Millions of people are arrested every year because of drug law violation. For the longest time in our history the practice of drug wars have led to exceptional rates of incarceration and marginalization of many Americans, targeting poor people and people of color-while failing to lower the actually issue at hand of drug use and other drug-related harms. In this paper, I will address and define the terms “decriminalization” and “harm reduction”. Also will reflect on the sale/use of prescription opiates, in parallel to the use I will identify how it effects society as a whole, by analyzing one cost and one benefit from the use/sale of prescription drugs. Lastly, I will apply a “harm reduction” strategy to the negative consequences that are …show more content…
Strategies such as safer use, managed abstinence, and addressing conditions of drug usage. These strategies aim to protect the health, respect, and rights of the individuals touched by drug use. In essence, harm reduction is a social movement, built on justice for the individuals, communities, cities, and countries. (Dingel, 2015)
Prescription opiates are several drugs that originate from white juice of certain species of poppy. Some commonly used opiates are: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Codeine, Heroin, Morphine, and many more. They act as a depressant on the human body that include and are not limited too; pain relief, sedation, muscular relaxation, and euphoria(Conrard,1992). Opiates fundamentally are depressants of the nervous system. Continued use of opiates leads to a physical tolerance, where dosages must be increased to maintain the physical effect. A benefit that presents from the use of opiates is in medical practice, “A standard British medical text, used widely in America, recommended opium for a variety of common medical problems: to mitigate pain, to allay spasm, to promote sleep, to relieve nervous restlessness…But experience has proved its value in relieving some diseases in which not one of these indications can be at all-time distinctly traced. (Conrard,1992)” If used properly and correctly, prescribed opiates were success in relieving moderate
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For many years, drugs have been the center of crime and the criminal justice system in the United States. Due to this widespread epidemic, President Richard Nixon declared the “War on Drugs” in 1971 with a campaign that promoted the prohibition of illicit substances and implemented policies to discourage the overall production, distribution, and consumption. The War on Drugs and the U.S. drug policy has experienced the most significant and complex challenges between criminal law and the values of today’s society. With implemented drug polices becoming much harsher over the years in order to reduce the overall misuse and abuse of drugs and a expanded federal budget, it has sparked a nation wide debate whether or not they have created more harm than good. When looking at the negative consequences of these policies not only has billions of dollars gone to waste, but the United States has also seen public health issues, mass incarceration, and violent drug related crime within the black market in which feeds our global demands and economy. With this failed approach for drug prohibition, there continues to be an increase in the overall production of illicit substances, high rate of violence, and an unfavorable impact to our nation.
Robert J. MacCoun, is an associate professor in the Graduate School of Public policy at the University of California and author of Toward a Psychology of Harm Reduction. Professor MacCoun also supports the movement towards a harm reduction approach to drugs. He explains how the harm reduction movement emerged in Amsterdam in the 1980's in response to mounting heath issues directly related to the use of drugs. Professor MacCoun illustrates that harm reduction is not a program that has been proven effective in the war on drugs, being constantly rejected as a viable option to present drug enforcement policy by the United States government. Professor MacCoun illustrates however that the policies that the U.S. presently has in place has failed in its ability to eliminate drug use thus causing the major harms of drug use in place. Professor MacCoun believes that many of the drug related problems we have today are a result of poor legislation as well as the
For thousands of years, opiates have been used in the treatment of pain. Opium is believed to have been discovered 6000 BC, and since then, it has had a huge impact on both medicine and the recreations of those seeking euphoria. More recent than the ancient discovery of natural opium are the derivatives of opium, such as the alkaloids morphine, codeine, and thebaine. From these alkaloids, semi-synthetic opiates can by synthesized, such as hydrocodone, and oxycodone. Synthetic opioids are also quite prevalent, which include fentanyl and tramadol. Opium can also be processed into heroin, a morphine derivative. As advancements were made in science and engineering to allow for a wider distribution and usage of opiates, the problems of dependence and overdose also increased drastically. According to Hart and Ksir (2013, p. 302), the invention of the hypodermic needle for intravenous administration of morphine and other drugs allowed for a much faster and more potent dose of the drug. With this increased potency came an increase in the possibility of a recreational intravenous user to overdose. Hart also mentions that some of the wars surrounding the era of the synthesis of morphine may have contributed to the rise of morphine, seeing as a medic soldier’s motto was always “first provide relief” (2013). This relief-driven attitude and extensive use of opioid analgesics in medicine during the time, in addition to the large amount of patent medicines and remedies on the market may
