Drug addiction: Why it needs to be treated as a health issue

Drug addiction is a major malaise in the US, reaching the proportions of a national crisis. Billions of dollars are spent on law enforcement, incarceration, and prevention campaigns. But in terms of rehabilitation, education, and prevention, the United States lags behind other countries, especially those who treat drug addiction as a health issue rather than a crime.

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According to Dr. Curtis Cripe, head of research and development at the NTL Group, criminal options for drug addicts are wrongheaded responses.

Incarcerating people with drug problems does not solve the issue of drug addiction. It is extremely difficult for them to cope with problems like withdrawal and drug dependency, let alone undergo proper rehabilitation. Prison time is useless when the government neglects funding for rehabilitation in favor of incarceration centers.

Other developed European countries such as Spain tackle drug addiction in a completely different manner. Spain treats drug addiction as a health issue. Drug abuse is taken as a symptom of bigger underling problems such as poverty, depression, mania, and even violent fantasies. Needless to say, creating a law that punishes drug users has long been discredited as a viable solution.

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According to Dr. Curtis Cripe, by addressing all these underlying problems alongside dependencies on substances illegal or legal, the likelihood of relapse among former drug users could be significantly reduced. And with lowered demand, the supply for these illegal drugs is sure to fall.

Dr. Curtis Cripe is a neuroengineer with a background that includes child neurodevelopment, among other disciplines. He is also the head of the Research and Development Department of the NTL Group. For more on Dr. Cripe and his work, follow this Facebook page.

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