The war on drugs in America rages on with increased efforts in reducing supply and demand. Supply reduction is an essential component to drug control. Whereas, drug reduction is ineffective without limiting the availability of drugs in America. (Office of National Drug Control Policy, 1999) Quite simply, when the availability of illegal substances is increased so does the usage and abuse. This paper will discuss key concepts to supply and demand reduction and evaluate how these concepts can be used in the war on drugs.
Supply reduction in the drug market does not work the same as in the economic market. As Abadinsky (2014) explains the reduction in drug supply will increase the revenue for a drug trafficker as the desire to consume has not been affected. Supply reduction is a concept that must be utilized domestically and internationally to be successful. Regulations help control illegal substances from entering the country. In the US supply reduction includes enforcement of anti-drug laws, eradication of marijuana cultivation, Custom’s inspections of personal belongings and all persons entering the country, and drug free zones in public and private educational facilities. The Office of National Drug Control Policy (2014) gives incite in the international efforts for supply reduction, which include building consensus, coordinated investigations, anti-money laundering initiatives, and foreign assistance. Supply reduction disrupts normal operations of the manufacturing, shipping, and distributing of drugs in the United States. According to the Drug Policy Alliance Group (2015), American drug policy is focusing their efforts in reducing the international drug supply. The idea is to keep the illegal substances from being smuggled in to the country in order to reduce the availability of the drugs and eventually snuffing out the severity of the issue in America.
Demand reduction is challenging to say the least. The efforts are aimed at reducing the public’s desire for illegal drugs. Drug reduction in America include supervised treatment centers. Often time’s mothers and their babies will undergo court ordered treatment in order to detox and resist the urge to get high once clean. Babies born with an addiction to cocaine or heroin suffer extreme withdrawal symptoms and often times suffer a great deal. That is why individual states are taking a stand and placing policies to reduce the demand for drugs. According to Abadinsky (2014) fourteen states require doctors to report any suspicions of drug abuse by a pregnant woman. Nineteen states have funded drug treatment programs that are designed for pregnant women. These efforts are focused on driving down the numbers of babies born with an addiction. Inn 1998 the Department of Education placed new regulations that would affect students with a drug record from receiving financial assistance or student loans for continued education.
It is difficult to say if the war on drugs will ever come to an end. Officials will never seize all the illegal drugs or stop them from entering the country. Nor can they stop drug sales on the street, but they can enforce regulations and laws that are in place to control the availability of the drugs within our communities. There is success in decreasing numbers. Drug traffickers will always look for a way around the law and move around looking for safe zones in which they can distribute illicit drugs and make money. Supply and demand reduction are effective in drug prevention when used together. It is almost impossible to reduce the desire if the supply is not interrupted. That is why treatment facilities that work to detox drug abusers decrease the supply that is readily available. Reducing supply may make the price go up and put more money in the pushers pocket, but eventually his supply is affected and these efforts help bring us closer to a drug free America.
Policy makers must continue implementing new strategies that will allow states to shorten the supply and decrease the desired need for illegal drugs in America. By increasing efforts in customs, along the borders, and on our streets we have the opportunity to diminish the war on drugs as we know it.
Abadinsky, H. (2014). Drug Use and Abuse: A Comprehensive Introduction (8th ed.). Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.
Reducing the Supply of Illegal Drugs. (1999). Retrieved May 9, 2015, from https://www.ncjrs.gov/ondcppubs/publications/policy/99ndcs/iv-g.html
Supply and Demand. (2015). Retrieved May 12, 2015, from http://www.drugpolicy.org/supply-and-demand