This the dwarf planet Makemake. Its one of the less popular dwarf planets in our solar system. It resides far out in the Kuiper Belt. And it’s pronounced mah-kee-mah-kee. Makemake was first discovered in March of 2005. The team of scientists that discovered it nicknamed it “Easter Bunny,” because it was discovered not long after Easter. It would later be renamed Makemake, after a god from mythology of Rapa Nui, the native people of Easter Island. The god that I’m talking about is the fertility god.
July 16th, 1945 at 5:29 am in Alamogordo, New Mexico, the very first atom bomb was denoted. The bomb was called the “Gadget,” and the process of harnessing the power of fission to create such a devastating weapon began as early as 1939, with a budget of only $6,000 for research. At the end of the project $2 billion was invested into it. And the destructive power of this now mediocre weapon had a yield of 15,000-20,000 tons of TNT. The “Gadget” used plutonium-239 as the fuel source to produce the intense explosion. Just a month later two atom bombs were denoted on Japan. The first atom bomb dropped on Japan, in Hiroshima was named “Little Boy.” It was fueled with two pieces of uranium-235 that weighed 140 lbs. The reason “Little Boy” had two pieces of uranium-235 was to start the nuclear chain reaction. One of the uranium rods would fire into the second by a gun propelling it, resulting in fission chain reaction. Out of that only about 1-2 pounds of the uranium-235 actually fission. Fission happens when neutrons strikes a nucleus of an isotope releasing great amount of energy. The fission process becomes self-sustaining as neutrons constantly get shot from atoms being split. This chain-reaction is what produces an atomic explosion.
August 9th, 1945, the second atomic bomb was dropped on Japan, this time in Nagasaki. The atomic bomb, named “Fat Man,” with a yield of 20 KT. This time, instead of using uranium-235, “Fat Man” was fueled with plutonium-239; 13.63 lbs of it, which is about the size of a softball. Surrounding the plutonium-239 fuel rod is 5, 300 lbs of conventional explosives. The reasoning for this design is that when the conventional explosives go off around the plutonium-239, crushing the plutonium, multiplying the density and pressure into a critical state. And about only one kilogram of the plutonium actually fission, blowing away the rest of the plutonium-239. This design had to be made because of plutonium’s different nature compared to uranium’s.
The largest fission bomb ever detonated was by the U.S. called Ivy King. Ivy King had a yield of 500 kt and for the material; 60 kg of highly enriched uranium made into a thin-walled sphere equivalent to about four critical masses. This atom bomb is 25 times more destructive than “Fat Man,” but there’s an even more devastating bomb… hydrogen bombs. Hydrogen bombs or, also known as thermonuclear bombs, produce a much higher explosive yield. On July 25, 1950, Harry Truman gave the decision to begin the research and construction of the hydrogen bomb, even though David Lilienthal, chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, advised against it, because he warned that it will only escalate the cold war. Even after being told of the possible risk, he continued with it. The two main ingredients for this hydrogen bomb are plutonium and tritium. The way a hydrogen bomb works is quite different compared to a fission bomb. A hydrogen bomb uses the energy released when two light atomic nuclei fuse, to form a heavier nuclei. In common conditions atomic nuclei carry positive electrical charges that act to repel other nuclei and inhibit them from getting close to one another. In temperatures of millions of degrees the positively charged nuclei gain sufficient kinetic energy to overcome their mutual electric repulsion and approach close enough to each other to combine under the attraction of the short-range nuclear force. The very light nuclei of hydrogen atoms are perfect applicants for this fusion process because they carry weak positive charges and therefore have less resistance to overcome.
A hydrogen bomb has three stage: the first stage is fission, the second is fusion, and the third is fission again. The first stage is the “trigger,” typically a plutonium bomb is used, and when the energy is released fission first starts and at the center of the plutonium is tritium, deuterium or lithium deuteride, and this will cause the fusion stage. For the third stage the fusion process causes a unbelievable eruption of very powerful neutrons that they can produce fission atoms of uranium-238 which is not possible at low energy levels. This stage doubles the potency of the bomb, and produces most of the radioactive fallout from the weapon. Typical fission bombs have a limit to their power, but the almighty H-bomb has no limit to its power. The H-bomb can be made as powerful as you, all you need to do is add more deuterium/tritium to the second stage. The H-bomb is not measured in kilotons, its measured in megatons, equivalent to the explosive power of millions of tons of TNT. They are thousands of times as powerful as Ivy King.
