Prison is no cure for drug users.
It's a real, terrible human tragedy that so many of Alexander's young friends died, while doing crazy young man stuff, while under the influence. Perhaps some of these people would have benefited from institutional care. But many would be drawn further into drugs in prison. Perhaps some other type of rehab?
Emoting on this subject, although completely human and understandable, does not fix the situation.
· Social change could fix the problem. That would be education and proper rehab.
· Controlling the drug supply could fix the problem. Gov'm't could intervene in the market.
Thusly, the choice is down to intervening on supply or demand side. Either you intervene on the demand side, which means driving down demand through education, or punitive punishments for drug use. This approach is currently being used, and is not very effective. The other, largely untested as yet method, is to intervene on the supply side. Attempts to close down the coca growers in Columbia are only moderately successful, and depend on local cooperation. But if the government intervenes in drug supply market directly, through licensed distribution of safely manufactured drugs, then users only have to be able to read the label.
Viagra increases heart rate and body temperature, just like E, but nobody calls for that to be banned. Night club proprietors should be required to train staff to deal with overdoses. If addicts go to Boots to get their fix, their details can be recorded for the NHS. If the government and NHS get involved in the drug world, then at least the worst users can be registered, recorded, monitored.
At least try out the scheme in a controlled environment.
The authorities already distribute clean needles and condoms. Now they should distribute drugs that will not kill anyone. And the police can concentrate on making sure no-one drives while under the influence. The government and drug companies will make oodles of cash, and users can look forward to a spread of new substances that make you see like Picasso, or Vermeer.
Everyone a winner!