And it should start with law.

Drug-related crime should be treated as health problem and should only be sent to a drug court. Drug addicts do not belong in the same place as rapists and murderers.

Schools should have a mandatory class on mental disorders, how our brain and chemicals work and practicing cognitive therapy. This way depression and other disorders will be viewed for what they are, a sickness, not a choice.

The media should have awareness ads in order to remind people to look out for disorder symptoms and help them be aware of ways to prevent them..

You might think this is costly but prevention is 45% less expensive than treatment for the state, and saves between 3000$-13000$ per client (depending on the illness)

"My goal is to see that mental illness is treated like cancer."- Jane Pauley
JustBreathe4J JustBreathe4J
22-25, F
3 Responses Aug 21, 2014

You make a good point. Especially the one related to the drug related crimes. The current laws are hardly effective and the war on drugs has never come close to being successful. Instead of criminalizing them and locking them up behind bars, they should focus more on admitting them to clinics, where they could help them with their addiction issues.

Exactly. It's not just scientific research suggesting this but actual crime rates go down in countries that have adopted this. We have enough people locked up in prisons, it doesn't make any sense to put mentally ill people and serial killers in the same place.

It just adds pressure to the prison system, having to deal with under capacity and the additional burden it causes for taxpayers. When they are released they are very likely to fall back into their old patterns. It doesn't solve anything to have them behind bars. Those countries who introduced tougher crime laws have actually only seen an increase in crime rates.

Exactly, everyone wins, I do not see the point in harsher crimes. Government officials fear change.

You sadly this true. If we give more support to the addicts, there would be less crimes. Most drugs cause long-term damage to the brain causing mental illness. It becomes a cycle.

Yes, It is proven that people who go to drug courts are 50% less likely to commit a crime when they get out than people who are charged in a normal court. I definitely agree with you, drugs lead to illness, I have observed this with a quite a few addicts in my family..

I don't know any addicts in my family becuase they are so distant towards me but i do have good friends that drugs destoryed thier mental stability. They committed crimes in order to maintain thier drug problem. It's a shame becuase th courts systems don't care about people.

Yes, most drugs affect your pre-frontal cortex, the amount of grey matter there is drastically reduced, it becomes about the same as a schizophrenic patients. It's illogical to put punish an addict the same way you'd punish a stable person.

I don't know why we still do not treat drug addiction as a public health issue, they are more beneficial to both the system and the individual. We need to appreciates value of treatment as much as crime, punishment and incarceration.

In the USA , they are getting better at separating the violent offenders from the nonviolent offenders. Usally, this court system is so corrupted that if you are a pretty girl and white , they would give you an easier sentence. Being a male and a minority would increase your chances of not going to rehab. The systems here is extremely bad

Yes that's another thing, should it be based on the judge's view? Or should it meet a certain criteria? Women get 63% less jail time than men on average because they are viewed as less dangerous and the minority men are given more prison time than white men. We expect the them to be objective but the corruption is bound to catch up with them. You say it is improving in the US, but it is extremely slow if you look at the statistics. When other countries have changed their drug policy and treated it as a public health problem, the results were drastic.
I am taking into consideration that the US is a large country and it will take longer to get the same effect but I don't think what they are doing is enough.

Well, it's not just the judge's view, it's also the jury; however, the jury's view has been brain washed by the media to have a negative view towards minorities. This effects the way they judge a certain person and declare if the person is guilty or not. The judge then ultimately decides the sentence. What is wrong with the judge, is that they too have negatively influenced views. Yes, i said it's improving but i didn't say it was greatly. They are charging drug addicts to more rehabilitation time than jail time. If there was a way to end the drug consumption and to destory the "cool" image than there would be a lot less crime.

Sometimes the Jury is more logical than the Judge, look at Allen Ryan Alleyne's case. Everything corrupt comes back to ignorance, not influence. There will always be negative influence but if they are educated, they could fight that by thinking objectively.
Good- so the US is on it's way to treating addiction correctly.

Prevention is the most important action to take, targeting young people is most important because they are most vulnerable to drugs, especially inhalants. Most kids at school will sniff sharpies etc., not knowing how toxic it is. There are several ways to destroy the "cool" image, lots of promising prevention exist but we just need to put them into action.

Well, true, there was a lot of corruption on both sides. The jury also can get paid under the tables to favor a verdict. Do you guys have judges? True, teenagers are the most vulnerable to consumption of drugs. All theories and solves are useless, if not put into action.
Well, the USA is imporving but not at the rate as most would like. There are still cracks that addicts still fall into. Saldy, when they fall into these cracks, the addicts become true criminals.

That's definite. I am sure the judge can also be bribed, it's easier for them because they are part of the system and they have "connections", I think that's the worst part of corruption. Yes, we have Judges and several types of courts (Family courts, Military courts, etc.) but it's also very corrupt, if you are rich and well-known, you can easily bribe your way out, you can even get the media to stop talking about it.

Exactly- we have done so much research into drug addiction, but we haven't implemented anything by law. The problem is, people do not focus on the source of the problem, if you look at petitions, they are always to free specific people from prison but something like "Treat drug addiction as a public health problem" with an actual argument gets less than 100 signatures.

There will always be cracks for the addicts to fall into, there will always be people who steal, sell their bodies or drugdeal to satisfy their addiction, the only way to stop it is through prevention and treatment.

The judge being is not as common as the jury but it is possible. There has been judges put to jail for accepting bribery to others in jail. One judge certainly did that. He was building prison and putting people into his prisons to profit from them. Well here, it's almost in impossible to have the media to stop talking about you,unless you are a billionaire. I think the reason is that people believe it's thier choice to using the drug but really it is not. The chemicals in the drugs, influence thier decisions. Yes, it is unfortunate to see people fall into cracks of society and becoming true criminals.

