Would Drug Rehab Be Beneficial for Drug Dealers?
When considering the world of drug use, abuse and addiction, one is often inclined to view drug dealers as the “bad guys” and drug users as the “victims”, and there are many individuals who have little sympathy for either. When facing the problems of drug abuse and addiction, one may seek to help prevent drug use from occurring and quickly resolve it where it has occurred, but usually the focus is on potential drug users and actual drug users, whereas the drug dealers are arrested and placed in jail. However, if one truly wants to thoroughly address and resolve the problems of drug abuse and addiction, one must consider whether drug rehabilitation treatment may be beneficial to drug dealers too.
A Life Of Drugs
Last week Jamal Holbert, a thirty-seven-year-old crack dealer who admits that he himself has been addicted to drugs for most of his life, was sentenced to ten years in federal prison for his part in a conspiracy to sell more than eleven pounds of cocaine. While still quite severe, this sentence was the result of a plea agreement with United States prosecutors and was far gentler than the potential life prison term and ten million dollar fine he would’ve faced had he been convicted by a jury of his peers. However, Holbert felt that a much better solution for his crimes would’ve been to assign him to drug rehabilitation treatment, something he asked for and was denied. But was he right? To properly answer this, one must first consider what brings a drug dealer into that position in the first place.
In many cases, drug dealers are individuals who are themselves addicted to drug substances. Where once they sought drug use in order to cope with some difficulty they encountered in their life, they soon find that their continued drug use has placed them in a position where they no longer have any choice over whether or not they use these dangerous substances. They compulsively continue their drug use as they feel certain they cannot function without drugs, and they find that the vast majority of their thoughts, decisions and actions revolve around how to obtain and use more drugs. To such an individual, drugs must be in constant supply around them, and to fill this insatiable need they may choose to become drug dealers.
In the case of Holbert, he grew up in the care of various aunts and a grandmother who housed and cared for up to seventeen children at any one time. Holbert’s mother was in and out of jail more than a dozen times, and his father was a heroin addict who spent some time in federal prison. Holbert sunk into drug abuse himself, and worked minimum-wage jobs before turning to drug dealing in order to continue to feed his habit. It was his big brother and idol who guided him into dealing cocaine. Last summer, both Holbert brothers were indicted in a conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilos of powdered cocaine and crack. United States District Judge Marco Hernandez heard the case, and felt the dilemma Holbert was in when he stood and admitted that he’s been addicted to or selling drugs for most of his life and he would like to get some help. Unfortunately, as part of the plea agreement Holbert had acknowledged that guns were part of the conspiracy, and this automatically disqualified him from participating in the United States Bureau of Prisons’ substance abuse treatment program. Judge Hernandez admitted that he felt it was bad policy for individuals like Holbert not to be allowed the drug treatment they need, but unfortunately there was nothing he could do to counter Holbert’s plea agreement.
Helping Drug Dealers with Drug Rehab
Many individuals would agree that in order to effectively and permanently solve any problem, one must uncover the root cause of the problem and handle it. In the case of drug addicted drug dealers, placing them in jail or prison for some time does not uncover the root cause of the problem and handle it, and they may very well return to drug use again in the future. Providing drug rehabilitation treatment for drug dealers may allow them to sever their own connection to drug substances, and thereby abstain from further participation in the drug use of others.