Alcohol And Drug Abuse Essay

Submitted By blantonkristen
Words: 866
Pages: 4

Kristen Blanton
December 11, 2013
Sociology 2
Ms. K. Wright

Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Drug addiction and abuse is among the leading causes of death in the United States. Drug abuse is the misuse of any drug or medication other than the purpose it was intended to serve. Drug addiction refers to the physical or mental dependence on a drug or medication. The five most common abused drugs in the United States are the legal drugs alcohol and nicotine, and the illicit drugs marijuana, methamphetamine, and cocaine. Although, the continuous and excessive use of any drug can make it problematic. Alcohol is currently the most abused drug in the U.S and underage drinking has reportedly killed more young people (20 and younger) then all illegal drugs combined. Followed by tobacco, which has killed more people then all drugs, legal and illegal, combined. Nicotine is the most preventable cause of cancer, yet cigarette smoke has been linked to a vast majority of lung cancer patients. Then we have marijuana, which is the most commonly used illegal drug. Tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC is the active chemical in marijuana and is also the main ingredient in oral medications and is also used to stimulate in appetite in Aids patients. Methamphetamine also known as Meth, is the most prevalent synthetic drug. This drug can be illegally made in labs, usually set up in homes or other private areas. Last but not least, Cocaine is one of the oldest known drugs made from a plant called the coca bush. Extended periods of use usually leads to cardiovascular, respiratory, neurological, and gastrointestinal complications. Drug abuse can lead down many different challenging paths. Including but not limited to violence, affecting employment status, and underage abuse. A large percentage of inmates, more than 2/3 was abusing or dependent upon alcohol or drugs. Half of all convicted inmates were found to be under the influence at the time of their arrest, while only 16 percent admitted to committing their offense to get support for their habit. Active employers are also becoming concerned about the affects of drug abuse on their employees. It has been proven that drug abuse undermines productivity, safety, and health. In fact, according to the US Department of Labor (2003), drug abuse cost American businesses $81 billion in lost productivity, $31 billion in premature death, and $44 billion to illness. Among college students binge drinking or consuming five or more drinks in a sitting has become alarmingly popular, and has been referred to as a major health concern. More than 45.9 percent of adults (21-25) participate in binge drinking. Although there has been no evidence to suggest that college drinking leads to long-term abuse, rather identifies drinking as apart of the social learning process among students. Alcohol and drug addiction and abuse ad been identifies as a problem, but to we address it with treatment or punishment? The notion that drug abuse is a disease has been replaced with the idea that drug abuse is a crime. As apart of the war on drugs, we have implemented laws that make drug abuse punishable. These policies have multiplied the number of inmates serving time in jail for non-violent, drug related offenses. It has also been proven that these laws are disproportionately enforced. The most illicit group of drug users is white males, but blacks constitute 80-90 percent of people sent to jail on drug charges. Although, I agree no matter the race of the abuser, drug abuse should be treated with rehabilitation and deterrence for