Heroin has been in the news lately on account of its growing popularity and the fact that it is cheaper and stronger than ever before. With all of the increased usage comes a greater number of addicts and overdoses. To combat such problems, states have begun to implement needle exchange programs and crack down on dealers by ruling overdoses as first-degree reckless homicides. But the question remains, who is really at fault when someone overdoses?
I’ve come to know my fair share of addicts throughout my life, which has led me to take a sympathetic approach to their plight(s), but at the same time, they are the ones who continue to live they way they are living. Granted, addiction is a chemical compulsion many cannot fight against, and it may not have been entirely the addict’s fault as to how/why he or she initially got involved with drugs, but as sovereign individuals, we are responsible for our own fates.
People sell drugs to make money either because they aim to make it rich or get out of any sort of dire financial straits that they are plagued by. When selling something like heroin, the goal is to get the user addicted so he or she keeps coming back for more product. Sure, they are aware of the dangers associated with doing dangerous drugs, but that does not necessarily make it the fault of the dealer when a customer overdoses. A common mistake many junkies make, especially after getting out of rehab, is doing as much of a said substance as they are used to doing, but then realizing that they are incapable of doing so, and then overdosing.
If drug dealers wanted to kill people, then they are in the wrong illegal market. They should become gangsters or serial killers or politicians. No one, aside from the addict him or herself, is forcing the addict to use drugs. Dealers are not directly complicit in a user’s usage. It is tragic and unfortunate that a life, or lives, is/are lost, but we do not hold gun manufacturers responsible when people are shot, as well as we don’t hold companies like Apple responsible when workers are so distraught by working conditions that they kill themselves.
I can see the argument for a drug like heroin, as opposed to charging someone who sold a couple tabs of bad acid to an inexperienced psychonaut, since it is exceptionally deadly and linked to a bunch of deaths. But even still, drug dealing and homicide are totally separate crimes. What would happen if heroin were to become legal, for some sort of reason? An overwhelming amount of evidence suggests that it’ll cut down on crime and increase purity and provide users a safe way to administer it. Would the medical professionals be held responsible? If that’s the case, what about pharmaceutical companies? Prescription pill overdoses are on the rise annually, more than every illicit drug combined. Shouldn’t those companies and CEOs be at fault then?