October 30, 1961, the largest explosion made by man denoted over the Novaya Zemlya archipelago in northern Russia. This bomb was an H-bomb, made by the Soviets to show-off to the U.S. the name of this bomb is the Tsar Bomba; it had a yield of 50 megatons which is 50000000 of TNT, and the Tsar Bomba was originally planned to have 100 megatons, but the Soviets released that it would have been too dangerous form all the fallout, and the delivery plane would not have adequate time to escape the blast. The bomb itself weighed 59,525 lbs, and was 26 feet in length and 6.9 feet in diameter. The Tsar Bomba yield was about 1,570 times more powerful than the yield of the fission bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. And in all of the efforts to build this overkill of a bomb, it had no military purposes. The Tsar Bomba was just too heavy for intercontinental flights, but that was in 1961, so it’s possible that today it can be transported far distances.
The Megatherium is an extinct giant ground sloth, that inhabited South America. This Pliocene era sloth weighed as much as four tons, that’s the equivalent of today’s elephant, and was four meters tall. These majestic giant mammals disappeared around 10,000 years ago, about the same time as the end of the last ice age. Their remains show up as recently as the rise of mankind, making man the most possible culprit for the Megatherium’s extinction.
In 1916 Albert Einstein Proposed the idea of gravitational waves thanks to his general theory of relativity. A hundred years later on September 14, 2015, LIGO for the first time directly observed ripples in space-time, proving Albert Einstein’s prediction correct, and now this goes down in history as one of the best events in scientific history. So, what are gravitational waves? Put simply they are ripples in space-time, like a rock thrown in a lake. The strong gravitational waves can only happen when cataclysmic events happen in the universe, such as, two black holes colliding, supernovas, and two neutron stars orbiting each other. Gravitational waves travel at the speed of light carrying information of what happened to produce them. Great, we know they’re real. What’s the point of knowing this? There’s many practical uses for this information. It’s like learning a new sense. We get to observe the universe in a whole new way. It gives a new perspective of cosmic events, like, black holes, and supernovae’s.
I’m assuming you’re human, right? If you are, you should be ashamed in yourself for all that you’ve done. You’ve killed so many animals and possibly humans for no reason (well you contributed to human’s death). Doesn’t matter, you’ve done horribly things. What things you may ask? Pollution is the biggest problem you’ve helped with. I know it’s not shocking about pollution, but it’s a serious problem, and you sure haven’t helped with fixing the problem. You do nothing, but go about your life without a worry in the world. It doesn’t matter that you recycle, drive economically friendly cars (which still pollute a lot, just making the damn thing), use biodegradable bags, picking up trash and throwing it away when you see it. All these things don’t matter and never will. The main problem is just you being alive. Yep, that’s right, and I’m not saying just go jump off a cliff. All I’m saying is that humans can’t live the way we do, without destroying nature. Just you eating that delicious burger is pollution. “How?” you ask. Well to make the burger a cow had to be farmed. Throughout the cows life it flatulence (which means it farted). “How can a cow farting be pollution?” you ask. Methane is the simple reason. “But I didn’t make the burger or farmed the cow” you say. Doesn’t matter, its people like you that keep buying burgers, and what keeps them in production. It’s not a big deal though. I admit to indulging in a tasty burger once in a while. Besides the burger is not my point. My point is that no matter what you do just living in today’s society you will contribute to the destruction of humans and other animals. “Well tell me what I can do to help” you say. Nothing, nothing at all can fix the problems, at least realistically. Just trying to be more environmentally friendly is just prolonging our suffering. If you really want to help though just stop reproducing and let humans fade out of existence.
Over the years we’ve witnessed some horrible things that humans do, and we can witness it almost everywhere, the news, reading on the paper, and especially on the internet. Seriously, do you know what humans are capable of? Humans do some pretty revolting stuff, as for cases of, war, rape, killing their own kind over petty reasons, necrophilia, and torture just for fun, and so much more that would require for me to go into detail just for you to realize how gruesome humans are. Just recently in the news parents killing their own children. Some of these things can be seen throughout the animal kingdom, but nothing like the way humans do it. For example: war. Ants can go to war with other colonies of ants. When two colonies of ants try to claim the same territory the colonies will clash. Rape has been documented throughout the animal kingdom. It’s actually kind of common, but it doesn’t make it right among humans. The reasoning being is that humans know it’s wrong but we continue to do it. I know it’s difficult to say what’s right and what’s wrong. The cause of something being wrong is that it is not socially acceptable. Societies have the say in what’s right and wrong. In different cultures genital mutilation is okay, and in America it’s heavily punishable. Another touchy subject is the age of consent. Age of consent varies greatly among the countries, for example the age of consent in China is fourteen, while in Canada it’s sixteen and the US is 18. So my point is, we decide what’s wrong and right. We overall have adopted good rules as some other examples, don’t let your baby have a gun, don’t drink and drive, and don’t target practice with live human targets (or dead human targets, unless you really want to. I don’t judge your life style).
