Drugs and War on Drugs Destructiveness and as Portrayed in “House I Live in” Movie
Many youths tend to engage in drug abuse currently, some due to peer influence and considering it a lifestyle. Most of these drugs are illegal in most of the states and the governments have put several initiatives and efforts to eradicate this menace of drug abuse. Drug abuse has several negative effects on the user and most of them end up being addicted to these drugs. War on drugs involves prohibition of drugs by implementing those polices and regulations discouraging its production, distribution and consumption of psychoactive drugs. However, war on these drugs does not only help but also exposes the user to some effects such as withdrawal syndrome that may claim their lives, war on drugs should be a slow continuous process and should not be done once. (Engdahl, 2009)
Thesis: Drug abuse destroys most of the potential youths who can contribute greatly in economic growth, government, individuals and community should develop policies that will permanently cease this problem. At the same time, they should be considerate to avoid post drug war effects.
The house I live in is a documentary movie directed by Eugene Jarecki, it mainly talks about US government failing to curb the problem of drug abuse. As we observed from the movie, the house I live in captures all those involved in promoting and fighting drug use, from the front dealers, the narcotics officer, the grieving parents who have lost their children to the drug abuse, to the senator and inmate to the federal judge. House I live in tries to display some of the human rights breaching on drug war in the US. Drug use has some negative effects on the user, for instance, from the house I live in, you realize that Nannie Jeter who was Jarecki’s childhood care taker lost a son to drugs and had to migrate north to find work and assigned to be Jarecki’s care taker and from that she became part of Jarecki’s family. From the movie, we can assume that drug addiction can lead to death, and other negative effects of drug use may include; most of the drug addicts tend to spend most of their money into drugs, secondly drug use is illegal and if one is caught they can go to prison, unfortunately from the movie some police from narcotics could take some cash from drug dealers instead of apprehending them. Drug use can also lead to some psychological effects such as addictions, anxiety, fears and emotions hence mental illnesses. Drug use can sometimes kills the brain cells especially on the young people and finally drug addicts only thinks about drugs and nothing always matters to them since drugs are the center of their life. (Roleff, 2004)
I believe it’s always for the interests of the public to end the issue of drug use, but what is revealed in the house I live in documentary is not a war on drug use but way of creating a business market in the prisons. The key issue pointed out in the film is the contention by many academics and journalists that drug policy is driven by economics, a revealed history of drug policies shows how it was a means to oppress minority populations in America for instance criminalization of opium to oppress the Chinese population in California or cocaine and hemp to vilify blacks and Mexicans. David Simon, best known as the wire reveals how war on drugs through the policies have driven thousands into the prison systems which has in turn evolved into a big business empire and mostly providing economic support to the entire towns.
From the movie, Jarecki observes how drug abuse is a matter of public health and for long has been treated as an opportunity for law enforcement and an expanding criminal justice system. I believe individuals, government and communities can participate together in curbing the problems of drug abuse. For instance the draconian policies against the drug users and handlers should be revised and instead of populating these people into prisons, they could be taken into rehabilitation centers to help them rather than sending them into prison. For example Jarecki suggests sentencing project and policy alliance to assist in reforming the sentence policies. Even the court judge Mark Bennet is not happy with the laws, but claims that he has no choice but to give life sentences to suspects arrested possessing even the small amounts of drugs. What I could again propose to end the destructions of the drug abuse is health education; educating individuals addicted to drug abuse is an eye opener to them and make them realize the negative effects of using drugs may influence them to change. (Hudson, 2011)
In conclusion, fighting drugs is not an easy war, it should involve several sectors because the antinarcotics alone cannot manage this war, furthermore from the movie some police officers reveals how some of their fellows generates a good overtime pay on the drugs war. I believe fighting drugs is not just about draconian policies on the users but also to help them overcome the addiction and populating them in prisons doesn’t assist at all. Therefore, for the fight against drug abuse to succeed, government, individuals and community must work hand in hand to fight it.
- Engdahl, S. (2009). The war on drugs. Detroit: Greenhaven Press.
- Hudson, D. L. (2011). The war on drugs. New York, NY: Chelsea House.
- Roleff, T. L. (2004). War on drugs: Opposing viewpoints. San Diego, Calif: Greenhaven Press.