Drugs and the society

Thank you for the feedback. You have mentioned about Journal no. s 8 and 9 not having been tackled. However, you will notice that on looking closely, you will find the answers to Journal no. 8 in Folder number 7, and Journal no. 9 in the 8th Folder. The confusion seems to be stemming from the fact that your journal numbering skipped the number 2. Thank you once again. (Kindly erase) FOLDER 1 A drug is any chemical substance which when introduced into the system of the fauna ( human beings or animals), causes alterations in the physiological processes of the body or changes the psychological functions.

There are very many beliefs that are held about drugs and drug use, depending on the nature and the use of the drug, and the age of a certain population. For instance, among the youth, drugs such as alcohol and tobacco are believed mostly by the youth to be harmless to the effect that they can be used in accompaniment with entertainment and recreation. To a large extent, the majority of the American youth believe that alcohol and tobacco are the in thing that one should partake of.

Sometimes, the youth and the adolescent may indulge in alcoholism and drugs to portray dissidence against the society. The argument that drugs are amoral and that what really matters after the use of a drug persists so much when it comes to these two drugs. A drug like caffeine is normally considered by the youth to be dangerous and according to the National Agency Against Drug Abuse, only 9% of the American youth would dare meddle with it (Hanson, Venterelli and Fleckeistein, 2005 pp. 123). This perception persists among adults ranging from 32 years and children below the age of 17.

The LCD, the heroin and the cocaine are which are sometimes used for prescription purposes, known to cause far much devastating effects when misused, and for this purpose, most people are not aware of their potentiality as medicinal drugs. Adults in America however are aware of the clinical significance of the three drugs, and that they should be taken only under the strict administration of a fully qualified medical personnel (Howley, 1993 pp. 100). It is also sad that a collection of both the youth and some section of adults may not profess this, but view the use of these drugs as a route to escape from problems.

This is because the use of certain drugs are able to usher in cathartic effects on life’s glaring realities and inconsistencies (the depressants). Other drugs on the other hand are also capable of bringing about hyperactiveness and a feeling of joy and pleasure (the stimulants). The consequences of these drugs are far reaching and sure in the sense that no one can trifle with these drugs and remain impregnable to the consequences. Some of the consequences touch on substance reliance syndrome, or chemical dependency commonly known as addiction. This is normally characterized by the patient not being able to do without a certain drug.

The situation gets serious with time in the sense that sudden withdrawal from the drug may lead to death. Abuse of these types of drugs are also known to cause or to promote psychological disorder or mental illnesses. Psychologists posit that substance abuse in America is known to be responsible for 12% of mental illnesses in America. A disease that is known to be caused by substance abuse is schizophrenia, and. While these illnesses are known to be more permanent than temporal, substance abuse is also known to be highly accompanied by a temporal state of mental incontinence.

At this stage, the victim become very vulnerable (Fish 2006 pp. 65). Drug and substance abuse are also known to have a very clear effect on the psycho- social well being of a person. This is because, the essence of all the interpersonal relationships that individuals have is the total summation of their mental state. This is because, it is the mind that dictates an individual’s behavior, choice and communication mannerisms. Substance abuse or drug abuse alters the conventional mindset of a person, and thereby also taking its toll on the social well being of a person.

In severe cases, the victim, having portrayed aggressive anti social behavior may be sent to asylum, on the premise that the victim may now be considered a social threat. In concomitance with this, this is the fact that dabbling with these drugs may jeopardize an individual’s career and profession. Most people shun the use of these drugs in America. It is on this backdrop that religious organizations such as the National Anti drug Abuse Organization has been formed to inculcate consciousness among the youth and the adolescents about the dangers of these drugs.

Myriads of non governmental organizations also target the youth to this end. The American federal government also allocates budgetary allocation to eradicate the culture of the abuse of these drugs (Barber, 1997 pp. 199). In addition to this, the American government totally outlaws the possession of some these drugs by any other party save the medical and health care givers fraternity as an artifice to limit the availability and accessibility of these drugs.

The general perception of people who misuse these drugs is that the addicts still should have their dignity retained, and to this end, these people should be helped by being rehabilitated. This is the a widely conceived methodology by the social workers and the religious fraternity. This group claims 81% of the total population. However, there are those who hold a very puritanical perception towards the drug addicts merely focusing on the fact or the opinion that these people ventured into this fateful situation on their own volition. This group represents less than 19% of the American population (Jones- Witters and Witters, 1993 pp 109).

