War on Drugs an Epic Fail

Addiction is a health issue, not a moral failing, and physicians need to champion public policy changes that put treatment first and reverse the “absurd” focus on the war against drugs, which has never and will never work, say editors of the BMJ. “All wars cause human rights violations and the war on drugs is no different,” write Fiona Godlee, MD, editor-in-chief, and Richard Hurley, features and debates editor of the BMJ.

The editorial was published online November 14 in the BMJ. Docs Can Make a Difference Criminals who control the supply of drugs are responsible for “appalling violence” that has resulted in 65,000 to 80,000 murders in Mexico alone during the past 10 years.

In the United States, putting drug users in prison for even minor offenses has led to the highest incarceration rates in the world, and thousands have been killed in the Philippines since President Rodrigo Duterte called for brutal vigilantism against those who deal drugs. They note that the war on drugs is costing society at least $100 billion annually, yet it has clearly failed to make a dent in either the supply or demand of illicit drugs or reduce addiction rates or harm.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD PDF

EXPLORE MORE ARTICLES

do not cross police barricade tape close-up photography
A Sheriff And A Doctor Team Up To Map Childhood Trauma
The University of Florida’s Dr. Nancy Hardt has an unusual double specialty: She’s both a pathologist and an OB-GYN. For the first half of her career, she brought babies into the world. Then she switched — to doing autopsies on people after they die. “I want to prevent what I’m seeing on the autopsy table. …
girl covering her face with both hands
Earlier always better? Child development researchers question old assumption
It’s always worth revisiting what we think we know. In recent years, there’s been a trend among early childhood researchers to keep moving the focus to earlier and earlier in children’s lives. The storyline might go something like this: Sure, grade school matters, but we need to think about high-quality preschools to level the playing …
5 Ways Trauma-Informed Care Supports Children’s Development
Childhood trauma is common. More than two thirds of children in the United States experience a traumatic event or circumstances—such as abuse or neglect, death of a loved one, or community violence—by the time they turn 16. Young children (birth to age five), in particular, are disproportionately exposed to traumatic events and circumstances. While many children return to normal functioning after …