What is the Price?

Dominant public perception is that drug users are criminals or potential ones. Low proportions of people perceive the problem from its medical and social perspective. In the financial crisis, the burden of social spending is being sensed particularly clear. Current regulations in Bulgaria don’t allow for less serious offenses related to drug use, to implement alternative and more appropriate methods to stop the illegal conduct (reasonable probation, counseling, rehabilitation). Putting the drug users in places of imprisonment is extremely inefficient and costly, especially taking into account the indirect costs arising from the high recidivism and continued isolation of these people from the labor market. The monthly allowance per prisoner is more than 500 leva (at the minimum wage of 290 leva and average wage about 700 leva) and the average amount for treatment is between 150 and 200 leva.
People often do not realize that restrictive policies usually cost more than policies aimed at supporting and developing. Should we condemn people who have drug problems or help them get out of this vicious circle? What are the logical arguments for a new policy for the benefit of society and its money? These were questions we had to address in an appropriate way.