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Are You Ready to End the Drug War Yet?

Beata works as a qualified primary school teacher, a councillor for drug and alcohol addiction and a farm caretaker for organic olive grow.

Drugs mean a lot of different things for different people

Addiction starts like ordinary behaviour in social context, its rewards are powerful and immediate.

Addiction starts like ordinary behaviour in social context, its rewards are powerful and immediate.

Later on, the social context is not so important and people continue for a variety of reasons...

Later on, the social context is not so important and people continue for a variety of reasons...

..depending who they are, how old they are, their personality and cultural background...

..depending who they are, how old they are, their personality and cultural background...

They use drugs for different purposes - the businessman uses tobacco to calm his nerves, the physician uses opiates to help them deal with stress...

They use drugs for different purposes - the businessman uses tobacco to calm his nerves, the physician uses opiates to help them deal with stress...

Why then, don't lots of other people become addicts?

Why then, don't lots of other people become addicts?

The answer lies in the balance between the incentives and restraints.

The answer lies in the balance between the incentives and restraints.

People start with balance but the picture changes - they make stronger attachments to addiction.

People start with balance but the picture changes - they make stronger attachments to addiction.

People at risk have lots of factors them towards incentives but less towards constraints.

People at risk have lots of factors them towards incentives but less towards constraints.

Dependency develops over time - it is a flowing continuum.

Dependency develops over time - it is a flowing continuum.

Rewards are powerful and immediately they begin to ignore all signs of harm.

Rewards are powerful and immediately they begin to ignore all signs of harm.

There is no balance any more - one is pulling them in one direction and another is restraining them...

There is no balance any more - one is pulling them in one direction and another is restraining them...

When attachment and conflict has risen, the positives go up, and harm goes up...

When attachment and conflict has risen, the positives go up, and harm goes up...

The addicts are under tremendous pressure - closely attached to something and now they are told to give it up....

The addicts are under tremendous pressure - closely attached to something and now they are told to give it up....

There is conflict.

There is conflict.

What happens to people living with conflict?

What happens to people living with conflict?

They minimise the amount and the regularity with which they use drugs.

They minimise the amount and the regularity with which they use drugs.

They change their social groups to spend time with people who share their habit.

They change their social groups to spend time with people who share their habit.

'Pleasure now, pain later', they say.

'Pleasure now, pain later', they say.

They get hooked - they can not function properly.

They get hooked - they can not function properly.

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Their behaviour become dysfunctional and they become obsessive.

Their behaviour become dysfunctional and they become obsessive.

Their dependency stops being normal for them and it becomes a problem.

Their dependency stops being normal for them and it becomes a problem.

It is time to make the right decisions to change their behaviour. Addiction is a learned behaviour and change is possible.

It is time to make the right decisions to change their behaviour. Addiction is a learned behaviour and change is possible.

It depends on each individual and what they need.

It depends on each individual and what they need.

Change takes time but they are all capable of bringing control back into their lives.

Change takes time but they are all capable of bringing control back into their lives.

The history of drug wars

the science of addiction
for a species
wired for survival
we have an odd habit
of getting hooked
on things
that can kill us
and we kill each other
for them too...

Can we stop drug wars?
Can we stop addiction?
Can we stop making and distributing drugs?
Can we stop our hunger for drugs?
Can we stop poverty?
Can we stop corruption?
You know and I know
the answer is NO.

Addiction is such
a harmful behaviour
that evolution
should have long ago
weeded it out of the population
and yet
humans will always
experiment
with things
to make them feel good.
What else I can say,
drug wars
will only end
with the last man....

Attitudes to drug use
have changed
over time.
The history of drugs
is the history of humankind.
Neolithic man
made his first
alcoholic drink
through the fermentation
of cereals
and Stone Age beer jugs
have been found,
the first wine industry
flourished
along the banks
of the Nile.

Chinese doctors
used marijuana
before 4000 BC
while in Iraq
in 6000 BC
opium was used
to treat many illnesses
and we can only guess
how long people have been using drugs
to change their states of consciousness.

In 1492 Columbus
smoked tobacco
with Native Americans.
In 1600 Marijuana cultivation
began in the U.S.
with the Jamestown settlers.
in 1919 the National Prohibition Act
and in 1971 President Nixon
declared a WAR ON DRUGS,
and yet nothing changed.

