Stop the Insanity

The Biden Administration should get out of the drug dealing business and stop killing addicts with our tax dollars and their policies. Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services’ decision to spend $30 million on the distribution of “safe smoking kits” to vulnerable communities is disgraceful. I say this as a former presiding drug court judge, and someone who saw firsthand what happens when the government enables drug use.

A policy narrated as “compassionate” is, in fact, a killer. The government, by enabling and promoting drug use, will be complicit in more than 100,000 overdose deaths in this country.  

During a court session, a participant in my drug court explained he used to make a crack pipe out of an empty beer can, which makes the Biden Administration’s $30 million investment in “safe smoking kits” redundant at best. This same drug court graduate—who participated in treatment, received peer recovery services, and remained clean for 18 months—now lives a sober life with the tools learned in drug court treatment. Drug paraphernalia, provided by your United States government, certainly does not stop overdose deaths—it encourages them by sanctioning and condoning the use of highly addictive and life-threatening substances. 

I have been involved in a multitude of interventions and I know the messaging that inadvertently fosters the disease of addiction, as opposed to recovery. For example, five family members can tell a loved one they need treatment and help with their disorder. But if one person says, “I don’t think you’re that bad, maybe you don’t need treatment,” that will be the one message the person will grab hold of and refuse help.

The message that drug use is acceptable is now being pushed by Biden and his administration. This message condones a self-destructive lifestyle that destroys families and tears apart homes, often resulting in further substance misuse.  

For a historical reference, crack cocaine was “invented” and heavily marketed during the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s because crack generated the same powerful sense of intoxication without the use of needles. The immediacy and intensity of the effect are the two properties that drive the addiction potential of a drug. Crack cocaine is an extremely fast-acting substance, which results in an immediate “rush” or blast of euphoria that is very brief. The short euphoria is followed by an immediate and severely uncomfortable crash generating irresistible cravings to use more of the drug. The addictive potential of crack is therefore exceedingly high. Because of these properties, crack cocaine ravaged many American neighborhoods. And since crack was cheaper than powdered cocaine, poor neighborhoods were particularly hard hit.  

While addiction knows no socioeconomic boundaries, many addicts do come from disadvantaged, trauma-based households. Biden’s HHS marketed the $30 million in grants to distribute “safe smoking kits” in disadvantaged communities, which is both condescending and particularly galling. It is a farce to believe that the government-sponsored distribution of crack-pipe paraphernalia will foster equity, unless the idea is to spread misery and death. 

It was only a few decades ago when many of today’s politicians were blaming the federal government and the CIA for shipping crack to black neighborhoods to destroy their communities. Apparently, destroying neighborhoods is now fine if the crack pipes are taxpayer-funded. Who knew? 

The Biden Administration, through this program and several others, including the sanctioning of “safe” injection sites, is encouraging addicts to give up on recovery, that their only choice is to allow government officials to manage sickness. The administration policies will trap addicts as a dependent class by furthering their addiction.

But the miracle of recovery is real. There is hope for each and every American struggling—through an emphasis on a continuum of care treatment, peer group recovery, and abstinence. This may seem like the more difficult path for the addict, but it is the path of hope and sobriety.  

Many so-called substance abuse experts continually compare the disease of addiction to diabetes. If so, would the Centers for Disease Control and other policy experts ever create a state-sponsored donut shop where people with high blood pressure, morbid obesity, or diabetes can eat “safely” to their hearts’ content under the assistance of a credentialed expert? So far, luckily, they have not. There are no doubt well-meaning people in these government bureaucracies, but few of them have ever treated a client suffering from a substance use disorder, despite their expert status. 

Those of us who have worked with those struggling with substance abuse implore the Biden Administration to stop this insanity. Our loved ones deserve better than a policy prescription that only enables and fosters the disease.

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