Andrew Weill’s “I want not to want” phenomenon tries to divulge and maintain that all human beings have a high propensity of being susceptible to doing the very thing that their conscience would not allow. It posits that human beings are generally weak, or that their compunction is weaker than their conscience. Of surety, this is a concept that is global in that it pervades each culture, race and civilization. Even in the most punctilious of cultures, practices that are shunned as deviant still exist in the face of very strict penalties.

This concept of the human propensity to do wrong is bolstered by the fact that each society or the state in order to exist must have instruments of coercion ( the police force and the penal code). This happens inspite the fact that all societies in the world have an elaborate and complex system of rights and wrongs, meaning that the human being is beyond the capacity to contain self. This is made more clear by the fact that alongside these stringent measures against dissidents, crime still exists. Perhaps this is one of thew strongest reasons why eradicating cases of crime and drug abuse is so difficult (Ksir, Hart and Ray, 2005 pp.

145). FOLDER 2 Taking the test was like undergoing a litmus test in the sense that it really helped demarcate what substance and drug reliance portends and what it does not. In the same vein, the questions are precise and straight to the point. To a large extent, undergoing the test normally feels like facing the moment of reckoning for an individual. This is mostly accompanied by tension and feelings of apprehension. There were no questions too difficult to answer. This is because the self assessment questions are always base on ones own experience and knowledge about self.

There is no one who who knows a person better than the person himself or herself. However, if the self assessment questions are to be submitted to a known party that has had an acquaintance with the respondent or the interviewee, then Question 7 may prove difficult to answer, not because it is too difficult to answer, or because it is not precise, but because it conveys the very confidential part of the human life, and this being the cohesiveness of the family (however, this only applies in the case that there is prior knowledge that the information being provided would be leaked).

The question may also prove to be difficult to answer since an individual may not be in a position to know when they were actually serious about dealing with the drug problem. This is because drug abuse always has a debilitating effect on one’s will power. To this effect, an individual may not be able to really tell the depth of the seriousness in his possession at the time of this decision making. It becomes hard to divorce wishful thinking and a total resolution.

The self assessment test was at its best, precise and clear. It seemed to have been the brainchild of psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers since it is multifaceted, touching on the psycho- social aspects of repercussions that come with substance abuse. For instance, it tinkers with failures to fulfill social obligations and in relation to one’s mental predisposition, accruing from drug abuse. The broader the questioneer, the easier the respondent will be able to ascertain the magnitude of this problem.

However, it is also true that the self assessment will have been more helpful if had the measure to carry to a follow up on. For instance, there should have been contact addresses of professional help that people with drugs and substance abuse problems have. In other words, the recognition of a problem though being the first step towards finding a solution, is not an end in itself. The acknowledgment of a problem needs to be tampered with corrective measures for actual change to be ushered in.

Getting of control as far as drugs and substance abuse is concerned, means that a person has, out of repeated or successive spates of drug abuse, forfeited the capacity to completely stop or limit the degree of reliance on a certain substance or drug. The signs that someone has gotten out of control are far fetched, having been bifurcated into clinical and non clinical signs. They have been dwelt on forthwith (The Marshall Cavendish CO. , Kuhar and Liddle, 2005 pp. 276). One of the clinical signs of drug reliance having gotten out of control includes, increased intake, in terms of quantities.

This occurs when the human system with the capacity to adapt, readjusts itself so that there is a case of abated effects on the dependent when the drug is taken in the same amount. To this end, the dependent has to add the quantity of drug use so as to feel its desired effect. At this juncture, there has already occurred botched attempts by the dependent of the substance to stop the use, of the drug. However, this proves to be very difficult since the body has already reached an a neuro chemical equilibrium to integrate the substance as part of its components.

At this point, the victim ( or the dependent ) readily displays withdrawal symptoms. The withdrawal symptoms take two forms. The first form takes place when the dependent has to withdraw from others in order to take the drug or the substance, and the second takes place when the dependent has already forfeited his or her sociability, leading to a tormenting sense of loneliness. To alleviate this feeling of rejection, the dependent has to continue to use the drug. This goes on like an endless cycle, and continues to feed this insidious cycle deeper and deeper (Leccese, 1991 pp.

213). Other symptoms of lost control as far as the clinical signs are concerned include the plummeting of the professional (or occupational) social, recreational activities. This sad state of affairs is facilitated by the fact that the case of drug reliance leads to one dispensing both time and financial resources, being alone with the drugs. In addition to this, intense cases of drug addiction may weaken the state of the mind, and thereby rendering the dependent incompetent.

