1. Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.
  1. SmokeTwibz

    Criminalizing injection drug use may appear to have been instituted to keep people safe, but the evidence indicates that it has the opposite effect. For over four decades, the war on drugs has shown itself to be a losing battle. This loss is evident in many different ways, especially appreciable upon evaluation of the steady growth of new Hepatitis C infection rates.

    Changing legislation that has been in place for over 40 years is not a quick process. The global war on drugs is testament to the challenge of sweeping political reform, a change that is long overdue. Designed to protect people from the evils of drug use, the criminalization of drugs sends a staggering number of people to prison, consumes an enormous amount of money and supports a dangerous, underground drug culture. Despite the overwhelming evidence indicating that the war on drugs is counter-productive, legislators repeatedly lack the courage to reform our laws on drug use – fearful that their constituents will interpret any attempts at reform as supporting and/or condoning drug use.

    The biggest casualties of this war are those who become dependent on illegal drugs. Instead of being viewed as a health problem, the war on drugs labels people unable to resist drugs as criminals. There are many unfortunate consequences of the criminalization of illicit drugs, one of which is its perpetuation of spreading Hepatitis C infection.

    The Global Commission on Drug Policy (GCDP) is an organization that seeks to bring light to how drug problems are managed. According to their website, “The purpose of the Global Commission on Drug Policy is to bring to the international level an informed, science-based discussion about humane and effective ways to reduce the harm caused by drugs to people and societies.” If Richard Nixon had this perspective when he initiated the American war on drugs in 1971, our culture’s drug problem would likely be entirely different than it is today.

    According to the GCDP, there is a growing perception that the war on drugs approach has failed. This failure is twofold:

    1. Eradication of production and criminalization of consumption has not reduced drug traffic or drug use.
    2. The harm caused by drug prohibition in terms of corruption, violence and violation of human rights largely exceeds the harm caused by drugs in and of themselves.
    According to a recently released GCDP report, the war on drugs has perpetuated the Hepatitis C pandemic. Based on GCDP information, an estimated 10 million of the 16 million people who inject drugs worldwide have Hepatitis C, and drug law enforcement is partially responsible for this high rate of infection. The commission suggested the following:
    • Criminalizing drug use forces users away from public health services and into hidden environments where Hepatitis C risk is markedly elevated.
    • Locking up injection drug users further perpetuates the spread of Hepatitis C in prisons. Mass incarceration of non-violent drug users plays a major role in spreading the pandemic.
    • Replacing criminalization of drug use with harm reduction programs that include needle exchange programs will halt new Hepatitis C infections.
    “The war on drugs is a war on common sense,” said Commissioner Ruth Dreifuss, who is also the former President of Switzerland. “Repressive drug policies are ineffective, violate basic human rights, generate violence and expose individuals and communities to unnecessary risks. The Hepatitis C epidemic, totally preventable and curable, is yet another proof that the drug policy status quo has failed us all miserably.”

    The World Hepatitis Alliance supports the GCDP position on drug policies with their statement, “If you compare rates of Hepatitis C in drug users in countries with good harm reduction and more enlightened drug policies with those in countries without, it is clear that regarding drug use exclusively as a criminal justice issue is a health disaster. Hepatitis C, its prevention, care and treatment must be addressed and must be addressed as the health issue it is.”

    An extremely large portion of injection drug users have Hepatitis C, and deeming them criminals makes it nearly impossible to prevent the spread of this highly infectious disease. Hopefully, the warning issued by the Global Commission on Drug Policy will be heard – and legislators will finally recognize that supporting the war on drugs has a direct, negative impact on public health via perpetuation of the Hepatitis C virus.

    July 09, 2013
    Nicole Cutler L.Ac. | Hepatitis Central
    Image Source: BBC


    Author Bio

    My name is Jason Jones. I'm from Rochester, MN and I'm 35 years old. I scrap metal and work as grounds keeper at a local trailer park. In the winter, I shovel a bunch of driveways and sidewalks to make some extra money and to stay busy. In my free time, I try to find interesting articles about the war on drugs that I can post on Drugs-Forum, so that the information can reach a wider audience.


  1. kailey_elise
    ah, but you forget - in countries where drugs users are considered criminals, they don't care if the drug users catch hiv or hcv or anything else. drug users -especially IDUs - are filthy beings on par with stray animals, who brought the disease on themselves with their dirty ways & probably deserve it anyway.

    *rolls eyes*

To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!