The drug industries are the first
to fight back,
in 1994, the tobacco industry
denied nicotine
is addictive
just as other drugs.
Instead of declaring the war,
we should ask
whether addiction
can ever be cured.

Drugs are everywhere around you,
part of our nature,
part of us,
yearning to use it,
reuse it,
misuse it

There are
4,000 plants
all around the world
Known
for their intoxicating effects
but we use only 40 of them,
so far....

In Biblical times,
St Paul
condemned drunkenness
and yet
recommended
the consumption of wine
in moderate amounts
to commune with God.

Noah listened to him
planting his own vineyard
he drank of the wine
And to his shame
label 'drunkard'
stuck to his name.
In the colonial 17-18th Century,
drunkenness was a choice,
albeit a sinful one,
which some individuals made.

Suddenly,
in the 19-20th centuries,
addiction became a disease -
people taking drugs
are no more weak,
just unfortunate
or are they?

In the middle of the 19th century
in prosperous England
when gin and rum trading
was rife,
there were many problems
that we still recognise
in our times:
poverty,
homelessness,
And child neglect
among the social disadvantaged.

The middle class
developed a new theory,
arguing
that because of their moral weakness,
'the lower classes'
are unable to control their drinking.

If you listen carefully
to some of us,
who feel superior,
you will hear 'this moral view'
being presented even today.

In the pharmacological view,
the addiction resides
in the substance itself.
Alcohol was vested with a power
that humans had no control over
and therefore society had an obligation
to protect its members.

Once prohibition ended,
the view of addiction as a disease
emerged as a way
of humanely responding
to the many people
who had developed
problems with their drug use,
with only one goal of treatment -
abstinence.

The Social Learning view
emerged in the 1960s
and focuses
on the interaction
between the environment,
the individual
and the drug,
as a way to understand
the complexity of the drug experience.

"Addictions are repetitive behaviours
in the face of negative consequences,"
Joseph Frascella from the Institute on Drug Abuse said,
"The desire to continue something you know is bad for you."

Drug use is learned
and functional,
which means that
change is possible
and control is possible.

Yet, the sad part
is that if you look at where
addiction treatment
was 10 years ago,
it hasn't gotten much better.

During those same 10 years,
researchers have made a little progress
in understanding
the physical basis of addiction,
a more detailed understanding
of how deeply addiction
can affect the brain -
by hijacking memory making processes
by exploiting emotions.

Using that knowledge,
they have begun
to design new drugs
to cut off the craving
that drives an addict
irresistibly toward relapse,
the greatest risk
facing even the most dedicated abstainer.

We know drugs are here to stay.
We know, when exposed to them,
our memory systems,
reward circuits,
decision making skills
and conditioning kick in
to create an all consuming pattern of uncontrollable craving.

That also applies to non-chemical addictions
such as gambling,
shopping,
food
internet
and sex
which may start out as habits
but slide quickly into something else.

Not everyone becomes an addict.
We have other,
more analytical areas of the brain
while performing decision-making tasks
to evaluate sequences
and override mere pleasure seeking...

Is that all that separates
a heavy user
from a problem user
for an addict?

Studies have long shown
that stress can increase the desire for drugs.
Among higher creatures like us,
stress can also alter
the way the brain thinks -
the way it contemplates
the consequences of actions.
Recall how many times
in a day
you find yourself
in a stressful situation.
In the familiar 'fight or flight mode',
you are more impulsive and
give in to your craving
again and again....
The history of drug wars
hasn't finished yet -
the science of addiction
hasn't found a cure.

The fate of our own addictions
is in our own hands.
"It's never too late,"
the previous user said as a message
for drug users,
"There is more to life than destroying yourself."

Comments

Beata Stasak (author) from Western Australia on May 26, 2014:

thank you so much my fellow hubber for your kind comment, when I find some more time I will come back and write away again...good luck on hubpages and looking forward to hear from you soon...

slcockerham from Tallahassee, Florida on May 26, 2014:

Hey Beata Stasak,

Finally, I had some time to check out some of your hubs. Great insights into the issues of addictions and the failed war on drugs. It's time to stop this war that has caused so many casualties and enriched so many cartels.

Keep writing Beata, truly enjoy it.

