Daring to Defy Drug Abuse If you have ever seen the movie The Wolf on Wall Street, there is no doubt you have seen the effects drugs can have. Leonardo DiCaprio portrays a high-strung stock broker reliant on a multitude of illegal drugs to keep up with his hectic life style. His addiction gets so severe that at one point in the movie, he is lying on the floor, unable to move due to the drugs’ effects on his body. Even though the movie is set in the 90’s, a decade infamous for its use of drugs, today, drug usage and abuse has never been more of an issue. According to Alice Park (2016), “More people died of drug overdoses in 2014 in the U.S. than in any other year” (p.49). What people fail to realize is that drug abuse effects more than just the individual that uses them. The loved ones trying to support the user, the community the user is in, can all be affected by drug abuse. In fact, all members of society are affected by the abuse of drugs. In short, no one benefits from drug abuse. In the words of the Nation Institute of Drug Abuse, “Drug abuse is a major public health problem that impacts society on multiple levels. Directly or indirectly, every community is affected by drug abuse and addiction, as is every family. Drugs take a tremendous toll on our society at many levels” ( Magnitude, 2016).
Many people do not understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. Drug addiction is a complex chronic disease that causes impairment with the mind to express emotion, engage into physical activities and simply being one’s self. In fact, through scientific research, people understand more about how drugs work in the brain more than ever, and they also know that drug addiction can be successfully treated with some help from those who want change in the death rates amongst drug addict Americans. No one will ever truly understand why a person performs such deadly behaviors, but this is their way of crying out for help. It is time to take a stand and help those in need of escape from drugs and
The War on Drugs is one cause for the mass incarceration that has become apparent within the United States. This refers to a drastic amount of people being imprisoned for mainly non-violent crime (“Mass Incarceration” 2016). In addition to people who are not an immediate threat to society being locked up for a substantial duration of time, the economic consequences are costing states and taxpayers millions of dollars. Specifically, every one in five people incarcerated is in prison due to some
Many different states have begun sending nonviolent drug offenders to various kinds of drug treatment program the state offers. By doing this, it has significantly reduced the problems with overcrowding. If an individual is arrested and charged with simple possession of a drug and no other crime is being commented, then this person is doing no harm to anyone else. They should be given the opportunity to try and make a change in their life and beat the addiction. Instead, if this person is thrown into jail, they are still going to be an addict with a criminal record now and will not be able to be a contributing member of society. (Everett 1 ).
I hope you all can agree that a better idea would go after the source of the drugs or even the treatment of the people using them and hopefully in time the number of people using narcotics drops dramatically. But realistically what happens is people using and distributing narcotics are entered into a never ending life of crime because the government punishes the criminal offenders’ absurd amounts that the government knows they cannot afford. So once released from prison or jail these criminals have debts that they have to repay and no way to pay them. So what is the answer? Crime is the answer. That is where the cynical cycle starts all over again and these released inmates find themselves in a familiar situation; trying to make money for reasons that don’t benefit themselves. But, unfortunately, the only way these people know how to make money is deemed deviant by society.
Since the creation of drugs, its abuse and addiction became a taboo. As technology advanced into the 21st century, an impetus in civilization created the allure of drugs, which became propagated and popularized into modern society. Consequently, its Achilles heel created a social epidemic which threatened their innocence. Therefore, the conundrum of this phenomenon caused challenges for the addict, society, and treatment providers. Nonetheless, as problem arises, solutions await its discovery; and, as new and innovated ideas emerged, there are precipitate and modern challenges when getting individuals into addiction treatment.
The effectiveness of criminal justice regulations on all controlled substance has been effective so far. Although, there are still some lapses engaged in this situation, but so far it’s something to be considered and continue to work on. Since 1984 when Congress passed crime legislation (Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984; Title II of P.L. 98-473)53 (Clear, Cole & Reisig 2013), that among other things, enhanced penalties for CSA violations and amended the CSA to establish general criminal forfeiture provisions for certain felony drug violations. Even though numbers of prisoners keep increasing, but drug abused fellows and companies, and individuals involved have been completely reduced to a barest minimum level.
