Some people think that drug addicts should be treated like criminals and sent to jail, while others believe that they should be treated like patients and sent to hospital. Discuss both views and give your opinion?

Some would argue that people who are addicted to drugs should go to jail because they have broken the law, while others say that they are sick and should be taken care of in hospital. While sentencing them to a term in prison is the quick and easy solution, I believe that it is better to be compassionate and help them get better in hospital. On the one hand, custodial sentences provide a short term solution to the drugs problem. By locking up addicts the government can take them off the street and they believe that this will stop them using narcotics and also causing any harm to others. For example, in the United States someone caught with even a small amount of heroine is likely to be locked up for a year. However, I believe that this is not solve the actual problem because drug addicts can gain access to drugs while in prison and will be hooked upon release. On the other hand, helping drug addicts kick their habit under medical supervision is thought to reduce the number of addicts in the long term. By treating addiction as a disease and the person with compassion, the root cause can be addressed and that person can eventually become free from drugs. For example, in Switzerland heroin addicts are given free heroin by doctors until they are ready to stop using the drug and this has resulted in drug related crime falling by 80%. I believe this method is preferable because addiction is a disease and it benefits both the individual and society as a whole. In conclusion, although throwing addicts in jail might get them off the street for a few years, it does not treat the actual problem and that is why it is more important to help them get off drugs in a medical facility. It is recommended that more governments follow this logic and bring in more forward thinking initiatives.
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