Friday, December 18, 2015

The War on Drugs in Not Working


You can look at the headlines and see so much information about drugs and the damage they leave behind. It is so sad! Our country has been "At War With Drugs" for decades. I think it's time for those in charge to accept that their method isn't working. Perhaps, instead of a war, we offer a helping hand to those in need.

I am not a professional, so please don't take my comments as anything more than my opinions. Recent events in my life have made me re-examine many aspects of my life. I have many opinions but usually, I keep most of my thoughts in my head. The other day I was talking to an old friend and found out he was one week clean. We had a long talk, I shared some of my past, and he suggested that I share some of them with others too. That they helped him and could help others.

Well, now I am talking about it. I know I go on many posts about suicide after my baby, Heather, decided to take that path. But while she chose suicide, she could have easily taken the pathway of drugs to deal with her mental illness, her depression. I understand a lot about depression, as I have dealt with it for most of my life. Yes, at one point, I even tried to commit suicide myself in high school. I didn't succeed, but maybe the reason I didn't succeed, was because it would help me with all I am dealing with today.

When suicide wasn't the answer for me, I easily slipped into drugs and alcohol. Alcohol seemed like it was really fun. I would laugh, have some fun, but it never helped. It always got so that it wasn't enough. I made a LOT of stupid decisions when drunk. While I always said I would never do drugs, it was a gradual thing. A little too much partying and then it was an upper to help get through the next day. Well, eventually it turned into a crystal meth addiction. I can proudly say that it has been over 30 years since I last did any crystal meth.

I will say here that I never did any heroin. The reason I said no wasn't because I didn't think I could be one of the ones that could control it, it was my fear of needles. There are some people that say, they asked for the addiction. Why should I help them? They should have been smarter than that. There are lawyers, accountants, politicians - you name it, there are drug users in every profession that you could think of!

The one thing that I kept hearing in my youth was that I was too smart for my own good. I learned quickly and while I did almost not graduate, that was from cutting classes. When I did go, I did well on the tests. I didn't need to sit in the classes. They bored me to tears. So, no, I am not stupid in any sense of the imagination. I have a good brain. I fell to the power of drugs and alcohol. I sold my soul to them, for a peace from the depression.

Instead of locking up the drug users, let's try to help them! Get to the source of the problem in their heads, and stop just trying to stop the symptoms. Stop solving one problem, illegal drugs, to an addiction to prescribed drugs! Enough is enough! While there are some medications that are necessary, there are just as many legal drugs that can cause addiction! There are just as many legal drugs that kill, that harm. Stop making it so easy to lock someone away, lock away their problems. Start making it easier for people to get the help they need!

Instead of spending the money we currently are on incarceration, let's take those funds and put them towards helping the person. Getting them clean. Getting them on with making themselves a useful part of our country. One that can finally, after years of depression, mental illness, etc. wearing them down, they can be an uplifting story to share with others. To help others.

I am not talking about freeing all the criminals. There are some people that need to be locked away, but being a user is not one of them. If you didn't harm anyone else, why should you be locked away, to be forgotten about. That is not right. Yes, there will always be a reason for jails, unfortunately. We shouldn't be using our citizens to make some private corporation lots more money. Jail shouldn't be a profit margin.

I will go more into addiction in upcoming posts, I just wanted to vent a little first. Let's work together and get some education and some therapy more readily available for all. New Year's Eve brings a time when people look towards resolutions, to have a better year. Let's take 2016 and make it mental health awareness year and let's start helping others instead of trying to hide them away!