Beata Stasak (author) from Western Australia on July 28, 2013:

Thank you Literature Fairy for your insightful comment, it is always useful to get a whole range of different opinions and views and I love to get feedback and don't mind criticism if it is useful and well minded and constructive of course:) No, you are right I haven't struggled with addiction myself and therefore I can not maybe fully grasp the whole suffering and pain and helplessness the way maybe I should and yet my close ones have been fighting with addiction and I have watched that process of slow but unavoidable road to selfdestruction whole my life.

I am also volunteering in drug and alcohol addiction clinic, it make me an expert on an issue? Of course not, do I care? Of course, I do, otherwise I would not do it, would I? Peace and love my fellow hubber and thank you again for your constructive feedback, always appreciated:)

Literature Fairy on July 28, 2013:

Some interesting points, particularly about the history of narcotics. But it seems to me that your hub reads from the point of view of someone who has never struggled with addiction themselves, so therefore has only a limited view of the subject. A few of the comments too, read like politicians trying to come up with ideas to 'solve' drug and alcohol problems. Personally I think legalizing drugs and prostitution is a short sighted option, it may in the short term benefit those using recreationally, but to think the only reason addicts use drugs, and turn to things like prostitution is just because they are illegal is ridiculous! There are innumerable reasons why someone may turn to drugs and/or alcohol, and while it's true that addiction differs from most illnesses in that it is one a person initially chooses, that does not mean that it is any less serious, or less debilitating than any other disease. That is why when a person becomes sober, they are referred to as a recovering addict from that point on. No one can understand how difficult the journey from addiction to sobriety is unless they have been through it themselves. A person had to make a choice to get sober, they have to want it and be ready to receive help, because no one can do it on their own. That is why they need love, understanding, help and friendship. Not judgement and criticism. I hope my comment has not offended you, I think your hub is well written and well presented, I just don't think you quite grasp the issue fully, but you obviously care, or you wouldn't have written the hub at all.

Peace & Love, LF x

Beata Stasak (author) from Western Australia on April 30, 2013:

Thank you, my dear fellow hubber for sharing your personal story with me, I can only guess how big is your love and grief, having children myself I know we are ready to sacrifice our lives for them unfortunatelly it comes the time in our and their lives that their road however rocky and uncomfortable is just their own....all the best wildove5 my thoughts are with you:)

wildove5 from Cumberland, R.I. on April 30, 2013:

"There is more to life than destroying yourself." That is probably one of the most profound quotes I have ever read! My daughter is an addict. I plan on sharing this quote with her in our next conversation! Whether or not it will strike a chord and drop her to her knee's, probably not, but it will make me feel better that I perhaps planted a seed beneath her drug corrupted mind! Thank you!

Beata Stasak (author) from Western Australia on January 23, 2013:

Thank you, Laura for your kind comment and all the best:) B

Laura Tykarski from Pittsburgh PA on January 23, 2013:

I really enjoyed this. The accompanying photos are truly awesome-I felt I was taking a visual journey along with the written verse. Thanks voted up and beautiful.

Beata Stasak (author) from Western Australia on December 29, 2012:

happy to share:) B

seicheprey on December 29, 2012:

Thanks for this one.

Beata Stasak (author) from Western Australia on December 21, 2012:

thank you for your kind appraisal and a thorough explanation of the issue:) All the best from Beata

druhepkins on December 21, 2012:

Nice hub and creatively presented.

Yes, drugs will always be with us. Many people ruin their lives with addiction, however I do feel it should be legalized.

Despite our personal biases and opinions, we have statistics and data like never before. We can logically see and understand that modern day prohibition, keeping drugs illegal, does a disservice to society in a variety of ways in the big picture, and it violates human rights.

The very rich untouchable drug lords get drugs into every country and slip past punishment. Often they can buy themselves out of trouble anyway. And any drug lord who does get bagged gets replaced in the same hour. Your average citizen however, is not responsible for bringing drugs into society, but the average citizen is the one to be jailed for it. Attacking an international drug trafficking problem from the little guy out is beyond stupid. Law enforcement is just plucking weeds and there aren't solving anything. They're just blowing countless dollars on a war they'll never win, while filling jails with non violent people. The war on drugs is embarrassingly pointless. We even have at least 3 presidents who admitted using drugs in their youth. If the law following this idiotic crusade had found each of them and threw them in jail, boy would that help their lives en route to bright futures, and keep us safe....

