Great Wall of Trump & Drug Addiction

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by A.Goldberg, May 4, 2016.

  1. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    Location:
    Boston
    #1
    Leaving accusations of racism and issues of immigration aside...

    According to the DEA roughly 90% of America's illegal drugs come over the Mexican boarder. According drugabuse.gov, the US spends currently over 600-700 billion dollars on substance abuse. Concerning illicit drugs, we spend about 11 billion on healthcare and 193 billion overall, between healthcare, lost productivity, legal/crime, etc.

    [I'm not sure how far these numbers are calculated, but A LOT of addiction treatment in the US is private pay- no insurance, so these numbers could be greater]

    Right now, especially in the northeast, we have truely epidemic levels of heroin addiction, much of which apparently comes through the Mexican border. Last year in Massachusetts alone we had over 1,500 unintentional opiate overdoses, more than 4 per day average.

    Keep in mind Heroin addiction is one of the most difficult addictions to break, and therefore one of the costliest in terms of treatment.

    While pharmacietical opiates (painkillers) are certainly responsible for some over these overdoses, they primarily have served as a gateway to the more affordable and deadly heroin. While measures are being taken on the medical end, heroin use continues to rise.

    Trump says a wall will cost him $8B. More realistic expectations are $20-30B.

    My question is if the nation is spending $200B+ on illicit drugs, could investing ~$25B investment in a wall be worth it?

    My thought is that while there ways around walls, but even a relatively short term disruption in the drug trade may have significant impact in breaking the cycle of addiction. (Decrease supply/availability, increased costs, etc). Therefore, there may be some legitimacy to Trump's wall in this regard.
     
  2. shinji macrumors 65816

    shinji

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    #2
    Smuggling tunnels, like the ones that already exist, would be the wall's Achilles' heel. And a short-term disruption would be just that, and might simply cause a temporary increase in predatory crime, rather than actually forcing any substantial number of addicts into treatment.

    Improving drug education, making rehab both affordable and readily available, and expanding access to harm reduction therapy would go a long way towards addressing the heroin epidemic in a way that a border wall cannot. If the Drug War has proved anything, it's that it's unwinnable when we have an extreme focus on supply rather than demand.
     
  3. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #3
    And those with career paths, in stable, secure, reasonably well paid jobs, - the sort that used to be available for young working class men - are rarely drug addicts.

    The economic and social conditions that lead to making drug use an attractive alternative may need to be addressed. Stable working class communities are not hot beds of crime.
     
  4. pdqgp, May 4, 2016
    Last edited: May 4, 2016

    pdqgp macrumors 68020

    pdqgp

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2010
    #4
    in before the hippies claim all drugs should be legalized because that will fix everything :rolleyes:

    drugs aside, the wall is badly needed. this isn't a public mall for the world to just come and go as they please. Time for the Bull crap to stop. Beef up security and treat those that trespass as hostiles. they will stop pouring over the boarder once they see the US Military is there to stop them with more than a slap on their wrist.

    Build a 50ft wall and anyone with a 51ft ladder will need to survive a round in the head and a 50ft drop if they want to enter illegally.
    --- Post Merged, May 4, 2016 ---
    Perhaps Clinton and Obama should taken a lesson from that playbook when it comes to how they handle guns in America.
     
  5. vrDrew, May 4, 2016
    Last edited: May 4, 2016

    vrDrew macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Location:
    Midlife, Midwest
    #5
    No.

    It won't even make a dent in the problem. It'll probably make it worse.

    Drug abuse is a demand problem. Not a supply one. People like to think that if we can disrupt enough of the supply side: take enough dealers off the street; seize as many kilograms or pills as possible; bust cocaine processing plants in Colombia or poppy fields in Afghanistan - that drug abuse will just go away.

    Of course it won't. You know that.

    And just closing off one method of importing illegal drugs into the United States (ie. the ground route from Mexico) - and even that one imperfectly (or do you think Trump's wall will magically defeat everything the smugglers can come up with?) - will just drive smugglers to shift their traffic to another route. More aircraft; more semi-submersibles. More home-grown meth labs and marijuana fields.
     

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