Are explicit drug users actually victims?

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SHOO
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Through work, I come across many drug users. I'm not talking cigarettes or alcohol, I'm referring to cannabis, heroin, ecstasy, cocaine etc. We offer needle exchange and methadone treatments for such people and whilst I supervise their methadone consumption, I often have a conversation with them and they end up opening up to me. They often tell me how they came across drugs and how it practically ruined their lives.

Horrible things happen, such as being forced to take heroin (physically forced) so that the drug dealers have a life-long customer. Or giving them free heroin when they just want cannabis (weed), or even mixing heroin with weed to make them addicted to heroin and therefore wanting more.

From drug addiction come a lot of crimes, such as theft, prostitution, violence and much more.. just as means of purchasing drugs.

So - are the drug users actually victims? Should the police and the criminal justice system as a whole target the actual drug dealers more?

(I know I've generalised - of course not this doesn't apply to ALL drug users, but again.. at work we deal with 90% of the explicit drug users in our borough, and almost all of them have a story that often stems down to innocence)
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Heeee
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(Original post by SHOO)
Through work, I come across many drug users. I'm not talking cigarettes or alcohol, I'm referring to cannabis, heroin, ecstasy, cocaine etc. We offer needle exchange and methadone treatments for such people and whilst I supervise their methadone consumption, I often have a conversation with them and they end up opening up to me. They often tell me how they came across drugs and how it practically ruined their lives.

Horrible things happen, such as being forced to take heroin (physically forced) so that the drug dealers have a life-long customer. Or giving them free heroin when they just want cannabis (weed), or even mixing heroin with weed to make them addicted to heroin and therefore wanting more.

From drug addiction come a lot of crimes, such as theft, prostitution, violence and much more.. just as means of purchasing drugs.

So - are the drug users actually victims? Should the police and the criminal justice system as a whole target the actual drug dealers more?

(I know I've generalised - of course not this doesn't apply to ALL drug users, but again.. at work we deal with 90% of the explicit drug users in our borough, and almost all of them have a story that often stems down to innocence)
Maybe, but at the end of the day.. its because of who they hang around with, where they go, what they do and probably the stuff they try that initially gets them into it
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SHOO
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(Original post by Heeee)
Maybe, but at the end of the day.. its because of who they hang around with, where they go, what they do and probably the stuff they try that initially gets them into it
I actually made this thread because I was watching a show where a drug user speaks about how she was "tied up at the age of 12 to be injected with heroin"

It ruined her life because now she's really addicted. She spends £150 per week and funds for it through theft
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Heeee
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(Original post by SHOO)
I actually made this thread because I was watching a show where a drug user speaks about how she was "tied up at the age of 12 to be injected with heroin"

It ruined her life because now she's really addicted. She spends £150 per week and funds for it through theft
She must have had some sort of connection. You can't randomly get picked up off the street to be injected now can you?
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(Original post by Heeee)
She must have had some sort of connection. You can't randomly get picked up off the street to be injected now can you?
Course you can. People get kidnapped, they are often lurred away of they're drunk enough.. There could be loads of factors.

The majority of the patients I work with are actually stepped up from weed to heroin.. Which is to an extent their own fault
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(Original post by SHOO)
Course you can. People get kidnapped, they are often lurred away of they're drunk enough.. There could be loads of factors.

The majority of the patients I work with are actually stepped up from weed to heroin.. Which is to an extent their own fault
Which begs the question, why isn't weed a class B or A??
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SHOO
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(Original post by Heeee)
Which begs the question, why isn't weed a class B or A??
Personally, I think legalising cannabis would be more beneficial to the society
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Heeee
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(Original post by SHOO)
Personally, I think legalising cannabis would be more beneficial to the society
That would be counterproductive
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DiddyDec01
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I am an ex drug addict. I don't think I was so much a victim. It was some seriously bad decision on my part clouded by mental illness.

Drug use should be treated as a condition rather than a crime. Once you are convicted of drug use, you are screwed for life as far as having a job in concerned. Which isn't exactly going to improve your outlook on life. Whereas these people should helped and rehabilitated so they can return to a normal life and become part of society again rather than being excluded due to poor decision they made early on in life. They deserve a second chance at a normal life.

Also, weed is a class B drug. (http://www.talktofrank.com/drugs-a-z)
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KingBradly
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(Original post by DiddyDec)
I am an ex drug addict. I don't think I was so much a victim. It was some seriously bad decision on my part clouded by mental illness.

