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Hard Drugs and Soft Drugs

By nurfatihah Aug 05, 2010 3278 Words
CASE D (retrieved from URL – http://www.amsterdamescape.com/drugs.html)

Introduction

Hard and Soft drugs are terms to distinguish between psychoactive drugs that are addictive and perceived as especially damaging and drugs that are believed to be non-addictive (or minimally addictive) and with less dangers associated with its use. The term "soft drug" is considered controversial by its critics because it implies that the drug causes no or insignificant harm.

Dutch law a make a clear distinction between hard drugs and soft drugs. Hard drugs are illegal and sentences run up to 12 years imprisonment, while soft drugs are illegal too, but for personal use you will not be prosecuted thus make a blind eye turned. The Dutch government believes by keeping soft drugs separate from other drugs make it possible to stop people turning to harder drugs and away from crime and addiction.

Ethical Philosophies
Even though Dutch laws intention is reasonable, it still can’t be accepted and against other countries laws. By contrast, our country Malaysia have strict laws in place for drug-related offenses, and aren't afraid to use them. In spite of such draconian measures, certain places are flush with illegal drugs. However, you should still defer to local laws when offered a chance to indulge – your status as a foreigner does not make you less likely to be punished for drug use, quite the opposite. Malaysian legislation (sale of Drugs Act 1952 revised – 1989) provides for a mandatory death penalty for convicted drug traffickers. Under Malaysia’s anti-drug laws any person found in possession of at least 15 grams of heroin, 200 grams of cannabis is presumed, unless the contrary is proven by the accused, to be trafficking in the drug. If you need to bring any drugs which have been prescribed by your doctor, you must bring evidence of the type of drug you are using. Otherwise, they will be confiscated. Drugs such as cannabis, LCD and cocaine are absolutely prohibited and Customs officers and police have the right to search for illegal drugs.

Religions Perspective
Many religions have beliefs about drug use; these vary greatly, with some traditions placing the ritual use of entheogens at the center of religious activity, while others prohibit drug use altogether. Malaysia is a multiconfessional society, with slightly more than half of its people being Muslims. The country is officially a Muslim state, and the Government actively promotes the spread of Islam in the country and its friendship with other Muslim countries. Since Islam is the official religion of Malaysia, Islam prohibits the consumption of alcohol and by extension other drugs of similar or greater strength. It also disapproves of tobacco use, although not all deem it prohibited. In some Islamic countries, alcohol is prohibited; and sometimes possession, manufacture, or trade is punished with severe penalties (e.g., corporal or capital punishment). From the Islamic point of view, the most important aspect determining the illicitness of recreational drugs is whether or not it is of any harm. "And make not your own hands contribute to your destruction." Surah, Al-Baqara, 2: 195 Drugs with the potential to lead to intoxication or other significantly altered states of consciousness (such as alcohol, Cannabis, opium and its derivatives, cocaine, psychedelics and so on) are prohibited. However, khat leaves are often chewed or consumed in some Arabic countries (particularly in Yemen). Khat contains the alkaloid called cathinone, an amphetamine-like stimulant. The Muslim nations were instrumental in banning opium, cocaine, and cannabis. Cannabis use and abuse as an intoxicant was largely unknown in the West at that point, but Islamic leaders have been critical of it since the 13th century. Most illegal drugs cause people to become intoxicated. The slang term for this experience is "getting stoned" or "getting high." When a drug user is intoxicated, they may feel strange, happy, dizzy, or weird. Some drugs such as marijuana and hashish often make users feel sleepy and relaxed. Some drug users have feelings that they are floating or dreaming. Drugs such as LSD make people feel intensely; they make one see and feel things like never before, and think things about the world they would normally not. Some say it increases knowledge and creates wisdom. Other drugs such as Crystal Meth make users feel excited and happy and full of energy.

Some drug users feel sad or angry after they take illegal drugs. Other drug users get scared after they take drugs, and begin to worry a lot, a result called "paranoia". Cocaine, crack, and Crystal Meth sometimes cause users to feel scared or paranoid. Some people take drugs because they want to look cool in front of their friends or they just want to be accepted by a gang or group of young people. Another reason may be that they are in a bad situation in their life and they believe that these drugs will make their pain go away.

