Hallucinogen Report

While many drugs speed up or depress the central nervous system, there is a class of drugs that distorts how we feel, hear, see, smell, taste, and think. Called hallucinogens because users often hallucinate, or experience nonexistent sensations, these drugs are also known as psychedelic, or mind-bending, drugs. Some hallucinogens come from natural sources; others are made in laboratories. Examples of natural hallucinogens are mescaline, psilocybin, DMT, and marijuana. Mescaline, which has been used by American Indians in religious ceremonies, comes from the peyote cactus.

Psilocybin, also used by the Indians and believed to have supernatural powers, is found in about 20 varieties of mushrooms. Once ingested, psilocybin is converted to psilocin, which is responsible for the drug’s hallucinogenic sensations. DMT (dimethyltryptamine) is a short-acting hallucinogen found in the seeds of certain West Indian and South American plants. In the form of snuff, called cohoba, it has been used in religious ceremonies in Haiti. Marijuana is a plant belonging to the hemp family .

The active principle responsible for the drug’s effects is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), obtained from he amber-colored resin of the flowering tops and leaves of the plant. Hashish is also made from this resin. Of all drugs, synthetic and natural, the most powerful is LSD, or lysergic acid diethylamide. Twenty micrograms, an almost infinitesimal amount, is sufficient to produce a hallucinogenic effect; just 3 pounds (1. 4 kilograms) could induce a reaction in all the inhabitants of New York City and London.

This extraordinary potency makes LSD especially dangerous since it is usually impossible to determine how much is contained in doses offered by drug dealers. LSD is chemically derived from ergot, a parasitic fungus that grows on rye and other grains. An odorless, colorless, and tasteless substance, LSD is sold on the street in tablets, capsules, and sometimes liquid form. It is usually taken by mouth but can be injected. Often LSD is placed on a blotter or other absorbent paper and marked into small squares, each representing one dose.

Synthetic hallucinogens with effects resembling those of LSD include DET (diethyltryptamine), a synthetic compound similar to DMT, and DOM (2,5- dimethoxy-4-methylamphetamine), a compound that combines some of the properties f mescaline and amphetamines, as do the drugs MDA (3,4- methylenedioxyamphetamine) and MMDA (3-methoxy-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine). The effects of hallucinogens on the body are unpredictable. They depend on the amount taken and the user’s personality, mood, expectations, and surroundings.

Although hallucinogens do not produce a physical addiction, users do develop a tolerance, so that increasing amounts must be taken to achieve the same effect. Psychological dependence on hallucinogens is well documented. It appears that each drug carries its own risks. For example, unlike allucinogens such as LSD and synthetics such as DOM that consist of a single chemical, marijuana has been found to contain more than 400 separate substances. These substances are in turn broken down in the body into a great many more chemicals, and the effects of these chemicals on the user are poorly understood.

It has been found, however, that the most potent of these chemicals are attracted to and accumulate in fatty tissues, including the brain and reproductive organs. Studies indicate that frequent marijuana users may experience impaired short- term memory and learning ability and reproductive problems. Other studies suggest that frequent or chronic marijuana use may contribute to damage of the immune system, increased strain on the heart, delayed puberty, and chromosome damage.

The most pronounced psychological effects induced by hallucinogens are a heightened awareness of colors and patterns together with a slowed perception of time and a distorted body image. Sensations may seem to “cross over,” giving the user a sense of “hearing” colors and “seeing” sounds. Users may also slip into a dreamlike state, indifferent to the world around them and forgetful of time and lace to such an extent that they may believe it possible to step out of a window or stand in front of a speeding car without harm. Users may feel several different emotions at once or swing wildly from one emotion to another.

It is impossible to predict what kind of experience a hallucinogen may produce. Frightening or even panic-producing psychological reactions to LSD and similar drugs are common. Sometimes taking a hallucinogen will leave the user with serious mental or emotional problems, though it is unclear whether the drug simply unmasked a previously undetected disorder or actually produced it. Among the short-term physical effects of hallucinogens are dilated pupils, raised body temperature, increased heart rate and blood pressure, sweating, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, dry mouth, and tremors.

The long-term effects are less certain. LSD users may experience involuntary flashbacks during which the drug’s effects reappear without warning. Such flashbacks can occur days, months, or even years after the drug was last used. Some LSD users develop organic brain damage, manifested by impaired memory and attention span, mental confusion, and difficulty with abstract thinking. It is still unclear whether such damage can e reversed when LSD use is halted.

Although hallucinogens can pose a threat to health when used indiscriminately, they may also have therapeutic uses in medicine when administered under controlled circumstances. A synthetic form of THC, the active principle in marijuana, has been approved for prescription use by persons who suffer from the severe nausea that often accompanies cancer chemotherapy and for whom other antinausea drugs are unsuitable or ineffective. LSD was once used to treat persons with certain mental disorders, but such use was abandoned because of the drug’s harmful effects.

Drugs, Crime and Prohibition

Do drugs really cause crime, or is it our governments way of controlling the communities? Many people blame drugs for every problem in our society, but is it the true evil in our society? No one person can answer that question. There are only opinions and supposed theories on this issue. We have been taught over the years that drugs were bad and that they only affected the poor and less fortunate, and turned them into crazy criminals, but this isn’t true to any extent. The laws controlling and prohibiting drugs are the true culprit.

Would our crime levels decline if drugs were legalized to some extent, or would we just increase the destruction of our country? Over the past fifty years, prohibition has been proven to actually increase crime and drug use instead of its intended purpose, which was to extinguish the use of illicit drugs in the United States. We constantly here of prison over crowding, and why is that? Most of our prisons are filled with drug offenders, ranging from use to distribution of supposed illicit drugs. What is our country coming to?

The purpose of this research paper is to view the advantages and disadvantages of the legalization of illicit drugs in the United States. I will examine each side of this major problem plaguing our fine country from past to present. People wake everyday to their normal and monotonous life without even thinking about what they are doing. They do not realize that they have been conditioned by the government and its laws to obey and follow the supposed norm of society. What is the norms of society, and who set the guidelines for them?

No one can explain how these norms came about, they only know that they must follow them, or they could get in trouble with the law. We are going into the twenty first century, and we still follow laws that were passed hundreds of years ago. Why is this? We are a highly advanced country, but we spend time, lives and money on abiding by laws that were around before the automobile was even invented. I will begin with the history of our drug control policies, which have failed miserably, and examine the drug-crime connection. Policy History

Drugs have been in this country since the beginning of time in some shape or form, which was used for personal and medicinal use. Usage of marijuana has been reported to date back to the founding of Jamestown (1). George Washington himself cultivated and used to relieve the pain of an aching tooth. Opium was accessible to anyone who wanted to purchase it, as Tylenol is today. People were able to obtain these drugs at any pharmacy or grocery store that stocked them. It was socially acceptable to use and sell drugs, but the addictive properties were not known at this time in history.

In the beginning of the twentieth century, the Progressive movement wanted some form of drug regulation (1). There were a few factors that affected the change in public opinion. First, the US acquired the Philippine Islands, which gave the US a legal supply of opium to supply addicts. Second, was the concern over the affects that drugs had on people. Journalist at that time, who were highly influenced by the government, published many fictional articles about crazy drug addicts, who raped and killed because of their drug use.

Third, drugs were associated with blacks and Chinese immigrants, and this caused panic through the white communities( 1 ). In the early 1900’s, President Roosevelt appointed three men, Rev. Charles Brent, an Episcopal bishop, Dr. Hamilton Wright, and Charles Tenney, a China missionary, to represent America at The Hague International Opium Convention of 1912. At this conference, the modern movement for abolitioning narcotics trafficking was began with the US involvement in the Philippines (2). Although there was regulations abroad, there was no legislation protecting the United States.

In 1913, New York Representative Francis Harrison introduced two bills into Congress. One was to prohibit use and importation of opium, and the other was to regulate the manufacturing of smoking opium within the US. It was recognized as a revenue bill, but was not intended to produce revenue. A few months after the bills were introduced, President Wilson signed the bills, which took affect March 1, 1914. Under the Harrison Act, the maximum sentence that could be imposed was a five year prison term or a $2,000. 00 fine or both.

The average term was one-and-a-half years, which was considered too low by many. The Harrison Act did not prohibit the use of narcotics, but rather regulated the distribution of them. Any one connected to the manufacture or distribution of narcotics had to be licensed and pay a graduated occupational tax. Doctors were no longer allowed to supply addicts with drugs. This began a controversy over the question, were drugs an addiction or a crime, and should an addict be treated as a sick person or an addict (2)? Eventually, the Harrison Act caused more drug use than it prevented.

A committee was formed to investigate this problem, which found that illicit use of narcotics had increased dramatically while the act had been in affect. Instead of improving the act, they only stiffened penalties. In 1918, the Volstead Act was passed, even over President Wilson’s veto. It provided legislation for the enforcement of prohibition. Headed by Levi Nutt, a pharmacist, a special Narcotics Division was formed within the Prohibition Bureau, due to the problems with the Harrison Act. The narcotic officers within this division were hired by strict guidelines according to the Civil Service (1).

Through the 1920’s, various studies and investigations were conducted to see if drugs were addicting and crime causing. Dr. Lawerence Kolb’s research supposedly proved that addicts and normal people will have different effects to the same drug. He believed that excessive amounts of opium would not induce criminal tendencies, but inhibit it, which would show no connection between drugs and crime. By now, the Harrison Act was back on line, closing maintenance clinics, which shut down 44 of them by the end of 1921. Addicts could no longer obtain drugs legally and addicts were denied ambulatory treatment.

Addiction was not categorized as a crime, so it was not constitutional to arrest every addict and imprison them. As it is now, prison space was limited and prisons already housed double their capacity. In 1922, supporters of the Harrison act were relieved when Congress passed the Narcotic Drugs Import and Export Act (1). This act gave the Surgeon General power to regulate the importation of crude opium and coca leaves, which were restricted to medicinal and scientific use. The Federal Bureau Board was created to enforce sentencing and fines for unlawful importation.

This new act was accused of doing nothing to stop illegal import, but was associated with the increase in prices on the illicit drug market. In 1929, the Porter bill was passed, which was for the construction of two prison hospitals. These hospitals were for treatment of addicts, who were either assigned by court or by voluntary participation. These facilities were capable of treating one thousand addicts. The next logical step was to form an independent Bureau of Narcotics, which would be separated from the Prohibition Bureau, so it could be more effective.

In 1930, the bill was passed, and President Hoover’s signature formed what we know as the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. Harry Anslinger was appointed to the head position of commissioner. His main responsibilities were to enforce the Harrison Act with the powers provided in the Jones-Miller Act (4). The major problem with enforcement was detecting and preventing illegal importation of narcotics. Anslinger manipulated the media over his years in office. The media reported false reports of crime connected to drug use, which would gain him political benefits.

Even though Ansliger admitted that marijuana wasn’t addictive, he categorized it with heroin. He said it was “ about as hellish as heroin”. The Harrison Act had been under review five times since it was passed, and was published as a failure in the St. Louis Post. In 1937, a new bill was introduced that would impose a transfer and occupational excise tax on dealers. In August of 1937, President Roosevelt signed the bill, which would ban marijuana, and it took affect on October 1, 1937 (1). A dollar transfer tax was charged for registered users, and a one hundred tax for those not registered.

Naturally, no illegal dealer would register with the government. Violations were punishable by a $2,000. 00 fine, 5 years imprisonment, or both (1). World War II interrupted the normal patterns of international drug distribution, which created a “starving time” for addict’s (1). In 1942, Anslinger was convinced that Japan had started the war on western civilization ten years earlier by using narcotics as weapons (1). He then realized the political advantages of identifying global spots of international distribution.

In October 1938, the New York Academy of Medicine established a special committee to conduct a citywide investigation in the effects of marijuana. The report was released revealing that marijuana had no irregular or criminal effects of human beings, nor was it related to crime and juvenile delinquency. Next came the enactment of the Boggs Act, which further stiffened penalties for drug offenders. The Boggs Act enforced a two-year minimum sentence for first time offenders, and five to ten years with no chance for probation for second time offenders.

Third time offenders really felt the impact of this act by getting a mandatory twenty years with no chance for probation. Opposers of the bill argued that the wording of the bill fell primarily on addicts and traffickers, not the dealers and distributors. They also argued that these strict jail sentences would not stop importation, because the profit was too fruitful. Even though there was much opposition to the Boggs Act, it was approved and signed into affect on November 2, 1951 by President Truman.

Even though there was supposed decline in illicit drug use, Anslinger started to push for even stiffer penalties. Instead of approving a new bill, the American Bar Association created a committee that was in charge of investigating the Harrison Act and the first nationwide investigation of illicit drugs. Arising from this investigation was the Narcotic Control Act, which was the most severe antidrug legislation put into affect(3). The NCA doubled the lengthy sentences of the Boggs Act, and added the death penalty in some cases. These laws also failed in extinguishing the drug epidemic.

By now, most states specified that marijuana and heroin penalties should be identical, and consequently marijuana penalties were adjusted upward every time heroin sentences were increased. During the sixties, marijuana became the most popular drugs, particularly among college students. Due to the rise in usage, the federal government attempted to cut off the supply at the Mexican border. This was known as Operation Intercept, which consisted of closer automobile inspections and over eighteen hundred strip searches in its first week.

In 1963, Anslinger ended his long tenure as head of the FBN, and the Presidential Commission on Narcotics and Drug Abuse reversed the harsh penalties of the mandatory minimum sentences. They then created the Bureau of Drug Abuse Control(BDAC) to deal with the increase in drug usage among young people. In 1968, the FBN merged with the BDAC to become the new Bureau of Narcotics and Other Dangerous Drugs(BNDD). During President Nixons’ time in office, he wage war on drugs and created the Office of Drug Abuse and Law Enforcement(ODALE) and the Office of National Narcotics Intelligence(ONNI).

In 1973, he also initiated Reorganization Plan No. 2, which changed the BNDD into the Drug Enforcement Administration. The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 created five schedules that categorized drugs according to their effects and availability by prescription (1). The Omnibus Drug Enforcement, Education, and Control Act of 1986 was introduced to stiffen penalties for pushers, increased customs and border patrols, outlawed synthetic drugs, and improved treatment and prevention programs.

Even though all of these drug control policies have been in affect for many of years, all of them have failed (2). Drug use continues to increase and will continue if we do not do anything about it, either in legalization or legislation. Imprisonment or Rehabilitation We are constantly building more and more jails every year, why? We do this because it is easier to put drug offenders in jail than it is to try and help them. As Americans, we have an obligation to help our fellow Americans, no matter what color, race or economic background.

Many think our drug laws are too strict and offenders should be dealt with by treatment, no incarceration. One million seven hundred thousand Americans are incarcerated in our prisons for drug offenses. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse reported that 80% of all prisoners are drug offenders, no wonder our jails are over run. Since 1965, ten million people have been arrested for marijuana alone, which doesn’t include other illegal drugs. Most of these people imprisoned are non-violent drug offenders, who get longer sentences than most violent offenders.

This doesn’t sound right, does it? Nearly one half of our police resources are devoted to stopping drug trafficking, instead of preventing violent crimes(The Libertarian Party). Past legislation to control drug use has failed miserably over the years and new legislation will do the same. We are spending hard-earned money out of our own pockets to support prisoners. According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, total sentenced drug offenders went from 3,384 in 1970 to 55,624 in 1998 because of the stricter penalties enforced by the government.

This shows that drug arrests are inclining, but according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, crime has been decreasing over the past few years. How can this be when crime and drugs are so closely related. The economic cost of the states on criminal justice are more than the federal government. We, the tax payers are spending thousands of dollars on the support of each prisoner each year. Most of the drug offenders in prison are low-income people who were trying to support their family the only way they knew how, selling drugs. Is this a crime that should have such a strict penalty attached to it?

Why should we have to pay such a high price to house people that were committed of doing such a non-violent crime? If an addict or occasional user is convicted of simple possession of a small amount and sentenced to the five year mandatory minimum sentence, the cost to the public of prison alone is $110,00. 00. For the same price, we could give the offender one year in prison, one year of residential drug treatment, and three years of supervised probation and outpatient drug treatment, and still have $62,500. 00 left over. The nation spends about 100 billion dollars a year on crime control.

We could surely spend this money on something more useful, like schools and poverty. Since 1980, we have tripled our prisons population even though crime rates have been declining since the seventies. In all reality, incarceration does little to deter a criminal from committing another offense when they are released. There are many other programs that would provide drug addicts with the treatment they need to go “straight”. Prisons aren’t solving our drug problems, but rather adding to it. After these people are released, they are labeled as ex-cons, and that is why most return to jail.

Legislation has proven to add to drug use and crime, instead of its intended control of drugs. We should end prohibition of drugs, which has proven its effectiveness on another drug, alcohol. Is there a solution to our overcrowded prisons, or are we fighting a losing battle? Is legalization the answer? Do you use drugs now? Would you use them if they were legal? Would drug use increase if they were legal? These are just some of the questions that plague our society on legalization. Why should other drugs be legal, even though they cause more deaths than all illegal drugs combined.

Tobacco kills 390,000, alcohol kills 80,000, while cocaine and heroin only kills about 4500. Marijuana has never been recorded of causing death at any time in US history, according to The Drug Project. America is living through a drug epidemic. Drug related murders and violent assaults are on the rise, but this isn’t caused by drugs, rather by the laws that prohibit them. By prohibiting drugs, we are only causing the prices of drug to rise, which means addicts must cause crimes to support their habit. The illicit drug trade market is the second largest business in the world, bringing in over 500 billion dollars a year.

Opposers of legalization argue that tobacco and alcohol kill more because of its legality and availability(3 ). The solution in their eyes is in education and early prevention. Drug use among America’s children in on the rise, and education is a perfect logical way of lowering their usage. Children need to be taught the effects and dangers of drugs when they are young. Children are the future drug abusers if something isn’t done. Violence and drugs are thought to be one in the same in most peoples eyes, but is this true. Drugs do not turn people into monsters, but rather bring out their criminal tendencies.

No one argues that legalization would end violence that is associated with drugs, but it would simply end the violence associated with the black market. Many dealers become dealers due to the profit associated with drugs. If drugs were legalized, the profit would no longer be there. Another hot topic in today’s society is the War on Drugs, which is failing. We should not give up on the usefulness of this program(5). We are not just fighting drugs, but the society of drug users. What would our society come to if drugs were legal? Would it improve our society?

No one can say for sure unless legalization is given a chance. In my opinion, legalization would solve more problems than it would create. Drugs have been a part of our society for hundreds of years for medicinal and recreational purposes. Legalization would also mean less crowded jails, which would cost tax payers less each year in housing costs. According to a report done by the National Institutes of Mental Health, reported thirty seven billion dollars in savings every year, which would give us money for other things, such as poverty.

Before the governments involvement in drug control, no one ever had a problem with drug use. Many of the drugs that are considered illegal are still used in medicinal purposes. So, why is it such a supposed problem today. The laws that regulate drug controls are too strict, and affect everyone, not just the user. We should reconsider prohibition on drugs that are considered to be dangerous. I don’t think all drugs should be legalized. The most harmful one to our health should be controlled on some level. Lets not give up on our society, but try to improve our way of living, for ourselves and our children.

Drug Trafficking Between US and South America

Approaching and addressing international drug issues in 1999 is not a simple task due to numerous contradictions that involve the inherent nature of economics, politics, culture, and individual ideologies. The normal attributes of drugs, as well as the changing characteristics of these mind-altering substances, makes them the center of complex studies that end up producing contradictory and inconclusive reports. Furthermore, confusion results from the study of available literature due to moral prejudices and sensationalism by journalists. There is a scarcity of serious, objective research as well as a lack of reliable data.

Moreover, discourses corresponding to specific economic and political interests have masked the true nature and dynamic of the drug issue by casting it in mythical terms. Consequently, a battle has emerged between United States political and economic factions shaping popular opinions as well as government action. In the 1970s, this conflict intensified when certain drugs became international commodities on a grand scale. Drug trafficking was born and the subsequent drug trade movement created economic, political, and social repercussions among the countries of the Western Hemisphere.

By examining the institution of drug trafficking in regard to bilateral relations between the United States and Mexico, one can clearly trace these same repercussions and the difficulty in creating successful policy to combat them. Economic Background of Drugs and the Drug Trade Since the beginning of human existence, societies have attempted to regulate mind-altering substances, prohibit them, or establish some sort of moral control over their use, possession, and distribution. Man has always used them for diverse purposes including magic, religion, aphrodisiacs, medicine, and war (Del Olmo 1).

These mind-altering substances carried no monetary value until nation states began creating laws and penalties against the consumption and possession of drugs. With these prohibitive laws firmly in place, drugs lost their exclusive use value and acquired exchange value as commodities, subject to the laws of supply and demand (Del Olmo 2). Thus, individuals who realized that there was profit to be made from a steady demand for drugs, created a “black market” firmly rooted in the economic conventions of free-enterprise and capitalism.

Capitalism due to prohibition, then, has been a major force in the creation of a market for these substances, elevating them to privileged position among the most profitable raw materials for foreign exchange. In the form of raw materials, these drugs – which include heroine, cocaine, and marijuana – begin as the poppy, coca, and marijuana plants respectively. These plants grow well, and quickly, in Latin American countries that experience a relatively hot, humid climate year round such as Colombia, Mexico, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Peru.

Due to these favorable weather conditions, Latin American farmers can easily harvest these plants three to four times a year and stand to earn a much greater profit than many of the farmers who produce other regional crops such as bananas, coffee, and sugar (Economist 35). Interestingly enough, the illegal drug trade existing between the United States and Latin America contains all of the variables involved in the economics of sanctioned trading activity.

Individuals from the United States and other developed countries take the role of those who demand the finished good or service, in this case, cocaine, heroine, and marijuana. Thousands of Latin American farmers assume the supplier role by harvesting and selling the drug producing plants to middlemen. These middlemen, often part of powerful Mexican or Colombian drug cartels, Mafia, or guerrilla groups, then produce the final consumable drug that is smuggled into the United States or other developed countries where demand exists.

This process is referred to as drug trafficking or narcotrafficking (Monitor 16). Despite government official’s knowledge that drug trafficking is an underground economic activity, as well as an illegal form of free enterprise, it is practically impossible to carry out an economic analysis of the international drug trade. Due to varying estimates of the amounts of drugs produced, refined, exported, and consumed, there is no clear way to accurately measure the money made or spent on all of the different phases of drug trafficking (Report 8).

However, U. S. government officials do acknowledge that thousands of Latin Americans rely on the drug trade as a means of income. For example, farmers in the Andean region in Peru harvest coca and poppy plants, and then sell these raw materials to drug cartels, as their dominant source of income. The drug cartels then proceed to create thousands of jobs for Mexican citizens in agriculture, chemical processing, packaging, transportation, accountancy, and administration in order to produce the finished goods that will be smuggled into the United States (Salgado 945).

Past Strategies Used to Combat Drug Trafficking The two Republican Party administrations that wielded the power of Washington bureaucracy in the 1980’s approached the problem of drug trafficking in a much different manner than it is today. Reagan and Bushs main policy in combating the flow of illegal drugs consisted of interdicting the substances when they first crossed the United States’ border. This approach was generally ineffective at reducing the supply of drugs indicated by the 5 to 15 percent of drug imports seized annually.

Furthermore, traffickers effortlessly adapt to such disruptions by using new smuggling innovation and routes (Handbook 1). In the 1980’s, for example, the notorious Colombian Cali Cartel used the Caribbean Islands, Miami, and the surrounding Florida Keys as a haven for their drug trafficking operations. It was not uncommon for federal agents to hear the sounds of “cigarette” boats entering the area late at night. High-powered motor boats were common means of transporting the drugs from the South American production factories to Caribbean Islands to the “friendly” ports in Miami (Constantine 2).

Federal agents eventually made a number of drug seizures and arrests, and forced the cartel to take immediate action. Instead of deterring the cartel’s business, the government merely forced it to move. The Cali Cartel began transporting the bulk of its drugs through Mexico. This move proved to be even more profitable for the cartel, as Mexico provided a country with a 2,000 mile border with the United States, a history of heroine and marijuana smuggling, and the existence of cross-border family ties.

This same relationship exists today however Mexican groups have begun to capitalize on the drug trade as well (Requesters 3). Mexicos Rise to Top Drug Trafficking Country in Hemisphere Since the early part of this decade, drug trafficking organizations in Mexico have become more powerful as they have expanded their operations to include not only the manufacture and distribution of cocaine, heroine, and marijuana, but also methamphetamines. Initially, Mexican drug trafficking organizations acted as mere transport agents for the more powerful Colombian cartels.

Their only task was smuggling the drugs across the U. S. -Mexican border. As time passed however, the Colombian groups began experiencing direct opposition from the U. S. government. As groups of Mexicans became key transporters for the Colombians, they began to demand and receive a portion of all drug shipments in exchange for their services. This resulted in Mexican drug trafficking groups substantially increasing their profits and gaining a foothold in the lucrative illicit drug wholesale business (Blair 3).

According to Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) officials, Mexican drug traffickers have almost become as powerful as the Colombian Medellin and Cali cartels were at their height in the 1980s. The Mexican organizations presently control one-third of the cocaine distribution in the United States, 20 percent of the heroine, 85 percent of the methamphetamine, and a majority of the marijuana (McGraw 34). Presently, two groups control the majority of drug trafficking leaving Mexico for the United States. These groups include the Tijuana and Juarez Cartels (McGraw 34).

The Tijuana Cartel is headed by the Arellano-Felix family and controls the drugs crossing the border on the West Coast between Tijuana and Mexicali. This group is thought to be extremely violent, feuding with all rival drug organizations. Consequently, this rivalry led to the killing of Catholic Cardinal Juan Jesus Posadas-Ocampo at the Guadalajara airport in 1993. This led to the indictment of several drug cartel leaders including members of Tijuana Cartel (Constantine 3). The advent of the Juarez Cartel was a direct result of the Colombian Cali Cartels demise in the early 1990s.

Spearheaded by the Carillo-Fuentes family, members of the Juarez Cartel began their trafficking careers as chief transporters for arrested Cali Mafia leader Miguel Caro-Quintero. The Carillo-Fuentes family owns several airline companies, which enables them to fly 727s full of illegal cargo from Latin American suppliers, to their ranch in Juarez. They are responsible for much of the drug distribution across the southern Texas border (Constantine 4). Unfortunately, with each passing day, these two powerful groups only gain more knowledge regarding U. S. d Mexican anti-narcotics policies.

The efforts of the U. S. government and the DEA in combating this hemispheric drug problem is often deterred by the drug trafficker’s expeditious response time to their counternarcotics policies. Already expecting interference in their illegal business, traffickers build redundant processing facilities in case current ones are destroyed. Furthermore, these sophisticated drug traffickers often stockpile surpluses of their product inside the United States in case of smuggling interruptions (Boaz 58).

Interestingly, many employees of the U. S. border patrol have recently voiced concerns regarding the amount of drugs that pass through customs every day without being discovered. They blame this on the reluctance of Washington to pursue the possibility that numerous employees of the U. S. Customs Service, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and the border patrol have come under bribery and corruption by the wealthy and powerful Mexican narcotraffickers. Also, Washingtons priority of speeding up border crossings has led to a neglect of the already shrinking interdiction process.

DEA agents feel powerless because their requests to mount special operations south of the border including attempts to gain information regarding Mexican politicians corruption by Mexican cartels- are denied due to the current administrations intent to avoid displeasure by the government in Mexico City. In late 1996, the Juarez Cartel, Mexicos most powerful drug trafficking organization, was revealed as the chief instigator in a bribing scandal involving Mexican drug czar General Jesus Gutierrez Rebeollo.

The following spring, further corruption within the Mexican government serviced just days after President Clinton visited Mexico for the first time during his administration. This time, Mexican ruling-party stalwart Jorge Caprizo MacGregor was accused of leaking U. S. Customs Intelligence reports and helping arrange a twenty ton shipment of cocaine from Colombia to Mexico aboard a tanker owned by a subcontractor of Mexicos state oil industry (Dettmer 10). On the subject of the U. S. governments naive attitude towards the corruption incited by the Juarez based cartel, one DEA agent remarked, We were sleepwalking then and still are.

Now we have to try and compete with a cartel that has an annual income which rivals our entire federal anti-drug budget (McGraw 41). Current U. S. Strategies Aimed at Combating Drug Trafficking In response to the actions of the Mexico based trafficking organizations and their surrogate gangs operating in the United States, the Federal Government has taken a number of steps to work with their law enforcement partners in Mexico, as well as with their state and local colleagues in the U. S.

The DEA has joined forces with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in a Southwest Border Initiative that targets the major Mexican trafficking organizations for enforcement actions. For the first time, the DEA, the FBI, the Department of Justice Criminal Division (DOJ), and respective U. S. Attorneys in every state along the Southwest Border are coordinating both intelligence and manpower resources against the Mexican drug groups. Also, three new binational Border Task Forces have been established and will focus on the principle trafficking organizations.

Senior personnel of the DEA, FBI, and DOJ Criminal Division serve on a U. S. -Mexican Plenary Group, working to enhance cooperation against narcotics and money laundering (Requesters 11). Today, the DEA advocates two primary methods of reducing the supply of illicit drugs into the United States. These methods include crop eradication programs and interdiction of drugs at the U. S. border. Crop eradication – adopted in 1993 is a program in which the U. S. government and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) pressures source countries to eliminate their illicit crops by spraying pesticides, slashing illegal plants, or burning peasants’ fields.

Unfortunately, this method appears to have had little effect on the spread of such crops (GAO 3). Merely examine the U. S. State Department’s estimates – which span over a nine-year period from January of 1988 to December of 1996 – regarding the amount of area used for growing coca plants, the chief substance used in making cocaine. The total area of these plants cultivated increased from 175,210 hectares to 214,800 globally, with the majority of these plants originating in South and Central America.

Equally as stunning are the estimates from the State Department regarding net production of all illicit drugs over this same period of time. Coca leaf production increased from 291,100 metric tons to 309,400 metric tons, and poppy plant production grew from 2,242 metric tons to 4,157 metric tons (Handbook 2). Despite U. S. attempts at controlling the amount of illegal crops produced in Latin American countries, the previous figures show that peasant farmers still view illegal drug cultivation as advantageous due to the profits it brings.

In August of 1996, near the town of Putumayo, Colombia, coca farmers revolted against their own government’s attempts to eradicate their crops by blocking muddy roads and airstrips in which eradication aircraft was to take off. Nearly 30,000 peasant farmers showed support by opposing Colombian action directly influenced by the United States’ international drug certification program and the penalties that can result for countries in non-compliance (Economist 35). Addressing the Question of Certification

The drug certification program, implemented by the Reagan Administration, is a method in which the United States government measures other country’s cooperation regarding U. S. drug policy. Every March, the President releases a list of countries that he and his advisors feel are reliable allies in the battle against illicit drugs. These countries are certified. The countries excluded from the list are decertified and have mandatory penalties imposed on them including 50 percent cutbacks in economic aid and some trade benefits.

Discretionary sanctions may include the end of preferential tariff treatment, limits on air traffic between the U. S. and the decertified country, and increased duties on the country’s exports to the United States (Hakim 16). In recent years, controversy has resulted due to the United States annual re-certification of Mexico. Colombia, which has been decertified for four consecutive years, argues that within Mexicos government lie the same problems that cause Colombia to remain decertified. Colombia might have a valid argument.

In 1997, only weeks before the certification deadline, Mexicos (then) top anti-drug leader was linked to bribery stemming from drug cartels. However, this did not effect the United States opinion of Mexican drug policy, as the country was re-certified weeks later (Economist 39). Many political analysts have begun referring to the insurgence of bribery in Mexican government as the Colombianization of Mexico, pointing to the corruption that surrounds the operation. In addition, it is now widely assumed that Mexican trafficking is more vigorous than that of its southern drug-producing counterpart.

Unlike Colombia, however, Washington granted Mexico full certification in March of 1999 despite evidence of narcocorruption throughout the Mexican government (Economist 39). The inconsistency of the U. S. drug policy would probably become too conspicuous were Washington to threaten sanctions against a partner in the North American Free Trade Agreement. Also, if Mexico experienced the level of social violence seen in Colombia, for instance, the United States would be directly affected.

This development would certainly provoke Washingtons increased involvement in Mexicos domestic affairs (Boaz 102). The United States needs to formulate a concrete method for determining criteria that will establish countries as certified or decertified. Two fundamental changes are needed. First, new legislation should abandon the use of thumbs up or thumbs down analysis in determining certification of a country. Instead, analysis should focus on getting a careful, multidimensional analysis of the drug problems facing different nations.

Second, the U. S. ould not keep the counternarcotics view to itself; it should work with other countries in a forum similar to that of the United Nations (UN) of Organization of American States (OAS). These initiatives would easily strengthen hemispheric anti-drug cooperation by replacing the current process with high-quality reporting done on a mulitlateral basis (Hakim 16). In recent years, as the political and economic ties between the United States and Mexico have strengthened, a new generation of traffickers has been able to grasp a large share of the hemispheric drug trade.

These Mexican cartels have repeatedly effected the governments on both sides of the border growing from low-level smuggling groups to sophisticated organizations that smuggle more and more drugs of every kind into the U. S. The President of Mexico, Ernesto Zedillo, has publicly stated that drug trafficking is a threat to Mexican national security, not only because of the crime inherent with such activity, but also because of the growing wealth that enables traffickers the ability to corrupt police and government officials.

The United States must strive to include other countries in the process of creating new policies regarding drug trafficking. The final development of these new policies will require a substantial commitment of time and resources to achieve the necessary level of success. It is imperative that the U. S. work with their partners in Mexico to blunt the influence the drug traffickers are having in both countries.

The Coca And The Cocaine War

The current War on Drugs involves skirmishes in an arena with two fronts: The consumer and the manufacturer. The successes and failures of the battle are not clearly identified without first looking at how the battle can be ultimately won. When it comes to cocaine, the problem of punishing the whole instead of the individual is hard to define. Many countries use the raw ingredient, the coca plant, as part of a social and cultural structure. The only way to win the War on Drugs is to focus war efforts on fighting the manufacturer of the finished cocaine product.

The War on Cocaine has been trying to fight a battle on two fronts. The first objective of the American government is to deter the consumer from using illegal products. The genesis of punishment against users is sited in the 1914 Harrison Act, in which addicts and others that possessed drugs were punished for buying or possessing cocaine or heroin without a prescription (Bertram, 26). This act began a trend that still today allows law enforcement to arrest the user along with the supplier.

The supplier (drug trafficker) is the key in this type of police action, because most of the time the user will be unaware of the exact origin of the substance or have any knowledge as to where it was purchased or manufactured. The main problem with this type of arrest is that 70 to 75 percent of the narcotic arrests per year are for possession and only 25 to 30 percent are for actual drug trafficking offenses. Although the user should not be overlooked, a greater emphasis ought to be focused on the supplier in order to reach the actual manufacturer of the illegal substances.

The other front of the battle of the War on Drugs comes from locating and shutting down the manufacturers of cocaine. Cocaine is manufactured from the coca plant, the drugs main ingredient. When the government imposes sanctions on different nations for growing the coca plant, careful considerations must be made. Just like any other market, there may be underlying circumstances for growing the plant that are perfectly innocent to the illegal cocaine market. The key influence of the coca market comes from the Andean countries of South America: Peru, Bolivia, and Colombia.

These countries are responsible for almost exclusively cultivating the coca plant, but Colombia is the main processing nation of the plant into cocaine, at nearly 70 percent (Stares, 2). The problem with fighting the producers of the coca plant is that not all of the operations are geared toward making the illegal substance. In fact, many of the producers within this region use the plants as a crucial element of social status and cultural values. The main problem that the American law enforcement agencies have encountered from other nations is the social barrier to outlawing these narcotics.

The coca plant has a significant social value in the Andean culture, just as the tea and coffee have a social value in American cultures. The Andean people chew the coca leaves, and this is done as a social function to protect one from spiritual influences. The families use the coca matu plant (green coca with a leathery texture that is unpleasant to taste) to offer for sacrifice to idols and to prepare corpses during the wakes of the dead (Leons, 68). The Andean people have become accustomed to the coca fields and have centered an entire society on this crop.

When a young Andean couple marries, a crop is started with the painstaking planting process. Throughout the years of the marriage and with the edition of new members in the family, the field begins to grow until it reaches the final maturity, along with couple. The only solution to fighting the cocaine manufacturers is to strike the operations that are actually producing the illegal product. Careful consideration must be made to identify the crop as a cocaine development field before fumigation is acceptable.

The two fronts, the consumer and the manufacturer, of the War on Drugs are not easy to identify. In order to succeed the manufacturer must be identified, punished, and put out of business. Failures will result when cultures are destroyed as collateral damage in the never-ending battle to keep cocaine off the streets of America. The social circles that use the coca plant as part of a social and cultural structure should be protected, but not totally ignored. The only way to win the War on Drugs is to focus war efforts on fighting the manufacturer of the finished cocaine product.

Ritalin – drug problem

Many drugs plague us in this setting we call modern society. The word drug by itself conjures up images of heathens slumping in the alleyways of Americas violent streets injecting train-tracked arms full of milky white euphoria. Perhaps even scarier might be those drugs prescribed to us daily by physicians we know and trust. Millions of prescription drugs with heavy side effects and sometimes-unknown characteristics and workings are being doled out to us every day. Ritalin, a drug prescribed to 1. 5 million American children aged 5 to 19, is particularly indicative of todays prescription drug problem.

Relatively little is known about how the drug works, what chemicals it changes in the fragile human brain, and yet we give it out to school aged children across America. The problem with Ritalin, however, is not the drug itself, but the way in which its prescribed to and taken by millions of people eager to fix a problem that really isnt defined. Ritalin, manufactured by the CIBA-Geigy corporation, is the brand name for Methylphenidate, a drug commonly used in the treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder or ADD.

The pills come in 5, 10 and 10 milligram doses. (Bailey, 1998) Ritalin, which is close in chemical structure to cocaine, is considered dangerous enough to be classified as a schedule II controlled substance under the Federal Controlled Substances act. (Bailey, 1998) Illegal distribution of Ritalin could result in a 10,000 dollar fine and up to 45 years in prison. (Bailey, 1998) The exact function of Ritalin is unknown. It is known that Ritalin is a central nervous system stimulant that manipulates the neurotransmitter dopamine. (Bailey, 1998)

Drugs such as cocaine and other amphetamines work on the same principal. (Bailey, 1998) The main site of the drugs activity appears to be in the Cerebral cortex and the Reticular Activating System. (Chohan, 1998) CIBA-Geigy discloses many side effects for Ritalin including nervousness, insomnia, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headaches, changes in heart rate and blood pressure, skin rashes, itching, abdominal pain, weight loss, digestive problems, toxic psychosis, psychotic episodes, drug dependence syndrome, and severe depression upon withdrawal.

These severe and dangerous side effects are important to consider when deciding whether Ritalin is an appropriate drug to prescribe to children. Doctors often have trouble diagnosing ADD, which unfortunately defies definitive chemical tests. (Gibbs, 1998) To determine if a child has ADD, doctors depend on a list of symptoms described by the American Psychological Association (APA) to indicate the disorder.

This list describes potential tendencies observed in children said to have ADD, such as trouble paying attention, making careless mistake in schoolwork, trouble concentrating on one activity at a time, talking constantly at inappropriate times, running around in a disruptive manner when required to be seated or quiet, fidgeting and squirming constantly, trouble waiting for a turn, being easily distracted by things going on around them, impulsively blurting out answers to questions, often misplacing school assignments or toys and seeming not to listen even when directly addressed.

These traits must be exhibited for at least six months to be considered indicative of ADD. This is where the problem with Ritalin begins. These traits are common in many children, and some ore often used to define childhood. At what level are these characteristics to be considered abnormal? This is left to the doctors discretion. Doctors however have different ways of measuring the symptoms of ADD and one doctors oppinion can vary greatly from anothers.

Without chemical tests, we have no way of knowing if a person is really afflicted with ADD. In order to better classify ADD and prevent doctors from using the diagnosis to sum up every patients problems, the APA has developed a standard process which doctors should follow to determine whether or not a patient has ADD. First, the parents of the child in question must be interviewed to decide the circumstances under which the child exhibits the symptoms.

The interview is also used to ascertain a complete developmental, medical and family history of the patient. (Livingston, 1997) Then the physician must observe the child numerous times to elicit his view of the problem and to screen the patient for other disorders that may be the source of the problems (depression, anxiety, hallucinations, etc. ). (Livingston, 1997) Afeter this, the child should undergo a thourough medical examination to rule out neurological or sensory problems (poor hearing or eyesight) as the cause of the problem.

The child should then be subjected to tests of intelligence and achievement. (Livingston, 1997) After all these steps are completed, the physician should evaluate all the data collected on the patient and determine to what degree the child displays the patterns of ADD. (Livingston, 1997) This process, it would seem, should rule out any mistakes in the diagnosis and that only children truly afflicted with ADD would go on to receive Ritalin as a treatment.

However, in a recent survey of pediatricians, published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, nearly 50 percent of doctors interviewed confess to spending an hour or less with a child before making a diagnosis and prescribing medicine (usually Ritalin). (Livingston, 1997) Because of the inherent difficulty in diagnosing ADD, Doctors often prescribe Ritalin to unaffected children. Children who are unnecessarily prescribed Ritalin are subjected to the many powerful side effects the drug carries with it.

Often children on Ritalin seem to lose their personality, become calm and quiet and, in some cases, develop depression. (Gibbs, Nov. 3, 1998) It has also been shown in scientific studies that, while Ritalin does not actually cause the disease, it can trigger Turrets syndrome in those children at risk for developing it. (Goldstein, 1997) One out of every hundred children taking Ritalin develop a motor or vocal tic. (Goldstein, 1997) Studies have also shown that children who take Ritalin often become abusers of illicit drugs. (Bailey, 1998)

Ritalin makes an obvious impact on the families interacting with children taking the drug. Ritalin has earned a bad reputation since its introduction and parents often question whether they are doing the right thing by putting their kids on the drug. Having a child diagnosed with ADD, when ADDs causes have yet to be defined, could cause a parent to think there may have been serious errors in the way in which they reared their children. Also, becaust Ritalin has a calming effect when taken, Parents often sense theire child has lost his or her personallity and are nor longer the children they have grown to love.

Perhaps the most affected party in the sphere of Ritalins influence is American society as a whole. In this modern day, Americans are looking to perfect themselves physically and mentally through medicne. Anything considered to be out of the ordinary has a chemical treatment to go along with it. Americans fail to realize that society is full of varying jobs and opportunities to contribute to the well being of the nation. Each of these requires a different person with a different mindset to perform the job optimally.

By eliminating mental variation through such drugs as Ritalin, Americans severly limit their resources which they will need to fill the next generations job openings with. Would a calm and stable mind really be well suited to the stock market, where hundreds of decisions are made every second? Would Ritalin be helpful to an artist or writer whose job it is to come up with new and fresh ideas? According to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Ritalin prescriptions increased 600 percent between 1992 and 1997.

Such a startling report prompted the DEA to ask the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board to look into the situation. (Livingston, 1997) They released a report showing that Americans consume 90 percent of 8. 5 tons of Ritalin produced worldwide each year. (Livingston, 1997) With statistics like that, how long will it be before drug enhanced school children, as opposed to natures child, become the majority in America? Dr. Lawrence Diller, author of Running on Ritalin, described the situation well when he said, Americans are becoming more and more programmed to force their children into a mold.

There is an emotional cost and eventually there will be a physical cost of taking square and rectangular people and fitting them into round holes. Performance enhancers Ritalin, Viagra and Prozac will remain popular until peoplr question this goal. (Gibbs, Nov. 3, 1998) Ritalin, like all drugs, can be used for good purposes. It has helped many people with severe learning dissabilities overcome numerous obstacles. However, its usage requires a strict level of control on the individual and national level. As a Nation, America needs to decide where it should and should not apply its ever increasing medical knowledge.

Heightened regulations and monitoring of Ritalin prescribing practices could make Ritalin into the miracle drug it was intended to be. Much more research needs to be done though to understand how Ritalin works and what its longtem effects might be. At the same time, Alternative methods should be developed and explored in hopes of finding an even better treatment. Until such changes are made, Ritalin will continue to plague children, their families and ultimately, America as a whole; the countrys future could be one of drab, uniformed and unexpressive automatons.

Opiates And The Law

Illicit drug use and the debate surrounding the various legal options available to the government in an effort to curtail it is nothing new to America. Since the enactment of the Harrison Narcotic Act in 1914 (Erowid) the public has struggled with how to effectively deal with this phenomena, from catching individual users to deciding what to do with those who are convicted (DEA). Complicating the issue further is the ever-expanding list of substances available for abuse.

