Drug Abuse in America
? Literatue Review 3 Section 1: Introduction One of the major problem in modern society is the abuise of drugs. Some use illegal “street” drugs that have no medical use while others abuse prescription drugs for nonmedical purposes. Either way, it is dangerous can lead to serious consquences, including death. In my paper i will answer two main questions; Why and how are drugs available for the general public to use? What are the mental,physical,and financial consquences of abusing drugs(prescprition or “street”)? My main source for answering these questions was the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) website.
It is a federal angency that is responsible for enforcing the medical laws established by the justice department. This includes regulating laws regarding pharmacies, physcians, and drugs. Mr.
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Michael Martin, the manager of Walgreen’s Pharmacy was also a credible source as he provided clear explanations if i had any questions. I chose these questions because these are two very important question because they not just impact the abuser but society as well. However, my focus in this paper will be the consquences because they are a serious threat. Section 2: Summary
In order to understand the consquences of drug abuse, one must know why drugs are abused. There are many reasons for drugs abuse, “The reason for taking the drug depends on the type of drug. Often times the main cause is to escape from their problems or from peer pressure. After some time, the reasons change. They become dependent on the drug and they feel sick or cannot function properly without it. ” (Martin) Often times the cause for using a drug is because the brain has a sort of reward center. It creates a pleasurable sensation when a certain action occurs.
For example, for a stressed employee drinking after work helps him relax. It causes his mind, mainly his central nervous system to slow down and all the worries in the world are gone for the emploee. This provides an instance of pleasure as the brain feels good, it is able to “relax’. The four type of drugs are “depressants, stimulants, sedatives, and hallucionogens” (Martin). Depressants such as alcohol and sleeping pills make a person feel more relaxed. Stimulants like Ecstacy, amphetamines, nicotine and caffeine keep a person energetic and awake.
However, once the effects are over, hunger and tiredness will set in. Sedatives such as heroine, morphine and codeine offer relief from pain but cause sleepiness. Hallucinogens, for instance, Ecstacy and LSD, may give strange sensations, causing some to see, feel or hear things that are not there. Each drug provides a relative pleasurable sensation for the user. According to the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) nearly 35 million individuals used illicit drugs or abused prescription drugs in 2007.
The federal government “has allocated more than $14 billion dollars for drug treatment and prevention, counterdrug law enforcement, drug interdiction, and international counterdrug assistance” (NDIC). As stated earlier there are illict “street” drugs and then there are prescription drugs, both with the potential to be abused. The first focus will be the origin of illict, or “street” drugs. Drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) are the main cause for the production and trafficking of “street” drugs. “Mexican and Columbian DTOs generate, remove, and launder between $18 to $39 billion in wholesale drug proceeds annually.
Mexican DTOs are the greatest threat to the United States. Mexcian DTOs are responsible for a “majority of the cocaine available in the U. S. market” (NDIC). DTOs are responsible for the production of drugs and for trafficking it into U. S. cities. Urban gangs are involved in the sales of these drugs, “aided by their connections with Mexican and Asian DTOs. Currently Mexcian DTOs continue to “establish new markets for mexican heroin in northeastern states while gangs relocate from inner cities to suburban and rural areas. However, a threat bigger than the illict “street” drug problem is the abuse of prescription drugs. Nearly 7 million Americans abuse prescription drugs-more than the number who abuse cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, ecstasy, and inhalants combined” (DEA). According to the DEA, prescription pain relievers are new drug users’ drug of choice vs. marijuana or cocaine. Unlike illicit drugs, prescription drugs are not synthesized by DTOs in some lab. Prescription drugs are obtained through decieving various medical professionals, theft, or from the internet. Decieving medical professionals is a technique known as “doctor shopping”. This involves a patient going to a doctor for a prescription drug.
Then the same patient will go to a different doctor, reveal the same symptons without acknowledging the previous doctor visit, and get another prescription for the same drug. Then the patient will go to more doctors and repeat the steps. In the end, the patient will have numerous prescriptions for the same drug each from a different doctor. The patient will have each prescription filled, most likely at various pharmacies and will have a high quantity of one drug. Now the patient may use the drug or maybe even sell the drug to others who will also misuse it.
Some other method of obtaining prescrition include theft from pharmacies or homes, and from traditional drug dealing. Another relatively new method obtaining prescription drugs is through cyber pharmacies. There are many illegal internet pharmacies, that take a prescription, fake or real, and fill it for a patient without any knowledge of the patient or anything else. These pharmacies may also “check” patients, write them a prescription, and then fill it for them, all without a single face to face with the patient. The consquences of using these illicit drugs is very serious.
According to the DEA, nearly one in ten high school seniors admit to abusing prescription painkillers. “A shocking 40% of teens and adults think prescription drug abuse is safer than abusing “street” drug because prescription drugs have a medical purpose. “The diversion of prescription drugs cost insurance companies up to $72. 5 billion dollars annually” (NDIC). Almost $48 billion dollars of the $72. 5 billion are paid by public, governement funded insurance companies. The threat level of drug abuse depends on the dosage of the drug.
For example, Dextromethorphan (street name: DXM, Skittles, Robo) is “an over the counter cough suppresent commonly found in cold medications. DXM is abused in higher than recommended dosages, mainly by adolescents, to create visual and auditory hallucinations. The recommended dosage of DXm is 15-30mg. Taking a dosage of 100-200mg results in mild stimulation, whereas taking a 200-400mg dosage results in euphoria and hallucinations. A 300-600 dosgae results in distorted visual perceptions and loss of motor cordinations. A 500-1500 dosgae may result in dissociative sedation. Any higher dosage will lead to death.
As indicated above, the dosage of the abused drug affect the consquences. The higher the dosage than recommended, the more dangerous and serious the consquences. The most abused substance is hydrocodone, which is a depressant. It is a pain reliever that calms the body. “There are many indications of drug abuse. The symptons witnessed depend on the type of drug being abused” (MayoClinic). Depression and low blood pressure are indicaters of opioid painkillers abuse; drowsiness and impaired judgement indicate sedatives abuse. Stimulants abuse is indicated by insomnia and irregular heartbeat. Section 3: Analysis
The research was very helpful in providing answers for the questions. I learned that there are many ways to obtain illict “street” drugs and prescription drugs. The street drugs are produced by DTOs and even trafficked by DTOs. However, they are sold by local gangs in various environements, mainly in inner cities. I learned that prescription drugs are obtained through decieving and fradulant online transactions. The most suprising fact was that drug abuse has a big affect on society. The cost for counterdrug enforcement and diversion of drugs is very costly and the money could be diverted to something more useful.
The research has thought me alot about drug abuse and why avoiding it is the best option. It was helpful to learn these facts and learning the dangers of falling into the viscious drug abuse cycle. Works Cited “DEA Briefs & Background, Drugs and Drug Abuse, Prescription Drug Fact Sheet. ” PE Html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1. 0 Transitional//EN” “http://www. w3. org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional. dtdhttp://www. w3. org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional. dtd ” Welcome to the United States Department of Justice. Drug Enforcement Administration. Web. 13 Mar. 2010. .