What is the best drug abuse solution? Is it to punish those who are abusing drugs? Is the best idea to put drug abusers in with real hard core addicts and hope that it will scare them straight? What should we do with drug abusers?
People who are abusing drugs are not necessarily addicted. They might be addicts in the making, and they might be headed down that path, but they are simply abusing drugs at this point. Usually we are talking about younger people as well when we are looking at drug abuse.
Some studies were done where they put drug abusers in with recovering addicts in the hopes that this would correct the drug abuse. In fact, the outcome was the exact opposite: the drug abusers got worse and went on to abuse drugs more heavily and become addicted in more cases. Associating the drug abusers with addicts had a negative effect. So this does not make much sense.
We also know that being punitive with drug abusers generally does not work either. When we punish people who are abusing drugs, it generally just ends up putting them in contact with other drug addicts and drug abusers, and this too has a negative effect.
So what is the solution? What can steer people away from abusing drugs?
The answer to this is complex, in my opinion. I think it is best described as the creative life in recovery, a purposeful way of living that has meaning and passion. If people are inspired to live a good life, then they are less likely to trade it away for getting high.
This is a self esteem issue as well. If people are taking good care of themselves, and are genuinely pursuing good health, then this will boost their self esteem and make it less likely for them to abuse drugs.
So the solution is one of holistic health. Well rounded, holistic health as a model for good living. The creative theory would say that we need to push for this lifestyle in order to overcome, or avoid, drug addiction. Having purpose and meaning in our lives gives us the necessary self esteem to be able to say “no” to drugs.
Why would a person say “no” to drugs, if they don’t have anything special to live for? They wouldn’t. So the solution is to find a life of passion and purpose, one that is based on holistic health.
Not an easy solution to implement. But, the problem is extraordinarily complex, so what do you expect?