Investigating Social Issue Essay examples

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Investigating a Social Issue-Part 2: Drug Abuse BENARD NIX CURRY Sociology 100 October 30, 2011

Drug abuse in our country begins on the back wall with this large mural highlighting the opium wars of the mid-1800s between Britain and China. When you first learn of these wars, one might assume that caused by the Chinese trading the drugs and the British wanted to stop it. However, that was not the case. The British East India Company was growing the opium in India and trading it to the Chinese for silk, tea and other fine trade goods. Opium was a product traded on the ancient Silk Road for centuries. When the Chinese leaders tried to stop the importation of opium into their country, it spurred a military conflict with the British. The British won these battles, and their victory resulted in an increase in the international opium trade. This increase then led to the introduction of opium smoking to America by Chinese immigrants coming into California before the turn of the last century to build the railroads and work during the Gold Rush. (DEA Museum). Drugs have evolved through time in numerous different forms; whether it was made in the laboratory or grown on huge lands in Columbia. Since the 19th century, when Americans first discovered new wonder drugs like morphine, heroin, and cocaine, our society has confronted the problem of drug abuse and addiction (DEA Museum). During the 1960s, drugs like marijuana, amphetamines, and psychedelics came on the scene, and a new generation embraced drugs. With the drug culture exploding, our government developed new laws and agencies to address the problem. In 1973, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration was created to enforce federal drug laws. In the 1970s, cocaine reappeared. Then, a decade later, crack appeared, spreading addiction and violence at epidemic levels (DEA Museum). In addition I think drug abuse isn’t socially accepted like it use to be back in the day especially in the seventies. Mainly because of the laws on drugs that seem to put a ethical stability on today’s society. Drug addiction is defined as the continued compulsive use of drugs despite adverse health or social consequences (Steindler, 1998). People who are addicted to drugs have lost control of their drug use. Persons are addicted to drugs often become isolated from family or friends, have difficulty at work or school, may commit crimes, and become involved with the criminal justice system. People addicted to drugs, that are continuing to take them become the main focus in life. Also drug abuse, although often regarded as a personality disorder, may also be seen as a worldwide epidemic with evolutionary genetic, physio- logical, and environmental influences controlling this behavior. (Saah T. 2005). Families can have a powerful influence on shaping the attitudes, values, and behavior of children, but how do they compare with peers in terms of influence on drug taking? The influence of peer groups, which is usually strong during formative years of youth, may be stronger than that of parents in some cases. One researcher has found that friends are more similar in their use of marijuana than in any other activity or attitude (UNDCP, 1994.). Parents exercising traditional family roles may be able to limit the influence of peer groups on children's attitudes towards drug use and therefore have a crucial influence on children's behavior. Drug abuse also has a huge affect on the education. Drug abuse will not only directly degrade the academic performance of a adolescent but can also cause other problems that further exacerbate the issue. These problems include youth…