Is the US killing addicts with failed government policies?

Shellenberger sees the difference in policy between the US and Europe as the cause for the problem. In the US, addicts are treated as permanent victims instead of receiving real treatment. For example, consider a female addict in San Francisco:

That’s the three part idea that a) Diane is a victim; b) victimhood is not a stage on the road to heroism but rather a permanent state; and c) everything should be given and nothing required of victims. According to the progressive victimologists who run San Francisco, and other progressive cities, the laws against public drug use, public defecation, and shoplifting, should not be enforced against Diane because she’s an addict. As a victim, Diane is sacred, and the system is sinful. As such, it is better to let her die from fentanyl than to enforce the law.

Are arresting dealers and mandating rehab for addicts the paths to reducing the number drug deaths?

Is victimology killing people?

I think there’s a new factor in this equation that seriously tips our scales in the wrong direction and that’s fentanyl being provided by China. It’s being mixed in with other drugs and it KILLS with very small amounts.

Something should and must be done. I’ve been watching someone very close to me struggle with dependency for years. Interestingly enough his addiction began during a stint in a state penitentiary. I know, how does contraband narcotics get into a state lockup? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:
He was treated prior to release with methadone then placed in a “treatment” program for continued daily methadone doses. That was more than three years ago. These “programs” are just another revenue generating Avenue for somebody in my opinion. They aren’t very aggressive in treatment or getting people off the dependence. In the meantime the physiological and mental side effects of methadone are becoming apparent. There has to be a better way.

I’d rather send someone to rehab over hard drug use than send them somewhere that’s definitely going to make it all worse.

Forced rehab is worthless, there is no breaking addiction when the addict hasn’t decided on their own they no longer wish to an addict.

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I don’t disagree, but I also don’t see drug use/addiction as a crime.

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Oh neither do I, unless you are selling it to people. Especially children.

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Dealers are predators. To hell with them.

We waste too many resources on imprisoning drug users, and it begets too much corruption. There’s no avoiding that corruption either.

A crime against no one else is no crime at all in my view. Ending the drug war would go a long way in reducing crime.


Most of the people in jail aren’t there for simple possession. Usually it’s for having dealer amounts or violating probation.

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Most likely. Crime and illegal substances mesh together quickly.

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Is the tweet from Michael Shellenberger in the OP accurate? It seems to me that most everyone supports penalizing drug dealers (not addicts), and progressives support rehab over jail time for addicts.

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Some studies show equal success rate for voluntary and involuntary rehab.

In San Francisco they have stopped enforcing laws against shoplifting, theft from cars, and they have government subsidized homeless camps. The government is acting as an enabler for addicts.

Here in Oregon we have decriminalized all drugs while still making it illegal to be a dealer. Screw the war on drugs. It’s been a colossal failure. Honestly the Sackler family and their ability to push prescription opioids has been far more responsible for drug deaths than Mexican Cartels. I highly recommend watching “Dopesick”.


Homelessness is just a symptom of a lot of problems-

Radically rising rents and houses in the last 20 years, easy availablity of drugs and especially prescription opioids, as well as deinstitutionalization and slashing mental health budgets.

Homelessness is easily solved today. You can print a house and furnish it for under 10k. If the government wanted it solved they could solve it in a few months. But then the big budgets to “address homelessness” go away and a lot of people lose their jobs.

You would have to have a federal plan to provide tiny home shelters in all major cities. If just one or two cities provide them, then homeless will flock to those places.

I haven’t seen a huge amount of desire for the federal government to intervene on that level.

And though I am a huge proponent of this plan, I also know that there are many homeless who are so strung out on drugs, scraping by as petty criminals, are sociopathic predators or who are so traumatized with mental illness that even maintaining a tiny home is impossible. It’s definitely part of the solution but not the whole enchilada imho.

Pretty sure it would be pretty popular, especially with urban residents who have to deal with the homeless all the time. And not just the homeless, I am sure that young people would also like to be able to buy a tiny home for dirt cheap. But here we are, not allowing it to happen. Because guess what happens to people’s home values if we allowed current tech to print homes for a tiny fraction of current home prices.

Do you think the GOP really wants to pay for problems that are primarily urban and therefore associated with the Left?

I’d love it if that was true but I have my doubts.

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One way to find out would be for Democrats to propose it, but, no luck.