Some are concocted in basements or bathtubs by drug addicts themselves, some in the labs of multinational pharmaceutical companies, and still others are just old compounds waiting for society to discover them. Almost overnight one such venerable substance (or class of substances) has been catapulted into the national spotlight: prescription painkillers, namely those derived from the opium poppy. This class of analgesic encompasses everything from the codeine in prescription cough syrup to the morphine used in the management of sever pain.

These compounds are commonly referred to as opiates and are produced naturally by the poppy. The sub-class of this type that has gotten all of the attention recently is the opioids, which are semi-synthetic compounds derived from the opiates (Wade 846). Opioids were developed for a variety of reasons, such as reducing the cost of production (morphine is expensive to synthesize) and attempting to reduce the addictiveness of the drugs. And addictive they are. Heroin is perhaps the best-known opioid around, and arguably one of the most addictive substances known to man.

Opiates and opioids (hereafter generically referred to as opioids) function by attaching to receptor sites in the body called mu-receptors, which are primarily located in the brain and the digestive system. When these receptors are activated in the brain they produce a rush of euphoria and a groggy state of well being (it is interesting to note that studies have shown that this action does not eliminate the pain one is feeling, but merely changes ones perception of it) (Kalb).

The body quickly becomes tolerant of this, however, and abuse frequently follows a steep dosage curve requiring that more and more of the drug be taken to produce the same effect. Long-term abusers develop physical dependence that can lead to fatal withdrawal symptoms if the user is forced suddenly to stop. Part of the drugs attraction is that the general public considers them safe because they come from a doctor. It is easy to mistrust the shady street dealer selling pills on the corner, but the impulse to implicitly trust that which comes from the medical establishment is a mentality that is ingrained in us at a very young age.

The truth of the matter is that some of these drugs pack almost an equal punch as their street-level cousins. Take oxycodone for example. It is routinely administered in the form of a time-released pill (trade name OxyContin) meant to be taken once per day to treat the penetrating pain of cancer and other such ailments. If the time-release coating is removed and the compound is intravenously injected, it produces a rush that many experienced addicts find difficult to distinguish from that of morphine. And just like morphine and heroin, an overdose can lead to fatal respiratory depression (Kalb).

Aside from the physiological implications of abuse, the fact that abuse is so demographically widespread is cause for concern. No long is it only the traditional middle-class housewives and medical personal getting hooked, it’s former U. S Presidential candidate Paul McCains wife Cindy McCain and football great Bret Favre. Vicodin is quickly reaching parity with cocaine and ecstasy in the club scene all over the country. Emergency room visits involving the most commonly abused opioids, hydrocodone (Vicodin, etc. ) and oxycodone (Percodan, OxyContin), have more than doubled since 1992.

The number of people over twelve who reported using prescription pain medication recreationally for the first time tripled from 1990 to 1998. The Department of Drug Enforcement is saying an epidemic is imminent if nothing is done (DEA, Erowid). As with any mind-altering substance, different people will give different reasons for their illicit habit. A common precursor to opioid addiction is injury. An individual with a broken bone, strained tendon or toothache will request some form of relief from his or her physician, who will prescribe one of the above narcotics.

Often the patient during this time will begin to develop a tolerance for the recommended dose and increase it just a bit. This increased tolerance does not necessarily signify addiction, but it usually the first step. After the physician discontinues the patient on the medication and the patient exhibits withdrawal symptoms (tremors, irritability, nausea), it can be said that he/she is addicted. Often the habit starts by such innocuous means and explodes into something beyond control (Rosenberg). Opioid abusers will engage in drug-seeking behavior just as determined and sometimes mind-boggling as users of more traditional narcotics.

Often, raiding the medicine cabinet of an acquaintance is all that it takes to secure a fix. Many report the offhandedness some doctors prescribe these powerful drugs makes finding them nothing more complicated than a doctors visit. Some take this one step further, employing a tactic called doctor shopping, which is obtaining multiple prescriptions from multiple doctors for medication. Still others have the moxie to steal their doctors prescription pad and forge a prescription, or call one into a pharmacy using his narcotic control number (Kalb).

One disturbingly easy way to secure these drugs, which I discovered while doing the research for this paper, is over the Internet. Pharmacies from nearly every country on earth are represented there, and a few are more than happy to ship a controlled substance to a U. S. address. I found numerous web sites advertising codeine, hydrocodone, and an opioid-like medication called tramadol, all for fairly reasonable prices, and with no real worry to the purchaser except for the remote possibility that customs officials will confiscate the drugs (Erowid).

Recently this sort of low-key behavior has developed into full-blown violent pursuit. Pharmacies in some cities on the east coast will no longer stock narcotics to avoid the drug robberies that have dotted the area (Richwine). Oxycodone is sometimes called the poor mans heroin. Even with this undistinguished disclaimer, supporting a healthy habit is anything but cheap. The DEA has reported the average street price to be roughly one dollar per milligram. It is most often encountered in the OxyContin extended release tablet, which contains between 40 and 120 milligrams.

An active user with a high tolerance could go through one tablet a day, putting this habit in terms of cost right up there with the more traditional hard drugs. Many users report engaging in property and drug crimes to help feed their addiction, and data taken from cities with a higher-than-average use seem to collaborate this (DEA, Erowid). Abusing opioids is a criminal act in the United States, carrying fairly harsh penalties upon conviction. Why would one chose to ignore the social, fiscal, and physical side effects of abuse for the momentary high? The answer is about as complex and amorphous as they come.

Traditional criminological theories do a very good job explaining criminal events between different people. Most do not do a very good job explaining the motivations for drug abuse. The traditional ideas of offender and victim do not apply in this setting. The act is seen by some as a rational choice by an individual to do something that affects only himself; the crime is victimless. Others (namely the government) view the addictiveness of the drug and the burden the addict places on the community as evidence that society itself is the victim, and thus society is justified in prohibiting it.

Because of this inherent awkwardness, the only theory that is broad enough to rationally explain it is Hirsch and Gottfredsons General Theory of crime. It is able to accomplish this by moving the focus from the actors to the actions themselves. It does not try to explain specific rational for wanting to chemically alter ones perception, but instead notes the commonalities that all crimes contain: they provide instant gratification, they are risky, the benefits are short lived, the actions are easy to execute, and result in some undesirable outcome for the victim.

People who show a propensity for these things have low self-control, and this is the cornerstone of the theory. Hirsch and Gottfredsons work is often criticized for being overly broad, but it is the most intuitive model available for explaining this type of offence (Sacco and Kennedy). I believe the foundation of an effective prevention strategy lies in education, first and foremost. The government needs to get the word out about the physical and psychological dangers of improperly using these powerful analgesics, since most people view them as being safe.

A forceful media campaign like the old ones they did for crack and cocaine would do much for raising public awareness. Incorporating information about these substances into the DARE program which, at the time I was involved in it 6 or 7 years ago barely gave opioids a nod, would also be tremendously helpful. The DARE program is the first formal education children receive on substance abuse, and we need to properly educate them on all of the potential drugs out there.

Physicians should also play an active role in any prevention strategy; they are literally the first line of defense against those who would abuse the system to support their habit. Modernizing the system for prescribing narcotics would be an excellent step in this area. Utilizing new technology to make the prescription process a more secure transaction would have a large impact on the supply side of the issue since almost all opioids found on the street have in all likelihood been fraudulently redirected from legitimate sources.

If you close those loopholes that allow this redirection (forgers, social-engineering pharmacists) the supply would be drastically reduced. They should not in any way, however, be dissuaded from prescribing medication to a patient in genuine need. Pain is not something that can be measured, and no patient should suffer because a specific segment of the population cannot handle it responsibly. The key word here is vigilance on the part of the doctor, not radical departure from quality care.

The pharmaceutical companies themselves need to play a large role in this strategy to alleviate the pressure on doctors caught in the conflict between good medicines and supporting a drug habit. They should continue to devote research and development dollars to the study and synthesis of compounds that are comparative to the opioids in analgesic action but lack the euphoria and addiction potential of the morphine-derived medication currently available.

Ill be the first one to admit this is easier said than done, being that scientists have been working on this since at least the turn of the century when they developed heroin in an effort to curtail morphine addiction (? ) The truth of the matter is morphine and its relatives are simply the best treatment we have for pain management until science comes up with something better. Until that happens, however, pharmaceutical companies should be obligated to modify their existing product to prevent the misuse we are seeing today.

This would be particularly useful for the time-released version of oxycodone, OxyContin. Abusers looking for the heroin-like rush of euphoria either suck the coating off the pills or grind them up and eat or snort. Safeguards could easily be implemented to make this type of entry into the body uncomfortable or unfeasible. They could take lessons from the manufacturers of ephedrine-containing products such as Sudafed which for years were routinely tampered with by clandestine chemists manufacturing methamphetamine.

Today, it is considerably more difficult to extract the ephedrine from the pill due to countermeasures developed by the manufacturer, such as including microcellulose fibers in the tablet to gunk up the equipment used in the extraction. The idea could easily be applied to OxyContin tablets that would render them resistant to tampering. Additives could also be introduced that would give the tablet a horribly unpleasant flavor if ingested without the special coating, or would cause debilitating discomfort to the nasal passage if inhaled.

These are but a handful of cheap and relatively simple ways to address the issue of abuse until science gives us an equivalent, non-addicting alternative. The criminal justice would have to play a more pro-active role in my anti-drug strategy. First and foremost, I would make significant changes to or eliminate the Federal Controlled Substance Schedule, which is essentially a ranking system for illegal drugs that the government uses as a guideline when sentencing drug offenders. At the top are Schedule I substances, which are the most rigorously controlled.

LSD, heroin and ecstasy all reside at the top of this rather nonsensical hierarchy. Most prescription opioids fall under Schedule II, along with cocaine and amphetamine. Steroids, marijuana, and Valium are all listed at Schedule III or below, and have a lower priority to the criminal justice system. Incarcerating people with the clinically recognized disease of drug addiction is bad for society. Modifying and changing the Schedule from a sentencing tool to a treatment and rehabilitation guide would be absolutely essential to my comprehensive opioid abuse control strategy.

I would propose created just two tiers, one for drugs that probably require rehabilitation (opioids included), and one for those that realistically do not. We will call them Schedule A and B, respectively. For those who are convicted of possessing a Schedule A narcotic, a doctor would recommend to the court whether rehab would be necessary or not. If one were found to be addicted to opioids by this medical examination, they would be forcefully remanded to a clinic specializing in this type of treatment. Those found not to be addicts and those convicted of a Schedule B possession offence would be fined.

In the case of opioid abuse, treatment is a viable and preferable option to long-term imprisonment. It is not as straightforward as simply discontinuing use. As I mentioned before, the narcotic withdrawal experienced by a heavy user can prove fatal. Some sort of drug maintenance is needed so the addict can safely wean himself from the opioid. Since giving the addict more of his drug on the states dime is not a realistic option, science has developed a drug called methadone to facilitate this process. Methadone binds to the same mu-receptors as the other opioids, but it does not produce the euphoria (at least when taken orally).

With proper care, supervision, and counseling provided at my hypothetical state-run clinic, the addicts body will readjust to functioning without any foreign chemicals and he/she will hopefully be able to reintegrate into society. Methadone maintenance is not perfect. A sizable percentage will end up relapsing at some point in their lives and may need to come back for treatment. It is superior to our current lock ’em up mentality in many ways, however. It is less expensive to keep a person in treatment for a year than to keep them in a penitentiary.

Some clinics could cut costs even further by becoming outpatient only, since the risk of relapse while on methadone is very small. It is more a more dignified and respectful way to care for a member of society who is ill. Finally, it is in societies best interest to attempt to rehabilitate and keep individuals active in some capacity in the lives of their families and/or children in order to help he or she finally slay the demon of addiction (Erowidk, Kalb, Rosenberg, DEA). An easy solution to the problem of drug abuse of all types will continue to elude us, probably indefinitely.

Indeed, the problem can seem so overwhelming that people simply give up on a real cure and satisfy themselves with treating some of the symptoms, like banning certain medicines or locking up repeat users to keep them from indulging their habit. The truth of the matter is no one change or modification to existing policy will have much effect if any, on the current state of affairs. It isnt enough to ban drugs, we must work to understand their allure and the intricate mechanisms in our brains and in our psychology that make some of us too weak to resist the temptation. Only with this sort of concentrated effort will we see any progress.

Methamphetamines – powerfully addictive stimulants

Methamphetamines are powerfully addictive stimulants that dramatically affect the central nervous system. The drugs are made easily in clandestine, or illegal laboratories with cheap over the counter ingredients. These factors combine to make methamphetamines drugs extremely dangerous, and vulnerable to widespread use. Methamphetamines are also commonly known as speed, meth, or chalk. In its smoked form they are often referred to as ice, crystal, crank, or glass. They are a white, odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that easily dissolves in water or alcohol.

Methamphetamine’s chemical structure is similar o that of amphetamine, but it has more pronounced effects on the central nervous system. Like amphetamines, they causes increased activity, decreased appetite, and a general sense of well being, which can last 6 to 8 hours. After the initial rush, there is typically a state of high agitation that in some individuals can lead to violent behavior. Contrary to the stereotype of rural areas as idyllic, protected environments in which to raise families, substance abuse is as great a problem as it is in the cities.

One must realize that rural communities vary in characteristics considerably, which complicates our nderstanding of rural substance use problems and increases the need for prevention, intervention, and treatment programs. For too long, the problems of alcohol and drug abuse in rural areas have received little attention from the federal level. As national studies show, those who live in rural areas are just as likely to have alcohol and other drug problems as those who live in large and small cities.

The choice of addictive substances may differ, but the prevalence of abuse is virtually the same for country and city dweller alike. Less attention has been focused on drug use in rural than urban areas despite vidence that metro and nonmetro differences in rates of substance abuse have been declining. Between 1975 and 1991, the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA) collected drug, alcohol, and tobacco use data from individuals age 12 and older living in U. S. households. These data are used to report trends in illegal drug use for large and small metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas of the United States.

Lifetime-use patterns of marijuana, hallucinogens, inhalants, and cocaine by age group for the three population density areas are compared. In general, nonmetropolitan prevalence rates for the four drugs were slightly lower han those for the two metropolitan population density areas, however, the rates appear to be converging. Lifetime substance use was highest for those age 18 to 34. (Moxley,1992 p. 119) A clandestine laboratory is a laboratory used for the primary purpose of illegally manufacturing controlled substances, such as cocaine and methamphetamine.

Clandestine labs are typically small, utilizing common household appliances, glassware, and readily available chemicals. (KBI, 1997, p. 1-2) Clandestine laboratories come in all sizes and are found in a variety of locations. The most common and the fastest growing type of lab is the ethamphetamine lab, or crank lab. Methamphetamine laboratories have been seized in homes in residential areas, vehicles, apartments, hotels, kitchens, bathrooms, garages and various other outbuildings. (University of Kansas, 1995, p. )

There are many different methods for producing Methamphetamines. Each method has its own inherent dangers. Many of the chemicals used are corrosive or destructive, and some of the processes create noxious and harmful fumes. Additionally, many of the chemicals can be found in common household items such as Coleman fuel, some cleaners, and diet pills. The most productive laboratories re commonly located in rural areas, such as farms, rural residences and forestry land. Rural areas are often targeted for laboratory manufacturing to avoid detection by law enforcement.

Often these labs are larger and produce strong chemical odors, which could be easily detected by neighbors. (Weisheit, Wells, 1996, p. 384) Clandestine laboratories are commonly operated on an irregular basis. Operators often produce a batch, or conduct one step in the process, then disassemble and store the lab, or move the lab to another location to complete the process. This is often done in order to avoid detection by law nforcement. (KBI, 1997, p. 2) Methamphetamine labs are increasingly becoming a public safety hazard.

Even months after a lab has been closed, chemical residue that has seeped into carpet or wood can be dangerous. (Gallon, 1998, p. 48) Police and Firefighters must take special safety courses to handle meth situations because of the likelihood of explosions, invisible poison gases and other dangers. People who come into contact with the highly toxic chemicals that are used to make the drug can become sick and prolonged exposure can lead to cancer. The majority of methamphetamine labs are of the smaller type where the perators are use canning jars or other glass dishes.

These labs are extremely dangerous for several reasons. These lab operators are not using the proper type of glassware that would prevent explosion or exposure to deadly gases released from the cook, and these operators are commonly users of crank and are under the influence while operating the lab. (http://www. sema. state. mo. us/metham. htm) Methamphetamine does more than boost the crime rate; it creates drug addicts and turns normal lives into nightmares. Its manufacturing process presents an immediate environmental hazard.

The cost of cleaning up these sites can be normous. (Kaufman, 1998, p. 9) Not only are methamphetamine laboratories used to manufacture illegal, often deadly drugs, but the illegal and dangerous nature of production, has resulted in explosions, fires, toxic fumes, and irreparable damage to human health and to the environment. Every year, fires or explosions occur at a number of clandestine laboratory sites, which lead to their discovery. Hazardous chemical wastes, which are the by-products of the illegal drug manufacturing process, are more times than not disposed of using unsafe and illegal methods. Operators dump them on the ground in streams and lakes, local ewage systems or septic tanks, or bury them.

Law enforcement personnel engaged in clandestine drug laboratory seizure and recognition require specialized training in the investigation of such facilities, including training in appropriate health and safety procedures and in the use of personal protective equipment. (University of Kansas, 1995, p11) Cleaning up a seized clandestine drug laboratory site is a complex, dangerous, expensive, and time-consuming undertaking. The amount of waste material from a clandestine laboratory may vary from a few pounds to several tons depending on the size of the laboratory and ts manufacturing capabilities. KBI, 1997, p. 22)

When a methamphetamine laboratory is seized, hazardous waste materials, such as chemicals and contaminated glassware and equipment, must be disposed of properly. Many of these materials are reactive, explosive, flammable, corrosive, and toxic. The danger is compounded by the fact that many federal, state, and local law enforcement officers lack adequate training in clandestine laboratory safety procedures and regulations, hazards, and other related health and safety issues. (University of Kansas, 1995, p. )

Although the quantities of hazardous materials ound at a typical methamphetamine laboratory are relatively small when compared to waste generated from a major industry, the substances to which law enforcement personnel and others may be exposed present very real public health concerns. (Lannone, 1998, p. 36) Methamphetamine laboratories present both acute and chronic health risks to individuals involved in the seizure and cleanup of the facility, to those who live and work nearby, and to the violator operating the facility. The problems are further complicated when the chemicals are stored at off-site locations such as rental lockers.

The lack of proper ventilation and emperature controls at these off-site locations adds to the potential for fire, explosion, and exposure to humans. Methamphetamine laboratories may contaminate water sources and soil. In some cases, contamination may spread off site. Careless or intentional dumping by the laboratory operator is one source of contamination. Spilling chemicals on the floor or dumping waste into bathtubs, sinks, toilets, or on the grounds surrounding the laboratories, and along roads and creeks are common practices.

Surface and groundwater drinking supplies could be contaminated, potentially affecting large numbers of people. (http://www. usdoj. ov/dea/pubs/meth/production. htm) Perhaps the greatest risk of long-term exposure is assumed by unsuspecting inhabitants of buildings formerly used by clandestine drug laboratory operators where residual contamination may exist inside and outside the structure. “These hazardous chemical substances pose the most significant threats to the law enforcement officials and other first responders (fire and health department personnel) that initially secure the site.

Threats to the surrounding human population and environment also exist, making these clandestine drug labs a significant threat until the hazardous materials can be analyzed, properly ategorized, managed and then properly disposed. ” (Collins) Today’s meth labs can be compared with the illegal moonshine stills of earlier days. The drugs can be made with a skillet and stove, in a bathtub, or even the trunk of a car and the recipe can be found on the Internet. Why is it so popular? There are several reasons. For the maker and seller, a $1,000 investment can make a $20,000 profit. For the buyer, it’s the cheap man’s high.

A $100 buy of cocaine can give a user a 20-minute high. The same amount of meth can keep a user high for a day or two. In other words, more bang for the buck. (KBI, 1997, p. 6) Clandestine lab elimination is not just a law enforcement responsibility; it is also a public health and environmental problem. The governing body must bring all of the appropriate players into action. The responders must know their roles and responsibilities when they take down a laboratory. First, funding must be increased. Cleanups of labs are extremely resource-intensive and beyond the financial capabilities of most jurisdictions.

Consequently, if we divert resources from other drug problems to clandestine laboratory enforcement and cleanups, other drug problems will increase. (Moxley, 1992, p. 136) Second, ederal leadership must coordinate and set a training standard. Equipment and intelligence programs also must be developed. Agencies need to conduct more baseline research and develop plans that show the resources and coordination required for a successful cleanup. Finally, there is a need for training for personal protection. Responders need to know what methamphetamine is and how it is made.

They must know typical locations and the look and smell of clandestine labs. This awareness training is needed especially in rural jurisdictions, as these areas are preferred by lab operators, they are not easily observed and can ork anonymously. Methamphetamine has been called the “crack of the 1990s,” with methamphetamine-related emergency room admissions and deaths skyrocketing in the United States, particularly in the West. Rural areas have been hit particularly hard. In some regions, hospitals have seen as much as 1,000% and 2,000% increases in admissions from the drug in the last 10 years. Weisheit, Wells, 1996, p. 396)

Law enforcement and substance abuse centers in Kansas have observed an increase in the prevalence of methamphetamine. The Kansas Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services reported an increase of 359% in methamphetamine primary roblem admissions from Fiscal Year 1994 to Fiscal Year 1997. The Kansas Highway Patrol reported Interdiction Unit seizures for methamphetamine increasing from 1994 to 1997. Clandestine laboratory seizures reported to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and Drug Enforcement Agency in Kansas have also increased over the same period.

Methamphetamine accounts for up to 90 percent of all drug cases in many Midwest communities. (http://www. kbi. org) What is being done by officials to curb this ever-present problem? Recent initiatives by local, state, and federal leaders have been brought up to eliminate this problem. One such program is the Life or Meth Campaign. This campaign includes TV public service announcements, anti-methamphetamine posters, media kits, school counselor kits, chambers of commerce kits, and teen editor press kits.

Another step taken to help control the problem is the Methamphetamine Control Act of 1996. Because there are no quantity limitations or uniform reporting requirements for iodine and red phosphorous, the chemicals needed to manufacture methamphetamines, law enforcement’s ability to trace these chemicals is severely handicapped. The Control Act of 1996 establishes new controls over key chemicals and strengthens riminal penalties for possession and distribution of these chemicals. (http://www. senate. ov/feinstein/meth1. html)

As rural communities struggle just to survive, they also must struggle to win back their communities and eliminate the imposing drug problem. Without proper funding, training, and support from each level of government the production, trafficking, and use of illegal substances will almost surely increase. Methamphetamine production creates a unique and deadly combination to unsuspecting rural communities. Only through educating, support, and dedication, will this problem be controlled.

The War On Drugs: A Losing Battle

In 1968, when American soldiers came home from the Vietnam War addicted to heroin, President Richard Nixon initiated the War on Drugs. More than a decade later, President Ronald Reagan launches the South Florida Drug Task force, headed by then Vice-President George Bush, in response to the city of Miami’s demand for help. In 1981, Miami was the financial and import central for cocaine and marijuana, and the residents were fed up. Thanks to the task force, drug arrests went up by 27%, and drug seizures went up by 50%.

With that, the need for prosecutors and judges also rose. Despite these increased arrests and seizures, marijuana and cocaine still poured into south Florida. At this stage, the root of the problem, the Colombian Cartels, was not attacked. The DEA soon realized that they needed to crack down on the cartels. In 1982 the DEA went to Colombia to eradicate fields of marijuana and coca plants. These fields were located and burned. The hard part now, was finding the labs used to turn the coca leaves into cocaine. These labs were in very remote locations, to avoid surveillance.

The DEA suspected that the cocaine labs were very large, but the Colombians kept eluding them. Finally the DEA was able to track down the chemicals used in the processing of cocaine to one of the labs, and the DEA scored their first major bust. On March 10, 1984 twelve tons of cocaine were seized from a very remote lab. The DEA thinks they made an impact, but amazingly the cocaine availability on American streets remained the same. The DEA is shocked, and realizes just how big the drug problem in the United States was.

Because the Cartel leaders had money, they also began to acquire power. The dealers run for political office and win. Drug dollars poured into Colombia, building cities. The United States respond to the rise in the drug lords’ power by pressuring Colombia to extradite narcotics traffickers to the U. S. The Colombians, who want no Colombians in American Jails, oppose this. The drug dealers both respected and feared extradition, and recognized the threat. When the Colombian Justice Minister openly supported extradition, he was assassinated.

Still, the U. S. essures the extradition issue. In 1985, anti-Government Guerillas, mainly composed of the drug dealers, attack the Colombian Supreme Court. The extradition requests were destroyed, and eleven Supreme Court Justices were killed. In total, over 200 people lost their lives. At this point, the drug lords are using terrorism to force the Colombian government to back off the extradition issue. During the 1980s, it appeared that Central America was awash in drugs, and drug money. The violence continues today, through drug related gang violence, to botched drug raids.

Drug dealers often carry weapons, some illegal, to defend themselves and their drugs. The drugs themselves do not cause violence; it is the fact that they are illegal that causes the violence. If two drug dealers have a dispute, they have no legal way for it to be settled. The only option for them is violence. At this time, the Parent’s Movement is focusing its attentions on marijuana and children. Nancy Reagan makes her famous “Just say No! ” speech and President Reagan makes marijuana a top priority.

Upon examining the relationship between marijuana use and violent crime, the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse concluded, “Rather than inducing violent or aggressive behavior through its purported effects of lowering inhibitions, weakening impulse control and heightening aggressive tendencies, marihuana was usually found to inhibit the expression of aggressive impulses by pacifying the user, interfering with muscular coordination, reducing psychomotor activities and generally producing states of drowsiness lethargy, timidity and passivity.

When also examining the medical affects of marijuana use, the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse concluded, “A careful search of the literature and testimony of the nation’s health officials has not revealed a single human fatality in the United States proven to have resulted solely from ingestion of marihuana. Experiments with the drug in monkeys demonstrated that the dose required for overdose death was enormous and for all practical purposes unachievable by humans smoking marihuana.

This is in marked contrast to other substances in common use, most notably alcohol and barbiturate sleeping pills. The World Health Organization reached the same conclusion in 1995. The World Health Organization released a study in March 1998 stating: “there are good reasons for saying that [the risks from cannabis] would be unlikely to seriously [compare to] the public health risks of alcohol and tobacco even if as many people used cannabis as now drink alcohol or smoke tobacco. ” Marijuana was seen as a gateway to other drugs, giving birth to the Gateway Theory.

Unfortunately, the Gateway Theory is flawed in many ways. In 1937 Harry Anslinger, then head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics testified before Congress, saying that there was no connection between the use of marijuana and the use of harder drugs, and in fact, the users of different drugs typically did not associate with one another. It also does not seem logical that the use of one drug would cause a craving for another drug, never used before. Many drug users say that the first drugs they ever used were the two socially sanctioned drugs, alcohol and tobacco. These drugs are both harmful and legal.

In March 1999, the Institute of Medicine issued a report on various aspects of marijuana, including the so-called, Gateway Theory (the theory that using marijuana leads people to use harder drugs like cocaine and heroin). The IOM stated, “There is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs. ” The Institute of Medicine’s 1999 report on marijuana explained that marijuana has been mistaken for a gateway drug in the past because “Patterns in progression of drug use from adolescence to adulthood are strikingly regular.

Because it is the most widely used illicit drug, marijuana is predictably the first illicit drug most people encounter. Not surprisingly, most users of other illicit drugs have used marijuana first. In fact, most drug users begin with alcohol and nicotine before marijuana, usually before they are of legal age. ” The 1999 federal National Household Survey of Drug Abuse provides an estimate of the age of first use of drugs. According to the Household Survey, the mean age of first use of marijuana in the US in 1997 was 17. 2 years. The mean age of first use of alcohol in that year, on the other hand, was 16. ears, and the mean age of first use of cigarettes was 15. 4 years old.

The same survey reports, “The rate of past month illicit drug use among youths was higher among those that were currently using cigarettes or alcohol, compared with youths not using cigarettes or alcohol. In 1999, 5. 6 percent of youth nonsmokers used illicit drugs, while among youths who used cigarettes, the rate of past month illicit drug use was 41. 1 percent. The rate of illicit drug use was also associated with the level of alcohol use. Among youths that were heavy drinkers in 1999, 66. ercent were also current illicit drug users. Among nondrinkers, only 5. 5 percent were current illicit drug users. ”

Over 72 million Americans have used marijuana, yet for every 120 people who have ever tried marijuana, there is only one active, regular user of cocaine. Marijuana is also thought by many people to have medicinal properties, and people do use it for medicine. However, marijuana is illegal, turning the people who use it as medicine into criminals. In spite of the established medical value of marijuana, doctors are presently permitted to prescribe cocaine and morphine – but not marijuana.

In the 1970s, cannabis was “re-discovered” as a medical substance. Controlled studies have revealed its therapeutic utility in the treatment of cancer chemotherapy side effects, glaucoma, and spasticity ailments. Federal regulations continue to make research with the drug very difficult, however, and many promising areas of therapeutic application have received little or no attention. These include: asthma, AIDS, epilepsy, analgesic action, tumor retardation, nervous disorders, glaucoma and mental illness.

The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, intended to prohibit marijuana’s social use, was most effective in prohibiting medical use of the drug. Strict regulations governing cultivation of the plant made its production impractical. New synthetic drugs caught the fancy of physicians and marijuana was used less frequently, Finally, in 1942, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics convinced the U. S. Pharmacopeia to remove the drug from its listing. The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 established five categories, or “schedules,” into which illicit and prescription drugs were placed.

Marijuana was placed in Schedule I, which defines the substance as having a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision. To contrast, over 90 published reports and studies have shown marijuana has medical efficacy. The DEA’s Administrative Law Judge, Francis Young concluded: “In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume. For example, eating 10 raw potatoes can result in a toxic response. By comparison, it is physically impossible to eat enough marijuana to induce death.

Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis, marijuana can be safely used within the supervised routine of medical care. ” The most profound activist for marijuana’s use as a medicine is Dr. Lester Grinspoon, author of Marihuana: The Forbidden Medicine. According to Grinspoon, “The only well-confirmed negative effect of marijuana is caused by the smoke, which contains three times more tars and five times more carbon monoxide than tobacco.

Nevertheless, even the heaviest marijuana smokers rarely use as much as an average tobacco smoker. And, of course, many prefer to eat it. ” His book includes personal accounts of how prescribed marijuana alleviated epilepsy, weight loss of aids, nausea of chemotherapy, menstrual pains, and the severe effects of multiple sclerosis. The illness with the most documentation and harmony among doctors which marijuana has successfully treated is MS. Grinspoon believes for MS sufferers, “Cannabis is the drug of necessity. ” One patient of his, 51 year old Elizabeth MacRory, says “It has completely changed my life…

It has helped with muscle spasms, allowed me to sleep properly, and helped control my bladder. ” Marijuana also proved to be effective in the treatment of glaucoma because its use lowers pressure on the eye. Glaucoma is an eye disease that afflicts more than four million Americans and is the leading cause of blindness in the United States. According to the National Society for Prevention of Blindness, there are 178,000 new cases of glaucoma diagnosed each year. Glaucoma can strike people of all ages but is most often found among those over 65.

The most common form of glaucoma is chronic or open-angle glaucoma. It is characterized by increased pressure within the eye (intraocular pressure or IOP) which can cause damage to the optic nerve if not controlled effectively. Other types of glaucoma include narrow-angle and secondary. Treatment of narrow-angle glaucoma is primarily surgical. In approximately 90% of the open-angle and secondary glaucoma topical (eyedrop), preparations along with some oral medications can effectively control the disease, but at least 10% of all cases fail to be completely controlled by available prescriptive drugs.

In some instances, available glaucoma medications can cause side effects such as headaches, kidney stones, burning of the eyes, blurred vision, cardiac arrhythmias, insomnia, and nervous anxiety. These side effects may become so severe that the patient must discontinue use. Scientists have been working to develop a marijuana eyedrop for several years. Until recently, they concentrated on delta-9-THC, marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient. Some researchers, however, have begun to wonder if other constituents in the cannabis plant might be more effective in reducing IOP.

The few glaucoma patients who have continued, legal access to marijuana bolster this theory. In these cases, synthetic THC is only effective for a short period of time. Natural marijuana, however, consistently lowers IOP. Marijuana is the best natural expectorant to clear the human lungs of smog, dust and the phlegm associated with tobacco use. Marijuana smoke is a natural bronchial dilator, effectively dilating the airways of the lungs, the bronchi, opening them to allow more oxygen into the lungs.

That makes marijuana the best overall bronchial dilator for 80% of the population (the remaining 20% sometimes show minor negative reactions. ) Statistical evidence – showing up consistently as anomalies in matched populations – indicates that people who smoke tobacco cigarettes are usually better off and will live longer if they smoke cannabis moderately, too. Dr. Donald Tashkin, UCLA Pulmonary Studies, stated, “Taking a hit of marijuana has been known to stop a full blown asthma attack. ” On September 6, 1988, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Chief Administrative Law Judge, Francis L.

Young, ruled: “Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known…. [T]he provisions of the [Controlled Substances] Act permit and require the transfer of marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II. It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for the DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance. ” The Institute of Medicine’s 1999 report on medical marijuana summarized the medical value of marijuana saying: “The accumulated data suggest a variety of indications, particularly for pain relief, antiemesis, and appetite stimulation.

For patients, such as those with AIDS or undergoing chemotherapy, who suffer simultaneously from severe pain, nausea, and appetite loss, cannabinoid drugs might thus offer broad spectrum relief not found in any other single medication. The data are weaker for muscle spasticity, but moderately promising. The least promising categories are movement disorders, epilepsy, and glaucoma. Animal data are moderately supportive of a potential for cannabinoids in the treatment of movement disorders and might eventually yield stronger encouragement.

Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey’s assertion in his Scripps-Howard News Service column that no clinical evidence demonstrates that smoked marijuana is good medicine, is inconsistent with the facts. Whether this is an intentional deception, as part of the federal government’s stated public relations offensive against medical marijuana, or whether it is based on ignorance does not matter. The reality is General McCaffrey’s statements are not consistent with the facts. In the early 1980s the DEA focus was mainly cocaine and marijuana.

However, a new problem was on the rise, crack. Crack was distributed to the U. S. through the Bahamas. The Bahamas were ideal because of the islands and waterways, and the fact that Florida was only 90 minutes by air. At this point the drug smugglers have the advantage over the DEA. The smugglers were always just a few steps ahead of the law. The DEA tried using helicopters to catch the smugglers’ boats, but by the time the helicopters got close enough to make the grab; they would have to turn back because they were close to running out of gas.

The DEA was seen as a dog trying to catch rabbits; the dog would catch one or two, but most of the time the rabbits get away. Crack really began as a problem in Harlem, New York. The spread of crack moved like fire through dry brush in the New York Tri-State area. This drug hit the Black and Latino communities the hardest. Crack became more popular in inner cities because it was cheap compared to cocaine. Cocaine was seen as a drug for the rich, and crack was for the poor. Crack was also more addictive than cocaine, since smoking it made it more concentrated.

Before the onset of crack, women were not statistically addicts. When women started using crack, it brought about a total disintegration of the family. Babies born to mothers who used crack were addicted themselves. Heroin has been an abused drug since it’s conception in the late nineteenth century as a patent medicine. Today there are treatments available to heroin addicts, however users are still stigmatized and because of that stigma of being a “junkie”, many do not seek help. The health problems brought on by using heroin are usually associated with the use of needles.

Hepatitis C and HIV are two of the biggest heath problems that IV heroin users face. Users that snort heroin or smoke it (referred to as “chasing the dragon”) have very few of these problems. There are different opinions on how to stop America’s drug problem. Two of those opinions are education and treatment, and prison. D. A. R. E. is a popular education tool for teaching children how to avoid the subtle pressure to do drugs, and how to manage stress and conflict without drugs and violence. D. A. R. E. is very popular, and one of the reasons is because it puts the local police in the “good guy” position.

Having a policeman come into a classroom can be an effective way to teach important survival skills, such as traffic rules, and bicycle safely, and resisting predatory strangers. In recent years, newspapers have published several accounts where children credited D. A. R. E. with helping them thwart an improper approach by a stranger. D. A. R. E. is especially popular among the children themselves. Most D. A. R. E. officers are friendly, affable officers, and develop good rapport with the kids, who are charmed by tales of adventure in law enforcement.

Police departments like D. A. R. E. because it provides additional revenue and a useful opportunity to engage in community relations. D. A. R. E. officers are frequently personable, attractive officers who make an excellent impression on children and present a positive image of police in general. However, informal surveys have found that D. A. R. E. is no more effective than any other drug education program. “The D. A. R. E. program’s limited effect on adolescent drug use contrasts with the program’s popularity and prevalence.

An important implication is that D. A. R. E. could be taking the place of other, more beneficial drug education programs that kids could be receiving. ” Because of attempting to prevent all drug experimentation and/or use, D. A. R. E. ‘s objectives are not only unrealistic but also possible counter-productive because they are obviously unattainable. As an example, some studies have shown that adolescents who have experimented with illicit drugs (especially marijuana) are better adjusted than either abstainers or frequent users and were more socially skilled with higher levels of self-esteem than abstainers.

Some people say that drug addiction is a disease, and addicts should be treated as people needing medical help. “Whatever conditions may lead to opiate exposure, opiate dependence is a brain-related disorder with the requisite characteristics of a medical illness. ” There are a few different methods of treatment, but for the sake of simplicity, this paper will cover methadone and narcotic antagonists. Methadone is a synthetic narcotic analgesic that was developed in Germany during World War II due to the lack of opiate based pain medication.

Methadone prevents often-excruciating withdrawal symptoms, yet blocks the pleasurable effects of heroin. For a heroin addict, he is either “straight” (feeling normal), “high”, or “sick”. He wakes up sick, shoots up, and gets high. That lasts for a few hours maybe, and he shoots up again if he can, to avoid getting sick. In this viscous cycle, it is easy to see how holding a job or living normally is out of the question. “Although a drug-free state represents an optimal treatment goal, research has demonstrated that this goal cannot be achieved or sustained by the majority of opiate-dependent people.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), “Methadone maintenance treatment is effective in reducing illicit opiate drug use, in reducing crime, in enhancing social productivity, and in reducing the spread of viral diseases such as AIDS and hepatitis. ” “All opiate-dependent persons under legal supervision should have access to methadone maintenance therapy… ” Methadone maintenance is long-term, if not permanent. However, the methadone is given in a controlled environment; patients must come to the clinic once or twice a day for their dose.

This way the patients were not given a narcotic that they could sell on the street. A daily appearance at the clinics and the opportunities for counseling is cited as one of the major reasons for the success of the methadone program. “Of the various treatments available, Methadone Maintenance Treatment, combined with attention to medical, psychiatric and socioeconomic issues, as well as drug counseling, has the highest probability of being effective. ” Narcotic antagonists, such as the drug naltrexone, work by blocking the effects of narcotics such as heroin.

Naltrexone works only if the addict has already been detoxed, and is motivated to take the drug. Narcotic antagonists work best for those addicts that tend to relapse impulsively. “The unnecessary regulations of methadone maintenance therapy and other long-acting opiate antagonist treatment programs should be reduced, and coverage for these programs should be a required benefit in public and private insurance programs. ” The National Treatment Improvement Evaluation Study (NTIES) found that with treatment: drug selling decreased by 78%, shoplifting declined by almost 82%, and assaults (defined as beating someone up’) declined by 78%.

Furthermore, there was a 64% decrease in arrests for any crime, and the percentage of people who largely supported themselves through illegal activity dropped by nearly half – decreasing more than 48 percent. Another way of thinking is that drug addicts are criminals and should be punished. Certainly, this is one of the objectives of the War on Drugs, to put the drug traffickers in prison. However, how many millions of people do you think we have to put in prison to have the best results? Under current laws, most users also fall under the category of dealers, due to either the amount carried, or the way the drugs are packaged.

Potentially forty million people would have to be imprisoned under these laws, and that is just impossible. Although people may think that the War on Drugs targets drug smugglers and King Pins,’ of the 1,559,100 arrests for drug law violations in 1998, 78. 8% (1,228,571) were for possession of a controlled substance. Only 21. 2% (330,529) was for the sale or manufacture of a drug. Simple possession of marijuana accounted for 38. 4% (598,694) of the total arrests. Even if only ten percent of the drug dealers were put in prison, the U. S. would have to build four prisons for every one we have now.

How many people need to be in prison for drug offenses to effectively control the drug problem? The government has asked the taxpayers to write a blank check for prisons to jail non-violent offenders. Since the enactment of mandatory minimum sentencing for drug users, the Federal Bureau of Prisons budget increased by more than 1,350%, from $220 million in 1986 to about $3. 19 billion in 1997. The ONDCP in its 2000 annual report detailed administration requests for major increases in funding to the Federal Bureau of Prisons for drug-related prison construction.

These include an extra $420 Million in fiscal year 2001, and advanced appropriations of $467 Million in 2002, and an additional $316 Million in 2003 – all drug-related. The 1997 National Treatment Improvement Evaluation Study (NTIES) stated, “Treatment appears to be cost effective, particularly when compared to incarceration, which is often the alternative. Treatment costs ranged from a low of $1,800 per client to a high of approximately $6,800 per client. ” To contrast, the average cost of incarceration in 1993 (the most recent year available) was $23,406 per inmate per year.

For a single drug user to be put in prison, it costs taxpayers about a half million dollars. That includes $150,000 for arrest and prosecution, $150,000 for a new cell, and approximately $30,000 a year for the next five years. In the same respect, that amount of money could provide education and treatment for one hundred people. Which do you think is the better option? In California, and in a few other states, schools, libraries, and medical facilities are being closed in order to build more prisons. The money is being taken from education and treatment in order to build more prisons.

Is this planning for our children’s future? Prisoners sentenced for drug offenses constitute the largest group of Federal inmates (58%) in 1998, up from 53% in 1990 (table 21). On September 30, 1998, the date of the latest available data, Federal prisons held 63,011 sentenced drug offenders, compared to 30,470 at yearend 1990. ” Table 21 notes there were 56,989 Federal prisoners in 1990, compared to 108,925 in 1998. : Over 80% of the increase in the federal prison population from 1985 to 1995 were due to drug convictions.

In 1998, drug law violators comprised 21% of all adults serving time in State prisons – 236,800 out of 1,141,700 State inmates. Nonviolent offenders accounted for Eighty-four percent (84%) of the increase in state and federal prison admissions since 1980. Department of corrections data show that about a fourth of those initially imprisoned for nonviolent crimes are sentenced for a second time for committing a violent offense. Whatever else it reflects, this pattern highlights the possibility that prison serves to transmit violent habits and values rather than to reduce them.

It seems that no matter how hard the government tries to fight drugs, it will always lose. Government’s solution is spending more money, imprison more people but that does not keep people from using drugs. In this final part of the paper, I will discuss legalization and decriminalization to effectively end the War on Drugs. “Prohibition… goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.

Abraham Lincoln December, 1840 As the drug war hysteria begins to subside, it becomes increasingly obvious that there must be a serious re-examination of the laws prohibiting “soft drugs”, such as marijuana. The decriminalization of “soft drugs” has emerged as an active political issue in many European countries, including Switzerland, Holland, and Germany. The policies being considered range from decriminalization, or repeal of criminal penalties for private use and cultivation of cannabis, to full legalization, in which marijuana is commercially sold like alcohol and tobacco.

The Netherlands follows a policy of separating the market for illicit drugs. Cannabis is primarily purchased through coffee shops. Coffee shops offer no or few possibilities for purchasing illicit drugs other than cannabis. Thus The Netherlands achieve a separation of the soft drug market from the hard drugs market – and separation of the acceptable risk’ drug user from the unacceptable risk’ drug user. Decriminalization involves the removal of criminal penalties for possession of marijuana for personal use.

Small fines may be issued (similar to traffic tickets) but there is no arrest, incarceration, or criminal record. Marijuana is presently decriminalized in 10 statesCalifornia, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Oregon. In these states, cultivation and distribution remain criminal offenses. We already have some evidence that legalization works. In the U. S. states that have briefly decriminalized marijuana in the 1970s, the number of users stayed about the same.

In the Netherlands, legal tolerance of marijuana has led to a significant decline in consumption and has successfully prevented kids from experimenting with hard drugs. Eleven times as many U. S. high school seniors smoked pot daily in 1983 as did students the same age in the Netherlands. The Dutch discovered that making the purchase of small amounts of marijuana freely available to anyone over 16 cuts the drug dealer out; as a result, there is virtually no crime associated with the use of marijuana.

Treatment for addiction to hard drugs is widely available there; 75 percent of the heroin addicts in Amsterdam are on methadone maintenance, living relatively normal, crime-free lives. All this still falls short of legalization, and problems still abound, but the experience of the Netherlands clearly points in the right direction. The Dutch see illicit drug use as a health problem, not as a criminal problem. Drug legalization is neither a simple nor singular public policy proposal. For example, drug legalization could at one extreme involve a return to wide-open access to all drugs for all people as.

