Provide Drop-In Drug Detox Centers
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This Petition is to provide State funded Drop-In Drug Detox Centers in every State for those who need the opportunity to be freed from the oppression of Drug Use and to cut any ties to Trafficking.
Drug Addictions and Trafficking have paired together in a beautiful display of human travesty and destruction. Together these two, Trafficking and Drug Addictions, have assisted in the degradation of our society, as it preys upon the vulnerable citizens of America that enter into Sex Trafficking and Prostitution.
Years ago the U.S. Department of Justice revealed that out of the USA Trafficking cases that more than half of the victims were minors, and 83% were United States citizens (U.S. Human, 2012) (1). Knowing that Drug Addictions are one way that a Trafficker controls their victims (2) we must take a necessary approach towards ending Drug Addictions if we want to make a dent in Human Trafficking.
Traffickers create Drug Addictions with their victims and use Drug Dependency to control and manipulate their victims into Trafficking. Donna Gavin, head of the Boston Police Department’s Human Trafficking Unit, sees an explicit connection between Drug Addiction and exploitation, as Drug Addicts represent a vulnerable population - ideal victims for Traffickers. Julie Dahlstrom (Director of the Human Trafficking Clinic) agrees that Drugs are being used to recruit and control women into the Sex Trade (3).
Drug Addiction has a complex relationship with Human Trafficking: it can exacerbate a Trafficked person’s vulnerability, be part of a captor’s means of coercing a captive person to submit to Trafficking and incentivizing a captive person to remain captive through Drug Use (4)(5).
A broader survey of US survivors of Sex Trafficking found that 84.3 percent used substances during their Trafficking exploitation (6). More than 3 out of every 4 Sex Trafficked US Citizens have been given Drugs while they were being Trafficked!
But is it really that obvious? Are they really that connected? Yes, it is! In fact, Clinicians have noted clear links between the current US Drug opioid epidemic and Trafficking (7).
A recent conviction of a Trafficker in the United States, revealed that the Trafficker would wait until the women were experiencing symptoms of Drug withdrawal — including vomiting and diarrhea — and then forced them to engage in prostitution to get additional Drugs (8). It was the fear of Drug withdrawal and the fear of detoxing on one’s own, which lethal consequences can include death (9)(10), that kept the leash of submission on those he Trafficked.
The connection between Drug use and Trafficking is a short string that needs to be cut.
But what is the answer?
We need our country to take this seriously. We need the States and Federal Government to provide Drop-In Drug Detox Centers that can safely provide treatment for Drug withdrawals without charge. We need Drop-In Drug Detox Centers that will provide safe accommodations during their detox and provide any additional assistance they need, such as offering them prescription options and assistance to detox safely.
Let’s request State funded Drop-In Drug Detox Centers in every State for those who need the opportunity to be freed from the oppression of Trafficking and cut the leash from Drug Use.
A Police Officer who was heroes as one of Washington State’s Trafficking rescues stated, “I needed a place to take these women for Detox, when I picked them up. Not weeks, not days, but hours. I need to take them somewhere within 3 hours of separating them from their Trafficker.”
We can centralize these Drop-In Drug Detox Centers to be used by the Police Force for Trafficked Survivors and any desperate Citizens of the United States that would desire safe detox assistance. Abraham Lincoln stated, “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” So let us grab ahold of this responsibility and move forward in creating State funded Drop-In Drug Detox Centers in every State for those who need the opportunity to be freed from the oppression of Drug use and cut any ties of Trafficking.
Why it’s personal for me…
A good friend of mine, who is a survivor of Sex Trafficking, also had drugs used to control her. She stated to me that if she had the option of going to a Drop-In Drug Detox Centers for her Drug use, she would have been able to leave her Trafficker years before she was rescued. This Petition is her desire and request. Let’s do this for her and for the years that she couldn’t escape…
I want her story to be the only story I ever hear like this... Don’t you? So let’s join together and set up Drop-In Drug Detox Centers to free those who long to be.
Thank you for joining us.
Johnston C. Man convicted of human trafficking gets 34 years in prison. Tampa Bay Times. January 29, 2014. http://www.tampabay.com/news/courts/criminal/man-convicted-of-human-trafficking-gets-34-years-in-prison/2163311 Accessed September 12, 2016.
Oram S, Khondoker M, Abas M, Broadbent M, Howard LM. Characteristics of trafficked adults and children with severe mental illness: a historical cohort study. Lancet Psychiatry. 2015;2(12):1084-1091. View Article PubMed Google Scholar
Johnston C. Man convicted of human trafficking gets 34 years in prison. Tampa Bay Times. January 29, 2014. http://www.tampabay.com/news/courts/criminal/man-convicted-of-human-trafficking-gets-34-years-in-prison/2163311 Accessed September 12, 2016
Cary M, Oram S, Howard LM, Trevillion K, Byford S. Human trafficking and severe mental illness: an economic analysis of survivors’ use of psychiatric services. BMC Health Serv Res. 2016;16:284. https://bmchealthservres.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12913-016-1541-0 Accessed November 22, 2016.
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