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.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A different Model

As a member of NAADAC, the national association of addiction professionals I receive regular email newsletters from them.

They had an article about congress voting 181 million in funding toward treatment of addicts.

I agree congress is headed in a somewhat positive direction with their support. But I doubt if even 181 billion would make a real difference when it comes to doing much for the 24 million addicts in this country.

At 77 I've seen at least fifty years of the "so-called" war on drugs. I've seen no decrease in drug use. Prisons are full of addicts. And millions of dollars get wasted each year on enforcement. As if punishing an addict will somehow teach them a lesson.

Our country needs to look at the Europeans. They have less punitive drugs laws, their prisons have few drug users, AIDS is declining. And addiction is decreasing.

But don't believe me. Look at Switzerland's drug policies. They actually give heroin to addicts, with some restrictions. It seems that after using six years most heroin addicts decide to quit on thier own.

:Portugal is another country that has legalized most drugs. Check out thier results.

Our drug policies must change; but they won't change by throwing money at them.

We must stop looking at drugs as a "moral" issue and start treating it as the public health issue that is.