Partial legalization could entail such changes in drug policy as making currently illegal drugs available in their crude forms to certain types of medical patients. It might include the maintenance of addicts on heroin or their drug of choice, handouts of needles to addicts without the requirement of cessation of drug use, or marked softening in sentencing guidelines for drug-related offenses short of frank legalization. Right now, a marijuana smoker is arrested every forty-five seconds.

When we define all marijuana smoking as criminal, including that which involves adults smoking in the privacy of their own homes, we are wasting police and prosecutorial resources, clogging courts, filling costly and scarce jail and prison space, and needlessly wrecking the lives and careers of genuinely good citizens. Millions of Americans use marijuana; few abuse it. The government should limit its involvement in this issue solely to address and sanction irresponsible marijuana and other drug use. Responsible marijuana use causes no harm to society and should be of no interest to the federal government.

Should The United States End Drug Prohibition

The Federal Government, while trying to protect us from our human nature, developed harsh anti-drug policies with the hope of eradicating drugs. At the time, these policies seemed simple enough: we will impose penalties on those who use substances illegally, we will intercept drugs coming from other countries while ending all drug cultivation in the States, and we will even try to prevent foreign governments from growing these substances. The idea of the Drug Prohibition surely made sense: lower demand of drugs by law enforcement, and reduce supply through domestic and international means.

Unfortunately, the Drug Prohibition led to heavy costs, both financially and otherwise, while being ineffective, if not, at times, counterproductive. Today, we can see the unforeseen costs of the “Drug Prohibition,” and we should consider these costs before expanding the “War on Drugs. ” First, among the costs of the “War on Drugs,” the most obvious is monetary cost. The direct cost of purchasing drugs for private use is $100 billion a year. The federal government spends at least $10 billion a year on drug enforcement programs and spends many billions more on drug-related crimes nd punishment.

The estimated cost to the United States for the “War on Drugs” is $200 billion a year or an outstanding $770 per person per year, and that figure does not include the money spent by state and local government in this “war” (Evans and Berent, eds. xvii). The second cost of this “war” is something economist like to call opportunity costs. Here, we have two resources which are limited: prison cells and law enforcement. When more drug crimes take up law enforcement’s time and when more drug criminals take up cells, less ability to fight other crime exists.

This becomes significant when an estimated 35-40 million Americans use drugs per year. In 1994, law enforcement arrested some 750,000 people on drug charges, and of those 750,000, 600,000 were charged merely with possession. Sixty percent of the prison population are drug offenders (Wink). The police, therefore, most work to find these 35 million “criminals,” thereby exhausting their resources. Also, in major urban centers, the number of drug offences brought to trial are outstanding.

For example, in Washington in 1994, 52% of all indictments were drug related as opposed to 13% in 1981 (Evans and Berent, eds. 1). All aspects of our legal system are being exhausted on drugs when it could be used more effectively on other felonies or focused on preventing children from buying drugs. Another two legal aspects of Drug Prohibition are interesting since they show how the “Prohibition” is not only ineffective, but also counterproductive. The first of which is the fact that the illegality of drugs leads to huge profits for drug dealers and traffickers.

Ironically, the Drug Prohibition benefits most the drug traffickers and dealers as prices are pushed well above cost (Evans and Berent, eds. 22). The second aspect of the “Drug Prohibition” that undermines law enforcement is the need for drug users to commit personal property crimes. One-third of the people arrested for burglary and robbery said that they stole only to support their habit, and about 75% of personal property crimes were committed by drug abusers. Studies also suggest that these people, when placed on outpatient drug therapy or sold drugs at a lower price commit much less crime (Duke).

Even the DEA admits that, “Drug use was common among inmates serving time for robbery, burglary, and drug offenses” (“Crime, Violence”). Drug Prohibition has been very costly, detrimental to our relations with other countries, and harmful to users and society alike. All this while trying to battle an enemy who is not as dangerous as it is currently believed by most of the American public. The unpleasantries of the history of Drug Prohibition also show us how the public has been mislead through Prohibition.

Many of these disagreeable acts were not circumstances of Drug Prohibition, rather goals of it, whether it was understood or not. The United States’ image in Latin America has been precarious nearly from its birth. The image of the American intent on dominating the New World plays in the minds of our neighbors. Recently, though, the situation is interesting since the countries involved are growing less and less complacent to deal with the losses of sovereignty that they are incurring.

Drug Prohibition not only plays out on the American stage, but is a focal point of US relations with the countries of Latin America. So, as each of these countries has to pay the costs of Yankee Imperialism, the tension between neighbors is increasing. The first of the tensions comes from Colombia. Unfortunately, our crusade gainst drugs has caused the famous cartels of South America and, especially, those of Colombia. Many wonder if we are justified in putting pressure on these countries just to slow the drug trade.

The deaths of thousands of innocent Colombians were the result of our actions in these countries (Evans and Berent, eds. 58). The growth of the cartels, especially the Cali cartel, has led to political corruption in that country. “The President [Ernesto Samper] was said to have taken money from drug traffickers so that the government would stop other groups from exporting cocaine. He promised in his campaign a fight against drugs, but nobody can trust a President who took money from the cartels,” said David Casas, a resident of Cali, Colombia.

This unnecessary death and corruption in other countries due to United States’ drug policy sometimes lead to hostility toward us (Casas). Because of the problems South American countries have faced because of Drug Prohibition, Colombia’s Nobel Prize winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez has written a manifesto declaring the drug war as “useless” (15). Action abroad by the United States has also led to an increase in subversive organizations worldwide. Civil war is currently being threatened in Bolivia by a coca-growing union.

The group, which feels that the Bolivian government has been too open to challenges in sovereignty, is fighting “Yankee Imperialism” and control by the DEA of a coca-growing region (Epstein 1). In Colombia and Peru, groups like the communist Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) and Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path), both Communist groups, that survive on drug money lead such acts as kidnaping foreign visitors, leading bombings on American buisnesses in the country, and attempting to destroy institutions f governments friendly to the United States (Spiegel 480).

This subversion of government can even reach our beauracracy as the CIA is rumored to have allowed the Nicaraguan Contras to sell drugs in the US to fund their revolution against the Sandinistas (“CIA” 20). Therefore, in South America, our persistence on Drug Prohibition has not only been unable to prevent the further imports of drugs, but also could lead to the installation of Communist regimes in the area. Since the other costs of Drug Prohibition has its base domestically, the conversation will turn to rights and liberties which help to explain why the drug war is not

American and why it might not be effective. This requires a discussion on the role of government. The ultimate end of government is to protect our rights. We’ve entered a social contract with our governments: that we will give our obedience and taxes in return for protection of our rights. The United Nations classifies these rights in three “generations”: civil, socioeconomic, and solidarity rights (Peterson). Shielding our people from the dangers of a threatening world, therefore, seems to be an appropriate use of the state’s power under socioeconomic rights.

The danger in thinking in this manner is that it verlooks the individual’s contributions to the nation. These contributions, either positive or negative, are generally difficult to regulate by broad legislation. In fact, at times, legislation can be counterproductive, trying zealously to protect one right by violating many others. We saw in the former U. S. S. R. what can happen when government begins to enforce positive liberty. Positive liberty is different from what we usually think of as liberty, which is negative liberty.

A negative liberty is one like the First Amendment which keeps the government from doing omething, namely limiting your rights to speech and religion. A positive liberty is one which forces the government to provide some service to its citizens. An example of a positive liberty is the government’s responsibility to protect our inalienable rights. The danger with expanding positive liberties is that it gives government a more active role in people’s rights.

For that reason most would believe that government should not give itself too many positive liberties as did the Soviet Union (Peterson). Drug Prohibition is an example of a positive liberty because it ives the government the go ahead to do what it must to give us a drug-free America. However, we should ask the question: is it worth keeping Drug Prohibition as a positive liberty when it infringes upon both our negative and positive liberties, not the least of which are life and liberty? U. S. District Judge William W.

Schwarzer helped explain this when he said ending drug use is useless “if in the process we lose our soul” (Trebach and Inciardi 29). Today he might say “since” instead of “if” since the injustice and the cost on society of Prohibition is already well ingrained nto our society. There could be two possible explanations for Drug Prohibition: we must protect people from harming themselves, or we want people to avoid drugs because extensive drug use harms society. Proponents of Drug Prohibition think one or both of these reasons is adequate for continuing Prohibition.

The first is based on the people’s right to life, and the second is based on the right for pursuit of happiness. However, there are fallacies in both statements, as will be shown. Before we can admit that our reasoning for Drug Prohibition is wrong, we must find a better alternative. The solution proposed in this essay is one of establishing free markets both internationally and domestically. The proponents of drug decriminalization have basic assumptions about what would result from a free market.

For now, we will focus on what proponents of drug legalization think the implications of a free drug market would be for the individual users. These assumptions are that illegal drugs are not as dangerous as currently legal drugs and that the decriminalization of drugs will not greatly increase the number of drug addicts. First, most illegal drugs are not as dangerous as believed, and those that re truly dangerous will be avoided. This is essential to the argument for decriminalization since we do not wish to have a large number of people die from a policy.

However, if we compare the number of people who die annually from “appropriate” drugs to that of the number of people who die annually from illicit drugs, we would be inconsistent to think of the illicit drugs as dangerous. For example, 60 million Americans have tried marijuana and not one of these 60 million have died of an overdose. If this is compared to the 10,000 people who die annually from overdosing on alcohol, one can ssume that marijuana is much less dangerous than alcohol.

Also, many drugs have minor side-effects when compared to acceptable drugs. One example, heroin, is highly addictive, but when used in a clean environment with clean needles, its worst side effect is constipation (Evans and Berent, eds. 24). Overall, while 35 million people use drugs each year in the United States, only 6,000 to 30,000 ever die of drug use; therefore, there is little reason to consider illicit drugs as a great danger to the individual, considering our opinions of alcohol and tobacco (Wink).

Drugs and Their Effects on Business

We all know that people are heavily using drugs for recreational purposes. What we don’t know or haven’t realized yet is that it is becoming more common for drug users to get high before or even at work. “Stoned” workers are inefficient and are costing companies millions in accidents and lost productivity. The problem has become so big, companies have banded together to form rehabilitation programs to help the affected workers. Drug use affects employees for one reason or another in every position of a company, and this greatly reduces the efficiency of those employees.

This has prompted companies to initiate illegal searches, which violates the rights of employees, and rehabilitation programs. Drug abuse causes many serious problems that could have been avoided if the user wasn’t on drugs. The problem of drug abuse has its worse effects when the persons using drugs are responsible for millions of dollars in equipment, money, or lives. Workers on drugs are not alert and uncoordinated. Uncoordinated workers on an assembly line have a higher percentage of error than their sober counterparts making for defective parts and merchandise which will be returned by irate customers.

This will cost a company in worthless merchandise and unhappy customers who most likely will not use their products again. A worker with a drug problem also misses more days, on sick leave, compared to a worker without a drug problem. The most logical reason for drug abuse is the accessibility of drugs at work and in society. If drugs are so accessible then of course there are going to be abusers. The government has tried to stop the flow of drugs inside the United States, but they haven’t had any overwhelming success.

Cocaine is becoming more popular because it provides an intense high that gives the user the feeling he/she can do anything, and cocaine is easily hid and used. Workers have devised many ways to use and move drugs through a company, such as sending drugs through normal interoffice messenger services, or switching drugs with medicine bottles and using them in front of everyone. Executives with their own offices have an even easier time taking drugs because of the privacy of their offices. In some cases drugs have become a part of company procedures.

Business that involve sales have a reputation of warm up meetings with alcohol and now drugs are added to these parties in order to persuade customers to buy the product or service. In fields where the workers are addicted, like modeling, cocaine is buried in the budgets. This open use of drugs has encouraged companies to do their best to crack down on drug users in the company. Companies are attempting to stop their employees from being on drugs. Workers are even turning in their fellow workers.

Mainly because they are tired of working around high co-workers who may be a danger to themselves and the people around them. In attempts to do something effective, companies have initiated illegal searches of the private property of employees. Illegal searches are being done under the assumption that an employee is the property of the company and that the company can threaten the employee’s job. The most common procedure is when company officials cut the locks of employees’ lockers and then search for contraband, with or without the help of drug sniffing dogs.

A more discrete way companies are searching for drug users is by hiring undercover agents that entrap employees into using drugs. Catching more secretive drug users with drugs on them, because they are clever or are just weekend users of drugs is more difficult. Companies have to physically search the employee’s body, which raises a lot of controversy. Urine testing gives rise to most discontent because of its humiliating way of getting a sample. Blood testing has its own problems because of the discomfort of a needle extracting blood.

Because of the problems of conventional testing for controlled substances in the body’s chemical tract, medical professionals have been coming up with new methods for testing the body to see if there are drugs present. One of the newest types of drug testing is the sampling of hair. Hair keeps a permanent record of the body’s chemicals including the drugs it has used. The best side of testing hair is that it requires less cooperation from the person being tested so it can be done without a lot of complaints.

Employers are just beginning to start wide scale testing. It is becoming more common for job applicants to take drug tests. Volunteer testing for drugs is becoming more popular. Mandatory testing of all employees is a bit harder to accomplish. Due to the fact that managers and executives have so much power in a company, beginning mandatory testing is easily bypassed. Drug testing has brought up several controversies over the right to privacy and an employer’s right to have to workers who are not on drugs.

The real reason why labor unions are not supporting testing in the work place is because something personal might be found in a search and the violation of privacy is one step to the elimination of their guaranteed rights. On the company side of the dispute they feel that they have a right and responsibility to establish sound working conditions. Employee’s feel that off time is their own time and that they can do anything they want to do with that time. While on company time employers have the right to say how employees behave in the work place.

The problem is that drugs have lingering affects so even if employees use them of their off time they are still impaired when they go to work, so there is no simple answer. An employers number one concern is safety. Drug impaired workers create a huge safety problem because of their obscured mental condition, and this gives the employers a very good cause to hunt down drug users. Still employees are afraid of drug testing because of myths of severe treatment for being caught. Companies are trying to help those employees who are affected by drugs.

In the past, companies would terminate employees with a drug problem. But the reality of termination for using marijuana in a company, would only merit a $100 fine in California, was unrealistic and unfair, so now a company will put the affected employee in a drug-treatment program. Another logical reason for companies to keep drug- impaired employees is because it is easier to help a person who has been on the job than it is to hire and train someone to replace him. And on top of that a company’s health-insurance benefits pay all the treatment costs. These treatment programs have a 73% success rate.

It is in the company’s favor to send an affected employee to a treatment program, which is totally feasible for the company. To help their employees to get off of drugs several of the 500 largest companies have banded together to make up an effective program. Many of the Fortune 500 companies have set up in-house employee-assistance programs, and they have even set up toll-free 800 numbers for workers and their families to call for advice and information. The treatment of drug impaired workers is relativity new and therefore the long-term effects of the programs is not known and can only be speculated at.

Companies are now starting to notice the problems that drugs produce and are trying to stop the use of them by their employees. Realizing that there is a problem is a key step in attacking the problem. It now has become harder to use drugs and still make a living due to the increase in testing. Since companies are controlling people who use drugs, by testing, this might stem the flow of drugs into this country. The way drugs are being treated by companies may be very effective in changing the way people view drug taking in this country.

What is Androstenedione

Androstenedione is a natural chemical found in the body that produces testosterone. This chemical can also be found naturally in some meat and even some plants. Androstenedione, also called Andro, can boost testosterone levels when taken orally sometimes making the person stronger. Andro was first seen in capsule form in the US in the 1990’s. Its popularity has grown ever since Mark McGwire, the new Major League Baseball home run record holder, admitted to taking the supplement. The companies that are selling Andro are making huge profits off the supplement that claims to increase lean muscle mass 300%.

Although most people who take the drug do not complain of any side effects at all, this drug has been reported to carry dangerous side effects. Most Major League sports have banned the supplement saying it gives athletes a unfair advantage. The NBA, the MLB, and the NHL in the US have not ruled this supplement as unfair. There are many questions that remain about this supplement such as the long-term side effects, and how much muscle is gained by taking the drug. This supplement can be bought over the counter and is not controlled by the FDA, making Andro easy to access.

Some drug chains have taken this drug off the shelf due to fear of long-term side effects. Andro can be found in some local drug chains and also on the World Wide Web. One person from our poll explains, Andro’s advantages make up for the side effects. What about the health risk? Most of the health risks for Androstenedione are not known, and the long-term effects are not known at all. It might convert to the female hormone, estrogen in males and females. Too much Andro can shut down the production of testosterone in the body. In adolescents, it is known to stunt growth. How does Andro work? Andro is first consumed orally.

It is then taken to the liver where it picks up two carbons. The two carbons added to Andro are testosterone. Andro is also already made in your body. The natural production of Andro is different. What about Baseball and Andro? For more than a year St. Louis Cardinals, power hitter Mark McGwire has taken the legal, supplement Androstenedione. Many people believe that the drug gave him an unfair advantage last year when he shattered Roger Maris’s single season home run record. Mark McGwire insists that the drug is legal and therefore should be a focal point in the media. He said, Everything I’ve done is natural.

Everybody that I know in the game of baseball uses the same stuff I use. However, many other players have said that they would never a drug as strong as in Andro in fear of secondary problems. Many of these same players do not denounce McGwire for taking the drug. Mo Vaughn said, Anything illegal is definitely wrong. But if you get something over the counter and legal, guys in the power hitter position are going to use them. McGwire’s use of the drug has brought it to the forefront and now many people are taking the supplement hoping for McGwire’s success. Many of these people are teens participating in high school sports.

Andro has different side effects in adolescents. A lot is still not known about Andro such as the long-term side effects. The FDA has no regulations against this supplement. This means that the FDA has found that the supplement is safe and will not stop any one from selling Andro unless they can prove that it is dangerous. This drug varies in side effects from person to person. One proven fact is that too much of any drug taken at one time it can cause dangerous side effects. In addition, it is still not known if the drug might turn into estrogen in the body. The people who are taking Andro range from 18yrs old to 30yrs old.

Correlation Between Drug Use and Suicide

Americas on-going drug abuse epidemic continues into this millenium, and there are many social problems linked to drug use, including suicide. The disparity of daily life in suburbs or the inner cities are why many people have fallen into their reliance on drugs, including alcohol. Patros and Shamoo (1989) describe the abuse of drugs and alcohol as a slow form of suicide. But many drug abusers choose to end their life before drugs have time to claim it by way of an overdose. Contradictory to popular belief, teens are not of the majority of drug related deaths.

Teenagers made up just two percent of drug related deaths in a 1994 survey of coroners. Many of these numbers are down dramatically from the 1970s, when illegal drugs were more available throughout the United States. Half of drug overdoses and suicides nationwide are men age thirty-five to fifty-four. Possible reasons for the dramatic difference between teenage drug deaths and middle-aged drug deaths are mid-life depression prior to drug use, more time to build as worsening habit, and the fact that most young people are primarily experimenting with drugs and not using them on a full time basis.

Interestingly enough, Vietnam veterans had a higher level of drug-abuse fatalities than the rest of the population, probably due to their exposure to drugs derived from opium and the use of drugs to avoid flashbacks. Suicide rates among female drug users are higher than males. A cause for this may be that women users have fewer social supports and higher rates of divorce. Racially, African Americans have had a lower drug related suicide rate than Caucasians in the past.

But this number is expected to increase because of the increase in substance abuse in the African American population. African Americans are at a higher risk of self-destructive behavior. Intoxication from alcohol or drug use often leads to suicidal behavior. Alcoholics who are also depressed have an enormous rate of suicide. Both depressants and stimulants can impair judgement, which produce disturbances and intense suicidal depression. Depressants such as alcohol, Valium, and Librium are commonly used substances.

In the case of Glasgow, Scotland, where ten percent of all of Britains deaths occur, the areas poor employment rate and young citizens bleak outlooks on life have brought on a new string of drug addiction, and in turn, deaths. Their drug of choice is heroin, but the combine in tranquilizers in an attempt to draw closer to a state of the unconsciousness. In the United States, minority youth try to escape the hell of the inner city. There is an alarming increase in drug abuse and violence, which soon will lead to suicide attempts.

This brings on another topic along the same lines which is the abuse of prescription drugs such as Valium or Ritalin. Many deaths occur because of a fatal combination of prescription drugs and alcohol. Many recent studies have concluded that drug related suicide attempts are made primarily by a drug abuser who is into hard drugs such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, or a combination of prescription drugs. In 1980, 400 American men age thirty-five to fifty-four, died from overdoses. In 1994, approximately 3,500 died. Middle- aged men are now twenty times more likely to die from drugs than are teenagers.

Drugs such as marijuana may contribute to mood disorders, which in turn, may predispose someone to be at risk for suicide. But this would only be an indirect link. Marijuana is said to only stimulate pre-existing mental disposition toward possible suicide. The most available illegal drug seems to be the least destructive. In conclusion, teenage drug- user suicide rates may be down, but risks for our future generations are tremendous. There will be an expected fifteen percent increase in suicides overall in the United States ( U. S.

Public Health Service). Studies say that an adolescent who experiments with drugs is at a greater risk for suicide if they come from a family with a history of substance abuse. In looking at the numbers of middle-aged drug related suicides, the outlook does not look good for their children. Chemical dependency deepens aggression, which, if turned inward, may result in suicide. In this world full of violent sports and gruesome video games, aggression is not hard to come by. If chemical dependency was added to the equation, statistics may change.

How can drug trafficking be controlled

The Drug Enforcement Agency has tried to limit the drug trafficking problem coming from countries south of the U. S. Also many other law enforcement agencies. The southern hemisphere has given the U. S. a really hard time with the international drug trade. Where do drugs come from? Most of the marijuana Smuggling routes that come into the United States comes from the south. Columbia is one of the main contributors to the problems of the drug war. Not only does Columbia sell cocaine to the United States, it also sells marijuana. Columbia is responsible for over eighty percent of the cocaine distribution around the world.

In Columbia cocaine production is the leading export and moneymaker of the economy. It even passes the production and export of coffee. (Melville, pg. 10) A major reason for this production and selling of drugs in Columbia is the Columbian Drug Cartel. The cartel is a world-wide organization that makes and sells drugs to make a profit. The reason they are so powerful in Columbia, besides the fact that it brings so much money into the economy, is that the cartel “buys out” the government. The cartel pays out about one hundred million dollars a year to the government to keep the law enforcement on their side.

Besides the law enforcement, the cartel has an army of their own so that makes them more powerful than if they didn’t have an army. (www. drugtraffickingcolumbia. com) CIA agents estimate that drug trafficking from Mexico is on the incline. CIA agents believe that it is the low paying jobs and the standard of living that bring some of these small little farmers to big time drug dealers. The United States Central Intelligence Agency estimate that Mexican traffickers imported One hundred and seventy tons of ephedrine over twenty months. This amount is enough to make about one hundred and fifty tons of speed.

Mexico is doing pretty good for themselves with the profit they get from the speed, and that profit doesn’t include the profit the get from exporting about four hundred tons of cocaine they smuggle into the U. S. Honduras is another country that was and is a major drug exporter to the United States. Drug trafficking is not a new thing to the people of Honduras. It has been going on since 1932 when Tiburcio Carias Andino ruled Honduras. This country was in a bad depression so they needed a way to get out of it so they started exporting drugs. Like Mexico, Honduras’s had a cartel.

In 1975, the Medllion cartel was formed. This cartel took over the Honduran government. In 1984 general Abdenego Bueso Rosa was arrested by the United States military and convicted of attempting to make a ten million dollar cocaine deal to finance the overthrow of the Honduran elected government. Also in 1984, three men in a boat tried to smuggle over one-hundred and fifty million dollars to the United states but the border control caught and arrested them. In 1985 two men flew cocaine to the United States and used the money to buy arms which they flew back to Costa Rica to give to a CIA agent for an “unknown cause.

November 13, 1987, the largest known shipment of cocaine, 3,600 kilos of it, left Honduras. But when it got within twenty-five miles of Honduras, the CIA captured and seized the cocaine and the one person who was on the plane (the pilot). The CIA also discovered over three hundred secret airports. On March 7, 1988, a U. S. ambassador arrived in Honduras to personally deliver a letter to the president that said that if they don’t turn over Juan Ramon Matta Ballesteros, one of the top men involved in the Medillin Cartel, or else the U. S. vernment would reveal the names of the Hondurian military men involved drug trafficking and hold back the multi-million dollar in financial aid.

The president said that he wouldn’t and the United States went in and literally “kidnaped” Matta(www. yahoo. bordercontrol. com). Matta is now in jail and Honduras was banned from getting funds from the United States for a year and then the United States backed down and then gave them their funds back. There are many ways to smuggle drugs into the country, and there are some so-called “normal” ways of smuggling drugs into a country, but when there is normal there has to be “abnormal.

Some normal techniques that drug smugglers use is to tape them to your leg or your body if it is for personal use or if it is just for small sale. This method has gotten old in airports, rail stations, and docks because they have dogs that are trained to sniff out the drugs on and with people. That is a main reason that people get caught carrying drugs with them is that they just throw it in their bag or wrap it in some clothes and think “Hey I’ll never get caught,” but they do. The reason drug traffickers deal heroin instead of any other drug is that it is more profitable.

For example, the cost of heroin compared to cocaine is ten times greater. The horrible part about the increase in heroin smuggling is that it has increased 75% in the United States from 1985-1995. That increased the amount to, 57% of all heroin is seized in the United States coming from Mexico and Columbia. Much of the Mexican production of heroin comes from the poppy-growing areas near Mexico’s southern border with Guatemalan Poppies which are the natural resource for the heroin.

One incident of an “abnormal” way of smuggling drugs into the country was in Texas, border agents discovered over 5. illion dollars of drugs mixed in with body parts and other hospital waste inside a truck coming over the border to the united States from Mexico. Even in this big tractor-trailer a dog sniffed out the drugs. The contents of the hospital waste was 2,300 pounds of marijuana and 114 pounds of cocaine. These drugs were compacted in 103 bundles wrapped in duct tape so that if there was any surveillance cameras it wouldn’t show up because of the contents of the tape. (www. bordercontrol. com. )

Another way a man from Columbia tries to smuggle marijuana into the United States is to fill around fifty suitcases of marijuana and bought plane tickets and passports to the United States for fifty people and shipped them off. Ten men and three women were caught and arrested but the other thirty-seven people weren’t. The DEA guessed that the dealer, who was not caught, played the odds game. The odds of everybody getting caught was pretty slim. It seems like this dealer made a pretty good gamble. The 13 people that were caught wouldn’t speak because they were told if they did their families would be in great danger.

The Drug Enforcement Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, The Border Control, and all the other sections of government has given an effort and has really tried and has cut down on drug trafficking. With the new technology and the state-of-the-art defense systems the United States and other countries has slowed down the drug trafficking. If anything they have made it harder for the dealers to bring it into the country. They have made it so hard that many people have started to grow and make the drugs at home.

It is safer and it is easier than trying to smuggle it over the border and paying more for it. Some methods that these agencies have tried to stop drug trafficking are spot checks which are police stops at different places along the border at different times. They ask you what you have in the car and if it seems suspicious then they will search your vehicle fro drug or other materials that they shouldn’t have. These spot checks are useful because most police departments know the roads that are mostly traveled by immigrants and international travelers.

Another way that the government has tried to stop the international drug trade is the search dogs. Search dogs are trained by the narcotics department. Some dogs are trained nationally and some are trained just in their police barracks. These dogs go through at least a year and a half of training before they can go out into the field. These canines are very smart and they can sniff out the tiniest bit of drugs that somebody has in their possession. It is a lot safer too for the police officers because they don’t have to risk their lives going into a car, they can just let the dog go in and smell around.

Another reason why dogs are so useful is that they can get where most humans can’t. Of course the government uses Helicopters and surveillance cameras and other equipment that they won’t release because if they release it, it might not be as effective as before. Overall the drug trafficking problem is down, but it is still going on. Many people say that it could be worse, but it also could be better. The U. S. has invested millions and millions of dollars in controlling the drug trade and they have done a Farley decent job at it.

Despite The Negative Portrayal In Mainstream 1960s

Despite the negative portrayal in mainstream 1960s media, justifications expressed by counterculture activists for further investigation, education and experimentation under government control of LSD were rational and valid arguments. Sex, drugs, protests, war, political upheaval, cultural chaos, and social rebellion; the many comforts TV dinner eating, republican voting, church going, suburbia conformists tried to escape through conservative ideals, town meetings, and The Andy Williams Family Hour. National consciousness in 1960s United States was alive, but existed differently in every mind it dwelled, and stirred uninterrupted in every life to which it was introduced.

A dream of money, success, and a house with a white picket fence still existed within the pandemonium of the nation and many still relished in the idea of Americanism. Television was a base for a magnitude of world news and national information. Television situation comedies created ideal families and contenting distractions from unsettling national realities. Mainstream media, both fact and fiction, influenced the nations minds resulting in the effect of political change and further media influence over the government. The new decade, along with the effects of the Vietnam War and the strong influence of television, began to leak from the cracks of the nation a new counterculture of rebellious teenagers, unfamiliar narcotics, and a wave of promiscuity.

Among the many issues and events molding our nation into a new decade, came the question of government and mind control. For some it was the next step into human evolution, a potential tool for mind control, a liberator of human kind, but for most LSD helped define 1960s counterculture, in which it was deeply rooted. LSD has proved that the mind contains much higher powers and energies, beyond the average 10% of the brain that a typical human uses. These powers and energies, under the right circumstances, can be taken advantage of to benefit human kind spiritually, creatively, therapeutically, and intellectually.

LSD has given human kind the option to chemically trigger mental energies and powers. Arguments that LSD is potentially a dangerous discovery and mind control should be strictly prohibited by the government holds much validity, although there are benefits and arguments of personal freedom of neurology to consider. Whether LSD reflects negativity as a weapon and mind control drug, or radiates euphoria as a mind-expanding chemical and sacrament, the choice to engage in such an experience should be through personal reasoning.

It is not the states and other bureaucracies duties to take control of the human brain and body. We no longer live in an age of industrial muscularity, and in this time of neurological intelligence, we should have the individual choice and freedom to further engage in the depths of our consciousness, if we are so graced with an option to do so. No one can limit, restrict, or try to control how you access, activate, manipulate your own brain through the use of drugs. Temperance, moderation, and education should be applied to the use of mind control, but not restricting personal freedoms of neurology.

Dr. Timothy Leary agrees: Its ludicrous and ominous to think that the government will try to limit, restrain, control where youre going to put your head, and how youre going to manage and direct your own neurology. Thats the basis of your own freedom. Now, as far as behavior is concerned, if what you do in your head leads you to violate any behavioral law, a traffic law, or impose on the rights of the peoplethen you should be busted. But in the privacy of your own home, your own body, and your own brain, thats your business.

Likewise, other individual freedoms justifying further investigation, education, and experimentation of LSD under moderate government control are questioned. The freedoms of spirituality and creativity are, similar to neurological freedom, issues in result of the use of psychedelic drugs. Spiritually, psychedelic drugs, are sacraments: divine substances no matter who uses them, in whatever sprit, with whatever intention. LSD, along with other drugs generates spiritual discovery and perception. Creatively, LSD has extreme potential; it is a tool to explore the creative attributes of the mind. Dr. Oscar Janigar states, continuing that this tool could equal to four years of art education.

The further appreciation of the power of human thought, and the exploration of the boundaries of the human mind, LSD provokes, is extremely beneficial in freeing ones mind and taking full advantage of the powers in which the mind possesses. Within these powers LSD evokes is the capacity to resolve, therapeutically, personal emotional conflict. Although LSD, as previously proven, has its benefits it has yet to rise above, its often more horrifying, disadvantages. In equilibrium with the characteristic present in most aspects of nature and society, LSD is in its first state of progress, and still needs improvement.

Dr Timothy Leary best states this: The first Wright Brothers planes were somewhat dangerous and rather insufficient, but you dont ban flying. The first cars, similarly, broke down and were risky operations, but you dont ban cars. The same is true with the drugs, which accelerate and elevate consciousness and intelligence. You have to make them better. Through government control we can keep on trying to make LSD better and profit from the advantages it has to offer.

Unlike other legal drugs there has been no evidence thus far, to indicate LSD to be a physically addictive drug, although people do abuse LSD, in consequence of ignorance. Government control could limit abuse of LSD through research, intelligence, facts and truths (both good and bad). It is in the context of encouraging the good uses and discouraging the bad uses of such drugs as LSD that legislation should be enacted. Neither a complete prohibition nor a complete lack of protective regulations would be appropriate.

The government could also make money from the sales of safer drugs with restrictions. Opposed to drug dealers profiting from the distribution of dirty drugs. A pill does not construct character, educate the emotions, or improve intelligence. It is not a spiritual laborsaving device, salvation, instant wisdom, or a shortcut to maturity. However, it can be an opportunity to experience oneself and the world in a new way and to learn from it. Mainstream 1960s media, specifically television, strongly dictated views and opinions of the American mind, in result influencing the government and LSD becoming illegal.

Media controlled the conservative mind, at least influencing it as a majority. By 1970, 95% of American households had a television set. Television influenced presidential campaigns, human relations, and wars. Specifically in mainstream 1960s media, television would prove to reshape the character of the entire political process. In 1960, the television debates monumentally persuaded the presidential election. New president John F. Kennedy stated It was TV more than anything else that turned the tide.

Mainstream media appealed to the conservative mind set, concentrating on the conservative 30 and older ideal of Americanism or the American dream. A sense of comfort in mainstream media was portrayed using money, power, suburbia and the idea of a perfect family, through situation comedies. Television shows such as Leave It to Beaver, The Andy Williams Family Hour, Donny and Marie, and I Love Lucy, all penetrated themes of comfort and comic relief through the realities of student protests, non conformity, and sexual and neurological advancements.

Mainstream media and counterculture media were specifically differentiated. Mainstream medias reaction to LSD, was a concentration of negativity. According to mainstream media LSD was evil and made people crazy. This one sided opinion of the drug allowed no room for justifications or education of LSD. There was a journalistic exaggeration of the dangers of LSD and the medias oppositions to the drug were highly recognized by the conservative majority. LSD separated itself from the idea of the American dream and presented itself as a potential problem with no beneficial results. LSD was a problem and threat, which only contributed to the political chaos and corruption of society in an unstable decade.

Mainstream media instilled the comfort, in its public, that if LSD were made illegal, it would become completely void. Therefore media having a direct influence on the opinions of the majority of society, influenced the government and LSD becoming illegal, without any room for education or rational justification within the opposition. Laws enacted in a climate of ignorance and hysteria would almost certainly create more problems than they solved. Acid is not some anachronism, unfamiliar to us today.

In this quotation, Professor James Martin displays the reality of LSD in present day society. LSD use will continue outside government control and knowledge, as long as drug dealers are interested in making money and drug users are interested in expanding the boundaries of their minds. LSD is far from void, despite it becoming illegal in 1968, remaining a potential danger for anyone who uses it. You can find LSD anywhere today: urban, rural, and suburban. The question about LSD is not of the use of it, but the safety of it, especially since turning from a legal drug into a street drug.

The misuse of LSD, is the direct result of ignorance, and absence of education. Scientific investigations into LSD are at a complete standstill. The abuses of the drug LSD are not because of faults of the drug or discrepancies of the brain, but not knowing how to use and take advantage of the drug. Psychedelics are neither good nor bad drugs; they have good and bad usage. There are many dangers of an uncontrolled substance, with no alternative to expand the mind in the same ways. Americans who gamble with these substances face these dangers everyday.

No education to improve on the abuse of LSD, or further experimentation to improve its quality to possibly benefit from the experience of LSD are other significant problems LSD causes. In result LSD isnt safe, but drug dealers are becoming rich with profits that should go to the government instead. The negative portrayal of LSD in mainstream 1960s media, opposing rational and valid justifications expressed by counterculture activists to further experimentation, investigation and education under government control resulted in the LSD becoming an illegal substance. Since becoming illegal in 1968 LSD has not become void, as falsely represented in mainstream 1960s media, but has become more dangerous and widely used and misused.

Government control could be beneficial in providing knowledge to encourage safety and education to prevent abuse and misuse of LSD. Investigations, education and experimentation of LSD could also promote the development of better forms of the drug and further knowledge encouraging therapeutic, spiritual, creative, and intellectual benefits. Another benefit from the education of the government is the contribution to the goal to learn to have psychedelic experiences without the use of drugs.

Justifications for the use of LSD support the notions of safer, more effective, government benefiting circumstances for a drug, that is widely distributed and consumed despite legal restrictions. If the government doesnt take control over LSD, the ignorance of users and profits of drug dealers will continue. Acid will continue to ravage as many people as it liberates and deceive as many people as it enlightens. Its not over yet. And it wont end until society and the government is ready to listen to the rational and valid justifications of both sides of the arguments and face the realities and truths of LSD.

Juvenile Drug Use

A drug is a substance that alters the mind, body or both. Drug use is the increasing problem among teenagers in colleges today. Most drug use begins in the preteen and teenage years, these years most crucial in the maturation process (Shiromoto 5). During these years adolescents are faced with difficult tasks of discovering their self identity, clarifying their sexual roles, assenting independence, learning to cope with authority and searching for goals that would give their lives meaning. Drugs are readily, adolescents are curious and venerable, and there is peer pressure to experiment, and there us a temptation to escape from conflicts.

The use of drugs by teenagers is the result of a combination of factors such as peer pressure, curiosity, and availability. Drugs addiction among adolescents in turn lead to depression and suicide (Shiromoto 12). One of the most important reasons of teenage drug usage is peer pressure. Peer pressure makes drugs seem popular, makes you have a fear of being an outcast, and since everyone is doing it, it is the “cool” thing to do…right? Wrong. Peer pressure represents social influences that effect adolescents, it can have a positive, or a negative effect, depending on person’s social group and one can follow one path of the other.

We are greatly influenced by the people around us. In today’s colleges, drugs are very common; peer pressure usually is the reason for their usage (www. nodrugs. com 1). If the people in your social group use drugs, there will be pressure a direct or indirect pressure from them. A person may be offered to try drugs, which is direct pressure. Indirect pressure is when someone sees everyone around him using drugs and he might think that there is nothing wrong with using drugs. People might try drugs just to fit in the social norms, even if a person had no intentions of using drugs one might do it just to be considered “cool” by his friends.

Today drugs are considered to be an acceptable social phenomenon by many teenagers. If parents are involved with children on a day-to-day basis, they will more than likely know when the child starts to take drugs because of the big changes going on in their lives. There are many positive alternatives to drugs, so drugs are not the only fun and “cool” things to do (www. nodrugs. com 2). Before children descend into drug addiction a whole array of signals normally appears, suggesting the family is in trouble. Few people are equipped to recognize these signs (Henican 181).

Stresses of everyday living is just too great a burden to bear alone; they feel like they need a protective shell, that invisible physic capsule they can hide inside. Most high school students said that some time in their lives they have used alcohol, drugs, or tobacco. More than seventy one percent of high school students have tried cigarettes, forty two percent have smoked marijuana, twenty seven percent had a cigar, seven percent tried cocaine, and eighty percent had a drink of alcohol (Dryfoos 26). In today’s colleges the availability and variety of drugs is widespread.

There is a demand for drugs and the supply is plentiful. Since drugs are so easy accessible, a natural interest in them may develop. A person may hear about drugs experiences, on reactions of drug usage, such as ” Hey the weed that he sold us was cool, I got stoned man”. This response will create a sense of curiosity and may convince the person to try drugs themselves. Many teenagers today believe that the first use of drugs is safe. However, although there is no instant addiction with the first try, teenagers tend to experiment further (Teen Drug Abuse 3).

Soon a person could actively seek the euphoric effects of drugs. Drug addiction is the result of intense preoccupation with the dicer to experience the mental and bodily changes with drug use. The final and the most disastrous stage are when a person needs drugs in order to function adequately. Therefore, availability, curiosity, and experimentation could result in drug addiction among teenagers (Teen Drug Abuse 6). One of the most devastating side effects of drug addiction and abuse is depression. Depression is the result of chemical imbalance, environmental influence, or a combination of both.

Drugs and alcohol are the most readily available methods of emotional anesthesia, if not on hand, they would find a substitute (Henican 141). Using heavy and very highly addictive drugs as heroin, cocaine, opium and many other will cause sudden mood changes, deterioration of the immune system, nervous breakdowns, unusual flares of temper and many other side effects. Besides physical side effects, drug addiction can create problems in a person’s social circles. The person may run into many conflicts with his family and friends, resulting in desire for isolation.

This in turn will create more problems since the person will have no social support. Furthermore, drug addiction is a financial strain especially for teenagers. When a person is addicted to drugs, he will do anything to obtain money to fulfill his needs (http://narconon. org/html/soln1/sol4. htm). According to previous studies, drug addiction is the results of three “I’s”. Teenagers may think of their problems as Inescapable, Interminable, and Intolerable. Life may seem bleak and miserable. Seeing no way out feeling lonely and no prospects for improvement leads to depression.

Which can further lead to attempted suicide. Many studies have found that drugs are a contributing factor to suicide. Using drugs may reduce inhibitions and impair judgement, suicide is a possibility. As one statistic illustrates 70% of all young people who attempted suicide used drugs (Dryfoos 30). Drug addiction was first declared a threat to the public welfare in the early 1850s (Henican 36). Dependence or addiction can be described as the continuous, uncontrollable or compulsive use of chemicals without regard to the ill effects it may have on ones life (Shiromoto 2).

Chemical dependency and or addiction is a disease because it is: primary illness, not a symptom of social emotional problems; progressive, meaning it gets worse if it is not treated; it is a chronic illness, it will not go away; and without the aid of treatment, it will certainly destroy the individual’s life (Shiromoto 16). Some signs of dependence and or addiction are the following. The user has a preoccupation with the drug, he or she is constantly thinking or craving it. They very often maintain an uninterrupted supply.

When the user is addicted or depending on the drug, he or she will have an increased tolerance meaning that they need a higher dose for the same effect. Some physical or psychological withdrawal symptoms are ill, depressed, anxiety, panic attacks, denial and severe physical pain (Shiromoto 3). Early initiation of any negative behavior generally predicts that other problems will follow. Substance abuse is closely related to delinquency, and almost all of the incarcerated youths report the use of drugs. Healy alcohol, smoking, and marijuana use appear to occur with early-unprotected intercourse.

Dropouts appear to be involved with sex, drugs, and violence to a much greater degree than enrolled high school students. Falling behind is associated with these behaviors also (Dryfoos 33). Crime and drugs go hand in hand. Personality decreases with drug usage and users feel increasingly disassociated from the world in which they live, and drugs among the youth become a more costly and major problem. Much juvenile distress appears to grow out of the drug business. Much of the problem comes from experiencing with gateway drugs (http://narconon. org/html/soln1/sol4. htm).

Tobacco is a gateway drug, it teaches smoking skills. It is like training wheels for marijuana. Alcohol, marijuana cigarettes, and inhalants are all gateway drugs (www. nodrugs. com). A lack of jail cells prevents significant prosecution of drug dealers. Drugs have changed the social landscape of America. Street gangs spring up over night looking for enormous profit drugs can bring (Teen Drug Abuse 6). Illegal drugs, for example, weed, speed, acid, or ecstasy has always been a problem among the teen youth, the problems gets even more serious if it involves additive substances such as cocaine.

A very common seen illegal drug around teens is Ecstasy, or generally called “E”. E’s are usually involved in rave parties; people take E’s and dance overnight. The academic name for E is hallucinogenic stimulant, it generally affects the concentration of the brain, and it can change one’s mood, sleep, sexual behavior, body temperature, and appetite. The sensation sight, sound and touch are enhanced, that is why it is usually used at discos and parties. It takes about 30 to 40 minutes to “get high” and about three to four hours to wear off. Side effects include heart and blood pressure problems, blurred vision, chills and sweating.

The tablet changes every week and counterfeits are always around, it is not addictive. It is illegal to buy, sell, produce or posses any amount of E (The Information Series on Current Topics 24). Another popular drug is LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide), which is a little similar to E. It alters a person’s perception of sights, sounds, and touch etc, a person that has taken LSD might see or hear things that don’t exist (The Information Series on Current Topics 25). Known as “acid”, this drug is extremely powerful, once teaspoon can contain up to 25’000 doses. Only 200 micrograms is needed for one trip.

The danger of LSD is that the effect of LSD is extremely unpredictable since it depends on a person’s physical conditions and also his/her mood. About one hour after taking LSD it’ll start to take effect, the user will see or feel things that doesn’t exist, images maybe altered, for example, small objects may look huge, and also mysterious experiences, such as seeing ghost or religious objects. The consequences of taking LSD are severe, physical side effects include inducing violent and hazardous behavior, also LSD develops tolerant quickly, so frequent users has to eventually increase dosage (Shiromoto 10).

