Drug control policies in the United States have been stagnant for decades, focusing primarily on arresting traffickers, eradicating drug supplies and disrupting the distribution chain. However, despite significant efforts in this regard, little to no progress has been made. Instead, the War on Drugs has spread into nearly every area of the world, with the US leading the fight even against the public sentiment of involved countries. This has led to the displacement of thousands of innocent people, the deaths of civilians, traffickers and law enforcement, and prisons that are overcrowded with drug offenders. Reviewing the US's drug control policy will reveal a failing old status quo that must be understood in order to bring about effective change.

The principle problem with the United State's drug control policy is that it consists almost exclusively of the War on Drugs. By making it difficult to get drugs, restricting the available supplies and driving up prices law enforcement officials believe that they are fighting the most efficient battle possible. However, as we have clearly seen, the demand for drugs will never cease and therefore there will always be people to meet this demand. Consequently, we must wage a war not on drugs, but on the DEMAND for drugs. This means providing education and prevention resources as well as addiction treatment options. Unfortunately, the government's drug control policy allows for very little of this.

Part of the problem with understanding these policies is the discrepancies in information provided relative to the success of government control programs. On one hand the federal government consistently asks for more and more money for the War on Drugs, while on the other hand issuing statements like the following from the Office of National Drug Control: ""Overall drug use in the United States has dropped substantially over the past thirty years. In response to comprehensive efforts to address drug use at the local, state, Federal, and international levels, the rate of Americans using illicit drugs today is roughly half the rate it was in the late 70s. More recently, there has been a 46 percent drop in current cocaine use among young adults (age 18 to 25 years) over the past five years, and a 68 percent drop in the rate of people testing positive for cocaine in the workplace since 2006." If this statement were true then these reductions in use should correlate to a reduction in drug war expenses, but they do not.

These drug policies are at least part of the cause behind strong anti-American sentiment around the world. American troops are rumored to make regular unauthorized cross-border raids, carry out executions and engage in torture and other acts that are against the Geneva Convention. And while these accusations may be nothing more than trafficker propaganda, there is no denying the fact that the American War on Drugs is a violent one. Each year people in many different parts of the world are caught up – and die – in this seemingly ineffective war.

The most troubling issue presented by US drug control policy is that ultimately it is the source of the problem – demand for drugs – that gets ignored. This means that people who suffer from addiction are arrested, imprisoned, ridiculed, cast out of careers and peer groups, ostracized from family and community, and in some cases hurt or killed. Instead, the most effective way to end this war would be to treat these people, and provide education so that others will not make similar choices.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, reach out for help now before you become just another statistic in the US War on Drugs.

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Author's Bio: 

Rachel has led a diverse writing career including journalism, marketing and internet-related writing and editing positions. A specialist in the fields of addiciton and alcoholism, Rachel is also an extremely adept financial writer.