The battles against drug epidemics have taken various forms in the U.S. over the years but addiction is still a major problem in the country. Issues with both illicit drug use and prescription opioid abuse are rampant in the U.S. and the government has yet to resolve these issues. The approach that has been taken toward illegal drug use in our country has overall been a failure in a number of respects (Benjamin, 2018). Crusades against the use of drugs have recurred in U.S politics since the late 1800s. Richard Nixon is responsible for passing the Controlled Substances Act which regulated and categorized different drugs in terms of their danger for addiction. He also began the War on Drugs, stating that drug use was the country’s number one enemy (Clear, Reisig, Cole, 2016). The war on drugs is not impossible to win, however, it is impossible to expect to win if our country continues to take the same approach that it has been taking for decades. The war on drugs has succeeded on one front by packing the nation’s prisons with drug law offenders (Clear, Cole, Reisig, 2016). In order to win the war on drugs, the U.S has to take the same approach that Portugal took. Portugal did not take a punitive approach; they took a rehabilitation approach. Instead of arresting everyone who was involved in any type of drug use, they helped them by assigning them with therapeutic rehab centers and medical treatments. Portugal’s approach helped reduce addiction dramatically with heroin use dropping from 100,000 people when the policy began to only 25,000 today. Portugal now has the lowest drug mortality rate in western Europe, and it is only one-fiftieth of the current rate in the U.S (Benjamin, 2018).

A few centuries ago, the way the children grew up was different when compared to the present generation. They had less exposure to the external environment, in their school and society. Now, technology seems to be what is raising the children. Children are exposed to much more from technology, school, and even home. Therefore, there is a chance that they will become corrupted easier by using internet facilities and other resources available. A few years ago, children were keen on sharing their daily activities with their parents. Parents do not have time for their kids in the present generation. In the earlier era, there was no privilege for the children to defend themselves. Therefore, if the children committed any criminal activity they were punished. Here the juvenile justice law plays the role of protecting them. Today, the students develop wicked thoughts at their young age. They get involved in criminal activity because of their exposure to the wicked society. Here, the system sets a bad example by protecting them. Therefore, the juvenile justice system should be strong, so that they can protect the children from committing criminal activities (Clear, Reisig, Cole, 2016).

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Benjamin, A. (2018, January 25). Our Staff. Retrieved April 23, 2019

Clear, T. R., Cole, G. F., & Reisig, M. D. (2016). American Corrections. (11th Edition ed.)

Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth.

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