Fully 61 percent of voters believe that their state and local governments are not doing enough in response to drug abuse and addiction. Yet, there are fiscal constraints on any alternative strategies to end the drug crisis, with 51 percent believing state and local governments are in fact spending effectively, making it difficult to propose any new initiatives to tackle the drug crisis.
In many cases, drug abuse services involve all branches of government today, yet these programs suffer from a lack of a coherent strategy and may be perceived to be ineffective as a result.
They are not only perceived to be ineffective, they ARE ineffective.
The government has been caught lying repeatedly to bolster the expensive and failing/failed drug war, so has sacrificed the moral high ground for drug raids and incarceration.
By emphasizing clarity in our approach to attack the drug crisis, we can rebuild trust in the government’s role and radically improve the outlooks for substance abusers seeking treatment.
Broadly, the Rosenthal Study reveals the need for more clarity in drug policy decision making.
At a time when Americans have little information but strongly-held beliefs about drugs, drug use, and addiction, it is imperative to we promote awareness in our communities and encourage educated perspectives.
In general, Americans have been lied to by their government and the frenzied media headlines so long they have given up on finding the truth.
Instead, they develop their own fact-free beliefs based on what their “friends & neighbors” are saying, and cling to them desperately during a time when extreme opposing and contradictory views are broadcast daily.
Americans perceive – correctly – that everything they are told by any media is based on someone’s financial interest, from the pharmaceutical industry, the media, and special interest groups. It’s become a contest of who can hoodwink the most people to make the most money.
Too much is at stake for us to not fully internalize the hard facts about addiction and pave clear pathways toward treatment services.
Without a fair, honest consensus on the crisis, we will continue to fail at advancing policy and treatment options in the most effective way possible.
Another surprising finding from the survey involves prescription drug abuse. Overall, nearly one-in-five individuals (18 percent) report taking drugs prescribed for someone else.
Individuals also disproportionately ascribe responsibility for prescription drug abuse to doctors.
In total, half of respondents believe that doctors have been prescribing too many drugs. These findings show that by resisting individual responsibility for prescription drug abuse, many adults contribute to the growing distrust of doctors’ treatment methods for both drug abuse and common pain management.
Looking ahead, this distrust of doctors and the new guidelines urging physicians to use nonopioid alternatives for pain management may result in increasing consumption of illicit opioids, such as fentanyl or heroin, and ultimately increase fatal overdoses.
Finally, a key finding from the Rosenthal Survey on the government’s role in the drug crisis is that a big-budget, top-down federal solution would be widely distrusted and struggle to succeed.
It’s ironic that Forbes is complaining about all these “flawed perceptions” while they are a powerful member of the media that caused this problem.