The other most popular thing is marijuana, or weed. It is usually imported from Africa, Asia, South America, and Caribbean, but homegrown weed is getting increasingly popular because of the sophistication of growing equipment (The Information Series on Current Topics 4). The most common effects are talkativeness, cheerfulness, relaxation, and greater appreciation of sound and color. It has been said that smoking weed improves performance of creative works such as arts or writing, it also makes skin, hearing and sight very sensitive.

Some immediate physical effects of weed use include a faster heartbeat and pulse rate, bloodshot eyes, and dry throat. The drug can impair or reduce short-term memory, alter sense of time and reduce the ability to do things that require concentration, quick reactions, and effective co-ordination. A common bad reaction to marijuana is an acute anxiety attack. People describe this reaction as an extreme fear of “losing control,” which causes panic. After all, we advise you all to not to get involved with illegal drugs, since it will cost you greatly both physically and emotionally (The Information Series on Current Topics 5).

Most teenagers used this drug because it is easy to get and a fun party drug. It also helps for stress on the mind. College teens feel many emotions going through the change of life. Living on their own and dealing with problems that mom and dad cannot fix. Marijuana is a drug this said to fix it all. That is why today most teens use marijuana and more want to try. The leading cause of death in all young people is unintentional injuries due to alcohol related motor vehicle accidents.

Drivers from sixteen to twenty who were involved in fatal crashes were more likely than any other age group to have been under the influence of alcohol (Dryfoos 27). The problems of teenage drug use, depression, and suicide are evident in our society. These are very real and threatening issues that have to be dealt with. We have to face to problems of our future generations. There are many non-profitable organizations that help teenagers to cope with drug use. There are help lines, community services that offer information about drugs, and individual counseling is available almost in every education institution.

Is Drug Testing the Answer

Why do humans seek an alternate reality? An alternate reality being a place or frame of mind that is somehow separated from actual reality. Actual reality contains all the true elements of life. These elements include work, school, having children, and paying bills. Life is full of adversities that humans must learn to cope with. Coping comes in many forms. It can be a walk in the park, some quiet time with a loved one, or even reading a good book. Conversely, coping can come in the form of substance abuse. Substance abuse can take humans to that alternate reality they seek.

Different drugs have different effects on the mind and body. The reason for the effect is the same no matter what drug is used. This reason is to escape reality. Addiction follows this escape from reality. Once addiction comes into play, it is no longer a matter of escaping. People addicted to drugs, such as cocaine, need the drug in order to function. Without the drug they fiend for, basic human functions cannot even be performed. Imagine not even being able to get out of bed and use the restroom without injecting heroin. Monetary costs to a drug abusers can be tremendous.

Those addicted to cocaine can have habits costing more than $3000 a week. Since not all cocaine addicts are wealthy, criminal activities are the source of this income. Drugs have taken over the streets of America. Billions of dollars are made each year on the manufacture and sale of drugs. Billions more are spent on trying to stop the drug problem. Four hundred million dollars a year is spent on drug testing. Drug testing is done in several areas. Athletes, employees in the business world, and those in law enforcement are the top three tested.

Is rug testing a violation of the fourth amendment constitutional right? Does testing Americans really stop the drug problem? These are the issues that are facing this country as the start of a new year is approaching. Why test athletes? Athletes are among the lowest percentage of drug users. (Kindred 219) In order to participate in sports, the body must be healthy and in top physical condition. Therefore, adding drugs to this would only make the athlete perform poorly. Steroids and other growth hormones should continue to be tested for, especially in high school football.

Student athletes are tested on a random basis with no probable cause. This system should be replaced with a probable cause for suspicion system. If an athlete gives signs of drug abuse, only at that point should a test be given. The majority of drug testing occurs in the business world. Employers want to obtain a drug-free workplace. Tests are implemented either at the application for employment or randomly during employment. The results of these tests do not carry any criminal penalties with them. The penalty for failure is the termination of employment.

However, this does not solve the problem of drug abuse. Employees seek a new place of employment that does not test for drugs and continue their habits. Drug testing is obviously not the answer. What can employers do to stop drug abuse in the workplace? Educating their employees about the effects of drug use can be the first step. New methods of prevention must be implemented. Simply catching a drug user and refusing employment does not help the person get off drugs. Treatment should be offered as an alternative to discharge. Statistics show that employee rug use is at an all time high in 1996.

With an estimated $400 million dollars being spent to test employees. This figure is expected to reach the billion dollar mark in two years. (Shoop 15) That money should be used for prevention and treatment not merely detection. Employers must identify whether the employee is using drugs casually on the weekend or if he/she comes to work under the influence. Employees working under the influence present a greater problem than a casual weekend user. Working under the influence of drugs such as cocaine puts the entire company at risk. Drug tests have numerous loopholes.

Several kits are available to consumers. These kits flush out the system of toxins, mainly marijuana. Clean urine can be purchased for $20 at laboratories. (Kni is the basis for this argument. Drug testing makes it almost public material that a person is a user. Private matters such as the use of drugs should be kept just that, private. What are the alternatives to drug testing? Legalization of certain drugs would greatly help the situation. Billions of dollars are spent each year in the so called “war on drugs”. Crimes related to illegal drugs would no onger exist.

Granted, drugs would become more accepted. With this must come more education to the younger generations. Legalization and education are the only answers possible to the question of solving the drug problem. Legalizing certain drugs would eliminate drug dealers, drug smugglers, and all those associated with drug trafficking. The profits from drug sales would then turn over to the government. Pharmacies would then be able to sell drugs. These pharmacies could be licensed and have to pay taxes on the drugs, meaning huge profits for government.

The value of drugs would decrease tremendously. The $3000 a week cocaine habit would turn into a $20 a week habit if purchased at a pharmacy. Billions and billions of dollars could then be spent on education, the environment, and even drug education. As with prohibition, a significant boom in drug use would immediately follow legalization. However, as with alcohol, this trend would then level off. Laws that accompany alcohol use could also be applied to drugs. The main argument against drug legalization is the concern that drug use would be seen in public.

Legalization of drugs would cut 50% of the court cases each year. (Sullum 37) Courts could then focus on more serious crimes such as murder. Whatever the solution, the problem is still clear. Something must be done about the drug problem in the United States. Tactics being implemented right now in 1996 are just not working. The future is uncertain because so many Americans have divided opinions about what to do. Government officials are also divided. There must come a day when all prejudices and personal beliefs must be put aside for the benefit of the future generations.

Drug Legalization Essay

Based on the expierience and knowledge I have toward drugs, drug use, and the effects of, I have conclued that legalizing non-medicinal drugs would be be wrong. The capability these days to aquire drugs are very high. It’s now possible to mail order drugs, get them in parties, cities, rural areas, malls, street sidewalks, anywhere, really. Therefore why should you need them to become legal. For several decades drugs have been one of the major problems of society. There have been escalating costs spent on the war against rugs and countless dollars spent on rehabilitation, but the problem still exists.

Not only has the drug problem increased but drug related problems are on the rise. Drug abuse is a killer in our country. Some are born addicts(crack babies), while others become users. The result of drug abuse is thousands of addicts in denial. The good news is the United States had 25,618 total arrests and 81,762 drug seizures due to drugs in 1989 alone, but the bad news is the numbers of prisoners have increased by 70 percent which will cost about 30 million dollars. Despite common wisdom, the U. S isn’t experiencing a drug related crime wave.

Government surveys show between 1980 – 1987 burglary rates fell 27 percent, robbery 21 percent and payde 2 murders 13 percent, but with new drugs on the market these numbers are up. One contraversial solution is the proposal of legalizing drugs. Although people feel that legalizing drugs would lessen crime, drugs should remain illegal in the U. S because there would be an increase of drug abuse and a rapid increase of diseases such as AIDS. Many believe that legalizing drugs would lessen crime. They point out that the legalization of drugs would deter future criminal acts.

They also emphasize and contrast Prohibition. When the public realized that Prohibition could not be enforced the law was repealed. From this, one may infer the same of legalizing drugs. Legalizing alcohol didn’t increase alcoholism, so why would drugs increase drug abuse? However, drugs should not be legalized because there would be an increase in drug abuse due to its availability. Once legalized, drugs ould become cheaper and more accessible to people who previously had not tried drugs, because of the high price or the legal risk.

Drug abuse would skyrocket! Addicts who tend to stop, not by choice, but because the drugs aren’t accessible would now feed the addiction if drugs were made legal. These drug addicts would not be forced payde 3 to kick the habit due to the availability of the drug they would partake eagerly. The temptation to use drugs would increase when advertisements for cocaine, heroin and marijuana are displayed on television. Instead of money used by employed addicts, you will see welfare funds used to purchase drugs.

If welfare funds were being misused, this would cause a major problem in the economy. Drugs must not be legalized. It puts our country at a terrible risk. Health officials have shown that the legalization of drugs would cause a rapid increase of diseases such as AIDS. AIDS poses a growing threat to addicts, and thus to society as a whole. The virus that causes AIDS is growing, due to drug addicts who share needles and syringes. The sharing of such needles by intravenous drug users helps increase the spread of AIDS.

Infection among IV drug abusers is continuing to occur at a very steady rate,” warn Richard E. Chaisson director of the AIDS service at John Hopkins University. In the U. S gay men still make up the primary risk group, although 750,000 to 1 million drug addicts are believed to be at risk to AIDS nationally. The problem here is the sharing of needles, which is causing the spread of AIDS. IV drug abusers are killing our nation at an amazingly payde 4 fast speed. AIDS which surfaced in the 80’s is now on the rise and even more deadly to IV drug users.

The sharing of needles must be stopped. Drugs should not be legalized. Although people feel that legalizing drugs would lessen crime, drugs should remain illegal in the U. S because there would be an increase of drug abuse and a rapid increase of diseases such as AIDS. The United States can not afford this problem. It has become a world power by strengthening its people not by killing them. Drug abuse has gotten worse, with its effects on crack babies, drug addicts, and the I. V user. There must be education for the survival of this nation, not legalization.

Are Performance Enhancing Drugs the Answer

“The overwhelming majority of athletes I know would do anything, and take anything, short of killing themselves to improve athletic performance” (Donohoe, Johnson 1). This statement is made by a once Olympic hammer-throw champion in 1973. It hardly portrays the importance that substance abuse has with regard to athletes and sports. If you are one of the many athletes in the United States, you have no doubt in your mind that this is an ongoing problem in the wide world of sports. If you live breathe, and bleed sports, than you know the importance of winning. You, in your mind, know that losing is ot an option.

You will not stand for it and for that, go to great lengths to be the best, even if chemicals and drugs are the answer. People have gotten banned from the spot, seriously hurt and even died due to drugs that they have used to enhance their performance. Although people may not realize it, there are many consequences to using performance enhancing drugs. “In some sports, it has been suggested that it may be impossible to ‘get to the top’ without the use of these illegal substances, but many think that they can come close without being affected by side effects and long-term effects on ealth, they are wrong. Donohoe, Johnson 1).

Performance enhancing drugs are not the answer and it is not worth loosing your life or career over a sport. “Doping” is now a common term that people use to describe the use of a substance of the purpose of enhancing performance. (Donohoe, Johnson 2) “Doping has been defined as the administration to, or the use by, a competing athlete of any substance foreign to the body or of any physiological substance taken in abnormal quantity or by an abnormal route of entry in to the body, with the sole intention of increasing performance n an artificial and unfair manner. (Donohoe, Johnson 3). Using stimulants and other drugs to increase performance is not anything new.

The ideas has been around for hundreds of years. “Roman gladiators and knights in medieval jousts used stimulants after sustaining injury in order to continue the combat. ” In these cases, it is known that these gladiators uses herbs and dried figs and even when as far as using the rear hooves of an Abyssinian ass, ground up, boiled in oil, and flavored with rose petals and rose hips to improve performance. Donohoe, Johnson 2) There are many types of advanced hemicals that may be use in this day and age to effect performance such as painkillers, stimulants, and anabolic steroids to name a few.

A big problem in the sports world with regards to performance enhancing drugs are painkillers. Every sport is affected by these so-called needed drugs. There are cases where boxers are massaged with an ointment mixture containing cocaine to provide some sort of anesthesia during fights. Donohoe, Johnson 4) There are many drugs blunt the bodies ability to feel pain and since sports demand a person to train longer, harder, and arlier in life, these drugs are always in demand.

Pain is a reaction of the body to warn us that we need to take it easy. (Nelson 84) Most athletes take analgesic to ease the discomfort and enable them to continue. (Donohoe, Johnson 94). Football is a sport where these drugs are over used. In this sport, a person is put in dangerous situations that have the ability to seriously hurt an athlete.

If an athlete is given a painkiller due to one of these situations, the athlete continues, not knowing that more injury can come result if the problem persists. Since the athlete does not feel the pain, than he is ready to win the game. You may not realize it, but everyone has some form of painkillers at their disposal. Aprain is a form of painkiller the people use for mild pain and aches and also may be very hurtful if abused. Morphine and codeine are other types of drugs used by athletes to help them feel no pain.

These drugs are very dangerous and could cause death if not taken properly. With regards to painkiller, you may think this is the best while playing but you will soon realize that is was not such a smart move when you come crashing down. Another dangerous drug is a stimulant. They were given to both allied and German forces in W. W. II to increase alertness and endurance. (Eldeson 75) With regards to cycling, which uses stimulants the most, the first case that has been reported of the first doping-related death was in 1886.

Races placed extreme physical and psychological demands on the riders; consequently many of them turned to various stimulant to prepare. Arthur Linton was trained by ‘Choppy’ Warburton in cycling for the Bordeaux to Paris race. He apparently died after an overdose on strychnine which was given to him by his rainer. Warburton was know to give all his athletes the drug during the competition. No one is really sure that the long-term effects of the drug that killed him, since his death was ruled the result of typhoid fever and not an overdose.

Warburton was since banned for life from the sport. In the 1960 Olympics in Rome, one Danish cyclist died because of an overdose of amphetamines and nicotinyl tartrate which increases the blood supply to the muscles. Two other Danish teammates were hospitalized because of toxic conditions. (Donohoe, Johnson 5). Stimulants were also banned from the NFL. Arnold J. Mandell, the team trainer, was caught giving these drugs to players and was dismissed in 1974 due to the lawsuit that was placed when player sued over drug related injuries.

Mandall was found guilty of giving over 1750 pills to player in a three month period and one player alone received 400 pills. (Donohoe, Johnson 28). An athlete can easily get hooked on these drugs and may result in an overdose if taken in large quantities which is not uncommon since depression is a common side effect of the drug. (Garell 76) Stimulant cause hallucinations and may even cause paranoid schizophrenia. Despite these risk the athletes continue taking these drugs to live in the moment and not worry about the long- term effects.

As you can see these outcomes could have easily been prevented. These are a few example that stimulants, perform enhancing drugs, ruin lives and in this case is the cause of death in some. (Donohoe, Johnson 4) The biggest and well-known drug in use today is steroids. It is not limited to any particular sport, amateur, nor professional athletics. (Nardo 18). Steroids are often used by athletes to build muscle and as strength building aids. (Nardo 21). Another sport that idely uses steroids is, again, football.

Because the size and strength is needed, these players will go to great lengths to get to where they want to be, and that is the championship game. There are many negative effects of using steroids. It could cause liver problems, reduce sperm production, and increase the risk of a heart attack and or stroke. (Nardo 23). There are many psychological or emotional effects on a person who uses steroids. Many users often experience mood swings and cause moments of rage and increase their hostile manner. (Nardo 25) Using steroids to enhance performance, it is lso an issue of fairness in the athletic competition.

All these side effects and problems that arise due to the use of steroids greatly outweigh the gain, and for that you are putting your own life at risk to be the best and win a game. As you can see, there are many instances that people have been seriously hurt buy using performance enhancing drugs. People have been banned from the sport for life if found caught using and/or distributing these drugs, rendered unfit to play as a result of the side effects and have even died because the wanted to win and would do anything they ould to be better than their opponent.

It is not worth losing you life over a sport. “At least 80 percent of top sportsmen are slaves of hormone products. ” (Donohoe, Johnson 80). Even if someone thinks that it could not and would not happen to them then they are the true losers. Athletes should keep the game pure and win because you are better athlete, not because your are a real life form of the incredible hulk. “Unless something is done soon, international sports will be a competition between circus freaks manipulated by international chemists. ” (Donahow, Johnson 102).

The psychological and physical aspects of drug abuse in today’s adolescence

Unfortunately the abuse of illegal drugs is not uncommon in today’s adolescent communities. Many teenagers today use illicit drugs as a way to deal with everyday pressures such as school, after school jobs, sports activities, domestic violence and peer pressure. Adolescence has been found to be a period of weakening bonds with parents and strengthening bonds with peers (Flay, 1994). Numerous states have experienced an increase in drug related deaths (http://www. usdoj. gov/dea/stats). More than 1 in 10 of today’s youth aged 12-17 were current users of drugs in 1999 (www. doj. gov/dea/stats).

The number of young adults’ aged 18 to 25 using illicit drugs in 1999 was at a high of 17. 1 percent (www. usdoj. gov/dea/stats). In this paper I will describe some of the most popular drugs in today’s adolescent communities and why the use of illegal drugs is most common between the ages of 12 through 25. I will also describe what the tell-tale signs are in a person with a drug problem and how you can help. Among high school and college students, the drug marijuana is most frequently used in America today.

Marijuana is a tobacco-like substance that varies in its potency, depending on the source and selection of plant materials used (http://www. well. com). Marijuana is usually smoked in the form of loosely rolled cigarettes called “joints, hollowed out commercial cigars called “blunts” and in water pipes called “bongs”. Street names for Marijuana include pot, grass, cannabis, weed, Mary Jane, Acapulco Gold, dope, and reefer. When Marijuana is smoked, THC goes quickly into the blood through the lungs. It then goes to the brain and this is when the “high” is felt.

This can happen within a few minutes and can last up to five hours. There are many reasons why some children and young teens start smoking marijuana. One of the main reasons is because there may be a close family member or friend that may pressure them to try it. Other times, it is because they think it is cool to use marijuana due to societal pressures; they hear songs about it on the radio and see it on TV and in movies. “Whether it’s from TV, movies, or music, young people are receiving too many mixed messages about marijuana” says Donna E.

Shalala, U. S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (Sora, 1997, page 69). According to one study, marijuana use by teenagers who have prior anti-social problems can quickly lead to dependence of the drug (T. J Crowley, 1998, page 57). Statements such as “everybody is doing it” or “it will make you feel good” highly influence middle school and high school students. Usually at the time that the drug is being offered, potential users do not think about the harm this drug can cause in the future.

Marijuana is also very popular in today’s community because adolescents are turned off by the harder drugs and believe that pot is not a gateway drug that may lead to more lethal substances (Sora, 1997, page 71). While marijuana users do not move on to harder drugs, smoking weed does increase a teen’s chances of being exposed, according to the National Institute of Drug abuse in Washington, D. C (Sora, 1997, page 71). So why do teens smoke marijuana? After many case studies and psychological theories “curiosity” is often the most logical reason. Ecstasy the common name for MethyleneDioxyMethAmphetamine.

Ecstasy (E) is a synthetic drug usually sold as small tablets, which come in a variety of colors and sizes. It is also available as a powder and can be snorted or injected. The effects of ecstasy depend on various factors, individually: the amount taken, the users experience with the drug and their expectations (http://www. gethereforfreeinformation. com). The effects of ecstasy can also depend on the quality and purity of the drug, starting about an hour after being taken and lasting up to six hours. Ecstasy may also produce a “hangover” effect. Like marijuana, adolescents use ecstasy because of peer pressure.

Many teens turn to this drug because it is as an escape from a variety of problems that they might be experiencing at home or in school. Others use ecstasy because of the “euphoric” feeling this particular drug produces. Ecstasy is very common at parties called “raves” or at many underground clubs. Many adolescents take this drug just to “feel big” and “show off” in front of their peers. Cocaine is a white crystalline powder usually produced in South America and is extracted from the coca plant. Cocaine users often inhale the powder through the nose where it is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream.

Cocaine can also be heated into a liquid and its fumes inhaled through a pipe in a method called “freebasing”. Freebasing is also a common method of using a form of cocaine called “crack”. Reports of sudden deaths while using crack cocaine are not uncommon because of the high dosages of cocaine that enter the bloodstream while inhaling. Although cocaine is uncommon in middle and high school students due to the cost, teenagers are curious to experiment because of the drug abuse among adult role models such as athletes, entertainers, businessmen and women, and professionals.

However, cocaine is very popular among the ages of 18 through 25 because it is very accessible (www. cocainethfacts. org). Cocaine is a very expensive drug that most teenagers cannot afford; this is why they turn to the cheaper drugs such as marijuana, ecstasy and heroin. The addiction to this drug can become both psychological and physical it can also cause depression when the drug is not available (Sora, 1997, page 91). Cocaine users often complain of eating and sleeping disorders and anxiety.

Despite all the negative side effects people become so dependent of this drug that in most cases, it can cost a person their life (Miller, 2000, page 38). Cocaine users become addicts because they convince themselves that this drug will allow them to perform efficiently in their day to day responsibilities. Most college students feel this drug will allow them to stay awake to complete assignments and/or job responsibilities. Unlike young teens peer pressure is not the main cause of drug addiction in college level students but it is not unheard of.

Lastly, heroin is a drug that comes from the opium poppy. Heroin (also called smack, skag, hammer, H, or horse) is in the class of drugs called depressant, because it slows down the brain and central nervous system (http://www. getithereforfreeinformation. com). Heroin usually comes in powder form and can be injected, smoked or snorted. It is absorbed in the blood and effects the brain within minutes. Unfortunately, despite all the damaging side effects heroin can cause to the body and brain, it is still used by today’s youth and young adults.

Why is heroin so common despite the dangerous side effects? Many say that it is highly promoted in the entertainment business, others say, “heroin is in our cultural bloodstream” (Sora, 1997, page 91). Today’s youth usually start experimenting with heroin because this drug overwhelms them, taking over their thoughts and emotions. It is known to be an escape from the “real world”. Heroin is a highly addictive drug and it is very easy to develop a need and a tolerance for this drug almost immediately after the first or second use.

Why Should We Team Up Against Drugs

The answer to that question is very simple. Drugs can absolutley do nothing to help you in your life. The only sure thing that drugs can do for you is either is put you in jail or kill you. And I can think of many things on how it can ruin your whole life. And music promotes a lot of this, even in the sixties when it was illegal to write songs about drugs. What if you were on the verge of going to a professional sport such as the NFL. It is your senior year in college and the NFL is looking towards signing you, and it looks good.

You are everything they are looking for in a football player. The only thing they don’t know is that you smoke marijuana. You might think that it is a harmless drug but it actually slows you up and affects the way you think. It could change the way you think and you might not know what your doing after using it so much. So the NFL is going to give you chance, to see if you are the person their looking for. Once you hear this you go and celebrate with some of your best friends. Turns out, that a cop is looking for one of your friends because he has been charged with selling drugs.

The cop comes knocking on the door of the apartment and busts you and your friends. You are busted for possession and thrown in jail for a long time. And now you dont have a single chance of ever getting into the NFL. Say you have two little brother that look up to you and like to follow you around and do the same thing that youre doing. And one day after play basketball with them, you friends show up. So you tell your brother to go home, but they decide to stay and hide behind the bushes. While theyre hiding, you and your friends start smoking marijuana.

Your little brothers see you and want to try some, so at night they sneek into your room and find some under your bed. So they take it and go over to there friends house to smoke it. And pretty soon your brothers and all their friends are addicted. And lets say one of them gets so high that they think their invinsible, and he walks straight into traffic and get killed by an on-coming car. On the weekends, there is at least one party planned. Teens will find someway, no matter what, to get either drunk or high. Many will lie, steal, or kill for some.

Although many teens dont use drugs because it is unacceptable, there is an increase in drug use among teens today, because sports, athletes, movies, and music make it appear acceptable. Many young people consider athletes, actors, actresses, and musicians as role models. There are many biographies on television that deal with celebrities and their drug use. Young people see these shows and think that drug use is just a part of growing up and that they will have to do it sometime so they get it out of the way. Mr. Tambourine Man, by Bob Dylan, was about drugs.

This makes sense, because it was against the law to write songs about drugs in the 1960s when Mr. Tambourine Man was composed. The translation is simple: Mr. Tambourine Man is the drug-dealer. Take me on a trip upon your magic swirling ship… is asking the drug-dealer for the drugs, and then the lyrics go on to describe the feeling after consuming hallucinogens. Puff The Magic Dragon, was often believed to be about smoking marijuana. And some thought it was about a little boy and his dragon. If you think about it the title tells it all. Its the same thing as Mr. Tambourine Man, using matephors and and coded words.

Substance Abuse in the Workplace

As widespread drug use is on the rise, many employers have begun to worry about the performance of their employees. Absenteeism, injuries, loss of productivity, employee morale, theft and fatalities are just some of the causes of drug use in the workplace. The idea of drug testing among workers has developed from society’s concern over a perceived increase in the use of drugs and the relation between drug use and impairment, with resultant risks to the worker, fellow workers and the public. As early as 1987, 21% of employers had instituted drug-testing programs.

Employers have begun to think that mass drug tests are the answer to their problems. What many of these employers don’t know is that there are many problems that surround drug testing at work. One of the biggest of these problems is whether or not it is constitutional to conduct drug tests on the employees. Employers fail to educate themselves with established or recent laws about drug testing in the workplace and about human rights. Also, mass, low-cost screening tests may not be reliable or valid. Alcohol testing does not differentiate casual drinking from alcohol dependence or alcoholism.

Drug tests can create an untrustworthy environment for the employees. There are better ways to address substance abuse. Drug testing in the workplace is an important issue for all of Canada’s labour force, regardless if it’s you’re first job or if you’ve had a steady job for 30 years. Many employees, who have had to subjugate themselves to degrading and demeaning drug tests, feel that these tests violate their constitutional rights. It is an infringement on their privacy. In order for the tests to make sure there is no specimen tampering there must be an administrator present to oversee every action the employee makes during their drug test.

For tests such as hair and breath testing this does present a major problem, but for urine tests men and women alike are disturbed by the direct observation of their urine collection. Unfortunately, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms applies only to the laws and actions of the federal and provincial governments and their agencies. It does not apply to the policies and actions of private employers. The Charter therefore does not protect private sector employees from unreasonable drug testing.

It is necessary to state that currently an employer can terminate an employee’s job if the employee has been using illegal drugs and alcohol, but only if such use is not considered a disability. Alcohol or drug addiction can be viewed as a physical and/or mental disability. In Ontario, the Ontario Human Rights, Citizenship, and Multiculturalism Act prohibit employment discrimination based on disability. Employers have a responsibility to accommodate employees who are disabled. Drug testing has not been proven to be against the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

In order to institute a drug testing policy into a company which complies with human rights legislation, an employer must be able to demonstrate that the testing is related to job performance, and not just substance abuse. ” Many employees feel that drug testing is a way of discriminating against people who might have a drug and/or alcohol disability. An example of such discrimination is found in Entrop v. Imperial Oil Ltd. The Ontario Board of Inquiry found that Imperial Oil Limited discriminated against Martin Entrop, a senior operator at the Sarnia Refinery, because of a disability.

The Board of Inquiry found that “under a new Alcohol and Drug Policy introduce in 1992, Imperial Oil employees in “safety-sensitive” positions were required to notify management if they currently had or had previously had a substance abuse problem. ” After Mr. Entrop heard that this policy was coming into effect he informed his employer that he had had an alcohol problem about ten years earlier, that he had attended Alcoholics Anonymous, and that he had abstained from using alcohol since 1984. Mr.

Entrop had been an employee for seventeen years and he had had no problems at work that were related to substance abuse, but Imperial Oil’s policy required that Mr. Entrop be immediately removed form his current position. This example clearly shows that it is discriminatory to terminate a person’s job because of a past or present disability and that there are constitutional matters involved with drug testing in the workplace. The lab procedure is a second invasion of privacy. Urinalysis reveals not only the presence of illegal drugs, but also the existence of many other physical and medical conditions including pregnancy.

Drug testing is an invasion of privacy that is to be abhorred and it is clearly against our constitutional rights. Drug testing is designed to detect and punish conduct that is usually engaged in off-duty and off employer’s premises, in other words, in private. There is much confusion about the accuracy of drug tests. In fact claims of billions of dollars lost in employee productivity are based on guesswork, not real evidence. Urine tests cannot test for drugs directly. They test for traces of substances taken before the test which are no longer active in your system but can still be detected.

The most accurate methods of urine analysis are time-consuming and expensive, and even then can be wrong at least 10% of the time. Even though these drug tests are the most accurate, more often then not employers opt for a less accurate drug test because the more accurate ones are too much of an expense for the company. These cheaper drug tests often have an error rate of 30%, which means that 30% of all people that take these drugs tests are falsely accused and may be fired from their jobs. Also, traces of legal medicines, such as cough syrups, nasal sprays and eardrops can be confused with those of illegal drugs.

Even the poppy seeds found in baked goods can produce a positive result for heroin. Furthermore, drug tests are not work-related because they do not measure impairment that occurs during work hours. A positive drug test only shows that a drug was taken at some time in the past. Also, the drug test does not distinguish between occasional and habitual use, the same is also true with alcohol testing. Another reason that drug testing isn’t very reliable is the fact that drug testing does not even detect all drug users.

This is true because most stronger drugs such as cocaine do not last in the user’s blood stream as long as someone who has used marijuana for example. This means that the weekend user of cocaine is much more likely than the weekend user of marijuana to pass a weekday drug test. Also drug tests may not reveal very recent drug use. For example, a worker who does not smoke marijuana regularly decides to smoke marijuana in the middle of the work day, a drug test may come back negative because mot enough time has passed for drug metabolites to appear in the urine.

With all these factors working against the accuracy of drug tests, not to mention the occasional error of the people who process the specimens at the lab and the false-negatives that occur when an employee deliberately decides to sabotage a drug test, it is hardly worth it for an employer to go through with the trouble of a drug tests when the true drug users, the ones that are harmful to the company, are not pointed out anyways. There are better ways to address substance abuse in the workplace then to rely on the very unreliable method of drug and alcohol testing.

These ways are more cost-effective, time-effective and have a much better impact in the workplace; also they do not raise the same privacy issues that drug tests do. An effective alternative to drug testing is to train supervisors to confront, and refer impaired employees to Employee Assistance Programs or other intervention programs. This strategy leads to increased employee acceptance of treatment and a subsequent improvement in overall job performance.

Drugs and Crime

The link between drug use and crime is not a new one. For more than twenty years, both the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute of Justice have funded many studies to try to better understand the connection. One such study was done in Baltimore on heroin users. This study found high rates of criminality among users during periods of active drug use, and much lower rates during periods of nonuse (Ball et al. 1983, pp. 119-142). A large number of people who abuse drugs come into contact with the criminal justice system when they are sent to jail or to other correctional facilities.

The criminal justice system is flooded with substance abusers. The need for expanding drug abuse treatment for this group of people was recognized in the Crime Act of 1994, which for the first time provided substantial resources for federal and state jurisdictions. In this paper, I will argue that using therapeutic communities in prisons will reduce the recidivism rates among people who have been released from prison. I am going to use the general theory of crime, which is based on self-control, to help rationalize using federal tax dollars to fund these therapeutic communities in prisons.

I feel that if we teach these prisoners some self-control and alternative lifestyles that we can keep them from reentering the prisons once they get out. I am also going to describe some of todays programs that have proven to be very effective. Gottfredson and Hirschi developed the general theory of crime. It According to their theory, the criminal act and the criminal offender are separate concepts. The criminal act is perceived as opportunity; illegal activities that people engage in when they perceive them to be advantageous. Crimes are committed when they promise rewards ith minimum threat of pain or punishment.

Crimes that provide easy, short-term gratification are often committed. The number of offenders may remain the same, while crime rates fluctuate due to the amount of opportunity (Siegel 1998). Criminal offenders are people that are predisposed to committing crimes. This does not mean that they have no choice in the matter, it only means that their self-control level is lower than average. When a person has limited self-control, they tend to be more impulsive and shortsighted. This ties back in with crimes that are committed that provide easy, short-term gratification.

These people do not necessarily have a tendency to commit crimes, they just do not look at long-term consequences and they tend to be reckless and self-centered (Longshore 1998, pp. 102-113). These people with lower levels of self-control also engage in non-criminal acts as well. These acts include drinking, gambling, smoking, and illicit sexual activity (Siegel 1998). Also, drug use is a common act that is performed by these people. They do not look at the consequences of the drugs, while they get the short-term gratification.

Sometimes this drug abuse becomes an addiction and then the person will commit ther small crimes to get the drugs or them money to get the drugs. In a mid-western study done by Evans et al. (1997, pp. 475-504), there was a significant relationship between self-control and use of illegal drugs. The problem is once these people get into the criminal justice system, it is hard to get them out. After they do their time and are released, it is much easier to be sent back to prison. Once they are out, they revert back to their impulsive selves and continue with the only type of life they know.

They know short-term gratification, the “quick fix” if you will. Being locked up with housands of other people in the same situation as them is not going to change them at all. They break parole and are sent back to prison. Since the second half of the 1980s, there has been a large growth in prison and jail populations, continuing a trend that started in the 1970s. The proportion of drug users in the incarcerated population also grew at the same time. By the end of the 1980s, about one-third of those sent to state prisons had been convicted of a drug offense; the highest in the countrys history (Reuter 1992, pp. 23-395).

With the arrival of crack use in the 1980s, the strong elationship between drugs and crime got stronger. The use of cocaine and heroin became very prevalent. Violence on the streets that is caused by drugs got the publics attention and that put pressure on the police and courts. Consequently, more arrests were made. While it may seem good at first that these people are locked up, with a second look, things are not that good. The cost to John Q. Taxpayer for a prisoner in Ohio for a year is around $30,000 (Phipps 1998).

That gets pretty expensive when you consider that there are more than 1,100,000 people in United States prisons today (Siegel 1998). Many prisoners are being held in local jails because of overcrowding. This rise in population is largely due to the number of inmates serving time for drug offenses (Siegel 1998). This is where therapeutic communities come into play. The term”therapeutic community” has been used in many different forms of treatment, including residential group homes and special schools, and different conditions, like mental illness, alcoholism, and drug abuse (Lipton 1998, pp. 106-109).

In the United States, therapeutic communities are used in the rehabilitation of drug addicts in and out of prison. These communities involve a type of group therapy that focuses more on the person a whole and not so much the offense they committed or their drug abuse. They use a “community of peers” and role models rather than professional clinicians. They focus on lifestyle changes and tend to be more holistic (Lipton 1998, pp. 106-109). By getting inmates to participate in these programs, the prisoners can break their addiction to drugs. By freeing themselves from this addiction they can change their lives.

These therapeutic communities can teach them some self-control and ways that they can irect their energies into more productive things, such as sports, religion, or work. Seven out of every ten men and eight out of every ten women in the criminal justice system used drugs with some regularity prior to entering the criminal justice system (Lipton 1998, pp. 106-109). With that many people in prisons that are using drugs and the connection between drug use and crime, then if there was any success at all it seems like it would be a step in the right direction.

Many of these offenders will not seek any type of reform when they are in the community. They feel that they do not have the time to commit to go hrough a program of rehabilitation. It makes sense, then, that they should receive treatment while in prison because one thing they have plenty of is time. In 1979, around four percent of the prison population, or about 10,000, were receiving treatment through the 160 programs that were available throughout the country (National Institute on Drug Abuse 1981). Forty-nine of these programs were based on the therapeutic community model, which served around 4,200 prisoners.

In 1989, the percentage of prisoners that participated in these programs grew to about eleven percent (Chaiken 1989). Some incomplete surveys state today that over half the states provide some form of treatment to their prisoners and about twenty percent of identified drug-using offenders are using these programs (Frohling 1989). The public started realizing that drug abuse and crime were on the rise and that something had to be done about it. This led to more federal money being put into treatment programs in prisons (Beckett 1994, pp. 425-447).

The States were assisted through two Federal Government initiatives, projects REFORM and RECOVERY. REFORM began in 1987, and laid the roundwork for the development of effective prison-based treatment for incarcerated drug abusers. Presentations were made at professional conferences to national groups and policy makers and to local correctional officials. At these presentations the principles of effective correctional change and the efficacy of prison-based treatment were discussed. New models were formed that allowed treatment that began in prison to continue after prisoners were released into the community.

Many drug abuse treatment system components were established due to Project REFORM that include: 39 assessment and referral programs mplemented and 33 expanded or improved; 36 drug education programs implemented and 82 expanded or improved; 44 drug resource centers established and 37 expanded or improved; 20 in-prison 12-step programs implemented and 62 expanded or improved; 11 urine monitoring systems expanded; 74 prerelease counseling and/or referral programs implemented and 54 expanded or improved; 39 post release treatment programs with parole and 10 improved; and 77 isolated-unit treatment programs started.

In 1991, the new Center for Substance Abuse Treatment established Project RECOVERY. This program provided technical ssistance and training services to start out prison drug treatment programs. Most of the states that participated in REFORM were involved with RECOVERY, as well as a few new states. In most therapeutic communities, recovered drug users are placed in a therapeutic environment, isolated from the general prison population. This is due to the fact that if they live with the general population, it is much harder to break away from old habits.

The primary clinical staff is usually made up of former substance abusers that at one time were rehabilitated in therapeutic communities. The perspective of the treatment is that the problem is with the whole person and not the drug. The addiction is a symptom and not the core of the disorder. The primary goal is to change patterns of behavior, thinking, and feeling that predispose drug use (Inciardi et al. 1997, pp. 261-278). This returns to the general theory of crime and the argument that it is the opportunity that creates the problem.

If you take away the opportunity to commit crimes by changing ones behavior and thinking then the opportunity will not arise for the person to commit these crimes that were readily available in the past. The most effective form of therapeutic community intervention involves three stages: incarceration, work release, and parole or other form of supervision (Inciardi et al. 1997, pp. 261-278). The primary stage needs to consist of a prison-based therapeutic community. Pro-social values should be taught in an environment that is separate from the normal prison population.

This should be an on-going and evolving process that lasts at least twelve months, with the ability to stay longer if it is deemed necessary. The prisoners need to grasp the concept of the addiction cycle and interact with other recovering addicts. The second stage should include a transitional work release program. This is a form of partial incarceration in which inmates that are approaching release dates can work for pay in the free community, but they must spend their non-working hours in either the institution or a work release facility (Inciardi et al. 997, pp. 261-278).

The only problem here is that during their stay at this facility, they are reintroduced to groups and behaviors that put them there in the first place. If it is possible, these recovering addicts should stay together and live in a separate environment than the general population. Once the inmate is released into the free community, he or she will remain under the supervision of a parole officer or some other type of supervisory program. Treatment should continue through either outpatient counseling or group therapy.

In addition, they should also be encouraged to return to the work release therapeutic community for refresher sessions, attend weekly groups, call their counselors on a regular basis and spend one day a month at the facility (Inciardi et al. 1997, pp. 261-278). Since the early 1990s, the Delaware correctional system has been operating this three-stage model. It is based around three therapeutic communities: the KEY, a prison-based therapeutic community for men; WCI Village, a prison-based therapeutic community for women; and CREST Outreach Center, a residential work release center for men and women.

According to Inciardi et al. (1997, pp. 261-278), the continuing of therapeutic community treatment and sufficient length of follow up time, a consistent pattern of reduction of drug use and recidivism exists. Their study shows the effectiveness of the program extending beyond the in-prison program. New Yorks model for rehabilitation is called the Stayn Out Program. This s a therapeutic community program that was established in 1977 by a group of recovered addicts (Wexler et al. 1992, pp. 156-175). The program was evaluated in 1984 and it was reported that the program reduced recidivism for both males and females.

Also, from this study, the “time-in-program” hypothesis was formed. This came from the finding that successful outcomes were directly related to the amount of time that was spent in treatment. Another study, by Toumbourou et al. (1998, pp. 1051-1064), tested the time-in-program hypothesis. In this study, they found a linear relationship between reduced recidivism rates nd time spent in the program as well as the level of treatment attained. This study found that it was the attainment of level progress rather than time in the treatment that was most important.

The studies done on New Yorks Stayn Out program and Delawares Key-Crest program are some of the first large-scale evidence that prison-based therapeutic communities actually produce a significant reduction in recidivism rates and show a consistency over time. The programs of the past did work, but before most of the programs were privately funded, and when the funds ran out in seven or eight years, so did the programs. Now with the government backing these types of programs, they should continue to show a decrease in recidivism. It is much more cost effective to treat these inmates.

A program like Stayn Out cost about $3,000 to $4,000 more than the standard correctional costs per inmate per year (Lipton 1998, pp. 106-109). In a program in Texas, it was figured that with the money spent on 672 offenders that entered the program, 74 recidivists would have to be prevented from returning to break even. It was estimated that 376 recidivists would be kept from returning using the therapeutic community program (Eisenberg and Fabelo 1996, pp. 96-318). The savings produced in crime-related and drug use-associated costs pay for the cost of treatment in about two to three years.

The main question that arises when dealing with this subject is whether or not people change. According to Gottfredson and Hirschi, the person does not change, only the opportunity changes. By separating themselves from people that commit crimes and commonly do drugs, they are actually avoiding the opportunity to commit these crimes. They do not put themselves in the situation that would allow their low self-control to take over. Starting relationships with people who exhibit elf-control and ending relationships with those who do not is a major factor in the frequency of committing crimes.

Addiction treatment is very important to this countrys war on drugs. While these abusers are incarcerated it provides us with an excellent opportunity to give them treatment. The will not seek treatment on their own. Without treatment, the chances of them continuing on with their past behavior are very high. But with the treatment programs we have today, things might be looking up. The studies done on the various programs, such as New Yorks Stayn Out and Delawares Key-Crest program, prove that here are cost effective ways available to treat these prisoners.

Not only are they cost effective, but they are also proven to reduce recidivism rates significantly. These findings are very consistent throughout all of the research, there are not opposing views. I believe that we can effectively treat these prisoners while they are incarcerated and they can be released into society and be productive, not destructive. Nothing else has worked to this point, we owe it to them, and more importantly, we owe it to ourselves. We can again feel safe on the streets after dark, and we do not have to spend so much of our money to do it.

Ecstasy, or 3, 4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine

Ecstasy, or 3, 4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine, was first synthesized and patented in 1914, by the German drug company Merck. The original purpose of the drug was to be an appetite suppressant, however in 1970 it was given to clinical depressed patients to open them up and talk about their feelings. Then in 1986, Ecstasy was determined to cause brain damage (http://faculity. washington. edu/chudler/mdma. html). Ecstasy is used at the party and rave scene for its effects on the emotional state of the user. The drug lowers the users inhibitions; it relaxes them.

The drug also increases awareness and feelings of pleasure and joy while giving the user energy. Side effects of the drug includes: headaches, chills, eye twitching, jaw clenching, blurred vision, and nausea http://faculity. washington. edu/chudler/mdma. html). But the hangover ecstasy causes is said to worse then the hangover alcohol causes(After the Rave: the Ecstasy Hangover). The hangover produced by ecstasy causes the user to have memory impairments. This is due to the loss of serotonin, which will be discussed later on.

The reduction in serotonine affects the brains capacity to learn and remember. The memory impairment has shown to be detected up until two weeks after use, but habitual users who have become addicted show damage for up until seven years. Research has shown that the impairment is not due to withdrawal, but is heavily dose- dependent (Ecstasys Legacy). Another problem with Ecstasy is the deadly combination it makes when mixed with other drugs and medications. Other drugs have harmed the body more so, because they use the liver enzyme CYP2D6 that metabolizes the drug.

Thus the body can not rid itself of ecstasy and acts as if experiencing an overdose. The body then dies as if it has overdosed (Deadly Combination). Other drugs such as anti-depressants, trigger a surge of blood pressure when mixed with ecstasy. This surge causes the heart to be overworked and eventually burn out, leading to cardiac arrest and death. Molecular Mechanisms, another medication, block the neurotransmitters that clear the nervous system of ecstasy(Deadly Combination). The nervous system is the area of the body most affected by the use of ecstasy.

Ecstasy begins to deteriorate the nervous system at the synaptic cleft, or the space between two neurons, where serotonine is released. Serotonine is a neurotransmitter known for its ability to cause powerful contractions of smooth muscles, therefore a key element in the regulation of blood pressure. Ecstasy causes the release of the neurotransmitters which leads to a fifty- eighty percent reduction in the serotonine. The reduction in serotonine stems into the brain and heart. In the brain the depletion of serotonine is noticed in the striatal area.

The straital area is the area responsible for coordination, learning, and memorization (After the Rave: the Ecstasy Hangover). The heart is damaged by the loss of serotonine because there is nothing to regulate the pressure of the blood flow. Blood pressure rises to dangerous levels before causing the body to go into distress before dying. The axon terminals after the neurotransmitters are released are supposed to reabsorb the extra neurotransmitters. The lack of serotonine in the neurons cause a lack of serotonine transporters, the spots on the neurons responsible for reabsorbing serotonine.

