StudyKraken Sociology
Print Сite this

Prohibition of the Use of Drugs and Harm Minimisation

Abstract

There are no exact figures of drug users in the world. A relatively small proportion of heroin and other drug users are in contact with drug treatment agencies of any kind. Much research energy has been devoted to trying to find out the reasons why people develop drug problems. Almost all of this work challenges the existence of what are usually termed global personality characteristics. The quality of drugs research might also be improved by establishing closer working links between psychological and anthropological research methods (1).

The intake or use of drugs and other substances are to a great psychological depth embedded feature of most countries and societies. It frequently presents itself as illness, death, crime and violence, imprisonment, property confiscation, massive allocation of governmental resources, in addition to various ways of human suffering. It has the tendency of attracting more concern and attention than any other social issue throughout the world.

Consequently, both governmental and non-governmental policy and program decision-makers, educators, service workers, and the world populace are conscious of the harm induced by drug usage. Moreover, most individuals are exposed to research, evaluation reports, policy proclamations and debates, in addition to education. Many people in the present age are conscious that the problems of drugs closely connect and often incriminating intervention with organized factors, together with those of health, judicial, educational, and welfare nature, and comprehend the nature or meaning that there is no temporary fix. Despite the fact that there are a substantial investment of resources and a series of actions to prevent and treat the usage of the drug, interestingly, the problems of drug usage show no sign of deteriorating.

In this essay paper, we will examine and provide examples of the range of policies throughout the world relating to prohibition and compare and contrast these to Harm Minimisation policies/strategies throughout the world.

Identify the strengths/weaknesses of each perspective and provide a critical analysis, Illicit Drugs and the United States and world Policies: How illicit drug use and prescribed pharmaceutical drugs have similar effects

What is a drug, its use, abuse and dependence?

Humans and drug addicts have used or consumed drugs for many years since the history of humanity, but as regards this, the scientific study of drugs is more recent. According to research that was conducted by researchers, it was discovered that pharmacology is the scientific study of drugs, which deals with all information about the consequences of chemical substances on the existence and system functioning of living beings.

The psychotropic consequence of the mood-changing prohibition is transformed by the drug user’s awareness and, the ability to direct usage and the harm minimization, socioeconomic and ethical context (2) (3)

There are several definitions of drug use according to various researchers, in relation to this; Raymond Goldberg clearly showed the meaning of drug as any material excluding food of which by its chemical characteristics have an effect upon the arrangement and function of the living organism. Its meaning on the other hand often becomes out of line with the context in which it is used.

Raymond Goldberg on the other hand defined a drug as any matter that transforms an individual’s ability to perform psychologically, using physical force, rationally, from a financial point of view, and socially. He further defined drug misuse as the unwilled or unsuitable use of suggested ordered or authorized over-the-counter drugs (11).

It is so easy and comfortable to talk about drugs; this has been illustrated by the several books and journals and magazines which have been published on the same. However, giving a good definition of a drug is not so easy. Although along the way some might have run into confusion, nevertheless, specialists have attained a workable meaning. According to World Health Organization (WHO) report published in 1981, the drug can also be defined as ‘any chemical substance or mixture of entities, other than the ones needed for the sustenance of normal health (like food), the direction which changes the biological purpose and possibly structure.

Harm Minimisation

Harm minimization aims to reduce the damage from drug misuse. Many substance misusers have little or no contact with doctors and forensic physicians should use this opportunity to advise the substance misuser or minimize the harm from continued substance misuse, for example on injecting behavior (4)(5).

The harm minimization advancement shuns the intensity of value-loaded opinions on drug use and lays emphasis on the lessening of drug-related damage through practical approaches. This approach is expected to tackle the drug crisis in the 21st century (6), (7).

Factors of prohibition and Harm minimization

The factor that could be considered important to the understanding of definitions takes us to the question of the meaning of drug use and what drug abuse is. A drug can without regard to specific details or exceptions be defined as any chemical substance or combination of entities not mandatory for the means of supporting health save for the alteration of genetically functioning or arrangements when administered (8)(9)(10).

Consequently, the above-stated definitions explain the essential definitions of what drug use and drug abuse are.