Health Issue
There are thousands of drugs that help people. Antibiotics and vaccines have revolutionized the treatment of infections. Medicines can lower blood pressure, treat diabetes, and reduce the body's rejection of new organs. Medicines can cure, slow, or prevent disease, helping us to lead healthier and happier lives. But there are also lots of illegal, harmful drugs that people take to help them feel good or have a good time. Drugs are chemicals or substances that change the way our bodies work. When you put them into your body (often by swallowing, inhaling, or injecting them), drugs find their way into your bloodstream and are transported to parts of your body, such as your brain. In the brain, drugs may either intensify or dull your senses, alter your sense of alertness, and sometimes decrease physical pain. A drug may be helpful or harmful. The effects of drugs can vary depending upon the kind of drug taken, how much is taken, how often it is used, how quickly it gets to the brain, and what other drugs, food, or substances are taken at the same time. Effects can also vary based on the differences in body size, shape, and chemistry. Although substances can feel good at first, they can ultimately do a lot of harm to the body and brain. Taking illegal drugs can cause serious damage to the human body. Some drugs severely impair a person's ability to make healthy choices and decisions. Cocaine and Crack:

Cocaine is a white crystalline powder made from the dried leaves of the coca plant. Crack, named for its crackle when heated, is made from cocaine. It looks like white or tan pellets. Effects & Dangers:

• Cocaine is a stimulant that rocks the central nervous system, giving users a quick, intense feeling of power and energy. Snorting highs last between 15 and 30 minutes; smoking highs last between 5 and 10 minutes. • Cocaine also elevates heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. • Injecting cocaine can give you hepatitis or AIDS if you share needles with other users. Snorting can also put a hole inside the lining of your nose. • First-time users — of both cocaine and crack can stop breathing or have fatal heart attacks. Using either of these drugs even one time can kill you. Addictiveness: These drugs are highly addictive, and as a result, the drug, not the user, calls the shots. Even after one use, cocaine and crack can create both physical and psychological cravings that make it very, very difficult for users to stop.

Ecstasy (MDMA):

This is a designer drug created by underground chemists. It comes in powder, tablet, or capsule form. Ecstasy is a popular club drug among teens because it is widely available at raves, dance clubs, and concerts.

Effects & Dangers:
• This drug combines a hallucinogenic with a stimulant effect, making all emotions, both negative and positive, much more intense. • Users feel a tingly skin sensation and an increased heart rate. • Ecstasy can also cause dry mouth, cramps, blurred vision, chills, sweating, and nausea. • Sometimes users clench their jaws while using. They may chew on something (like a pacifier) to relieve this symptom. • Many users also experience depression, paranoia, anxiety, and confusion. There is some concern that these effects on the brain and emotion can become permanent with chronic use of ecstasy. • Ecstasy also raises the temperature of the body. This increase can sometimes cause organ damage or even death. Addictiveness: Although the physical addictiveness of Ecstasy is unknown, teens who use it can become psychologically dependent upon it to feel good, deal with life, or handle stress.

Heroin:

Heroin comes from the dried milk of the opium poppy, which is also used to create the class of painkillers called narcotics — medicines like codeine and morphine. Heroin can range from a white to dark brown powder to a sticky, tar-like substance.

Effects & Dangers:
• Heroin gives you a burst of euphoric (high) feelings, especially if it's injected. This high is often followed by drowsiness, nausea, stomach cramps, and vomiting. • Users feel the need to take more heroin as soon as possible just to feel good again. • With long-term use, heroin ravages the body. It is associated with chronic constipation, dry skin, scarred veins, and breathing problems. • Users who inject heroin often have collapsed veins and put themselves at risk of getting deadly infections such as HIV, hepatitis B or C, and bacterial endocarditis (inflammation of the lining of the heart) if they share needles with other users. Addictiveness: Heroin is extremely addictive and easy to overdose on (which can cause death). Withdrawal is intense and symptoms include insomnia, vomiting, and muscle pain.