Imagine if alcohol was still illegal. There'd be people making it in all sorts of unsanitary and unsafe ways. Criminals would control the market becoming richer and powerful, there'd be more crime and danger associated with it, and countless innocent, non violent people will dragged off to prison because of someone else's morality. Legalizing drugs is remembering it's someone bad personal decision, but it's still a person's prerogative. It's not a governments place to punish and condemn personal choices and it's currently causing chaos.

When it's legal, and I say when because common sense in a progressive, evolving society dictates it, ironically we'll be able to control it better and law enforcement will return its focus on actual crimes.

Larry Wall on December 16, 2012:

Borsia:

We are not going to agree. However, you make the point that many people are already doing the things I fear. If I knew a doctor was getting high before operating on me, I would get another doctor.

Regardless of that, I would like you view and we can then end this exchange, on the following.

If the drugs that you named are legalized, will that lead to more people using those drugs. Since they will not be free, will we not have the secondary impact of money intended for food and clothing for children being spent on drugs, people committing other crimes to afford the drugs and so on and so on. You can legalize drugs. I think you will increase the number of users. I do think that marijuana, like alcohol is a drug of entry for many people--not all but many, and I think we are going to have many of the same issues we have today. Marijuana arrests for small amounts are on the decline. The medical benefits of marijuana are someone overstated by some--beneficial to some but not to all.

As I said much earlier or on another Hub, the movement to legalize pot started in the 1970s, when I was a college student. I was oppose to it then. I am still oppose to it. I respect your right to have your view. We are just going have to agree that we disagree on the benefits vs. the negative aspects of the sought-after legalization.

Borsia from Currently, Philippines on December 15, 2012:

Larry; The only drugs I would really like to see legalized are marijuana and hashish, which is just another form of marijuana.

I've known doctors, dentists, lawyers and many other professionals, including police, who smoke and who did cocaine. Most were just casual users a few managed to screw up their lives, because of the costs, but the majority never had a "drug problem".

I've certainly known far more who used alcohol with bad results, including one who crashed his truck killing a family of 4.

Whether you want to see it or not there are millions of drug users of every type driving operating heavy machinery and in virtually every imaginable jobs.

You need a prescription to get pain and psychoactive drugs. You don't need one to buy street drugs. That being said prescription drugs are probably the most widely abused.

The reason I support legalizing most drugs is that we haven't had any effect with the “war” drug use is up after 40+ years of abject failure. It's time to go another way, time to take the money out of the drug trade and time to focus on drug treatment instead of upping the prison population.

That doesn't mean that I approve of all drugs or would want to see them legalized but what we are doing now isn't working.

Will some people die as a result,,, obviously. But I would much rather they crawl into a corner and OD than commit endless crimes to pay for their habits.

Somewhere between 2/3 – ¾ of crimes are drug related the majority of property crimes are done to buy drugs.

Larry Wall on December 13, 2012:

Borisa:

I do not agree all of these things are happening. I do not believe doctors are smoking a joint before surgery, because if caught they would lose their medical licenses. Pharmacies do not give out pain pills without prescriptions from doctors. I think many are focusing on marijuana, but when you say legalize drugs, you are opening up a whole new area.

If Marijuana is ever legalized, it is going to be regulated just like any other drug. I do not believe you will buy it at the corner convenience store. I believe growers and producers will have to be licensed. I believe tests will be devised to determined if there are any foreign materials in the marijuana being sold, etc. You may end the expenditures we spend fighting the battle but we are going to spend a fortune on regulations. Also, when you mention drugs, are you talking about including GHP and the other date rape drugs. If your arguments are limited marijuana, that is one thing, but when you use the term drugs, then it opens up a whole new area.

Borsia from Currently, Philippines on December 13, 2012:

Larry; You are forgetting that all of these things are already happening. The most dangerous time for an addict to drive is when they are looking for drugs.

Driving laws cover any type of impairment not just alcohol. Many of the bad drugs we have today, like meth, came as a result of the high prices of older drugs. Anything is better than the failure of the “war on drugs” that has been lost for 40 years.