Ecstasy blocks the re-uptake of serotonine by the synaptic terminal. The serotonine becomes toxic and begins to kill off brain cells (After the Rave: the Ecstasy Hangover, (www. faculity. washington. edu/chudler/mdma. html). Another effect of the lack of serotonine is he decreasing amount of dopamine. Dopamine is an important role in cardiovascular, renal, and hormonal regulation (Dopamine: Pharmacological and Therapeutic Aspects). Without dopamine organ functions will not be regulated and will in turn lead to the failure of the system. Once the system fails, the body will die.

That is why a doctor begins given doses of dopamine to the patient if the experience cardiac arrest and begins ventricular fibrillation. Ecstasy is not the only drug that has harmful effects on the nervous system. There is another club drug, GHB, or Gamma Hydroxybutyrate that shows similar effects to ecstasy. GHB was designed to be a general anesthetic, but studies show that though it does cause sleep, it has caused comas. GHB is used as a club drug because it has become known as the liquid ecstasy, because the similar effects it produces.

Such as the feeling of euphoria, increased sensitivity, and heightened arousal. Though users feel better about themselves, the damages they cause are severe. GHB is getting a reputation as the new date rape drug, being used at bars and clubs to seduce young women. The occurrences of this use have escalated so much in the past few years that In February 2000, President Clinton signed HR2130, making the drug illegal as a Scheduled 1 drug, or the highest priority drug (www. faculity. washington. edu/chudler/ghb. html). Side effects from the drug include dizziness, vomiting, seizures, drowsiness, and a coma.

The effects of the nervous system are the cause of death for many users. Even though it has been proven that the brain produces GHB, through the synthesis of the neurotransmitter GABA, an excessive amount is fatal. Once in the body GHB increases the acetylocholine levels. This causes the serotonine levels to increase making the body fell relax and lax. Once the body has gone total lucid, the GHB causes the dopamine levels to drop, much like ecstasy does. Taken at a high dosage, GHB, will cause the dopamine to be eliminated from the nervous system sending the user into distress.

The brain damage that GHB causes, originates when the GHB activates the bodys natural GHB and GABA receptors, making them hyperactive. The hyperactive receptors bond to areas on the neurons in the brain and finally kill the neuron (www. faculity. washington. edu/chudler/ghb. html). A third type of club drug is Rohypnol, the most popular party drug. Rohypnol was developed to be a sleeping aid, its main purpose was to depress the central nervous system. However, the drug has been proven to cause memory loss, muscle relaxation, vomiting, hallucinations, breathing trouble, and also comas.

As with GHB and ecstasy, rohypnol works to destroy the body in the nervous system. Roypnol is a type of benzodiazepine, a sedative or an antianxiety medication. The benzodiazepine interacts with the receptors on neurons in the brain. Roypnol, like GHB targets the neurotransmitter GABA. The interaction between the GABA receptors and the roypnol inhibits neurons and reduces neuronal activity. The bonding of the receptors enhance the affect of GABA and begin to reduce brain activity. Taken over long periods of time, the affect of the hyperactivity of GABA will cease all brain activity (www. culity. washington. edu/chudler/ghb. html).

Drugs kill. That is the bottom line. It doesnt matter the dosage of drug taken, because if the user becomes addicted the body is already poisoned with the toxins. Most drugs affect the nervous system. The nervous system is what keeps the body alive, to mess around with substances that are harmful to the system is like writing a death sentence. Drugs are not going to eliminated from society but people need to be kept informed about their decisions and the effects their choices have on them.

Project Mkultra Essay

When many Americans think about Germany, they automatically think of the Nazis and the experiments they did with the Jews. But what they dont know is that the U. S. gov. did the same thing. It all started in the 50s during the Korean War. Concerned about the rumors of Communist brainwashing of POWs, the CIA director Allen Dulled authorized the MKULTRA program in April 1953. It would later become notoriously known for the many unusual and sometimes inhumane experiments that the CIA financed.

Though the CIA destroyed many of the documents related to MKULTRA in 1972, several records relating to the program have made it into the public domain, the work of historians, investigative reporters, and curious Congressional committees. Resulting in the release of enough information to make MKULTRA one of the most disturbing instances of intelligence community abuse on record. MKULTRA was the principle program of the CIA. It involved the research and development of chemical and biological agents.

It was concerned with the research and development of chemical, biological, and radiological materials, which were capable of employment in clandestine operations to control human behavior. Over the ten-year life that the program had, many additional avenues to the control of human behavior were designated as appropriate for investigation under MKULTRA charter. These included radiation, electroshock, various fields of psychology, psychiatry, sociology, and anthropology, graphology, harassment substances, and paramilitary devices and materials.

The research and development of material to be used for altering human behavior consisted of three phases: in the first phase the search for materials suitable for study. In the second stage the laboratory testing on voluntary human subjects in various types of institutions. In the third phase the application of MKULTRA materials in normal settings. The search for suitable material was conducted through standing arrangements with specialists in universities, pharmaceutical houses, hospitals, state and federal institutions, and private organizations

The most notorious MKULTRA experiments were the CIAs pioneering studies of the drug which would later feed the heads of millions: Lysergic Acid Diethyl amide, more commonly known as LSD. The CIA was intrigued by it and harbored hopes that the acid or a similar drug could be used to clandestinely disorient and manipulate target foreign leaders. The Agency would then consider several such schemes in its pursuit of the leader of Cuba, Fidel Castro, who they wanted to send into a drug-induced stupor of tirade during a public or live radio speech. The Agency also views the drug as a way to loosen up tongues in CIA interrogations.

According to Evan Thomas the author of The Very Best Men, he describes Sidney Gottlieb, the Stranglovian scientist who ran the MKULTRA project. Born with a club foot and a stutter, he compensated by becoming an expert folk dancer and obtaining a Ph. D from Cal Tech. A pleasant man who lived on a farm with his wife, Gottlieb drunk only goats milk and grew Christmas trees which he sold at a roadside stand When Dr. Gottlieb wasnt busy on the farm, he was dosing subjects with LSD-laced drinks, scrutinizing their reactions, and searching for qualities of the drug that would benefit the agencys covert actions.

Like many of the other experiments conducted by the CIA, the LSD ones were conducted on many unwitting subjects, most often they were prisoners or patrons of brothels set up and run by the Agency. They had installed two-way mirrors in the establishments to allow for observation of the drugs effects. These studies were then referred to as Operation Midnight Climax. For those people that were informed they faced even more inhumane treatments. During one of the experiments in Kentucky, seven volunteers were given LSD for 77 days straight.

One of those experiments turned up fatal. On November 19, 1953, an Army scientist and germ specialist name Frank Olson, who had been slipped a solid dose of LSD in his drink. For eight days he was suffering from what observers described as a paranoid, depressed state. Olson soon jumped thru his hotel window in New York and fell to stories to his death. What was even more tragic was that the Agency covered up their role in Olsons demise, and twenty-two years passed by before the Olson family learned of the events that lead up to Franks tragic death.

When the CIAs acid exploits were made public in the mid-1970, the Agency found itself facing heavy criticism. One Senate committee put it this way in 1975: From its beginning in the early 1950s until its termination in 1963, the program of surreptitious administration of LSD to unwitting non-volunteer human subjects demonstrates a failure of the CIAs leadership to pay adequate attention to the rights of individuals and to provide effective guidance to CIA employees.

Though it was known that the testing was dangerous, the lives of subjects were placed in jeopardy and were ignored. Although it was clear that the laws of the United States were being violated, the testing continued. Even though the most talked about aspect of MKULTRA was the CIAs LSD work there were also many other experiments conducted. The program included many other unusual investigations relating to the science of mine control.

CIA researchers probed the potential of numerous Para psychological phenomena, such as hypnosis, telepathy, precognition, photo kinesis and remote viewing. These studies werent conducted to merely satisfy the CIAs scientific curiosity. The CIA was looking for weapons that would give the United States the upper hand in the mind wars. Toward that objective, the CIA poured millions of dollars into studies probing literally dozens of methods of influencing and controlling the mind.

Preferably without permanent effects Few of the many objectives were realized, but the very conduct if these experiments caused many critics of the CIA to argue that successful or not, the CIA scientists shouldnt pry at the doors of perception.

Is Ritalin the Answer to ADHD

The tousled brown hair that weaves so mischievously around his head may hint at the way he feels inside. He is seven-years-old and has already had to repeat a grade. He has an imagination that puts others to shame, but nothing seems to hold his attention for more than five minutes. He was recently diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or what we call AD (H) D. This scene is all too familiar for individuals who discover that they, too, have this learning disorder as they progress from elementary school to college.

In today’s society we want a “quick fix” to remedy our problems. Therefore doctors are prescribing the drug, Ritalin, to control AD (H) D. Although Ritalin is a widely used drug to control AD (H) D, there are other safer alternatives to combat this worldwide disorder. Ritalin, like many other drugs, has several side effects-some of which are severe. Ritalin is in a class of drugs called Methylphetamines. These types of drugs (also called Central Nervous System or CNS stimulants) affect our central nervous system that controls everything from thought process to everyday breathing.

Ritalin’s major side effects influences the cardiovascular system (palpitation, tachycardia, and increased blood pressure), the central nervous system (psychosis, dizziness, headache, insomnia, tic syndromes, attacks of Gilles de la Tourette), gastrointestinal (anorexia, nausea), endocrine/metabolic system (weight loss, growth suppression). (What You Need To Know About Ritalin 1999) Also, Ritalin is a fairly new drug (introduced in the early eighties). It hasn’t been around long enough to study the long-term effects.

Since Ritalin is a Methylphetamine (closely related to the amphetamine family, such as cocaine), it has a high rate of abuse. In light of methylphenidate’s abuse liability, it is important to note the tremendous increase in availability of this substance and the expanded population (adolescents and adults) receiving prescriptions for the treatment of AD (H) D. For example, the production quota for methylphenidate has increased from 1,361 kg in 1985 to 10,410 kg in 1995 with the primary increases occurring in the last five years. (Ritalin 1996) This drug is abused in two ways.

One way is for recreational purposes. The abusers use the drug as a form of “speed” to pick themselves up. They feel that they need this in order to be “alive” and full of life. The other way this drug is abused is very different. Students are using Ritalin as a study aid. They take a pill (either orally, or by crushing it and snorting-much like cocaine, or they emulsify it in water and inject it like heroin) and cram for an exam. College today has become more competitive. Students feel a need to have an “edge” over the others. They feel that Ritalin gives them this “edge.

Another danger is that since Ritalin is related to amphetamines, it has almost the same physiological effects. A users body will build a tolerance to the stimulant, therefore requiring more drugs to sustain the same level of abuse. This is very dangerous since the side effects on a normal dose are already dangerous; it has the potential for addiction and overdose. (Ritalin Nation 1997) Although there are many harmful side effects and social problems related to Ritalin, many advocates claim that Ritalin is a vital part of controlling AD (H) D. And in most cases Ritalin has shown proven results.

It does exactly what it was designed to do. The treatment of the disorder in adolescents and adults both show positive results. But before being put on such a harmful drug, parents and students should try using other alternatives before using Ritalin. Most doctors can’t accurately diagnose AD (H) D in a 20-30 minute visit. There are usually other factors that have to be considered but are often overlooked. There are ways a patient diagnosed with AD (H) D can overcome this disorder. Rather than taking Ritalin, a change in diet can have a big impact on ones attention.

Stress levels, like diet, can cause loss of attention, making it hard to concentrate. A change in study habits can also be very beneficial to someone having a difficult time concentrating. So by eating healthy, eliminating certain “stressors,” and finding a study habit that works for a person, he/she can overcome the disorder. (Ritalin Free Kids 1996) Ritalin only treats the symptoms of AD (H) D, not the disorder itself. And the symptoms will always be there, unless something is done about it. So unless he/she plans on taking this harmful drug for the rest of their life, changes will have to be made.

Ritalin – the wonder Drug or the Monster Creator

It never gets all the way across the road because of all the distractions. You could say growing up was hard; everyday I had to endure cruel teeny bopping teenagers who didnt understand my condition. What really made it hard was that I didnt even understand my condition. Seven years ago I was diagnosed with ADHD or Attention Deficit/ Hyper- activity Disorder. In other words, my brain was like a light constantly going off and on at the worst possible times. As a form of treatment for ADHD, I was put on a controversial drug called Ritalin.

At the age of sixteen, it was not really my choice whether I wanted to take a doctors prescription or not. Now that I have grown up a bit and understand things better, I am questioning the benefits of prescribing Ritalin to treat ADHD. My personal experience with Ritalin is mixed. I use it when I am in school and at work and it allows me to concentrate and focus on what I need to do. I use to be a troubled student. I use to have consent run-ins with the law. Things never came easy to me and far too often they never came at all. Ritalin was like putting on a pair of glasses worn by Superman.

Suddenly everything became focused and organized. My schoolwork went form a category I will refer to as second-rate to a straight A student. I was no longer battling with myself to comprehend something. People who knew me as a child would never believe me as to what I have accomplished. That came at a price though, when I am taking Ritalin I drop about fifteen pounds and have constant nausea. I also feel it changes my personality making me a very bland person to talk to just like Al Gore. Last year I found myself in the hospital with what can be described as a mild heart attack because of Ritalin.

Most of these side effects I have been able to coupe with because the benefits have been so high. I do question if I could have gotten this far without it and if it was really worth it. On the other hand, According to a Time magazine article about the benefits of Ritalin, Ritalin even though its controversial, it seems to be the most effective way of treating ADHD. Lisa Horowitz of Brooklyn, says, “I was against the medication at first, like everybody else,” Lisa was use to seeing her son running around like a Gorilla from the Mist before he was put on Ritalin, but after “There was a complete difference,” she marvels.

He was able to sit through a TV program; he was actually able to sit and learn in school; he was able to sit and play with toys for longer than a minute or two. You could tell right away that he was focusing better. ” Now Michael is eight years old, and medication has become a part of family life (Lisa Horowitz). I never really took the time to learn about ADHD or Ritalin. Similar to a majority of people with ADHD, I was diagnosed as a child. So I was not the one making the decisions on how it was going to be treated. My doctor recommended Ritalin because of its high success rate.

Without much investigation on other forms of treatment, my parents agreed to the Ritalin prescription. Since it did help me, that was the end of it. Only now have I learned about the dangers of Ritalin and the other forms of treatment that I feel might have worked just as well. Before I plunge any deeper, ADHD needs to be defined. ADHD shows strong signs of inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness characterize with this disorder. If you had to picture someone with this disorder just picture the Tasmanian Devil and the Woody Wood Pecker having a child.

You get the picture now! The American Psychiatric Association explains that, Individuals with ADHD may know what to do but do not consistently do what they know because of their inability to efficiently stop and think prior to responding, regardless of the setting or task (CHADD). ADHD believed to be caused by abnormalities in the dopamine neurotransmitters in the brain (CHADD; Long). This lowers the amount of activity in certain areas of the brain and is detectable with brain imaging equipment such as a MRI or a CAT scan. Doctors have found strong links between ADHD and other disabilities and disorders.

Children with ADHD commonly are also affected with learning disabilities, behavior disorders, and TIC disorders such as Tourettes. Fifty percent of ADHD children have gross and fine motor control delays. According to the Journal of abnormal child psychology, half of all children with ADHD stay behind a grade and another forty-six percent have been suspended from school (Long). Later in life, seventy-five percent will get divorced. A person with ADHD is also four times more likely to develop a drug addiction and three times more likely to develop an alcohol problem.

The information I found concerning ADHD is scary. I feel it demonstrates exactly why ADHD needs thorough treatment. Ritalin or its formal name of Methylphenidate is the most common form of treatment for ADHD. Ritalin and the other drugs used to treat ADHD are classified as psycho-stimulants. In an article by Dr. Phillip W. Long, he states that, The mode of action in man is not completely understood, but methylphenidate presumably activates the brain stem arousal system and cortex to produce its stimulant effect.

This generally produces a very hyper and off-the-wall feeling. Typically when taken by a person with ADHD, the effects are the exact opposite. It actually will calm the person down and focus him or her. According to CHADD (Children and adults with ADHD), seventy to eighty percent of people with ADHD respond positively to this treatment. Ritalin is a stimulant and does hold a wide variety of side effects. It is addictive and people can develop a drug dependency (Mediconsult Limited). There are strong reactions, with risk of a coma, when combined with other drugs or alcohol.

A problem I had along with many other Ritalin users was with my heart. Heart palpitations, cardiac arrhythmia, and blood pressure and pulse changes are serious heath risks that can occur using Ritalin. The most common problems that people experience are insomnia, weight loss, irritability, and nervousness. Unfortunately, there is also a lot that is not known or understood about Ritalin like the long-term effects. This brings me to the question of who is taking Ritalin? Apparently, five million children in the United States alone are prescribed Ritalin to treat ADHD (CHADD).

That is about three to five percent of all American school children prescribed to the drug. Ritalin usage has already risen seven hundred percent since 1991. The American Psychiatric Association believes that about one to three percent of the school-aged population is afflicted with full ADHD. An additional five to ten percent are described as partially effected. Also another fifteen to twenty percent show subliminal or suggested behaviors of ADHD. Dr. Edward Hallowell, an expert in learning disabilities, believes Ritalin usage could grow as high as ten percent of all school children.

Are their really that many people affected with ADHD and how will we treat that many people? Is Ritalin or similar drug treatments necessary to treat ADHD? No, Dr. Edward Hallowell writes that having ADHD is not necessarily a bad thing. Often these people are highly imaginative and intuitive. They have a “feel” for things, a way of seeing right into the heart of matters while others have to reason their way along methodically. As for treating ADHD, he says that the simple knowledge that there is a problem can be enough to improve the situation.

Modifying the learning environment has been used as an alternative treatment. Simple changes like removing distractions, having directions explained better, or extending testing time can work as well as medication. Others have turned to the help of psychiatrists for counseling. They can help teach a child how to overcome the obstacles of ADHD. Since it is the doctors who diagnose ADHD, It has been my feeling that they prefer to treat it with what they understand, medicine. Non-drug alternatives are out there and they seem to have worked some people.

They can be costly or time consuming and not yield any improvements. Then again, Ritalin is the same way. Ritalin worked for me and also for a lot of other people. Unfortunately I did not know about the alternatives. I did not even know much about the drug I was taking. If I knew then, I may have made a different decision. On the other hand, Ritalin helped me show my full potential and there is no substitute for that. I plan on looking into alternatives but I doubt I will change anything. Its a hard choice and I know a lot of other people have gone through or will go through the same thing.

The War on Drugs

Since the early 1960s, there has been an alarming increase in drug use in the United States. In 1962, four million Americans had tried an illegal drug. By 1999, that number had risen to a staggering 87. 7 million, according to the 1999 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse. The study also found that the number of illicit drug users who were above the age of 12 and had used drugs in the past month reached a high of 25. 4 million in 1979, decreased through the late 1980s to a low of 12 million in 1992, and has since increased to 14. 8 million in 1999.

Drug use among teens, and even younger children, has been steadily increasing for the past several years. According to the 1998 National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse survey, teen marijuana use is up almost 300 percent since 1992. In 1999, 55 percent of high school seniors reported having used an illicit drug, while just seven years ago, only 41 percent said they had, according to the Monitoring the Future Study. Between 1991 and 1999, the same study reported illicit drug use among younger children (age 13 to 14) increased by 51 percent, from 18. ercent to 28. 3 percent.

While most Americans are aware that drug use in the United States is becoming more prevalent among our youth, many do not realize the profound impact the drug epidemic has on the country as a whole. Widespread drug use results in a less efficient, less productive workforce. According to a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration survey, employees who test positive for drugs make more than twice as many claims for workers compensation, use almost twice the medical benefits, and take one-third more leave time as non-users.

They are also 60 percent more likely to be responsible for accidents. The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) estimates that the monetary cost of illegal drug use to society is $110 billion a year. In addition, drug-related violence and crime pose a grave, and much more direct threat to the United States. According to the 1999 Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Program, 75 percent of the male adults arrested in New York City for committing a violent crime tested positive for drug use.

This report also showed that in smaller cities like Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, the percentages were as high as 64 percent. The drug epidemic is also taking a toll on the very core of American society – the family. According to the ONDCP’s 1998 National Drug Control Strategy, drug use causes violence and abuse within families: 1) One-quarter to one-half of all incidents of domestic violence are drug-related,  2)  A survey of state child welfare agencies found substance abuse to be one of the key problems exhibited by 81 percent of the families reported for child maltreatment, and 3) 3. ercent of pregnant women – nearly 80,000 mothers – used drugs

These statistics, reflect only the social and familial effects of drug abuse, and therefore, show only a small portion of the suffering endured by American families as a result of drugs abuse (Drug Use In The United States). Statistics would indicate that some measure of control is needed. But as stated in The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison, [T]he United States has an enormous drug abuse and addiction problem; however, the attempts to cure it are worse than the disease itself.

In this paper, I will attempt to answer the following questions:  1) How illicit and/or legal drug use relates to crime? Here I will also address the statistics quantifying the occurrence of drug use in the U. S. In this section I will note the general characteristics of those we identify as offenders and victims. 2)  What are the causes of drug use? 3)  Finally, how can we control this behavior in order to reduce the harm? Here I will analyze crime control strategies vs. harm reduction strategies and determine which strategies will be the most effective in reducing the harm.

Drug use relates to crime in that as legal prohibition on drugs like heroin drives its street value up, only those people willing to risk punishment will sell it. High costs make the purchase of heroin, marijuana, cocaine, and opiates difficult for some and can be attributed to some of the criminal acts. These are the criminal acts that are committed in the name of drugs and usually committed only in an attempt to obtain money for the drug. The FBI reports that the half-million addicts need to steal $18,750,000,000 a year to support their habits.

It is reported the value of stolen property would increase dramatically if we knew the value of unreported thefts. The National Drug Control Policy indicates that in 1995, Americans spent $55 billion on three illegal drugs; $38 billion on cocaine alone, $10 billion on heroin, another $7 billion on marijuana. Another $3 billion was estimated to for the purchase of other illegal drugs and legal drugs used illicitly (The Rich, p 39). In 1997 one out of every six prisoners (19% of state inmates and 15% of federal inmates) admit they committed their current offense in order to get money for drugs (The Rich, p 39).

Duke and Gross offered the following statements: If a drug habit can be fed only at great expense, and if the demand for drugs is relatively inelastic, then crime to obtain money to buy drugs are inevitableDrug prohibition has also resulted in the creation of several other hitherto unimagined crimes, such as money laundering, failure to make currency reports possession and distribution of precursor chemicals. Violation of these criminal provisions number in the millions.

The second crime wave:  Crimes to get Drug Money is another symptom of drug abuse   [T]he threat of a drug rosecution can be used by police to obtain other benefits including sexual favors, money and other property. (Americas Longest War, p 106-108). A 1991 survey of federal and state prisons, found that drug offenders, burglars, and robbers in state prisons were the most likely to report being under the influence of drugs while committing crimes. Of convicted property and drug offenders, about 1 in 4 had committed their crimes to get money for drugs.

A higher percentage of drug offenders in 1996 (24%) than in 1989 (14%) were in jail for a crime committed to raise money for drugs. Percent of jail inmates who committed offense to get money for drugs Source: BJS, Profile of Jail Inmates, 1996, NCJ 164620, April 1998. Although homicide, assault and public order offenses are crimes that are committed under the influence of drugs, inmates in state prisons who had been convicted of homicide, assault, and public order offenses were least likely to report being under the influence of drugs. The chart below illustrates the rate of murder in a year period as it relates to drug use.

The chart shows in the year of 1989 there were 1400 drug-related murders. It would seem in correlating crime with drug use, most prevalent is property related crimes. Research has shown that crime is related to drug use. Also that the crime that is related to drug use has an extremely wide span. This crime span includes the addicts, law enforcement, judicial system, social destruction, etc. Although Jeffrey Reiman author of The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison would argue that opiate addiction is not in itself a cause of crimeif anything, it is a pacifier.

It would seem also Duke and Gross would argue that drug-use is not the cause of crime, but crime is a result of the prohibition of drugs. This problem of drug-abusers and crime manifests itself in the deterioration of entire neighborhoods. This is characterized by the closing of neighborhood businesses, decreased community involvement in crime watch, crime prevention and crime reporting organizations, and a subsequent increase in crime rates. Duke and Gross substantiate the above theory with the eighth crime wave, which states: The vigilante reflex is a result of deteriorating law enforcement.

Individuals believe it is their duty to preserve their neighborhood therefore, the neighborhood drug house is torched and a criminal act of arson is committed. Neighborhoods where illegal drug markets flourish are plagued by attendant crime and violence Drug abuse takes a toll on society that can only be partially measured. While we are able to estimate the number of drug-related crimes that occur each year, we can never determine fully the extent to which the quality of life in Americas neighborhoods has been diminished by drug-related criminal behavior.

Americas Drug Duke and Gross added to the above idea with the ninth crime wave:  Social Deterioration. As crime rates increase in a neighborhood, fear takes over and decline and disorder begins (Americans, p 120). They maintain that those who have the means to escape drug riddled neighborhood do and those who do not become hostages to their environments. When playgrounds become the turf of ruffians and businesses close, the reporting of criminal activity diminishes. This decrease in reporting does not reflect a low crime rate, but is reflective of the community members feeling the situation is hopeless.

They began making the calls prior to the community businesses moving, once they had relocated, there was no point in saving the neighborhood. Sadly, the crime rates in these areas soar (Americans, p 120). Individuals use drugs for various reasons eight of which are listed below:   1)  Poor self image, low self esteem, and lack confidence, 2)  They have not been cared for  or come from families who neglected them, 3) They have a poor relationship with their parents,  4)  Some are not well-educated or have obtained the basic educational skills such as reading and writing.

Some of these individuals face various hardships throughout their lives, 5) Others have suffered some sort of trauma in their lives. This trauma could be physical, emotional, verbal, and/or sexual abuse. These individuals may feel a sense of never having developed proper family relationships, involving separation, foster care or adoption, 6)  Some users were unable to relate to authority figures and attempt to rebel,  7)  Many modeled their addictions on the habits of their parents,  and 8)  Users may have a pre-disposition for substance abuse or other addictive/dependent behaviors.

The overall truth is that drug users come from a variety of social backgrounds, and from all ages (An Analysis. 000). Research shows that blacks make up about 13% of regular drug users in the U. S. , yet account for 62. 7% of all drug offenders sent to prison. While there are five times as many white drug users than black drug users, black men are admitted to state prisons for drug offenses at a rate that is 13. 4 times greater than that of white men. This drives an overall black incarceration rate that is 8. 2 times higher than the white incarceration rate. In seven states, blacks constitute 80 to 90% of all drug offenders sent to prison.

In 15 states, black men are admitted to state prison for drug charges at a rate that is 20 to 57 times the white male rate. The numbers above describe a nearly unilateral increase in the use of prison as an attempt to deal with the drug issue in the United States. They tell only part of the story. The following data clearly shows the brunt of the war on drugs being shouldered by the African American community. While many more whites use drugs than blacks in America, prison space for drug offenses is increasingly reserved for African Americans (Drug Abuse, 2000).

The overall rate of admission to prison for drug offenses was 63 per 100,000 in 1996. When dichotomized by race, however, the rates reveal vast disparities. Whites were sent to prison for drug offenses at a much lower rate (20 per 100,000) than were African Americans (279 per 100,000), in 1996. That means blacks are incarcerated for a drug offense at a rate 14 times that of whites, while survey data reveals that five times as many whites use drugs as blacks. (Drug Abuse, 2000). Both whites and blacks were admitted to prison at higher rates in 1996 than 1986.

However, for blacks the increase was much more dramatic. Whites experienced a 115% increase in the rate of drug admissions, from 9 to 20 per 100,000. Meanwhile the black rate of 49 per 100,000 in 1986 skyrocketed by 465% to 279 per 100,000 in 1996 (Graph 6). Put another way, while the white drug commitment rate doubled from 1986 to 1996, the black rate quintupled (see Graph 7). Despite the doubling of the white drug commitment rate between 1986 and 1996, the black rate of commitment to prison for drug offenses in 1986 was still 2 1/2 times the 1996 white rate.

In 1986 the gap between the percent of new admissions for blacks and whites that were the result of drug convictions was small and in some states the percentage for whites exceeded that of blacks. During the “Punishing 90’s,” however, the percent of blacks entering prison for drug offenses outstripped that of whites, in some states more than two to one (Poor Prescription). As the drug use relates to age, employed and unemployed, current statistics show illicit drug use was relatively more common among younger workers than among older workers.

About 12 percent of 18 to 25-year-old workers, almost 9 percent of 26 to 34-year-old workers, and more than 5 percent of 35 to 49-year-old workers reported current illicit drug use. However, the largest number of full-time workers who reported current illicit drug use was estimated to be in the older age categories: over two million full-time workers in each of the two older age groups, but only about one-and-a-half million workers in the younger age group, were estimated to be current illicit drug users. These results reflect the fact that only about 16. ercent of full-time workers, age 18-49, in the U. S. are age 18-25, while 31. 8 percent are age 26-34 and 51. 9 percent are age 35-49. As drug use relates to gender, employed an unemployed, statistics show male workers were more likely than female workers to report current illicit drug use. About nine percent of males, yet only five percent of females, reported current illicit drug use. This translates to an estimated four million males, but only about one-and-a-half million females, were current illicit drug users. (Poor Prescription, 2000).

White workers had higher rates of current illicit drug use than black or Hispanic workers (8%, 7%, and 6%, respectively). In addition, the estimated number of users was overwhelmingly white: about 83 percent of the estimated number of current illicit drug users were white, almost 9 percent were black, and another 7 percent were Hispanic. These numbers reflect the racial/ethnic distribution of the full-time workforce in the United States: 78. 5 percent were white, 11. 5 percent was black, and 10. 0% was Hispanic (these percentages do not include any other ethnic groups). (Poor Prescription, 2000)

Finally, full-time workers who reported the lowest personal income (less than $9,000 per year) and those who reported the highest personal income ($75,000 or more) also reported the highest rates of current illicit drug use. Although these two groups comprise only 12 percent of the full-time workforce age 18-49, they include 21 percent of those, age 18-49, reporting current illicit drug use. Over 12 percent of the members of these two groups reported current illicit drug use, but less than 10 percent of the members of the other income groups reported current illicit drug use.

However, data on the distribution of the estimated number of users by income show a different pattern. The largest estimated numbers of users were from those groups of workers who reported personal annual incomes of $9,000 to $19,999 and $20,000 to $39,999. Over 65 percent of the estimated number of current illicit drug users came from these two groups. However, 68. 4 percent of the total number of full-time workers age 18-49 also came from these two income groups. (Poor Prescription, 2000) Figure 2. 2 provides comparable information on heavy alcohol use.

As with current illicit drug use, a higher rate of heavy alcohol use was found among 18 to 25-year-old workers (13. 6%) than among 26 to 34-year-old or 35 to 49-year-old workers (8. 9% and 6. 3%, respectively). A majority of the estimated users were found among the older workers. Once again, this is due in part, to the fact that a large majority of full-time workers between the ages of 18 to 49 were age 26 to 49 years old. (Poor Prescription, 2000). Males were more likely than females, and whites were more likely than blacks, to report heavy alcohol use.

The estimated number of users also shows that a large majority of heavy alcohol users were white male workers. . (An Analysis, 2000) The distribution of heavy alcohol use by personal income was slightly different than the distribution of current illicit drug use by personal income. Heavy alcohol use was more likely to be reported by workers in the two lower income brackets (less than $9,000 and $9,000-$19,999) than by workers in the higher income brackets ($20,000-$39,999, $40,000-$74,999, and $75,000 or more).

However, most of the estimated number of heavy alcohol usersand a majority of full-time workers overall (68. 4%)came from those groups reporting personal incomes between $9,000-$39,999 per annum. (An Analysis, 2000) In the summer of 1999, following an 18-month undercover drug operation, police in Tulia, Texas (population of 4,700) arrested 46 people for drug dealing. Of the 46 mostly teenagers and young adults, 40 were African American – constituting more than 15% of the entire black population of the town. defendants were found guilty in jury trials, one is still awaiting trial and the others entered into plea bargains.

Their prison sentences were strikingly harsh: many were sent away for 20-25 years, and some received far longer terms amounting to life sentences. Critics have charged the prosecution with targeting blacks, and have strongly challenged the accuracy of evidence used in the convictions. (Town Rocked by Drug Sting, 2000). Finally we would have to examine how we should control this behavior in order to reduce the harm.

Kubacki articulates: Psychemedics currently serve over 1600 corporations, many In the Fortune 500, four of the largest police departments, five Federal Reserve Banks, hospitals, universities and others. They have done extensive due diligence on our patented hair test for drugs of abuse and find our method accurate and extremely effective in identifying drug users. Another means of control as proposed by Vice President Al Gore in his May 2nd speech in Atlanta, mandatory drug testing of parolees.

Mr. Gore proposed federal spending of $500 million a year to help states test, treat and counsel prisoners and parolees for drug use. Under the plan, inmates in state prisons — mandatory drug testing already applies in federal prisons — would not be released until they could pass drug tests. If parolees failed the test, which would be administered twice per week, they could be returned to prison (Gore, 2000). According to Duke and Gross, A drug-free society is no more attainable than a sex-free society. Duke and Gross argue, One way to minimize the harm from drugs is to reduce the number of people who use them.

In order to reduce the number of people who use drugs, society must be education and treated without govern coercion. As quotes in the book, The Rich Get Rich and the Poor Get Prison, some form of decriminalization of marijuana, heroin and cocaine would reduce criminalization of  law-abiding users, would reduce the need for addicts to steal, would reduce incentives to drug traffickers and smugglers, and would free up personnel and resources for more effective war again the crimes that people fear most.

When we look at these ideas, it would seem feasible if drugs such as marijuana, heroin and cocaine were decriminalized, cost would diminish drastically, reducing the number of property crimes committed to purchase these drugs in their illicit state, addicts would probably receive better or less harmful products and would be better able to monitor their dosage. Because we know that a drug-free society will never exit we need to find a way to make the circumstances these addicts face a little healthier.

To reemphasize the quote made in a song by the late Tupac Shakur, Instead of a War on Poverty, there is a War on Drugs  The point can be taken from this excerpt to be, we as a country, need to focus on the causes of drug use, as well as the underlying social conditions that foster the lifestyle of drug usage. Poverty is one example of a cause, but as statistics have shown, even the wealthy and highly paid will admit to drug use. Crime Control vs. Harm Reduction Strategies In order to control drug use and reduce harm we must first determine who is using drugs and who is being harmed.

At first glance one might think they are one in the same, but that may not be true. The severity and frequency of harm as a result of drug use falls into two distinct categories. People of color and the poor have a crime victimization rate many times higher than middle-class whites. Neighborhoods on the lowest rung of the economic ladder have been saturated by a combination of drugs and crime (Walker, 2000). Although drug use is widespread, the harm that results falls heavily on the poor and minorities.

Crime control strategies that have been implemented during the past decade are primarily focused drug distribution and possession and the crimes that are associated with them. Although African-Americans represent only 13% of the population in the United States, a disproportionate number of them are represented in the prison population and a large number of those are for drug related offenses. During the 1980s, prisons in the United States began to swell with those who were convicted and handed lengthy sentences, especially in states where habitual offender laws had been established.

The eventual result of these policies was the early release of many prisoners due to overcrowding. As sentences for crimes lengthened and prison population swelled, money was spirited away from all areas of government spending including higher education. Violent crime is a severe problem for the United States. The violent crime rate in this country is far higher than any other industrialized nation. Samuel Walker reviews the 1997 University Maryland Report Preventing Crime in his book Sense and Nonsense about Crime and Drugs.

The report views crime reduction strategies in a different light by identifying seven institutional settings in which crime policies are delivered. Each of the seven, communities, families, schools, labor markets, crime hot spots policing, and other criminal justice institutions, are closely interrelated. The effectiveness of a crime control strategy depends heavily on the condition of the other six institutions related to it (Walker, 2000). Conservative theologian James Q. Wilson asserts that criminals lack self  control and offenses against society will continue without methods of separating the offender from law-abiding citizens.

Wilson believes that effective deterrent strategies must be in place that can effectively steer would-be offenders away from criminal activities. Others in the conservative ideology point to a moral breakdown as the root cause of crime and desire swift, certain punishment of offenders. The problem with this response to crime is that it does not address the persons who have already rejected societal norms and governmental authority (Walker, 2000). Liberal crime control strategists views crime as more of community wide problem rather than an individual problem.

Their strategy points to the need for reducing the social factors that lead to crime such as family, neighborhood setting, economic opportunities, and discriminatory practices. Treatment, rather than incarceration, is the best method for dealing with offenders who have not graduated to the most violent crimes. No treatment programs have demonstrated consistent success (Walker, 2000). Walker concludes that neither conservatives nor liberals have achieved a universally effective crime control strategy.

Each have seized very public examples of criminal situations that seldom occur to highlight their respective points, but these dont reach the root cause of crime and result in no meaningful reduction of crime. Phil Coffin of The Lindesmith Center studied prison incarceration trends and found as of 1995, there were almost eight times as many people incarcerated for drug offenses as there were in 1980. The cost for housing these 388,000 people in prison facilities was nearly 9 billion dollars. Among those incarcerated approximately 80% are minorities.

Part of the difference is associated with the difference in mandatory sentencing for different forms of the same drug. Possession of 500 grams or more of powdered cocaine, for instance, carries a five-year mandatory sentence. Yet, carrying only 5 grams of cocaine in the refined form of crack invokes the same sentence. This illustrates the racial disparity in the execution of drug laws. The harm experienced by minorities is greater because 88% of all crack cocaine defendants were black while only 27% were found in possession of powder cocaine (Coffin, 1995).

The harm resulting from the fight against drug use extends to all persons in the United States. Currently, billions of dollars spent on enforcement, adjudication, and sentencing related to drug laws. The tremendous financial resources diverted to combat the drug war could be used on social programs that have proven outcomes. The United States is among the richest countries in the world and yet we trail most countries in our educational achievement. The drug offender is removed from society and the costs of his absence are incalculable.

This is disturbing considering that alcohol is a legal drug and more funds are available to combat the problem. Persons who have an illegal drug abuse program must first overcome the tendency to hide the addiction to an illegal substance. Emphasis should be placed on drug abuse as a health problem, not a primary criminal justice problem. A 1994 report by RAND researchers concluded that the cost of drug treatment is one/seventh the cost of law enforcement efforts pursuing the same goal: ending the use and abuse of illegal drugs.

The placement of illegal drug use in the hands of law enforcement has difficulty moving toward harm reduction principles. These principles must include education, sterile paraphernalia programs (to prevent a drug problem becoming an HIV problem), and the facilitation of treatment and patient confidentiality for the drug user (Fischler, 1996). Drug abuse is widespread and spans every ethnic group, every race, people of different creeds, age and gender. Without a doubt a change is needed. The cost of housing prisoners is $25,000 per year.

It seems it would be a more feasible plan to educate and treat these individuals versus incarceration. The criminalization of drugs seems to be doing more harm than good. Our priorities should be the prevention and treatment options available for those in need of the services and law enforcement efforts should be focused on large-scale deliveries rather than end-users. George Soros, a leading advocate for the legalization for drugs, cuts through the myth and hysteria regarding drug use in an article he wrote in 1997.

In the article he points to the destructive consequences of fighting the drug war the way we are fighting it, and proposes a flanking maneuver. His proposal is to treat the drug abuser as you would any other medical patient but leave the occasional recreational user be. The staggering problem with alcohol abuse listed above has one major advantage for the government, tax revenue. If the illicit drugs were made legal, tax revenues on them would help generate treatment resources. America needs to consider alternatives to law enforcement fighting the drug war.

LSD (Lysergic Acid Dyethilamide)

A Swiss chemist named Dr. Albert Hoffman first produced lysergic acid Diethylmide or best known as LSD in 1938 (Dye, 1992, p. 2). Hoffman discovered the drug while trying to synthesize a new drug for the treatment of headaches. He obtained the lysergic acid from the parasitic fungus that grows on rye plants known as ergot. From the lysergic acid, he synthesized the compound LSD. He used the compound to test for its pain killing properties on laboratory animals. Being that appeared totally ineffective, the bottle of LSD was placed on a shelf and remained untouched for five years.

On April 16, 1943, Dr. Hoffman decided to do further research with the LSD compound (Dye, 1992 p. 5). While handling the drug, he accidentally ingested an unknown amount. Then he experienced the worlds first LSD trip. About eight hours later Hoffman drifted back into normal reality and the Psychedelic Revolution was born. (Encarta 98) Three days later, in an attempt to prove that the previous episode was indeed caused by the ingestion of LSD, Dr. Hoffman ingested what he thought would be a small quantity of LSD, 250 micrograms.

In actuality, this is approximately five times the dosage necessary to produce heavy hallucinations in the average adult male (Solomon, 1964, p. 34). The drug produced effects that were much more intense than the first time Hoffman took the LSD. He noted that he felt unrest, dizziness, visual disturbances, a tendency to laugh at inappropriate times, and a difficulty in concentration (Dye, 1992, p. 7). Dr. Hoffmans condition improved six hours after taking the drug, although visual disturbances and distortion continued. LSD was first shipped to the United States in 1949 (Solomon, 1964 , p. ).

American scientists tested LSD on animals to learn of its effects. It produced dramatic behavior changes in all animals investigated. During the 1950s, experimentation of LSD on humans began (Solomon, 1964, p. 56). Since there were few restrictions on using humans for experimentation at the time, scientists were free to administer the drug widely, hoping to find some useful therapeutic value for the drug. Because of Hoffmans LSD account of depersonalization produced by the drug. Early studies were done using the drug to treat various psychiatric disorders.

It was felt that if a person could “step outside” themselves and view situations as others saw them, they could come to grips with their problems and be able to solve them. One of the first areas of LSD experimentation was in treating alcoholism (Dye, 1992, p. 36). After extensive research, it was concluded that LSD was not effective on treating alcoholism and the research was discontinued. LSD was also tested on schizophrenics, drug addicts and criminals (Dye, 1992 p. 38). Research determined that LSD was ineffective in treating any behavioral problems.

It was also concluded that LSD might transform a normal individual into a person with a very calm to severe personality problem. The Central Intelligence Agency and various military agencies also became interested in LSD research in the late 1950s (Dye, 1992, p. 410. ) Their interest in the drug was in the area of mind control. They saw the possibility of manipulating of manipulating the beliefs of strong willed people. They gave the drug to a group of army scientists and then attempted to change some of their basic beliefs while under the influence of the drug.

However, one of the scientists became psychotic and committed suicide by jumping from a hotel window. These agencies continued their research by using drug addicts and prostitutes to test their mind control theories. After extensive experimentation, it became apparent that LSD could alter LSD the mind but not control it. The United States government discontinued this sort of research. Up until today, the Food and Drug Administration have never approved LSD. This strong hallucinageous drug remains only as research and medical treatment.

LSD belongs to a class of psychotropic drugs called hallucinogens (Gorodetzky, 1992). Other drugs in this category are mescaline (derived from peyote cactus) and psilocybin (commonly known as “hallucinogenic mushrooms”). LSD is most commonly taken orally but may also be taken by injection, inhalation, or by absorption through the skin. When it is taken orally, the individual usually notices the effect of the drug within thirty minutes. It may take one hour before the user experiences the drugs maximum effects. This state usually lasts two to four hours.

The usual dose taken is fifty to one hundred micrograms, although much higher and lower doses have been ingested. The intensity of the hallucinatory experience depends on the dose taken. The psychological, perpetual, and behavioral effects of LSD persists for eight to twelve hours and gradually wears off after reaching their maximum effects (Gorodetzky, 1992). The effect of the drug is determined by a persons mental state, the structure of their personality, and the physical setting. The role of culture and belief systems is primary in the effects of hallucinogenic states.

The experience following the ingestion of LSD is called a “trip” and can be good or bad depending on its effect on the user. The physiological effects may vary. Depersonalization is a frequent psychological effect of LSD (Solomon, 1964, p. 157). A persons self seems to be divided into two parts: an uninvolved observer and a participating involved self. The uninvolved self is sometimes seen as an unidentified person that the user later recognizes as his or her self. The user is frequently unable to distinguish where their body ends and the environment begins. Another effect of LSD is derealization.

Derealization is a dreamlike state in which the individual cannot tell if they are experiencing reality or dreaming (Solomon, 1964, p. 159). A person under the influence of LSD may misjudge the size and distance of objects. The shapes of objects are also distorted and constantly changing. Objects that do not exist may also change in form and color. These objects can often be seen when the user s eyes are closed because the image is produced within the mind. Colors also appear to be brighter and more intense than normal. Synesthesia, which refers to the mixing of the senses, is another effect of LSD (Solomon, 1964, p. 4).

