Topic:Healthaspect of Drug Use versus the Criminal Justice Perspective
Healthaspect of Drug Use versus the Criminal Justice Perspective
Aimingto protect and enhance public health can be perceived from a reactivepoint of view, as decreasing problematic drug use and connectedhealth issues include deaths as a consequence drug use. Even thoughthis appears to lack controversy, it challenges the central argumentof prevailing drug policies that are concerned with the use of allillicit drugs to be problematic. This contention does not keep inmind the reality that drug users who are problematic and classifiedas requiring criminal justice, social or health interventions aremerely a small percentage of the population of people using drugs. Asignificant number of the users do not cause significant harm tothemselves and in most cases state that they derive some benefitsfrom using the drugs. Usage that does not cause problems should be ofmarginal concern to lawmakers along with endeavors to preventescalation into problematic usage.
Adequatelyproviding support and drug treatment for individuals who seek help isalso an element of effective drug policy which is agreeable to all.Nevertheless, it is imperative to remain clear that supporting drugreforms complements instead of challenging proven measure in publicincluding reduction of harm, recovery, treatment and prevention.Using punitive measure on people who are involved in usage of drugsand allowing criminals to control the drug trade escalates a varietyof health issue while at the same time creating political andpractical hindrances that obstruct effective reactions to problematicusage of drugs.
Anall-inclusive approach founded on principles of human rights andpublic health also further assists in developing strategies for otherserious continuing or upcoming challenges as far as drugs areconcerned. This entail prevention or reduction of the misuse of legalsubstances such as tobacco and alcohol, increasingly commonstimulants like methamphetamine and cocaine and new psychoactivesubstances usually referred to as legal highs. Emphasis on this pointcan assist in concentrating the reform discussion on more pressingconcerns of a specific community or lawmaker.
Usually,drugs are regarded as a health issue and this has developed into acommon perspective in most of the high level debates concerningdrugs. It is imperative to emphasize this point since it underscoreshow inconsistent the position of proscribed drugs is as far asbroader health policy is concerned (Carnwell, Buchanan, &Carnwell, 2009).Therefore, it is important to consider why drugs are classified as ahealth issue yet their main response is punitive and involves lawenforcement instead of health practitioners and doctors. Issuesrelated to drugs are associated with a number of policy areas,however, in regards to illegal drugs, the equilibrium shifts to apoint where concern for public health has been marginalized be toomuch focus on enforcement.
Theuse of drugs is risky and ensuring the point is clear delineatespresumptions concerning reform position implying that drugs aretotally safe or supporting and defending drugs. It further reducesmajority of the arguments that are against reform on the basis offear-mongering anecdotes and facts concerning the manner in which theuse of drugs is dangerous. Engaging in debate concerning thecomparable harmful effects of drug use is usually a distraction frommore significant issues. Further, these debates rarely result in anysolutions that are useful as both sides naturally look for evidencethat will support their personal positions leaving the audiences nonethe wiser.
Carnwell,R., Buchanan, J., & Carnwell, R. (2009). Effectivepractice in health, social care and criminal justice.Maidenhead: McGraw Hill/Open University Press.