LETTER: Addiction vs. addiction?

May 2, 2019

Drug abuse is a huge problem in the U.S. It kills and disables our citizens and funds the drug cartels which in turn are drivers of illegal immigration. Attempts to stop the producers and distributors of drugs are largely unsuccessful as is demonstrated on a daily basis. Meanwhile, the real culprits who allow the drug trade to flourish are the users. They are viewed as “victims” of a “disease” and are therefore to be treated with sympathy and compassion similarly to persons afflicted with cancer or the flu, even though flu or cancer sufferers seldom go out and deliberately contract their maladies. The users are the customers without which the drug trade would cease to exist, just as is the case with any other business which produces that which consumers do not patronize.

Perhaps we should combat one addiction through the utilization of another. Perhaps a national “user ID” for all cell phone devices could be developed. No cell phone service could be gotten for any device unless the user ID was provided. Then, anyone apprehended using illegal drugs would be dealt with using existing laws and their cell phone service would be terminated for a period determined by the severity of the crime for which they were apprehended. Many, if not most cell phone users are so addicted to the devices, they would rather lose a limb than lose access to their phone services. Perhaps this obsession could be used as leverage to avoid illicit drug acquisition.

Since common sense, personal responsibility and integrity have become so rare among us as to no longer serve as a detriment to drug use, we’d better come up with other ideas to deal with this societal scourge. Here’s one idea. Lon Zimmerman, Sergeant Bluff, Iowa