There are many various kinds of prescription of pain relievers, which include: opioids, corticosteroids, antidepressants and anticonvulsants (anti-seizure medications). Among them I would like to focus on opioid medications and its side effects. Opioid medications are narcotic pain medications that contain natural poppy plant, synthetic opiates such as; methadone, fentanyl, tapentadol and tramadol, as well as the semi- synthetic opioids such as; oxycodone, hydrocodone, oxymorphone, hydromorphone and heroin. Opioid prescriptions are morphine (C17H19NO3), heroin (C21H23NO5), codeine (C18H21NO3) and thebaine (C19H21NO3). They are highly addictive substances are called opiates. Opioid medications have been used for hundreds and thousands of years to treat both pain and mental health problems. It is also use in a short-term pain after surgery. According to the survey in the past two decades, the prescription of opioid in the United States has been increased to the higher levels that is more than 600% (Paulozzi & Baldwin, 2012). However, that opioid medications are very dangerous to the patients’ respiratory system, other parts of the internal body and even can cause death. It should be only being use after wise discernment and with a great care.
The so called war on drugs potentially causes the American Taxpayer a loss of more than 20-50 billion annually and there are very little results that can be said satisfactory. This does not include the massive amounts of money that United States pays to a number of countries in South America in order to facilitate the curbing of drugs. Furthermore, an alarming number of inmates held in our prisons happen to be drug abuse offenders. Currently the 55% people incarcerated in the federal prisons happen to be drug offenders while the ratio of same people in the state prisons is 25% (Roffman, 7). Such a huge number of drug inmates have the potential of putting a great amount of stress on the system and has serious implications for the economic growth of the whole country. In such circumstances it is quite obvious that the American “war on drugs” has failed to yield the desired objective and more or less can be considered a failure. Decriminalization and treatment have emerged as very powerful alternatives in the recent years to win the war against the
Today’s world is changing at a rapid pace. Things never thought to be possible are becoming very real. One of the popular subjects of wanting change is the legalization of drugs. There has already been a small amount of change in the drug legalization process with marijuana now being legal in a few of the states. Vanessa Baird in her work “Legalize Drugs- all of them!” argues for the legalization and decriminalization of drugs. John P. Walters counters Baird’s argument for legalization in his piece “Don’t Legalize Drugs.” Both authors take an extended look into the harsh reality of the drug war and the small progress it has made since it began.
Opioids are prescription drugs that deal with reducing pain when taken. There are various types of prescription drugs that can classify as opioids such as morphine, codeine, hydrocodone, or Demerol, to name a few. The drugs originally are synthesized and derived from the opium poppy, Physicians will prescribe this medication as a painkiller, but many others turned to purer doses of these medications and started turning to more potent drugs like heroin or Percocet. The one thing that these brand name drugs have in common is that they contain opium, an extremely addictive narcotic drug. In many cases, many patients receiving pain killing medication from doctors become dependent on the drug, leading them to use it recreationally instead
Each year, the President of the United States releases an updated version of the National Drug Control Strategy. The latest edition, from July of 2014, introduces a number of changes from previous years. The most important aspects of President Obama’s drug policy includes accepting those who do drugs as individuals who need help, and are the victim of a disease, rather than as criminals who are intentionally being menaces to society. This approach is very progressive, as there is a tradition in America to penalize those who have drug charges as though they are criminals, all while many people agree that money should be saved in this area. The idea that drug use is a victimless crime (of course, with the exception of violent drug-related crimes,
It goes without saying that the influx of drugs in America has resulted in legislative actions to halt the consumption, possession, and sales of most drugs. The extent to these measures are better known as “The War on Drugs;” a term coined in June of 1971 by former President Richard Nixon. The war on drugs is indeed a war; it induces biased, civil attacks on minority groups in America, executed by law enforcement officials through criminal racism. In the course of my paper, I will explain the facts and details that prove the war on drugs is nothing but merely scapegoating minorities on American soil.