I mentioned that we all can stop reproducing and just let humans fade out of existence. Well there’s a movement that believes we should do just that, and they’re called the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement. The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, is a movement that cares about life on this planet, and they claim to not be misanthropes. Some of you may think it’s a ridiculous idea, and think humans are too amazing just stop right now, and forget about all the hard work we’ve put into building a civilization this complex. You may be right, but don’t count on it. The way civilization is built today, we may have only a slim chance of saving ourselves from extinction. Humans will never fully cooperate to clean our mess in time before it gets to late. So is the VHEMT (Voluntary Human Extinction Movement) right? Once again it’s more of a matter of an opinion and there’s no way to tell what will be the better decision. We just don’t know the outcome for our future, but we do have a pretty good guess. It’ll be crazy temperatures, crazy weather events, droughts, and the loss of important species. Humans are resilient, more then I give them credit for sometimes. But can we really make it through the troubles we’ve made, are we going to go extinct?
We know humans are in trouble, but what will be the last nail in the coffin? It’ll more likely be anthropogenic (which is extinction from human doing). Nuclear disasters can be it, so can diseases, maybe even hunger, what about meteor, maybe even zombies. Nuclear disasters seem highly plausible, and there have been plenty of accidents with it. As for case in point the Chernobyl accident. It was the largest nuclear accident ever and caused an entire city to be evacuated, and killing thousands of people in the process. And accidents like this have happen multiple times. What if we accidentally drop a colossal nuke? It could make an entire state maybe even a country inhabitable. Or an officer goes rouge and launches a nuke. There’s too many possibilities that could happen that could wipe out millions of people in a short span. Hunger could happen quickly also, and the average human can only go about a month with no food. Famines happen all the time throughout history; there’s already a billion people starving. I live in California and could use the Central Valley as a prime example. It was once a thriving farming community that had the finest soil and now what did humans do? They built thousands of homes and on the richest soil in world. Why would people do this? Economic growth? We will starve to death with continuing this kind of thinking. Did you know that California used to be wetlands but now we are in a severe drought that started in 1991? This is due to human intervention with the dams that they have built and obstructed the natural flow of our ecosystem. What about those amazing viruses? They seem to do a good job at killing people. What can they do to help kill off the human race? For one they’re experts at causing mass causalities for humans, and they’ve done it multiple times before. Ebola is not one of those viruses. Stop the panicking if you are panicking about Ebola. It is a virus with devastating symptoms, but that doesn’t mean flip out. Most of us know about the bubonic plague, smallpox, and Spanish flu, and how many people they have killed. So it’s entirely possible it could happen again.
I guess everything I’ve told you is pointless. Humans more than likely won’t be gone until the last fish has been fished, the last apple picked from an apple tree, the last cow slaughtered, the last drop of water consumed. Once all this has happened then we’ll finally notice that we are a parasite. Just like a parasite, they can be removed and the host will return to perfect health. The whole point of this paper (I don’t know what to call it at the moment) is to put maybe a little perspective to what humans are. Just disgusting, vial, revolting creatures, to nature standards. I may seem like a misanthrope, but I try to enjoy what humans are, and we can be amazing. That doesn’t mean we aren’t horrible on many levels. With many thoughts of my own family, as I am sure of yours, people individually can have many amazing qualities but as a whole we are destroying our only home. So if I had to summarize this post in one sentence, I guess what I am saying we need to know what humans are and accept it. We mind as well ride out our existence to the ending until there isn’t anything left for us. We just simply cannot live without taking more than we need. So why not just go with it? Do you actually think humans stand a chance? If you think my logic is completely wrong why not tell me why you think. Do you think humans can cooperate with each other on a global scale? Call me a pessimist, but I don’t think we are capable of such an amazing thing. Look at our governments, look at the United States presidential candidates for such examples. If you think you can make a difference in the world for the better, good for you, go on a head and do it, but personally I think it’s a waste of time. If you read this far, quick question, why? And can you tell me the whole point of this post? Because honestly I felt there wasn’t one. All I did was rant, but tried to keep it somewhat analytical. In conclusion… there’s none, I just hoped it made you think a bit, and if you didn’t gain anything sorry, not sorry, and if you did I’m glad. This is just something weighing on me heavily.
