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Past and Current Trends

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Past and Current Trends
Daniel Muldoon
Psy/425
May 20th, 2013
Barbara Nosal

Past and Current Trends
Illicit drug use in the United States has been around for many years. Just because it has been around for this long does not mean that it is good for the people. This type of illegal activity has been known to bring around violence, gangs, prostitution, and other illegal activities. To see how the use of illegal drugs has evolved, one must look at the past trends of drug use and the current trends as well.
Past and Current Trends
The past trends of drug use can be seen from the 1960s. During this time, recreational drug use was thought to have been the thing to do. Drugs such as LSD and marijuana were the mainstays of drug use. Throughout the years new drugs were created that became just as popular. Drugs such as ecstasy, crack, and even the newer bath salts became popular choices in drug use. Each of these drugs have their own side effects, some worse than others. An example of this would be bath salts. The side effects of this can cause a person to go temporarily insane, and also cause the user to become very sick. There even has become a trend to use everyday household items as inhalants to try to get high.
Cultural Uses of Illicit Drugs
Many different cultures use illicit drugs in their own ceremonies and religious practices. This has been done over and over throughout the history of their culture. For these people, the drugs that most people would consider to be illegal are a normal part for their lives. An example of this would be different Native American tribes in the United States. Some tribes use certain mushrooms to develop dream-like states to try and communicate with the Great Spirit that they revere, (Alcohol and Other Drugs, 2013). To them, this is a natural way for them to get closer to their beliefs, and their deities. There are other ways that illicit drugs can be used for good. Some of them are used for medicinal purposes. An example of this is using marijuana as a type of pain reliever for certain illnesses. In older times some drugs were used as an anesthetic in surgical operations. There are some situations that these drugs can be used for good, but newer methods of controlling pain have made using these methods outdated.
Health and Social Issues
When someone is abusing illicit drugs, there are many different health issues that can arise. Some of these can be as simple as an addiction to the drug. Other bad side effects can be developing breathing problems, skin problems, rotting teeth, and rapid weight loss. When these side effects start to take place, the person may not even notice it because all they are worried about is getting their next high. The drug abuser does not notice much about their lives except the need to get high and stay high, (Audience, 2013). There are other issues that arise when a person starts using illicit drugs. The issues are more on the social side, but they can be just as severe as the health issues. When a person is abusing drugs, they feel like they must do whatever they can to get their next high. This can cause them to start stealing to try and get the money that they need for their drugs. Stealing can lead to more serious crimes like assault and murder. Having all of this in an area can lead to gangs and more drugs being available in the area. It is a vicious cycle that is hard to break once it has started. Even drugs that are available to those who need it, (prescription drugs), are being targeted by some to get the nest high. This can cause more home break ins, and more incidents that involve the injury of others.
Conclusion
Drugs have been around for as long as there have been people. Certain cultures and religions use some of these drugs for their ceremonies, but they use them in moderation. The biggest problems with drugs is the harm that they do to the user and to those who are around them. Drugs can cause violence, health issues, and other situations that should never arise. The rise of drugs has also seen to the rise of gangs, cartels, murderers, and thieves. Drugs like these need to be policed and kept out of the reach of those who wish to abuse them. There have been medicinal uses for some of these drugs, but there are much better alternatives for these uses. In the end we can see the past and the current trend of drugs have risen in the United States. This is one trend that needs to be stopped.

References
Alcohol and Other Drugs - Overview. (n.d.). Home - Northern Territory Government. Retrieved May 20, 2013, from http://www.nt.gov.au/health/healthdev/health_promotion/bushbook/volume2/chap1/sect1.htm
Audience. (n.d.). Nationwide Trends | National Institute on Drug Abuse. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Retrieved May 20, 2013, from http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/nationwide-trends

References: Alcohol and Other Drugs - Overview. (n.d.). Home - Northern Territory Government. Retrieved May 20, 2013, from http://www.nt.gov.au/health/healthdev/health_promotion/bushbook/volume2/chap1/sect1.htm Audience. (n.d.). Nationwide Trends | National Institute on Drug Abuse. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Retrieved May 20, 2013, from http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/nationwide-trends

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