The Law of Unintended Consequences

While we often like to have some fun at the expense of lawmakers on the site by pointing out various examples of the law of unintended consequences, this post is unfortunately a bit more serious than usual. It appears that due to the recent crackdown on prescription drugs, many teens and twenty-somethings have turned to the potentially even more dangerous heroin as their drug of choice.

The above could be taken to mean that I am suggesting that access to prescription drugs shouldn't be restricted. That is not necessarily the case. However, while I am not suggesting that laws prohibiting the abuse of prescription drugs shouldn't be enforced, this is clearly an example of the type of situation officials need to make sure they are considering when implementing drug policy.

This site has played host to several extremely interesting conversations with respect to the drug war. It is clear that such conversations need to be occurring at higher levels than this blog and had by more influential people than me and my readers. From border issues to gang violence to economic/trade issues, the drug war provides more examples of the law of unintended consequences than almost anything else I can think of off-hand. It is becoming clearer almost daily that a different approach is needed.


  1. Being harsh or troublesome beyond the realm of normality, or has not given you an accurate performance review due to a personal issue, a lawyer will be able to set out your best course of action for dealing with the situation.

  2. I would argue that Prescription Drug Abuse is a result of the way that self-medication has been demonized over the past 40 years. If you are using an illicit drug you know to be careful. If your doctor gives it to you, we are taught to think it is OK. I say good for those kids, making decisions for themselves.

  3. Hey Rob,

    Thanks for stopping by.

    I am not quite sure I can agree with you in cheering on the decisions the heroin users are making simply because they are their own...however, as always, I admire the strength of your convictions.

    Though you didn't quite make this point (you maybe back doored into it) I do think that the medical industry has really gone overboard with pills over the past few decades, leading many to take drugs under the guise of it being 'okay' and not necessarily out of a stronger personal choice.

    In any case, I think we can agree that things need to change, and that the status quo is rife with unfavorable outcomes.


    1. Just to be clear...I do think that choice should be up to individuals...in that way I do agree with your statement. However, I am not a huge fan of the end result. I guess that is the logical end and a consequence of personal choice theories...but this is the end that is sometimes hard to swallow.

      I guess if, in the end, the choice were between people harming themselves and the current system where people are being hurt without the decisions being in their hands, I would take the former every time, even when the end result is so painful to see.