I already know what I believe, what do you believe?
Do you think putting someone in jail for using drugs will actually help the individual? Will it help society? If you really want to help the individual, do you think putting them in jail will help them? Will they be better off for it and become healthier? Do you think prisons do that? First of all our prisons are filled with drugs and secondly they are not healthy places to be. We nurses know how to promote health in individuals and communities. Health comes from having your basic needs met and making good choices to live a balanced life. Prison actually blocks healthy decision making because most decisions are made for the prisoner. I think the goal of our society should be to have people make good decisions for themselves.
Our current system dictates that police officers and our courts must lock these people away from society. In doing this they are disrupting the foundation of their families and our communities. Each person locked away costs our society money and resources for a non-violent crime. I think we need to decriminalize people and drugs.
Nurses understand that a functioning society is built upon a foundation of healthy individuals. We must weigh in on the discussion of how best to promote health. If we truly believe that education will help people make better health decisions then we should focus on teaching rather than punishing. Since Nurses are teachers we are in a position to lead. We can lead our country away from the notion of punishment and replace it with an ideal of helping people instead. It is what I am trying to do.