Abuse has been made reference to in many ways when people write about drugs, besides; there are many definitions as regards drug abuse (12). In such circumstances, one method through which a term can be defined is by a consensus of experts. In the study of drugs, professionals gave a definition of drug abuse as the use of drugs to give rise to; bodily, mental, legal, or societal harm to the one taking it or to others who may be affected by the drug user’s behavior’

Prohibition and United States Policies

This section is based on the Prohibition of drugs and how it can be Minimise, addiction to the war on drugs and particularly to marijuana that, as of 2004, costs the average American $380 per year to wage. This war against drugs in particular rests on governmental exaggerations on less far-fetched. Courts throughout the nations continue to witness the financial and human boomerang involved in prosecuting people for marijuana use the process, they witness how government policy alienates its own citizens by teaching counterproductive lessons about how to govern (13). In the 1920s, the nation’s prohibition of alcohol divided the country into three parts: the west, the dry, and the hypocrites. In 2000, 734,497 people face arrest on marijuana charges, twice the number arrested for the same conduct in 1991. Nine in ten of the arrestees were guilty only of simple possession. As of 2003, it cost Americans $1.2 billion annually to keep 60,000 people in our prisons for their marijuana misconduct alone (14).

Efforts to statistically in a significant way reduce the streaming of illicit drugs into the United States have not been successful. Furthermore, the availability of illicit drugs has vibrantly increased globally. Prices of illicit or legal drugs have drastically come down hence demonstrating enlarged availability of the substance.

In the way of regarding situations of America’s battle on drugs, marijuana, cocaine, and heroin are some of the main enemies. Subsequently, alcohol and tobacco, two dangerous substances, are legal which raises the question of why the former is against the law (6).

The truths that marijuana, cocaine, and heroin are illegal and prohibited are suitably caused by the number of funds invested in the war against drug. However, the government cannot retrace her course at the moment.

However, to provide evidence for this cause, the disparity connecting illegal and legal materials (more so alcohol and marijuana) must be gotten rid of.

Some of the ill consequences are direct and some change the manner of acting and motor acquired ability of the drinker, helping them perform duties they would not frequently do. Consequently, the main consequences come as a result of heavy drinkings, like “a mental state characterized by a pessimistic sense of meagreness and a despondent lack of activity is commonly diagnosed in alcoholics” (15).

Marijuana, in as much as it is acknowledged as illegal, is slightly inappropriate. The source earlier cited noted that “Even though it is classified as a schedule drug for authoritarian reasons, it is obviously different with regard to pharmacology from the narcotic anodynes” (15). Recently an intense debate arose on the medicinal worth of marijuana. Whether there is a distinct use for marijuana is uncertain, but there is indisputably no such debate about alcohol.

Consequently, the financial plan does not make divisions between combating marijuana and combating cocaine and heroin. This clearly shows that marijuana covers five percent of the financial plan of drug prevention allocations. This is far much below the actual percentage.

In the war on drugs, the act of investment that the government is aware of is its arrogance. A combined attempt to inform the American public that Marijuana is not good for the taxpayers was made by the government.

Moreover, it would be an absurd circumstance for the government to believe or accept without questioning or challenging its pride if marijuana was to be legalized.

It is not merely the sum of money committed to ensuring observance of or obedience to anti-marijuana laws or the jobs that add up on marijuana being legal. Moreover, the conceit with which the American government acquires in combating the hypothetic immoralities of marijuana. Nevertheless, the government, as the major financier, is to a certain extent in an exceptional position. They possess almost total rule over the resolution of the legalization. It is not logical for the government to push away so many people and so much money, except when they had to politically.

The war on drugs was carried on by the government for the reason that the existing circumstances with marijuana appear to be outstandingly marked by correspondence or resemblance to that of the Vietnam War. Due to the government’s overconfident position against communism, Vietnam was made longer spatially for many more years than it had to be. An explanation of the menace of a likely nuclear war, writers George Kahin and John Lewis observed that “Kennedy fully understood or grasped the treacherous possible integral in any step by step increase especially to counteract competition or aggression of violence whereby a nation’s goals are progressively widened as it becomes more dedicated to a constructive outcome” (16). The government’s “allegiance” for a drug-free America, nonetheless, has nothing comparable to the risk of nuclear war to stop the increasing Drug War.

