Nowadays the problem of drug use is very important since it provokes many people to commit crimes undermining social stability and creating situations which could be avoided if the drug use was prevented. It should be pointed out that nowadays many crimes are committed by people who are intoxicated by some drugs. Moreover, often drugs are among the main reasons making people commit crimes since, being drug addicts, they simply can’t lead a normal life without either medical help or taking drugs. By the way, it is necessary to point out that drug is also a medical problem that also has to be solved since drugs negatively effects human health and are poisonous for human body and nervous system. Nonetheless, despite its medical character it is also a social problem that has a growth of crimes committed because offenders simply need to take drugs. Also it is important to point out that the high degree of drug use at arrest makes the detention of suspected individuals quite dangerous since drugs increase aggressiveness and inadequate behaviour of arrestees dramatically.
The current problem of the drug use
The recent statistics reveals quite dangerous trends in the growing number of drug addicts. At this respect it should be pointed that there are certain categories of people that are at higher risk to become drug addicted and commit crimes because of the drug use. As it is possible to presume it is the most deprived categories that are at the higher risk. Unfortunately, such a classification of drug use and drug-related crimes is often based on racial differences that contribute the development of negative stereotypes and racial intolerance. Obviously, the consequences of such trends may be quite dangerous and undermine the basis of the current social stability.
In such a situation black population seems to be in the worst position since it is the most victimized and suffering from drug-related crimes. In such a situation it is quite remarkable that the higher rates of substance drug dependence and abuse belong to white, followed by black and Hispanic. To put it more precisely, there are 78% of white, 64% of black, and 59% of Hispanic inmates were dependent on drugs or alcohol or abusing them.
Obviously, another important question that logically raises from such a statistics is the types of drugs that addicts use. It is not a secret that the affect of drugs may differ significantly and the degree of addiction is also different. It means that ”˜light’ drugs initially may be less dangerous for both an individual’s health and his/her social behaviour because at this stage he/she can relatively easily stop taking drugs than those who have gotten used to take drugs for a much longer period of time.
According to recent researches (Wolf 2002), the most popular types of drugs addicts use was marijuana, which use from 36% to 37% of addicts, it was followed by cocaine or crack that varied from 23% to 21%, and also stimulants were quite popular and varied from 10% to 11%.
It is also noteworthy that marijuana is the most popular drug among driving while intoxicated (DWI) drivers. Among these drivers this drug is the most commonly used (about 69%) and is followed by stimulants (29%) (Wolf 2002).
Furthermore, there is another very disturbing trend when youth starts taking drugs. Nowadays, this is a really serious problem since the age at which the drug addiction develops grows younger. This means that the young people and children are exposed to the high risk of becoming drug addicts that is particularly dangerous since their bodies are vital systems are not fully shaped. As a result, drugs produced a more serious and more negative effect on the youth than on older people.
In general, it should be said that the drug addiction is one of the most serious problems the modern American society faces since drugs, even though they are illegal, are widely spread in the country and are accessible to the mass consumption, including children, especially teens.
The causes of the drug addiction
Naturally, the drug addiction cannot appear spontaneously. In stark contrast, it is a complicated process which involves physiology and psychology of a drug user. To a significant extent, psychological and physiological factors determine the development of addiction. However, on analyzing the causes of the drug addiction, it is necessary to analyze this problem on two levels: individual and social.
First of all, the drug addiction is the problem of an individual and often it is the individual’s lifestyle, habits, traits of character, and psychology at large that defines the risk of becoming a drug addict. What is meant here is the fact that an individual normally starts taking drugs under different pretext. For instance, it may be just a desire to be like others and follow the example of the surrounding people in order to get deeper integrated in some social group.
Traditionally, this trend is typical to youngsters, especially teens who are very concerned about the opinion of their peers and for whom it is extremely important to be a member of some peer group. Also, drug addiction may develop in the result of some personal problems, mainly of psychological character. For instance, when an individual is in the state of depression he can start using drugs simply to relax and escape from the severe reality he cannot afford anymore. In such a way, drugs become a sort of rescue for such an individual but for a relatively short period of time, which, though, is sufficient for the development of the drug addiction.