The general weakness and poor health that stems from drug and substance reliance may also lead to the neglecting of the social, recreational and occupational parts of life. The general weakness and poor health is also a clinical sign that results from acts of repeated drug abuse interfering with the feeding habits of the dependent. Conversely, other signs of one having lost it to drug abuse include, continued use of the drugs even when the abuser is well versed on the dire dangers of the practice ( this inability to stop is what is commonly referred to as drug addiction).

The situation gets worse to an extent that the drug or substance abuser begins and continues to use the drugs even in obviously dangerous places or circumstances. This may involve, taking the drugs while driving, swimming or while at the workplace. Perhaps one of the non clinical signs of having lost it to substance abuse is the failure to fulfill different roles or obligations. In the case of a student being the dependent, there will be recurrent cases of absenteeism, lateness to school, neglecting of academic work, and consequently, suspension or expulsion.

An individual who has lost it to drug addiction may also fail to fulfill the legal obligations following the usurpation of the drug abuser’s mental faculties or self control (Burns and Philipson, 1996 pp. 100). FOLDER 3. The graphic representation makes one feel very sad. On top of this, there is also a deep feeling of vulnerability in the sense that one gets on face to face confrontation with the reality that the problem of drug addiction is real and that one may not know who exactly has already been trapped into it.

It could even be the people most cherished such as siblings or friends or children. For this, one is also filled with a feeling of apprehension which is normally characterized by one trying to figure out who could be a drug addict since the problem appears more real than fiction, in the sense that it is right in the midst of the society. The setting from which one hails from can heighten one’s problems with heroin or increase the chance of one having dabbled with heroin.

For instance, a setting with preponderance of heroin and more unoccupied shelters increase the chance of the population being involved in substance abuse. Preponderance of drugs and substances such as heroin means that these are available and accessible to the residents, especially, the youth. On the other hand, incomplete or unoccupied building structures ensure a safe haven for engaging in drugs. However, on top of the two, money really perfects or completes the ingredients since availability of money ushers in accessibility of these drugs (heroin).

The matter is made worse if there is no positive vigilance by the parents or the guardians. Jessica comes from a setting whereby there is seemingly a lot of drug trafficking activities in the neighborhood, and a mother who lavishes with money and other luxuries yet is devoid of the sense to keep abreast with the daughter’s progress and social life (most parents make the mistake of working so hard to provide for their children, an act that is highly commendable, yet they unfortunately on the other hand forget to monitor their children’s behavior).

Some of the consequences of drug abuse include, addiction ( Jessica begins by visiting the heroin dens once in a day then sometimes, goes to the den three to four days), withdrawal (Jessica becomes withdrawn, months after she gets addicted). Delinquency and crime set in when one is already addicted to a substance, or a drug, but cannot get the means of accessing the drugs. The addict ends up doing anything within means to acquire that which will help in the procurement of the drugs. In Jessica’s case, she resorts, together with her friends, to stealing and lying to get money to buy drugs.

Drug use also causes illnesses and a sense of despair in life. Psychologists posit that this is as a result of the consciences command for change, a feat which the addict cannot achieve. This is always epitomized by suicide attempts as is seen in Jessica’s case. Drug or heroin dependency also ushers in stigmatization and rejection. Jessica tries to reverse the situation by replacing her friends with new ones but she is always shunned. Dabbling with drugs or heroin leads to eventual death or sudden death. The latter occurs as a result of an overdose. Jeff, Jessica’s brother dies in October 11th 2003 from heroin overdose.

Drug dependency is an illness like any other since, it affects like any other disease, the physiological processes of the human body. Again, like other sicknesses, it affects a person’s entire being, the social, the physical, and the intellectual elements of a person. All these areas of Jessica’s life were ravaged, to an extent that she thought that suicide was the best recourse out. Similarly, it is also treatable and manageable through therapeutic means ( and also counseling). Jessica was able to be treated through clinical administration of other drugs.

Although it is not said, it is highly possible that she must have been counseled, no wonder the resilience she portrayed in the fight for her freedom. However, unlike other diseases, it is always self induced (Kelleher, Mac Murray and Shapiro, 1998 pp. 90). FOLDER 4 There are a number of issues that make harms reduction the most compelling. For instance, the the presentation goes beyond the proscribed use of drugs but addresses even the matters that are taken for granted due to conventional practices by the medical practitioners, courtesy of government permission.

For instance Lareen Enteen questions matters that touch on medical philosophy that seeks to explain why the LSD, Ayahuasca, Abogaine ,the MDMA, and the Psilocybin are used in psychotherapy or in treatment, yet they have not been extensively researched on, given the fact that they are known to be very lethal. Therefore, unlike other approaches which solely focus on dealing with the welfare of the proscribed users of drugs, Harms reduction seeks protection for all.

