Substance Abuse And Its Effects

2001 Words Dec 5th, 2016 9 Pages
Substance abuse has long been a major problem in our society, with estimations reaching as high as 250 million people worldwide that have used the illicit drug at least once in 2014, and causing more than two hundred thousand drug-related deaths each year (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2016; hereafter UNODC). However, it is not just forbidden substances that are a major cause of harms to individuals but also commonly used recreational drugs, such as alcohol and tobacco products that account for millions of deaths each year. These statistics and particularly the contribution of legal drugs to an overall ‘drug epidemic’ have caused an increasing concern in the validity of current drug classification system. For instance, Nutt, King and Phillips (2010) have recently questioned the accuracy of the present UK classification system under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (MDA) owing to a lack of specificity and transparency of classification processes, and have proposed a new rationale for drug harm estimation. The most controversy was caused by their alcohol ranking as the most harmful substance. In this essay, report on harmful drugs by Nutt et al. (2010) will be briefly introduced. Then, the controversies and criticisms that followed their findings will be presented. Finally, the critical evaluation of both arguments will follow with concluding notes on the implications of Nutt et al. findings for the UK drug classification system. Nutt and colleagues (2010) aimed with…
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