During synthesia, experiences normally associated with one sense are translated to another. For example, sounds may be seen and colors may be smelled. LSD also often distorts time. The user may be unable to separate events from the past, present, and future. A lack of concentration and impairment in judgment are also common. An individual on LSD may remain completely motionless for long periods of time or hyperactive. LSD can also produce rapid mood changes. Another group of LSD induced effects are referred to as somatic symptoms (Solomon, 1964, p. 171).

These symptoms include dizziness, weakness, tremors, blurred vision, and tingling sensation of the skin. It is still not fully known how LSD works on the brain. In addition to the psychological effects of LSD, the drug produces many physiological effects as well. LSD dilates the pupils of the eyes. It can also cause blurred vision, and increases blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature. The drug also increases blood sugar, can produce sweating and chills headaches, nausea, and vomiting. There are also changes in the muscles, resulting in weakness, tremors, numbness, and twitching.

Abnormal, rapid breathing may occur. ( Dye, 1992, p. 122) LSD users experience some kind of flashbacks after taking the drug. A flashback is a spontaneous recurrence of certain aspects of an LSD related hallucinatory experience (Gorodetzky, 1992). If a flashback occurs after only one exposure to LSD, the initial trip was most likely a bad one. Flashbacks can occur at any time, but are more likely to occur while sleeping, while under the influence of other intoxicants, or while a person is in the presence of someone under the influence of LSD.

Flashbacks have been known to cause psychotic and suicide reactions have been recorded as insanity. LSD was not only restricted to big cities such as the streets of Haight and Ashbury of San Francisco. From Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters to the Beatles song Lucy In The Shy With Diamonds, LSD was gaining national recognition and had reached suburbia by the mid 1960s. LSD inspires art, music, fashion, and culture for a generation.

“Psychedelic”, a word invented by scientist Dr. Humphrey Osmond to indicate the mind altering or mind expanding properties of hallucinogenic drugs, became a household term in the 1960s. Aldous Huxley (b. 1894-1963), writer of the critically acclaimed books Brave New World (1932) and The Doors of Perception (1954), was an advocate of the usage of hallucinogens. Huxley researched and experimented with mescaline and later related his studies on mescaline to LSD. In his usage of mescaline, Huxley experienced a change in every day reality. Unlike mescaline users before him, Huxley had no fantastic visions, saw no landscapes or geometrical figures.

The Performance-enhancing Drug Controversy

Performance-enhancing drugs are a topic in todays society which is currently under hot debate. Performance-enhancing drugs are substances which are used to stimulate certain areas of the body to make an athlete excel in a certain event. The most common form of performance-enhancing drugs are called steroids. According to Hank Nuwer in his book Steroids, steroids are … compounds that are necessary for the well-being of many living creatures, including human beings. These include sex hormones, bile acids, and cholesterol (15).

Steroids are used in the medical field to treat many ailments, and this se is not the use which is currently under controversy. The medical reasons are to treat anemia, burns, asthma, anorexia, intestinal disorders, and much more (Nuwer 15). These types of steroids are called cortical steroids. But the other use of steroids and performance-enhancing drugs is that they are used by athletes who wish to gain an unfair advantage over their competitors, or use them to keep up with the competition since so many athletes are using these types of drugs.

These drugs are taken in a variety of ways. The two most common ways are to be taken orally in pill form, or injected into the body with a needle. Just a few of these performance-enhancing drugs are Nelvar, Deca-Durabolin, Anavar, Stanzolol, Dianabol, and Anadrol-50 (Nuwer 17). These drugs are much more dangerous than the legal performance-enhancing drugs because the athletes take much, much more than the recommended doses that would be prescribed by a doctor.

They feel that the more pills or injections they take, the stronger, faster, and better they will be when competing, but this Performance-enhancing drugs are relatively unstudied today. There are not many known fact about performance-enhancing drugs and steroids. But, there is some evidence hat shows some of these substances may be dangerous to ones health. Although there is yet to be certain and definite proof that performance-enhancing drugs and steroids may be harmful, there have been some studies which indicate that they can be dangerous.

These studies have shown that steroids may have been the reason or a major factor which caused liver damage, cardiomyopathy (a worn out heart), jaundice, peliosis hepatis (blood-filled cysts in the liver), and adverse affects on both the cardiovascular system and on the reproductive system (Meer 69). These products have also been linked to causing some ypes of cancer. Because of these hazards, many performance-enhancing drugs have been banned in certain national and international sports, such as the NFL, NBA, and the Olympics.

This does not mean that athletes participating in these sports do not take them, Athletics is the major area in which performance-enhancing drugs are used. Although some people use them just to try to make themselves look bigger and better, most people use them to help them to either keep up with competition in athletic events, or use them to beat the competition by an unfair advantage, usually because they want to chieve fame or want to win some sort of cash reward. Unfortunately, it is not just the major athletes in pro sports and in the Olympics who use these drugs.

Performance-enhancing drugs are used in all levels of competition today, whether it be in the Olympics, in the pros, in colleges, or even in high schools. Athletes see other people taking these drugs and winning events and breaking records, and they want to do the same. Also, many of these athletes are misinformed about the dangers of performance-enhancing drugs. But on the other hand, many other athletes are aware of he consequences and dangers, yet they are stubborn and take them anyway.

The Olympics have long been known for having athletes who take steroids. For years now, certain countries such as the former nation of East Germany and the former U. S. S. R, as well as China, have been known to, or at least it has been highly suspected, that they contained a numerous amount of athletes who have taken performance-enhancing drugs leading up to and during Olympic competition. Currently, there is an investigation involving the coaches and athletes from East Germany who competed in the 1976 Olympics.

As Don Kardong reports in Runners World: A German investigator–searching for evidence for a criminal trial of four coaches and two doctors accused of giving steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs to unsuspecting athletes–had discovered 10 volumes of secret Stasi police files documenting the East German doping program. Each athlete was coded by number, and among them was #62. Waldemar Cierpinski was a runner who won the marathon race in the 1976 Olympics and thus pushed Don Kardong to come in fourth place instead of third, making him miss his chance at fame and fortune, and of course that coveted bronze medal.

Should the IOC (International Olympic Committee) take the gold medal away from Cierpinski and move the second, third, and fourth place finishers up one spot? Will Kardong finally have the feeling of getting that medal? Is it too little too late for him? How can the IOC possibly compensate for the years of disappointment that the fourth, third, and second place finishers felt? These questions are what the IOC have to try to find the answers to. They also have to decide how they are going to handle similar situations which are bound to occur in the future.

Another example of cheating in the Olympics by taking banned substances is Canadian Ben Johnson. He was disqualified from the 1988 Olympics after winning the gold in the 100 meter dash because he tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs which were illegal to use. This eventually ruined his great career, his reputation, and his The sad thing about the Olympics is that the number of people caught using performance-enhancing drugs does not even come close to the number of people who actually use them.

Because doctors and IOC officials know very little about the many types of performance-enhancing drugs and steroids, they have yet to come up with good ays of detecting them. According to Michael Bamberger and Don Yaeger of Sports Illustrated, the only ways the IOC can test right now is to use urine tests, a gas chromatograph mass spectrometer, and a high-resolution mass spectrometer (HRMS), but there are many ways to bypass all three of these tests (61). This is because the pushers of these drugs are smarter than both the people who run the drug tests, and the drug tests themselves.

They know how to get past these systems, and that is why performance-enhancing drugs are so prevalent in todays society. First of all, even if some thletes were tested positive by the HRMS, the IOC is very reluctant to act because the HRMS is relatively untested and they are fearful of lawsuits. Second of all, athletes can stop using some performance-enhancing drugs a short time before a meet, sometimes as little as ten days, in order that the athlete will still be stronger and better, but also will pass the drug tests because the chemicals will be out of his/her system.

Also, Bamberger and Yaeger note that, The sophisticated athlete who wants to take drugs has switched to things we cant test for… To be caught is not easy; it only happens, says Emil Vrijman, irector of the Netherlands doping control center, when an athlete is either incredibly sloppy, incredibly stupid, or both (62). Another way to deceive drug tests is to use special performance-enhancing drugs which are made especially for one person to do one specific duty.

These drugs do not have the same chemical parts as the ones the IOC tests for, and therefore these athletes are not usually caught. But, these drugs are extremely expensive, sometimes costing the athletes up to $1,500 a month (Bamberger and Yaeger 64). There are many side affects which can result from the use of performance-enhancing drugs and steroids. For men, some of these side affects can include shrinkage of the testicles, a reduced sperm count, baldness, the development of breasts, depression, extreme aggression, impotence, tumors, cancer, and death.

With all these adverse side affects, why would athletes continue to use such dangerous materials? That is one question no one can yet answer. Performance-enhancing drugs are not solely used by men in these types of activities. Women also have been known to use them, especially Chinese women. For example, there was quite a controversy in the recent National Games in Shanghai, China. According to Phillip Whitten of The New Republic, … in the weight-lifting arena alone, Chinese women eclipsed every world record in all nine weight classes… n some weight-lifting events, the old marks were passed by 60 pounds or more–in a sport which usually measures world record improvements in one- or two-pound increments (10).

Also in the same article, Whitten describes how, … previously unranked Chinese women set two world records, eight Asian records, and clocked the worlds best time in eight of thirteen individual events (10). It almost cannot be denied that these women were doped p at the time of this particular event, but there was no way to prove it by drug tests, because it was already too late.

According to Whitten, FINA (swimmings international governing body) only conducts unannounced drug tests on athletes in the top 25, and many of the Chinese athletes were above that mark, yet still two of them broke records (10). Thus, almost all the officials basically know that these records are false, yet there is nothing that can be done at this point. Another example of the cheating by women by using performance-enhancing drugs occurred just a month later at the Asian Games in Hiroshima, Japan. There, a surprise drug test was administered and eleven Chinese athletes tested positive to DHT, or dihydrotestosterone (Whitten 11).

Thus the whole nation was suspended from the Pan Pacific Championships in 1995. We can only infer that even more women are currently using these performance-enhancing drugs. When women use performance-enhancing drugs, there can be many, many side affects. These may include the growth of facial and/or body hair, changes in or cessation of the menstrual cycle, enlargement of the clitoris, a deepened voice, their bodies may become more masculine, balding and breast shrinkage may occur, women can lose body at, and they may cause women to become more hungry.

These are in addition to the side affects which are shared by both sexes which may include high blood pressure, water retention, depression, cholesterol problems, septic shock, diarrhea, continuous bad breath, heart disease, yellowing of the eyes or skin (due to liver problems), insomnia, fetal damage for pregnant women, aggressive behavior, AIDS (from the use of needles shared when injecting performance-enhancing drugs) and of course, death (Facts About Anabolic Steroids).

Yet, women are still willing to risk their health and their lives just in order to The issue concerning teens and performance-enhancing drugs is a rapidly growing one. According to Nuwer in his book Steroids, almost 66% of male high school seniors have used anabolic steroids at least one point during their short lives so far (65). Also, Nuwer says that … medical researchers believe that between one and three million youths and adults have taken anabolic steroids in one form or another specifically to enhance their looks or athletic performances (61). Unfortunately, this number has been growing every year since this study was taken in the late 1980s.

And it is very possible that taking erformance-enhancing drugs at such a young age can even bring worse side affects than it can to fully grown adults. For example, some of the known side affects include stunted growth, reduction in bone growth, tendon and muscle pulls (because they have to hold up more weight and have not been adjusted to it yet), and death. How do teenagers find out about steroids and performance-enhancing drugs? Very easily. They see and read news all the time which contains both legal and illegal performance-enhancing drugs and they usually show the athletes taking them winning their particular event.

This gives youngsters the mindset that they will be able to succeed much easier by using these types of products, and also gives them the bad example that cheating is fine as long as you can get away with it. Also, legal performance-enhancing drugs such as creatine and androstenedione, which may also have adverse side affects, and both of which are used by pro baseball player Mark McGwire, are seen as drugs that help a person to become stronger and better, without any of the bad results in which some illegal performance-enhancing drugs and steroids can bring.

Young athletes have heard and seen that established athletes whom hey admire use them [performance-enhancing drugs], and they want to follow the same victorious path their heroes have trod (Nuwer 12). According to an article written in the October 1998 issue of People Weekly, … sales of the steroid [androstenedione) are expected to top $100 million this year, up from $5 million in 1997 (144). Many of these sales will be from younger athletes competing at the high school level, unaware of the dangers of this legal substance.

One can make a good comparison between cigarettes and legal performance-enhancing drugs and legal steroids. This is that they can both be xtremely harmful to ones health, yet they are both legal and in great demand. According to a New York Times report in the Providence Journal Bulletin, … 175,000 teenage girls in the United States have reported taking anabolic steroids at least once within a year of the time surveyed–a rise of 100% since 1991 (A12).

This compares to the estimated 325,000 teenage boys who currently use steroids (Providence Today, the standards set upon performance-enhancing drugs and steroids in the athletic world are very loose. Many organizations such as MLB, the NBA, the NFL and so on have little, if any, standard drug testing for illegal substances. Although many organizations do outlaw some of these substances, their disregard for caring about the athletes health by not enforcing drug tests shows that they care rather about making money than they do about the well being of their participants.

They would rather bring in money from sponsors than expose the great number of people who are using banned performance-enhancing drugs. Also, even when drug tests are administered, usually for international competitions such as the Olympics, the tests are so basic that it is simple to bypass the test and get a negative, even if that athlete had been taking illegal erformance-enhancing drugs or steroids. One action that these organizations must take in the near future is to spend a lot of time and money on the study of performance-enhancing drugs and steroids.

Thus, they would be able to come up with better ways to be able to test athletes. These regulations are needed not only to protect the athletes, but also to bring some integrity back to the world of sports. World records are being broken left and right by people who have had little respect for others. These athletes care only about themselves and do not have enough discipline to train and work hard, the honest way.

An Objection to Mandatory Drug Testing in High Schools for the Participation of Extra-Curricular Activities

With the recent steroid a scandal in Major League Baseball, debates over mandatory drug testing polices have sparked interest across the country. One issue that is highly controversial, but has taken a back seat in the in the debate, is the issue of mandatory drug testing policies in high schools.

With teenage drug use on the rise in the 90s’ the federal government and the United States Supreme Court gave the green light to mandatory drug testing policies for student athletes and participants of extra-curricular activities. In this paper I hope to prove that mandatory drug testing of student athletes and participants of extra-curricular at he high school level is a well-meaning but wrong-headed approach to teen drug prevention.

They promote growth of skeletal muscle (anabolic effect) and the development of male sexual characteristics (androgenic effects). ” Users of anabolic steroids run the risk of stunted bone growth, permanent damage to the heart, liver, kidneys, and a known seventy other major physical and psychological side effects. Currently, anabolic steroids are only legal in the United States by doctor prescription. Doctors use these steroids to treat patients who have developed certain conditions that force the body to produce low amounts of testosterone, such as delay puberty and some types of impotence, and also to treat body wasting in atients with AIDS and other diseases.

Finally, anabolic steroids are different from steroidal supplements sold over the counter in the United States, such as dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and androstenedione (known as Andro). Users buy theses supplements through commercial sources including health food stores, because they believe the supplements have anabolic effects. This supplement was made popular during Mark McGwire’s record setting home run season and the controversy surround his admittance of using the supplement. Currently, there are three common drug-testing methods employed by he public school system, they include urinalysis test, hair follicle test, and the use of a sweat patch test.

The urinalysis test is the most common test used in high schools, primarily because of its low cost per a test, usually ranging from $10 to $30 per test, however with the relative low cost comes several problems. The first is a urinalysis test cannot detect alcohol or tobacco uses, both are illegal at the high school age. Secondly, by using a urinalysis test a specimen has a possibility of being adulterated. Finally, the urinalysis test is the most invasive of all drug ests because someone must be present when the specimen is collected. The second method of drug testing used by high schools is the hair follicle test. The hair follicle test is the mot expensive test used by high schools at a cost of $60 to $75 per test.

The test is limited to the five basic drug panel, which include marijuana, cocaine, opiate, amphetamines, and PCP. The test cannot detect alcohol use or recent drug use. Even though the hair follicle test is look at to be one of the more reliable drug tests, it does have its share problems. The test tends to be discriminatory: “dark haired people are more likely to test positive than londes, and African-Americans are more likely to test positive than Caucasians. ” In addition, exposure to drugs in the environment may lead to false positives, especially if those drugs are smoked. Finally, the third method of drug testing used by high schools is the sweat patch test. The sweat patch test is also relatively cheap at $20 to $30 per test.

The sweat patch test is able to detect the most drugs of out of the three tests, but the test is plagued with several problems. First, very few labs in this country are able to process the results, which causes an inconvenience to school districts. Secondly, passive exposure to drugs could result in false positives, due to contamination of the patch. Finally, any individual with excessive body hair, scrapes or cuts, and skin eruptions cannot wear the patch. New drug testing techniques are being developed to be more accurate and less invasive. One of theses new techniques is the saliva test. This test is said to be almost unbeatable because it uses a persons DNA.

However, this test opens up new doors of controversy, because it looks deep into ones past creating privacy issues and could open the door for employers to genetically test for certain types of employees. Monitoring the Future is an ongoing study conducted by the institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, which surveys the behaviors, attitudes, and values of American secondary school students, college students, and young adults. The study first began in 1975, when about 50,000 12th graders were surveyed. In 1991, 8th and 1oth graders were added to the survey. In addition to the survey, follow up questionnaires are mailed to a sample of each graduating class for a number of years after the initial survey.

History of the Issue In order to understand the mandatory drug testing issue completely, t is essential that we examine the background and history of events contributing to the establishment of mandatory drug testing of student athletes and participates of extra-curricular activities in high schools. The testing of student athletes and extra-curricular participates did not begin just recently. However: until recently, the debate of drug testing effectiveness was minimal.

Impact of the ’60s In the mid 1960’s with the coming of age of the Baby Boom generation and counter-culture revolution brought narcotics into the mainstream of America’s culture. By the late 1960’s middle-class youths and soldiers erving in Vietnam spurred on by popular music, had embraced certain drugs like marijuana, hallucinogens, and several others. In 1968, President Nixon was elected president on a law-and-order platform that emphasized a crack down on drug use.

That same year mandatory drug testing was instituted by the military, because of a growing number of drug addicted Vietnam vets returning home. War on Drugs In 1970, Congress passed the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act. This act significantly lessened penalties for possession of many drugs. A year later, President Nixon declared the first “war on rugs. ” In 1975, the University of Michigan’s Institute of Social Research conducted the first of its series of “Monitoring the Future” studies on student drug use. In 1977, President Carter called for the decriminalization of marijuana, but later he drops the idea. In 1979, drug use peaks and an anti-drug movement began, led mostly by parents.

Just Say No The 1980’s brought about many changes in the drug policy of the United States. The drug cocaine was gaining popularity, especially among young, white, urban, professionals. In 1982, President Reagan declared a second “war on drugs. In July of 1985, an Arkansas court ruled that “the excessive intrusive nature” of drug testing student athletes without reasonable suspicion is not justified by its need. On June 19, 1986, University of Maryland basketball star Len Bias died of a cocaine overdose, his death prompted almost immediate change, when it came to drug testing. A few months after Bias’s death, President Reagan and the first lady launched the national “Just say no” anti-drug campaign.

President Reagan also issued Executive Order 12564, calling for a “drug free workplace” in all federal agencies. In addition, in a symbolic gesture he and his senior dvisors provide urine samples to be tested for illegal drugs. Congressed followed suit and passed into law the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act, which provide schools with funds to start anti-drug programs. The President signed the law on Oct. 27, 1986. States across the country also began to pass their own “Drug Free School Zone” laws. That same year, Bias’s death prompted the NCAA to approve mandatory drug testing for all its athletes. The late 80’s brought on a continued focus on illegal drug use.

In 1988, President Bush established the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. November 1988, Congress passed the Drug Free Work Place Act, which required all federal contractors or grant recipients to maintain drug free work places. This prompted many employers’ begin to set voluntary testing programs. This also leads to lawsuits brought by employees, claiming drug testing is a violation of individual privacy rights. The courts responded and allowed suspicion less drug testing. In 1989, President Bush unveils his National Drug Control Strategy, which encouraged drug for workplace policies in the private sector and in state and local government.

That same year the Supreme Court upholds random drug testing hen a “special need” outweighs individual privacy rights, in the National Treasury Employees Union v. Von Raab decision. Roller Coaster ’90s The 1990’s began with teen drug at an all time low and the expansion of drug testing policies. President Bush expanded the federal drug-testing program to include all White House personnel. In 1991, Congress passes the Omnibus Transportation and Employment Testing Act, which mandated drug and alcohol testing to 8 million private-sector pilots, drivers, and equipment operators. In 1992, President Clinton is elected and drug use begins increasing.

Some say the increase was due to the Persian Gulf War and the media, especially the recording industry, with messages of sex, drug, and rock-and-roll. One of President Clinton’s first acts in the White House was to expand on the drug testing policies of Presidents Reagan and Bush; he starts by authorizing mandatory drug testing in prisons. In 1995, the United States Supreme Court gave the green light to mandatory drug testing of high school athletes. In the case of Veronia School District v. Acton, the supreme court ruled that mandatory drug testing in high school athletics programs was not an unreasonable search or eizure, nor was the testing an invasion of the student athlete’s privacy.

The Supreme Court ruled that suspicion less; random urinalysis drug testing of high school athletes was justified because the drug crisis in the school district had reached “epidemic proportions. ” In the four and half years prior to the case, the Veronica school district had found only 12 positive drug tests. Ten years earlier the Supreme Court had struck down as unreasonable a New Jersey school’s athlete drug testing program, in which 28 student athletes tested positive for drugs in a single year. In the Veronia case Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the majority opinion; he was the same justice that wrote scornful dissent in the Von Raab decision.

Justice Scalia argued that student athletes have less privacy rights than the general student body because they dress and shower in close proximity. “Legitimate privacy expectations are even less with regard to student athletes. School sports are not for the bashful. They require “suiting up” before each practice or event, and showering and changing afterward. Public school locker rooms, the usual sites of these activities, are not notable for the privacy they afford. The locker rooms in Vernonia are typical: no individual dressing rooms are provided; shower heads are lined up along the wall, unseparated by any sort of partition or curtain; not even all the toilet stalls have doors.

Justice Scalia wrote. Justice Scalia went on to add that the increase of drug use by the student body was “largely fueled by the ‘role model’ effect of athletes’ drug use. ” Current Situation In 2001, Congress allocated $185 million to the Office of National Drug Control Policy for advertisements and campaign projects, in 2002 the administration only asked for $180 million. On February 12 of 2002, President George W. Bush unveiled a $19 billion anti-drug package that aimed to cut drug use in the United States by 10 percent in two years and by 25 percent in five years. Also, the DARE program would receive $644 million, $103 million less than it received in 2001.

The decrease was due to the program in recent years being ineffective and wasteful. President Bush’s plan also called for more emphasis on treatment and prevention, and federal grants for drug treatment would be increased by more than 6 percent, to $3. 8 billion for the fiscal year of 2003. Later that year the Supreme Court ruled on the landmark case of Board of Education of Independent School District No. 92 of Pottawatomie County v. Earls. In the case of the BOE v. Earls, the Supreme Court ruled that an Oklahoma school policy of randomly drug testing students who participate in competitive, non-athletic extra-curricular activities was in fact constitutional.

In a 5-4 decision the court reversed a federal court ruling. Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the majority said that the court found such a policy “a reasonably effective means of addressing the school district’s legitimate concerns in preventing, deterring, and etecting drug use. ” In the dissent, Justice Ruth Ginsburg said the testing program was “capricious, even perverse,” infringing on the rights of a “student population least likely to be at risk from illicit drugs and their damaging effects. ” Clarification of the Problem Mandatory drug testing plays a vital role in protecting individuals and sports at both the collegiate and professional levels.

Unfortunately, when mandatory drug testing is carried over to the high school level, several consequences arise. When teenage drug use began to rise in the mid 90s’ public school districts began to adopt mandatory drug testing olicies, these policies have since been upheld as constitutional by the United States Supreme Court. However, research has shown that these policies are unsuccessful at deterring drug use among teenagers and may even hamper the process. The reason is simple mandatory drug testing policies at the high school level are aimed at the students who are at the least risk of abusing drugs the athletes and extra-curricular participants.

Arguments For Removal of Mandatory Drug Testing at the High School Level It is extremely important for the government to remove mandatory drug testing in high schools for student athletes and extra-curricular articipates. Research has shown that mandatory drug testing at the high school level is not effective for several reasons. Negative Impact on the Classroom or Team The first argument for the removal of mandatory drug testing at the high school level is that mandatory drug testing can have a negative effect on the classroom and on the team. Mandatory drug testing can undermine student-teacher relationships by “pitting students against teachers, administrators, school nurses, and coaches who have to test them, because it erodes trust between the student and the tester and leaves the student eeling ashamed and resentful.

Whether a school district buys drug test directly from a manufacturer and administers the test themselves or has an independent source brought in to administer the tests, someone must be present as the student urinates to be sure the sample is their own. This collection process can be a humiliating violation of the student’s privacy, and can be especially embarrassing for adolescent. Lack of student-teacher or student-coach trust created by drug testing also creates an unnecessarily tense school environment for students. In this type of environment students feel they cannot address heir fears or concerns, both about the use of drugs and factors in their lives that could lead to drug use, including depression, peer pressure, and an unstable family life.

“Essentially, you’re creating a prison-like atmosphere where students filled with fear and mistrust of authority,” says Dr. Gottfredson of the University of Maryland. Trust is also jeopardized when teachers, administrators, and coaches act as confidants in some circumstances and are forced to be police in others. Schools need to strive to create an environment where students feel welcomed, safe, and trusted. Waste of Valuable School Financial Resources The second argument for the removal of mandatory drug testing at the high school level is mandatory drug testing is a waste of valuable school financial resources. Currently, it costs the NCAA $2. 9 million on testing its athletes annually, while Oklahoma State University spends between $25,000 and $30,000 to tests their athletes each year.

These figures include the extra costs it takes for drug tests that are able to detect steroid use and are comparable to the figures it costs an average school district to test their student athletes and extra-curricular participates with tests that cannot detect steroid use. Today, drug testing costs school districts an average of $42 per student tested, which amounts to $21,000 for a school district testing 500 students. This figure is for the initial drug test alone. Beyond the initial costs of drug testing, there are other long-term operational and administrative costs. The process of dealing with a positive test is often times fairly long and involved. A second test must be administered to rule out a false positive result. After the second test a treatment and follow up testing plan has to be in place.

Other costs associated with student drug testing include: monitoring students’ rination for accurate samples, documenting, bookkeeping, compliance with confidentiality requirements, and tort or other insurance to protect a school district from potential lawsuits associated with their drug testing policy. Sometimes costs for student drug testing far exceeds the benefits the tests produce. Over the past year the Oak Mountain school district in suburban Birmingham, Alabama conducted roughly between 2,500-3,000 tests on its 11,000 middle and high school students, at a cost of $65,000. These tests in return netted fewer than 25 positive test results. That’s an average cost of $2,600 per a student caught. The same can be said for the school district of Dublin, Ohio. That school district netted only 11 students who tested positive, those results ended up costing the district $35,000 (Appendix A).

The cost of drug testing can exceed the total a district spends on existing drug education, prevention, counseling programs, and could possible take scarce financial resources away from other departments. The growing costs of mandatory drug testing of student athletes and extra-curricular participants can seriously undermine the original intent of the drug test. Potential Barrier to Joining Extra-Curricular Activities The third argument for the removal of mandatory drug testing at the high school level is that mandatory drug testing may be a potential barrier to joining extra-curricular activities.

Research has shown an increase in juvenile crime and adolescent drug use occurs during unsupervised hours between the end of classes and the parents returning form work, usually between 3 P. M. and 6 P. M. Research and studies have also proven that students who participate in extra-curricular activities, including athletics are less likely to develop substance abuse problems, less likely to engage in dangerous behaviors, and more likely to stay in school, earn igher grades, and achieve higher education goals.

The reasons for these results are that extra-curricular activities usually fill the time between when school releases and when the parents return home in the evening and students are in contact with teachers, coaches, or peers that help identify and address problematic drug use. Since the Supreme Court ruled in the cases of Veronia v. Acton and BOE v. Earls, many school districts who perform drug testing has seen a decrease in participation of students involved in extra-curricular activities.

The reason is simple; student drug testing is usually aimed at tudent athletes and participates in extra-curricular activities, because drug testing an entire student body is considered unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. The other reason school districts are seeing a reduction in participation of extra-curricular activities are concerns of the invasiveness of the tests and the violation of ones privacy. The Tulia Independent School District in Texas is an example of a school district that has seen a reduction in participation of extra- curricular activities and a rise in lawsuits regarding privacy issues, since it began a drug-testing program.

One female student explained: “I now lots of kids who don’t want to get into sports and stuff because they don’t want to get drug tested. That’s one of the reasons I’m not into any [activity]. Cause… I’m on medication, so I would always test positive, and then they would have to ask me about my medication, and I would be embarrassed. And what if I’m on my period? I would be too embarrassed. ” In the Gardner v. Tulia Independent School District case, a Texas District Court ruled that the school drug testing policy violated students Fourth Amendment rights, but the policy was upheld because of the precedence set forth by the United States Supreme Court.

Ecstasy and You

Ecstasy is Methylene Dioxymethamphetamine, often abbreviated as MDMA. This drug is a member of the same family of drugs that include amphetamine and LSD. I once believed that ecstasy was a mixture of methamphetamine and LSD, but as I researched, I found out that it has its own chemical structure. Ecstasy is not a mixture of other drugs; it is something all its own. Ecstasy alone makes people biased towards ecstasy without even doing the research necessary to judge it.

There are some 500,000 regular users of the drug Ecstasy in the United Kingdom alone. ec. org/DrugSearch/Documents. Ecstasy. html, p. 1) It can’t be all that bad, can it? Before ecstasy was MDMA, it was MDA. MDA was first made in Germany in 1898, and was used as an appetite suppressant. It was also tested in 1941 as a relief for Parkinson’s disease, but it was dropped because one trail subject felt rigidity of the muscles. It was also dropped as an appetite suppressant at about the same time because some “strange side effects were noted”. (lec. org/DrugSearch/Documents/Ecstasy. html p. 1) Although it isn’t clear what those effects were.

MDMA, also known as Ecstasy, was synthesized in 1914, and was patented by the German company Merck. MDMA gained popularity in 1972 as a legal alternative to MDA. MDMA was used in marriage counseling as a way of reducing hostility during the counseling session. The father of MDMA is Alexander Shulgin. Shulgin received his PhD in biochemistry from the University of California at Berkley. From there he got a job as a research chemist with Dow Chemicals where he invented a profitable insecticide. The company wanted to reward him for such an invention that they gave him his own lab.

Shulgins ambition was to find a drug that was therapeutic, and with his research at the lab, he created MDMA, which was the drug that came closest to fulfilling it. (Saunders,p. 7) During1984, while Ecstasy was still legal, you could find it at any bar in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, where you could pay for it by credit card. Ecstasy replaced cocaine as the drug of choice. Everyone seemed to be using it. It ranged from the regular drug user all the way up to people who normally kept away from drugs. “it was this public and unashamed use that resulted in the drug to be outlawed. ” (Saunders,p. The US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) was trying to outlaw Ecstasy.

In 1985 a small group of people sued the DEA to try and prevent them from doing so. This small group of people failed due to the incident that had happened the year before. China White, a drug sold to heroin addicts as a legal substitute, contained a poisonous impurity that caused a form of severe brain damage. This caused the US Congress to pass a law allowing the DEA to place an emergency ban on any drug that it felt might cause any danger to the public. MDMA was one of the drugs banned on July 1t, 1985. (Saunders p. The temporary ban lasted for one year only.

There was a hearing set up to decided what the final word would be on Ecstasy. At the end of the case, the Judge recommended MDMA to be placed in a category that was not as restrictive. The DEA would not back down from their decision, and ignored the recommendation given by the judge. By placing MDMA in a less restrictive category it would have allowed the drug to be manufactured and to be used for research. In 1986 a non-profit organization called The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, also known as MAPS, opened A Master File for MDMA.

This complied with the prerequisite for the licensing of any new drug. By doing this it allowed MAPS to conduct research on MDMA. The FDA has approved human volunteers to be used for the research into the effects of MDMA. The trails began in 1993. (Saunders p. 9) Today Ecstasy is still considered a Class A drug: “If you are caught in possession of a Class A drug the maximum penalty is seven years in prison and an unlimited fine. If you are caught supplying a Class A drug you could be sentences for up to life in prison and given an unlimited fine. ”

We should have a better understanding of the family from which Ecstasy comes. Amphetamines are stimulants that affect the central nervous system. Amphetamines are drugs that closely resemble adrenaline. It speeds up your heart rate and often gives you a false sense of well-being. It stimulates endorphins to produce themselves at abnormal rates, which creates a feeling of satisfaction. Lysergic acid diethylamide, also known as LSD, is a hallucinogenic drug that distorts a person’s perception of reality. A person intoxicated by LSD sees and hears things that are not really there.

A person may have istorted perceptions of time, distance, and gravity. Some people have what they believe to be religious experiences on LSD. Ecstasy is in the same family as both LSD and amphetamines because it acts simultaneously as a hallucinogen and a stimulant. (drugfeeamerica. org/ecstasy. html,p. 1) Although Ecstasy may be part of the same families as amphetamines and LSD, it has a different effect then these two drugs. Unlike amphetamines that produce an effect like drinking eight cups of coffee in a matter of one hour, or LSD in which you think you see your dead grandmother crawling up your leg with a knife.

Ecstasy produces a euphoric, comfortable, relaxed state of mind. Unlike amphetamines, which are highly addictive, Ecstasy is not. Still, this drug can sometimes take on a strong importance in people’s lives. Like any other drug, if Ecstasy is taken too often, it loses its effect on the individual taking it. A person no longer experiences the euphoric feeling that Ecstasy gives off, it starts to feel like a regular amphetamine. Ecstasy usually comes in pill form, and it takes effect twenty minutes to an hour after taking it. All your sensations are enhanced.

The high is reported to be very pleasant and the high is controllable. “Even at the peak of the drug’s effect, people can easily bring themselves down to deal with an important matter. ” In a sense, you can take control of the drugs effects. Ecstasy allows a person to experience empathy, peace and openness. Some even feel changes in their spiritual outlook on values. Ecstasy can be compared to the antidepressant Prozac because it allows people to “feel liberated and good about themselves, less self-conscious and able to feel emotions more clearly. ” (Saunders, p. )

Barriers disappear and people don’t feel as inhibited. The drug, for example, gives many women a sense of empowerment and prejudice people a sense of freedom from their belief and stereotype of others. Of course, the effects vary from person to person. Although Ecstasy gives you such a liberating feeling, some people feel very uncomfortable being without their normal defenses. Many report that the drug gave them a nasty headache. This happens when people resist the effect of the drug. MDMA cause serotonin to be released from particular brain cells. This affects a person’s mood, and body control.

Blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature all raise. The numbers of deaths associated with Ecstasy has to do mainly with the rise in body temperature. A person can overheat themselves with the all the dancing in the overcrowded raves and dance clubs. It is recommended that a person drink water through out the high and relax themselves from time to time to avoid the overheating. There has been no sturdy evidence that Ecstasy causes any sort of brain damage as of yet. Although Ecstasy may be considered an illegal drug, so many people believe that it can have a positive affect on a persons life.

Not enough research has been done to disprove that Ecstasy can in fact be a great tool for therapy. The media has caused many to fear Ecstasy with its concentration on the deaths indirectly related to the drug, that it has closed the minds of many to see the type of positive effects it can bring. Before anyone can judge this drug, one should balance the positive effects compared to the negative. Through my research I have seen how many people believe in this drug, and their reasons for it, that it has made me a believer as well.

LSD (Lysergic Acid Dyethilamide)

A Swiss chemist named Dr. Albert Hoffman first produced lysergic acid Diethylmide -or best known as LSD in 1938 (Dye, 1992, p. 2). Hoffman discovered the drug while trying to synthesize a new drug for the treatment of headaches. He obtained the lysergic acid from the parasitic fungus that grows on rye plants known as ergot. From the lysergic acid, he synthesized the compound LSD. He used the compound to test for its pain killing properties on laboratory animals. Being that appeared totally ineffective, the bottle of LSD was placed on a shelf and remained untouched for five years.

On April 16, 1943, Dr. Hoffman decided to do further research with the LSD compound (Dye, 1992 p. 5). While handling the drug, he accidentally ingested an unknown amount. Then he experienced the world’s first LSD trip. About eight hours later Hoffman drifted back into normal reality and the Psychedelic Revolution was born. (Encarta 98) Three days later, in an attempt to prove that the previous episode was indeed caused by the ingestion of LSD, Dr. Hoffman ingested what he thought would be a small quantity of LSD, 250 micrograms.

In actuality, this is approximately five times the dosage necessary to produce heavy hallucinations in the average adult male (Solomon, 1964, p. 34). The drug produced effects that were much more intense than the first time Hoffman took the LSD. He noted that he felt unrest, dizziness, visual disturbances, a tendency to laugh at inappropriate times, and a difficulty in concentration (Dye, 1992, p. 7). Dr. Hoffman’s condition improved six hours after taking the drug, although visual disturbances and distortion continued. LSD was first shipped to the United States in 1949 (Solomon, 1964 , p. ).

American scientists tested LSD on animals to learn of its effects. It produced dramatic behavior changes in all animals investigated. During the 1950’s, experimentation of LSD on humans began (Solomon, 1964, p. 56). Since there were few restrictions on using humans for experimentation at the time, scientists were free to administer the drug widely, hoping to find some useful therapeutic value for the drug. Because of Hoffman’s LSD account of depersonalization produced by the drug. Early studies were done using the drug to treat various psychiatric disorders.

It was felt that if a person could “step outside” themselves and view situations as others saw them, they could come to grips with their problems and be able to solve them. One of the first areas of LSD experimentation was in treating alcoholism (Dye, 1992, p. 36). After extensive research, it was concluded that LSD was not effective on treating alcoholism and the research was discontinued. LSD was also tested on schizophrenics, drug addicts and criminals (Dye, 1992 p. 38). Research determined that LSD was ineffective in treating any behavioral problems.

It was also concluded that LSD might transform a normal individual into a person with a very calm to severe personality problem. The Central Intelligence Agency and various military agencies also became interested in LSD research in the late 1950’s (Dye, 1992, p. 410. ) Their interest in the drug was in the area of mind control. They saw the possibility of manipulating of manipulating the beliefs of strong willed people. They gave the drug to a group of army scientists and then attempted to change some of their basic beliefs while under the influence of the drug.

However, one of the scientists became psychotic and committed suicide by jumping from a hotel window. These agencies continued their research by using drug addicts and prostitutes to test their mind control theories. After extensive experimentation, it became apparent that LSD could alter LSD the mind but not control it. The United States government discontinued this sort of research. Up until today, the Food and Drug Administration have never approved LSD. This strong hallucinageous drug remains only as research and medical treatment. LSD belongs to a class of psychotropic drugs called hallucinogens (Gorodetzky, 1992).

Other drugs in this category are mescaline (derived from peyote cactus) and psilocybin (commonly known as “hallucinogenic mushrooms”). LSD is most commonly taken orally but may also be taken by injection, inhalation, or by absorption through the skin. When it is taken orally, the individual usually notices the effect of the drug within thirty minutes. It may take one hour before the user experiences the drug’s maximum effects. This state usually lasts two to four hours. The usual dose taken is fifty to one hundred micrograms, although much higher and lower doses have been ingested.

The intensity of the hallucinatory experience depends on the dose taken. The psychological, perpetual, and behavioral effects of LSD persists for eight to twelve hours and gradually wears off after reaching their maximum effects (Gorodetzky, 1992). The effect of the drug is determined by a person’s mental state, the structure of their personality, and the physical setting. The role of culture and belief systems is primary in the effects of hallucinogenic states. The experience following the ingestion of LSD is called a “trip” and can be good or bad depending on its effect on the user.

Drug Dependence Essay

In order for a chemical to be considered a drug it must have the capacity to affect how the body works–to be biologically active. No substance that has the power to do this is completely safe, and drugs are approved only after they demonstrate that they are relatively safe when used as directed, and when the benefits outweigh their risks. Thus, some very dangerous drugs are approved because they are necessary to treat serious illness.

Digitalis, which causes the heart muscle to contract, is a dangerous drug, but doctors are permitted to use it because it is vital for treating patients whose heart muscle is weak. A drug as potent as digitalis would not be approved to treat such minor ailments as temporary fatigue because the risks outweigh the benefits. Many persons suffer ill effects from drugs even though they take the drug exactly as directed by the doctor or the label. The human population, unlike a colony of ants or bees, contains a great variety of genetic variation.

Drugs are tested on at most a few thousand people. When that same drug is taken by millions, some people may not respond in a predictable way to the drug. A person who has a so-called idiosyncratic response to a particular sedative, for example, ay become excited rather than relaxed. Others may be hypersensitive, or extremely sensitive, to certain drugs, suffering reactions that resemble allergies. A patient may also acquire a tolerance for a certain drug.

This means that ever-larger doses are necessary to produce the desired therapeutic effect. Tolerance may lead to habituation, in which the person becomes so dependent upon the drug that he or she becomes addicted to it. Addiction causes severe psychological and physical disturbances when the drug is taken away. Morphine, cocaine, and Benzedrine are common habit-forming drugs. Finally, drugs often ave unwanted side effects. These usually cause only minor discomfort such as a skin rash, headache, or drowsiness.

Certain drugs, however, can produce serious, even life-threatening adverse reactions. For example, the drug Thalidomide was once called one of the safest sedatives ever developed, but thousands of women in the United Kingdom who took it during pregnancy gave birth to seriously deformed babies. Other adverse reactions stem from mixing drugs. Thus, taking aspirin, which has blood-thinning qualities, for a headache can be very harmful if one is also taking other blood-thinning drugs such as heparin or dicumarol.

Marijuana Legal or Illegal

Cannabis, sold as marijuana, hashish and hash oil, is the most frequently used illicit drug in Canada. Roughly one in four Canadian adults report having used cannabis at some time in their lives. Cannabis use has been on the rise among young people. For example, a 1997 Addiction Research Foundation survey found that 25 per cent of Ontario junior high school students used cannabis in the previous year, up from 13 per cent in 1993. (cannabae) Knowing this, should the United States legalize cannabis? There are some questions that must be answered first. What other uses does cannabis have and how would legalizing affect the drug rings in the US.

In terms of health risks, some consequences of cannabis are clearly known, while others, such as the effects of chronic exposure, are less obvious. In terms of respiratory damage, marijuana smoke contains higher concentrations of some of the constituents of tar and tobacco smoke. In addition, it is hotter when it contacts the lungs and is typically inhaled more deeply and held in the lungs longer than tobacco smoke. In terms of physical co-ordination, Cannabis impairs co-ordination. This brings with it the risk of injury and death through impaired driving or accidents such as falls.

When it comes to pregnancy and childhood development, Cannabis use by pregnant women may affect the fetus. As with tobacco smoking, risks such as low birth weight and premature delivery increase with use. Research has shown a link between chronic heavy marijuana use and damage to the respiratory system similar to that caused by tobacco. Long-term marijuana smoking is associated with changes, such as injury to the major bronchi, that leave the lungs open to injury and infection. Frequent, heavy use has been linked with bronchitis. (dope head) There Is also no link between marijuana smoking and lung cancer.

Some interesting facts on cannabis; the impact of health problems linked to cannabis is much less than that resulting from alcohol or tobacco use. Survey data from the U. S. , show that dependence on nicotine among smokers is several times more damaging than cannabis dependence among marijuana users. Moreover, the legal drugs tobacco and alcohol account for the bulk of the economic costs of substance use. A recent Ontario study found that annual health care osts resulting from cannabis use were 8 million dollars when compared to those for tobacco 1. 07 billion dollars and alcohol 442 million dollars. cannabae)

Is Marijuana a gateway drug? Researchers are looking into using marijuana to help crack cocaine addicts to quit. There are 40 million people in the United States who have smoked marijuana for a period of their lives. (cannabae) Knowing this, Why arent there millions of heroin or cocaine users? In Amsterdam, both marijuana use and heroin use went down after marijuana was decriminalized, even though there was a short ise in cannabis use right after decriminalization. Unlike addictive drugs, cannabis causes almost no tolerance. Some people even report reverse tolerance.

That is, the longer they have used marijuana the less they need to get high. (dope head) So users of marijuana do not usually get bored and look for something more powerful. The idea that using marijuana will lead you to the use of heroin or speed is called the Gateway Theory. The Gateway Theory was created by the CIA and anti-drug prohibitionists to try and explain the increase in heroin use after the Vietnam War. There have never been any concrete tatistics to back up this idea, but somehow it was the single biggest thing which the newspapers yelled about during Reefer Madness II.