It is necessary to underline that the drug addiction is actually a problem and not a desirable way of escaping from reality since the physiological dependence on drugs steadily grows stronger. This means that an individual cannot physically lead a normal life as long as he cannot take drugs. In this respect, it should be said that psychology plays an important role here since people with low self-esteem and weak will are more susceptible to the risk of the development of the drug addiction since they more readily give in to the physiological sufferings and the opportunity to forget for a while about their problems as they take drugs.
At the same time, it is also necessary to remember that the drug addiction may be caused by social or, to put it more precisely, socio-economic factors. The individual’s environment can increase or, in contrast, decrease the risk of the development of the drug addiction since people more often become drug addicts if they live in the social groups of the higher risk where the drug use is common, while the groups where drugs remain a kind of taboo or where they are not accessible to the mass consumption this problem is not so serious. In this respect, it is necessary to underline that social groups that occupies the lower position in the social hierarchy may be viewed as more exposed to the risk of the development of the drug addiction because of their poor socio-economic position. Nevertheless, in actuality, this problem is common to practically all layers of society and it is basically caused by the problems either real or imaginary people face and the drug use is primarily caused by the psychological factors, such as the desire to escape from reality, and gradually outgrows into physiological dependence on drugs.
The consequences of the drug addiction
Obviously, the drug addiction produces a number of negative effects which make the struggle with this problem a strategically important objective of the entire nation. It is not a secret that drugs produce a ruinous effect on human health. In fact, any drug is poisonous and their use naturally results in health problems caused by the general and permanent intoxication of human body. The longer an individual takes drugs the more negative are the effects of his addiction. Basically, speaking about the physiological effects of the drug addiction, it should be said that drugs gradually destroy all vitally important systems of human body eventually leading to the tragic end of the life of the addict.
Along with serious physiological problems, drug addicts suffer from serious psychological or even mental disorders.
In this respect, it should be said that practically all drugs primarily affect the nervous system of an addict.
Traditionally, this lead to the inadequate behaviour, usually characterized by the high level of aggression and rapid and unexpected changes of the mood, the unexplainable anxiety becomes one of the major traits of a drug addicts.
However, it is also necessary to remember about the negative social affects of the drug addiction since high rates of drug use will not only necessarily result in poor health of the drug users, which is basically their own concern, but also this represents a great social danger because drug use often results in a number of crimes of different types.
It should be pointed out that drug use is very important that creates certain risk of commitment a crime. In other words the more an individual takes drugs the higher is the risk that he/she commits a crime. At this respect the fact that an individual is currently taking drug only increases this risk dramatically because his/her need in drugs provoke him/her to commit crimes or behave anti-socially. In fact drug use makes behaviour of an individual to a significant extent uncontrollable and unpredictable. At the same time it is necessary to underline that, having experience in the past in drug use, an individual is under a risk to resume taking drugs even if he/she has once given it up. In such a way, the past drug use as well as current drug use can provoke crimes.
Also, it is necessary to underline that the drug addiction increases the tension in the relationships between drug addicts and their social surrounding. Primarily, the drug addiction affects the family of the drug users. The members of the family of the drug addict directly communicate with him and, naturally, they suffer from the aggressive and unpredictable behavior of the addict. In fact, all other people that communicate with the drug addict, for instance friends or colleagues, have the similar problems. This is why often the drug addiction leads to the exclusion of an individual from society and his marginalization.
Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that the problem of drug use is very serious and affects all racial groups and involves more and more people. Unfortunately, the age of drug users nowadays tend to be younger and younger and what is the most dangerous in such a situation is the great threat that drugs represent for both drug addicts and surrounding people. The great problem is the crimes that are committed in the result of the drug use. The crimes may be of different type but the main goal of the crimes committed by drug users is often just to get some money for drugs. In such a way all moral values and all laws become devaluated and even the commitment of the cruellest crimes gets to be normal for drug addicts.
As a result, the social threat of drug use lead to growing crimes in is as real as it has never been before because even if some rates of addiction to some drugs tend to decline they still remain high while others tend to increase.
Eventually, it leads to increasing amount of crimes committed by drug users deterioration of their health. The latter problem is also extremely important since drug addiction produces a destructive effect on human health. In fact, it is not only the health of drug addicts deteriorates but the health of the entire nation grew worse since a considerable part of the nation is exposed to the negative impact of drug on their health that threatens to the future generations health. This is why it is necessary to solve the problem of drug use and its negative consequences as soon as possible.