Thursday, March 30, 2017

Should Food Addicted People Be Incarcerated?

I have a lot of empathy for people who fight a losing battle with fat, salt and sugar addictions, and for those who feel they can't get through a day without ingesting large quantities of harmful, calorie-laden comfort foods.

But most of us see serious overeating and extreme obesity as mental health and medical problems rather than as crimes calling for prosecution and incarceration.

Yet this is mostly how we deal with people who are addicted to alcohol and other drugs. There may of course often be real crimes associated with people who are hooked on harmful substances, such as disorderly conduct, driving under the influence, selling illegal drugs, or stealing in order to support a drug habit. These need to be dealt with justly and on their own merits.

But should we not invest in more detox centers and treatment facilities rather than just locking people up because they are harming themselves with must-have substances that are bad for them?

The approach we are taking now is clearly not working, and its past time to come up with an approach that is more effective in saving lives and preserving health.

Here's a link to another piece on this topic
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