European drug problem greater than that in U.S.

If our Canadian friend had not been so bitter about not finding dirt cheap accommodations in order to come down to exploit the Ticos he or she might have done some fact checking.

I have cite the United Nations World Drug Report for 2010 (the most recent) – which among other important facts shows that by far Europe – specifically the UK and the Eastern Europe are consuming more drugs per capita (in this case heroin – but the reports on cocaine are similar) – than North America and that Asia is outstripping everyone when it comes to illegal drug usage.  In fact, the trend lines have been showing for a while that less and less drug traffic is heading toward North America and more and more to Europe.  At this point maybe 20 to 25 percent goes to North America with the remaining 75 to 80 percent going to Europe and Asia.

It is a deadly world problem, with much more serious consequences than Pat being stuck at the computer in St. Catherine Ontario.  Even Canada has “safe injection sites” in an attempt to get heroin addicts off the street by giving them clean, free heroin in a clinic setting.  This is a nonjudgmental step in harm reduction that reduces street crime, and the need for current addicts to pay for their habit by recruiting new users.

This is not to say that the U.S. does not have a serious drug problem, and I agree that demand drives supply.  That’s why there is a need for a more public health oriented approach to drug abuse — better targeted prevention, more and better treatment, increased funds for research to improve prevention and treatment, etc and less emphasis on criminal justice.  Treatment reduces drug demand. Incarceration at best interrupts drug abuse, but most often exacerbates the problem.

It is rather convoluted logic to blame the U.S.A. for what appears to be Pat’s fear of travel.  The Internet is great, but you are not going to find the Tico bargains if don’t come down and explore.  I know for a fact that one can find wonderful short-term (monthly) furnished apartment rentals in Quepos with easy access to Manuel Antonio for under $500 a month and you can find the same in San José. In both cases the apartments are clean, have full kitchens, provide free Internet and are in safe, wonderful communities with lots to do and access to great fresh fruit, vegetables and fish! If you rented both simultaneously — that would come to only $33. a day — with two places from which to explore Costa Rica!

Get your eyes off the virtual world Pat and your bum off the couch. Open your eyes and explore the real world.

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