Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Only Famous People Matter, and the "War" on Drugs

It's very interesting how, even though someone in America dies of a drug overdose every 19 minutes, no one really pays attention until it happens to someone famous.

Please, I don't want anyone taking this as some sort of insult to Whitney Houston. But I wonder, why do the other 27,359 people that die EVERY DAY receive no attention whatsoever? We have this "war on drugs" in this country which is nothing but a shiny toy to distract Americans from the actual problem. We throw dealers and users in jail seemingly at random, or by whoever is unfortunate enough to have a cop pass by at the wrong time. The strategy clearly is doing nothing to address the issue; however, it seems that as long as we keep filling the prisons, both the government and the public are satisfied.

We need better education about drugs in this country (well, we need better education in general, but that's for a later post...). We need to criminalize them less, if for no other reason than to make people feel comfortable about coming forward when they need help. And we need to get rid of the stigma of drug use for the same reason. So many more people would seek the help they need if they knew that society wanted them to get better, as opposed to throwing a party every time the incarceration counter gets another tick. I suppose that's wishful thinking; these people need a reason to feel superior to others, and if they have been fortunate enough to not be struck by addiction, then that's what they cling to. Unless of course it does strike them at some point down the road; these people can do a 180 so fast that it makes MY head spin.

Unfortunately, like so many things in this country, the plight of the masses is swept under the rug until one of those that we worship brings it into the spotlight.

(P.S. May you find peace Miss Houston; rest in peace. You and everyone else who has been stricken with the terrible disease of drug addiction.)

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