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Drug Addiction & Drug Abuse: A Failed War – UN Report Calls War on Drugs a Failure

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We as a society, need to remove the stigma that has been placed on drug addiction, drug abuse and mental illness, so more people can seek the medical care they require, without feeling shame and fear.

Waismann Method Medical Group pledges support to UN, calls for world leaders to pursue alternative global drug policy solutions

LOS ANGELES, April 20, 2016 – A report from the United Nations released Monday calls the War on Drugs a failure that has triggered a “public health and human rights crisis.” This condemnation comes at a time when the UN is convening to discuss policy decisions about global drug addiction and drug abuse. Dr. Michael H. Lowenstein, Medical Director of the Waismann Method Medical Group, lends his support to the UN report and calls for world leaders to pursue alternative global drug policy solutions.
President Nixon began the War on Drugs in 1971, leading to more than four decades of domestic and foreign policy decisions designed to eradicate drug abuse. This has included widespread prohibition of drugs, military intervention, and foreign aid designed to reduce the trade of illicit drugs. The War on Drugs has gained criticism in the past decade, with critics arguing that it has burdened taxpayers without resulting in a significant reduction in drug abuse.
In response to the UN report, Waismann Method Medical Group Medical Director Dr. Michael Lowenstein stated, “I firmly agree with the conclusions of this report. Several decades of scientific research have made it clear that our current approach to fighting drug abuse simply isn’t working.” As the director of one of the leading opiate treatment centers in the world, Dr. Lowenstein has observed first-hand how the War on Drugs has failed the very people it was intended to save. Nowhere has this failure been more evident than with the fight against opioid painkillers and heroin addiction. Dr. Lowenstein continued, “Under our current drug policy, rates of heroin overdose have quadrupled since 1999. Clearly, we can be doing more to help those who are vulnerable to opiate dependence. Addicted patients and their families deserve an updated, scientifically grounded, compassionate approach to global drug policy. This must include access to the best heroin addiction treatment available.”
The UN commissioned the drug report to evaluate global progress toward the goal of eradicating drug abuse. The 54-page report was created by the Johns Hopkins-Lancet Commission on Drug Policy and Health. The report expressed concern that existing drug policies are “not scientifically grounded” and have contributed to “excessive use of incarceration.” Furthermore, the report states that there are “enormous barriers to humane and affordable treatment” for drug dependence.
The UN report proposes numerous changes to global drug policy. This includes access to harm reduction services such as naloxone or supervised injection sites, decriminalization of minor drug offenses, and investigating novel approaches to drug policy. In addition to these recommendations, the report calls for expanded access to effective treatments for drug dependence to get help to the people on the front lines of the drug addiction and drug abuse crisis.
The Waismann Method Medical Group agrees with the assessment of the commissioned report and urges the UN to call for improved access to effective drug treatments. Dr. Lowenstein stated, “The United Nations international drug summit represents an opportunity to change to status quo. By helping individuals struggling with drug dependence, we can make an enormous difference on the drug crisis.”
The Waismann Group is not alone in its opposition to our current failed drug policy. In anticipation of the international drug summit meeting, more than 1,000 world leaders wrote an open letter to the United Nations calling the War on Drugs “disastrous.” Signatories of the letter included 27 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and six U.S. senators. The letter states that focusing on criminalization and punishment has only exacerbated the drug problem by creating a widespread illicit market for drugs.
Waismann Method is a leading Rapid Detox Center that specializes in treating opioid dependence and addiction. Dr. Lowenstein holds quadruple board certifications in Pain Management, Addiction Medicine and Anesthesiology. Dr. Lowenstein and Clare Waismann, Registered Addiction Specialist, have been on the forefront of the fight against the stigma put on drug addiction by society. They have worked together for almost two decades, hoping to change how addiction and mental health is viewed or treated. Their reputation is backed by 17 years of experience with opioid dependence, unparalleled dedication, and superior medical care.

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