C. Should society treat drug addicts with mental illness differently than other drug addicts?


Conceivably, all drug addicts should be treated the same, no matter their circumstances. However, drug addicts with mental disorders should be treated differently than other drug addicts because they cannot help themselves. Statistics state that 46% of those who have Schizophrenia also abuse drugs, while 61% of those with Bipolar I Disorder similarly take drugs. People with mental disorders take drugs to alleviate their problems; drugs help to subside the terrible symptoms that coincide with the disorder. Schizophrenia, for example, causes depressions, apathy, and social withdrawal, which greatly affect everyday life. Those with the disorder often use marijuana to relieve their problems, and for a short time escape their situation. Drugs addicts without mental disorders also abuse drugs as a form of escapism; however, those with disorders will always suffer from their illness. Regular drug addicts may have began abusing drugs because of a failing family, or a loss of a loved one. They do feel trapped, therefore feeling the need to use drugs. To overcome their addiction, they can attend counseling and work through their problems. They can rely on the 12-step program or group therapy to rise above the addiction. Drug addicts with mental illnesses will always endure the symptoms of the disorder. Drugs temporarily lessen the effects, but they can never truly over their situation. (SL)

The basic truth is that there are many people within our society that have mental illness. Some know about the conditions that separates them from the 'normal' person and some do not. Those like schizophrenics or even people that have severe depression that try to separate their physical and mental feelings. They try drugs like cocaine and maybe even methamphetamine that slow their thoughts and give them these sudden feelings of ecstasy that are not within their normal lives. They tend to become addicted because they find themselves more sane due to it. Schizophrenia causes the person to experience hallucinations, paranoia and confused speech and thought patterns that cause the person to become more and more dysfunctional. Drugs, like cocaine, within the eyes of a schizophrenic, that may still keep them paranoid can assist with euphoria because of the trapping of dopamine in the synaptic cleft due to the blockage of reuptake channels by the cocaine. A mental illness like depression can cause a person to feel loneliness, loss of interest in common activities and low self-esteem that triggers their lives into a downward spiral that sometimes leads to attempted suicide or death. Frankly, any type of drug that gives a release of dopamine upon its user, marijuana, cocaine, meth or prescription drugs, can be a way for these suffering to find their outlet of the severe pain that they hold. This, in my opinion has nothing to do with the common drug addict. The common drug addict begins the process because of their own foolishness. They become addicted to the drugs and they continue to use it without realizing the consequences. They can be weaned off the drug and put into therapy. The mentally ill have another process to go through. They need to be caught, be put under medical testing to actually find the condition that they have because sometimes they do not realize where or what they are doing. Some that experience mental illness are afraid of hospitals due to the creation of paranoia and the lack of human contact. They need to also be put into a rehabilitation facility that will offer them the proper medications for their disease and their addiction. If this person does not get the proper care it is a definite possibility that they will die from the drug because they do not realize or understand the seriousness of drug abuse, addiction or drug related death.(Dominic Smith)