That's just sick, I am glad there was justice and he was put in prison.. I don't think it's that hard to shift the media's attention in the US, whenever I watch, sometimes certain news just disappear and are replaced with something else, even if it's not resolved, they just stop updating. That can't be right.

That is very true it affect the brain's neurons and decision-making part of the brain, if only people knew how drugs truly work, there wouldn't be this misconception of freedom. It really is, especially since the ones who fall are treated like immoral monsters when they are just suffering from a bran disorder and made stepped in the wrong areas.

"Yeah, he was a very corrupted judge. I'm sure there is a lot more judges doing the same thing.

True, people tend to forget fast here. Many people how forgotten most of what happened in the foreign wars. Yeah, sadly they are treated like monster. They are people too. They just were mentally weak. I feel depressed when i see a young kid doing or selling drugs. It's a shame, you never know what that person could had grown up to be. Be careful . I know you are a strong girl but drugs can get anybody when they let their guard down

If it's a common occurrence then the problem lies within the system, to my knowledge, Judges to get paid well over there, correct?

I do not blame Americans for forgetting fast, it's overwhelming how you bombarded by the same news in every news channel for a week before switching onto the next topic.

Yes, seeing kids doing drugs is most depressing, I have seen 9 year old's begging in the streets so they can feed their addictions... you know for sure it is mental illness when you choose drugs over food and shelter..

I don't think those who are mentally weak get into drugs, I think we are all vulnerable to drugs, as humans we have been doing drugs since we discovered them, but we also have protective factors like education, self control etc... when you lack things like that, it's likely to get into drugs..

Don't worry, I know how addicting it can be and I understand it better now, but thank you, I'll stay away :)

Yes, judges here get pretty well. I guess they just get greedy. Well, true. The media has caused us to have short attention spans. Wow, that must have been heartbreaking. I never seen such a young person beg like that before. Yes, it's a mental illnesses when they choose drugs over the basic human necessities. I'M glade you appreciate my worrying about you. Not many people do or care.

Greed is one of the most horrible aspects of human behavior, but it stems from an unsatisfactory life. There must be something off... I just think that this is the result of the system and not a product of nature or nurture.

Yes, it's all over the world really, poor kids (I hate the term street children) and drugs is a major issue, not just where I live but in Latin America, Nepal, Bangalore and many other countries. I suppose I have seen it too many time, I am desensitized, now all that is left is anger because it could have been easy to prevent it but all we have done is just watched it spread and we continue to do so.

Well I care, it's important to appreciate one another and the least I could do when you selflessly advise me is thank you for it :P

Yes, greed is awful. Working in business, i see it all the time. So true, it's the system. I believe itvis created that way for a reason. Yes, you are right. I do remember in Brazil how the poor live. They sleep on the sidewalks begging for drugs or money to buy drugs. People act like it is nothing, i feel bad for them. This problem could easily be solved compared to trying to bring man to the moon. Haha you better

We consume too much and give too little, it was created for business success. We need to develop values.
It's good you still empathize, people don't want to feel bad so they shut out their empathy. It's not easy to sleep at night when you are warm in your bed and you know there are people whose homes are made of trash and held up by rubble. There's a reason for our empathy though, so we can help eachother grow as a society, we shouldn't shut it out.

Exactly, we waste some much effort and time developing new things, looking for new planets, when we should first be working on our own planet. People think they need money but money is spent, they need healthcare and nutrition, education and job opportunities (even if it's just government-assigned)

So true, we take but do not give. Supply and demand. I mean i do but there are times i have to shut out my feelings due becuase i know the person who is begging will use the money for thier addiction. So, i give them food.and most of the time they don't take it. So true, we spend on money on goals that we forget the wellbeing of our people like what happened in brazil and the world cup. We forget our people's wellbeing to accomplish an unimportant goal that we give false value to.

That is exactly what it is, supply and demand. If we had our priorities straight, spent money on ethical products, businesses will reflect our morals. Instead, we allow businesses to control us by exploiting the insecurities the media has implanted in us.

What happened in Brazil is a perfect example of how we forget what is important. That must have infuriating for them, the government portraying itself as weak then suddenly millions of dollars are flying out being spent on football..

It's understandable, we all have our way of dealing with things, I think I turn to anger because I have better control over that than I do of hurt or guilt.. My point was to find a healthy balance between empathy and logic but don't depend solely on one. You reminded me of this one homeless guy I came across in times square who bluntly said to me "Please give me money. I need weed.".. I admired his honesty though.

I think the culture is an important factor when offering food, if you go to China for example, they would gladly accept it but in the US, this would hurt their pride.

Exactly, that is why they have skin bleaching products. It's sad when you don't love your self. We need to remember that the people come frist. That makes sense, anger does let people start to want to better thier life. Haha yeah, i have met many people like that. I usually give them money for being honest. Also, i have seen this homeless guy who had a sign that says, "i need money to fight off the aliens that took my sister."

Yes, "Put this perfume and all the ladies/men will fall in love with you", it's just silly, we really need to wake up as a society and recognize this. I think insecurities is the greatest weakness a human can have. Anger is very powerful motivator for change.

I just praised the man for being honest, haha you don't see that too often. hahaha, that sign is amazing, points for creativity.

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I'm not going too forgive her right now...I'm sorry I forgave too much

It's okay, sometime addicts don't want the help and you can't force them to get better, they have to decide. Now forgive yourself.