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Drug dependency treatment should be voluntary

This week, the World Medical Association and the International Federation of Health and Human Rights Organisations have called for compulsory drug detention centers to be closed.

Sarah Evans at Open Society Foundations has the story: Shut Down Abusive Drug Detention Centers

As many as an estimated 400,000 people worldwide are currently held in drug detention centers— sometimes for years at a time— on suspicion of using drugs or because of a positive urine test. Most get no medical evaluation, and no treatment—for drug addiction, TB, or HIV. Though these centers are called “rehabilitation,” “treatment,” or education centers, what goes on inside is not based on research or accepted medical principles so much as the desire to discipline and punish.

Patients’ human rights are frequently violated, said the WMA and the International Federation of Health and Human Rights Organizations (IFHHRO). Drug users are beaten, starved, and forced to labor—often in the service of private companies. The number of such “treatment” centers has continued to grow in recent years. […]

Dr. Adriaan van Es, IFHHRO’s director[:] “As in other forms of medical care, drug dependency treatment should be voluntary and should respect and validate the autonomy of the individual,” he said.

The drug detention centers are really prisons by another name, and most operate outside either the medical or criminal justice system. National police, military forces, and other public security authorities run most drug detention camps. Detainees suspected of drug use can be held without trial, an appearance before a judge, or right of appeal. While some people do enter such facilities by choice, most do not, and those who attempt to leave are often beaten by the “teachers” who staff the centers.

This issue is being addressed as part of the campaign to Stop Torture in Health Care

We may think we’re above all this in the U.S., but we’re not.

Our forced treatment may not be as abusive, but it is still forced treatment, and when it means loss of liberty or loss of parenting, it’s not that different from torture.

It’s amazing how little we, as a society, discuss the ongoing horrors of the drug war in other countries. Perhaps it’s because it would force us to look at ourselves as well.

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14 comments to Drug dependency treatment should be voluntary

  • strayan

    Drug use totally undermines the prohibitionist paradigm; that people won’t use drugs that have been prohibited. So rather than face the reality of their ineffective policy, they simply target users for annihilation.

  • Bruce

    My 85 year old mothers breakfast pill pile is equal in height to the food on her plate. Once ambient and mellow still in bed when I left for work at 8 she now carries on running our home like a military base the banging beginning at 6 All business all the time the word relax stricken from the dictionary. She just loves her new title ‘Block watch commander’ Stasi pfffff
    It has truly arrived, the Zombie apocalypse. These chemically-kept-alive BORG miracles are so demonic and ugly it seems neither the Lord or Satan are willing to take them back to the fold.

    • denmark

      Hang in there Bruce, since you really understand that it’s the pills try to remind yourself of that over and over again. It’s difficult and it’s taxing on the system but you can do it.

  • chuck

    been there….i feel it’s pointless now. i was “lucky” in that i went through the “treatment” for a year– only to get it off my record. in retrospect, i was facing 5 years or treatment—what does one choose? big time scam. but hey, i got 60k in student loans cause i was lucky. where the fuk is the revolution????!!!

  • yang

    Maybe not as abusive but there’s abusive ‘treatment’ in the US too.

    http://www.survivingstraightincthemovie.com/

  • DdC

    GOPerverted Koch Roaches Need the Drug War for Profit
    Got ALEC?

    Soon after Drug Czar Turner left office, Nancy Reagan recommended that no corporation be permitted to do business with the Federal government without having a urine purity policy in place to show their loyalty. Carlton Turner became a rich man in what has now become a huge growth industry: urine-testing.
    ~ Official Corruption: Carlton Turner,
    Jack Herer, Emperor Chapter# 15

    Bush. Religious drug treatment in Texas – 06/10/00
    CORPUS CHRISTI, Tex. – Over the door of one church-based drug treatment center in Houston, a sign printed in foot-high letters announces: “Drug Addiction Is NOT a Disease. It’s a Sin.” At another, clients pass by a poster of an addict in a hospital bed, ripping IV tubes out of his arms and throwing his pills in the garbage. An angel hovers nearby, offering her protection from this plague of prescriptions.

    And at a Christian young adult home in Corpus Christi, police recently took the unusual step of arresting a supervisor after teenagers complained that they were beaten and roped to a bed, all in the name of Christian discipline. More arrests are anticipated, authorities say.

    These are some of the results–expected and unexpected–of Gov. George W. Bush’s “bold new experiment in welfare reform.” With his conviction that religious groups can transform lives in ways government can’t, Bush sponsored laws in 1997 that allow churches to provide social services their own way, outside the intrusive glare of the state.

    The new laws exempted faith-based drug treatment programs from all state health and safety regulations followed by their secular counterparts, a list contained in a rule book as thick as a Russian novel that covers every detail from fire detectors to frayed carpets. Counselors in religious treatment programs now may skip the criminal background checks and hundreds of hours of training required of their state-licensed peers.