Beata Stasak (author) from Western Australia on December 12, 2012:

Thank you, my fellow hubbers for your insightful comments and a great advice, you are right, Larry Wall, there are many questions that are not being answered or even touched in this little hub, because there is only so many words you can use to catch attention of a reader and this complicated issue is never ending...it should be used just as a platform for great discussions that had already started or maybe some other skilled and knowledgeable hubber on the subject just like you...may continue...:)

Larry Wall on December 12, 2012:

I hear all the time about the decriminalization of drug use. No one has shown me any figures, because no one is probably counting, of the incidence of family abuse, traffic accidents and other related events because people use drugs. I am not talking about adding in all the theft and robbery charges. I am talking about are we going to let a person snort coke and drive. Are we going to set a limit, like we do with alcohol? There is a secondary layer of problems caused by the used of drugs that are not being addressed in the move to make drugs legal. Are we going to make all drugs legal? Are we going to eliminate the need for a doctor's prescription before we buy pain pills? Are we going to turn out backs on the building of meth labs and the dangers they bring?

Some may be talking about marijuana and nothing else. I have never used it and probably never will. However, there are a lot of other drugs out there and new drugs are always being discovered. Do we want air traffic controllers using pot or coke before starting their shifts? Will you care if your surgeon has been snorting coke or shooting up before he operates on you? The legalization of drug arguments seemed to be levied at the freedoms of individuals to do as they please. Is any thought being given to the impact the legalization of drugs will have on people who do not use them? This is a complicated subject with a lot of questions that are not being answered or even addressed.

actionbronson on December 12, 2012:

One of the best hubs I have read on here. Very well written. The war on drugs has done much more harm and has not solved any problems. Prohibition and drug laws are what create crime not the drugs themselves. The U.S. has spent billions on a war that has has lasted over 45 years that cannot be won. Drugs are still as plentiful as ever. There needs to be proper regulation and prohibition needs to end. Prohibition and putting people in jail is not solving any problems at all. Destroying a persons life by putting them in jail and when they get out they cannot get a single job because the system has destroyed all their opportunity with a felony is wrong beyond believe. Jailing a human being for having an experience is asking for the worst possible karma. U.S. needs to follow Portugal and treat addiction as a health issue rather than a crime. The fact is addiction can happen to anyone and people who are missing a parent are more susceptible to addiction. Addiction is not a crime, it's not hurting another person. It's a health issue that needs to be treated properly because it's now out of the hands of the person with the addiction. It's absolutely dead wrong to treat addiction, a health issue with force and violence. It's inhumane and needs to change. Portugal can be used as an example. They decriminalized all drugs and now crime and addiction has significantly reduced. The same thing will happen when the U.S. stops abusing it's own citizens over having a health issue.

Beata Stasak (author) from Western Australia on December 05, 2012:

Thank you, Alebric, it is so nice of you to say so:) Some people like the type of contemporary poetry or whatever it is (I call it the 'scattered images in my mind') I write and some not, but it is the most comfortable way for me to tackle the 'chalenging topics', happy it is beneficial for enough hubbers up there:) All the best with living, hubbing and commenting...looking forward to hear from you again:)

Alberic O from Any Clime, Any Place on December 05, 2012:

This is one of the most creative contemporary poetry/hubs I've come across.

Beata Stasak (author) from Western Australia on December 04, 2012:

thank you, Dean, that is the great advantage of being a part of the hub community, you are never short of insightful and interesting comments:)

Happy to meet you and all the best:)

cheaptrick from the bridge of sighs on December 04, 2012:

Very well presented.Much food for thought.The comments were interesting as well.

Dean

Beata Stasak (author) from Western Australia on December 03, 2012:

Thank you, so much Luisa for updating me about the drug situation from your part of the world, I have penpal friend from East Africa and he has explained to me how the drugs are transported from South America to their shores by boats and then repackaged and sailed further to their final destination - Europe. They are happy for this business as it keeps them alive and out of poverty for a while:) Who is there to blame, just like you said, there is hypocracy to blame solely South Americans and Eastern Africans for the drug trade...they need money and if Europeans keep buying it, they will keep supplying it...legalization will keep 'black market and maybe it will stop the unethical dealing and poor quality drugs that cost so much lives'...

Louisa Rogers from Eureka, California and Guanajuato, Mexico on December 02, 2012:

Beata, hello from a first-time commenter. What a great hub; the history was fascinating and some of it new to me. I divide my life between the U.S. and Mexico so I see the effects of narcotrafico close-up. I hate US hipocracy-- Mexico bashing, when we are the customers that keep the business thriving. I think marijuana should, and will, be legalized, but I also see the dark side of it because I live in Humboldt county, CA, where it is a huge cash crop and the profits it has brought to those involved have damaged the environment, the economy and even the social cohesion.