In this essay, the focus will be on whether or not nuclear weapons should continue to be produced, or if dismantling the world’s stockpiles would be the better decision. There is a lot of conflict going on around the world at this time. My family lived in an area where there are a lot of people from the Middle East, so we hear a lot that tensions are extremely high. Luckily, the majority of countries that have the stockpiles of nuclear weapons are not really involved to the point of even considering them as far as society knows. Even though it is obvious that the cons outweigh the pros, but that does not mean that nothing good has come from , or nuclear weapons themselves.
Now to take a look at the pros. Since nuclear weapons have been used in battle (by USA only), there have been less casualties during wars. For example, the Iraq war had a total of roughly a half of a million deaths. Now granted The Huffington Post and The Lead Author of the study, Amy Hagopian, outed that this includes “all indirect deaths…”(Hagopian, 2013). In comparison, there were far more deaths in World War One. With all allied forces along with the countries against them, the total deaths equaled 37,466,904(PBS, 2015), With simple math, that equals 74 times as many deaths as after nuclear weapons were invented. That number is astonishing! This is just a simple comparison and more than likely there are some wars that had less as well.
The formula and technology that led to the nuclear bomb has had a remarkable effect on every aspect of life in the United States. As of 2014, the U.S. Nuclear Energy Institute website states that almost 20% of all power in United States comes from Nuclear Power. That equals “797.1 billion kilowatt hours generated”(Nuclear Energy Institute, 2014).
One last pro we need to investigate is how well nuclear weapons have kept the world from falling back into a major conflict or World War. Every war since the invention of nuclear weapons has either not become a world issue or has been resolved without the need of putting half the powers of the world against one another. Personally, it doesn’t appear that developed countries want to go down that route, because if one country, say Russia, were to drop a nuke in Great Britain, America would follow right behind them in Western Europe’s defense.
Now for the huge downside to this epic invention and discovery. If my memory is correct, 1945 was when United States started testing nuclear weaponry. They did many tests in the southern Pacific and even some here in the United States in a few states, but mostly Nevada. On a website examining deaths by cancer per capita (100,000 people), there is a graph that shows a steady rise in cancer deaths until its peak around 1990-1992. After that, cancer drastically declines, obviously with our wonderful advancements in science. But, is it coincidence that the last nuclear test performed on American soil happened in 1992? It just can’t be, there has to be a connection.
Along with the great advancements in nuclear power, there have been two very extreme disasters that could have been avoided. If only the rush of the understanding of the danger instead of the rush for the technology didn’t take place. The accident at the nuclear power plant in Chernobyl “caused the largest uncontrolled radioactive release into the environment ever recorded” (Chernobyl Accident 1986, 2015). Not only was the immediate surrounding area contaminated to a deadly level, winds also blew the toxic radioactive material as far away as Western Europe and Scandinavia. There are far too many sites on the internet that show what the damage from the rise in thyroid cancer has done to the remaining inhabitants of towns around Chernobyl and Pripyat. The most recent nuclear disaster not the fault of human error, but of a natural occurrence that is very common in the Fukushima Region of Japan. This again shows the lack of education on the part of the developers who should have obviously prepared for an earthquake of larger than reality strength. The earthquake that struck off the coast on March 11, 2011 was a 9.0 and luckily happened in the middle of the afternoon. Because of the timing and the fact that an earthquake was the signal of danger, the casualties of this nuclear disaster are almost nonexistent. Sadly, the Governments controlling the Chernobyl accident did not warn the residents of Pripyat or any of the locals until the issue was obvious. The people of Pripyat were actually at a festival with the nuclear plant burning in the distance with no clue as to what was happening. The explosion and release of nuclear material from Fukushima into the air was followed all the way to North America. There also have been many islands off the coast of Alaska that have required cleanup from all the possible radioactive garbage that traveled across the ocean.
