Readers will remember a discussion in these pages last week concerning illegal drugs and the damage they do. It's been continued over at Borepatch's place, and at Aesop's. (Links are to all their blog posts on the subject, by keyword; so their recent posts on the subject lead at present, but will scroll down in the list as later articles overtake them.)
As if to make my point for me (and Aesop's), we read this news from Michigan.
A 6-year-old girl was rescued Thursday evening by police from a home in Mount Morris Township after she posted photos online of her dead father and unconscious stepmother.
A pit bull, police said, had been gnawing on the 40-year-old man's face.
. . .
[Police chief] Green said the couple appears to have suffered a drug overdose.
It was unclear what kind of drugs they were — or where they came from.
. . .
Green said the child's grandparent reportedly saw the photos of the adults on Facebook, which the child posted with a mobile phone to get help. The grandparent called 911, which went to police in Ingham County and was passed to Mount Morris Township police.
When police went to the house, the officer heard the little girl screaming.
Green said she told the officer that "the dog was chewing on someone's face."
The officers broke into the house, found the girl's father, who was dead, and stepmother, who had been unconsciousness for at least 24 hours. The girl had not had anything to eat for a day — maybe longer.
The child told the officers she had woken up early Thursday and thought her parents were still sleeping. She tried to get them up, too. When they didn't respond, she splashed water on their face — but they still wouldn't waken.
There's more at the link.
That little girl is the victim of her parents' drug crime. They may not have intended her to be a victim, but she sure as hell ended up that way. I doubt she'll ever fully recover from having to see and experience those things. She had to watch a pit bull eating her father's face as he lay dead. That's the stuff of nightmares, right there. The effects of seeing that will be with her for the rest of her life. For forcing her to endure that, and depriving her of a parent in the most ghastly way imaginable, I'd gladly have dealt with her father myself, very severely indeed . . . but he's in the hands of a higher Power now, and beyond our judgment or punishment.
I concede Borepatch's point that the War on Drugs has rendered it difficult - sometimes impossible - for people in pain to get the medication they need to alleviate their condition. I'm in that category myself. I can no longer easily get (outside a hospital) the strong opioid medication (Percocet) I used to be prescribed to control episodes of severe pain (my pain has been non-stop, 24/7/365, since a partly disabling injury in February 2004, and will be with me every minute of every day for the rest of my life). I have to make do with less effective medications, taken in larger quantities, because that's all the medical profession can prescribe without being suspected of drug-trafficking. I don't like that - I resent the hell out of it - but I understand why the policy exists. That little girl personifies the reason for the restrictions.
I agree, such restrictions should not be necessary; I agree, more effective approaches should be found; but what approaches? Riddle me that. Too many patients are addicted to legally prescribed medications. Unless and until a solution is found to that problem, probably the only practical approach is to limit the number of prescriptions issued for such drugs. Know a better, practical, effective way? Please tell us about it in a comment to this post.
Drugs are not a "victimless crime". Their abuse is not just a malum prohibitum offense, as some argue, but malum in se - evil in itself. There are always moral consequences to their abuse, even if not immediately visible, and even if some reject any moral code that defines such consequences. That's too bad. Their rejection won't change reality - a reality that poor little girl will have to carry in the deepest recesses of her mind and her soul for the rest of her life.