In Vietnam, for the government to pull out of their investment, a radical societal group had to come in. This also was seen in the issue with the war on drugs. No matter how imperfectly it is running or how lavish it is for taxpayers, the government is not one to get rid of away its investments on its own. In spite of all these, the government maintains the enormous investment that they have in combating the use of marijuana.

One hundred years ago, Australia prohibited its first drug. In 1926, the commonwealth of Australia banned cannabis when it was virtually unknown; it banned heroin outright in 1953. The cost of enforcing illicit drugs laws in 1988 was estimated conservatively at $258 million. Prohibition is generally viewed as inconsistent in standard and a deep breakdown in practice. Illicit drugs are rarely out of the news. Illicit drugs rank very highly when Australia is surveyed about issues that concern them. Finally, In Australia, drugs like heroin, cocaine, amphetamines and cannabis cannot be legally cultivated, produced, transported, sold, bought, possessed or consumed. More than 30,000 arrests involving illicit drugs are made each year, of which over 80 percent relate to cannabis. The number of people charged with and convicted of drug-related crimes increases almost every year in almost all nations of the world (17). Prohibition of drugs has not worked in Australia neither in American nor any other nation in the world.

How prohibition does more harm than good

Criminalization makes illegal drugs expensive and hence, profitable to sell. Profits are so huge that the arrest of one drug dealer will inevitably result in another stepping in and taking over the business.

Prohibition equals high drug prices, high prices equal huge profit for dealing and irresistible lure for the enterprising entrepreneur. Drug use is as high now, under a policy that Inflicts punishment, as it would be under legalization. Legalizing illicit drugs would not produce an increase in use-at least, not a significant increase.

Too many people however are willing to do anything and to pay any price to use and continue to use drugs for law enforcement to put a stop to it.

The current illegal drugs are less harmful than those that are common or legalized. The number of deaths given rise to by the act of consuming illicit substances is essentially quite small. In actual fact, legal drugs (mainly alcohol and tobacco) are tremendously dangerous and to an exceedingly great extent or degree more harmful than illegal drugs (like cocaine and heroin). The annual death toll of drug addicts in the United States which was a consequence of the use or illicit abuse of alcohol and tobacco is estimated to be in the range of approximately half a million.

The prohibition of drugs (or illicit drugs) may also inspire confidence; give hope or courage to the use of harder, stronger, more dangerous drugs. This is due to the problem of concealment and distribution, criminalization places a premium on selling drugs that are less bulky and more concentrated those that turn over a large profit per transaction. Under the current system of prohibition, the potency and purity of illicit substances cannot be controlled.

As a consequence, users are always consuming contaminated (and dangerous) substances. Additives such as rat poison, strychnine, and Drano find their way into the veins, lungs, or nasal passages of users, and addicts with lethal consequences. In addition, the variability of the potency of street drugs is itself dangerous. The act of making drugs lawful would put into effect the controls on effectiveness and transparency, in this manner practically terminating the excessive and dangerous drug dose.

Having the government or some other legal, authorized agent distributes the currently illicit drugs would take the profit motive out of the sale of drugs. As a result, organized crime and criminal gangs of all kinds would be weakened because they would lose a major source of revenue. The strange hold that criminals have on the neighborhoods in which they are now entrenched would be released and the residents would be able to reclaim their communities.

Why the United States should adopt a public health approach instead of incarcerating drug users

The federal government of the United States has spent most of its drug control dollars on interdiction and law enforcement with substantially smaller amounts of funds directed to prevention and treatment. Scientific knowledge would be used as the foundation for developing drug policy. This knowledge base would be multidisciplinary, depending on such diverse disciplines as neuroscience, behavioral science, and epidemiology.

Much of the reason for the present criminal justice advance to drug control arises from the well-documented relationship between drugs and violent crime (18). The obvious underlying principle behind drug control policies stressing law enforcement and criminal justice interventions is that drugs cause crime and that declaring a ‘war on drugs’ will put a stop to drug-related crime. In view of the connection of drug policy to drug and crime violence, however, it is of utmost importance to make a distinction between violence caused by definite drug use or substance abuse and violence that is a result of the high chances concerned with the selling of the illicit drug.

