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How Much is the War on Drugs Costing Us?


The war on drugs has been going on for decades now and it costs the average person a fortune. While you may not be directly contributing to this crusade, your taxes and other bills do. Just how much is this costing you?

In total, our drugs control programme costs $100 billion per year to upkeep and enforce. That’s a massive chunk of the overall federal budget on something that experts say may not even be effective. The sheer size of the budget being spent on this programme is shocking and some believe it could be better spent elsewhere.


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The result of the war on drugs isn’t a higher price for drugs or scarcer supply, its legacy is the mass incarceration of a number of offenders. While what these offenders have done is illegal, we simply don’t have the right amount of leniency and rehabilitation in place. We’ve all heard of the straight A students in crime summaries, arrested and charged for a relatively small amount of a lower class drug, which can ruin their lives. Should these people be placed in a prison?

The costs don’t stop with the incarceration either, the loss of productivity and workers also affects our national earnings. If someone is imprisoned for a period of a few years then they simply cost the country money, instead of generating it.

That’s why alternate solutions are cropping up for those that don’t want to fund this war on drugs. Addiction rehab centers such as www.luxurybeachrehab.com, are opening their doors to those that suffer with drug problems. They want to rehabilitate instead of just imprisoning, which has been shown to be much more effective.

The high rate of drugs within our prison system is also alarming, as prisoners may not be protected from these influences while incarcerated. Instead, they may be used as leverage between prisoners and could lead to higher mortality, as they are being taken in an unsupervised environment. Experts that help with the detoxification process have spoken against just how dangerous this can be.


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Our drug users are being forced underground by that $100 billion budget but they’re not actually being deterred from taking drugs. Their health is put at risk because of the staunch zero tolerance policies. In other developed nations, health providers give out fresh needles and a place to dispose of used ones, which dramatically reduces the transmission of HIV.

We should be working with these experts to pioneer our own campaign in the war on drugs that is actually effective. There are more than enough examples all over the world of the way that healthcare providers can better work with those in the throes of addiction. They mustn’t be punished and incarcerated unless they are actively supplying other users or posing a risk to the public.

These latest figures show a really damming picture of the war on drugs, as they make it clear it is a cash eating machine without a lot of results. Simply throwing money at the problem doesn’t seem to be enough and law makers need to start thinking outside the box, only then will they be able to mount a decent attack on illegal drugs. With other nations leading the way in this regard this outdated system is sadly falling behind at a huge cost to our taxpayers and vulnerable people.