The War on Drugs

In his article Why Im Calling to End the War on Drugs, which was published in Huffpost Politics on April 19, 2016, Kofi Annan states that drugs have become one of the most pressing problems of today. The turnover of narcotic drugs throughout the world beats previous records every year. This is complemented by environmental problems, which negatively affect the human immune system. Each state conducts its own individual policy in relation to the problem of drugs. Some do it successfully, but others do not, and so the drug market is booming. This policy includes a variety of methods to combat drug trafficking, which has become a complex called war on drugs. Kofi Annan offers to end the war on drugs because he believes the current control methods are ineffective. The recent legalization of cannabis in some countries and the G7 plans to introduce appropriate legislation confirm this. Kofi Annan says that the war on drugs is actually waged against the people, not against drugs. Governments cut drug trafficking, and tighten legislation on narcotic drugs. This leads to increased levels of crime, and prison overcrowding.

 

Meanwhile, drug trafficking remains the same; it just moves from one stage to another. Therefore, the author believes that the fight must be waged not against people, but against drugs. Today, the main bodies responsible for the fight against drug trafficking are legal organizations (courts, police, and so on). Their activities are aimed at reducing the number of drug users, but not to destroy the drug. In addition, the author believes that the war against drugs has not been planned properly. The initiators set themselves the aim to completely suppress the drugs, while it is necessary to raise the awareness of young people about drugs harmful effects. Paying attention to all of the above reasons, Kofi proves the war on drugs inappropriate.

I fully agree with this statement. Today, humanity is aimed at reducing the number of drug addicts, and not on reducing drug trafficking. In other words, the current solutions of the problem are superficial. A deeper approach is needed in this case. As already mentioned, it is necessary to raise public awareness about the negative consequences of drug use, and the governments need to treat drug addicts not as criminals, but as sick people who need medical help, and therefore they should not put such people in prison.

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It is difficult to say if the war on drugs is a success or a failure from a global perspective. As already mentioned, each country takes its own individual measures, which are different from each other. Therefore, each country has its positive and negative consequences. Kofi Annan asserts that the legalization of marijuana in the United States has led to an increase in drug-dependent teenagers. In addition, the number of deaths from drug overdose has increased by several times. In 2013, 16,000 murders were committed in Mexico because of the drug use. All this proves the failure of the war on drugs. The author believes that the war on drugs has been a complete failure. However, he argues that Germany has a successful experience in fighting drug trafficking due to the program for the exchange of medical needles.

Kofi suggests that the war on drugs requires a $100 billion a year worldwide. By the way, drug trafficking is estimated at $330 billion worldwide. These $100 billion can be used to finance educational projects, support for families of drug addicts, and so forth. Currently, the money is distributed to a variety of projects and the branches of power, which complicates the estimation of efficiency. Based on the Kofis statements, one can assert that the war on drugs was a success in Germany, while the whole world is aware of the defeat and the futility of the struggle. Perhaps, there are countries that also have success in reducing drug addicts, but the author does not specify them.

As already mentioned, the problem should be solved not superficially but radically. A person can use drugs for a variety of reasons; it can be regular interest, life troubles, the influence of friends and so on. However, the most important factor that contributes to the increase in the number of drug users is a weak awareness of society in relation to drugs. It is necessary to increase the number of educational institutions, training courses and so on so that a person could be able to understand that it is better for them to refuse the use of drugs regardless of the reason that incites them to do the opposite. I believe that my country has huge disadvantages in this respect. Young people are inadequately informed about the negative consequences of drug addiction, which is the main cause of drug development.

Also, it is necessary to mention psychological help. Nowadays, an addict becomes closed and hides his/her main problem because our society often simply rejects the drug addicts. This aggravates the problem and makes it even more urgent. It is very difficult to change the mentality because it requires much time. However, it is possible to change the view of society on addicts and enable them to share the problem and get rid of it. A set of actions that Kofi offers is excellent, but it needs some work, and deeper analysis.

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Therefore, I propose a set of actions that aim to raise young people's awareness of the problem, and provide drug addicts with an ability to adapt to society. Firstly, it is necessary to spread the scientific films about the consequences of drug addiction, methods of its prevention and treatment. Also, movies can be shot on such topics as helping fellow drug addicts and so on. Today, large media companies produce such films, but this is not enough. They must be made regularly, and have good publicity. Secondly, I propose the creation of a network of full psychological support centers for drug addicts. Such centers already exist, but the increase in the number of drug addicts proves their poor efficiency. It is necessary either to create new centers of support or reorganize the old ones, and to increase their funding.

Thirdly, it is necessary to take individual preventive and prophylactic measures of dealing with potential drug users, for example, with orphans, with people from disadvantaged families, the unemployed, and so on. It is possible to create centers that will provide psychological support for such people. At the same time, these centers are aimed at preventing the emergence of drug addiction. They will also perform a full investigation of potential addicts, and discover the tendency of some people to become addicts. In addition, this method allows studying the drug market in more details.

To summarize, inefficiency of the war on drugs should be corrected as soon as possible. The combination of above methods combined with Kofis program will reduce the drug trafficking and the number of drug addicts in our country. However, much work is to be done in order to turn the activities of the government in the right direction, and actually improve the situation.

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