A recent report states that at least 6 million adults in Brazil have used cocaine in some form.
Officials in São Paulo, Brazil, say they are going to start forcing adult crack addicts into rehab in an effort to curtail the city’s problem of rising drug use. According to Newser, an anti-drug commission made up of a panel of judges, prosecutors, and lawyers will be allowed to commit addicts against their will who have refused to get treatment voluntarily.
Crack addiction in São Paulo, which is Brazil’s most populous state has gone up significantly in recent years with addicts occupying what authorities call “crack lands.” These crack lands are open-air locations such as parks and squares where addicts congregate to buy, sell, and use drugs. A new study released by the Federal University of São Paulo found that Brazil has moved into the number one spot for crack and cocaine consumption in the world.
Although on the surface involuntary commitment may seem to be the answer to Brazil’s growing drug problem, many argue that treatment programs will not work if the addict does not have the desire to get clean and stay clean. However, recent studies have shown that treatment does not have to be voluntary to be effective, instead it is more important that the addict remain in the treatment program for an adequate period of time, that the underlying causes of the addiction are addressed, and that support services are continued after a patient has been released.
Do you think involuntary commitment is a realistic answer to the problem of drug addiction?
If the program in São Paulo does prove to be effective, do you think it should be adopted by other countries with similar drug addiction problems?
Many argue that involuntary commitment violates an adult’s personal autonomy; do you agree?