Johnny's Wonderful Treatise On Addiction:
Yes, you can't ''cure the soul by means of the senses''--contrary to popular opinion and medical science: alcohol has no medical value, but that's ok, it wasn't meant to. And, certainly, to the young developing mind and body, alcohol and it's cousins, the narcotics/psychedelics/opiates stunt a young mind to almost irrideemability. Little wonder, since drugs are a commodity produced and controlled by criminals; it's so readily available to kids--lets face it--drug dealers don't ask for I.D.
Drugs are a problem that involve money, law, and societal mores. Coldly put in the first, when you have a problem involving money, when you get control of the money; you get control of the problem. On the part of the law, America's longest war, still being fought, is the drug war, almost 90 years-long now, and it should be incumbent on a government or certainly, a nation, to ask, "Is there an end in sight (victory), and if so, when, and if not, why not?''
And then, there is society--which says ''drugs are bad''. True enough. But had my particular demon had been unavailable to me by law, I would have moved heaven and earth to get it--and if you got in my way--I'd have moved you, too. Addiction is truly a horrible physical, emotional, and spiritual sickness--not just for the addict--but for whomever is along on the slowly, but steadily, sinking ship that is the addictive experience (I can't say life, because it isn't.) Whatever passes for normalcy is just down time between insanity because the addict will always reach for the human hand, never the spiritual one--until his protectors either flee him or die, leaving him once again alone.
Addiction is somewhat conditional, more of it, most of it really, is biological. We're complex little things, we humans are, with these complex brains of ours and when we expose them too much--and too often--to the things we have learned to ferment or create in the mortar and pestle of pharmacology, ''complex'' things happen (addiction, criminality) that our society rejects, and rightly so. However, there is certainly nothing wrong with deriving responsibly the pleasures this fermentation and certain pharmacology provides, and a great segment of the population can do this--to what extent they may--without a problem and certainly, within the reason and the current law, they have the right to do so. Why should they be made to feel guilty or responsible for it?
I got myself sick all on my own, I didn't need anyone's help. At one time, I couldn't control myself--who was I to tell some one else? Education about the nature of addiction is important because resistance to addiction is a lot like resistance to evil; society might not be able or willing to resist evil, but you can certainly resist it in yourself.