So the theory that marijuana is a gateway drug has been thrown out and is no longer accepted by the medical community. The marijuana plant is not just used for smoking. It has many other uses. Hemp is also produced by Cannabis plant. It is the strongest known natural fiber. It can be used for ropes, clothing, netting, etc. Also the hemp oil can be used for scents such as patchovel. Cannabis is also used for medical reasons such as cancer side effects, migraine head ache, nd many other related causes.

If the United States were to legalize cannabis there would have to be some realistic changes in the law. Taxing cannabis would be a good way to strengthen the economy. In Canada they only used 8 million dollars for health care related expenses, therefore, there would be a considerate amount of extra money. That money could go to strengthening the schools, roads, or even lower taxes on property or food. In Amsterdam when cannabis was decriminalized the popularity rose in the beginning, but dropped to a new low. Would the same be the case for the United States?

Crime would possibly drop because cannabis would be legal and it would eliminate the criminal element. If the government was to regulate marijuana, such as alcohol. This would eliminate most of the drug dealers. Drug dealers wouldnt be able to make money off of marijuana, therefore, they would have to work a regular job and be forced to make an honest living. I purpose that marijuana be legalized and alcohol be illegal. I believe that DUI related deaths would dope to a new low. People can overdose or die of cirrhosis from alcohol. People cant overdose or die from marijuana.

The Result Of Drug Abuse

For several decades drugs have been one of the major problems of society. There have been escalating costs spent on the war against drugs and countless dollars spent on rehabilitation, but the problem still exists. Not only has the drug problem increased but drug related problems are on the rise. Drug abuse is a killer in our country. Some are born addicts(crack babies), while The result of drug abuse is thousands of addicts in denial.

The good news is the United States had 25,618 total arrests and 1,762 drug seizures due to drugs in 1989 alone, but the bad news is the numbers of prisoners have increased by 70 percent which will cost about $30 million dollars. Despite common wisdom, the U. S isn’t experiencing a drug related crime wave. Government surveys show between 1980 – 1987 burglary rates fell 27 percent, robbery 21 percent and murders 13 percent, but with new drugs on the market these numbers are up. One contraversial solution is the proposal of legalizing drugs.

Although people feel that legalizing drugs would lessen crime, drugs should remain illegal in the U. S because there would be an increase of drug abuse and a rapid increase of diseases such as AIDS. Many believe that legalizing drugs would lessen crime. They point out that the legalization of drugs would deter future criminal acts. They also emphasize and contrast Prohibition. When the public realized that Prohibition could not be enforced the law was repealed. From this, one may infer the same of legalizing drugs. Legalizing alcohol didn’t increase alcoholism, so why However, drugs should not be legalized because there would be an increase in drug abuse due to its availability.

Once legalized, drugs would become cheaper and more accessible to people who previously had not tried drugs, because of the high price or the legal risk. Drug abuse would skyrocket! Addicts who tend to stop, not by choice, but because the drugs aren’t accessible would now feed the addiction if drugs were made legal. These drug addicts would not be forced to kick the habit due to the availability of the drug they would partake eagerly. The temptation to use drugs would increase when advertisements for cocaine, heroin and marijuana are displayed on television.

Instead of money used by employed addicts, you will see welfare funds used to purchase drugs. If welfare funds were being misused, this would cause a major problem in the economy. Drugs must not be legalized. It puts our country at a terrible risk. Health officials have shown that the legalization of drugs would cause a rapid increase of diseases such as AIDS. AIDS poses a growing threat to addicts, and thus to society as a whole. The virus that causes AIDS is growing, due to drug addicts who share needles and syringes. The sharing of such needles by intravenous drug users helps increase the spread of AIDS.

Infection among IV drug abusers is continuing to occur at a very steady rate,” warn Richard E. Chaisson director of the AIDS service at John Hopkins University. In the U. S gay men still make up the primary risk group, although 750,000 to 1 million drug addicts are believed to be at risk to AIDS nationally. The problem here is the sharing of needles, which is causing the spread of AIDS. IV drug abusers are killing our nation at an amazingly fast speed. AIDS which surfaced in the 80’s is now on the rise and even more deadly to IV drug users.

The sharing of needles must be stopped. Drugs should not be legalized. Although people feel that legalizing drugs would lessen crime, drugs should remain illegal in the U. S because there would be an increase of drug abuse and a rapid increase of diseases such as AIDS. The United States can not afford this problem. It has become a world power by strengthening its people not by killing them. Drug abuse has gotten worse, with its effects on crack babies, drug addicts, and the I. V user. There must be education for the survival of this nation, not legalization.

Substance Use and Abuse Among Children and Teenagers

During the past several years, there has been a renewed national concern about drug abuse, culminating in the current “war on drugs. ” In this review, we emphasize that even though child or teenage drug use is an individual behavior, it is embedded in a sociocultural context that strongly determines its character and manifestations. Our focus is on psychoactive substances both licit (cigarettes and alcohol) and illicit (e. g. , cannabis and cocaine).

We feel that it is critical to draw a distinction between use and abuse of drugs and to do so from a multidimensional perspective that includes aspects of the stimulus (drug), organism (individual), response, and consequences. Our selective review of substance use and abuse among children and adolescents covers epidemiology (patterns and extent of drug use), etiology (what generates substance use), prevention (how to limit drug use), treatment (interventions with drug users), and consequences (effects and outcomes of youthful drug use).

In this abbreviated review, we selectively examine the recent literature and current status of substance use and abuse among children and adolescents. Our focus is on psychoactive substances both licit and illicit, including cigarettes, alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, and other drugs. We examine the use and abuse of substances by children and teenagers from five perspectives: epidemiology, etiology, prevention, treatment, and consequences (see Rogers, 1987 , for additional overviews and references).

The United States is a drug culture. Drugs are used commonly and acceptably to wake up in the morning (coffee or tea), get through the stresses of the day (cigarettes), and relax in the evening (alcohol). The Marlboro Man and the Virginia Slims woman are widely seen models, and licit drugs are pushed to remedy all of the ills one may face-stress, headaches, depression, physical illness, and so on. Children face a monumental task of sorting out the many images and messages regarding both licit and illicit drugs.

Adolescents are quite adept at spotting hypocrisy and may have difficulty understanding a policy of “saying no to drugs” when suggested by a society that clearly says “yes” to the smorgasbord of drugs that are legal as well as the range of illicit drugs that are widely available and used. A few words are in order on the distinction between use and abuse of drugs. This differentiation is critical to such diverse topics as societal justification for limiting access to drugs (whether By legal or other means) or for considering psychological intervention.

This distinction has been a difficult one to determine. Accepted definitions among professionals or citizens do not exist because abuse is clearly a multidimensional phenomenon. From our study of this literature (e. g. , Long & Scheli, 1984 ), negative reactions and other adverse consequences to self, others, or property form the backbone for defining abuse, although several distinct but related dimensions are also critical.

Taken together, these dimensions present a comprehensive appreciation of the difference between what constitutes benign use of a drug and what is clearly abuse and destructive use of a substance. The major relevant dimensions include the classic concepts of stimulus, organism, response, and consequences. Stimulus involves the nature of the drug and the context of its use ( Newcomb, 1988 ). All drug use occurs in environmental contexts, some of which are problematic, holding constant all other dimensions, while some are not so.

Ingestion of drugs in inappropriate settings such as the workplace, classroom, driver’s seat, or in isolation can be considered abuse, even though some potential consequences may not have occurred yet for an individual (e. g. , a crash after drinking and driving or being fired from a job). Different substances have different physiological and psychological effects, doseresponse curves, and potentials for negative consequences. For each substance, consuming large quantities or intermediate quantities over prolonged time periods is probably abuse, again because of the potential for harm.

Holding everything else constant, abuse depends on the organism. Not all individuals respond the same way to drugs; nor does the same individuals respond the same way at different times in the life course. Regular use of drugs at developmentally critical life periods such as when an individual is very young or has not yet reached puberty can be considered abuse because of the potential for interfering with crucial growth and adjustment tasks.

Ability to deal maturely with the challenge of drug use depends on personal resources, as well as physiological parameters that determine the response to drug ingestion. Unhealthy attitudes toward use, such as to flaunt independence, are signs of abuse. Inability to evaluate adequately the known potential consequences of use may indicate inadequate organismic resources to deal with use: For example, choosing to use drugs such as crack, phencyclidine (PCP), or strychnine, which are known to have a high probability of dependence, death, toxicity, or other adverse effects, is more than likely abuse.

Stronger response signs of abuse may involve drug dependence when associated with using increased amounts of the substance to achieve the same effect, needing it to get through the day, being unable to stop using it, craving it when not available, showing withdrawal symptoms, and experiencing negative consequences (as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Third Edition-Revised) , American Psychiatric Association, 1987 ).

Finally, adverse or negative consequences of use on self, others, or property, such as having deleterious health sequelae, impaired relationships, getting arrested, causing an accident, blacking out, or starting fights, indicate that use has progressed to abuse, whether or not physical dependence is involved. With this multidimensional perspective for distinguishing use from abuse, some general descriptions can be applied to children and teenagers. Any regular use of a psychoactive drug by a child can be considered abuse. This is true regardless of the context, substance, quantity, maturity, reaction, or obvious consequences involved.

It is difficult to imagine any type of child drug use that is not abuse, except for, in our society, the occasional, irregular, and low-quantity sampling of alcohol in a positive social context. This type of guided experimentation is probably quite prevalent (e. g. , taking a sip of mother’s beer). For adolescents, however, the distinction becomes more complicated. Occasional use of beer, wine, or marijuana at a party is not abuse. However, overindulgence of any substance to the point of being very high or stoned is at least acute or temporary abuse, and if it continues this is chronic abuse.

Getting into trouble at school, having problems with the police, causing an accident, or starting a fight while high is consequential evidence for abuse. Getting loaded in the classroom or at work is a circumstantial event indicating abuse. Donovan and Jessor (1985) have combined some of these dimensions to define a problem-drinking teenager as one who engages in heavy drinking on a regular basis, resulting in negative outcomes. Our perspective on use and abuse questions the generally accepted emphasis on illicit drugs as an especially important focus for professional and citizen attention.

Within the past several years, there has been renewed national interest and commitment toward dealing with drug problems. It is difficult to determine what has caused this most recent concern, but such national attention is not new. There is a cyclical process to society’s willingness to face drug problems. For example, there were the cocaine patent medicines of the early 1900s, the brave attempt at prohibition, reefer madness of the 1930s, the drug cultures of the 1960s, the heroin war of the 1970s, and now the current concern about people getting high on cocaine and killing themselves with crack.

It is interesting that aside from the lethal toxicity of certain drugs such as crack, relatively little attention has been given to the two drugs with the most proven record of abuse in terms of the population affected and the magnitude of the consequences; these are, of course, alcohol and cigarettes. Although efforts are made, in schools, for example, to provide a balanced picture, youngsters too often are provided with the mixed message that marijuana and cocaine are bad, destructive, and will rot their brains while seeing media idols holding a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other.

Perhaps this is one explanation of why so many prevention efforts have failed. Substance use and abuse during adolescence are strongly associated with other problem behaviors such as delinquency, precocious sexual behavior, deviant attitudes, or school dropout. Any focus on drug use or abuse to the exclusion of such correlates, whether antecedent, contemporaneous, or consequent, distorts the phenomenon by focusing on only one aspect or component of a general pattern or syndrome.

Drugs In The Workplace

Drug Addiction in the School and Work Place How has work efficiency changed as a result of drug addiction in the sch a couool and work place? In the 1960 and 1970’s, men and women worked long hours to support their family.

For many, these strenuous hours were hard to handle without taking drugs. The use of “uppers” and “downers” was then considered a way to tolerate those long work hours. To this date, the concern of drugs being used for work efficiency persists among adults who work long late hours, teens with an influenced drug addiction, and also the health concerns which occur because of the use of drugs.

There are various drugs which have the effect of making the user alert or drowsy when taken. Valium and Ritalin are just a couple examples of the prescription drugs orally taken for specific effects. In the early-mid twentieth century, men and women worked overtime, or even three or four jobs, just to get through life. They got back home late at night and had to wake early the next morning to do it all again. Because of the lack of sleep, they took “uppers” in the morning to be alert and “downers” at night to get rest.

Please take note that they also drank coffee throughout the day along with the use of these drugs. The adults who had children during this time greatly influenced them with the sight of their drug addiction. The adult’s pill taking drew forth a curiosity in their children. They wondered what the pills do to make their parents take them every single day. At one point, the children’s interest grew so greatly as to make them want to try the drugs.

So the children, especially Sliwak 2 teens, began pilfering some “uppers” and “downers”out of sheer interest to experiment with them. The drugs seemed to be “cool” for the teens and their stealing of them increased greatly. They then started taking the drugs to school because of a grown addiction to them. Other teens were also influenced to taking the pills because of peer pressure and to “fit in. ” The use of drugs is detrimental to our health and causes flukes in the work place. Valium, a well-known muscle relaxant, has various side effects.

Some of these side effects are depression, dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision, confusion, hallucinations, low blood pressure, and many more. As you can tell by the list of effects, this is not at all a healthy drug. A commonly taken stimulant is Ritalin. It causes a high blood pressure and insomnia, as well as many other side effects. A lot of them are similar to those of Valium except for the few which were mentioned. The side effects of these drugs, such as blurred vision and dizziness, generate flaws in the employee’s work.

The abuse of drugs has been, and is still a growing problem in the United States ever since they have been manufactured. To gain a prescription for several of them is quite simple. A physician prescribes various “uppers” and “downers” to people who are under stress. This makes it easily accessible to those who work long hours. The addiction to these drugs have increased to keep up with the raised prices of entities, the social standards of having automobiles, and the cost during ones leisure time.

History of the American Drug War

The first act of America’s anti-drug laws was in 1875. It outlawed the smoking of opium in opium dens. This was a San Francisco ordinance. The basis on passing this law was that Chinese men had a way of luring white women to their dens and causing their “ruin”, which was the association with Chinese men. Later, other Federal laws such as trafficking in opium was illegal for anyone of Chinese origin. The opium laws were directed at the smoking of opium. The law didn’t effect importation of the drug because opium was a common medical drug.

This law was specifically targeted at the Chinese, for the moking of opium was a Chinese custom. Cocaine was outlawed for fears that black men would go on a sexual rampage and rape white women. In the early 1900’s, newspapers referred to them as “Negro Cocaine Fiends” or “Cocainized Niggers”. There is little evidence that this actually happened. The Harrison Act had started as a licensing law which required sellers to obtain a license if they were going to handle opiates or cocaine. The law contains a provision that nothing in the law would prohibit doctors from prescribing these drugs in the legitimate practice of medicine.

The people who wrote the Harrison Act and Marijuana Tax Act in 1937, agreed that a prohibition on what people could put into their bodies was an unconstitutional infringement on personal liberties. Marijuana was outlawed in 1937. The reason for it being outlawed was that the plant had a violent effect on the degenerate races. The American Medical Association testified that they were opposed to the law. The law would never have passed without the endorsement from the AMA, but when the supporters of the law were asked about the AMA’s view on the floor of congress, they had stated that the AMA was all for it.

When the law had passed, the AMA protested, but the law was never repealed. It is difficult to determine how many people in the US use drugs. The Federal Government’s Household Survey on Drug Abuse, is the most common set of statistics on the use of drugs. According to the latest surveys, conducted by the DEA, there are about 12. 7 million people who have used an illegal drug in the past month, and about 30 – 40 million people who have used an illegal drug in the past year. Among the 12. 7 people who have used an illegal drug in the past month, about 10 million are casual drug users and about 2. illion are drug addicts.

The figures produced by the Household Survey on Drug Abuse are obtained over the phone. Therefore, there was a problem reaching those without phones, those who didn’t answer their phones, and those who answered the question honestly. Other surveys put the figures at least twice as high. Currently, there are about 1. 5 million people in state and Federal prisons and jails throughout the US At least 24 states are under Federal court orders to relieve prison overcrowding. Prison population had been relatively stable from about 1926 to about 1970.

From that point, Nixon’s war against drugs, then the Reagan and Bush war against drugs, caused a dramatic increase in the number of prisoners. The estimated 30 – 40 million people who have used an illegal drug in the past year, would fill a prison holding the populations of California, Arizona and New Mexico altogether. The cost of holding a single one of these persons would be about $450,000. The cost for the arrest and the conviction is about $150,000. The cost for an additional bed would be anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000, depending upon the jurisdiction.

It costs about $30,000 per year to ouse a prisoner, with an average sentence of five years, adding up to be $150,000. The estimated $450,000 (out of taxpayers money), can provide treatment or education for about 200 people. Out of the percentage of people in prison, 59. 6% are in prison for a drug offenses. The war on drugs could be won if we were successful in at least one of three areas. If we could stop drug production in other countries, if we could stop drugs at the border or if we could stop the sale of drugs within the United States. Stopping drug production in other countries has already proven to have failed.

In 1993, ABC elevision aired a major special report on the drug war in Bolivia, which according to the Bush administration, is our “best hope” for winning the drug war in South America. They concluded that there was no hope, and that the war on drug production had already been lost. According to the US Federal Government’s estimates, the entire US consumption of illegal drugs could be supplied by one percent of the worldwide drug crop. The US Drug Enforcement Agents working together with foreign governments seized about one percent of the worldwide drug crop in their best year. Leaving 99% free to supply the US The US

Government also states that if drug production was stopped in South America, several countries would suffer a major economic collapse. The statistics regarding drug interdiction at the border have proven stopping drugs at the border is an expensive failure. In 1988, Sterling Johnson, Federal prosecutor for New York, under the assumption that there was no increase in drug production, stated that police would have to increase drug seizures by at least 1,400 percent to have any impact on the drug market. In 1990, the General Accounting office had completed a major study on border interdiction.

They concluded that border interdiction was a waste of money and that no conceivable increase in funding or effort would make it better. Johnson had made his statement before police had busted twenty tons of cocaine in a single location. This caused the Federal Government to increase all of their estimates of the cocaine market. In most states, the law states that any distribution of illegal drugs is considered a sale. Regardless of whether there is a profit or monetary interest involved. Which, under the law, anyone who has ever passed a joint to the next person at a concert, is a drug ealer.

Assuming these people are drug dealers, There are between 12 and 40 million drug dealers in the US Considering most of the prisons in the US are already far in excess of their planned capacity, there is no more room and no more tax dollars to house these “drug dealers”. Stopping the sale of drugs in the US would be kind of hard without putting all these “drug dealers” into prison. The use of drugs among teens has risen under the Clinton administration. Clinton states that not only he, but everyone shares the responsibility for the increase in drug use.

“This issue has been ebated literally going back to the Johnson administration. states Clinton in attempt to deflect criticism from Republicans that claim he has not done enough to fight drugs. At the start of his presidency, Clinton had reduced the office of the drug policy director as a part of his effort to reduce government spending. Three years later, Clinton restored funds for the office and announced Barry McCaffrey, an army general, to lead it. “I appointed a four-star general, who led our efforts south of the border to keep drugs from coming into our country, as our nation’s drug czar, the most heavily directed – ecorated soldier in uniform when he retired.

We submitted the biggest drug budget ever, we have dramatically increased control and enforcement at the border. We supported a crime bill that had 60 death penalties, including the penalty for drug kingpins, and I supported a big expansion of the Safe and Drug-Free Schools program to support things like the DARE program because I thought all those things were very important…. I have consistently opposed the legalization of drugs all my public life and worked hard against them. ” Bob Dole claims that under a Dole administration, the National Guard would be trained to stop drugs at the border.

I want to stop it from coming across the border, and in my administration we’re going to train the National Guard to stop it from coming across the border. ” Bob Dole continuously blames Clinton for the rise in teen drug use, and how drug abuse doubled when he was governor of Arkansas. Senator Dole had voted against the crime bill that had the death penalty for drug kingpins in it and voted to cut services to 23 million schoolchildren under the Safe and Drug-Free Schools Act. National opinion polls show Bill Clinton leads Bob Dole by 10-20 percentage points.

Should Drugs Be Allowed In Sports

Drugs have been around for thousands of years but their reasons for being used has changed. Drugs were originally intended for medical uses. In ancient Egypt, physicians prescribed tannic acid to treat burns. The early Chinese and Greek pharmacies included opium used as a pain- killer, while Hindus used cannabis and henbane plants as an esthetic. With the advances in technology drugs have become more helpful yet more deadly. Since drugs have become easier to get they have also become more popular with young people and competitors in sports.

During the mid-nineteenth new drugs emerged from the laboratories athletes started to be experimented on. The French tried using caffeine to enhance their performances. While other Europeans were mixing cocaine and heroin to give them extra energy they called this drug speedball. In 1886 this deadly mix contributed to the first drug related death in sports by taking the life of a cross-country cyclist. Today the drugs have changed dramatically many athletes have done or are on anabolic steroids, amphetamines, depressants or what are known as brake drugs.

Anabolic steroids are chemicals that are similar to testosterone, the male sex hormone. Steroids are used by a number or young people to enhance their muscle mass and increase their performances. While anabolic steroids are successful at building muscle, they can damage many human body organs, such as the heart, kidneys and liver. Steroids are taken by injection or in pill form, after steroids enter the bloodstream; they are distributed to organs and muscle throughout the body. Forty-eight percent of high school students use steroids to improve athletic performance.

Steroids can increase performances for athletes but steroids also affect the mind and character of the person. Some effects of steroids are impaired learning and hearing, violent behavior, and overly aggressive behavior. When women take steroids they start to show signs of masculinity such as deepening of the voice, increase in body and facial hair also the skin starts to roughen. Anabolic steroids give the one who takes them an unfair advantage in athletic competition. The advantage that they receive is not the same as natural born characteristics of ability.

Another drug that some professional athletes seem to have an obsession with is cocaine. Cocaine was considered to be the drug of the eighties and it proved to be especially in the sport of baseball. During the 1980s cocaine seemed to be the drug of baseball. Many players in baseball were effected by coke including former all-star outfielder Daryl Strawberry and pitching ace Steve Howe were suspended from baseball for cocaine use and cocaine possession. Cocaine is on all the four major professional banned substance list and so are all illegal substances that can enhance an athletes performance.

Many professional athletes have turned to natural sources of performance enhancers, which are found in the human body. In conclusion, I believe that all synthetic drugs should be banned from sports and that all athletes that have any illegal drug in their system should be banned from that sport for life. I also believe that there should be no rehabilitation paid for by the league, which would allow the athlete to apply for reinstatement. The use of drugs should not be allowed for any professional or amateur sport that one could compete against others in.

Ritalin and Its Uses

In recent years, more and more kids seem to be on a prescription drug called Ritalin(methylphenidate). This drug is being handed out more and more by doctors as a way of treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, a complex neurological impairnment that prevents kids from concentrating. According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, it rose fron 200 grams per 100,000 people to over 1400 grams per 100,000 people in the last fifteen years. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that about one student in every classroom is believed to experience the disorder. The rate of Ritalin use in the United States is at least five times higher than in the rest of the world according to federal tudies.

Are doctors just catching this disabling affliction more often? Or does society just want a convenient way to solve a complicated problem. Ritalin is a central nervous system stimulant that is somewhat similar to amphetamines. It was created in 1955, classified as a controlled substance in 1971, and became the drug of choice for ADHD in 1981. It is also used in treating narcolepsy. It is thought to activate the brain stem arousal system and cortex, and, like cocaine, works on the neurotransmitter dopamine. It appears to increase the levels of dopamine in the frontal lobe where attention nd impulsive actions are regulated.

When taken in its intended form under a doctor’s prescritption, it has moderate stimulant properties. There has been a great deal of concern about it’s addictive qualities and adverse affects. ADHD is a relatively new disorder. It was introduced in 1980, where it was labeled ADD(attention deficit disorder). In the 1950’s, children were simply labeled “hyperkinetic. ” The term “hyperactivity” was added in 1987, hence the name ADHD. Not all children have the hyperactivity, and thus are labeled to have ADD. ADD is not treated with Ritalin; antidepressants are more ommonly used.

One of the problems with the label ADHD is that just because a child may be overly hyper, doesn’t mean the child is not paying attention. The problem is, the child is paying too much attention to too many things at the same time. ADHD is children’s #1 childhood psychiatric disorder. The prevalence is three times as likely in boys than girls. The children tend to be very bright, but are poor students because they cna’t settle down. They blurt questions out before they are asked. They can’t wait their turn, stop fidgeting their legs and tapping their pencils.

They tend to be forgetful, have problems following directions, and lose things easily, as well as their tempers. This behavior occurs constantly. This may be a reason why teachers and school psychologists are adament in their beliefs; these kids are disrupting their classrooms, so they want the problem solved immeditately, and take the “quick fix” approach. Experts believe that more than two million children (3-5%) have the disorder. Some scientists believe ADHD is a result of a problem in pregnancy ranging from fetal alcohol syndrome to exposure to lead in utero. Others suggest that ADHD is hereditary. Dr.

Russel Barkley, of the University of Minnesota reports that nearly half the ADHD children have a parent, and more than one third have a sibling, with the disorder. Ritalin as prescribed is taken orally, and takes effect in about 30 minutes and lasts for about 3-4 hours. Kids usually take 5-10 mg doses three times a day. Although many experts report that Ritalin is a positive treatment in 9 out of 10 patienst, and many parents and students claim the drug is a benefit in their lives’, there are many who question the drug’s long-term effects, dangers, misdiagnosis, and non-medical abuse. Diagnosis for ADHD isn’t as easy as you think.

There is no blood test, no x-ray, or no cat scan to determine a biological cause for the disorder. Teachers, even in preschool strongly advocate the drug(negative reinforcement??? ). School psychologists are even prescribing the drug before giving an evaluation because there are so many referrals and a lack of school psychologists (1:2100 students). Many times, it has been shown, that psychiatrists who often diagnose for ADHD in children, are disdiagnosing disorders similar to ADHD such as learning disabilities, depression or anxiety disorders; disorders that do not eccessitate Ritalin as a therapy.

Some doctors who are reluctant to prescribe Ritalin find that the childeren’s parents just switch doctors and find doctors who will. Unfortunately, this is surprisingly easy. Doctors surveyed by the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine said they send ADHD children home in about an hour. The children are not only sent home with just a prescription, but rarely any follow up care of additional therapy is adnministered. Experts in the field of ADHD say behavior modification techniques and extra help in school is a better way in treating the disorder.

Since it takes time to sit down and go through therapy sessions, and it takes time for parents to fit tis all into their lifestyle, a pill is much more convenient. There are no long term studies on the effects that it has on children, so many fear what complications may occur later on in life. Correct diagnosis would occur if doctors would take the time to provide a complete examination of the patient. To make a correct ADHD diagnosis, it is important to review the child’s family history, give abstract cognitive tests, observe their behavior, and run a slew of behavioral exams.

Other disorders must be ruled out first. Parents need to make sure a complete evaluation is carried out before putting a pill in a child’s mouth. One would think that every parent would explore every option before relying on medication only. Diagnosis would also be much easier if doctors could find a flaw in the brain. Several studies have shown that ADHD brains look and function slightly different that “normal” brains. PET(positron emission tomography) has shown that ADHD brains use less glucose in the prefrontal lobe.

The prefrontal lobe is the center for impulse control and attention. By using less glucose-or energy, this would then agree with the child’s behavioral problems. Other tests show that there is less electrical activity in the same region of the brain. Nonetheless, these studies have not yet been proven to be the cause for the disorder. Many people are concerned with the non-medical use of Ritalin, also. Ritalin is a Schedule II controlled substance, which means it is a very powerful drug, and in the same category as cocaine, methadone, and methamphetamines.

The Manufacturer of Ritalin, Ciba-Geiby Corporation, cautions doctors that many dverse side effects are possible under normal dosage such as: nervousness, insomnia, decreased appetite, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, heart palpitations, headaches, rise in heart rate and blood pressure, skin rashes, itching, abdominal pain, weight loss, digestive problems, toxic psychosis, psychotic episodes, and severe depression upon withdrawal. Many question if such a drug should be so freely handed out to children because of it’s possible dangerous effects.

Parents are even trying to lessen the restrictions on Ritalin so they won’t have to make monthly doctor visits. It’s rise on the black market has also been increasing. Since it is so widely available, many kids sell the pills for 3-15 dollars a pill. The buyers then crush up the pill and snort it, giving an intense high similar to cocaine. Some also dissolve it in water and inject it intravenously. In these forms, it is highly addictive, and withdrawal symptoms are also similar to cocaine.

Some of the side effects at these high doses may be life threatening: loss of appetite(may cause serious malnutrition), tremors and muscle twitching, fevers, convulsions, and headaches(may be severe), irregular heartbeat and espiration(may be profound and life threatening), anxiety, restlessness, paranoia, hallucinations, delusions, excessive repetition of movements and meaningless tasks, and formicaton(sensation of bugs or worms crawling under the skin).

It seems to be abused by high school kids and college students predominantly. Although the drug is too complex to manufacture illegally, and it doesn’t create the euphoric effect that cocaine has, it seems to be an aid in studying for final exams. It allows students to stay up all night allowing them to cram much easier. It is important to remember that too many children in America are suffering from this ailment, and yet too many kids are getting pills instead of proper care.

Although Ritalin currently seems to be an effective way in treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, we must not treat this disorder hastily. Our society must realize that prescription drugs can have just as many complications as street drugs. Befor writing out a prescription, or carelessly diagnosing ADHD, we must remember that these are kids we are dealing with. They put all their faith in us to help them, and not just to medicate them.

LSD (Lysergic Acid Dyethilamide)

A Swiss chemist named Dr. Albert Hoffman first produced lysergic acid Diethylmide or best known as LSD in 1938 (Dye, 1992, p. 2). Hoffman discovered the drug while trying to synthesize a new drug for the treatment of headaches. He obtained the lysergic acid from the parasitic fungus that grows on rye plants known as ergot. From the lysergic acid, he synthesized the compound LSD. He used the compound to test for its pain killing properties on laboratory animals. Being that appeared totally ineffective, the bottle of LSD was placed on a shelf and remained untouched for five years.

On April 16, 1943, Dr. Hoffman decided to do further research with the LSD compound (Dye, 1992 p. 5). While handling the drug, he accidentally ingested an unknown amount. Then he experienced the worlds first LSD trip. About eight hours later Hoffman drifted back into normal reality and the Psychedelic Revolution was born. (Encarta 98) Three days later, in an attempt to prove that the previous episode was indeed caused by the ingestion of LSD, Dr. Hoffman ingested what he thought would be a small quantity of LSD, 250 micrograms.

In actuality, this is approximately five times the dosage necessary to produce heavy hallucinations in the average adult male (Solomon, 1964, p. 34). The drug produced effects that were much more intense than the first time Hoffman took the LSD. He noted that he felt unrest, dizziness, visual disturbances, a tendency to laugh at inappropriate times, and a difficulty in concentration (Dye, 1992, p. 7). Dr. Hoffmans condition improved six hours after taking the drug, although visual disturbances and distortion continued. LSD was first shipped to the United States in 1949 (Solomon, 1964 , p. ).

American scientists tested LSD on animals to learn of its effects. It produced dramatic behavior changes in all animals investigated. During the 1950s, experimentation of LSD on humans began (Solomon, 1964, p. 56). Since there were few restrictions on using humans for experimentation at the time, scientists were free to administer the drug widely, hoping to find some useful therapeutic value for the drug. Because of Hoffmans LSD account of depersonalization produced by the drug. Early studies were done using the drug to treat various psychiatric disorders.

It was felt that if a person could “step outside” themselves and view situations as others saw them, they could come to grips with their problems and be able to solve them. One of the first areas of LSD experimentation was in treating alcoholism (Dye, 1992, p. 36). After extensive research, it was concluded that LSD was not effective on treating alcoholism and the research was discontinued. LSD was also tested on schizophrenics, drug addicts and criminals (Dye, 1992 p. 38). Research determined that LSD was ineffective in treating any behavioral problems.

It was also concluded that LSD might transform a normal individual into a person with a very calm to severe personality problem. The Central Intelligence Agency and various military agencies also became interested in LSD research in the late 1950s (Dye, 1992, p. 410. ) Their interest in the drug was in the area of mind control. They saw the possibility of manipulating of manipulating the beliefs of strong willed people. They gave the drug to a group of army scientists and then attempted to change some of their basic beliefs while under the influence of the drug.

However, one of the scientists became psychotic and committed suicide by jumping from a hotel window. These agencies continued their research by using drug addicts and prostitutes to test their mind control theories. After extensive experimentation, it became apparent that LSD could alter LSD the mind but not control it. The United States government discontinued this sort of research. Up until today, the Food and Drug Administration have never approved LSD. This strong hallucinageous drug remains only as research and medical treatment.

LSD belongs to a class of psychotropic drugs called hallucinogens (Gorodetzky, 1992). Other drugs in this category are mescaline (derived from peyote cactus) and psilocybin (commonly known as “hallucinogenic mushrooms”). LSD is most commonly taken orally but may also be taken by injection, inhalation, or by absorption through the skin. When it is taken orally, the individual usually notices the effect of the drug within thirty minutes. It may take one hour before the user experiences the drugs maximum effects. This state usually lasts two to four hours.

The usual dose taken is fifty to one hundred micrograms, although much higher and lower doses have been ingested. The intensity of the hallucinatory experience depends on the dose taken. The psychological, perpetual, and behavioral effects of LSD persists for eight to twelve hours and gradually wears off after reaching their maximum effects (Gorodetzky, 1992). The effect of the drug is determined by a persons mental state, the structure of their personality, and the physical setting. The role of culture and belief systems is primary in the effects of hallucinogenic states.

The experience following the ingestion of LSD is called a “trip” and can be good or bad depending on its effect on the user. The physiological effects may vary. Depersonalization is a frequent psychological effect of LSD (Solomon, 1964, p. 157). A persons self seems to be divided into two parts: an uninvolved observer and a participating involved self. The uninvolved self is sometimes seen as an unidentified person that the user later recognizes as his or her self. The user is frequently unable to distinguish where their body ends and the environment begins. Another effect of LSD is derealization.

Derealization is a dreamlike state in which the individual cannot tell if they are experiencing reality or dreaming (Solomon, 1964, p. 159). A person under the influence of LSD may misjudge the size and distance of objects. The shapes of objects are also distorted and constantly changing. Objects that do not exist may also change in form and color. These objects can often be seen when the user s eyes are closed because the image is produced within the mind.

Colors also appear to be brighter and more intense than normal. Synesthesia, which refers to the mixing of the senses, is another effect of LSD (Solomon, 1964, p. 4). During synthesia, experiences normally associated with one sense are translated to another. For example, sounds may be seen and colors may be smelled. LSD also often distorts time. The user may be unable to separate events from the past, present, and future.

A lack of concentration and impairment in judgment are also common. An individual on LSD may remain completely motionless for long periods of time or hyperactive. LSD can also produce rapid mood changes. Another group of LSD induced effects are referred to as somatic symptoms (Solomon, 1964, p. 171).

These symptoms include dizziness, weakness, tremors, blurred vision, and tingling sensation of the skin. It is still not fully known how LSD works on the brain. In addition to the psychological effects of LSD, the drug produces many physiological effects as well. LSD dilates the pupils of the eyes. It can also cause blurred vision, and increases blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature. The drug also increases blood sugar, can produce sweating and chills headaches, nausea, and vomiting. There are also changes in the muscles, resulting in weakness, tremors, numbness, and twitching.

Abnormal, rapid breathing may occur. ( Dye, 1992, p. 122) LSD users experience some kind of flashbacks after taking the drug. A flashback is a spontaneous recurrence of certain aspects of an LSD related hallucinatory experience (Gorodetzky, 1992). If a flashback occurs after only one exposure to LSD, the initial trip was most likely a bad one. Flashbacks can occur at any time, but are more likely to occur while sleeping, while under the influence of other intoxicants, or while a person is in the presence of someone under the influence of LSD.

Flashbacks have been known to cause psychotic and suicide reactions have been recorded as insanity. LSD was not only restricted to big cities such as the streets of Haight and Ashbury of San Francisco. From Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters to the Beatles song Lucy In The Shy With Diamonds, LSD was gaining national recognition and had reached suburbia by the mid 1960s. LSD inspires art, music, fashion, and culture for a generation. “Psychedelic”, a word invented by scientist Dr. Humphrey Osmond to indicate the mind altering or mind expanding properties of hallucinogenic drugs, became a household term in the 1960s.

Aldous Huxley (b. 1894-1963), writer of the critically acclaimed books Brave New World (1932) and The Doors of Perception (1954), was an advocate of the usage of hallucinogens. Huxley researched and experimented with mescaline and later related his studies on mescaline to LSD. In his usage of mescaline, Huxley experienced a change in every day reality. Unlike mescaline users before him, Huxley had no fantastic visions, saw no landscapes or geometrical figures.

Crime And Drug Use

Throughout my time as a criminal justice student, I have been interested about the relationship between drugs and crime. I have also been amazed by the statistics having to do with the amount of prisoners returning to a correctional facility after their time served. The link between drug use and crime is not a new one. For more than twenty years, both the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute of Justice have funded many studies to try to better understand the connection. One such study was done in Baltimore on heroin users.

This study found high rates of criminality among users during periods of active drug use, and much lower rates during periods of non use (Balle 119-142). A large number of people who abuse drugs come into contact with the criminal justice system when they are sent to jail or to other correctional facilities. The criminal justice system is flooded with substance abusers. The need for expanding drug abuse treatment for this group of people was recognized in the Crime Act of 1994, which for the first time provided substantial resources for federal and state jurisdictions.

In this paper, I will argue that using therapeutic communities in prisons will reduce the return rates among people who have been released from prison. I like to look at the general theory of crime, which is based on self-control, to help rationalize using federal tax dollars to fund these therapeutic communities in prisons. I feel that if we teach these prisoners some self-control and alternative lifestyles that we can keep them from reentering the prisons once they get out. I am also going to describe some of todays programs that have proven to be very effective.

According to the theory of crime, the criminal act and the criminal offender are separate concepts. The criminal act is perceived as opportunity; illegal activities that people engage in when they think they want to be advantageous. Crimes are committed when they promise rewards with minimum threat of pain or punishment. Crimes that provide easy, short-term gratification are often committed. The number of offenders may remain the same, while crime rates fluctuate due to the amount of opportunity (Siegel 1998). Criminal offenders are people that are predisposed to committing crimes.

This does not mean that they have no choice in the matter, it only means that their self-control level is lower than average. When a person has limited self-control, they tend to be more impulsive and shortsighted. This ties back in with crimes that are committed that provide easy, short-term gratification. These people do not necessarily have a tendency to commit crimes, they just do not look at long-term consequences and they tend to be reckless and self-centered (Longshore 102). These people with lower levels of self-control also engage in non-criminal acts as well.

These acts may include drinking, gambling, smoking, and illicit sexual activity. Also, drug use is a common act that is performed by these people. They do not look at the consequences of the drugs, while they get the short-term gratification. Sometimes this drug abuse becomes an addiction and then the person will commit other small crimes to get the drugs or them money to get the drugs. In a mid-western study done in 1997 they found that there was a significant relationship between self-control and use of illegal drugs.

The problem is once these people get into the criminal justice system, it is hard to get them out. After they do their time and are released, it is much easier to be sent back to prison. Once they are out, they revert back to their impulsive selves and continue with the only type of life they know. They know short-term gratification, the “quick fix if you will. Being locked up with thousands of other people in the same situation as them is not going to change them at all. They break parole and are sent back to prison.

Since the second half of the 1980s, there has been a large growth in prison and jail populations, continuing a trend that started in the 1970s. The proportion of drug users in the incarcerated population also grew at the same time. By the end of the 1980s, about one-third of those sent to state prisons had been convicted of a drug offense; the highest in the countrys history. With the arrival of crack use in the 1980s, the strong relationship between drugs and crime got stronger. The use of cocaine and heroin became very prevalent.

Violence on the streets that is caused by drugs got the publics attention and that put pressure on the police and courts. Consequently, more arrests were made. While it may seem good at first that these people are locked up, with a second look, things are not that good. The cost to a taxpayer for a prisoner is very high. There are about 1,100,000 people in United States prisons today. Many prisoners are being held in local jails because of overcrowding. This rise in population is largely due to the number of inmates serving time for drug offenses.

This is where therapeutic communities come into play. The term therapeutic community has been used in many different forms of treatment, including residential group homes and special schools, and different conditions, like mental illness, alcoholism, and drug abuse. In the United States, therapeutic communities are used in the rehabilitation of drug addicts in and out of prison. These communities involve a type of group therapy that focuses more on the person a whole and not so much the offense they committed or their drug abuse.

They use a community of peers and role models rather than professional clinicians. They focus on lifestyle changes and tend to be more holistic.. By getting inmates to participate in these programs, the prisoners can break their addiction to drugs. By freeing themselves from this addiction they can change their lives. These therapeutic communities can teach them some self-control and ways that they can direct their energies into more productive things, such as sports, religion, or work.

Seven out of every ten men and eight out of every ten women in the criminal justice system used drugs with some regularity prior to entering the criminal justice system. With that many people in prisons that are using drugs and the connection between drug use and crime, then if there was any success at all it seems like it would be a step in the right direction. Many of these offenders will not seek any type of reform when they are in the community. They feel that they do not have the time to commit to go through a program of rehabilitation.

It makes sense, then, that they should receive treatment while in prison because one thing they have plenty of is time. In 1979, around four percent of the prison population, or about 10,000, were receiving treatment through the 160 programs that were available throughout the country (National Institute on Drug Abuse 1981). Forty-nine of these programs were based on the therapeutic community model, which served around 4,200 prisoners. In 1989, the percentage of prisoners that participated in these programs grew to about eleven percent.

Some incomplete surveys state today that over half the states provide some form of treatment to their prisoners and about twenty percent of identified drug-using offenders are using these programs. The public started realizing that drug abuse and crime were on the rise and that something had to be done about it. This led to more federal money being put into treatment programs in prisons. The States were assisted through two Federal Government initiatives, projects REFORM and RECOVERY.

REFORM began in 1987, and laid the groundwork for the development of effective prison-based treatment for incarcerated drug abusers. Presentations were made at professional conferences to national groups and policy makers and to local correctional officials. At these presentations the principles of effective correctional change and the efficacy of prison-based treatment were discussed. New models were formed that allowed treatment that began in prison to continue after prisoners were released into the community.

Many drug abuse treatment system components were established due to Project REFORM that include: 39 assessment and referral programs started and 33 expanded or improved; 36 drug education programs started and 82 expanded or improved; 44 drug resource centers established and 37 expanded or improved; 20 in-prison 12-step programs implemented and 62 expanded or improved; 11 urine monitoring systems expanded; 74 prerelease counseling and/or referral programs implemented and 54 expanded or improved; 39 post release treatment programs with parole and 10 improved; and 77 isolated-unit treatment programs started.

In 1991, the new Center for Substance Abuse Treatment established Project RECOVERY. This program provided technical assistance and training services to start out prison drug treatment programs. Most of the states that participated in REFORM were involved with RECOVERY, as well as a few new states. In most therapeutic communities, recovered drug users are placed in a therapeutic environment, isolated from the general prison population.

This is due to the fact that if they live with the general population, it is much harder to break away from old habits. The primary clinical staff is usually made up of former substance abusers that at one time were rehabilitated in therapeutic communities. The perspective of the treatment is that the problem is with the whole person and not the drug. The addiction is a symptom and not the core of the disorder. The primary goal is to change patterns of behavior, thinking, and feeling that predispose drug use.

This returns to the general theory of crime and the argument that it is the opportunity that creates the problem. If you take away the opportunity to commit crimes by changing ones behavior and thinking then the opportunity will not arise for the person to commit these crimes that were readily available in the past. The most effective form of therapeutic community intervention involves three stages: incarceration, work release, and parole or other form of supervision.

The primary stage needs to consist of a prison-based therapeutic community. Pro-social values should be taught in an environment that is separate from the normal prison population. This should be an on-going and evolving process that lasts at least twelve months, with the ability to stay longer if it is deemed necessary. The prisoners need to grasp the concept of the addiction cycle and interact with other recovering addicts. The second stage should include a transitional work release program.

This is a form of partial incarceration in which inmates that are approaching release dates can work for pay in the free community, but they must spend their non-working hours in either the institution or a work release facility. The only problem here is that during their stay at this facility, they are reintroduced to groups and behaviors that put them there in the first place. If it is possible, these recovering addicts should stay together and live in a separate environment than the general population.

Once the inmate is released into the free community, he or she will remain under the supervision of a parole officer or some other type of supervisory program. Treatment should continue through either outpatient counseling or group therapy. In addition, they should also be encouraged to return to the work release therapeutic community for refresher sessions, attend weekly groups, call their counselors on a regular basis and spend one day a month at the facility. Since the early 1990s, the Delaware correctional system has been operating this three-stage model.