As U.S. Drug Policy has become more politicized, the number of laws for using, and possessing illegal substances has increased, and the number of those using illicit drugs has risen. Though drug policies were created with the intent of protecting the public, a gap has developed between different groups - the “drug warriors” and the “legalizers”. These polarizing groups advocate opposing, often politically-driven views that result in overly punitive drug penalties that are expensive, racially disparate, and totally ineffective. Consequently, movements inspiring a drug counter culture against this oppression has emerged in America and illicit drug use has increased. By the second half of the 20th century the major importation of illegal narcotics and the drug war were just getting started.
Since their development, Opiate painkillers have proved invaluable in the healthcare industry. The need for analgesia has been prevalent since the beginning of time itself and opium has been used as early as Ancient China and fought over in wars such as the Opium Wars. More modernly, this substance has been synthesized for potency and purity in achieving the ultimate pain reliever. It exists in drugs today such as OxyContin, Norco, Percocet, morphine, Dilaudid, Opana, and Demerol. In addition to relieving pain, these medications also produce euphoria and bind to opiate receptors in the brain which contribute to the development of forming an addiction. Opiate Addiction only grows as an issue in the United States due to its availability and lack of knowledge regarding addiction on behalf of patients receiving pain medication. This is why finding an effective cure or treatment to opiate addiction is imperative. Individual treatments for opiate addiction such as replacement therapy, rehabilitation, and support groups are flawed by themselves, however, in combination provide the most effective treatment for opiate addiction.
Decriminalization brings moral observations up in the US household setting too, obviously. In the event that we did approval and sidetrack assets, what might happen to the customers of drugs? But rather the examination appears to show that regarding drug issues as general wellbeing issues as opposed to wrongdoings urges individuals to look for treatment and minimizes the social harm of opiate utilization. This is something analysts appear to have known for some time: Back in 1999, a National Institutes of Health study noticed that current drug strategy urged clients to refrain from looking for help until the circumstance was sufficiently critical to be life threating. The creator presumes that a rise in crisis area visits, overdose passing’s,
Drug legalization is an enduring question that presently faces our scholars. This issue embraces two positions: drugs should not be legalized and drugs should be legalized. These two positions contain an array of angles that supports each issue. This brief of the issues enables one to consider the strengths and weakness of each argument, become aware of the grounds of disagreement and agreement and ultimately form an opinion based upon the positions stated within the articles. In the article “Against the Legalization of Drugs”, by James Q. Wilson, the current status of drugs is supported. Wilson believes if a drug such as heroin were legalized there would be no financial or medical reason to avoid heroin usage;
One of the most abused drugs in the United States, opiates are easily accessible because they are readily prescribed by doctors for pain relief. Opiates, whether prescription painkillers or heroin, are derived from the chemicals that are found in opium poppies and are highly addictive. If not taken correctly with oversight from a licensed medical provider, using opiates can cause a drug addiction that’s hard to overcome. The Brightside Clinic understands the hard battle with opiate addiction and works with patients to get back on the right track. Below, they discusses three side effects that coincide with opiate abuse.
A multibillion dollar industry, with a consumer population of about 125 to 203 million people; the drug industry affects lives of all racial, ethnic, economic , social background, including participants in the drug industry, addicts, teenagers, parents, families, and officers of the law. Many people have encountered an experience with drugs and or drug education; the shared experience regarding the discussion of this topic or illegal experience brings importance to this current issue and validates the proposal for change. How much change, what change and how long will the change take place. Although this issue has many perspectives and opinions on how the war on drugs could be “won”, I will focus on two perspectives: drug criminalization and drug legalization. In a Human Rights lens, I will discuss the limitations and strengths of both methods. In the opinion of some and with hindsight the status quo regarding drugs requires reform in order to reverse the unintended consequences of drug prohibition. In the opinion of others criminalizing participants in the drug trade should be penalized under the law.