Decriminalization would make it harder to help them
This is a cultural article which is part of Aftonbladet’s opinion journalism.
The knocked out syringe addict is rendered invisible in the drug debate, writes Eric Rosen (21/2) in a comment on the theater performance “Drug eyes in the face”.“.
However, there are some who are even more invisible: his children.
Where are they?
Why is the user of drugs always portrayed as a sovereign, adult individual, who rules over his own existence and only over it, in other words as the perfect neoliberal subject?
INnone of them who participate in the drug debate even mention the children. None of the books written on the subject do either: Johan Wicklén and Leonidas Aretakis both succeed in the art of writing a book of reports each interviewing researchers, sellers, users, politicians and police officers – but not a single child of drug addicts. The debater Christopher Andersson even call adult abuse “acts they commit against themselves” without a hint of reflection.
The party junkie’s children are just as invisible. Is it implied in the debate that there is always another parent on hand, who is home too often and gets up early when the party junkie is sleeping off his high, and who comforts them when he screams shut up? Who never separates, who always knows when the mill is getting out of hand?
Today calls all on decriminalization. The requirement is not without points, especially for the producing countries like Colombia. As its president Gustavo Petro has said, if legalized, the state could take power from the cartels, which could mean an end to the wars that have plagued the Andean countries – the only ones where the coca bush grows. Not to mention how the use of Glyphosate in America’s war on drugs has caused cancer, miscarriages and destroyed waterways in Colombia.
But in Sweden, it is above all middle-aged men from the middle class who participate in the debate, and who do not seem to have thought about the existence of children. The posts are characterized by the same unconscious patriarchal individualism, the same lack of social perspective, the same von oben rants about “soss” in general and Bejeroot in particular, and they all repeat the cliché “care, not punishment”.
It sounds like it good – who doesn’t believe in care? But how is the care to reach the addict? Compulsory care is unusual in Sweden – only around 300 people are cared for according to LVM – and it must have taken an extremely long time before it was introduced. Do you think he will apply himself there? A person who is addicted is usually the last to admit it. Not until he has hit rock bottom many times does he seek care. It can take many years, many relapses, many attempts with various methods. In the meantime, the children need to be taken care of. And the addict will be the last to admit that he can’t do it.
Now you think that it is probably just to take care of the children in such a case, or place them with the other parent. The problem is that with decriminalization, the most important tool for doing this disappears. In the event of a police report or conviction for drug possession, an automatic report of concern is now made to social services. They then have black and white that the parent usually takes drugs, which gives them a basis for taking measures. Without these police reports, the information does not come in – and a report of concern made solely on suspicion does not have the same weight. Social services are unlikely to take action just because someone claims a parent is under the influence – especially if the drug is legal. As you know, courts or social services cannot require drug tests against the individual’s will.
Everyone who usually drugs are of course not bad parents. There are many people who can have a party night now and then, but still manage to manage their lives. They rarely get caught. The parents who get caught for their own use are usually the ones who have started to lose control.
Children of addicts have it hard enough as it is. They have no voice in society, often they behave exemplary because they live in chaos, which means that the school does not see them. The requirements for LVU are extremely high and if the parents refuse to cooperate with social services, there is not much to be done, often they are also subjected to violence and sometimes it ends extremely badly, as in the case of Lilla Hjärtat. Society does not need even fewer tools to help them.