Science

War On Drugs Causes Human Rights Violations In Worldwide Scale, Study Says

By Anne Dominguez , Jan 21, 2017 06:03 AM EST
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A study suggests that the war on drugs causes major human rights violations and public health disturbance across the world. Researchers reveal that many people suffer in inhumane facilities and harsh treatments. They added that mass incarceration of drug users had devastating effects in the justice system. Meanwhile, the strict drug laws prevent the medicinal use of some drugs to relieve pain.

War on drugs is an American term which defines the government's efforts to prohibit illegal drugs using strict laws or military intervention. The term was popularized in 1971 after former US President Richard Nixon declared drug abuse as public enemy number one. The term has since been adopted in other countries which utilized tough drug enforcement laws.

BMJ released three researches explaining the devastating effects of war on drugs. UN special rapporteur on the right to health Dainius Puras, revealed that harsh drug laws undermine human health. He said some people were identified as drug users without due process which left them suffering in facilities with inhumane conditions. The drug war has overburdened the justice system, as a result, it failed to eliminate drug use and trafficking.

On the other hand, Katherine Pettus of the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care argued that the harsh law of drugs has prevented the medicinal use of drug. Eighty percent of the population has limited or no access to drugs used as pain killers such as morphine. This leads to a "pandemic of untreated cancer pain," she said according to Science Daily.

Pettus said that some countries are trying to adapt using these types of pain medicine but the change is too slow. She added that the safe distribution of drugs for clinical needs has been distorted by the war on drugs. Lastly, Michel Kazatchkine, UN secretary general special envoy on HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, revealed that drug users deny evidence-based treatments due to strict drug enforcement laws.

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