Social Policy: Illicit Drug Use in Canada and Worldwide

Better Essays
No matter where you visit in the world, turn on the news and you will hear about drugs, especially so-called illicit drugs. What are illicit drugs? According to Webster’s dictionary illicit drugs is defined as not permitted, unlawful (1997: 369). These illicit drugs then do not include things like alcohol, cigarettes, or prescribed medicines. But these types of drugs can also cause just as many problems as so called illicit drugs. How do sociologist look at this subject and what are we doing in our communities to help people using illicit drugs?
In the United States the war on drugs is at a crisis point. In 2003 alone 1,678,819 drug arrests were made (FBI Uniform Crime Reports , 2003). Of these 662,886 were for simple marijuana arrests (FBI Uniform Crime Reports, 2003). In Washington State, they have three strikes you are out law. This means if you are convicted of felony crime three times, the third conviction puts you in jail for life (Schmidt). This has led to a very high number of people in jail in the United States. In the United States they incarcerate 550 people a day while in Canada it is 150 a day (Schaefer, Floyd, Haaland 2005). Canada obviously is concerned about this trend and do not want to go the same route. The drug problem is a huge issue in Canada lately with stories in the news of the recent killing of RCMP officers to meth labs being busted in Kamloops.
Here in Canada, the worst hit city is Vancouver (Schaefer, Floyd, Haaland 2005). If you have ever driven down the eastside of Vancouver you will see exactly why it is so grim. Some of the other reasons are that this is the poorest area in all of Canada (Schaefer, Floyd, Haaland 2005). The people who call this home have the most severe social, economic and health problems in Canada (Schaefer, Floyd, Haaland 2005). Even the death rate is high due to sharing of needles, which leads to such diseases as hepatitis C, and HIV (Schaefer, Floyd, Haaland 2005). Other problems include



References: Canada, Vancouver. Four Pillars Drug Strategy. 2005. Four Years, Four Pillars Where To Now. Vancouver, BC: City Of Vancouver. Personal interview Rolf Schmidt, March 1st, 2005. Schaefer, Richard, Richard Floyd, Bonnie Haaland. 2005. Sociology A Brief Introduction Toronto, Ont: McGraw-Hill Ryerson. United States, Federal Bureau of Investigation. 2003. FBI Uniform Crime Reports 2003. Washington, DC: Federal Bureau of Investigation. Webster’s Dictionary. Illicit. 1997. Springfield, MA. Merriam-Webster Inc.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Better Essays

    Illicit Drug Use

    • 1333 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Justin Throughout the years modern culture has glamourized drug usage through popular culture such as music artist, videos, and celebrities. The media usually targets teenage to young adult because they are yet at an impressionable age. According to US Health and Human Services Department studies show by the twelfth grade, about half of adolescents have abused an illicit drug at least once. The most commonly used drug is marijuana but adolescents can find many abused substances, such as prescription…

    • 1333 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Best Essays

    AUSTRAILIA’S ILLICIT DRUG POLICY: A COMPLETE ANALYSIS AND RECOMMENDATION JESSICA PRICE JARED ROSS POL-222 TASK 4: A RESEARCH REPORT DATE OF SUBMISSION: 23, October 2012 Table of Contents Abbreviated Terms 4 Executive Summary 5 Australia’s Illicit Drug Policy: Past, Present, & Future 7 A Closer Look at Recommendations and Approaches 11 Appendix A 15 Appendix B 18 Works Cited 21 ABBREVIATED TERMS ABS Australian…

    • 4508 Words
    • 19 Pages
    Best Essays
  • Good Essays

    Illicit Drugs

    • 688 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Illicit drugs is another name for Illegal or forbidden drugs. Having any type of Illicit Drug in your possession is illegal and if you are caught selling, buying, using or owning drugs, you most likely will go to jail. There are three main categories that these drugs fall under; Stimulant, Depressant and Hallucinogens. Some drugs can be a mix of any of these categories because they produce different effects for everybody. --------------- Stimulant Drugs make you feel more alert and awake. They…

    • 688 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Licit and illicit drug use in 20 years By jacob Wheeler Abstract I am writhing a paper on my opinion of what licit and illicit drug use might look like in twenty years. It is in my opinion that licit drug use will advance with technology and science. Thought the history of drugs as science and technology advanced so did the quality of our drugs. Not only is there more drugs now a days but the way we use them is quite different than before. We have improved both the genetic structure of…

    • 580 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Illicit Drug Use in Pregnancy COM 220 August 1st, 2010 Illicit Drug Use in Pregnancy Studies in 2008 have shown that the amount of babies born to drug addicted mothers has almost doubled since 2003. Pregnant mothers have been using drugs during pregnancy for thousands of years without knowing the effects they can have on their unborn baby. Even though some people claim that illicit drugs used by pregnant mothers cause no harm to the fetus, there have been studies that show otherwise. Cocaine…

    • 2452 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    February, 2012 The Decriminalization of Illicit Drugs in the Philippines From the year 2002 to the year 2012, reports of illegal drug use and addiction to illegal drugs have risen in the Philippines, as explained by Tom Bañas the Task Force Commander of the Anti-Illegal Drug and Special Operation Task Force or AIDSOFT. The Philippine government in response to these reports sanctioned the formation of agencies specializing in dealing with cases concerning illegal drugs. Though these agencies are funded…

    • 4854 Words
    • 20 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Persuasive Essay The use of illicit drugs within the community is causing an alarming detrimental effect to the people within the community, both the drug users and their friends and family. Stated within this essay is an insight into some of the issues which occur a s a result of individuals becoming addicted to the use of illegal substances. Cannabis and methamphetamine are the top two mainly used drugs in the Australian population. Methamphetamine being estimated to have been used by 9.1%…

    • 648 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Illicit Drug Use During Pregnancy Nicole Sanchez Illicit Drug Use during Pregnancy Drug exploitation in pregnancy is an elaborate public health problem with conceivably serious conflicting effects for the mother, the fetus and spreading to the developing child. When a mother becomes pregnant, it is important to her baby’s health that she has a healthy lifestyle. This includes eating plenty of nourishing foods, getting a decent amount of rest and exercising normally. For…

    • 935 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    The Use of Illicit Drug: a Significant Cause of Global Health Issue 1. Introduction Many incurable diseases in the world are being cured and eliminated with the development of science and technology, while there are some new adverse factors probably can result in great harm to people 's health. Amongst these factors, the use of illicit drug is a crucial cause of spreading infectious diseases and deaths. It is estimated that more than 200 million people use illicit drugs in 2010 and among these…

    • 2179 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Drug Policy

    • 1070 Words
    • 5 Pages

    status quo of the drug policy is punitive prohibition and has a limited amount of treatment facilities. Punitive prohibition is the use of criminal charges with the goal of stopping the usage of drugs and all the harms that comes with it. This drug policy has been enforced and mostly unaltered since the MDA 1971. As outlined by the UK Drug Policy Commission the goals of the current drug policy is to reduce supply and demand whilst improving rates of recovery of those dependent on drugs. Status Quo Health…

    • 1070 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays