Do Not Do This Cool Thing: The game attempted to avert this by making the addicts look mostly creepy and pathetic. The cops, on the other hand, stride through the streets blowing people up with rocket launchers.
On one hand, the game's portrayal of drug dealers might sound extreme, but real world police and government attitudes towards drug dealers at the time actually a bit lax overall. The 1996 murder of Veronica Guerin, an Irish journalist investigating a drug gang in Dublin (ironically, two days before she was to give a presentation on journalists facing threats to their lives), not only pushed the Irish government to fight drug cartels harder, but other world governments as well.
On the other hand, in light of present-day concerns over both Police Brutality and the failures of the War on Drugs, the premise can come off today like a symbol of the worst excesses of '80s anti-drug and "tough on crime" rhetoric.
Values Dissonance: This game is basically the height of the War on Drugs during The '80s distilled into video game form, where it was perfectly acceptable to mow down drug dealers and user en masse with no one batting an eyenote While the game did attract controversy for its violence, it was more for simply being violence, rather than because it was directed against drug dealers. Still, it failed to attract the same controversy that Mortal Kombat and Doom later did, which is telling.. These days, with more people being sympathetic to drug users and addicts, and critical of harsh drug policies and especially Police Brutality, it's hard to imagine this game getting made today. Notably, the remake made during the Turn of the Millennium made the drugs into power-ups.
What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: Irony of ironies... Between the giant skull final boss, a pornographer clown, and the sheer audacity of solving drug crimes with rocket launchers (and the glittering shrapnel from blown-up enemies), it's safe to say that this trope is in effect.