The presentation of the Harms reduction also goes right into the heart of the problem by equipping the drug abusers themselves so as to abate cases of death which arise out of overdose from Opioids, heroin, cocaine, among others. For instance, heroin users are always provided with Narcan, so as to ward off death or harm resulting from overdose (Durand and Barlow, 2005 pp. 106). Harms reduction is a technique that was formed by the Harms Reduction Commission, under the aegis of the Advocacy for national health and human rights.

It, as an approach, seeks to prevent extensive harm or death from happening, following a drug overdose by a drug user. The administrator who can be anyone, is equipped with the tools to carry out the exercise. Harm reduction seeks to address issues that relate to drug abuse. Some of these issues touch on the safety of the harm prevention administrators. Other legal issues apart from pressing the federal government to ensure increased distribution of the safety kit, also seek to increase awareness about the dangers on the use of drugs, and how to reduce deaths in case of casualties (Barlow and Durand, 2004 pp.

45). Laureen Enteen has done a commendable job so far. However, her approach leaves loopholes that should be sealed. For example, the approach of fitting the drug abusers with the kits is, may seem to the drug abusers as abetting the vice. Again, fitting the addicts with anti overdose facilities may not work since upon being overdosed, the casualties are always known to loose control. The procedure also seems devoid of making efforts to enhance justice: it does not aim at using the casualty to know the supplier of the drugs.

The harms reduction approach has brought in massive cases of human lives being saved and therefore, should be allocated more resources by the government. However, the DOPE ( Prevention of Death from Overdose) program must be knit with the legal system to net the drug barons. Most people have not been exposed to the harms reduction, but exposure should be limited to the adolescent and the post adolescent since younger children are not yet fully mature (physically and intellectually) to deal with the dangers that may be posed by the drug addicts.

FOLDER 5. The Points of exchange distribution program (POD) came out in 2001 as a response to the needs of those who were using the injection drugs, yet were not able to access the syringe. Following this, sites were proposed to give clean needles to those who turned up, meaning that only those who were mentally stable and peaceful, without Hepatitis and HIV- AIDS accessed the needles. Some of the exchange programs for needles include the Mendicino, Salinas and the Santa Cruz (Shildrick and Mycitiuk, 2005 pp. 139)

The benefits of syringe exchange to drug users is that it enables the drug users to access clean and safe injections, and the second advantage is that this keeps the drug users away from the dangers of contracting HIV AIDS and Hepatitis. In addition to this, the drug users are kept away from other aggressive drug users. The syringe exchange support on the other hand is highly controversial since it seems to be supporting or aiding the vice of drug abuse. This is because it readily makes the needles to use for this end, within the drug addicts disposal.

It is this same reason that is making the federal government from shying away in bolstering this project. More federal government support is also made hard to come by by the fact that a huge section of the public feel that this amounts to misuse of their funds. The most important advice to the syringe exchange programs is that however much it is argued that all efforts should be geared towards being anthropocentric, yet, these programs must be incorporated with counseling and rehabilitation services. FOLDER 6.

The Becky De Keuster is one of the medical institutions that have been granted the legal power to administer the use of marijuana for medical purposes, based on the 1996 215 Proposition. In addition to this, the De Keuster tries to push for broader use of the marijuana for medical purposes. It is also striking to note that 86% of the voters in Berkeley are rallying behind her (Berge, 1998 pp. 75). Right now, the federal government is not constitutionally friendly to the use of the marijuana for medical purposes.

However, there exists pockets here and there that allow loopholes for the medical provisioner to dabble with marijuana in the medical field. For this it suffices to say that the law is not yet comprehensive on this. It is on this premise that the Berkeley Police Department carried out a massive raid on the DeKeuster premises, thereby freezing and seizing 4,500 American dollars (Hofman, 1996 pp. 322). It is agreeable that an intergovernmental commission comprising the police departments, the law makers and the citizens should be formed to chat the way forward.

However, most hold the view that should this law be enforced, only the government hospitals should be allowed to take part in the use of marijuana for providing treatment. Marijuana should not be legalized to the adults since its use has far much devastating effects, and is also a bedfellow to crime. Therefore, marijuana should strictly remain in the hands of the medical researchers. The current policy should remain as it is, for the benefit of the nation since even the therapeutic expedience of marijuana is not so vast. FOLDER 7.

Michael Siever of Stone wall Project is an corporation that seeks to abate harm among the gay and the bisexual men, by carefully working on the correlative forces between sex, HIV transmission and crystal meth. This method seems so selective in the sense that it lacks universality, since it segregates people by providing services based on their sexual orientation. These problems affect all of humanity, yet the services are limited to only one group. However, being the fact that this is a private organization that is non profit making, it deserves accolades since it is still geared towards man’s common good.