Beata Stasak (author) from Western Australia on November 16, 2012:

Thank you, my fellow hubbers for your great inputs, and you guessed well, I am not wiser than you what to do...my volunteering in drug abusing field taught me one lesson: there is no black and white solution, just as there is none in all other social issues, unfortunatelly we are too complex human beings for our own good....people in poor countries are involved in drug trafficking due to poverty and they want to be rich and happy, people in rich countries are involved in drug abusing because they have found out that just being 'well off' doesn't necessarily guarantee you eternal happiness...

What are we looking for?....

goego from Loserland on November 15, 2012:

I think If they were free there would bee less of a reason to fight over them, I don't know about you but if heroin was offered to me for free tomorrow, I'm not gonna go and jam a needle in my arm. In my opinion drug users and abusers are trying to mask internal issues that they can't or don't know how to deal with, whether it's paint, mouthwash or pain killers they'll find a way to cope. The more we oppress and outlaw... The more we oppress and outlaw

c1234rystal on November 15, 2012:

Great point about the war on drugs. Nothing has been solved so far and with the methods currently in use, I doubt it will be. It's really the people who get caught up in the waves of drug trafficking that I have sympathy for. Do you think there's a solution to the violence that accompanies the buying and selling of drugs?

goego from Loserland on November 15, 2012:

I hear you loud and clear, it's not working... It's in our hands to decide what we do with ourselves and our resources.

Beata Stasak (author) from Western Australia on November 10, 2012:

Thank you An AYM for your insightful comment, we crave so many things, we always want to reach somewhere far, far beyond...you are right, knock on a door, get in but always leave it open so you have an option - exit out:)

An AYM on November 10, 2012:

I believe drugs are a legitimate means of seeing oneself in a different perspective. Between addiction and normality lies an area of responsible drug use. I have found it to be a valid occasional accompaniment to practicing meditation, though I agree that simply doing drugs will get one nowhere.

There's a quote I like (That I can't remember exactly) that goes something along the lines of "Drugs can show you the door, but they cannot put you through it".

Beata Stasak (author) from Western Australia on October 14, 2012:

Thank you, 'janshares', we all have our own individual way to express ourselves and touch subject that we care about, 'hubbing' for me is all about sharing our unique voices to create something that will enrich us all....thank you for joining me on my hubbing journey...keep hubbing, living and loving:)

Janis Leslie Evans from Washington, DC on October 14, 2012:

Beata, your hubs are so unique. Ive seen nothing like it. I see why you are so successful. You are truly an original. The images and captions for this one are very powerful. Thanks for inviting me and for the nice fanmail. Voted up an interesting. Great message in poem, too.

Beata Stasak (author) from Western Australia on October 07, 2012:

Thank you Jan for your insightful comment, you are right, it is time to stop asking 'why do we take drugs?' and start asking 'what to do to stop dependency on them', we never stop taking drugs or alcohol for whatever reason we do it, but we have to learn to control our dependency:)

Janhorner on October 06, 2012:

Very interesting hub which has attracted a lot of comments. Drugs; whichever one is a lethal instrument. The drug lords do not care about anything other than money and human life means nothing to them. It will never be controlled. Your hub is brilliant and so much thought has gone into it. Voted up,

Jan

Beata Stasak (author) from Western Australia on September 17, 2012:

Dear Wayne, thank you so much for your insightful comment, always apreciated, all the best from B

Wayne Brown from Texas on September 17, 2012:

Addiction, greed, and illegality are all so entertwined that a viable solutions seems all but impossible. Legalizing eliminates one element of the triangle and possibly reduces the opportunity for greed to flourish yet does little or nothing for the addiction. Eliminating the product speaks to reducing the addition, raises the illegality and offers new points of greed...it would appear that the underlying foundation and driving force behind it all is human weakness. It is amazing that humans have the ability to reason yet will still use products proven to endanger their health and well-being thus the process of education in eliminating human weakness may only have limited effect. Maybe we have exposed the one flaw in mankind, other than sin, which will ultimately lead to his/her demise. ~WB

Beata Stasak (author) from Western Australia on September 11, 2012:

Thank you, my dear fellow hubbers for your encouraging responses to my little hub to examine one of those modern and yet so old topics . Volunteering as a counsellor for alcohol and other drug abuse, I just feel this topic is very close to my heart:)

Rich from Kentucky on September 10, 2012:

Beata -

Very interesting presentation of a problem that has always and will always be a part of the human race. Drugs have provided an escape from reality for many, as well as a feeling of euphoia for others. As long as people seek escape or "highs" we will not see the end of drugs. Well done hub!

