OK, so we all know a drug addict or seven, or seventy. And what do they all have in common? The desire to use numbing substances in order to escape deep emotional pain from past traumas and/or current unlivable stresses. The escapism becomes a thing in itself even outside the substance of choice. This is why if one cleans up from one drug they often sidestep to another and the whole process begins again. I've seen this a dozen times or more. An addict is ordered by the courts to attend 12-step meetings. 12-step meetings do have their limited benefits, don't get me wrong. But they are filled with people in various stages of denial about their addiction process, and really, outside just moral support for those ashamed and struggling, to find others like themselves willing to explore getting better, the 12-step program has its limitations. I was watching a documentary on addiction the other day and heard one of the intervention specialists say something interesting. He said something like "if you want your daughter to get better, you have to understand that it isn't her addictions making her sick, it's her sickness making her addicted". The solution was an in-house treatment that focused on one-on-one counseling to address the core reasons of emotional pain and childhood trauma that led to the escapism in the first place. All family members were required to participate and acknowledge (verify) their part in the painful experiences, as much as possible. So, in addition to 12-step attendance, I'd say a court-ordered one-on-one counseling stint of no less than 6 months (more would be better), outpatient, would be a MUST. Also, I'm not exactly sure how to work out the fine details of drug-sentencing laws, but I had another idea. Drug addicts when they fall deep into their lifestyles, begin to push away healthy people and only begin to associate with other addicts and their suppliers. It becomes like their new family. What if there were laws that punished other addicts for associating with a newly-sentenced addict if they were found in the company of said addict with drugs? Relapse is the highest among people who are just starting to kick the habit. It would be like a sort of blanket restraining order against others approaching that sentenced addict. I'm sure there would be issues with freedoms etc., but if you go to a newly-recovering addict's house with the dope he's trying to get off of, you face like triple the penalties for normal possession? We are trying to get a grip on this problem as a nation. I'm always a big fan of taking in the information, distilling it down to its roots and then getting to the root of a problem in order to keep the weed from growing back. Your thoughts? Other ideas? This is intended to be an exploratory thread and not a "legalize/not legalize" flame war, OK kiddies?