    Calvina Fay Prohibition Inc.
    Anti-Drug Campaigns Dumb Down Vital Message
    Calvina Fay is the Executive Director of Drug Free America Foundation and Save Our Society From Drugs (S.O.S.) From 1976-1985 it was known as Straight, Inc. and had a reputation for abusing kids as a drug rehabilitation program. Mel Sembler and his wife Betty founded Straight, Inc. In 1985 it changed its name to Straight Foundation, Inc. in order to protect its money and its principals from civil suits. In 1995 it was changed again to Drug Free America Foundation. DFAF is a national and international drug policy think tank and provider of services for drug free work places.

    Boycott Koch Industry Products!
    Slave Labor, Prison Privatization, Prison Industry – ALEC Conservatives push this agenda nationwide!
    ALEC claims that corporations can run and operate these necessary programs and prisons more efficiently than public employees. They claim this will reduce government staffing and thus government payrolls and somehow make us all safer (corrections), smarter (school voucher programs), our kids better trained to enter the workplace (repeal of child labor laws) and help reduce municipal, city, state and county costs (using inmates in place of public employees).

    Boehner & Cantor expose their ties to ALEC, Koch, CCA, Geo in 09 ALEC speeches!
    Republicant dominated assemblies are also pushing for privatizing their state prison systems. Though on the surface this issue appears to lack the same seriousness as the right to work laws they’re trying to implement, or the attacks on workers and Unions, but as you’ll discover below, it is just as important – and in fact exposes the real agenda of these conservative lawmakers and Governors…tentacles of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and corporations such as Koch Industries. Many of us were unaware the new Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, John Boehner was a member of the notorious American Legislative Exchange Council back in the 80’s when this agenda was developed and put into operation…or that House Majority Leader Cantor was a 2009 recipient of ALEC’s “prestigious” Jefferson award!

  • palemalemarcher

    These treatment regimes remind me of what Billy Hays experienced in “Midnight Express”. The world would be better off without it!

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    The thing that really kills me is when the Know Nothings act as if they have some kind of effective treatment protocol. When I speak of drugs “treatment” I feel compelled to put the word in quotes because having 10 to 20 people sitting in a circle being berated by a bureaucrat with a degree in Sociology that “the law is the law” is a total joke when you refer to it as “treatment”.

    When I was growing up one of the objections to the commies/USSR was that if a citizen didn’t subscribe to the government’s dogma they’d be sent off to be “re-educated”. It seems that we’ve changed our minds and decided to embrace the re-education process for Americans who don’t or can’t toe the government line.

    Sometimes I wish that the Berlin Wall hadn’t crumbled, because once the “threat” of communism was ended the people who prosecuted the cold war had to find something to keep themselves occupied. So do you need all 3 guesses to whom they turned their attentions?

  • Bruce

    Beautiful, Duncan. This entire reinvigorated Stasi-State demonic festival-of-illiberality and endured-to-boiling-point mindrape by smarmy smug hand-signalling-Statanic-psychopaths has gotten so repugnant and boring. At least I get to be clucking happy knowing that my gut-instinct to jump the wall into East berlin in 1973 would have proven to be the right thing to do.

  • Servetus

    Like all things in American society, addiction treatment varies in quality according to how much money the addict can spend.

    The rich get the cushy comfort and medical approach of a Betty Ford-style clinic, complete with qualified medical professionals trained in the biochemistry of addiction and other scientific facts concerning the problem. The poor and disenfranchised get the sin and ooga-booga treatment offered by a cult, a religion, or fascist political ideologues, which apparently can include being strapped to a table and tortured.

    If the basis for addiction is strictly an altered genome or some other biomarker created by the use of a drug, then the only thing capable of curing the addiction is another drug that causes the genome to revert back to its original configuration. No amount of prison time, beatings, monetary fines, brain washing, or other types of physical abuse or deprivation will make any difference in the way addicts react to their physical longing for the drug.

    The conflicts that arise in addiction treatment appear based on the classic battle between science and religion. Invoking spirituality may be of use to those who are actually spiritual, if nothing else is available for treatment, but it won’t make the urges go away. As some addicts say, once an addict, always an addict.

    More on the genetic basis of addiction can be found in the following research public press releases:

    Alcohol: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-03/ace-gso022210.php

    Methamphetamine: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-05/acs-tav051111.php

    Cocaine: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2004-08/cp-gmb072904.php
    and http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-07/niod-nfo070810.php

  • Voltear

    The marriage of “treatment” with law-enforcement – so-called – often results in federally-funded (or at least it did around the Millenium)CBRF’s being used to house both drug-users and sex-offenders. In the case I saw, the CBRF (Community-based rehabilitation facility)also took prison-inmates who were sentenced for violent sex-crimes for a period of time prior to their release in order to evaluate them for the level of supervision they needed. All CBRF residents were housed co-ed. This means you would have violent sex-offender males straight from prison sleeping in the room next to your wife.This brought-up some serious problems for family-members of those drug-users who had mistakenly taken a “deal” and entered into this system.I don’t know if this still occurs but I’d bet that it does.