Drug Problem in America Essay

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Drug Abuse

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Estimates on the cost of substance abuse in the United States are staggering. The total cost of substance abuse in the United States including the costs of estimated lost productivity, medical bills, and loss of life are estimated to exceed 560 billion dollars per year (National Institute on Drug Abuse [NIDA], 2008). This alone suggests that the drug problem in the United States is a significant problem that needs attention. Typically people think of substance abuse costs being associated with illicit drug use; however, this issue is not limited to just illicit drugs but legal substances as well such as tobacco and alcohol (which together account for nearly 380 billion dollars of the total costs per year; NIDA, 2008). However, historically certain factions in the U.S. such as politically motivated interest groups have historically picked what drugs are designated as "evil" and what drugs are acceptable. For instance, the prohibition of alcohol in the early 1900s, a terrible failure, was motivated by political aspirations of those tied to the early the temperance movement (Brown, 1981). Tobacco, while certainly as dangerous, was never banned as it played an important role in American economy. Likewise, the creation of the American Medical Association in concert with the federal government guidelines/sanctions on certain drugs has resulted in the sanctioning of certain drugs for dispersion by physicians and the banning of certain drugs that essentially have the same pharmacological properties and effects. For instance cocaine (a banned drug) and Ritalin have nearly identical pharmacological properties and effects (so much so that users and scientists blind to the drug cannot tell them apart; DeGrandpre, 2006). Essentially, the use of substances to alter mood and emotional states has a long history in American society and in all cultures worldwide for the Eskimos of Alaska (Brown, 1981; DeGrandpre, 2006).

TOPIC: Essay on Drug Problem in America Assignment

In essence the use of substances like alcohol, tobacco, cocaine etc. And the subsequent demonizing of some and acceptance of others has been politically motivated. Moreover, with the advent of big pharmacological corporations certain types of addictions and abuses are encouraged (e.g., caffeine, sugar, fast food, pain killers, antidepressant medications, sleeping aids, etc.; DeGrandpre, 2006).

The major issue here is that of a drug culture in a country that fails to recognize it. This attitude towards drug use starts early. The transmission of parental values or tendencies would most likely be an important factor in contributing to a child's expectations regarding the use of any substance (Kandel & Andrews, 1987). As we would expect the probability of any type of substance use in a person would increase with use by one of both parents. Social learning can occur as a result of watching parents… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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"Drug Problem in America."  Essaytown.com.  April 7, 2013.  Accessed July 30, 2021.