AP-NORC Poll: Most Americans see drugs as a big problem ;
Sharon Johnson calls herself an addict, although he has been sober for three years. She began smoking marijuana and eventually moved to crack cocaine. Her daughter has tried heroin and “I think I’ll pull it out of the gutter one day,” Johnson laments.
Johnson has seen firsthand the ravages of drug abuse reflected in a national Associated Press-center NORC survey for Public Affairs Research. Whether alcohol or illegal drugs like heroin and cocaine, most Americans say it is a problem and that much remains to be done to solve the problem.
Johnson, 56, of Lynn, Massachusetts, said he does not believe that any drug should be legalized and believes that much remains to be done to end distributors. She goes to Narcotics Anonymous meetings every Thursday and sees many of his colleagues there with relapse and die from drug use. Still, it is considered the best treatment option for users rather than processing.
“To lock someone to use, will not solve anything. They’re going to rebel,” Johnson, a survey respondent told the AP in a follow-up interview. “For distributors, in my opinion, they should be locked up.”
The survey found that most Americans 62 percent, said at least one type of substance abuse is a serious problem in their communities. Pills that included alcohol, marijuana, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and prescription. About 43 percent said they have a relative or close friend with substance abuse problems. Seven out of 10 Americans do not believe that is enough to find a better treatment of addiction or to make it more accessible treatment programs in their communities.
And, like Johnson, more punishment for drug traffickers prioritized instead of cracking down on users.
It was a long way for Johnson to be clean. She recovered from bed to bed because he could not pay the rent. She is separated from her sister after going on a binge and do not return a debit card that his sister gave him.
“Before I had one parole officer told me, ‘Sharon, you’re going to end up dead,'” Johnson said. “I was in denial for a long time, and one day I made a complete turnaround.”
Johnson spent six months in treatment as part of Project COPE, a treatment program for substance abuse outpatient. She is now on disability and expects to complete their education. She spends time with her grandchildren. Lynn, a town of 90,000 north of Boston, has experienced one of the highest rates of deaths from heroin state.
The story of Johnson captures much of what the survey of AP-NORC describes: A feeling that drugs are a widespread problem, with many seeing friends or family devastated by drugs and the belief that treatment options should be improved for addicts while punishment has to be fierce distributors.
While 61 percent of respondents said they support the legalization of marijuana, most said they want limited to medical treatment or wanting to impose restrictions on the amount that can be purchased.
Lawler Chansky Warren is a retired criminal defense attorney who believes that time that alcohol is legal, so you should marijuana for recreational and medicinal uses.
“In all these years of practice (law), I have seen terrible crimes, tragedies. But very few associated with marijuana,” said Chansky, 57, of Port St. Lucie, Florida.
do not smoke personally but had a family member who uses marijuana to keep your appetite while she was battling cancer. “She would have died had it not been able to eat,” Chansky said.
The AP-NORC survey of 1,042 adults conducted February 11-14 using a sample from panel AmeriSpeak based on the probability of NORC, which is designed to be representative of the US population .. the margin of error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.
Respondents were randomly selected first using sampling methods based on the address, and later interviewed online or by phone.
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