The War on Drugs, whose goal is to combat and reduce the illegal drug trade in the United States, is a term used by the American people pertaining to the fight against illegal drug use and trade within the U.S.’s borders.
The term ‘war on drugs’ was popularized and disseminated by the media after a press conference by President Nixon. Nixon declared drugs ‘Public Enemy Number One’. Thus, a set of drug policies was written up to halt the production, circulation, and consumption of illegal psychoactive drugs.
According to the Drug Policy Alliance, the U.S. government spent an estimated $15 billion combating drugs in America in 2010, a rate of about $500 per second.
During the First and Second World Wars, drug abuse and alcoholism were already rampant. The American government has been fighting drug abuse for almost a century. Four presidents have conducted a publicized ‘war on drugs.’
However, from the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s point of view, drug addiction is a disease that can possibly be prevented and treated. It is in the availability of drugs which makes keeping the communities healthy and protected difficult.
In 2011, the Global Commission on Drug Policy released a report announcing that the War on Drugs had failed, as well as a list of the destructive side effects and consequences which it had around the globe.
Unfortunately, the war is ongoing, and we are still losing. Drug and alcohol abusers fill prisons, rehab centers, and hospitals. The drug trade spawns dozens of violent crimes which afflict the nation. Children neglect their studies, parents abuse or abandon their children, and lives across the nation are ruined every day.
The only beneficiaries of the drug trade are the gang members and drug dealers. This is the reason why the United State government focuses on the criminalization of drugs.
In 2013, 1.5 million people were arrested on drug charges. Until today, the government has been spending a lot of money in an effort to eliminate the pandemic flood of drugs in our streets.