Of late, the Department of Justice carried out a complete search of all of the existing evidence on the relationship between drugs and violence and issued a report of the finding.

In summary, some agreement seems to have emerged that the world government’s emphasis on the criminal justice approach to controlling illegal drugs not only has failed to resolve the problems of violent crime but has worsened them.

There is no doubt that some type of drug use may end in unwanted, intolerable and anti-social behavior. However, it appears that the intense causes of violent crimes, which frequently find classification under the heading of ‘drug related’ are caused by different factors not linked to real pharmacological effects of controlled substances upon individual behavior.

Drugs increase the various manner of violent and aggressive action by the use of the central sensory and control apparatus consisting of a network of nerve cells (19). This negative act, however, can make one or more partial changes to the network of nerve cells in a very complex method and at various degrees that eventually aim at the mechanisms of the part of the central nervous system that includes all the higher nervous centers within the skull.

In conclusion, experimental studies proved that the excessive use of drugs (especially alcohol, and marijuana) mostly results in committing violence and crime or being involved in an unlawful act (20).

However, the excessive use of drugs can be linked to violence and crime and at the same time causes damage to the proper functioning of the network of the entire nervous system.

In the way of regarding situations of America’s battle on drugs, marijuana is one of the main enemies. Subsequently, alcohol and tobacco, two dangerous substances, are legal which raises the question of why marijuana is against the law.

The truth that marijuana is illegal and prohibited is suitably caused by the number of funds invested in the war against drugs. However, the government cannot retrace her course at the moment.

However, to provide evidence for this cause, the disparity connecting illegal and legal materials (more so alcohol and marijuana) must be gotten rid of.

Some of the ill consequences are direct and some change the manner of acting and motor acquired ability of the drinker, helping them perform duties they would not frequently do. Consequently, the main consequences come as a result of heavy drinkings, like “a mental state characterized by a pessimistic sense of meagreness and a despondent lack of activity is commonly diagnosed in alcoholics” (15).

Marijuana, in as much as it is declared illegal, is a little out of place. The source earlier cited noted that “Even though it is classified as a schedule drug for authoritarian reasons, it is obviously different with regard to pharmacology from the narcotic anodynes” (15). Recently an intense debate arose on the medicinal worth of marijuana. Whether there is a distinct use for marijuana is uncertain, but there is indisputably no such debate about alcohol.

Consequently, the financial plan does not make divisions between combating marijuana and combating cocaine and heroin. This clearly shows that marijuana covers five percent of the financial plan of drug prevention allocations. This is far much below the actual percentage.

In the war on drugs, the act of investment that the government is aware of is its arrogance. A combined attempt to inform the American public that Marijuana is not good for the taxpayers was made by the government.

Moreover, it would be an absurd circumstance for the government to believe or accept without questioning or challenging its pride if marijuana was to be legalized.

It is not merely the sum of money committed to ensuring observance of or obedience to anti-marijuana laws or the jobs that add up on marijuana being legal. Moreover, the conceit with which the American government acquires in combating the hypothetic immoralities of marijuana. Nevertheless, the government, as the major financier, is to a certain extent in an exceptional position. They possess almost total rule over the resolution of the legalization. It is not logical for the government to push away so many people and so much money, except when they had to politically.

The war on drugs was carried on by the government for the reason that the existing circumstances with marijuana appear to be outstandingly marked by correspondence or resemblance to that of the Vietnam War. Due to the government’s overconfident position against communism, Vietnam was made longer spatially for many more years than it had to be (21). An explanation of the menace of a likely nuclear war, writers George Kahin and John Lewis observed that “Kennedy fully understood or grasped the treacherous possible integral in any step by step increase especially to counteract competition or aggression of violence whereby a nation’s goals are progressively widened as it becomes more dedicated to a constructive outcome” (16) The government’s “allegiance” for a drug-free America, nonetheless, has nothing comparable to the risk of nuclear war to stop the increasing Drug War.

In Vietnam, for the government to pull out of their investment, a radical societal group had to come in. This also was seen in the issue with the war on drugs. No matter how imperfectly it is running or how lavish it is for taxpayers, the government is not one to get rid of away its investments on its own. In spite of all these, the government maintains the enormous investment that they have in combating the use of marijuana.

