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Old Posted May 2, 2017, 5:04 PM
geotag277 geotag277 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2013
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Originally Posted by Metro-One View Post
Man, don't want to step into this topic, because there is no clear answer...

It feels like a entire package of things must be done.

First and foremost, our entire culture needs to be overhauled, starting from school ages. More focus on the strength of community (and respecting it in return) while also learning / building better skills for personal responsibilities.

More facilities and programs need to be established for those with mental disabilities / mental health problems.

Lower level drugs need to be legalized and regulated (very happy that pot will be by next year), but on the flip side I actually feel that stricter laws and harsher penalties are needed for extremely hazardous drugs (and by that I mean for pushers and producers, not end users). There are some things that should not be legal for general recreational use.

More money for education and awareness programs.

Increased social services, but also delivered at times with a little bit more "tough love" for extreme addicts (I actually do support forced rehab).

Living for years in Japan I am sometimes embarrassed by the choices Canadians and Canadian culture in general makes. I teach at high schools here and there have essentially never been drug problems or even the idea of a student over dosing on some bullshit. I think this also comes down to stronger family units in Asian culture (and I work a a low income / low grade high school).

While I do feel that Japans laws on drugs are too strict (even possession can get you 5 years in prison) maybe our youth in Canada are lacking some discipline?

I guess in the end I really don't know how to fix it, and in the end there likely is no magic bullet for doing so, but maybe at least some aspects of what I have said could help the situation.

I also write this as someone who suffered from chronic depression for years, yet was well educated enough to never be tempted to use illegal drugs as a crutch / numb my problem. Also I have had family members spend years living the life of addicts in Vancouver, including the DTES, and each them now have pulled themselves out of the fire, and while social services, family, and therapy did help big time, they were really only able to do so once they stopped blaming other people for their problems and took responsibility for themselves.
A lot of truth here. The erosion of local communities and the associated personal support network is probably contributing to our society's inability to deal with these sorts of widespread distributed social problems.

I am no fan of religion or church, but those institutions did serve a purpose in connecting communities and providing a thick layer of social interaction that allowed problems like this to be dealt with more efficiently. As we as society leave that chapter of things behind, there does seem to be a bit of a gap as families turn inward and lose those community connections.

A big part of the drug problem in general is that it is bigger than all of us. We can discuss online till our fingers bleed about what we "should" be doing as a society, including treating addicts like humans, cutting off the incentive for illegal distribution in the first place, and providing rehabilitation facilities and professional care for recovering addicts. But look around at where we are as a society in terms of our relationship with drugs. Marijuana is still illegal. People still look down their noses at drug addicts, and in talking with people in daily life will be far more likely to blame the addict for their problems over the distributor.

We are such a long way politically to go before we start treating this topic with the maturity and respect it deserves. The most we can all do is try to talk about it in our day to day lives and try to get people to see the other perspectives. But it is a long uphill battle and to be quite honest, the people who have the power politically to make a difference are more worried about education, health care, and tax cuts than they are about these "out of sight out of mind" mental health and drug addiction issues. Unfortunately, there will be a lot of senseless death and forgotten victims along the road.
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