The driving force that has helped most people pull out of drug addiction is the inner drive and self determination. This self will is the most important component that is needed to actualize change. It supersede all forms of external forces such as counseling, being sent to asylum and medication. Other methods that can help one pull out of addictions include counseling and the use of spiritual help. In most cases, those who have made it have used a combination of all the above. The challenges that stand in the way of one being free from drug addiction include, the retaining of peer company with drug relations.

The biggest barrier is however the bio- chemically driven urge to go back to the drug. This force is so strong since it also carries with it the ability to instill bodily hang ups and illnesses. In some cases, if therapy has not been administered well, the casualty may die (Glasscote, 1992 pp. 34). FOLDER 8 The DD Stout Responsible Recovery Procedure is normally carried out by the Value Options for mutual support and rehabilitation and aims at facilitating recovery from mental illnesses by encouraging personal growth, and empowerment, self determination and self help through researching, writing and teaching (Weissman, 1998 pp.

120). The 12 step program is a set of principles that have been set to help individuals recover from addiction, especially, alcoholism, and narcotics. It, as the name suggests, involves, the taking of the twelve recovery driven steps of: admitting the problem of having lost control to drugs; identifying a greater power that can give one the strength; analyzing the past errors with a an experienced person; making reparations for the errors; learning to proceed with a new life, having taken on a new lifestyle; extending the same help one received to pull out others from the same addiction (Abdinsky, 1997 pp.

99). The splitting of these parts into elaborate component gives rise to the 12 steps. Critics posit that the twelve steps fails to have a universal appeal since it requires the acknowledgment of a higher power. In the same vein, it lacks the aspect of confidentiality since one has to give a blow by blow account of one’s past errors. However, in the face of all the criticisms, the program has proved successful to some. In any sense, no change can take place without acknowledging failure and appealing for external help (Duta and Pradhan, 1997 pp.

80). Motivational interviewing, harm reduction and the 12 steps recovery process are all geared towards ameliorating the conditions of drug users. Nevertheless, the similarity between the motivational interviewing and the twelve steps approach is more striking since both of them involve being sincere to oneself by acknowledging the addiction. The most critical factors that contribute to someones success is the need to pull out of the problem (this comes from the victim’s essence itself). The victims themselves must want to be free.

The second factor is the acknowledgment of the problem that one is already addicted. As far as drug addiction is concerned, success portends both being free from compulsive urge to take drugs, and the ability to stay free from these harmful drugs. This is clearly epitomized by a former addict’s involvement in freeing others with the same problem (Hofman, 1993 pp. 78). Reference. Abdinsky, H. ( 1997). An introduction to drug abuse. US: Nelson Hall Publishing. Barber, B. (1997). Drugs in the society. US: Russell Sage Foundation.

Barlow, D. H. and Durand, M. V. (2004). An integrative approach to abnormal psychology. US: Thomas Woodsworth. Berge, G. (1998). The impacts of drug abuse in the society. US: Watts. Burns, B. and Philip, C. (1996). The sociological and pharmacological perspective on drugs, aging and the society. US: Routledge. Durand, M. V. and Barlov, D. H. (2005). The essentials on abnormal behavior psychology. US: Thomson Woodsworth. Duta, N. S. and Pradhan, N. S. Clinical and basic perspectives on drug abuse. US: Mosby. Fish, M. J.

( 2006). The US public policy on drugs and the society. US: Rawman & Littlefield. Hanson, R. G. and Venterelli, J. P. (2005). Drugs and the society. US: Jones and Bartlet Publishing. Hawley, A. R . ( 1993). Drugs and the society. US: St. Martins. Hofman, F. G. (1993). Biomedical aspects of drugs and drug abuse. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Jones- Witters, P. and Witters, L. W. (1993). A biological perspective on drugs and the society. US: Wardworth Health Sciences. Keller, M. , Mac Murray, K. B. and Shapiro MT (1998).

A critical reading on the drugs and the society. US: Kendall/ Hunt Publishing Company. Ksir, C. J. , Hart, L. C. and Ray, S. O. (2005). Human behavior towards drugs and society. US: Mc Graw Hill. Lecesse, P. (1991). Drugs in the society: Behavioral and abusable drugs. US: Prentice Hall. Marshall Cavendish Corporation, Kuhar, M. J. and Liddle, H. (2005). The society and drugs. US: Marshall Cavendish Corporation. Shildrick, M. and Mycitiuk, R. (2005). Post conventional challenges of ethics of the body. Massachusetts: MIT Press.

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