I agree with Johann Hari. I believe that shaming an addict further isolates them and drives them more into their addiction. I also think that threatening disconnection to the family also harms the addict more. I also think that the United States’ deal with substance misuse is not working. From a young age, we have been taught that all drugs are bad and that those who take drugs are not worthy of being treated as humans. For instance, I have several family members who are recovering addicts, including my brother-in-law. When I met my husband, his brother had been incarcerated for years due to drug-related incidents. It was several years into my relationship before I had the chance to meet my brother-in-law, and I am ashamed to admit that I did not judge him fairly in the beginning. The Rat Park experiment struck home to me in some ways. I live in a community with very little to do, and when I was growing up, neighbors were miles down the road. I did not have access to a community as I do now. Most people that I went to school with have struggled with substance misuse in some way or another. Those who misuse are attempting to gain a connection with something, perhaps the wrong something, but the connection is ultimately what they are craving. I have also read about Portugal’s drug policies and think that if the US decriminalized drugs, it would allow better access to rehab for those wanting to get off the substances. I also believe that having access to safe sites and clean needles would diminish the amount of STIs being transmitted via needle sharing. States would also be able to save money instead of prosecuting people for drug crimes. The criminalization of drugs doesn’t help, it just increases the number of people in the prison population. Decriminalization of drugs would decrease the costs and the workload of those in the criminal justice system (Lasky, 2021).
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