Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Drug Abuse Essays -- Papers Drugs Narcotics Legal Essays Papers
Drug Abuse The term drug abuse most often refers to the use of a drug with such frequency that it causes physical or mental harm to the user or impairs social functioning. Although the term seems to imply that users abuse the drugs they take, in fact, it is themselves or others they abuse by using drugs. Traditionally, the term drug abuse referred to the use of any drug prohibited by law, regardless of whether it was actually harmful or not. This meant that any use of marijuana, for example, even if it occurred only once in a while, would constitute abuse, while the same level of alcohol consumption would not. In 1973 the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse declared that this definition was illogical. The term abuse, the commission stated, "has no functional utility and has become no more than an arbitrary code word for that drug presently considered wrong." As a result, this definition fell into disuse. The term drug is commonly associated with substances that may be purchased legally by prescription for medical use, such as penicillin, which is almost never abused, and Valium, which is frequently abused, or illegal substances, such as angel dust, which are taken for the purpose of getting high, or intoxicated, but actually have no medical use. Other substances that may be purchased legally and are commonly abused include alcohol (see alcoholism) and nicotine, contained in tobacco cigarettes. In addition, in recent years, chemists working in illegal, clandestine laboratories have developed new chemicals that ha... ... policy and full legalization would be most effective. Needle exchange programs have cut down on drug-related AIDS transmission in Liverpool, England. The Dutch policy of de facto decriminalization for marijuana and hashish has not resulted in a rise in use or abuse. Perhaps the guiding policy on drug use ought to be on harm reduction rather than waging a war on drug abuse. Some aspects of this policy should include a flexible or selective enforcement, vastly expanding drug treatment programs, needle exchange programs, a distinction between "hard" (cocaine and heroin) and "soft" drugs (marijuana), expanding antidrug educational efforts, and focusing on reducing the use and abuse of tobacco and alcohol. The first priority should be to make sure that the users and abusers harm themselves and others as little as possible.