Posted by: Pierre | 2009-06-26

Death Sentence

Why aren’ t dealers given the death sentence like in Eastern countries who have largely conquered their drug problems. After all when u sell some of these drugs to children you are indirectly giving the children a death sentence. Isn’ t it possible to get a partition to serve to government to push for this? Secondly how can we as the community help with drug problems to ensure our children aren’ t exposed to drugs?

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Our expert says:
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Not certain if I can comment on the death penalty as such - that is a very contentious debate in itself.

The frightening complexity of all these issues has led many to seek a solution to the problem, either by increasing aggressive enforcement and punishment or by simply legalising the whole affair. Opposing camps form around these two extremes and debate is reduced to polemics, with each side talking past the other. This sort of reductionism fails to recognise that one size does not fit all. The appropriate strategy depends on current local circumstances. It may be that a ruthless dependency producing drug such as heroin is simply too readily available and too greatly in demand for prohibition strategies to have any positive impact at all.

When drug use can be prevented, every effort should be made to stop the problem before it starts. Where it cannot, creative means of dealing with the risks should be sought. The paradigm case of failed prohibition is ‘Prohibition’ itself - the banning of alcohol in the United States during the early years of the last century. It is clear that this experiment in social engineering did nothing to limit the use of the drug and may have, in fact, heightened its popularity. It also formed the basis on which many organised crime syndicates, such as the American Mafia, built their early fortunes. Early prohibition is arguably the source of America’s current drug problems, because it provided finance and experience to the same networks that are pushing heroin today. If nothing else, it offered glamorous role models for the current crop of aspiring gangsters and smugglers

Prohibition and reduction of supply go hand in hand. In countries where controlling the supply of substances is impossible, prohibition does not make much sense. While most will concede that, unless one is speaking of Singapore, completely eliminating illicit drugs is impossible, prohibitionists hope that limiting the supply will slow the spread of the drug, prevent the growth of demand, and eventually push the price up to the point at which only the most dedicated dependents can afford to get high. The question of any given society must be: is this strategy workable in the present circumstances?

Generally speaking, t is an imperative that law-enforcement action be followed by an integrated programme of psychological, social and pharmacological outreach. These programmes will have to be expanded to address new demands and will need to include specialised skills training. Many interventions and procedures have begun to be integrated routinely into clinical practice. On a practical level, perhaps you can contact your nearest SANCA branch can find out from them what prevention/intervention programmes they offer in your community.

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Our users say:
Posted by: MDK | 2009-06-28

Drug dealers are not given the death sentence as a punishment for the same reason we don' t cut off thieves'  hands, or stone a woman to death for adultery! As for your claim that the " East"  has conquered drugs I am afraid you are mistaken, it has just driven it underground. Your assertion that giving a child a drug is akin to a death sentence is an exaggeration worthy of your desire for the death sentence... but is unfortunately devoid of fact.

Second... The problem with illicit drugs is control. You confuse the prohibition such as we have at the moment with control. By placing the drugs outside the legal system they are not controlled. If drugs were properly controlled children would not be exposed to them in the manner you are concerned with.

Reply to MDK
Posted by: Andreas Pluddemann | 2009-06-28

Dear Pierre
I believe we need to focus more attention on ' demand reduction' . That means, focus more effort on reducing the number of people who want to buy drugs in the first place. This can be done through better drug education programmes, more public advertising on the potential dangers of drug use, and perhaps also providing more recreational alternatives to drugs for young people in their communities. So you may be able to make a positive contribution by supporting these kind of activities at your local schools/community centres.

Reply to Andreas Pluddemann

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