For decades now, drug use and addiction has grown enormously. What was once an epidemic in lower class urban cities, has rapidly spread throughout the country, subtly leaving its lasting effect. As drug use spreads, there are those who believe that the only way to control this disease is to legalize drugs completely. These activists argue that people should be free to make their own choices, and as with the earlier prohibition of alcohol, a ban of drugs will only cause a greater demand. If in fact drugs are legalized, the structure of American society will consequently collapse. As with alcohol, legalized drugs will increase the likelihood of addiction, as well as the deaths relating to it. With a rise in addiction, the occurrences of drug induced crimes will multiply throughout the country. Gradually American society will become inefficient and unmanageable, shattering everything that its hard working citizens have achieved since their fight for independence.
By legalizing and increasing the availability of drugs, drug addiction will quickly escalate, and eventually make overdoses and deaths inevitable. Drug activists claim that as long as drugs are deemed illegal, they will be sought out more and more. Although it is human nature to crave what is harder to obtain, this idea poses no solution to ultimately ending drug use. Legalized drugs will enable people to obtain drugs at their own convenience, and at a dramatically low price. With no regulation on how much or how often drugs can be used, buyers will quickly adapt to this new sensation. Those that can now freely experiment with drugs will quickly realize that recreational use is impossible, as their heightened feelings of independence and self worth will become shorter and less frequent. Sooner or later their addiction takes over, and the constant availability of drugs makes it even more difficult to maintain a drug free lifestyle. Some of these addicts may try to correct their lives and get over their addictions, while others would continue to fall even further.
Along with a rise in addiction, the introduction of drugs into society will cause the number of drug induced crimes to mount as well. Unable to maintain jobs and relationships, and despite the decrease in the price of drugs, addicts will still continue to commit blatant crimes solely to obtain their next fix. Drug activists assume that as legalized drugs become less expensive, addicts will no longer have to commit crimes in order to fund their habits. One immediate difficulty with this proposal is that drugs already are exceptionally inexpensive. If you decrease the price of an addictive substance, addicts will then buy more of the less expensive product. A few decades ago when cocaine was being marketed in the high potency/low cost form of crack, addiction and crime rates still increased despite its price. If you legalize such drugs and the addiction rate increases, the result will be more people walking around and committing crimes. Addicts will pay almost any price in order to obtain drugs. Thus the question becomes not “What is the price of drugs,” but instead “How many addicts are there?” Since the legalization of drugs directly increases addiction rates, related crimes are consequently going to occur.
With the increasing number of drug addicts and the growing crime rate due to legalized drugs, people will become inefficient, thus making society unmanageable. Throughout America’s history, hundreds of thousands of men and women have sacrificed there lives so that future generations could live freely, without any fear or barriers. The legalization of drugs would not only squander these efforts, but would once again put restrictions on the lives of those associated with it. Those that plight into addiction quickly become prisoners of their own mind, and worst of all, do not even know until it’s too late. Along with themselves, addicts place constraints on their families and friends, who hate to see them the way they are, but love them too much to leave. If in fact drugs are legalized, it would target the lives of millions of individuals, and despite this country’s size and strength, it would engage a war which would be impossible to overcome. As drug addiction would begin to incorporate its way into American mainstream, the lives and careers people worked years to achieve would be shattered within a few months. The initial and most common effects of legalized drugs would be noticed at the workplace, as an increasing number of people would begin to miss work and eventually be terminated completely. These same people would soon after lose their homes, families, and eventually end up on the street, still trying to pinpoint where they went wrong. As a result, an increase in the crime rate, homelessness, and unemployment, would inevitably follow, shattering the economy and further contributing to the downfall of society.
The destruction that drugs are capable of is limitless, and to legalize and introduce something of this magnitude would severely impact the lives of millions of Americans. Drugs are not just substances that have no effect outside of the user. Quite the contrary, the legalization of drugs would harm everyone financially and socially. An increase in drug addiction, crimes, and a collapse in society would bring about severe social costs on the American public. The inevitable spending increases for health care, social programs, and insurance from legalized drugs would furthermore affect all of society in a direct manner.
Word count: 901