Past and Current Trends

1207 WordsOct 22, 20065 Pages
Past and Current Trends Drugs and alcohol have played a role in American society for many years. There is, however, a wider variety of drugs available today than ever before and with this wider variety there comes a wider range of addictive qualities and health related risks that individuals who take these drugs are subjected. Habit forming drugs were introduced into American society as far back as the 1700's. These drugs were widely used for "medicinal" purposes without any knowledge of their addictive properties and the health risks involved with taking them. One such drug, Laudanum, a drug containing opium, was widely available in the 1700's and in the 1800's there were many products readily available that contained ingredients such as…show more content…
Given the complex and varied associations between crime and drugs across sites, intervention approaches need to be tailored to the nature of the problem in specific locales." The crimes most commonly associated with drug use are illegal drug trafficking, theft, and murder. Drug users frequently turn to theft in order to maintain their supply of drugs or they begin to sale drugs to supply their habit. The following excerpt from the article Drugs, Violence and Economics by David Friedman shows the correlation between violent crimes, such as murder, and drugs. Friedman states, "Broadly speaking, the link between drugs and violent crime could occur in three ways: violent crime by consumers of drugs, violent crime associated with the production and distribution of drugs, or violent crime directly associated with the attempt to enforce drug prohibition." Unfortunately, whether America is winning the "War on Drugs" is highly debatable. In an article by Bernd Debusmann, Special Correspondent for Reuters, "Despite three decades of upbeat reports on battles won in the war on drugs, cocaine, heroin and marijuana are as easily available as ever and experts say the United States has yet to develop a strategy that works." Debusmann goes on to state, "In the drug war, the pattern has been one step forward, one step back - - one trafficking organization

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