In 2010 there were 23.5 million people in the United States addicted to drugs or alcohol, but only 11 percent of them received treatment for their addiction, leaving the remaining 89 percent of addicts not getting help with their addiction (“New Data Show Millions” 2010). This is clearly a problem that the government has to address and fight. There are really two ways of going about fighting drug addiction, the traditional approach of fighting the supply of drugs and being hard on crime or try to rehabilitate people using rehabilitation. Each of these tactics is usually more focused on by one of the major parties/administrations of republicans and democrats, and by either president Trump or Obama. Either of these strategies may work on its
Drug addiction in this country takes a toll on every single aspect of productivity, healthcare costs and on the criminal justice system. The addict themselves suffer from impaired judgment, poor anger management and violent behavior which could all lead to crimes committed and being locked up (Drugabuse.org,2017). Treatment for the users offers an alternative to imprisonment. Drugabuse.org insists that treatment offers the best alternative for interrupting the drug use and criminal behavior patterns of the offenders (2014). Additionally, untreated drug offenders “are more likely to relapse into drug use and criminal behavior, jeopardizing public health and safety and taxing the criminal justice system.”
Opiates And The Law Illicit drug use and the debate surrounding the various legal options available to the government in an effort to curtail it is nothing new to America. Since the enactment of the Harrison Narcotic Act in 1914 (Erowid) the public has struggled with how to effectively deal with this phenomena, from catching individual users to deciding what to do with those who are convicted (DEA). Complicating the issue further is the ever-expanding list of substances available for abuse. Some are concocted in basements or bathtubs by drug addicts themselves, some in the labs of multinational pharmaceutical companies, and still others are just old compounds waiting for society to discover them.
In 2015, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 19.9 million Americans use illegal drugs and more than half of The U.S. prison population is convicted of a drug related crime (Foundation for a Drug-Free World, 2015). The U.S. has the largest prison population in the world and drug related crimes continue to add to the prison population. Due to the high incarceration rate in the U.S., controversy over the effectiveness of our current drug legislation has emerged (Tyjen Tsai and Paola Scommegna, 2015). Current drug laws focus on imprisonment and isolation for the drug offenders. This creates a cycle of drug related criminality because the laws do not treat the motives for drug related crime. These motives include the money and addiction involved with drug offenses such as abuse, crimes to gain money for drugs, and drug selling. While arguments have been made that current drug laws are needed to ensure the stability of society, the solution to ending the cycle of drug related criminality is to focus on rehabilitation that treats motives for drug offenses by educating and treating addiction for felons. (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2015).
During the year 1960, only four million Americans had ever tried illegal narcotics; today that number has risen to 74 million (DEAMuseum). The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) concluded that over the past thirty days, more than 20 million Americans over the age of twelve have used
It seems like that drug related crimes are becoming more and more popular in America. In the land of the brave and the free, there is a stagnating statistic of 1 in 100 U.S. citizens are confined in jail or prison due to a drug related crime. (Drugs and Crime in America. (n.d.). Retrieved December 15, 2015). Since this is such a big deal in America these days, it is important for the justice system to take the right approach in preventing or even decreasing the amount of drug related crime in the U.S. There is a range of options that that the justice system can do in the fight against drugs. For starters, harsher punishments can be a step in the right direction. Other than being more strict on offenders, education is also a great way to fight
Countless individuals have had their freedom stolen from them because they suffer from the mental illness that is drug addiction. The number of inmates in all prisons, state and federal, “incarcerated for drug offenses has skyrocketed from 40,000 in 1980, to 500,000 today” (Buggle). This translates to the percentage of inmates in federal prisons for drug offences rising from 16% in 1970 all the way to roughly 50% today (Miles). Imprisoning this many people isn’t free either, it costs an average of $25,251 per prisoner every year to house and care for them (Buggle). All of this money has been spent on attempting to control illicit drug use and yet the only real result is more harm done to our society by disallowing these prisoners to contribute to society and alienating them because they partook in the victimless crime of using substances that their government deemed
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)," 2014). Drug abuse and crime is not a new concept and the statistics around the problem have continued to rise. According to (Office of Justice Programs, 2011), there were an estimated 1,846,400 state and local arrests for drug abuse in the United States. Additionally, 17 percent of state prisoners and 18 percent of federal inmates said they committed their current offense to obtain money for drugs (Office of Justice Programs, 2011). Based on this information, we can conclude that our criminal justice systems are saturated with drug abusers. The United States has the highest imprisonment rate and about 83 percent of arrests are for possession of illegal drugs (Prisons & Drug Offenders, 2011). Based on these figures, I can conclude that we should be more concerned about solving the drug abusers problems and showing them an alternative lifestyle rather than strict penalty of long term incarceration which will inevitably challenge their ability to be fully functioning citizens after release.