Combating the American Drug Epidemic
The American drug epidemic affects us all to varying degrees and has become one of the most important issues in our country today. Opioids, crack cocaine, methamphetamine, and new synthetic drugs are ravaging communities across the United States. But perhaps no group of people has been more affected by this crisis than America’s police officers. Drugs create crime and the growing number of hard drug users in the United States have made police officers’ jobs even more dangerous. We believe there are two common-sense solutions that will help eradicate this growing crisis that police officers must face every day.
Stopping the Flow of Drugs by Securing the Border
Mexican drug cartels will stop at nothing to ensure that their poisonous products keep flowing over the American border. So far, they have succeeded. Massive amounts of marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine cross the border every day but it is the influx in heroin trafficking that has helped turn America’s drug problem into a national emergency. According to the DEA’s National Drug Threat Assessment study, heroin from Mexico accounted for 93% of the total weight of heroin analyzed by the agency.
These drugs have devastated communities across the country, and although it has become a point of political controversy, America MUST secure its southern border to help combat the drug epidemic. If our leaders fail to act, it is America’s police officers that will be responsible for picking up the pieces of broken communities destroyed by illegal drugs.
Treating Drug Trafficking as a Violent Crime
There should be no misunderstanding the fact that hard drug dealing is, in fact, a violent criminal offense. Illegal drugs result in thousands of overdose deaths per year in the United States. In 2016, for example, 64,070 Americans died of drug overdoses. That’s higher than the number of U.S. soldiers killed in the Vietnam War.
It is not just the poor decisions of drug users that have resulted in the rise of overdose deaths. Drug dealers contribute directly to overdose deaths by putting the poison in the hands of addicts. Therefore, we must recognize that hard drug dealing is a violent criminal offense and should be treated as such by our criminal justice system. Too many dealers get second chances only to continue ravaging neighborhoods with the drugs they peddle. These criminals must be punished harshly, not only to remove them from society but also to deter others who may consider entering the illegal drug trade. Police officers work tirelessly to get drug dealers off the streets but their work is futile if the criminals they arrest are not punished to the fullest extent of the law.