Drug addiction and use is a global epidemic that’s having immense negative effects on societies all across the globe, and the solution doesn’t seem to be a uniform choice with many ideologies prevalent in todays globalized world. Many people today would say there is a drug ‘culture’ developing within our cultures, a lot of which is due to anti-drug propaganda and fear-mongering techniques used to by governments to perpetuate the dangers and ill effects of the use of some drugs. With the increased knowledge and better understanding of this disease, and the programs that work for those in need, we can formulate policies that address the users needs. Rather then use outdated policies that don’t rehabilitate, reintegrated or prepare someone for challenges they will face and give them the tools to succeed in the future. Although there is facts that tell us otherwise drug addiction is a never ending and only innovative and multidimensional solutions will help ease the severity of the issue. This is a must to break the cycle of incarceration and drug abuse, their needs to be efforts within institutions on different levels. Whether it be in government, the community, schools, charities, or the medical field, a coordinated effort to address all the levels of complexity in drug addiction will be the best way to attack the issue. These coordinated efforts bring together the positive efforts of many groups and focus their energy on a common good; some cultures have tried some of these coordinated methods to address drug addictions, while others stay rooted to outdated policies that don’t benefit the user or the legal system. I will address those cultures and their different approaches on the issues.
Although there has been a slow and steady decrease of drug addiction and use among people of the world, some countries still spend billions policing drug use, production, and trafficking; with less focus on treatment and prevention. Those who seem to be most likely targets or ‘victims’ of these policies tend to be minorities. So not only is there a discrepancy between prevention and policing but also with the areas and groups of people who are most at risk for drug use and addiction. Although both methods have their benefits other countries like Portugal and Holland have used unprecedented methods that work effectively for their legal systems, economies, drug users, communities, and the well being of their entire cultures. To effectively to compare these cultures, one must use a etic and emic approach to fully understand the scope and scale of the differences, and how and why they work in their respective cultures.
I my self have seen drug addiction first hand, and fully understand the consequences of drug use and the effects on not only the user but their family and friends. I was exposed to cigarettes and alcohol at a young age because my mom occasional smoked and drank, although this never made me want to try either at the time or did I ever feel more prone to trying either. My first real exposure to drugs was in the D.A.R.E. and G.R.E.A.T. drug and gang programs, run by the local police departments in elementary and middle school. The class quickly instilled in me the dangers and risks of using any type of drugs, and also instilled fear within me about a subject I was quite naïve to and I sincerely believed the material being taught. This belief was embedded even deeper in my psyche with my dad being shot when I was 10 years old. Prior to this event I had no knowledge of my fathers drug and alcohol use and addiction, mostly due to the fact my mom and dad divorced when I was 2 years old and hadn’t had very much memorable interaction with my father. My father was addicted to cocaine and crack, he would snort the powder and smoke the rock; add that to his alcohol and marijuana use, he was not in a good place during this part of this life. The shooting was a direct result of his addiction, he