Pubdate: Thu, 03 May 2007
Source: Ledger, The (Lakeland, FL)
Copyright: 2007 The Ledger
Author: Robert Sharpe
Bookmark: (Treatment)


The Polk Ecumenical Action Council for Empowerment (PEACE) is to be 
commended for making the case for drug and alcohol treatment. A study 
conducted by the RAND Corporation found that every additional dollar 
invested in substance-abuse treatment saves taxpayers $7.48 in 
societal costs. There is far more at stake than tax dollars.

The drug war is not the promoter of family values that some would 
have us believe. Children of inmates are at risk of educational 
failure, joblessness, addiction and delinquency. Not only do the 
children lose out, but society as a whole does too. Incarcerating 
nonviolent drug offenders alongside hardened criminals is the 
equivalent of providing them with a taxpayer-funded education in 
anti-social behavior.

Turning drug users into unemployable ex-cons is a senseless waste of 
tax dollars. It's time to declare peace in the failed drug war, and 
begin treating all substance abuse, legal or otherwise, as the 
public-health problem it is. Destroying the futures and families of 
citizens who make unhealthy choices doesn't benefit anyone. Drug 
abuse is bad, but the drug war is worse.

ROBERT SHARPE, MPA, Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

- ---
MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman