Such drugs as cocaine, marijuana, and heroin are some of the illegal drugs in use. In fact, alcohol and tobacco are considered illegal drugs if sold to underage clients.
Illegal drug use in society is a big concern for the government, parents, and society at large.
Indeed, parents are the first line of contact with the youth; the group most susceptible to illegal drug use. As always, prevention is always better than cure. Parents are therefore supposed to be empowered with knowledge about drug abuse and the monster it is. It is imperative that parents maintain a friendly relationship with their children. As such, they are able to know the kind of company their children keep and the influence they may have on them. One of the reasons given for illegal drug use, as shall be seen later, is the need to have a sense of belongingness. Therefore, a parent is able to protect his children against these pressures in case he realizes that the company his child keeps is not good. Again, children, as soon as they can understand should be made aware of the negative effects of drug abuse. Worse still, there is the misconception among the youth that everyone is doing drugs. They should be made to see the folly of this view (Sarah par 7-8). Teachers also need to be vigilant in their contact with students. They should be equipped with the necessary skills to tell if a student is engaged in drug use and take necessary measures to prevent addiction.
Even with legislation in place, making such drug use illegal and the health risk they pose, people still use them. The concern, therefore, is to establish the motivation behind this self-destructive luxury. Some reasons put across are:
To begin with, illegal drugs like cocaine, heroin, etc afford the user some special delight not available in real life. Drugs have some effect on the human brain. They trigger some temporary brain changes that make the user feel “high”. This is normally due to an increase in levels of neurotransmitters and read dopamine that are believed to cause feelings of pleasure (Sarah par 3-5). Therefore, there are people who use drugs to feel good, excited, and pleasure. Such people just aim to connect with friends and feel some sense of belongingness. They just seek to be “cool”. Fortunately for this set of drug users, preventive measures do work for them. Make them aware of the harmful effects of drug use, and give them a sense of belongingness in the family and straight kids and the temptation to use drugs will be eliminated. Again, avail other avenues for them to have fun and be cool and they will not touch drugs (Leshner par 3).
Secondly, drugs tend to make people forget about their agony for a while. As such, there will be people who will use drugs to help them deal with their day-to-day stresses and fears. The drug in this case is used as a defense mechanism. Such people normally may be experiencing broken relationships, physical or psychological abuse at home, etc. This is exacerbated by a breakdown in social structures. It should be appreciated that man is a social being. He is fashioned in such a manner that his frustrations can be reduced by his contacts with fellow men. In the modern world, however, (practically) people have no time for contact with the man. What with bills to pay, school to attend, game to play, email to answer, etc. Consequently, an imbalance or fear that would have been solved by just talking out is held back and ends up becoming a cause for drug use.
Thirdly, there are those people who use illegal drugs just because they cannot do without them; they are addicted. An addict’s ability to face life is normally severely impaired. He finds it hard to perform normal chores if not under the drug. His concentration, ability to learn, speak, walk, etc becomes solely dependent on the drug. Addiction to a substance causes chronic brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking. Mere willpower cannot untie one from the yoke of addiction; a medical program needs to be devised for addiction to be cured (NIDA par 3).
Having looked at the various causes for illegal drug use, let us now examine some resulting effects.
To begin with, there is going to be an increased crime rate in society. We need to appreciate from the onset that once a person is “hooked” to drugs he just cannot do without them. He is again not able to engage wholly in economically empowering activities. Given his need for drugs, therefore, he is left with just one option of raising the much-needed dime; crime. In a community with high unemployment rates and poor economic conditions, it is common to find organized gangs. The gangs are prepared to go to any length to improve their economic conditions. Given their unlawful business engagements, any disputes arising thereof normally lead to fights and other crimes (Anonymous par 4).
Secondly, drug use leads to unemployment. Normally, the problem of drug abuse involves the economically active in the society. On widespread use of drugs, such an individual finds it difficult to find meaningful employment. Commitment to his work, if he secures any, takes a beating. In the end, therefore, he loses it. For those in the school building their careers, drugs make it hard for them to concentrate on their studies. Indeed, drug abuse is one of the causes of school dropout. With no papers and careers, the prospects of such individuals to find meaningful employment are highly reduced.
Lastly, strongly related to the above two effects is another effect; society breakdown. It should be remembered that drug use normally involves the future generation of any society. A generation that engages in drug use is such that it lacks skills, is not economically active, dependent, and is a social liability. Normally, a lot of resources are spent on treating addicts. Such resources would have otherwise been used in other development initiatives. Some addicts become entirely dependent on their parents for everything. As such, the family does not find an exit to its vicious circle. Worse still, drug addiction leads to death. The death of the young generation spells doom to any society; there will be employee shortages needed to sustain the society. In total, therefore, drugs abuse, if not prevented, can cause a total collapse of society.
In conclusion, we need to appreciate that the problem of drug abuse is real and that quick-fix solutions cannot be effective in dealing with the problem. Indeed, penal policies cannot solve the menace. Instead, precise and objective information & analysis of the underlying conditions should be employed in helping our future generation get away from drug abuse risk (Sarah par 11). Concerted efforts by the government, parents, teachers, and also the children should be made in order to beat drug abuse.
Anonymous. “Why do young people take drugs?” Drugscope, October 2005. Web.
Leshner I. Alan. “Why Do Sally and Johnny Use Drugs?” National Institute on Drug Abuse. 2005. Web.
NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON DRUG ABUSE (NIDA). “Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction.” InfoFacts. Web.
Sarah Elizabeth. “Why Do People Take Drugs?” The genuine article, 2008. Web.