Drugabuse is a pernicious problem in society. The issue has many negativeimplications for the abusers, their friends, families, and communityat large. Worse still, drugs have triggered some of the bloodiestconflicts in the world and have led to thousands of deaths. There arecountless writings, videos, documentaries, and scholarship on drugsin society. Traffic, for example, is a 2000 film dedicated to theissue of substance abuse. The film adopts a multifaceted view in thediscussion about drugs, including the perspectives of politicians,businesspersons, society, and traffickers among others. DrugEnforcement Administration (DEA), the body tasked with the controland fight against abuse in the US, has also dedicated thousands ofworks on the issue. Nonetheless, recent studies have established thatmost institutions expected to combat the problem have failed toachieve any substantial progress. Therefore, it is wise to argue thata multipronged approach is necessary for the fight against drugabuse, including engaging players like government institutions,schools, and the international community among others.
TheThreat of Drugs
Kirkland(2015) reports that drug-related conflicts in Mexico and CentralAmerica have walked away with thousands of people have died over thelast decade. Central to the deaths is the rivalry for drug businessroutes among the cartels. Despite the beefing up of strategies aimedat fighting drugs, records have shown that the levels of abuse havebeen on the rise. Most of the evils that the modern society faces canbe blamed on drugs. An article by DEA (2015) affirms that drugs aremore deadly among young Americans than suicide or school violence.Precisely, around 38,000 Americans succumbed to drug-related cases in2006 (DEA, 2015). Substance abuse is more detrimental than mostdiseases, second only to heart diseases. The most affected group isthe youth. Seemingly, these damaging implications of drug abuse donot send any warning messages to the would-be abusers. Apparently,the expectation that people would make more informed decisions afteracquiring the relevant and necessary information on drugs is overly atall order. Trafficker arrests, awareness, and other initiatives haveborne significant results, but the war is yet to be won.
Thewar is quite sophisticated, especially since most of the cartels areengaged in strategic collaborations with some members of the controlauthorities, making it difficult to implement successful crackdowns.The film, Traffi¬c, explores how some of these collaborations areused to compromise the fight against drugs. For example, the MexicanGeneral, Salazar, hires police, Javier, into his secret squad tointerfere with a case that the officer is working on regarding a drugtransport courier. The general does this to ensure that the dealsthat he had with the cartels are not exposed (Soderbergh, 2000). Ontop of that, Mexican cartels have grown into great powerhouses ofcrime, involving themselves in other offences, such as extortion,piracy, human trafficking, and smuggling among other illegalactivities (Kirkland, 2015).
Therewill never be a single approach to the war on drugs, only a mixtureof responses. Central to this fight is the involvement of all partiesaffected by the issues, including the society. Workable programs needto be put in place, as opposed to blueprints of strategies thatcannot bear any tangible fruits. Though the Traffic film tends toimply that the war on drugs cannot be won, a conglomeration ofappropriate strategies can substantially reduce the prevalence of theproblem. The interventions can, as a result, lead to the reduction ofthe negative implications it has on the society, governments, and theinternational community.
Furthermore,DEA proposes the control of drugs by a formal scheduling program. Thedepartment works with other bodies to ensure that each drug is placedin the right category so that it may be easy to prioritize the mostabused drugs in the war. Investigations to determine the schedule inwhich all drugs fit are pivotal in the establishment of the mostbefitting interventions (DEA, 2015). Afterward, the institutions canstrategize on how best to combat the abuse.
Moreover,cleanups should be implemented in law enforcement groups to filterout any insiders sabotaging the fight on drugs. More resources shouldbe channeled to investigations on these institutions, as well as theother nongovernmental groups that help in the fight to ensure thatevery individual involved in the fight does so in a serious cause(Kirkland, 2015). Success can only be realized if the fight beginsfrom inside because that is where most of the drug crimes are bred.
Demilitarizationof the international drug-fight initiatives is also imperative.Rather than putting emphasis on the use of the militaries in the waragainst drugs, the international community should embrace effortsthat focus on the improvement of the macro economy so as to inhibitthe incentives for drug businesses. Community-based programs thatpromote the personal growth of each member can be useful,particularly in the regions that rely on the drug trade (Kirkland,2015). In fact, especially in Mexico, most of the individualsinvolved in the trade do so as their last resort in the face offinancial hopelessness.
Notwithstandingthe challenges facing the war on drugs, there is still hope that theworld can still win the war and reduce the number of lives being lostto the scourge every year. In this case, to achieve this, overhaulsneed to be executed in the current systems and institutions sincemost of them are unable to yield the required results in the fight.Moreover, thorough and regular examinations need to be done in theauthorities to identify the insiders who work with the perpetratorsof the drug crimes to compromise the efforts of eliminating drugabuse. Furthermore, there should be an ideological shift from themilitarization of the drug war to a focus on economic development soas to empower individuals financially. Overall, the war needs theinput of every member of the society for it to achieve anysubstantial progress.
DrugEnforcement Administration (DEA). (2015). Drugs of Abuse: 2015Edition. A DEA Resource Guide. USDept of Justice. Retrievedfromhttps://www.dea.gov/pr/multimedia-library/publications/drug_of_abuse.pdf
Kirkland,R. O. (2015). Drugcartel and gang violence in Mexico and Central America: A conciseintroduction, 1sted.San Diego: Cognella Publishing. ISBN: 978-1-63487-039-9
Soderbergh,S. (Director). (2000). Traffic[Motion picture on DVD]. America: USA Films.