Ending America’s Longest War: From Darkness into Light

From Darkness into Light

America has waged a war on drugs for over 100 years. Since America’s formal War on Drugs began in 1971, the United States has spent well over $1 trillion and is now, on a per capita basis, the world’s leading jailer. The burden of prison has fallen most heavily on the poor and minorities. The black market created by this war has spread violence across the land and brought billions of dollars to criminals. The war has destroyed millions of lives, tearing apart families and whole communities, in our own country and around the world. It has turned criminals into millionaires and sick people into criminals. Yet, the supply of drugs of all kinds has vastly increased, including easy availability to those most at risk–our youth. In short, the drug war has done exactly the opposite of what it was intended to do. It has been the equivalent of pouring gasoline on a fire to put it out.

The only way all this will change is to understand and address the many root causes of abuse and addiction. Addiction and abuse are serious health and societal problems, not moral failings. 46 years of failure has proven, and scientific studies confirm, that punishment does not deter people from using drugs. Throwing people in prison only adds to the very problems that triggered their drug use in the first place. Attacking the supply of drugs does not lessen that supply in any meaningful way; it only shifts the market locations around.

The way to reduce the market for drugs is to reduce the demand for them. That means healing the mind and body of the addict and creating the social and emotional supports necessary to foster recovery. That means enlightened, compassionate treatment of those with substance abuse disorder and viewing this disorder as a chronic, life-long health issue, much the way we do diabetes and heart disease. Only then will America begin to heal the incalculable damage done by its disastrous and misguided War on Drugs.

This four-part series will present an enlightened understanding of drug use, abuse, and addiction based on the latest discoveries in brain science and the work of leading experts in the field of addiction research and treatment. This knowledge will lead to a more successful and compassionate way of dealing with the problems related to drug use, abuse, and addiction.

1. Wednesday, October 11, 6:30 pm: Everything You Think You Know About Addiction Is Wrong: The truth about drugs, abuse, and addiction, informed by the latest science and the work of experts in the field presented by a panel of local experts

2. Tuesday, October 17, 7:00 pm: The Tragedy and Damage of the War on Drugs: Documentary “The House I Live In” followed by a panel of experts and open forum

3. Tuesday, October 24, 7:00 pm: Enlightened, Compassionate, Accessible Treatment for Opioid Addiction: Dr. Dale Nash, Medical Director, Western Carolina Treatment Center

4. Tuesday, October 31, 7:00 pm: Into the Light: Local Sources of Hope and Compassionate Support and Healing for Those Dealing with Drug Abuse and Addiction: A panel of regional experts who are using best practices to treat and heal those dealing with substance abuse and addiction

All programs at Unitarian Universalists of Transylvania County 24 Varsity St. Brevard, NC
Please arrive early, as seating is limited. For details contact Jim Hardy: 828-862-6969 or jh2@comporium.net

Sponsored by Transylvania County NAACP and UUTC – Unitarian Universalists of Transylvania County