Legalizing Drugs

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Drug use is widely regarded as one of the most serious health problems in our country today. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental health Services Administration (SAMHSA) (2002) “an estimated 13.6 million Americans were current users of illicit drugs in 1998, meaning they used an illicit drug at least once during the 30 days prior to the interview. This represents 6.2% of the population 12 years old and older. An estimated 1.8 million (0.8%) Americans aged 12 and older were current users of cocaine in 1998 and an estimated 4.1 million people met diagnostic criteria for dependence on illicit drugs in 1998, including 1.1 million youths aged 12-17.” (Roberto A. Trevino, p.1) Research also addiction to drugs have been discovered to cause cardiovascular diseases, stroke, cancer, hepatitis and lung disease. It is because of this reason that the United States has waged an all out war against drugs. The only issue is whether we are adopting the right position on the issue of drugs.

Introduction
Drugs are not per se harmful to our body. In fact, drugs serve very important function in our body. They perform two important functions in our body. The first is that drugs help alter the normal body functions. There maybe situations where it is essential for physicians to alter a person’s body functions such as when a woman is about to give birth. Normally, the baby is expelled from the mother’s womb without the use of any drugs. However if the baby is relatively big or the mother is weak, it may be necessary to make use of drugs to help the mother give birth. Thus, anesthesia is administered which causes a numbing effect on the mother’s body. Drugs help reduce the pain the mother is feeling to facilitate the birth of the child.

Second is that drugs may also be used for treatment and cure of diseases. When the body is not performing according to its normal process, it is necessary to take drugs or medicines so that the body will return to its normal condition. Thus, a person has fever, he takes medicines such as antibiotics and vitamins to help treat and cure his illness. There are a number of drugs that are available in the market. These drugs which are prescribed by doctors are used to cure our various diseases.

Problem arises because of the heavy and the increased use of this drug among the consumers. The heavy and increased use of drugs has resulted to addiction among some people. As a result, drug abuse is widely regarded as one of the most serious health problems in our country today. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental health Services Administration (SAMHSA) (2002) “an estimated 13.6 million Americans were current users of illicit drugs in 1998, meaning they used an illicit drug at least once during the 30 days prior to the interview. This represents 6.2% of the population 12 years old and older. An estimated 1.8 million (0.8%) Americans aged 12 and older were current users of cocaine in 1998 and an estimated 4.1 million people met diagnostic criteria for dependence on illicit drugs in 1998, including 1.1 million youths aged 12-17.” (Roberto A. Trevino, p.1)

Drug abuse is an important social issue because of its relationship with public health issues. Research also addiction to drugs have been discovered to cause cardiovascular diseases, stroke, cancer, hepatitis and lung disease. Drug abuse is also connected with addiction and violence.

In the 26th of June, the world celebrated the 21st anniversary of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The date marks the time when the UN member nations expressed their determination to strengthen their action and cooperation to achieve the goal of creating drug-free societies. Twenty one years have passed but it seems that we are far from achieving our objective. In view of the problem involving the use of drugs, two policies have been proposed by different groups. Each group argues that its own proposed...
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