The Lexington Herald Leader’s editorial page is half-right in saying this:
“Drug abuse will continue to take a tragic toll on Kentucky communities as long as people seek to escape the reality of their daily lives through an addictive pill.
There are few simple answers. But as a practical matter, it will be impossible to make a dent in demand as long as drug-treatment options in Kentucky remain limited.”
The key is in the “escape the reality” part, which is correct. Policymakers seek to escape the reality of natural consequences from the welfare state when they fall for the idea that drug treatment is the key driver for lowering demand for drugs to abuse.
In reality, welfare reform is the key.
Subsidizing with tax dollars lifestyles of the dazed and confused allows drug abusers to delay the natural consequences of their actions. We could have had a meaningful debate about using public money to buy illegal drugs for addicts earlier this year, but we did not.
Perhaps we will next year. Until then, we are simply feeding the demand we seek to stop.