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Drugs and Their Effect on Society Essay

Drugs have been a long standing issue in this country from sniff and cocaine as one of the main ingredients in Coca-Cola and opium dens in much of the west coast till in recent years of prescription drugs being sold illegally. It wasn’t till the early 1900’s has drugs been addressed as habit forming and legislation being implemented to curtail addition and violence that can go hand-and-hand with the drug trade culture. The history of drugs in this country can go as far back as the Native Americans sharing the peace pipe with the Pilgrims.

Drugs have taken many different forms within American society from what may have originally been used in the form of something as innocent as a soft drink (the original ingredients in Cocoa-Cola) and in forms of ailing some sort of deficiency that originally was prescribed by doctors can eventually be abused. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s Chinese’s immigrants brought over opium and created opium dens in much part of the west coast where the drug itself left the user in a euphoric and mind and mood altering state.

In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s with the hippie cultural, much part of the society was introduced to drugs like psychedelics which would be considered LSD and other drugs with heavy usage like mushrooms, marijuana and hashish and in other forms of society like the inner cities heroin pelage the communities with how highly addictive and deadly the drug came to be with heavy use. In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s cocaine became the prominent drug in club the atmospheres of disco techs and later became in the form of crack cocaine that pelage major cities around the U. S. with addiction and violence over the drug trade.

In the early 1990’s till recent years many perception drugs and meth have been highly addictive and have been a part of the illegal drug trade. The DEA was established in 1973 that was assisted by President Richard Nixon in its creation as a form of a task force with combating drug smuggling and use within the United States of all the drugs deemed illegally additive or dangerous. “Controlled substances are generally grouped according to both pharmacological and legal criteria into the following seven categories: stimulants, depressants, cannabis, narcotics, hallucinogens, anabolic steroids and inhalants. (Schmalleger, 2012, p. 341)

By federal law these categories are deemed illegal from use or distribution; stimulants: cocaine and amphetamines; cannabis: cannabis plants, hashish, hashish oil and marijuana; narcotics: codeine, Dilaudid, heroin, methadone, morphine and opium; hallucinogens: belladonna, LSD, Ectstasy (MDMA), mescaline, MDA and PCP; anabolic steroids: nandrolene, oxandrolene, oxmetholone and stanozolol; inhalants: acetate, amyl nitrite, butyl nitrite, carbon tetrachloride, chloroform, Freon, nitrous oxide and toluene.

Trafficking is a form of distribution of illegal drugs through the means of either smuggling which is the illegal shipment of controlled substances across state and national boundaries in many different methods like shipment overland, direct shipments to U. S. ports concealed in containers or packed with legitimate products, flights onto United States commercial airplanes or private aircrafts and airdrops to vessels waiting offshore to smuggle drugs into the U.

S. boarders. The DEA follows different routes used by traffickers and one of the methods to track the occurrences is the Heroin Signature Program (HSP) is a Drug Enforcement Administration program that employs special chemical analyses to identify and measure chemical constituents of sample of seized heroin. Border patrols have protected the boarders to ensure that traffickers are disparaged from attempting to smuggle in their products.

The supply and demand has kept smugglers in business because as long as there is a need for their product by the users and suppliers; distributors of the drugs will find new and advanced methods of smuggling in drugs. Government agencies have enacted different policies to somehow impact drug abuse like the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 which required manufactures to list their ingredients and specifically targeted mood-altering chemicals.

The Harrison Act was passed in 1914 which was the first federal anti-drug legislation that required anyone dealing in cocaine, heroin and morphine and other drugs to register with the federal government and pay a tax of $1 per year with the authorized the registration of only those in the medical profession and outlawing the street use and street distribution of these drugs. In 1956 the Narcotic Control Act increased penalties for drug traffickers and made the sale of heroin to anyone under the age of 18 a capital offense.

In 1970 the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act established five schedules that classified psycho-activity and potential for abuse. In 1988 the Anti-Drug Abuse Act proclaimed the goal for a “drug-free America by 1995 by increased penalties for drug users and made weapon purchases by drug dealers much more difficult. The goal of drug control acts are to battle illegal drugs from use and distribution by anti-drug legislation and strict enforcement, interdiction, crop control, asset forfeiture and antidrug education and drug treatment. Conclusion

Early legislation against drug abuse focused on eradicating the wide spread problem of drugs in numerous of ways like requiring companies to list their ingredients on their products if it may alter the users mood or brain chemistry, taxation on drug companies, making harsher drugs illegal for sale or distribution and harsher sentencing for those whom distribute illegal drugs. Since numerous types of legislation; the focus has been much in fact on punishment and less on rehabilitation which has caused a financial strain on society and has given a stigma upon those involved in the drug trade or an abuser of these substances.


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