A difficult question, education and punishment are the current approaches.
There is a group at Rockefeller University actually trying to develop a vaccine for cocaine! The idea is that antibodies to the molecule would remove if from the blood, meaning it would never reach the brain and so taking the drug simply would have no effect,- clever!
Completely stopped? I don’t think so! Judging by the way university students talk, even the brightest, most successful ones from the best universities, I’m quite convinced that education has done nothing at all to stop people taking drugs…
The thing about drugs is that many people take them knowing exactly how dangerous they are. For some reason, humans have always wanted to stimulate the brain in an unnatural way with chemicals – since thousands of years ago with alcohol and tobacco! People who take drugs don’t think the drugs are dangerous – they think drugs are FUN – and it doesn’t help that the drugs stop them from thinking clearly…
The cocaine vaccine Peter mentioned is a really clever idea, but unless you can force it onto drug addicts who have already taken drugs anyway, I’m not sure how it could be used. What some scientists are trying to do is to actually erase the MEMORIES from when you were taking that drug, so that we could help addicts who want to stop taking the drug resist the urge to start taking it again!
Drugs are such a big worldwide problem that this would take some doing. governments are always working to try and solve this issue.
I think it would take a lot of money and combined effort from a lot of countries- to stop the supply, to educate and to help people who are suffering from addiction.
However, there are loads of different manufacturers and suppliers who are very good at not being caught! Also, as long as people need the drugs, other people will make them, so its a vicious circle which is hard to break.
If scientists could come up with a medicine which would remove peoples need for drugs then this would be a start, but I think this might be some way from being a global solution- also, I think that there will always be some people who will be attracted to drugs unfortunately 🙁
Have you talked about this in class at all and did you come up with any ideas?