Who is the biggest addict? The user or the dealer? Are the ways we as a society view the traditional drug addict or alcoholic wrong? Are the ways we view the traditional drug deal wrong also? Well, I am going to try to analyze both situations through personal knowledge with an unbiased approach.
Let's look at the typical ''drug addict / alcoholic'' and try to understand what would influence them to use, to the point of being labeled an addict. In many cases curiosity plays a major role. People tend to start off with smoking cigarettes and drinking beer. Weed is not the only gateway drug; people always overlook things like cigarettes, chewing tobacco, etc.
Those are usually the first steps to substance abuses in a lot of cases. The ages for these first experiences or experiments are 11 to 14 years old.
Another case for drug and alcohol abuse is depression. This country has the highest rate of depression, whether it is a person who is bullied or overlooked. It can be a person who has experienced death of someone close to them; and then you just have those people who want to escape the responsibility and reality of life and end up losing themselves over to addiction.
Now let's look at the typical ''drug dealer'' and try to get some understanding of what and why they would risk their freedoms and their lives to make money. Believe it or not dealing drugs is an addiction also. Lawmakers think the only rehab of this is the profitable prison system. That approach should be re-analyzed and revised.
The average drug dealer becomes a dealer not out of laziness or the thrill. Trust me, it's not fun or cool. They become dealers because of an immediate need for survival. The ages of dealers start out at the tender ages between 10 and 15 years of age.
These kinds of kids really never had a chance because their parents were either drug addicts / alcoholics or drug dealers themselves. So they turned to the only avenue presented to them.
A lot of influence in becoming a drug dealer is also taught by older guys (dealers) looking for cheap labor so they prey on the wayward kids and the kids of addicts they sell their drugs too. Then you have the ''want-to-be,'' who put it all on the line just to be a part of a corrosive and deadly subculture. To them it's all a game of pretty cars, money and pseudo power. That's until they get robbed, or worse, killed. These types come from a two-parent family in nice middle to upper class neighborhoods.
Nobody is justified for breaking the laws of the land. We as a society just need to focus on the root of the epidemic that is addiction in all its forms. This problem needs addressing, not from the top, but from the bottom up. I have personal experience with being an addict on all these points I've talked about. I am a 33-year-old black male. It has taken me 21 years to finally realize the streets don't love anybody but a fool.