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.
Many drug addicts do not have jobs or any legal means of generating income; they resolve to criminal activities such as theft, robbery, or aggressive panhandling. Due to the addictive nature of drugs, the user will be compelled to want more and more in order to continue feeling “normal”. It is what fuels their addiction and as a result, a lack of motivation to do anything other than obtaining more drugs. The drug addict’s family suffers from the effects of the drug addiction as well through emotional stress and psychological decay. Drug addicts also encourage illegal drug trafficking by helping fund criminal organizations. In fact, drug addicts are the reason why the billion dollar drug industry is as lucrative as it is. Without drug addicts, drug traffickers would have no customers or buyers to help generate income. Huge amounts of tax revenue is going towards the war on drugs which includes money going into police departments, border agencies, harm reduction programs, and anti-drug campaigns. The tax money being used to fight drugs could be used to better our education or health systems; instead it is being used to fund harm reduction programs such as Insite.
Dangerous illegal drugs have plagued American citizens and their youth for as long as the country has been in existence. These harmful drugs are not only responsible for countless amounts of deaths, but the corruption of the American society in general. All too many times have these drugs been blamed for insanity, racism, rebellion, and straight up violence. Today the government is spending approximately $19.179 billion in one year to combat these evils (Gifford). Unfortunately, even with all of this effort going in to stop illegal drug use, the “War on Drugs” is yet to produce almost any positive results. Because of this, politicians are urging the government to spend even more money to combat the seemingly
Drugs have been a problem in the country for a long time. Issues with drugs even existed in ancient times. However, through the War on Drugs, the media created a panic about the issue, making citizens believe drug abuse was an exponentially growing new epidemic in the United States. Although the War on Drugs was declared in 1982 and was intended to reduce the rates of drug abuse in the US, America’s drug problem increased dramatically over the next years (Bagley, 1988).
Drug abuse is a major public health issue that impacts society both directly and indirectly; every person, every community is somehow affected by drug abuse and addiction and this economic burden is not exclusive to those who use substance, it inevitably impacts those who don 't. Drugs impact our society in various ways including but not limited to lost earnings, health care expenditures, costs associated with crime, accidents, and deaths. The use of licit or illicit drugs long term, causes millions of deaths and costs billions for medical care and substance abuse rehabilitation and the effects of drug abuse extend beyond users, spilling over into the society at large, imposing increasing
Drug abuse does not only impact a person’s well-being, but it also negatively impacts society. The economy is impacted by health costs incurred from prevention, treatment, and hospital visits. Public Safety is impacted by drug-affected driving. Operating a vehicle under the influence is illegal and dangerous for the driver, passenger(s), and other people on the road. There are three classifications for drug abuse related crime: nexus, economic-compulsive, and systemic. Drug abuse also hinders productivity because addiction causes an individual to constantly seek the drug while deeming all other things less important. Companies experience loss of potential income from employees that are under the influence, incarcerated, hospitalized, or seeking treatment. Finally, economic consequences effect specific populations which include children, women, and people with low-income. Drug prevention strategies have been identified as a way to decrease economic consequences on society (“Economic Consequences of Drug Abuse,” 2013).
The government of United States spends nearly 15 billion annually on the “War on Drugs”. This translates to spending about five hundred dollars per second to combat the menace of drugs. According to group Law Enforcement against Prohibition, about 82% of the drug arrests are only for possession of banned substances. The War on Drugs has forced our law enforcement agencies to focus on nonviolent drug offenders instead of expending their energies and resources in capturing violent criminals. Our correctional facilities are overflowing with “small time drug offenders” which has created a number of social and economic problems for the country.
Among highly developed nations, the United States is known for its stringent illegal drug use policy and the high percentages of its population that have consumed illegal substances. The United States has issued a drug war against millions of Americans who use and sell illegal substances. This war has cost taxpayers billions annually and continues to contribute to an incarceration rate that surpasses any other country (Walmsley 2009). Although, stringent policies have lowered the decline in U.S drug consumption since the 1970’s, the war on drugs in the United States has not succeeded in changing America from being the world leaders in use rates for illegal drugs.
The effect that drugs has put in the United States has been a strong impact on how our criminal justice system has evolved since the Civil War. The reason being is that today drugs are a way of life for some people of this world if that means using or dealing daily. Per the basic data from the drug war facts, the total number of people that is in prison due to drugs in 2015 was 1,508,636 people due to drug charges (drugwarfacts.org). While this may not seem like a big number it is recorded that 50% of people that are in jail or prison offenses are due to drug charges (drugwarfacts.org). This plays a major role on what drugs has done and has played on the
Throughout time, United States drug policy has shifted dramatically. From all drugs being legal to Prohibition and the War on Drugs, the US has had conflicting ideas about what is best for society and American citizens when it comes to drugs. The current War on Drugs has resulted in countless arrests and years served in prison, and has disproportionately hurt minority communities, only to result in largely unchanged use and death rates for illicit substances. Marijuana, Heroin, and Cocaine have all become cheaper and more pure
Our criminal justice system has undoubtedly failed to effectively deal with the issue of illegal drugs use, and to address the underlying issues of problematic drug users. Surely, the use of illegal drugs does not belong in the criminal justice system, but is a matter that needs to be dealt with from a public health perspective. As Toby Seddon Articulates:
If the United States is serious about winning the war on drugs, it will have to face some hard facts about the failure of its drug policy to date. Since Reagan introduced the war on drugs in the early 1980s, the focus of anti-drug legislation has been on incarceration and eradication, not on drug education and treatment. Drug use is viewed as a crimethe same way that burglary and murder are viewed as crimeswithout examining the social and economic causes behind drug use. This categorization of drug use as criminal misrepresents the nature of addiction. Drug addicts do not abuse drugs because they are deviant or even because they consciously desire to cause harm to themselves or to those around them, they abuse drugs because they are
Drug abuse is all around the world. Many billions of dollars are wasted trying to prevent drugs in the United States. Drug legalization could reduce government costs and raise tax revenues. The government worries that people’s health is going to go wrong and more money would have to be wasted on health insurance. The effects of drug use on society, and suggests some solutions to the problem.
Do people ever think about the consequences about drug abuse? Not many of us do but we all know what it does to us. Drugs are harmful to the brain and the body system itself; they affect the heart in many ways and because of that people become unconscious as to what their actions are. They do not realize how badly they can harm the community around them. Drugs are normally used by those who are not involved in activities such as, religious clubs, sports, etc. The users are normally stressed out with life and at times they just need something to set their minds aside from problems which occur in their everyday life. There are many reasons as to why and how drugs affect the community around the drug user
A drug is a chemical substance applied into treating, diagnosing and preventing one from disease infections or a substance that is used by a person to enhance his or her physical and mental state in the perceived effect. Drugs used for different purposes and their effect depend on which cause for usage. It causes both positive and negative consequences directly to the user and in the long-run it affects the whole society or community. Drug addiction is the activity of uncontrollable dependence on a substance by the user no matter the harm caused by its usage. It is a habit that has been in many years hard to curb especially among the youths. “We must recognize that substance abuse and addiction is a disease, not a moral failing or easily abandoned self-indulgence,” (Califano, 2008).The cases of drug abuse have been on the rise over the recent years and resulted in crimes. The cases have a great effect affected the society in general since the reliable energetic youths have turned to drug abuse. However, some measures have been initiated to mitigate, curb and treat drug addiction in the society as outlined in the essay.