Going over all this information has led me to believe that the invention was vastly important for human advancement. I am not sure if I agree with the use or the production of nuclear weapons, while they seem so devastating, they also seem like they have the ability to keep peace. If more precautions were taken and the study of radiation was examined more closely, nuclear power could have been a lot less dangerous. Something as simple as trying to find a new energy source, turned into a species changing event. Now we have created our own predator in the form of cancer and other genetic disorders attributed to Radiation, and of course bombs that can cause irreversible damage and generations of diseases to follow.
Sheridan, K. (January, 23 2014). Iraq death toll reaches 500,000. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/15/iraq-death-toll_n_4102855.html
WW1 Casualties and deaths tables. (2015). PBS. Retrieved from https://www.pbs.org/greatwar/resources/casdeath_pop.html
General U.S. nuclear info. (2014). Nuclear Energy Institute. Retrieved from http://www.nei.org/Knowledge-Center/Nuclear-Statistics/US-Nuclear-Power-Plants
Chernobyl accident 1986. (2015). World Nuclear Association. Retrieved from http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/safety-and-security/safety-of-plants/chernobyl-accident/
Fukushima accident. (2015). World Nuclear Association. Retrieved from http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/safety-and-security/safety-of-plants/fukushima-accident/
The War On Drugs
The war on drugs has been going on for over 40 years, yet it appears to be a complete failure, it’s a waste of time and resources, and somehow we still continue to fight an unachievable objective. It is stated that 246 million people between the ages 15 and 64 had used an illicit drug in 2013, which is an increase of three million people from the year before. Three million may not seem like a lot with a number as high as 246 million, but three million people represents about a third of the people living in the Bay Area and with the information that’s available, it appears to be quite a lot of people. Out of those 246 million people, 27 million of them had a problem with drug use. While in that same year 187,000 people were estimated to have died from drug-related deaths, and this number has remained relatively the same. From the statistics it is easy to tell that drug use has been becoming more of a problem in recent years (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime).
Out of the 27 million people who have a problem with drugs, about half of them were the types that are injected. With the half of the 27 million people who injected the drugs, an estimated 1.6 million people is suspected to have had the HIV virus in 2013. There has been some progress made of reducing HIV transmissions, but only by 10 percent. The goal was to lower HIV and AIDS transmissions by 50 percent among the people who injected these drugs by 2015, this goal was not expected to be made. It is easy to tell the correlation between drug use and disease transmission, with these statistics, which you can also find at the same government website.
Surprisingly, cocaine use seems to have dropped while pharmaceutical opioids, along with cannabis, continue to increase (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime). With the inadequate amount of data on the use of opiates it appears to remain steady at a global level. As for the trends in amphetamine-type stimulants use has varied over the years compared to other drugs globally. With drug use on the rise, has the war on drugs really been beneficial?
The number of incarcerations for in 2014 in federal, state, local prisons, and jails, was about 2,224,400 people, this is the largest incarceration rate in the world (We are the Drug Policy Alliance). The number of arrest in the U.S. is expected to be around 1.5 million for drug law violations, with 1.2 million being for possession only. This is an unhealthy amount of incarcerations, for just one country, and most of these incarcerations being non-violent crimes. So why are these people being put in prisons instead of getting help? We could be using this space for genuine criminals that commit real violent crimes, such as sexual assault and other violent crimes, instead we are committing people who need help to prison and wasting money, time, and resources instead.
One of the reasons people are not getting help for their drug problem is because they do not have access to proper treatments. Only one out of six people have access to treatment, for the reason being many countries have a lack in the Provision of Services. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) National Survey on Drug Use and Health, “23.5 million persons aged 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol abuse problem in 2009 (9.3 percent of persons aged 12 or older). Of these, only 2.6 million—11.2 percent of those who needed treatment—received it at a specialty facility.”
The most popular drug prevention program is the Drug Abuse Resistance Education, more commonly known as the D.A.R.E. program. D.A.R.E.’s main goal was to teach adolescents proper refusal skills. This program is in 75% of school districts and 52 countries (D.A.R.E.). This program must be effective, right? Well, according to studies published in the 1990s, they determined that the program was ineffective, and that it may actually increase the drug use (ProCon.org). From these studies in 1998, D.A.R.E failed to meet the federal requirements, because there program was not research based and effective, due to this, they stopped receiving federal grant money.
