I normally don’t push the narcotics policy all the way to the right, I stop at “Age limit for cannabis”. This time, I was pushing buttons to see what happens, so I pushed all they way to legalizing all drugs. This caused a drug addiction crisis in 2 turns and here…we…go.
The crisis should be something players need to manage, and it shouldn’t be easy to deal with. Dealing with it should also involve things which make sense. Currently, I can toggle this crisis on and off by criminalizing and legalizing drugs back and forth. I would ride you for the crisis reacting to quickly to the policy change, but there is so much of a bigger problem here.
Drug addiction can be solved! Not only that, it’s easy! All you need to do to get people to not be addicted to drugs is outlaw them! Easy Peasy, just make drugs illegal and the problem goes away!
Really? The war on drugs works? This is really in the game?
Ok, so I’m going to change to a more positive tone now, and try to reconstruct this.
1, this crisis needs a baseline presence which does not come from player policy. Rather than starting at 0 and then needing the player to implement policy to create the crisis before it pops up, it needs a base line presence high enough to trigger the crisis unless policies are implemented to get rid of it. Once this baseline presence is established, the link between narcotics policy and drug addiction can be gotten rid of.
2, add a two way link between organized crime and drug addiction. Selling to addicts finances criminal organizations, and the gangs/cartels/whatever you want to call them push the drugs to keep people addicted to keep themselves financed.
3, get rid of the link between armed police and drug addiction. Armed police should help against organized crime, as if the gangsters have weapons the police need something to answer that, but armed police should not directly reduce drug addiction. You can’t fix drug addiction by shooting drug dealers because there will always be more. This is like thinking you can survive a zombie apocalypse by shooting all the zombies. You don’t have enough bullets, I promise you, you just don’t.
4, strengthen the inputs from unemployment and poverty. Maybe double them and see what that does?
5, New links:
-Social care should decrease drug addiction.
-Prisons should reduced it at higher levels as well, as many inmates are addicted. A well funded prison would be able to help with this.
-Youth club subsidies: keep the little buggers busy, it should keep them away from drugs.
-Corruption should increase drug addiction. Don’t ask me how I know, but it’s not unheard of for the street dealers to be supplied by a cop.
-Health. I’m not kidding, people who have worked hard to be healthy aren’t about to throw it away by polluting their bodies with drugs. Having successfully persuaded your population to value their health should reduce overall interest in drugs. This one could be a small link though.
6, regarding “drug treatment scheme”, if this is what I think it is, it should annoy conservatives, a lot. In some parts of Canada we’ve had things called “safe injection sites”. Places where addicts can take their drugs to and use them under supervision so that if they OD medical help is immediate. As well as providing a sort of safe overwatch, workers at these places also do try to persuade addicts to seek real treatment, with mixed results. Conservatives are outraged that these places “encourage drug use, and use my taxes to do it!”.
Any of the “tough on crime” “war on drugs” approaches to this problem should please conservatives, and even increase conservatism as messaging does work even without results. However, winning votes should be all that is ever accomplished by that approach.
Now, I’m sure there’s more which could be added, but this should be good enough to get started.
Side note, needle exchanges should probably directly decrease health care demand rather than increase health. I see the public health meter as an average, which isn’t very applicable here. Health is more applicable to things like large numbers of people quitting smoking or easing off the junk food. There general public aren’t all getting just a little bit of AIDS from sharing needles. Blood born diseases affect a small number of people very strongly. I could also make the same point about speed cameras.