best approach in accomplishing this objective is to have governments working in conjunction with a host of: church, family, community and nonprofit organizations. As, they can focus on how to address the problem on the local level by: providing some form of treatment with various kinds of funding that could be implemented through national and state governments. Under this kind of program, a percentage of the tax revenues that are received from the sale of illegal drugs are used to support individuals who are addicted to these substances through: having effective monitoring and treatment of their activities. (Cussen, 2006, pp. 39 -- 48)

For example, the police could be used as a way of interdicting with addicts by: bringing them in and having these groups meet with these individuals. They will offer them the chance to seek out some kind of treatment. If it is determined they do not want to become involved in these programs, the person is allowed to continue with their activities. However, once they become involved in some form of criminal activity such as theft (because of their drug use), the court can order them into treatment and have these organizations report to them about the how these individuals are progressing. At the same time, the sale of these substances could be restricted to locations where the government will sell drugs at select locations (with tight controls on who is allowed to engage in these kinds of activities).

This is important, because if this kind of strategy can be utilized it will help to reduce the flow of illegal drugs. While, intelligently attacking the problem through: going after the end markets by dealing with the demand from users. This is the point that the underlying crime rates will decline by taking away the profit motives of large criminal enterprises. Once this occurs, they will begin to focus on other activities outside of the… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Drug Addiction and Crime.  (2011, July 3).  Retrieved July 18, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/drug-addiction-crime/9555517

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"Drug Addiction and Crime."  Essaytown.com.  July 3, 2011.  Accessed July 18, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/drug-addiction-crime/9555517.