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World's Worst Places for Addicts: United States

So far we’ve told you about all these different countries and their laws and consequences for drug users and the options they have for addicts trying to get help, but let’s take a look at our country now- The United States of America.

Besides the fact that there is a huge epidemic going on with prescription pain pills and heroin in the United States right now, drugs has always been a big issue here. In the United States, if you have an issue with drug dependency, they can offer good options for help. In this country, when you have an issue and are seeking help with your drug problem you can go into a treatment facility that is very nice and accommodating to your needs. Like said in other blogs, in some countries they just throw you in a room to detox with nothing with a bunch of other people! Here in the United States they offer you medical attention and give you medication to help you go through the detox process safely and comfortably.

In the United States, we have drug treatment facilities all over the country that offer help to addicts. There are even options available to those who have money issues or even no money at all. We have state-run facilities that are able to take you in if you have no money, even though you might have to wait it out a little bit to get in. There are also rehabs that have scholarship programs and can work with you if you don’t have insurance. Each treatment center works differently, but all are goaled towards helping addicts and alcoholics get healthy and sober.

Although, the United States has good options for treatment from drugs, our penalties for drug users when it comes to being in trouble with the law are pretty awful. Apparently, they have been forcing people who go to court for drug charges to plead guilty. They give them a ‘choice’ (not really) which is to plead guilty to 10 years in jail or risk going to trial and get sentenced to life without parole. Mandatory minimum sentencing gives prosecutors amplified and unreasonable power. When a prosecutor charges a defendant with a crime that carries a mandatory minimum and that defendant is convicted, the judge has no choice but to hand down that sentence. It is said that a contributing factor to the rise of incarceration is due to the war on drugs, officially originated by Richard Nixon with the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 and eagerly followed by Ronald Reagan. By 2010, drug offenders in federal prison had escalated to 500,000 per year, up from 41,000 in 1985. Drug associated charges accounted for more than half the rise in state inmates. The outcome, 31 million people have been arrested on drug related charges.

Even though it seems as if our government has been more than harsh enough on the convicted drug users, it still is a way better option than being shot on site or randomly drug tested from a cop invasion or any other option that there are in other countries. It is sad to know that the majority of the population of people in jails around the United States is due to drug related crimes. That’s why with the disease of addiction they say there are three outcomes: Jails, Institutions and Death.  Thankfully, I only personally experienced one of the three (institutions) and hopefully (knock on wood) I never have to experience the other two outcomes or institutions again. Getting sober and staying sober in the United States can be a beautiful thing and is definitely a great life worth living. If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-800-951-6135.

Sources:

http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/12/05/us-forced-guilty-pleas-drug-cases

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_incarceration_rate#Drug_sentencing_laws

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