Drug addiction is a sensitive topic in the American society. Dasgupta (2006) argues that about 8% of the American populations are substance abusers, and this is approximately 20 million people. In this regard, most Americans abuse marijuana. In fact, statistics indicate that 14 million Americans misuse marijuana (Dasgupta, 2006). Other drugs that have a high rate of abuse in America are cocaine and methamphetamine. Thus, to fight the drug addiction menace in the society, the state and the federal government should develop policies aimed at treating addiction and discouraging the use of banned drugs. Asian countries managed to reduce the rates of drug abuse because of compulsory drug centers, where addicts accessed professional counselors. Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand are examples of countries that are successfully using drug centers to fight addiction (Dasgupta, 2006). Therefore, the State and Federal Government should build, and fund, new drug centers because the most effective way to fight drug addiction is to provide addicts with professional counselors who can help them fight addiction.
The Federal and State Government should learn from Asian countries on the importance of using compulsory drug detention centers to fight addiction. For instance, in 2002, Thailand introduced mandatory drug centers (Kamarulzaman & McBrayer, 2015). The reason for the introduction of these centers was to help in fighting the methamphetamine epidemic that was prevalent in Thailand. Moreover, the authorities in Thailand did not treat drug addicts as criminals, but patients who needed help. Because of the effectiveness of these drug centers in treating and rehabilitating drug addicts, they increased to 84 in 2008, from 6, that the Government of Thailand opened in 2000 (Kamarulzaman & McBrayer, 2015). Moreover, Vietnam established drug centers in 1993, and the intention was to punish, re-educate and rehabilitate the drug addicts. The number of these centers increased to 129 in 2010, and the reason is that of the effectiveness of the centers to treat and rehabilitate drug addicts (Kamarulzaman & McBrayer, 2015). Therefore, from these examples, it is possible to assert that the use of drug centers is a popular method of rehabilitating drug addicts in Asia, because of its effectiveness. With this in mind, the Federal and State Government should follow the example of Asian countries, and establish compulsory drug centers, aimed at treating and rehabilitating drug addicts.
We can do it today.
Moreover, the State and Federal Government should consider creating and funding drug centers because addicts will have access to professional counselors at a cheaper cost. In the view of Segal (2017), treating drug addiction is an expensive process. For instance, Americans use approximately $ 35 billion annually, to treat drug addiction (Segal, 2017). Indeed, this is expensive. Furthermore, not all drug addicts have an insurance policy that covers addiction treatment, nor, can they afford the costs of treatment. Thus, drug centers are the best model of therapy, because of the subsidized prices that the addicts have to pay when accessing treatment in these centers. Moreover, Segal (2017) talks about the Florida Model, which is a drug treatment technique that relies on drug centers to offer professional counseling services. At Prescott, homes are converted to drug rehabilitation centers, providing accommodation and counseling services to addicts. In fact, the people running these centers are former drug addicts. They got the skills to manage the centers, because of the successful rehabilitation process that they passed through. With this in mind, Segal (2017) believes that the best and cheaper alternative to fighting drug addiction is by establishing drug centers. Therefore, it is essential that the State and the Federal Government should take the initiative of creating drug centers, and fund them so that they can offer rehabilitation services to addicts.
Nevertheless, Lehman & Dixon (2016) do not support the use of compulsory drug centers in the rehabilitation of drug addicts. In their view, it is unethical to force addicts to pass through the centers for treatment. In fact, the authors assert that compulsory drug centers are a breach of the human rights of the addicts. The reason for their argument is the fact that everybody has a right to decide whether to seek treatment or not. In fact, Lehman & Dixon (2016) assert that drug centers in Vietnam are for punitive purposes, and not to rehabilitate drug addicts. The reason is that the government of Vietnam views drug addiction as a social evil, and it has the responsibility of punishing people who are vulnerable to addiction. Also, Lehman & Dixon (2016) believe that there is no evidence which proves that drug rehabilitation centers are useful in the prevention of relapse. Thus, it is unacceptable to force drug addicts to pass through an experience that does not guarantee a positive outcome, in fighting their drug dependence behavior.
Despite it being unethical to force drug addicts to get treatment, establishing drug centers is not a bad idea. America should follow the example of Thailand and not Vietnam. For instance, in Thailand, drug addicts are not criminals, but the government treats them as patients. Therefore, when they attend drug centers, the government treats these people in a humane manner. Even so, when patients visit drug rehabilitation centers, they have access to qualified counselors and psychologists who will help them adapt to the system (Meyers, 2013). Furthermore, when establishing the drug centers, the Federal and the State Government should make a provision of follow up. When the patients are released, the government should follow up on their welfare, and this includes helping them secure work or sources of living. Through this strategy, the chances are high that the government will reduce the rates of drug addiction relapse.
Finally, it is essential for the State and the Federal Government to establish and fund drug centers, for fighting addiction. Countries such as Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia are successful in their use of drug centers to fight addiction. For example, Thailand began with six drug centers, but because of their success, the country increased the number to 84 as of 2008. Indeed, if the centers were not successful, Thailand would not create and fund new centers. In the United States, experts advocate for the Florida Model as a way of treating drug addiction. Under this model, the state will create drug centers and fund them. It is cheaper for addicts to get rehabilitation treatment from these centers. Moreover, to prevent cases of relapse, the government can initiate a follow-up program, aimed at helping the rehabilitated patients, to integrate with the society, and this includes securing a job for them.
- Dasgupta, A. (2006). A health educator’s guide to understanding drugs of abuse testing. Jones & Bartlett Learning.
- Kamarulzaman, A., & McBrayer, J. L. (2015). Compulsory drug detention centers in East and
- Southeast Asia. International Journal of Drug Policy, 26, S33-S37.
- Lehman, A. F., & Dixon, L. (Eds.). (2016). Double jeopardy: Chronic mental illness and substance use disorders. Routledge.
- Meyers, T. (2013). The Clinic and Elsewhere: Addiction, Adolescents and the Afterlife of Therapy. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
- Segal, D. (2017, December 27). City of Addict Entrepreneurs.