Heroin Prohibition Is Killing the People It’s Supposed to Save—It’s Time to Legalize and Regulate @alternet

Posted: September 9, 2016 in Uncategorized

Pursuing a harm-reduction policy that includes making heroin safe and legal won’t encourage drug use.

A drug normally used to tranquilize livestock and elephants is now being ingested by human users to disastrous ends and may have contributed to a recent spate of overdoses in Cincinnati. It’s a powerful opioid called carfentanil, and is only the latest such drug with a funny name to burst onto the national scene: Fentanyl now rivals heroin as a leading cause of overdose deaths, and another drug called Opana fueled an HIV epidemic in Indiana. But as the opioid crisis cuts its widening swath across the country, an important fact often remains invisible: Heroin prohibition is driving the problem, not fixing it.

Legalizing and regulating unsavory drugs remains a controversial proposition. For many people, legalization and regulation seem to confer or imply approval. But the logic behind doing so is straightforward: the most dangerous things about opioid addiction, including ingesting drugs of unknown provenance and quality, and disastrously reorganizing one’s life to pay for a fix, are in large part byproducts of a drug’s illegal status.

Prohibiting dangerous substances has not only clearly failed to keep people from using them, it has also made the use of those substances more dangerous. And it has incentivized the rise of more dangerous opiates, because drug traffickers benefit from packing the highest level of potency into the smallest shipment at the lowest cost possible. To the extent that people who take fentanyl largely would prefer heroin, access to regulated heroin used under medical supervision would keep many from dying by overdose, and would help drive more potent narcotic interlopers like fentanyl from the market.

Read more (source) Heroin Prohibition Is Killing the People It’s Supposed to Save—It’s Time to Legalize and Regulate @alternet

Comments
  1. Portugal legalized (under regulation) all illicit drugs in 2001 and drug use in all categories has steeply dropped – especially among young people.

  2. sojourner says:

    “Approval” is the problem. This is what happens with state created societies; the few decide what all the rest can and can’t do (“MORALITY” of “the majority”).

    If it weren’t for this system/order, most folks would be less likely to need a chemical-induced escape from this reality, this hell.

    The system/order creates these problems and then condemns the rest of us for trying to survive, the best way we know how.

    So your point is well taken. As long as this system/order exists, people are going to try to escape using drugs, including alcohol, so drugs should be made available and safe.

    Isn’t it Colorado that has seen a decline in crime since legalizing cannabis? Where there is “law and order”, there will be broken laws, death and suffering, since it is evident that laws are contrary to the nature of human beings.

    • The laws you talk about are chiefly designed to benefit the ruling elite. It’s my impression that the whole purpose of the “war on drugs” was to increase demand for illicit drugs and thus bolster CIA drug trafficking.

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