Proof that war on drugs has failed

Unbelievably, heroin use is on the rise and Snohomish County is one of the areas that have shown a sharp increase in usage. Not as bad as some cities, where the drug use has reached epidemic proportions, but any increase is tragic.

It’s hard to imagine how, in this day and age, considering all of the money spent on trying to educate us, how anyone could become addicted. To heroin especially, but to meth, prescription pain killers, etc. etc.

These drugs are killers. Presently, 100 folks a day die from overdosing and in some cities the number doubles annually. There is no cure, except death, from heroin addiction. It’s either addiction or continual rehab. Marijuana use is nothing compared to this stuff and heroin, in some parts of the country, is as cheap as a 6 pack of beer and cheaper than prescription drugs.

We have lost the “war on drugs.” We should help those that need help and those that want to help themselves, but at some point we humans have to start taking care of ourselves, take responsibility and suffer the consequences for our own actions.

A typical example is the Quincy Valley Medical Center, the nearest hospital to the Gorge Amphitheater. They have to add staff on concert weekends to handle drug overdose cases. Concertgoers can afford the expensive tickets and buy more than enough drugs of their choice but they can’t afford the hospital care to treat their overdose. So the local property tax supported hospital has to absorb the cost.

A half a million bucks last year and rising. Millions of dollars, probably billions by now, first for preventative education, then to treat,feed, and house addicts and sometimes their families as well, then to pursue, prosecute and jail offenders. Recently, we read that drug “camps” in outlying areas are set up, often near food banks for obvious reasons and food stamps have long been used as currency to buy drugs. Were helping a few and enabling many more.

Rehabilitation does work for some, as I said, but with drug use increasing, even in the face of all the evidence showing us how harmful it is, isn’t their a line that should be drawn? If you repeatedly choose to ruin your life, so be it. Like drunk drivers, it seems as if someone has to die before the lawbreaker has to pay a severe enough penalty.

We have been told, for years now, that we don’t have the money to build more prisons. Considering the amount of money already spent, and continue to spend, on this so called “war”, building prisons to separate the offender from society is probably a bargain.

Don Curtis


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