Marijuana has been getting a lot of headline news lately, both positive and negative, from both researchers and the media. Recently there was a study by University of Colorado, Montana State University, and San Diego State University about the correlations between suicide rates falling and marijuana use. Based on the study, suicide among men between the ages of 20-39, dropped about 9% and 11%, after the medical use of marijuana was legalized in certain states compared to other states that they were not legalized in. For some reason the DEA lies about the medical use, saying “The scientific community has not approved marijuana as medicine”. This is not true (Drug-War.Us).
A big mistake that the chemical diversion control strategy completely neglects is trying to cut down the supply of drugs, without lowering the demand first. What it seems is that they do not realize is that drugs are not price sensitive. Drug addicts will pay anything to continue their addiction, so regardless drug dealers and the drug cartel is getting their money. What cartels and dealers are doing is making more drugs to increase availability for their customers. The whole point of the war on drugs is to stop production. For example, when the chemical control diversion strategy took place, to deny drug traffickers certain chemicals to make drugs, this strategy did not work. When the chemicals to make methamphetamine were difficult to obtain in the United States the Mexican Cartel took the chance to smuggle meth across the borders to get profit off the opportunity. With the Mexican Cartel being able to produce good quality meth and having a bunch of experience smuggling, they made it were the U.S. meth supply never drop. So basically the strategy to restrict chemicals for methamphetamine was a failure. This is a war you just simply cannot win when trying to cut down the supply side of it. Even though drugs are still widely available, and demand not even lowered, the war on drugs has done nothing but bring devastating unintentional consequences. Even with a budget of 30 billion dollars, the United States Drug Enforcement Agency has an efficiency rate of less than one percent.
Drugs have been used throughout history and may even play a part in our evolutionary role in mental development. We even have evidence of Neanderthals with psychoactive properties in burials. That’s how far back drugs have been used. There was a late Mayan Archaeologist, who was named Dr. Stephen F. De Borhegyi, who even believed that hallucinogenic mushroom rituals were a central aspect of Mayan religion. His theory was based on an identification of a mushroom stone cult that was founded in the Guatemalan Highlands and the Pacific coastal area around 1000 B.C. Mind altering substances have been a part of human culture for a very long time, so it may not be very realistic for humans to control the use of these kinds if substances. It seems so embedded in human cultures and with the array of drugs today, it appears to be exceptionally difficult to stop drug use and production.
Just like the war on drugs, alcohol prohibition during the 1920-33 had so many unintended consequences. Though it was put in place as an experiment to reduce crime and corruption as well as improve health and hygiene in America it was horrible failure which ended in mass incarceration, causes of violence, loss of many jobs due to alcohol being banned, even state revenues dropped because of liquor taxes. Banning alcohol only made things worse in the long run, including for those people who did not drink the fermented substance. The overall lesson of The Prohibition Era still remains today in the debate with the war with drugs that the government has placed in effect in America. The outcome of the Prohibition was way worse than it was in the beginning, as alcohol consumption increased and crime increased to the point it became ‘organized crime’. It appears the same has happened with the war on drugs.
Why is it so important for our governments to ban drugs? The point made here is that if you read our history of the societies throughout our human existence you will see that drugs have always played a part of human culture. As early as the Sumerians, one of the earliest written societies, has proof of them writing about using Marijuana as far back 8,000 B.C. Sumerians, Egyptians, and Indians were users of opium some 5,500 year ago. Mayans were known for using entheogenic /hallucinogenic drugs such as the cocoa leaf and the Bolivian torch cactus which leads us to the Native Americans and their ritual use of peyote. Mind altering drugs have always been in human cultures and we have many examples of them.
So is there any way to stop drug use or reduce it? Maybe there is, it is called harm reduction. In the 1980’s Switzerland experienced a spike in heroin use and also HIV cases went up, along with other crimes becoming a problem. This is where the new strategy, harm reduction comes in play. What Switzerland does is open Heroin Maintenance Centers, where the drug users can be treated. In the centers, they would be given heroin, clean needles, and health professionals, the results were amazing. There was a drop in crime, about two thirds of the drug users got jobs, since they could focus on getting healthier, instead of funding their addiction. Now, more than 70% of the injecting drug users in Switzerland received help and were able to get their life back on track. HIV dropped and heroin overdoses dropped 50%. So this technique is way cheaper and more effective. If you look at all the facts it seems way better of an option, instead of wasting money on an objective, which is unachievable and unrealistic. Billions of dollars in the U.S. are wasted on fueling the drug cartels, increasing crime rates, and the excessive incarcerations of non-violent offenders. When are we going to call quits on the war on drugs and move on to this better option?
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