Marijuana:

The most widely used illegal drug in the United States, marijuana resembles green, brown, or gray dried parsley with stems or seeds. A stronger form of marijuana called hashish (hash) looks like brown or black cakes or balls. Marijuana is often called a gateway drug because frequent use can lead to the use of stronger drugs. Marijuana is usually smoked — rolled in papers like a cigarette (joints), or in hollowed-out cigars (blunts), pipes (bowls), or water pipes (bongs). Some people mix it into foods or brew it as a tea.

Effects & Dangers:
• Marijuana can affect mood and coordination. Users may experience mood swings that range from stimulated or happy to drowsy or depressed. • Marijuana also elevates heart rate and blood pressure. Some people get red eyes and feel very sleepy or hungry. The drug can also make some people paranoid or cause them to hallucinate. • Marijuana is as tough on the lungs as cigarettes — steady smokers suffer coughs, wheezing, and frequent colds. Addictiveness: People who use marijuana can become psychologically dependent upon it to feel good, deal with life, or handle stress. In addition, their bodies may demand more and more marijuana to achieve the same kind of high experienced in the beginning.

Methamphetamine:

Methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant.
Effects & Dangers:
• Users feel a euphoric rush from methamphetamine, particularly if it is smoked or shot up. But they can develop tolerance quickly — and will use more meth for longer periods of time, resulting in sleeplessness, paranoia, and hallucinations. • Users sometimes have intense delusions such as believing that there are insects crawling under their skin. • Prolonged use may result in violent, aggressive behavior, psychosis, and brain damage. • The chemicals used to make methamphetamine can also be dangerous to both people and the environment. Addictiveness: Methamphetamine is highly addictive.

Professional

In my opinion, people who are taking drugs are not professional at all unless they used it as medications. Some of drugs can be medicine and can prolong life when there is a chronic disease like diabetes, AIDS, blood pressure, etc. It varies from disease to disease but drug have lots of disadvantages if they use them improperly. But if they have health problem they must use drugs because dealing with some health problems is more important then other influences that drugs have. For example, you have Ventolin that helps people with bronchospasms (lungs problem) but the disadvantage of Ventolin is bad influence on heart and vessels. They use it to cure their lung problem but in the meantime they make another problem. There are more disadvantages than advantages of taking drugs like: • Possibility of someone with a gun handcuffing and arresting you. • Big legal fees and or court fines. This can get very serious for second plus offence when you are no longer a child. • Criminal record makes it very difficult to get a decent job. Do you know what your lifestyle will be like if you have to support yourself on minimum wage?? • Possible loss of driving privilege and or driver’s license. Then how do you work to get fun spending money? How do you go out on a date? How do you do co-op if you want to? How do you go to college? • Possibly have your vehicle impounded or forfeited if the police think it may have been used in the purchase or sale of drugs (by you or a drug-using friend you transport). • Hanging with drug users makes you a target for police arrest. • Reduced trust from parents. Would we ever loan our car if we think you might be using drugs or transporting a drug user? Would we be willing to risk impoundment or forfeiture of our vehicle if drugs might be in our car? Will we want to help with cash if part of your money goes for drugs, cigarettes, or liquor? • Reduced or no support from Mom and Dad. We are willing to continue supporting you beyond what we are required to. But only if you are doing your part. IE: Good school attendance, working hard to get good grades, no drug usage or criminal activity etc. We want to help you get enough education (and avoid a criminal record) so that you can enjoy a good life style and get more enjoyment from life. If you don't want to go along with our plan you will need to support yourself. • Health risks - Have you studied biology in school? Do you know about bacteria and how disease is spread? If a couple drug-users put a spoon in their mouth, would you be willing to then put it in your mouth? Would you put a joint or pipe in your mouth after a drug user did? Is it fun being sick with a viral or bacterial infection? Would it be fun to get hepatitis B or C? Etc. Who will pay for medical treatment if you get a drug related health problem? Should that be our responsibility? • Any kind of smoking is proven to damage your body. Marijuana is known to harm memory; damage brain cells and increases your chance of getting a horrible disease like emphysema or heart disease. Gender, Demand and Supply

