Originally Posted by SkepticDoc
My bottom line is that addicts deserve a chance to get sober, your best friend, sibling, neighbor, child, relative, etc., etc... could be addicted and help is available.
Yes, and it's encouraging to see more and more young people specializing in addiction medicine, psychiatry and ancillary healthcare professions. It really does take a village of teachers, healthcare professionals, peer counselors, law enforcement, parents and researchers to begin to address the problem.
I was also encouraged to hear Mark and Harold talk about changes in public sentiment and policy since the Stone(r) Age of the 1970s and the Crack Age of the 1980s. Still, political realities being what they are, real change comes very slowly. The Mexican drug war rages on, prescription drug abuse is at record highs, lives are ruined every day by drugs, and our per capita incarceration rate is the highest in the world.
I thought Harold did a good job of not letting Mark be dismissive of treatment programs. Mark insists that treatment is not nearly as effective as carrot-stick law enforcement programs like Hope, which maintains the threat of incarceration as a deterrent to using. Harold suggested, however, that the answer is to improve the quality of prevention and treatment. As Harold said, good treatment is VERY expensive, but not nearly as expensive as non-treatment.