Drug abuse is by far one of the biggest problems bothering nations across the world and a lot of research is being conducted to look into various social and economic factors that trigger this abuse. Drug abuse is also responsible for the rapid increase in AIDS cases as the disease continues to spread like an epidemic. Contaminated needles that are shared by intravenous-drug users and unprotected sex between drug users are believed to be the main reasons why this disease is spreading so fast. Drug abuse therefore needs to controlled if not uprooted to bolster a society that’s healthy in every way. California understands the need of a more enlightened approach to this deadly abuse and strongly believes in amending certain laws that indirectly encourage abuse. For instance, laws that make needle possession an offense may indirectly encourage drug users to share the same needles thereby becoming a potential health hazard. All thanks to Proposition 36, all addicts who also happen to be nonviolent drug offenders can now seek treatment and dare to dream of a drug free life.
According to California Society of Abuse Medicine, often referred to as CSAM, methamphetamine is the choice of 53% of those who have been diverted to treatment instead of incarceration as per Proposition 36 or The Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act. In order to put a check on the “Methamphetamine Epidemic” in California, there are number of things that can be done on the legal and medical front. The biggest hurdle is the UPPL regulations, that stop physicians from probing into drug and alcohol problems and is more in favor of insurers and not citizens. There should be procedures in place to ensure proper screening for stimulants and other drugs of abuse so that abuse is traced before it’s too late. In addition, there should be parity in the type of coverage insurance companies provide for abuse treatments and other medical illnesses. The incarceration rate for drug-related crimes has shot up and most believe that community-based treatment and not incarceration was the key to bring drug abuse behavior under control. More than 36,000 people convicted of a non-violent drug offense had access to medical treatments as per Prop 36 that aims to not only help people get rid of their addictive behaviors but also bring down incarceration costs.
California’s unique geography and diverse culture greatly influence the drug scene there and also happens to be the reason why the problem of drug abuse has been there since a very long time. Drugs like cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana, and club drugs are abused on a large scale in California, as they are smuggled into the state from Mexico and therefore easily available. In addition, Marijuana and methamphetamine are also produced locally making the drug situation very serious in the State. As the problem of drug abuse continues to grow, the State of California is facing the biggest challenges of providing medical care and treatment to all those people who wish to put an end to their abuse.
With an estimated number of 1,759,368 marijuana users, 288,306 cocaine users, and 16,332 heroin addicts residing in the State, its apparent why California is so concerned about this deadly abuse. The number of people abusing prescription drugs, inhalants, and those using hallucinogens are also staggering and necessitate immediate medical assistance.