Dianna Mendez on September 10, 2012:

I think you stated it well with our expression on the turn of drug usage, "to change their states of consciousness.". Most drugs are useful in healing but when taken from this purpose, it becomes a toxin. I myself prefer the natural methods of healing due to the damage drugs can cause over time. Great topic and very well covered.

lauramaryscott from Boise, Idaho on September 10, 2012:

Beata Stasak, read your poem. I am impressed. Good work. I read recently where fresh marijuana leaves are juiced with other vegetables to help control/cure numerous health problems. However, when marijuana is heated it becomes psychotic which is not in line with the healthful aspects of the plant.

kjforce from Florida on September 10, 2012:

Beata Stasak...Very well written and researched..the war on drugs will never cease to exist because too many hands are in the pot and money is the bootom line. Whether it be the drugs on the street or big Phamaceutical , it is another way to take and keep control of a society..as you stated it has been since the dawn of man..thanks for bring this subject to attention..good job..voted up and interesting

Beata Stasak (author) from Western Australia on September 09, 2012:

Thank you, my fellow hubbers for again entering my 'poetic platform' for debate on this complex issue, some hubbers mentioned that I have missed out some facets to this compelling topic and I am aware of that...there is so much you can include that my hub would go forever....take my little piece of writing as the starting point and just explore this question from all the sides you like....it is open question and there is no one answer that would satisfy everyone...

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on September 09, 2012:

Compelling write..Addictions are rampant in all societies all over the world. What angers me the most are the children who try it for a thrill, not realizing the danger..Thank you..

Larry Wall on September 09, 2012:

Mr. Shaw:

I am not going to answer your foolishness. I will let

the people on the hubs that you seem to be trolling decide if I know what I am talking about or not. I see by your profile you know a lot about guitars. I have no musical talent. I would not question you about the worth of one brand or type of guitar over the other. I will also respect your opinions, if you ever voice one, instead of choosing to belittle me. I do not know your purpose. I guess you have nothing better to do. Possibly, you are one of the bullies I have written about in the past. I do not know. If you explained what I do not know, maybe your comment would have had more meaning. By the way, I spent a year in pre-pharmacy school and worked two years in a neighborhood drug store. I had one friend die of drug addiction. My son has seen three of his high school friends die of overdoses. I have some knowledge. Maybe you will share your knowledge with us one day.

agusfanani from Indonesia on September 09, 2012:

I agree that all people in the world should be hand in hand to war drug abuse and all activities related with it. Let's save our children and young generation from this global menace.

Wesman Todd Shaw from Kaufman, Texas on September 09, 2012:

Larry Wall....proving he knows not a single thing about addiction, yet again.

Larry Wall on September 09, 2012:

Excellent Hub. I think the thing it shows is that you do not have to be addicted, if you use some common sense. After one of my surgeries, the doctor ordered morphine for me to be administered through the central line in my neck (some serious pain). Within moments, I knew how people get addicted. The pain went away quickly and there was an euphoric feeling I have never know before and probably never will. Usually pain shots in hospitals are not mainlined and you do not get that unique feeling, thus making it safe to use the drug. People just need to learn that the feeling of escape only lasts a short time and it is not worth sacrificing your health and your future.

Casimiro on September 09, 2012:

cathylynn99, I used to think that's the answer, too, but lately I've come to realize that drugs would never be completely legalized. At best they'd be regulated (which is what monitored and taxed implies) and that means the cost difference between what we have now and what you envision would not be so much. So, drug lords, cartels, the mafia, etc. would get more efficient and probably bring the cost difference to their favor again. To be truly legalized the more innocuous drugs, such as marijuana, should be as hands-off as my lawn!

cathylynn99 from northeastern US on September 09, 2012:

drugs and prostitution should be legalized, monitored for safety, and taxed.

Thomas Silvia from Massachusetts on September 09, 2012:

Very awesome and interesting, the only thing i am addicted to is HubPages and i want to stay hooked on that.

Vote awesome !

