“A gram is better than a damn,” is a statement that reflects the mindset of contemporary America to use drugs to palliate the problems rather than dealing with them. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley shows the relationship of drug usage in the near future by alluding the use of drugs to the real world. Huxley creates a drug, soma, in his novel that makes a person who takes it instantly becomes tranquil. This drug is commonly used throughout the novel by giving an instant source of gratification and also is used to control the population. Huxley’s prediction of drug usage became a reality because both legal and illegal drugs are commonly used in contemporary society.
Much of the drug’s distribution center is in New York, specifically Harlem. In 1964, The Federal Bureau of Narcotics reported, “an estimated 48,525 “active addicts” resided in the country, half of whom were believed to live in New York City.” The apprehension for heroin abuse grew and within
According to a study done by professor Lee N. Robins in Washington State University, “38% of enlisted men tried heroin, 38% tried opium and 80% used Marijuana, while in Vietnam (Robins et al., 1970). The use of copious amount of drugs allowed soldiers to forget about their daily experiences and to keep on fighting. In an Interview, one veterans recollects a heart wrenching night that led him to the use of drugs. He says, “During a night ambush I killed a twelve year old kid.
In his article, “Toward a Policy on Drugs,” Elliot Currie discusses “the magnitude and severity of our drug crisis” (para. 21), and how “no other country has anything resembling the American drug problem” (para. 21). The best way to describe America’s drug problem is that it is a hole continuously digs itself deeper. America’s drug issues were likely comparable to other country’s at one point in time, but today it can be blamed on the “street cultures” (para. 21) that continue to use and spread the use of illegal drugs. These street cultures transcend the common stereotype of drug users, such as low income communities in cities or welfare recipients, and can be found in every economic class and location. They are groups of people who have
The subject of homelessness is not universally discussed in society because many people are either ignorant or unwilling to get involved to help. Although it is taboo, every day people are faced with or see homelessness. Many times driving under freeway passes or through highly populated cities, the homeless population can be seen everywhere. California has the densest homeless population in the United States, which is Skid Row in Los Angeles. In the state of California, the effects of homelessness continue to be an ongoing challenge for not only citizens but law enforcement and elected officials.
Underlying Causes: The increase in the sale of opioids is considered to be the root of the opioid crisis, as the drugs have been proven to be highly addictive. An addiction to prescriptive opioids, however, can lead to an addiction to synthetic, illegal opioids, such as heroine or fentanyl, which are less expensive and easier to acquire. In fact, in their journal article, “Associations of nonmedical pain reliever use and initiation of heroin use in the United States” Pradip Muhuri and associates discovered that “the recent (12 months preceding interview) heroin incidence rate was 19 times higher among those who reported prior nonmedical prescription pain reliever (NMPR) use than among those who did not (0.39 vs. 0.02 percent)” (Muhuri et. al). In other words, abusing prescription opioids significantly raises the chances of abusing illicit drugs, such as heroin.
Opioids is a big issue because Americans are addicted to drugs especially opioids. After a surgery doctors give patients opioids because they are a pain killer. After patients have been taking opioids they soon are not in pain anymore but they keep taking the pills because it makes their body feel relieved. People get addicted to this and can’t function without them.
When people take these synthetic heroin pills, they do not feel as though it is a drug addiction as much as it is a way for them to deal with pain, over-stimulation, and as a tranquilizer. Today, we are currently facing an epidemic with drug addiction and continuously trying to solve the problem with a war on drugs. “The U.S. spends about $51 billion a year enforcing the war on drugs, and arrests nearly 1.5 million people for drug violations, according to Drug Policy Alliance, a drug policy reform group” (Ferner). Since the United States spends so much money on this epidemic, the numbers should start to go down, but it is instead doing the opposite. It is easy to figure out the numbers through doctors, “Increases in prescription drug misuse over the last
Quinones states, “As the opiate epidemic mangled the middle class, these kids doped up and dropped out. Earlier generations of opiate addicts became self-employed construction workers or painters, because that was all they could manage with heroin, and often jail, in their lives” (274), which is a major problem America faces when trying to solve the opiate epidemic. If we educate the states about the addiction rates and potential danger of opiates, public opinion could shift, creating alternate solutions to solving the heroin epidemic in America. In order to lower the amount of opiate addicts the stigma that used to be associated with opiate use needs to return. The fear that used to surround opiate use was one of the only reasons opiates were not used as medication.
The term substance abuse is predominately used to signify an unhealthy and devitalizing obsession on a mind-altering chemical substance. In addition, it is most often used to refer to illegal drugs as well as legal, regulated substances such as prescription medications and alcohol. Drug abuse is usually considered a punishable offence by many countries and is also regarded as being personally and socially detrimental. Three major sociological paradigms including functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interactionism delve in to the world of addiction as well as the controversies that surround this social issue.
In today’s society, substance abuse is a serious issue that has many explanations as to why it occurs. Peer pressure, boredom, rebellion, etc., are all common examples of why a person uses drugs and alcohol but there is more depth to it. Individuals will often get blamed or judged on the actions they perform and do not usually think of society itself as a factor. There are relatively stable patterns of social relations that contribute to the values and decisions of humans. Three levels of social structures that surround and permeate us are macrostructures, microstructures, and patriarchy.
This is a summary taken from “Saying Yes” by Jacob Sullum; Chapter 8; “Body and Soul”. An ever-present theme in Sullum’s book is what he calls “voodoo pharmacology”—the idea, promoted in large part by the government, that certain drugs have the power to hijack people and enslave them in an inescapable prison of craving and compulsion. Sullum seeks to show that this idea is a myth, that only a tiny percentage of illegal-drug users become addicts, whereas the vast majority of people who use illegal drugs live normal, productive, loving lives. The book is filled with valuable insights derived from deconstructing government statistics about drugs and drug use. Sullum shows how even the most vilified drugs, such as heroin and crack cocaine, are
The legalization of drugs has been at the center of interminable debate. Drugs have widely been perceived as a dominant threat to the moral fabric of society. Drug use has been attributed as the source responsible for a myriad of key issues. For instance, it is believed that drugs have exacerbated the already weak status of mental health in the United States in which some individuals suffering from mental illness administer illicit substances such as heroin or cocaine in an attempt to self-medicate. Moreover, drugs are blamed for turning auspicious members of the community into worthless degenerates.
Keywords that are most important to the documentary are, War on Drugs, incarceration, drug involvement/abuse, and racism. All of these words are loosely or heavily connected to each other. The words drug involvement/abuse highlight the purpose of the film, and the reasons for the War on Drugs and numerous laws created to fight drug abuse that cause death and destroy abiding citizens of communities. Furthermore, the War on Drugs simply labels the struggle against drug use and the governmental involvement to enforce anti-drug laws. The word incarceration and racism also link together to explain how as a result of the War on Drugs, the U.S. is one of the top countries with the highest imprisonment rate and more African-Americans or low-class minorities are convicted of drug crimes than any other ethnicity or social class.