Drug and Alcohol Abuse

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“Humankind has used mind- or mood- altering drugs at least since the beginning of recorded history and maybe before” (Substance). As time as well as technology progressed, so did the use and abuse of drugs and alcohol. The invention of the automobile increased the dangers of the abuse and use of these drugs.

Each year in the United States and Canada, alcohol abuse is the cause of 100,000 deaths. Alcohol is also the drug that children ages 12 to 17 most commonly abuse. Teenagers become eligible to obtain their drivers license during these years, alcohol abuse is the leading cause of teenage deaths. People who abuse alcohol are more likely to abuse other drugs as well. “Drug abuse includes the use of illegal drugs—such as marijuana, methamphetamines, cocaine, heroin, or other “street drugs”—and the abuse of legal prescription and nonprescription drugs”(Alcohol).

When an individual is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, there mind is in an altered state. Because of this, operation of an automobile can be very dangerous to anyone around. The abuser is also more likely to be involved in a violent dispute or have medical complications when under the influence. Because of these issues, it is very important that there be laws against alcohol and drug abuse. It is also very important to have consequences for breaking those laws.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration developed a method of determining if the operator of a motor vehicle is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The test they developed is known as the Standardized field Sobriety Test. “The Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) is a battery of three tests administered and evaluated in a standardized manner to obtain validated indicators of impairment and establish probable cause for arrest” (Standardized). The test includes the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus which consists of the individual looking side to side while the officer observes the jerks of the eye. There is also a walk...
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