Drug Use "House Passes Drug Safety Legislation Essay

Pages: 6 (1817 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sports - Drugs

Drug Use

"House Passes Drug Safety Legislation" (http://www.texpirg.org/newsroom/health-care/health-care-news/house-passes-drug-safety-legislation)

According to a press release posted on TexPRIG, a web site that focuses on the problems of powerful interests, the federal house passed an important bill in 2007, which greatly affected the public's knowledge of prescription drugs. The act, which was eventually passed in September of 2007, forced the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reveal more information about what harmful side effects a prescription drug may have. The act was needed because of the FDA's reluctance to describe some side affects that often occurred in conjunction with some popular drugs, such as the pain reliever Vioxx and the antidepressant Paxil, in addition to the diabetes drug Avandla.

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Because this bill will require high fees to be levied on those companies that do not disclose potential harmful side affects of their drugs, this legislation will have a great, positive impact on licit drug use. Consumers may be more likely to choose a different drug, try natural methods of healing or pain relief, or refrain from using a drug because of the side effects. This law may even further discourage those who use drugs illegally from doing so. Perhaps those who use drugs illegally will be concerned about the side effects, refraining from using certain drugs, such as Vioxx. The passage of this bill is important because it protects consumers from potential problems and even death. Consumers do not know as much about drugs as they should. Because of this, they may be more likely to come into harm's way. For this reason, it is important that bills such as this one continue to be passed. It is just as important to protect those who do drugs legally as it is to prevent those who are inclined to do them illegally from doing so.

Source 2: James Taylor's "A Junkie's Lament" (http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=4610)

Essay on Drug Use "House Passes Drug Safety Legislation" Assignment

In this song about illicit drug use, James Taylor describes the life of a person who is addicted to drugs, and has, therefore, become a junkie. Taylor uses the metaphor of a monkey to refer to the addict. Although the song lyrics refer to the addict as "him," suggesting that Taylor is not singing from the point of the view of the addict, the lyric "mama, don't you call him my name," points to the fact that Taylor is using a dual reality. He sings from the point-of-view of the junkie, suggesting that the addict is torn between the addicted person who cares only about drug use and the person he was before drugs. The metaphor of the monkey refers to the addict.

Contrary to many other songs about drug use, James Taylor's lyrics do not glorify the use of illegal drugs. Instead, this song is a soulful ballad describing how difficult it is to be addicted to drugs. The speaker feels like a monkey, an animal who is just looking for his next fix. He also describes how difficult it is for a junkie to be accepted by his friends and family and those he has known before. He says that he looks the same, but he is not, causing confusion among those who knows. Thus, Taylor shows that being a junkie ruins a life. He feels no longer like a man, but he is a monkey. Taylor's portrayal of the junkie is moving and inspiring. He sings with the same sorrowful tone that he uses when singing about lost love and loneliness. Because of this, Taylor's song can actually be described as persuasive, convincing would-be drug users to abstain and users to clean up their act before it gets too difficult.

Source 3: Drugs in Portugal: Did Decriminalization Work? From Time Magazine (http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1893946,00.html)

In her article, "Drugs in Portugal: Did Decriminalization Work?" Maia Szavitz discusses new laws in Portugal that made drug use legal -- in a sense. Arguing that prison time was more costly than therapy anyway, lawmakers in Portugal decided to remove penalties for having small amounts of drugs for personal use. Instead, those convicted were offered therapy treatment, which could be refused without a criminal penalty. Opponents of the legislation suggested that it would make Portugal a hotbed for drug tourism and drug use, while proponents suggested that the plan would help more people than it would harm. So far, it seems as if those proponents were right. Drug use has declined in Portugal, as has drug-related problems such as the spread of HIV from infected needles. According to Szavitz, this has important implications for the U.S., where some states have already begun to make the attempt to lower criminal penalties for drug use.

What is interesting about this case is the fact that Portugal can now be used as a model for all countries that are considering abandoning their drug laws for treatment options and other, more creative ways of dealing with addicts. Similar legislation could be as affective in the United States as it has been in Portugal. Lawmakers should study the health and emotional aspects behind drug use carefully before implementing such a plan, however, deciding whether or not treatment would likely affect the addict. Further, it is important for lawmakers in the United States to consider implications for dealers and underground networks of drug suppliers when considering laws as far-reaching as Portugal's.

Source 4: "Arenas of Drug Transactions: Adolescent Cannabis Transactions in England -- Social Supply" from the Journal of Drug Issues (http://www2.criminology.fsu.edu/%7Ejdi/)

In their journal article regarding the supply of illegal drugs, Coomber and Turnbull argue that adolescents who use marijuana generally get it differently than do users who do other drugs. Instead of going through traditional drug supply rings, young marijuana users generally rely on friends who also use the drug. Because of this, Coomber and Turnbull's study shows that almost half of adolescent drug users surveyed have been involved in supply or transport to some degree. This is by no means "dealings drugs" in the traditional sense, through, as these peers tend to stay within their peer groups. Because of this, the authors argue that they should face less punitive legal actions.

This study provokes some interesting thoughts about drug use and its legal penalties. Although this study was aimed at English drug users, it could be easily applied to the United States if the conditions are similar. Should adolescents who use only marijuana and tend to share that drug among their friends be penalized to the same degree that drug dealers who profit from the selling of illegal drugs are penalized? Just as the authors of this story suggest, I conclude that this should not be the case. What these teens need most of all is some help in understanding the impact of their decisions for their lives. Thus, instead of punishing them for selling drugs, which is not what they are really doing, they should be given therapy and counseling in order to help them make better decisions for the rest of their lives.

Source 5: Bacardi Advertisement in Cleo Magazine (http://www.smh.com.au/ffximage/2007/04/05/bacardi6407_narrowweb__300x390,0.jpg)

Containing the image of a figure against a setting sun, this advertisement for Bacardi features the words, "Late to Bed…You in?" The figure emblazoned against the beautiful sunset looks to be a muscular male who wears no shirt and is staring wistfully at the city that dots the shoreline. The sunset is truly marvelous, reflecting off the beautiful sea, which ripples with little waves and boats. A bottle of Bacardi rum is superimposed onto the picture in the lower right hand corner.

What this advertisement does most excellently is portray a picture of the degree to which Bacardi is fashionable. Since Cleo is a magazine for women that contains health and beauty tips, as well as fashion articles and the like, the use of an attractive man and a colorful sunset will attract this audience. The advertisement makes viewers want to drink Bacardi because it is fashionable and smart looking. In addition, the man in the picture seems to imply that drinking this beverage will make all women's desires come true. It is not only sophisticated, but also passionate, the stuff of beautiful colors and scantily dressed men. The words in the picture seem to emphasize that longing and beauty. They suggest that being late to bed means having a passionate, fun, and sophisticated night beforehand. The ad implies something unusually adventurous, but wonderful. Thus, this ad is well placed by the makers of this particular beverage. Although it might not convince all readers to drink this type of rum, it does appeal to the senses; it is pleasant to look at. Readers may even want to venture back to it in order to look at the handsome man or the sunset. Because of this, readers may even begin to fashion in their minds the idea that this kind of beverage is linked to sensuality and the passionate.

Source 6: "What you need to know about drugs" from kidshealth.org. (http://kidshealth.org/kid/grow/drugs_alcohol/know_drugs.html)

Designed to teach kids about drugs, this web site is an educational place where children… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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