It is based around three therapeutic communities: the KEY, a prison-based therapeutic community for men; WCI Village, a prison-based therapeutic community for women; and CREST Outreach Center, a residential work release center for men and women. According to Inciardi the continuing of therapeutic community treatment and sufficient length of follow up time, a consistent pattern of reduction of drug use and recidivism exists. Their study shows the effectiveness of the program extending beyond the in-prison program.

New Yorks model for rehabilitation is called the Stayn Out Program. This is a therapeutic community program that was established in 1977 by a group of recovered addicts. The program was evaluated in 1984 and it was reported that the program reduced recidivism for both males and females. Also, from this study, the time-in-program hypothesis was formed. This came from the finding that successful outcomes were directly related to the amount of time that was spent in treatment. Another study, tested the time-in-program hypothesis.

In this study, they found a relationship between reduced recidivism rates and time spent in the program as well as the level of treatment attained. This study found that it was the attainment of level progress rather than time in the treatment that was most important. The studies done on New Yorks Stayn Out program and Delawares Key-Crest program are some of the first large-scale evidence that prison-based therapeutic communities actually produce a significant reduction in recidivism rates and show a consistency over time.

The programs of the past did work, but before most of the programs were privately funded, and when the funds ran out in seven or eight years, so did the programs. Now with the government backing these types of programs, they should continue to show a decrease in recidivism. It is much more cost effective to treat these inmates. A program like Stayn Out cost about $3,000 to $4,000 more than the standard correctional costs per inmate per year. The main question that arises when dealing with this subject is whether or not people change.

According to Gottfredson and Hirschi, the person does not change, only the opportunity changes. By separating themselves from people that commit crimes and commonly do drugs, they are actually avoiding the opportunity to commit these crimes. They do not put themselves in the situation that would allow their low self-control to take over. Starting relationships with people who exhibit self-control and ending relationships with those who do not is a major factor in the frequency of committing crimes.

Addiction treatment is very important to this countrys war on drugs. While abusers are incarcerated it provides us with an excellent opportunity to give them treatment. They will not seek treatment on their own. Without treatment, the chances of them continuing on with their past behavior are very high. But with the treatment programs we have today, things might be looking up. The studies done on the various programs, prove that there are cost effective ways available to treat these prisoners.

Not only are they cost effective, but they are also proven to reduce recidivism rates significantly. These findings are very consistent throughout all of the research. I believe that we can effectively treat these prisoners while they are incarcerated and they can be released into society and be productive, and non destructive. Nothing else has worked to this point, we owe it to them, and more importantly, we owe it to ourselves. We can feel safe on the streets after dark, and we do not have to spend so much of our money to do it.

Marijuana, a cure for anorexia as well as glaucoma

To toke or not to toke that is the question. Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of society or succumb to popular opinion and legalize Marijuana. Marijuana is a cure for anorexia as well as glaucoma. Marijuana is even a helping factor for relieving some symptoms of A. I. D. S. Still the government of our nation has Marijuana classified as a Division I drug. Which means it serves no medical use and does in no way benefit society. The studies outdated and scientifically proven to be incorrect still remain beliefs of our government.

Supporters of the legalization of Marijuana have many scientifically proven facts that point to the fact Marijuana should be legalized. Marijuana legalization would prove to be beneficial in a number of areas. The first bonus to legalizing Marijuana is its medical uses. Marijuana stimulates the immune system and serves as a cure for glaucoma. Marijuana helps people with AIDS retain and eat food. Marijuana use also has intellectual benefits. Marijuana increases alpha wave activity in the brain. The alpha waves are associated with creativity. This creativity is potentially the foundation of literary and musical evelation.

Bob Marley was one of the most influential musical composers of all times. Marley’s music has persevered throughout the years. He openly admitted, on many occasions, to smoking marijuana before he wrote and composed songs. Marley’s influence is global. His nickname of “the Legend” has distinguished him from many other musicians. His global fame separates him from all other musicians. Many people have attributed Marley’s creative genius to his use of marijuana. Socially, marijuana is better from the standpoint of addiction. Marijuana is less addictive than tobacco.

Essentially marijuana is neither as hysically nor mentally addictive as Nicotine. Another social benefit of marijuana is its not cancer causing when compared to legal drugs like caffeine or Cigarettes. These are only a few of the reasons that Marijuana legal. To really get into the legalization issue not only do you have to look into the facts of the case but also the employment effects it would have. Granted there are no hard facts that say marijuana needs to be legal (or illegal). If a person tries pictures the number of jobs a single American field of Marijuana would create, they find it’s an innumerable number.

The job’s cigarettes create through different aspects of preparation such as growth, harvest, manufacturing, distributing and selling, makes it is easy to see the widespread opportunities legalizing Marijuana would create. Marijuana if legalized would create an infinite number of jobs. These jobs would drastically improve the unemployment rate that is rampaging America now. The economy will also benefit from the legalization of Marijuana. If the government sets taxes high they can insure themselves a large profit from the sales of marijuana. This would make marijuana a cash crop.

A cash crop sed for exportation as well as internal use. The prices could be as severe as the cigarettes’ prices now are. This would cause a great boost in the economy. The legalization of Marijuana would also help save the environment. People could stop cutting down trees in search of paper and rope because hemp, the stem or trunk of a marijuana plant is the best maker of paper in the world. Not to mention the fact that Hemp rope is close to the strongest natural rope in the entire world. This would enable paper and rope companies to invest money into the growth of marijuana for industrial use.

The last facet of this debate on legalizing Marijuana comes when one looks at the widespread use of Marijuana in our society. Marijuana is one of the most widely used illegal substances in the world. In a recent survey performed in a suburban high school over 80% of the graduating class admitted to smoking pot. While over 80% may be a remarkable high statistic the survey also concluded that the under class students were also smoking their fair share of marijuana. The survey showed an increasing percentage of pot smokers (tokers) as they advanced through school.

The facts about Marijuana are simple. If examined, the facts about Marijuana’s potential beneficial possibilities to American society become apparent. The social, intellectual, economical, commercial, medical, and environmental benefits it would create if legalized are enormous and potentially a great help to our country. The supporters of the legalization of marijuana can not fathom how or why America as a country is denying our citizens the benefits of this helpful drug.. Supporters believe that the government is giving a drug that has NEVER killed anyone a bad reputation.

The facts that the upporters of Marijuana use are indisputable and unmistakably correct. These facts that they portray are driving America into legalizing Marijuana. The legalization of marijuana in Arizona for medical purposes was only a small step forward yet it pleased marijuana activists. Marijuana activists feel it was the first step to total legalization of Marijuana. Regardless of the marijuana activist’s case, the American public has to realize that Marijuana is a drug. Marijuana damages your body and your mind. The laws in America are simple in accordance to marijuana.

Marijuana is an llegal substance that which you cannot have possession of regardless of age. The scientists and politicians refer to many aspects of Marijuana in determining their basis for it being illegal. The scientists stand by six main points when referring to sustaining Marijuana as an illegal substance. The first point is that Marijuana causes brain damage. There have been many studies done on the cause of Marijuana on the brain. The most prolific however was the experiment by Dr. Robert Heath, who in the 1970’s tested Marijuana on laboratory monkeys. Dr. Heath concluded that Marijuana caused rain damage to those who smoke pot.

This is a cherished point by Marijuana protesters. They cling to this point as scientific reason Marijuana should remain illegal. Another reason is that Marijuana has been proven by Dr. Gabriel Nahas to be detrimental to the reproductive system. Dr. Nahas has isolated different tissues and cells of various animals in determining marijuana’s harm through laboratory testing. Dr. Nahas injected these cells with near lethal amounts of cannabinoids. The excess of cannabinoids reasoned to be the cause of the study’s being rejected by the scientific community but yet many people hold them o fact.

A major fight against Marijuana is that is a “gateway” drug. This means that the scientists and the other head honcho’s of our society believe legalizing Marijuana would cause for more hard drug use. This is a statistic that is unverifiable but yet still holds its claims. By looking at the statistics you would see that many of the cocaine users as well as the crack users and heroin addicts started off by smoking marijuana. This is a true and verifiably scary statistic. This point is a major setback for the Marijuana activists. The government spends millions of dollars on agencies like the Drug

Enforcement Agency to stop the hard and soft drug dealers. The legalization of Marijuana would cause such a varied effect on such agencies. The legalization of marijuana would cause an instant stop to marijuana offenses, but yet potentially skyrocket the hard drug crimes. This is a frightful thought for the government to comprehend. The government believes that there is no reason to give har d drugs an opening through which they could take over society. The government believes that the legalization of marijuana would cause even more death and destruction on the highways.

Alcohol is a major cause for accidents on the streets and if marijuana becomes legal it would just cause for an increase of destruction on roads. Marijuana brings people into a hypnotic state where the reaction time slows and likelihood of falling asleep is raised. The government links marijuana to almost as many accidents as alcohol. This again is a scary statistic in which so many human lives are potentially in danger by the legalization of Marijuana. Those who are against the legalization of marijuana believe that there is no reason that they should allow more dangerous drivers on the road.

LSD (lysergic Acid Dyethilamide)

A Swiss chemist named Dr. Albert Hoffman first produced lysergic acid Diethylmide or best known as LSD in 1938 (Dye, 1992, p. 2). Hoffman discovered the drug while trying to synthesize a new drug for the treatment of headaches. He obtained the lysergic acid from the parasitic fungus that grows on rye plants known as ergot. From the lysergic acid, he synthesized the compound LSD. He used the compound to test for its pain killing properties on laboratory animals. Being that appeared totally ineffective, the bottle of LSD was placed on a shelf and remained untouched for five years.

On April 16, 1943, Dr. Hoffman decided to do further research with the LSD compound (Dye, 1992 p. 5). While handling the drug, he accidentally ingested an unknown amount. Then he experienced the worlds first LSD trip. About eight hours later Hoffman drifted back into normal reality and the Psychedelic Revolution was born. (Encarta 98) Three days later, in an attempt to prove that the previous episode was indeed caused by the ingestion of LSD, Dr. Hoffman ingested what he thought would be a small quantity of LSD, 250 micrograms.

In actuality, this is approximately five times the dosage necessary to produce heavy hallucinations in the average adult male (Solomon, 1964, p. 34). The drug produced effects that were much more intense than the first time Hoffman took the LSD. He noted that he felt unrest, dizziness, visual disturbances, a tendency to laugh at inappropriate times, and a difficulty in concentration (Dye, 1992, p. 7). Dr. Hoffmans condition improved six hours after taking the drug, although visual disturbances and distortion continued. LSD was first shipped to the United States in 1949 (Solomon, 1964 , p. ).

American scientists tested LSD on animals to learn of its effects. It produced dramatic behavior changes in all animals investigated. During the 1950s, experimentation of LSD on humans began (Solomon, 1964, p. 56). Since there were few restrictions on using humans for experimentation at the time, scientists were free to administer the drug widely, hoping to find some useful therapeutic value for the drug. Because of Hoffmans LSD account of depersonalization produced by the drug. Early studies were done using the drug to treat various psychiatric disorders.

It was felt that if a person could “step outside” themselves and view situations as others saw them, they could come to grips with their problems and be able to solve them. One of the first areas of LSD experimentation was in treating alcoholism (Dye, 1992, p. 36). After extensive research, it was concluded that LSD was not effective on treating alcoholism and the research was discontinued. LSD was also tested on schizophrenics, drug addicts and criminals (Dye, 1992 p. 38). Research determined that LSD was ineffective in treating any behavioral problems.

It was also concluded that LSD might transform a normal individual into a person with a very calm to severe personality problem. The Central Intelligence Agency and various military agencies also became interested in LSD research in the late 1950s (Dye, 1992, p. 410. ) Their interest in the drug was in the area of mind control. They saw the possibility of manipulating of manipulating the beliefs of strong willed people. They gave the drug to a group of army scientists and then attempted to change some of their basic beliefs while under the influence of the drug.

However, one of the scientists became psychotic and committed suicide by jumping from a hotel window. These agencies continued their research by using drug addicts and prostitutes to test their mind control theories. After extensive experimentation, it became apparent that LSD could alter LSD the mind but not control it. The United States government discontinued this sort of research. Up until today, the Food and Drug Administration have never approved LSD. This strong hallucinageous drug remains only as research and medical treatment.

LSD belongs to a class of psychotropic drugs called hallucinogens (Gorodetzky, 1992). Other drugs in this category are mescaline (derived from peyote cactus) and psilocybin (commonly known as “hallucinogenic mushrooms”). LSD is most commonly taken orally but may also be taken by injection, inhalation, or by absorption through the skin. When it is taken orally, the individual usually notices the effect of the drug within thirty minutes. It may take one hour before the user experiences the drugs maximum effects. This state usually lasts two to four hours.

The usual dose taken is fifty to one hundred micrograms, although much higher and lower doses have been ingested. The intensity of the hallucinatory experience depends on the dose taken. The psychological, perpetual, and behavioral effects of LSD persists for eight to twelve hours and gradually wears off after reaching their maximum effects (Gorodetzky, 1992). The effect of the drug is determined by a persons mental state, the structure of their personality, and the physical setting. The role of culture and belief systems is primary in the effects of hallucinogenic states.

The experience following the ingestion of LSD is called a “trip” and can be good or bad depending on its effect on the user. The physiological effects may vary. Depersonalization is a frequent psychological effect of LSD (Solomon, 1964, p. 157). A persons self seems to be divided into two parts: an uninvolved observer and a participating involved self. The uninvolved self is sometimes seen as an unidentified person that the user later recognizes as his or her self. The user is frequently unable to distinguish where their body ends and the environment begins. Another effect of LSD is derealization.

Derealization is a dreamlike state in which the individual cannot tell if they are experiencing reality or dreaming (Solomon, 1964, p. 159). A person under the influence of LSD may misjudge the size and distance of objects. The shapes of objects are also distorted and constantly changing. Objects that do not exist may also change in form and color. These objects can often be seen when the user s eyes are closed because the image is produced within the mind. Colors also appear to be brighter and more intense than normal. Synesthesia, which refers to the mixing of the senses, is another effect of LSD (Solomon, 1964, p. 4).

During synthesia, experiences normally associated with one sense are translated to another. For example, sounds may be seen and colors may be smelled. LSD also often distorts time. The user may be unable to separate events from the past, present, and future. A lack of concentration and impairment in judgment are also common. An individual on LSD may remain completely motionless for long periods of time or hyperactive. LSD can also produce rapid mood changes. Another group of LSD induced effects are referred to as somatic symptoms (Solomon, 1964, p. 171).

These symptoms include dizziness, weakness, tremors, blurred vision, and tingling sensation of the skin. It is still not fully known how LSD works on the brain. In addition to the psychological effects of LSD, the drug produces many physiological effects as well. LSD dilates the pupils of the eyes. It can also cause blurred vision, and increases blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature. The drug also increases blood sugar, can produce sweating and chills headaches, nausea, and vomiting. There are also changes in the muscles, resulting in weakness, tremors, numbness, and twitching.

Abnormal, rapid breathing may occur. ( Dye, 1992, p. 122) LSD users experience some kind of flashbacks after taking the drug. A flashback is a spontaneous recurrence of certain aspects of an LSD related hallucinatory experience (Gorodetzky, 1992). If a flashback occurs after only one exposure to LSD, the initial trip was most likely a bad one. Flashbacks can occur at any time, but are more likely to occur while sleeping, while under the influence of other intoxicants, or while a person is in the presence of someone under the influence of LSD.

Flashbacks have been known to cause psychotic and suicide reactions have been recorded as insanity. LSD was not only restricted to big cities such as the streets of Haight and Ashbury of San Francisco. From Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters to the Beatles song Lucy In The Shy With Diamonds, LSD was gaining national recognition and had reached suburbia by the mid 1960s. LSD inspires art, music, fashion, and culture for a generation.

“Psychedelic”, a word invented by scientist Dr. Humphrey Osmond to indicate the mind altering or mind expanding properties of hallucinogenic drugs, became a household term in the 1960s. Aldous Huxley (b. 1894-1963), writer of the critically acclaimed books Brave New World (1932) and The Doors of Perception (1954), was an advocate of the usage of hallucinogens. Huxley researched and experimented with mescaline and later related his studies on mescaline to LSD. In his usage of mescaline, Huxley experienced a change in every day reality. Unlike mescaline users before him, Huxley had no fantastic visions, saw no landscapes or geometrical figures.

Effects Of Marijuana

The use of marijuana is widespread by all classes, races, and cultures. Marijuana has been used for a multitude of purposes over thousands of years, and is still, today, is being used for many of the same purposes. (Hawks 1982) It is some of the possible outcomes of the usage of marijuana, and a brief history of marijuana that will be discussed in this paper. The outcomes associated with the use and abuse of marijuana is the major focus of this paper, and will be discussed and will be divided up in two groups. These groups include Medicinal/therapeutic users, and recreational users.

Recreational users will then be divided into 2 groups; acute (experimental) users, and chronic (habitual) users. The topic of marijuana use is very broad and has an intricate effect on society as a whole, however, for the purpose of this paper, the literature review is based on a very narrow fraction of the topic of marijuana, namely, the harmful biological and psychological effects of the drug. Marijuana is a naturally occurring plant with several species. Cannabis indica and cannabis sativa are the two most common types of marijuana in the developed world. These two species can be prepared for the use of people in a number of ways.

The plant may be dried and used for intoxication, or as resin can be collected from the plant by compressing the plant into a brick. Also by drying the plant and boiling it in alcohol and filtering the matter to make hash oil is a way of preparing the plant for human consumption. The potency of the marijuana substances depends on the climatic conditions, soil nutrients of the environment in which the plant is grown (Listin 1998) (Marijuana can be administered in many ways (Hawks 1982). These ways include inhaling the fumes by smoking the plant, or by eating the plant baked into biscuits.

The levels of Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active chemical in marijuana consumed from the different methods of administering varies, and hence, so does the effect of the administered amount. THC is lipid soluble and is stored readily in fatty tissues in the body. As a consequence, traces of THC can be detected in the urine up to 2 – 3 months after marijuana use. The reason for the extended period of time that THC stays in the body is that unlike alcohol, which is excreted through the kidneys, THC very slowly seeps out of the fat cells.

Therefore, a trace of THC in the urine of a person is not necessarily an indication of recent marijuana use (Hall, Solowij and Lemon 1994). Medical/therapeutic use of marijuana is largely concealed because of the known fact that marijuana is an illegal drug in Australia and most countries. However, history shows that marijuana has been used for medicinal purposes for over 3000 years. Medical uses of marijuana include pain management, as an antispasmoic, as an antimeric and for constipation, and epilepsy. (Mathre 1997)

The recreational use of marijuana is one area where harmful biological and psychological effects occur. Recreational can be divided into the 2 above-mentioned groups; experimental and habitual. According to the National Drug Strategy (1994) experimental use of marijuana is statistically the most prevalent in Australia, with an estimate of 80% of marijuana users being experimental users. Regular users of marijuana are those who use marijuana on a weekly basis, the prevalence of regular users is 15% of users in Australia.

Chronic habitual users are those users who have used marijuana on a daily basis for a number of years. Prevalence of habitual users is 5% of the total amount of marijuana smokers in Australia. The main focus of this paper is on the 2 last mentioned groups classified as ‘chronic’ users. The effect of marijuana is varied from individual to individual. This is because of the variables in route of administration, the mood of the user, the environment in which marijuana is smoked, the amount smoked, the body’s ability to absorb, previous use, and the potency of the drug (U. S. Department of Health and Human Services 1995).

The human body has cannabinoid receptors, which respond to THC and absorb and distribute THC to the nervous system. THC is rapidly distributed throughout the body starting with the brain, liver, and kidneys, and later distributes right through to the extremities with less blood flow (Liston 1998). THC levels peak at 30 – 40 minutes after smoking marijuana, and within 2 – 3 hours if ingested orally. The THC will have a half-life of 20 – 30 hours for daily (chronic habitual) users and a half-life of 50 – 70 hours in occasional (recreational acute) users.

This slower release of THC and it’s metabolites is due to their high fat solubility and the consequent slow release back into the blood from the ‘storage’ areas, namely the fat supplies, of the body. (National Health Strategy 1994). Harmful effects of Marijuana can be divided up into 2 groups: biological and psychological effects. Both the biological effects and the psychological effects can be divided into short term and long term damage. In other words, from the use of marijuana short term, and long term damage has been found in individuals.

This damage is psychological damage, physical damage, or both. Short-term damage is only temporary, and the individual will recover some weeks after cessation of taking marijuana. Long term damage, on the other hand, will last a lifetime (Mathre 1997). Initially, within a few minutes of inhaling marijuana smoke, users likely experience dry mouth, rapid heartbeat, some loss of coordination, a decreased sense of balance, and slower reaction times. Blood pressure is likely to increase and, in some cases the heart rate can double the baseline rate. (www. nida. nih. gov)

Marijuana smokes regularly encounter many of the same biological respiratory problems that tobacco smokers have. These individuals may have daily coughs and phlegm, symptoms of chronic bronchitis, and more frequent chest colds than non-smokers. Continuing to smoke marijuana can lead to abnormal functioning of the lungs and airways (www. nida. nih. gov). Nahas (1992) agrees with this, and elaborates further on the harmful biological effects of marijuana use. Chronic use of marijuana can (by inhalation) causes some mutagenic effects, and hence, be of possible danger to having carcinogenic properties.

Hence, it can be concluded that chronic use of marijuana can have the harmful biological effect of causing lung cancer (Nahas 1992). Also, on the topic of mutatious damage from the effect of marijuana on human genetics, chronic use may also lead to decreased testosterone concentrations (M. mol/L in the blood stream) and cause impermanent, or inhibition of spermatocytes. Nahas (1992) Furthermore, THC suppresses the neurones in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is the part of the brain responsible for information processing, learning, memory, and the integration of sensory experiences with emotions and motivation (www. da. nih. gov).

McCance and Huether (1998) state that the neurones of the hippocampus are suppressed in chronic schizophrenics as opposed to in control groups of studies where the neurones are considered ‘normal’ and not suppressed. So, assuming that the facts of the American National Institute of Drug Abuse are correct, the suppressed neurones of the hippocampus caused by marijuana use, and McCance and Huether’s (1998) research into the suppressed neurones of the hippocampus the following can be concluded.

Presence of suppressed neurones in schizophrenia patients clearly links the common theory of a cause of drug induced schizophrenia as being contributed to by marijuana use/abuse. According to Continuing Medical Education, Inc. (www. mhsource. com) this is the reason as to why marijuana had the harmful psychological effect of contributing to drug induced schizophrenia on some individuals who are chronic smokers of marijuana. (www. mhsource. com) Chronic abuse of marijuana is also associated with the harmful psychological effects of impaired attention span and memory (www. da. nih. gov).

Prenatal exposure to marijuana has been associated with the psychological effects of impaired verbal reasoning and memory in preschool children. (www. nida. nih. gov). Of possible relevance are findings from animal studies showing chronic exposure to THC, biologically affects the animals because THC damages and destroys nerve cells and causes pathological changes in the hippocampus. This form of damage is irreversible and long term.

This illustrates the theory that the same damaging biological effect that marijuana has had on these animals’ nerve cells probably also occur in human beings. Hence, it can be reasoned that marijuana had the harmful biological effect of destroying nerve cells which, in turn, causes the psychological damage of impaired memory, and attention span of individuals using marijuana (www. nida. nih. gov).

According to the Central Coast Area Health Service (1998) (CCAHS) the main effects of initial marijuana use is on cognitive functioning. CCAHS (1998, P. states that these . . . effects are exerted through cannabinoid receptors that are located in both the hippocampus and cortex of the brain. High densities of cannabinoid receptors also appear in the basal ganglia and cerebellum. Furthermore, CCHAS (1998) also believes that this is consistent with the findings that cannabinoids absorbed from marijuana consumption has the harmful short-term effects of interfering with coordination. Another chronic harmful effect of marijuana use is the psychological effect that cannabis has on motivation.

Particularly in adolescents, chronic use of marijuana interferes with developmental tasks such as academic achievement, separation from parents, formation of peer relationships, the making of life choices and goal setting. THC simply affects individuals in such a way that from chronic use individuals loose all of the mentioned wants, goals, and relationship strengths (Baumrind and Moselle 1985). The acute harmful effects of marijuana, also referred to as a high, or ‘altered state of consciousness’.

This state is characterised by emotional changes, and increased sensory experiences such as increased perception of listening to music, sexual intercourse, or eating food. As stated earlier in the paper, each individual’s perception of a ‘high’ differs greatly. Some common unpleasant experiences, however, include anxiety, panic attacks and depressed mood. Hall, Solowij and Lemon (1994) state that these effects are mostly found in the inexperienced user.

Are these effects of marijuana consumption psychologically harmful? Hall, Solowij and Lemon (1994) describe these acute effects as harmful if marijuana is used often, however, this seems quite subjective, considering these are very short term effects. If the user continues smoking, it could definitely be considered harmful, however, as a single case experience for an individual, it is not considered harmful by Hall, Solowij and Lemon (1994). Biologically, the acute effects of marijuana may be short term, and immediately not necessarily damaging.

An increase in heart rate will occur, when marijuana fumes are first inhaled, and the increased heart rate is likely to last up to 3 hours (Hall, Solowij and Lemon 1994). This is not of any concern to young healthy individuals, however, it may have an adverse effect on older users with illnesses such as ischaemic heart disease, hypertension, and cerebrovascular disease. Apart from the fact that cannabis causes an increased heart rate, which obviously can cause some problems for some people, cannabis can cause severe harm to other patients (Hall, Solowij and Lemon 1994).

Cannabis acts on the body to increase catecholamine production, which may cause arrhythmias and result in angina. This paper has merely touched the surface of the topic of marijuana. The acute and chronic harmful biological and psychological effects of marijuana on individuals has been thoroughly discussed. Further, the topic of marijuana is perpetual and complex, and, hence, purposely the question answered in this paper has been very narrow for the purpose of focusing in detail on a very narrow part of the marijuana issue.

It has been documented in this paper that the use of marijuana is widespread by all classes, races, and cultures. It has been discussed in that marijuana has been used for a multitude of purposes over thousands of years, and is still, today, is being used for many of the same purposes. Some of the outcomes of the usage of marijuana have been discussed with a major focus on the biological and psychological harm that marijuana causes on individuals.

A brief history of marijuana was been reviewed in order for the reader to comprehend the circumstances of the place marijuana has in society. The outcomes associated with the use and abuse of marijuana, have been discussed and were divided up in two groups for the purpose of simplifying the issue for greater understanding. Finally, this paper has achieved the aim of outlining the use of marijuana and has identified the acute and chronic harmful biological and psychological effects of marijuana on individuals.

The War On Drugs

In todays society, the war on drugs has become a major issue in our cities and the business community. Many cities have started programs to make the situation better, but some have failed and the situation has become worse. The root of all the problems discussed in this case study, can be linked to drugs. There are many organizations and volunteer community groups as well as law enforcement, that are continuously trying to make our cities safe. This struggle is know globally as the War on Drugs. Drugs and Children The war on drugs is a very big part of our society.

We face difficult decisions everyday dealing with drugs and how they affect our cities. Our children play a big role in that society, and they are a major factor on the war against drugs. We try to keep children away from the drug situation, but you cannot isolate them forever. Children will have to face the issue as they get older, or even while they are young. We must teach our children about the issues on drugs and make sure they are aware of the dealings that go on. Most children cannot speak to their parents about drugs, and those are the children who are usually doing drugs.

If children cannot be open with their parents, they will find some other means of dealing with drug issues. History Nearly thirty years ago, the Nixon administration was the first administration to declare the war on drugs. President Nixon is credited with setting up the first methadone centers and abstinence programs cross the country. At the time these programs received two-thirds of the federal drug budget and the results were: crime rates fell and fewer people died of overdose. The Just Say No movement (led by first lady Nancy Reagan) was coupled with rigorous law enforcement and produced solid results.

By 1992, for example, marijuana use by high school students had dropped significantly (http://ehostvgw15. epnet. com). The Controlled Substances Act (CSA), Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, is the legal foundation of the government’s fight against the abuse of drugs and other substances. This law is a consolidation of numerous laws regulating the manufacture and distribution of narcotics, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, anabolic steroids, and chemicals used in the illicit production of controlled substances.

The mission of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is to enforce the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States and bring to the criminal and civil justice system of the United States, or any other competent jurisdiction, those organizations and principal members of organizations, involved in the growing, manufacture, or distribution of controlled substances appearing in or destined for illicit traffic in the United States; and to recommend and support non-enforcement programs aimed at reducing the availability of illicit controlled substances on the domestic and international markets. ttp://www. usdoj. gov/dea/briefingbook/page2. htm).

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was formed as a specialized branch of the justice department in 1973. This specialized bureau is on the front lines of the War on Drugs every day. The DEA is not only concerned with assisting local law enforcement, but a global policing as well. Drugs in the Workplace Many chambers of commerce throughout the nation have put Drug-Free Workplace programs into effect.

The drug-free workplace program addresses not only issues in the business community, but the society as well. Statistics show that 70 percent of illegal drug users are employed, and 44 percent of drug users sell drugs to co-workers (http://ehostvgw6. epnet. com). The U. S. Department of Labor estimates that drug use in the workplace costs employers $75 billion to $100 billion annually in lost time. Sixty-five percent of all accidents on the job are directly related to drugs.

Substance abusers are absent three times more often and use 16 times as many health care benefits as non-abusers (http://ehastvgw6. epnet. com). Many companies are aware of the drug problems within the office and are taking action to fix the situation. There are companies that have drug-screening test to employees to make sure that they are not using drug substances. The company must have a suspicion of that employee of using the drugs before giving the drug test.

In the American Management Association survey, 92 percent of testing companies use urine samples, 15 percent use blood samples, and 2 percent use hair samples (http://ehastvgw6. epnet. com). Many employers will try to help their employees who are having a problem with drug addiction. Some will try to get the family involved and may use a rehabilitation group. Some will terminate the employee. There is no easy way to solve the problem of drugs in the workplace, but taking action requires determination, willingness, time, and being able to support the person with the funds needed.

Morphine, A Narcotic Analgesic Drug

Morphine is a narcotic analgesic drug, which means that it is a downer painkiller. It is most commonly given intravenously (by injection) for more rapid results, but it can also effectively be given orally. It has a remarkable ability to reduce physical distress, and its calming effect protects against exhaustion in traumatic shock, internal hemorrhage, and several other conditions. This drug is truly a miracle worker. Morphine is an opiate, coming from the poppy seed.

It was first isolated from opium in 1803 (some sources say 1806) by the German pharmacist F. W. A. Serturner, who named it after Morpheus, the god of dreams. Morphine was first used as a painkiller, and mistakenly, as a cure for opium addiction. Morphine quickly replaced opium as a cure-all recommended by doctors, not to mention its popularity as a recreational drug. The exchange of morphine addiction for that of alcohol was considered positive for the reason that alcohol was harder on the body, and more likely to trigger antisocial behavior. By the time heroin was discovered in 1874, morphine had already addicted hundreds of thousands of people. Soon heroin found its way to the level of morphine and codeine.

Since the practice of selling patent medicines had no regulation until 1906, with the Pure Food and Drug Act, it was common to simply mail order any of these drugs. Morphine played a part in the American Civil War as well. Not only was it commonly the companion of a soldier injured on the field, it often returned home with many of the soldiers, as a relief of pain. With the benefit of a pain free hospital visit came the drawbacks of addiction. It got so bad in America that in 1887, Congress passed a bill prohibiting the importation of opium. With this came the development of a huge black market for crude opium.

However, the patent uses of morphine, heroin, and codeine continued to be used legally. In fact, heroin was available in a cough suppressant in 1898. Fascinatingly, the typical users were white middle-class women. In 1914, legislation was passed to prohibit narcotics use with the exception of medicinal purposes. This simply changed the manner in which people got the drugs. During the Vietnam War the use of heroin reached epidemic proportions, with the soldiers return home, treatment clinics were set up across the country, and methadone was introduced as a part of addiction treatment.

Morphine acts directly on the central nervous system. As well as relieving pain, it impairs mental and physical performance, relieves fear and anxiety, and produces euphoria. It also decreases hunger, inhibits the cough reflex, produces constipation, and usually reduces sex drive; in women, it may meddle with the menstrual cycle. Morphine is highly addictive. Tolerance (the need for an increased dosage to maintain the same effect) and physical as well as psychological dependency develops quickly.

Withdrawal from morphine causes nausea, tearing, yawning, chills, and sweating that lasts up to three days. Also, morphine often crosses the placental barrier, which means that babies born to morphine using mothers usually go through withdrawal. Morphine has brought a surplus of help to the fight against pain. It is addictive; however, it brings so many benefits, and it is rarely used illicitly, anymore. Morphine has truly been a blessing to the medical field. There is no wonder why they call morphine the most effective drug for the relief of pain.

Marijuana, the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States

A dry, shredded green/brown mix of flowers, stems, seeds, and leaves of the hemp plant Cannabis sativa, it usually is smoked as a cigarette (joint, nail), or in a pipe (bong). It also is smoked in blunts, which are cigars that have been emptied of tobacco and refilled with marijuana, often in combination with another drug. Use also might include mixing marijuana in food or brewing it as a tea. As a more concentrated, resinous form it is called hashish and, as a sticky black liquid, hash oil.

Marijuana smoke has a pungent and distinctive, usually sweet-and-sour odor. There are countless street terms for marijuana including pot, herb, weed, grass, widow, ganja, and hash, as well as terms derived from trademarked varieties of cannabis, such as Bubble Gum, Northern Lights, Juicy Fruit, Afghani #1, and a number of Skunk varieties. The main active chemical in marijuana is THC The membranes of certain nerve cells in the brain contain protein receptors that bind to THC.

Once securely in place, THC kicks off a series of cellular reactions that ultimately lead to the high that users experience when they smoke marijuana. Scientists have learned a great deal about how THC acts in the brain to roduce its many effects. When someone smokes marijuana, THC rapidly passes from the lungs into the bloodstream, which carries the chemical to organs throughout the body, including the brain. In the brain, THC connects to specific sites called cannabinoid receptors on nerve cells and influences the activity of those cells.

Some brain areas have many cannabinoid receptors; others have few or none. Many cannabinoid receptors are found in the parts of the brain that influence pleasure, memory, thought, concentration, sensory and time perception, and coordinated movement(5). Brain The short-term effects of marijuana can include problems with memory and learning; distorted perception; difficulty in thinking and problem solving; loss of coordination; and increased heart rate.

Research findings for long-term marijuana use indicate some changes in the brain similar to those seen after long-term use of other major drugs of abuse. For example, cannabinoid (THC or synthetic forms of THC) withdrawal in chronically exposed animals leads to an increase in the activation of the stress-response system(6) and changes in the activity of nerve cells containing dopamine(7). Dopamine neurons are involved in he regulation of motivation and reward, and are directly or indirectly affected by all drugs of abuse.

Other Health Effects Some of marijuana? s adverse health effects may occur because THC impairs the immune system? s ability to fight off infectious diseases and cancer. In laboratory experiments that exposed animal and human cells to THC or other marijuana ingredients, the normal disease-preventing reactions of many of the key types of immune cells were inhibited(16). In other studies, mice exposed to THC or related substances were more likely than unexposed mice to develop bacterial infections and tumors(17, 18).

All Addicted To Heroin

It was a sunny June morning in 1996. Jimmy Chaimberlin walked into Jonathan Melvoins hotel room. He found him lying unconscious in his bed and rushed to dial 911. Despite his quick reaction, when the paramedics arrived, they pronounced Melvoin dead at 4:00 a. m. on June 20, 1996. This is just one of the many fatalities that heroin causes every year and it could happen to you. In fact, heroin controls the lives of over 70,000 people in the US alone. Heroin is three times more potent than morphine, which is also derived from the opium poppy (Papaver Somniferum).

Sumerians know it as Hul Gil, or the flower f joy. Today, this drug attracts people from all walks of life. The poor and rich and famous, the young and old are all addicted to heroin and the numbers rise every year. Although many people are using heroin, white males age 18-25 are the most likely to become addicted. These arent the only dangers and facts of this drug, the list goes on and on. Some facts have to do with its origin, effects, and how to treat an addiction. Although many people know roughly where heroin comes from, not as many know how it is transformed from a flower to an illegal street drug.

The entire metamorphosis starts with the opium poppy plant. This flower is grown chiefly by impoverished farmers in remote regions of the world. The opium poppy flourishes in the dry, warm climates of countries such as Turkey, Pakistan, Laos and Colombia. After three months, the flowers petals fall away, exposing an egg-shaped seed pod. The opaque, milky sap is extracted from the seed pod by slitting it vertically in parallel cuts with a special curved knife. When the sap oozes out, it forms a thick, brownish-black gum which is then bundled into bricks, cakes or balls and wrapped in plastic or leaves.

From here, the opium goes back into the black market where its bought by merchants or brokers for transport to a morphine refinery, which are usually little more than a small neglected laboratory hidden in a jungle thicket. The opium is mixed with lime in boiling water until a white band of morphine is formed on the surface of the mixture. This is then reheated with ammonia, filtered and boiled again until it is reduced to a brown paste. The paste is next poured into molds and dried in the sun. The fourth stage of purification involves ether and hydrochloric acid.

This stage is extremely risky since, if the chemist is not careful, the gas may ignite and cause a violent explosion. The end result is a fluffy, white powder, known in the trade as number four heroin. Heroin peddlers on the street will sell this powder in small bags ranging in price from $5 to $100. Of course, the higher the purity of the heroin inside, the more expensive the bag will be. Instead of being beneficial to the user, though, the purity can be very dangerous because the effects are stronger.

The purity of street heroin used to be less than 5% pure because it would be cut from 20 to hundreds of times with many other substances before it gets to the buyer. Some substances heroin is cut with are sugar, starch, powdered milk or quinine. It is also sometimes cut with strychnine which is a poison. Other drugs are also added to heroin before it gets sold on the streets, such as marijuana and cocaine. When marijuana is cut with heroin, it is often called atom bomb, cocaine and heroin are generally called dynamite, speedball or goofball. Heroin also has its own street terms, such as ack, birdie powder, George Smack, heroina or scag.

Now, the heroin on the streets is usually about 70% pure. Generally, heroin in the Northeast and Midwest than it is in the South and West. No matter how pure the heroin on the streets is, there are three common ways in which it is taken. These are injecting into a vein or muscle, sniffing and smoking. When injected into a vein, mainlining, heroin reaches the brain in 15 to 30 seconds, injecting heroin into a muscle, it takes 5 to 8 minutes to reach the brain. The slowest onset of euphoria is shown when it is sniffed or smoked, taking 10 to 15 minutes until peak effects are felt.

The journey from an innocent-looking flower to the streets to your brain is a long one. I hope we have helped you understand it better. After all this has taken place, though, the heroin begins its journey into your life. Some effects of heroin are felt immediately, others come slowly, gradually you realize whats happening to you, but then its too late. Some you dont notice because youre too high to realize it, others cause this high. Several seconds to several minutes after you take heroin, you get a sudden mental rush and a very calm, mellow feeling.

You become oblivious to where you are and many say its like you are dreaming or floating. As this goes on, physically your body temperature drops, your skin flushes, you begin to sweat and your pupils start to shrink. During this rush of occurrences, you may vomit and become constipated, also. All of these happen almost immediately after having heroin, others take several hits until you or others start to see these changes. Some long term effects heroin has on the body are that your veins become inflamed or even collapse, your skin develops open sore and you get infections.

After a while, you may also develop heart disease and have liver ailments. However, not all of the changes that go on in your life are physical or mental, others are behavioral. Such changes include, decreased sexual pleasure or indifference to sex and committing a crime to get money for more heroin. Although these are bad enough consequences as to lead someone off the path to drug addiction, there are still people who take their addiction all the way. The number of deaths heroin causes goes up every year. Causes are because of an overdose, theyre so sedated, they slip into a coma, or because they got HIV or AIDS from using a dirty needle.

In order to help save the addicted or dying because of heroin, there are now many treatment and prevention programs available to people. Centers across the country are helping to reduce the addicts by preventing children from starting to use any drug. Programs such as D. A. R. E. and Star Raiders help by teaching kids the danger of using drugs and also by teaching them how to say No. On the other end of the spectrum are the treatment centers, these help addicts by helping them to quit using heroin. Some of the methods used by these centers are detoxification, methadone, LAAM (levo-alpha-acetyl-methadol), and behavioral therapy.

Addicts can also go to hospitals to come to terms with their addiction. Although they usually cant offer more than methadone or detoxification, theyre still as good a place as any to go for help. After seeing what can happen to a person with a heroin addiction, you should now know enough to stay away from drugs in the future. Any drug can ruin your life, you body, and your mind. You wont be able to think or act quickly in any situation, this state can be deadly. So, go out and tell others about the dangers of drug use and drug abuse.

Narcotic Distribution

The topic which I am now exploring for this essay is an immigrants success through the black markets narcotic distribution. After listening to many people from different backgrounds talk about the subject, I discovered that my real interest was to study the procedures taken by foreign immigrants in order to establish wealth in this country by their roles used for the buying and selling of drugs. In this essay draft, I will explain the experience I went through in order to narrow my topic.

Research on variegated ways that immigrants can achieve prosperity was the first step I took to constrict my topic. Prior to my research, I never imagined such a wide range in subtopics related to the subject of alien achievement. For example, I found Websites which discussed certain countries and their nepenthe contributions. One such Website called Top Ten Drug War Stories of 2003 mentions Afghanistan being the world’s leading supplier of opium for the heroin trade. I was surprised to learn that out of the 3,600 tons of opium Afghanistan produces each year, 57% is smuggled into the United States.

Another subtopic I found was that the US Government estimates that 500,000 illegal migrants are brought into the United States annually by organized alien smuggling networks; another estimated half-million enter without the assistance of alien smugglers. After finding so many different sources, I have found that there are an infinite number of ways that I could narrow down my topic. I decided to pursue the topic of how immigrants become successful millionaires through opium distribution.

My brother died of heroin overdose three years ago and I have always wanted to study the process in which opiates are brought into this country, and how hard is our national government really taking in order to control the narcotic issue. This is where I am going to focus my exploration. After The Heroin Act of 1924 was passed stating that the distribution and manufacturing of heroin was illegal, a steady one million Americans continue to be heavy users. I also know that heroin is not a natural chemical. It is a synthetic chemical made from morphine. Its effects are similar to the effects of morphine, only stronger.

The effects of both heroin and morphine are quite different from natural opium, because of the mix of chemicals found in natural opium. The buying and selling of opiate derivatives is becoming more common due to the fact that they are the strongest and most potent painkillers known to man. I am concerned that the United States Government hides a dark truth that is meant to be kept from their people. Whether this truth involves supporting drug smugglers or assisting nations with high numbers in narcotic manufacturing, I think it is important to find as many resources as possible to unveil this hidden secret.

According to Alfred W. McCoy, the author of a book called The Politics of Heroin; CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade American diplomats and CIA agents have been involved have been involved in the narcotics traffic at three levels. The first matter includes coincidental complicity by allying with groups actively engaged in the drug traffic. Secondly, they support the traffic by covering up for known heroin traffickers and condoning their involvement, and finally, the governments active engagement in the transport of opium and heroin.

According to McCoy, It is ironic, to say the least, that America’s heroin plague is of its own making”. The second source comes from the Central Intelligence Agency in a book titled From Flowers to Heroin. This book explains in great detail the many ways heroin is smuggled into this country. It is carried in luggage, in shipping containers on cargo ships, and by courier. Recently, drug smugglers have been forced to be more creative because trafficking laws are getting more stringent, and police and customs officials are devising new ways to detect drugs.

Newer smuggling methods are seemingly limited only by a traffickers imagination. Couriers swallow bags of heroin, cross the border, and wait for the bags to run their digestive course. Bags of heroin are also put in the gas tanks and tires of cars and driven across borders, or mixed in with garbage that ends up in refuse containers. Sometimes the heroin is placed inside figurines or in furniture. In an extreme example, recently a border patrol unit in Texas found about $5 million worth of narcotics stuffed in human body partslegs, arms, and intestinesthat had been stolen from a hospital.

The traffickers said this was to hide the drugs smell from drug-sniffing dogs, but it was unsuccessful. The drug goes through many different hands and changes form several times, and there is really no way for a buyer to know how it has been altered or how it was smuggled across the border. The other thing Ive done to help me explore this issue is keep a research log. Before this assignment, I had never taken the time or energy to explore so many different ways to gather references.

Because I have recorded my ideas, I can go back and explore how my ideas are changing. For example, on September 12, I recorded my reaction to a conversation I had with a friend who had once been in the drug game. When he mentioned that the government actually helped drugs get into this country, I laughed and thought he was only kidding. I now understand that this is a major issue not to be taken lightly. While reading various sources, I can only hope that this matter resolves without too many lives being lost on account of unnecessary addiction.