Today, more than 4 million people whether men or women in Southeast Asia’s country use drugs, men or women of all ages, races and cultures. Almost half of all women age 15-44 have used drugs at least once in their life. Most drug abusers use more than one drug. People who use drugs often suffer from other serious health problems, sexually transmitted diseases, and mental health problems, such as depression. Many women who use drugs have had troubled lives. Studies have found that at least 70 percent of women drug users have been sexually abused by the age of 16. Often, people who use drugs have low self-esteem, little self-confidence, and feel powerless. They often feel lonely and are isolated from support networks. Rising demand for drugs is encouraging drug syndicates to smuggle them into Malaysia, especially by sea. Drugs such as heroin, cannabis, morphine and opium have been supplanted by the emergence of new drugs such as ketamine and methamphetamines. Federal Narcotics Department deputy director said police were concerned about the phenomenon, which started at the beginning of the year. Drugs such as Erimin 5 and meth have won over young drug addicts as they are easier to consume compared with heroin, morphine or cannabis, which have to be 'cooked' first.

Compared with heroin and cannabis, it is more difficult for the supply line of synthetic drugs to be cut as there is a big chain of foreign 'importers’. A number of high-profile drug busts this year back the police's theory that illegal drugs are the current fashion with addicts. Drug syndicates are more interested in smuggling the finished product into the country than raw materials.

To counter police action, syndicates have built a chain of contacts with drug producers abroad. Now, the syndicates prefer to smuggle processed drugs into the country before either distributing them in the local market or exporting them to neighbouring countries. Production of synthetic drugs was a global problem as investigations had shown that there were processing laboratories in the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia. In some cases, preventive laws were used against major drug syndicate members or foreigners. This year, 637 Malaysians and 45 foreigners were detained under preventive laws.

Social Stereotype

Ethics and Professional Conduct has includes forgiveness and being forgetful about some mistakes from the social stereotype perspective. In Malaysia, all kinds of drugs are illegal except for medications. Besides, there are so many disadvantages by taking drugs especially from health perspective. Yes, there is nothing wrong for a people to consume ‘Marijuana’ in Amsterdam because it was a legal ‘coffee drink’. However, once these people came to Malaysia, the society will looked down at them because they claimed that they are believed that they are committed crime. Malaysian legislation (sale of Drugs Act 1952 revised – 1989) provides for a mandatory death penalty for convicted drug traffickers. Under Malaysia’s anti-drug laws any person found in possession of at least 15 grams of heroin, 200 grams of cannabis is presumed, unless the contrary is proven by the accused, to be trafficking in the drug. Drugs such as cannabis, LCD and cocaine are absolutely prohibited and Customs officers and police have the right to search for illegal drugs.

Opinion

In my opinion, I will never look down on a gentleman who used to be a drug consumer in Amsterdam because certain drugs are legal there. But, if the person is my husband/wife, for sure I will look down on them because nowadays, we are being exposed with danger by using drugs. There are many disadvantages than advantages by taking drugs. I will still get him if he stops taking drugs even though drugs are legal at the respective country. Drugs can make our life miserable if we can’t control it, except him/her using it as medications. And just as there are many kinds of drugs available, there are as many reasons for trying them or starting to use them regularly. People take drugs just for the pleasure they believe they can bring. Often it's because someone tried to convince them that drugs would make them feel good or that they'd have a better time if they took them. Some people believe drugs will help them think better, be more popular, stay more active, or become better athletes. Others are simply curious and figure one try won't hurt. Others want to fit in. A few use drugs to gain attention from their parents.

Many people use drugs because they're depressed or think drugs will help them escape their problems. The truth is, drugs don't solve problems — they simply hide feelings and problems. When a drug wears off, the feelings and problems remain, or become worse. Drugs can ruin every aspect of a person's life.

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