Heroin for free decreases crime!

Posted on September 24, 2009. Filed under: Apply topically |

So over my few weeks off I hear a story on the news, that makes me stop and scratch my head a little…

(and no I didn’t get splinters).

Now perhaps I’m missing the point, perhaps I’m being controversial and am going to get slated for the following post, but it seems to me I am not the one missing the point, and from what I hear and read about the subject the more I seem to be the only one who thinks it’s laughable.   Anyhow, lets look at the story….

The BBC website entitled their article :

Heroin supply clinic cuts crime

No! Not crimes against heroines!

Now if you don’t fancy reading the article here are the basics of it…

100 drug addicts are given either FREE methadone or FREE diamorphine (AKA medical class heroin), and then assessed to see how much they were getting in trouble with the Police, how much they were using street drugs and how much they were spending on drugs…

Guess what…the pilot scheme showed that:

Three-quarters reduced use of street heroin
Offences down from 1,731 in 30 days to 547 in six months
Spending on drugs down from £300 to £50 a week
Everyone seems to be screaming what fantastic results these are and that it should be rolled out nationally.
Really am I missing the point? Of course these drug addicts are spending less on drugs and committing less crime to support their habit…they are being given them for free on a trial partly funded by the tax payer…
Perhaps the next big incentive will be to give free mobile phones to everyone and free upgrades every few weeks to stop people stealing mobile phones, or free BMW’s to all car thieves to stop them stealing cars. 
 “Stop Police!!! Let me get that for you sir!”
If this approach continues to spread I am going to become an alcoholic so I can get free beer when that incentive comes in!  Maybe we could also reduce gun crime, by allowing people previously convicted of gun crime to ask members of the armed forces to shoot people for them, thus stopped them from re-offending!
The drug addicts on the trial talk about reducing their intake over the coming weeks, well of course they do…if they said otherwise they’d be kicked out!
Here’s another quote:

“One of the heroin addicts on the programme, a 34-year-old man called John, had been addicted for eight years when the trials began.  He fed his habit by dealing.

“My life was just a shambles… waking up, chasing money, chasing drugs,” he said.

But John said the scheme had transformed his life “100 per cent” and he now had a part-time job.”

Well of course his life has been transformed, some nice clinic is supplying his drugs so he does not have to worry about it.

I’ve been thinking more about this kind of initiative, I commute to work, and that’s not very environmentally friendly, so perhaps the government can do some research on the benefits to the environment by paying me the same wage to stay at home and get someone else to do my job… I bet the results show I use less fuel by not driving to work!


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3 Responses to “Heroin for free decreases crime!”

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My response would be, Yes, you are being a bit “Ratchedy”.
That is not to say I don’t understand your point of view, however, your point is singular.
The difficulty presented in this situation arises in the abilities to discern differences between mental illness and criminal behavior. I believe that societal ignorance of these concepts, due to inherent complexities involved, breeds intolerance, and ultimately the rejection of possible, reasonable solutions in favor of over- simplification in the form of political sound bites such as “just say no”.
Political careers are built upon societal dysfunction. Consider for a moment the idea of our country without the “War on Drugs”. From of revenue created on a local, county, and state level to the massive national and international infrastructure, and including ancillary support systems, what would be the resulting affects?
In all honesty, have any of our efforts truly served to lessen the effects of drugs? Therefore, if our current approach is ineffective, what could be the harm of cautiously taking a new tack?
Alcoholism and drug abuse are recognized mental disease resulting in joblessness, homelessness, and the loss of social support and family. An ever ending cycle of hopelessness and despair is associated to exacerbate the underlying disease process. Increasing despair and disease negatively affect inhibitory mechanisms leading to theft, prostitution, and other violent behavior.
Next, is the involvement of the true criminals. These emotionally bereft “Birds of Prey” descend to avail themselves at every opportunity.
Again, I ask you to imagine our daily lives without the influences of drugs. What if we allocated our resources to effectively treat the mental illness that leads to drug abuse?
Oh yes, I should mention that the world you imagine will be devastated by a financial and political upheaval of unimaginable proportion. From municipality to internationally, the loss of jobs alone would be enough to topple governments. Local law enforcement, emergency workers, medical care workers, attorneys, judges, jailers, clerks, border patrol agents, federal agents, only to mention a few, would find their numbers drastically cut. Unemployment insurance would become nonexistent due to lack of funding generated by the loss of revenue due to lack of employment taxes alone. The newly unemployed, many of whom, are highly trained in the use of weaponry, become high risk for metal disease, alcoholism, and drug abuse.

Alright Ratchedy, I think you can carry on from here.

Hmmm, I’m sure I didn’t ask whether I was being ratchedy!?

Well firstly Fdee wins my prize for longest comment on this blog, and secondly to say I would and should give enough respect to your comment by giving a decent reply, but there were too many multiple syllable words and I got confused! xxx

The drug trial you are referring to is based on the Swedish “drug contract” concept that treated addiction as a disease. Street drugs are not legal but their use is not criminalized either.
Addicts were given something like a credit card for access to clean needles and quality controlled drugs. The goal of the Swedish plan was to minimize health care costs of drug use.
The Swedes didn’t have success with their first policies but later, by taking this approach, the crimes associated with drugs was reduced.
Addicts will fall to, lying, cheating, prostitution, burglary, and murder if they think it will get them their next fix.
Further study showed that without a financial need, crimes for the purpose of gaining money or power to get more drugs drop. Innocent people did not become victims, babies were not born to mothers with AIDS from sharing needles or prostitution without protection.
As it turns out, the economics of the drug trade is undermined.
Now imagine if something like cannabis were to be made legal. You can compare it to the tobacco market. The revenue for governments by taxing products could strengthen economies of many countries and still have a product that cost less than current street prices. Adding an entire industry would mean more jobs than anyone would need. The product would be quality controlled and come in many forms because of it’s uses in medicine.
Law enforcement would become free to use their time for catching those whose crimes are not driven by drugs.

I don’t now and never have done drugs. I do know how drugs affect addicts. Obviously what we have been doing for the last seventy-five years hasn’t worked. We should at least consider other options.

I understand (as a nurse) what John was saying. Addiction to any substance is a disease that gets little understanding and compassion from health care. I don’t think I need to make that point. It’s already been made.

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