The use of tax money to enforce mandatory treatment has attracted mixed reactions across the globe.
Often, people look at this issue from different perspectives based on their social, economic or religion aspects. Proponents of this debate argue that just like terrorism, robbery and burglary among other crimes are fought using the tax money; drug menace is also a menace that should be treated with some serious concern since the drug abuse and consequent addition lead to criminal activities in the society. The proponents also emphasize that those who are already addicted to crime have the tendency of engaging in criminal activities, perhaps to find a way of escaping the reality. Therefore, treating the addicts is a way of stopping them from engaging in crime, thus spending money on such is a noble course that is worth taking.
In relation to the above, drug addiction is responsible for the occurrence of some of the most costly problems in America. These include, but not limited to chronic illnesses, spread of HIV/AIDS virus, domestic violence and homelessness. This particular aspect makes the proponents of using money to fight drugs justified because it is less costly to prevent than to cure. The amount of money spent on illegal drugs is also very high. Indeed, it is so high that at times it surpasses the government expenditure on the basic necessities. For example, in 1998 alone the number of drug addicts in America spent more than 67 billion dollars to acquire those illegal drugs, which was higher than the amount spent to finance the public higher education (King & Mauer, 2002).
Therefore, such statistics are used by the proponents to advance their arguments that if such large amounts of money were used to finance public universities and colleges, then the institutions could have been able to accommodate twice as many students as they did. The federal government also uses a lot of money to fight the drug cartels and smuggling of drugs in America. However, this heavy expenditure can be reduced if the government embarks on a massive campaign to treat the drug addicts. This would help in reducing the demand that makes America is not a potential market for the illegal drugs. Therefore, many joint forces are involved in fighting the drug cartels, which is a risky and costly venture.
As it still stands, it would be cheaper and less risky to treat any drug addict than to spend the same tax money to fight the drug cartels. Considering the negative effects of drugs on human health it is a worthy course of action to spend money to treat the drug addicts. For instance, drug and substance abuse such as smoking tobacco affect the lungs. Consequently, one suffers deadly diseases such as lung cancer that is not easy to manage and treat.
This has forced the government to put in place very strict laws and heavy taxes on tobacco manufacturers. It is not even permitted to smoke in public places since this spreads the infection. Therefore, we should use tax money to treat such addict so that the spread of the disease can be stopped in the long term.
In sum, it is agreeable that the significance of using tax payers’ money to fund the mandatory treatment of drug addicts is a necessary and worthy course. Though, the government spends a lot of money on it, it helps many people; it is more efficient and cost effective in the long term. Therefore, the government should be at liberty to spend money on this worthy course of action that would benefit many people and cut down on its expenditures in the long term.
S., & Mauer, M. (2002). Distorted Priorities: Drug Offenders in State Prison. The Sentencing Project. Retrieved from http://www.sentencingproject.org/doc/…/dp_distortedpriorities.pdf