Reference List

  1. Stockwell T. Preventing harmful substance use: the evidence base for policy and practice. Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley and Sons, 2005.
  2. Mathew p, Gani M. Fresh Perspectives on the ‘War on Terror’. Australia: ANU E Press, 2008.
  3. Fish J M. Drugs and society: U.S. public policy. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2006.
  4. Maggy L, Carrabine E. Criminology: A Sociological Introduction. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis, 2009.
  5. Leitzel J. Regulating vice: misguided prohibitions and realistic controls. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008
  6. Ferragut S. A Silent Nightmare: The Bottom Line and the Challenge of Illicit Drugs. Lulu.com, 2007.
  7. Kurrild-Klitgaard P.The dynamics of intervention: regulation and redistribution in the mixed economy. Amsterdam, The Netherland: Emerald Group Publishing, 2005.
  8. Millman R B, Ruiz P and Lowinson J H. Substance abuse: a comprehensive textbook. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2005.
  9. Anne M.Community Health and Wellness. Australia: Elsevier, 2010.
  10. Bean P. Legalising drugs: debates and dilemmas. Bristol, UK: The Policy Press, 2010.
  11. Penington D. Making Waves: Medicine, Public Health, Universities and Beyond. Australia: The Miegunyah Press, 2010.
  12. Fisher G L. Rethinking our war on drugs: candid talk about controversial issues. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006.
  13. Cheung YW, Ch’ien JMN. Drug policy and harm reduction in Hong Kong: a socio-historical examination. Int J Drug Policy 2006;8:117-31.
  14. Cheung YW, Erickson PG, Landau T. Experience of crack use: findings from a community-based sample in Toronto. J Drug Issues 1991;21:121-40.
  15. Raymond G. Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Issues in Drugs and Society. Guilford, CT: McGraw-Hill/Dushkin, 2008.
  16. Sandford T, McKeown O and Phillips P. Dual Diagnosis: Practice in Context. Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley and Sons, 2009.
  17. Aaron Pycroft Understanding and Working with Substance Misusers. New Delhi. SAGE Publications Ltd, 2010.
  18. Day Ed. Clinical Topics in Addiction. Belgrave Square. UK: RCPsych Publications, 2007.
  19. Parker E, Fleming M L. Introduction to Public Health. Chatswood. Elsevier Australia, 2008.
  20. Small W, Kerr T, Charette J, Wood E, Schechter M T and Spittal P M. 2006. Impact of intensified police activity upon injection drug users in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside: Evidence from an ethnographic investigation. International Journal of Drug policy 17.
  21. Pizer C B H. Public health & human rights: evidence-based approaches. Baltimore. JHU Press, 2007.

Cite this paper

Select style

Reference

StudyKraken. (2022, March 24). Prohibition of the Use of Drugs and Harm Minimisation. Retrieved from https://studykraken.com/prohibition-of-the-use-of-drugs-and-harm-minimisation/

Reference

StudyKraken. (2022, March 24). Prohibition of the Use of Drugs and Harm Minimisation. https://studykraken.com/prohibition-of-the-use-of-drugs-and-harm-minimisation/

Work Cited

"Prohibition of the Use of Drugs and Harm Minimisation." StudyKraken, 24 Mar. 2022, studykraken.com/prohibition-of-the-use-of-drugs-and-harm-minimisation/.

1. StudyKraken. "Prohibition of the Use of Drugs and Harm Minimisation." March 24, 2022. https://studykraken.com/prohibition-of-the-use-of-drugs-and-harm-minimisation/.


Bibliography


StudyKraken. "Prohibition of the Use of Drugs and Harm Minimisation." March 24, 2022. https://studykraken.com/prohibition-of-the-use-of-drugs-and-harm-minimisation/.

References

StudyKraken. 2022. "Prohibition of the Use of Drugs and Harm Minimisation." March 24, 2022. https://studykraken.com/prohibition-of-the-use-of-drugs-and-harm-minimisation/.

References

StudyKraken. (2022) 'Prohibition of the Use of Drugs and Harm Minimisation'. 24 March.

This paper was written and submitted to our database by a student to assist your with your own studies. You are free to use it to write your own assignment, however you must reference it properly.

If you are the original creator of this paper and no longer wish to have it published on StudyKraken, request the removal.