Seattle Has Figured Out How to End the War on Drugs


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In a New York Times post, written by Nicholas Kristof, columnist and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, it tackles the city of Seattle's bold approach to narcotics.

According to Kristof, Seattle is undertaking what feels like the beginning of a historic course correction, with other cities discussing how to follow. In effect, Seattle is decriminalizing the use of hard drugs.

Kristof points out that drugs are better addressed as a health challenge than as a law enforcement issue.

But there are also challenges. Kristof states that Seattle has done an outstanding job halting the war on drugs, but it has not done well in financing the war on addiction.

Kristof urges a greater focus on services — mental health, housing, counseling, medication-assisted treatment and more. And also try other evidence-based public health interventions to reduce the drug epidemic. He recommends safe injection sites, tackle root causes to ensure that every kid graduates and have job trainings usher disadvantaged young people into decent jobs.

Kristof expresses that treating drug users as humans with an illness is a more effective strategy than the almost 50-year policy of imprisoning them as "junkies."

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