Drug use should be treated as a condition rather than a crime. Once you are convicted of drug use, you are screwed for life as far as having a job in concerned. Which isn't exactly going to improve your outlook on life. Whereas these people should helped and rehabilitated so they can return to a normal life and become part of society again rather than being excluded due to poor decision they made early on in life. They deserve a second chance at a normal life.

Also, weed is a class B drug. (http://www.talktofrank.com/drugs-a-z)

This a hundred ****ing times. The drug laws are utterly ridiculous.
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YNM96
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(Original post by SHOO)
Through work, I come across many drug users. I'm not talking cigarettes or alcohol, I'm referring to cannabis, heroin, ecstasy, cocaine etc. We offer needle exchange and methadone treatments for such people and whilst I supervise their methadone consumption, I often have a conversation with them and they end up opening up to me. They often tell me how they came across drugs and how it practically ruined their lives.

Horrible things happen, such as being forced to take heroin (physically forced) so that the drug dealers have a life-long customer. Or giving them free heroin when they just want cannabis (weed), or even mixing heroin with weed to make them addicted to heroin and therefore wanting more.

From drug addiction come a lot of crimes, such as theft, prostitution, violence and much more.. just as means of purchasing drugs.

So - are the drug users actually victims? Should the police and the criminal justice system as a whole target the actual drug dealers more?

(I know I've generalised - of course not this doesn't apply to ALL drug users, but again.. at work we deal with 90% of the explicit drug users in our borough, and almost all of them have a story that often stems down to innocence)
For the black bold segment, yes in this case they are victims, but I doubt that this is the biggest contributor to drug addiction, and this also entails physical abuse rather than just drug dealing. For the red segment, the consumer has the ability to choose whether or not to consume heroin, and so any resulting heroin addiction would be his fault for the most part. For the green segment: perhaps this is more relevant for arguments to legalise weed so that there can be more regulation, but even in this case, assuming this is in a country where weed consumption and provision is illegal, the consumer has engaged in an illegal act, and to that respect he/she is not longer a victim; the possibility of the weed being laced should be known to the consumer, due to the absence of its regulation, and anyways how often will the consumer test his cannabis to check the quantity of heroin in it, is the consumer sure that his cannabis was laced?
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Heeee
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(Original post by KingBradly)
This a hundred ****ing times. The drug laws are utterly ridiculous.
Ridiculous? How so?
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DiddyDec01
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(Original post by Heeee)
Ridiculous? How so?
We should be helping those who have addictions not condemning them for life by giving them a criminal record. Who is going to employ as ex heroin addict or MDMA addict? No one. We shouldn't be giving these people criminal records we should be helping them to overcome their problems.

We all make mistakes and we shouldn't have to live with some of these mistakes for the rest of our lives. Think about it this way if these people don't reintegrate with society they will just go back to their old ways and the cycle will continue.

All drugs should be decriminalised for personal use quantities. Drug dealing should still carry the same penalties. We should be helping people who have lost their way in life, not excluding them. I speak from experience of making terrible mistakes. These people deserve a second chance at a normal life.
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(Original post by YNM96)
For the black bold segment, yes in this case they are victims, but I doubt that this is the biggest contributor to drug addiction, and this also entails physical abuse rather than just drug dealing. For the red segment, the consumer has the ability to choose whether or not to consume heroin, and so any resulting heroin addiction would be his fault for the most part. For the green segment: perhaps this is more relevant for arguments to legalise weed so that there can be more regulation, but even in this case, assuming this is in a country where weed consumption and provision is illegal, the consumer has engaged in an illegal act, and to that respect he/she is not longer a victim; the possibility of the weed being laced should be known to the consumer, due to the absence of its regulation, and anyways how often will the consumer test his cannabis to check the quantity of heroin in it, is the consumer sure that his cannabis was laced?
I don't know, I would say the consumer is really vulnerable. So, I've seen cases where the consumers have been so "hooked on" to cannabis, that when drug dealers offer them "some new stuff" (herion) for free, the take it thinking why not? I mean, to do drugs in the first place the consumer is open minded to it all right?

With regards to the legality of can did, well.. Do you think it should be legalised?
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SHOO
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(Original post by DiddyDec)
We should be helping those who have addictions not condemning them for life by giving them a criminal record. Who is going to employ as ex heroin addict or MDMA addict? No one. We shouldn't be giving these people criminal records we should be helping them to overcome their problems.

