|Addiction Treatment Industry Newswire|
|06/11/2013 –ATIN- The flood of mostly youthful opiate addicted clients from the Northeast that has descended on the South Florida addiction treatment drug rehab alcohol rehab market this year can likely be traced to a similar flood of very high grade heroin being sold at record low prices as drug dealers react to increased demand that is in part being driven by the DEA’s recent prescription opiate dragnets, which have sent the street value of pills like Percocet and oxycodone soaring. The result has been a super wide, likely record spread between the price of high grade heroin that now sells for as little as $5 a bag in Northern New Jersey and prices of diverted prescription opiates that are going for between $40 to $50 a pill, a price divergence that is pushing suburbanite kids towards heroin and away from the pills that were previously favored because of their relative familiarity and lack of stigma.
Drug War Failure
The heroin/pill spread is further evidence of how the laws of unintended consequences dominate in the failed Drug War’s policy efforts and how actions like the opiate pill crackdown often simply result in an enforcement frustrating “wackamole” effect for the multi-billion dollar underground black market in illegal drugs, a market that is clearly thriving more than ever given the record low prices seen recently and despite trillions spent on seizing drugs since Nixon launched the drug war in the 1970s. With prices as low as $5 a hit it is far easier for youths to get high on dope now than drunk on alcohol. That’s not only because of heroin’s increased suburban availability but also BECAUSE IT IS LIKELY NOW CHEAPER TO GET HIGH ON HEROIN THAN IT IS TO GET DRUNK ON ALCOHOL in places like New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, especially if you’re doing your drinking in bars.
Last week Vermont became the 17th state to decriminalize pot possession as the public becomes weary of the self-serving posturing of the politically connected Prison Industrial Complex – lawyers/prison guards/cops, etc… – whose jobs depend on maintaining the status quo and huge expense of drug prohibition, with even highly conservative voices like the Wall Street publication Barron’s asking the question in a cover story last week … “SHOULD WE LEGALIZE POT?”
Obviously, the answer is yes … but does that go far enough? Most of the rest of the industrialized world has decriminalized possession of virtually all drugs, and so have countries under Drug War siege like Mexico and Columbia which in the last two decades have literally been at war and seen many tens of thousands of casualties. All drug prohibition does, especially in places like Colombia and Mexico, is provide the sociopathic element with an unprecedented business opportunity and path to wealth and power.
In the meantime, in the supposedly Land of Liberty United States we have 10 TIMES AS MANY PEOPLE IN PRISON than any place else, with nearly 10 PERCENT – OR MORE THAN 200,000 PEOPLE – JAILED ON MARIJUANA CHARGES. And prison guards make many times the meager salaries of addiction counselors while addiction treatment accounts for a tiny one percent of healthcare spending, despite substance abuse being BY FAR the single most important etiological factor contributing to death and disease.
It’s time we ended the failed Drug War and diverted the huge resources devoted to its fight to addiction treatment.
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