Borsia from Currently, Philippines on September 09, 2012:

There are a few things that are amiss in your rundown of drugs and addiction.

First and most important is that the idea that once someone takes a given drug they are suddenly addicted.

Looking at the most predominant drug in history alcohol the percentage of people who use alcohol in Western society is around 80% if not higher. Yet the percentage of those who do becoming alcoholics is relatively small maybe 10% probably less.

The fact is that the vast majority of people who drink never develop a drinking problem.

Likewise the same is true of most drugs. There are countless numbers of people who use drugs recreationally without ever having a drug problem let alone becoming addicted.

When you are talking about marijuana there is no such thing as addiction in the true sense of the word. There are some who become dependent mentally but physical addiction doesn't happen with marijuana. Nor is it possible to overdose on marijuana, whereas we can overdose on pretty much anything else, even water.

As you pointed out drug use goes as far back into human history as we have been able to track it, no doubt long before that.

The oldest written document ever found is a recipe for beer.

It is interesting that this isn’t confined to our species. Many animals seek out intoxicating substances of their own.

Of course we start out in childhood with things like spinning to achieve dizziness.

We lead stressful lives so it is no wonder that we seek things that can relieve that stress.

If statistics tell us anything it is that it is more natural to use some substance than to abstain from them.

The “war on drugs” and illegality have done far more to hurt the cause rather than help it. It is the high cost and difficulty in getting reliable drugs that has driven the invention of ever more dangerous concoctions such as Meth and Crack.

The one thing that is glaringly clear is the total abject failure of the war on drugs. Countless trillions of dollars and an endless list of destroyed lives have not reduced drug use at all, in fact it is still rising.

Had that resource been used to help those who do have addictive natures and to educate there would be far less damage today.

But our corrupt legal system rushes to condemn someone for drug use so they can make it to their 5 Martini lunch.

@ikepius from Twittosphere: @ikepius on September 09, 2012:

Very well written prose. The war on drugs is lost when you look at it generally. Good thing people like you write to remind us about the dangers of drugs.

hirundine from Nelson, B.C. Canada on September 09, 2012:

Ah yes, d-r-u-g-s! The big bogey word.

If you want to make something lucrative? Just make it illegal.

My suspicion is; that the people who have controlled the drug industry for the last 400 years or so, still do. It's just so much more lucrative now. I expect the real merchants hide behind, their frontmen?

Just ask the British and Dutch East India Co.s.

On a side note. Take a look at the italian mafias. They all have their territories and their coats of arms. Not surprisingly? Many elements of their heraldry, use the similar emblems of their european elite counterparts.

Also Beata, you make no mention of the legally prescribed drugs that cause addiction. Oxycontin, Sleeping pills, Diet pills and mother's little helpers; or speed. I expect I've missed a few?

"War on Drugs" was always designed to cause panic in the streets; of ordinary people. To justify the millions of tax-payer's money, used to build police forces. To push through large amounts of money into the judicial system and reason to build over-crowded gaols. That their friends who paid for their elections, now build.

The pimps who control their women, through forced addictions, etc. These ladies would likely have never become addicts, if not for those men. Chances are? If they could buy their drugs at a Pharmacy, would get out of that vicious cycle.

But no! Politicians who are adept at making tax-payers money disappear. Faster than any pusher. Still thump their "holier-than-thou" messages. Frightening ordinary people, with their rhetoric.

War, war on anything. Is designed to make money. Through division and panic. Peace just does not sell; enough coca-cola.

poetvix from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country. on September 09, 2012:

I don't remember having ever seen such a well laid out argument in prose. Thumbs up! I agree.

We will never control drug use. Interesting side note- everything, just about, can be and is defined as a drug. Did you know oxygen is a drug? It's true. People are going to do what they want to do and in a free society, if we are honest, should be allowed to decide for themselves understanding they are still responsible for their own actions be they under the influence or not. Just my thought.

Wesman Todd Shaw from Kaufman, Texas on September 09, 2012:

Absolutely.

This hub is poetry and visual art work. Well thought out and laid out.

It's like a web page sculpture....yet interactive.

Beata Stasak (author) from Western Australia on September 09, 2012:

thank you, my dear fellow hubbers for embracing my new hub so warmly, and big thanks dear Casimiro for your beautiful message, very appreciated:) You are right, humans are too complex and addiction mirrors their complex behaviours an