We all make mistakes and we shouldn't have to live with some of these mistakes for the rest of our lives. Think about it this way if these people don't reintegrate with society they will just go back to their old ways and the cycle will continue.

All drugs should be decriminalised for personal use quantities. Drug dealing should still carry the same penalties. We should be helping people who have lost their way in life, not excluding them. I speak from experience of making terrible mistakes. These people deserve a second chance at a normal life.
Absolutely, I 100% agree. The problem is, class A's have such terrible psychological effects that the services that are already on offer (CRI & such) arnt being utilised effectively. So for many of my patients, a lot of them use methadone to save money rather than as means to come off it. I once saw a ridiculous statistic that only 2% of addicts actually come off drugs after treatment.

Upon arrest for example, if there are drugs detected when the suspect is convicted, they are sent to a place like CRI, and by law they have to attend the first session. After that it's completely up to them and most back out.. And the ones that do actually go on methadone is to save money. And of those, only a absolute minimum successfully come off drugs.

It's such a grey area that isn't really given much significance to. This is why I think cannabis should be legalised.. It would have far more positive benefits than negative
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DiddyDec01
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(Original post by SHOO)
Absolutely, I 100% agree. The problem is, class A's have such terrible psychological effects that the services that are already on offer (CRI & such) arnt being utilised effectively. So for many of my patients, a lot of them use methadone to save money rather than as means to come off it. I once saw a ridiculous statistic that only 2% of addicts actually come off drugs after treatment.

Upon arrest for example, if there are drugs detected when the suspect is convicted, they are sent to a place like CRI, and by law they have to attend the first session. After that it's completely up to them and most back out.. And the ones that do actually go on methadone is to save money. And of those, only a absolute minimum successfully come off drugs.

It's such a grey area that isn't really given much significance to. This is why I think cannabis should be legalised.. It would have far more positive benefits than negative
I don't think cannabis should be fully legalised although I would support its medical use for a whole plethora of illnesses. I know that when I came off drugs I started drinking heavily, which is much worse for you than cannabis. This is a subject very close to my heart having already lost my best friend to MCAT.

More needs to be done to help addicts and there needs to be more awareness. In face drug use in general should be talked about more. It is so common yet only spoken about in hushed tones. We need a more open society when it comes to drugs.
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(Original post by DiddyDec)
I don't think cannabis should be fully legalised although I would support its medical use for a whole plethora of illnesses. I know that when I came off drugs I started drinking heavily, which is much worse for you than cannabis. This is a subject very close to my heart having already lost my best friend to MCAT.

More needs to be done to help addicts and there needs to be more awareness. In face drug use in general should be talked about more. It is so common yet only spoken about in hushed tones. We need a more open society when it comes to drugs.
It's stupid how not much priority is given to drug misuse.

Here's how I think legalisation of cannabis could work..

We legalise cannabis but make it so that it's only accessible to the public via pharmacies & at a safe dose. We invest the money generated into more services which offer support for people who misuse drugs. The cannabis consumption is supervised.

Now what this will do is that it'll firstly take away a lot of drug dealing which should fingers crossed affect drug dealers a lot. It will be safer because it'll be pure. And the money generated can be reinvested in rehabilitation.

It's a really risky thing to do but I can honestly see it work
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JG1233
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(Original post by Heeee)
Which begs the question, why isn't weed a class B or A??
Cannabis is already class B.....


And because by making cannabis illegal, your forcing users into the underworld. Why not legalize it and give them the ability to just go into a shop and buy it, not have to contact often dangerous criminals if they want it (and its clear they do, prohibition of cannabis hasn't and seemingly never will work).
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TimmonaPortella
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So you purchase something which you know to be dangerous and addictive, use it, get addicted and harmed by the product, and you're a victim?

Of course you're not a victim. You're dealing with your own choices. They are your choices to make. That should be the legal position, too.
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ApeMob
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(Original post by SHOO)
Course you can. People get kidnapped, they are often lurred away of they're drunk enough.. There could be loads of factors.

The majority of the patients I work with are actually stepped up from weed to heroin.. Which is to an extent their own fault
Relating to the 12 yr old? And kidnapping is so...uncommon at least in the Western world to Western citizens. Most of the time a drug user had a gateway drug (alcohol or weed, maybe cigz, cough syrup...) OR they wanted to get high. And got addicted...to an addictive substance. I mean...:rolleyes:
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