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Drug abuse

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Introduction

A critical commentary on drug abuse Drug abuse is an evident problem in today's society, particularly in Britain which has the highest number of drug deaths in Europe. This issue causes the destruction of thousands of lives every year, not only those who are taking the drugs, but the surrounding people, friends and family also suffer. The money and means required to supply these drugs is derived from crime which harms millions of others, through theft, fraud, forgery, and other crimes. Despite government attempt of control this predicament has only grown in recent years with drug users increasing. Something drastic needs to be done about it before something drastic happens. On the Tuesday 1st August 2006, an article was published in The Independent showing new research which the government has taken little notice of as it is highly controversial. It emphasises the punishment system for drug abuse. In this article there is a table representing the drugs available on today's market, the number of users, the number of deaths caused by the drug and also a point scoring system showing exactly how dangerous it is. This information shows illegal drugs such as ecstasy and L.S.D. which are both Class A drugs low down in the list in terms of danger. Some legal drugs which appear to be more socially acceptable such as alcohol and tobacco appear more dangerous. ...read more.

Middle

In Zurich the number of drug users has fallen radically following the liberalisation of drug laws concerning Heroin. Rather than the addicts having to turn to crime to feed their drug habit, the government is eliminating the option of illegal drugs by using substitution treatment, providing them with the drug in order to reduce drug related crime. The users are also protected because they are not exposed to infection as they are not likely to share needles. As a result of this young people's attitudes to Heroin has changed because the attitudes associated with heroin has changed from "rebellion" to "illness" and Heroin is not held in such high esteem. This is reverse psychology, when a person is told not to take an illegal drug; they are going to take it. If the drug is illegal they are not going to take it, as there is no thrill from being rebellious and doing the opposite. The policy in Switzerland seems to be a success because in the last 10 years there has been an astounding reduction in new users, 82% in fact. Addicts are offered heroin on prescription, access to "shooting galleries", needle exchanges and oral methadone. This medicalised drug use has removes its glamour, making it trivial and less appealing. The British government however takes the view that allowing drug consumption rooms risks increasing levels of dealing and anti-social crime. ...read more.

Conclusion

Both sources offer contrasting methods for dealing with the problem. The first method, calling upon the government to update the system may not be taken into consideration by some politicians as they do not want to lose votes. However, if it is considered and action is taken, it is a worthwhile action. The second method calling upon softer laws can be seen as helping in some ways, but mainly making it easier for drugs to be abused. In my opinion, the government should tighten rules and regulations for drug abuse and crackdown on Drug related crime, reducing the usage of drugs, and also supply help for the addicts to stabilise their lives. Politics and the law are barriers to both approaches because each method has to gain the Governments approval prior to the action taken, this may prove difficult. This is due to the fact that political parties view their own positions in government more precious than the welfare of the public. As a result of this, they are more concerned with losing votes rather than losing lives. As a whole, drug abuse and addiction is a problem that cannot ever be eradicated completely but it can be controlled and reduced, particularly with certain drugs. As mentioned previously, there are options available to control the issue, and measures can be put in place to reduce drug abuse. The best method would be to take a combination of both options as stated previously. Maybe, in the distant future, drug abuse may not be such a huge pandemic as it is today. Page 1 of 3 ...read more.

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