Drug Addiction: Arrest or Treatment, the choice is yours
Opium, drugs, and heroines have been a major problem in history. The addiction that these substances develop can make nations go to war. The opium war between China and the British Empire is one such example. Modern nations have sought to curb the ill effects of drug addiction via the means of strict laws that punish the addicts. They think in this way drug production and its consumption will be in check. However, the drug addiction is so strong that people go at length to produce and consume it. In the Indian context, Punjab is the center of drug addicts. Other states like Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, and northeastern states have also a high density of drug addicts. The laws are strict, but there are always problems in their implementation.
In recent times, a new trend has developed to curb the flow of drugs and help people come out from their drug addiction. In the United States, the government has developed a program under which it will treat the addicts rather than arresting them. Northeastern University drug policy expert, Leo Beletsky says that under the program, institutions of law enforcement and public health care will be acting in coordination. If an addict comes to the police station and seeks help, he/she will be provided treatment rather than arrest. Scholars across the world have been drumming this new approach for decades. They believe that those who become addicts are the victims of society. The addicts are often those people who are unemployed, socially underprivileged, and discriminated against. Therefore, the burden lies not on the individual but on the society as a whole to bring the person back from the darkness of life. However, some scholars are critical of this approach. They argue that the addicts have the freedom to do drugs as it is a self-regarding action. The society is not liable to the actions of the individual in actions that concern the individual only.