Substance Abuse And Its Effects On Society

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Substance abuse has existed since the start of civilization and it is an ever present entity in the modern era as well. Distilled beverages were the main drinking source in many cases even safer to drink than water in early civilizations, for instance during the Middle Ages. Many substances were also used in medicine derived from certain plants for anesthetics such as opioids from poppy seeds. In addition, nicotine and tobacco products and other hallucinogenic substances were used for recreational and relaxation purposes. Whereas perhaps hundreds of years ago the use of many of these substances was considered widely acceptable and the norm, modern science and medicine has uncovered the harmful effects that these drugs can cause when they are abused and can lead to addiction and dangerous behaviors in society. In the United States, the first of the many laws to regulate and control addictive drugs was the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906, which required the correct labeling of medicines that contained opiates. In 1914 the Harrison Narcotic Act banned the sale of medicines that contained opiates or cocaine and required a prescription by physicians (Brown, 1981).Then, in 1919 “spirit of temperance”, or self-control, led to the Prohibition of alcohol by the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which was then revoked 14 years later (, Drug addiction and Drug abuse). As the 20th century passed, there was more awareness and more studies about drug abuse and
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