Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, a 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992 when he had a year sober. He's in his 27th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he sometimes disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Legalize Drugs? Yeah.


Today’s news reported new legislation being put together to stop the sale of bath salts and other so-called designer drugs.

While it might seem strange that someone in the recovery would advocate drug legalization, that’s exactly where I’m at on the issue.

And I I take this position for a few reasons.

Number one, our so-called “war on drugs” has been going on for more than half a century. As a result, our prisons are full of sick addicts who committed crimes in pursuit of their addictions. Our government spends mountains of money to warehouse drug offenders. And more money to hunt them down and prosecute them.

These billions of dollars could be better directed to educating and treating addicts. Those employed in enforcement and punishment could retrain in the education and treatment areas – even though saving addicts from themselves might not have the same drama as carrying a Glock and making drug buys.

Some will counter my position by saying that legalization would encourage youngsters to start using or experimenting with drugs. However, the reality is they’re already doing this in middle school.

 Statistics from samhsa.gov report: “In the United States in 2008, almost one third of adolescents aged 12 to 17 drank alcohol in the past year, around one fifth used an illicit drug, and almost one sixth smoked cigarettes.”

The idea that laws prevent drug use is laughable. Anyone reading this blog is only a few miles away from a drug retailer who’ll provide whatever if you have the money.

It’s time for our society to stop this futile war and take an intelligent approach to addiction.