Oh they are indeed struggling but a lot of their decisions can be and usually are heavily influenced by their drug(s) of choice. The study you read about makes sense but the key is that they would only trade the high if the drugs were not up to par. I would like to see a study where they follow up on how they would use the cash then. Would they use it to find a better high? Or would they use it towards rent, food, etc.?
Also a lot of addicts seem to have mental issues as well. Not all addicts have mental issues but there seems to be a large portion who does and that is an area that psychologists are just really still scratching the surface on. Like I said previously, my gf specializes in addictions but really focuses on dual diagnoses where a person would come in with a drug habit, but would also have mental or psychological issues. The old school of thought would have the person with dual diagnosis as either an addict or mental patient, but now are just realizing that a lot of them have both and are only now coming up with special treatment plans for people with these conditions.
I know this went way off topic but I do find it interesting:)
It's very likely that a drug addict will have 1 or more mental illnesses. I don't think I've ever met an addict that didn't clearly have a mental illness or didn't reveal some horrific trauma that occurred during their life.
In the study they gave not only cash instead, but also merchandise vouchers(I imagine gift cards) in lieu of cash as well. Not that an addict couldn't sell the gift cards, but they'd not get a good deal on it.
This is def off topic, but this is a silly thread, so whatever.
It's hard to really put my finger on exactly what's wrong with drug treatments today, but I'm not a big fan of the way most drug treatment is done. It seems to me that this is an area that could use A LOT more study. Would probably help if it was easier to get the OK to use illegal drugs in studies so there was more data to work with.
To me, the 12 step program that is the basis for how many places treat addicts(thankfully I think this isn't as much the case as it used to be) is the worst bunch of self defeating garbage I have ever heard. It pains me to know that most addicts are subjected to a 12 step program where they will be told it is not them who can overcome their addiction, but rather faith in God and blah blah blah. I hate that crap. No, it's no one but you dealing with it. No one's gonna help, it's gonna suck, but when you come out the other side, you will be better for it and it will be your accomplishment alone. Ever been to an AA or NA meeting? Half of it is reminiscing about drug use, the other half is free coffee. Obviously I'm generalizing and I'm sure some people have been helped, but ugh, I hate 12 step programs.
Between 12 step programs and places that are rigid about pissing dirty a couple times, it's like the professionals are just lost when it comes to what an addict needs. I think the best programs are the ones that learn towards a harm reduction style. I believe a part of every program should be how to use drugs safely, i.e. using bleach to sterilize a needle. Teaching someone how to sterilize a needle at the cost of a few cents, is invaluable in the diseases that could be prevented. Of course it works better when you have access to clean needles, something that is getting easier in this state, but still too hard as you need an RX. When you're dealing with addicts who are likely to also be dealing with mental illness, you can't be completely rigid like that. You have to let that person do what they're gonna do and if you can't stop them, at least help them be safer and then they can know that there's places that will help them if they need it(I say this because many addicts in treatment are not there voluntarily, so there's always people who are gonna be there and not really want anything to do with getting clean). Not saying we should teach people how to party hard, but simple things like about how heating heroin will just dissolve more contaminants rather then more opiate or how to use micron filters, the dangerous side effects of drugs and how to counter act them(i.e. staying hydrated when using stimulants). Just some basic "Drug Safety" if you will. It would be nice if we saw some states give the ok for needle exchanges to give out Narcan so someone could have it on hand in case someone ODs in their presence, but at least now they can't arrest you anymore in NJ when you call the cops to save a life.
Anyways, to sum it all up. I think focusing on the overall picture of the addicts mental well being is probably for the best. I just wish there was more support for these things as I believe drug addicts are some of the most marginalized and oppressed people in this country, if not the entire world, with the way they are arrested for possession and charge with felonies. It's sickening to see lives irrevocable damaged being charged with something that shouldn't be a crime in the first place, since that usually requires directly causing damage to society, which the sale and purchase of drugs doesn't do in and of itself.
Sorry for the rant, I've made it a personal mission of mine to talk about harm reduction whenever I can since it's not really a topic that gets any media coverage, especially with everyone on board for the half assed, not really gonna fix anything(aside from being able to get an RX for it) drug legalization plan of focusing on Marijuana only. I don't discriminate, a drug is a drug is a drug is a drug and if one is ok to use, then why is another not? I don't buy the whole it turns people into criminals thing....arrest them when they commit crimes then, just like we do with alcohol. And if it's danger that's the issue, alcohol kills more people than all illicit drugs combined, not counting vehicular accidents either, so it's a bs argument.
Edited by ATLL765, 22 October 2013 - 04:55 PM.