A person, for whatever reason, begins using drugs and becomes an addict. This has consequences to their health and relationships, their job or schooling… it affects their life at every level. It impacts the lives of those around them. So we are talking about a person with a problem who needs help and treatment, and most of all a system of support to help them get out of it and begin the transition back to a healthier life.
Except that in America our solution is to compound their trouble by treating them like a criminal.
…which has the add-on effect of increasing the burden on society by perpetuating the cycle of drug use and the overwhelming temptation to commit crime in order to support the habit.