Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 19, 2012/ 27 Nissan, 5772

No Cease-Fire in War on Drugs

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | President Barack Obama's drug czar, Gil Kerlikowske, doesn't like the term "drug war." He argues that none of the smart guys in law enforcement uses it.

Instead, the smart guys talk about middle-of-the-road strategies that emphasize treatment over incarceration -- as did both Presidents Richard Nixon and George W. Bush -- while they also advocate tough law enforcement.

Folks in the drug czar's office have "gotten really good at stealing the rhetoric of drug policy reformers," griped Bill Piper of the anti-drug war Drug Policy Alliance, but they don't mean it. Obama may talk up having a dialogue on legalization and decriminalization, but his newly announced strategy proclaims, "Legalization of drugs will not be considered in this approach."

Nonetheless, Rafael Lemaitre, spokesman for the Office for National Drug Control Policy, credited the administration's approach as representing a "revolution" in drug strategy, one based on science, research and evidence. The drug czar's office maintains that addiction is "not a moral failing on the part of the individual -- but a disease of the brain that can be prevented and treated." The 2012 drug plan emphasizes treatment for "substance-use disorder" -- and there will be more of that because the disorder happens to be covered in the president's Affordable Care Act.

Is it a disease of the brain? I asked Columbia University psychology professor Carl Hart, who is also a board member of Drug Policy Alliance. Hart laughed. "A behavioral disease, therefore the brain is involved? OK, we can say that about everything."

I admit, the addiction-is-an-illness line never worked for me. It leaves out personal will. It sanitizes destructive decision-making. It suggests that people cannot get clean without a health care professional.

Art Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, came up with the best explanation I've heard for the disease argument. People don't want to see addicts jailed, he said, so they've come up with a scenario to spare users from incarceration. Ergo: "The whole drug establishment is invoking the disease model as an antidote to the criminal justice model."

A drug czar fact sheet maintains, "The Obama Administration has remained clear that we cannot arrest our way out of the drug problem through an enforcement-centric 'war on drugs.'" (I guess the smart guys do say "war on drugs.")

But the Obama administration doesn't want to cure the criminal justice system; it wants to medicalize addiction at a time when many Americans are looking for alternatives to federal drug policies that don't work.

I have no doubt that Kerlikowske believes in treatment. I know people who entered programs that helped free them from the bonds of self-destruction. But I am skeptical about the efficacy of a wholesale expansion of drug treatment programs -- especially the addicts-cannot-help-it kind. For one thing, addicts have to want to get clean in order to get clean.

"Who is the world's biggest believer that addiction is not a disease?" asked Caplan. "Alcoholics Anonymous, which has 'a volitional orientation.'"

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment JWR contributor Debra J. Saunders' column by clicking here.

Debra J. Saunders Archives

© 2012, Creators Syndicate

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles